Mid-30s geek type with a houseful of pets, books, DVDs, CDs, and manga
The latest installment in the action-packed political machinations of Transformers #41: Combiner Wars takes an already tense situation and raises the stakes to impossibly high levels. Battle lines are drawn in the sand and alliances are made, but it’s still any Bot's game as to who will end up on top!
Twenty-two-year-old Zoe is on the fast track to a dead-end life. She has no goals or aspirations, her relationship with her boyfriend is on the skids, and she seems doomed to continue as a professional booth babe until she ages out of the industry. One day, as she struggles to find meaning in her mundane life, she spies a stranger watching her from behind the curtains of his apartment window. Zoe barges her way into Thomas Rocher’s life, never realizing that she’s discovered the scandal of the century: Rocher’s allegedly been dead since 2008! Penelope Bagieu’s Exquisite Corpse explores how far some writers will go for fame and how obsession with your craft affects those around you. As if that weren’t enough, Bagieu throws in a hearty dose of relationship drama that kept me reading until the final page.
Transformers: Windblade - Combiner Wars #2 takes the political machinations from the main Transformers storyline and brings them into even sharper focus. The number of serious players in this showdown continues to grow, but the central conflict between Optimus Prime, Starscream, and young Windblade definitely takes center stage when a crisis occurs that could affect both Caminus and Cybertron.
When Gerry wakes up in the attic of his home, all he remembers is going to dinner with his daughter and grandson the previous night and arguing as he left the restaurant. He can’t comprehend why he’s not sleeping in his bed, and it seems like his family may be playing a prank. The old man wanders outside in search of answers, only to discover that the world has changed dramatically while he was asleep.
Transformers #40: Combiner Wars Part 2 provides a link between the main comic and the plot from the current Windblade mini-series. Mairghread Scott, the Windblade writer, worked with John Barber, the primary writer for the main Transformers line, to blend the political machinations and drama perfectly. Unfortunately, this does mean that readers need to follow both series to get the whole current story, but if you pick your comics up issue to issue, it just means more Transformer goodness each month!
Linus has been isolated and alone since his beloved Mary left him. To fight against the sad memories, he heads out to fish on the three-year anniversary and hooks the adventure of a lifetime. Assailant Comics’ second installment in the Open Tree anthology series, Linus and The Fluke of Love, leaves the harsh Western landscapes of Freedom Run behind to hit the eastern coast and seas from Herman Melville legend. The themes of rebirth, healing, and growth continue though, and it will be interesting to see if they translate across the entire series.
Rachel E. Kelly’s second installment in her ambitious Colorworld novel series, Teleworld, picks up almost where the first one left off: A few months have gone by, and Wendy and Gabriel work to negotiate their fledgling engagement while Wen continues to struggle with her death touch. Her Uncle Robert provides stability for the young woman and her brother, Ezra, but it’s a little strange that he’s the one person Wendy finds hard to read emotionally. Is it because he’s just naturally less volatile and more guarded, or is there something more sinister about Robert’s reasons for avoiding Wen’s emodar? However, with a sudden wedding, our protagonist is more concerned about learning to be a wife, getting to know her husband better, and finding a way to belong to a warm, welcoming extended family without dropping her guard enough to accidentally kill someone.
Thom Burgess and Joe Becci’s first foray into the creepy, dark world of Malevolents starts off like a classic horror tale: a group of teenagers break into an old house to spend the night, smoke, drink, and regale each other with scary stories to see which will cave under the pressure. As one member of the group shares a story about the alleged history of the residence, it gradually becomes clear that story and history often intersect, and, sometimes, there really are things that go bump, or click, in the night.
College sophomore Wendy Whitley thought life was hard enough with caring for her fifteen-year-old brother Ezra, trying to make enough money to cover all the bills, and staying on top of her college courses. Having diabetes, an allergy to tree nuts, and the ability to sense emotions through skin contact didn’t even make her top ten worries list. When Wendy learns about a food allergy research study through mysterious Pneumatikon, it sounds like a dream come true. She thinks that life energy manipulation is a crock, but at $500 payment per session, what does she have to lose? However, when Wendy wakes up from a session with the frightening ability to kill people with her touch, she must decide how to protect those she loves most and learn how to control a new talent. As she explores more about her new skills and her own history, it seems more and more clear that her acceptance into Pneumatikon’s research study was no accident, and the reasons behind Wendy’s death touch may be more sinister than she can imagine.
Dynamic duo Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone are back with another Windblade story to thrill fans of the first female Transformer. This new mini-series, Windblade - Combiner Wars, uses plot elements from both the original Windblade storyline and the Transformers Combiners saga, so I don’t know if I’d recommend it for complete newcomers, but if you’ve wanted more stories of the airplane city speaker, you’ll want to jump in with the first installment.