Well, apparently even a lunch amongst friends can get pretty messy if you live in Sunnydale. A lesson that Buffy, Willow, and Faith quickly learned when they encountered some kinda pasta demon… yes, pasta demon. Let that sink in. It’s got a bit of that silly vibe that the occasional monster-of-the-week episodes had.
What is it? Two stories set in vastly different time periods in which the crew encounter an existential crisis grounded in spirituality. In Part 1, Shepherd Book encounters an entity from his past and must confront it in order to save the day. In Part 2, set in the “Brand New ‘Verse” timeline, echoes of Book’s past come back to haunt the crew in unexpected ways. Fans of Joss Whedon’s other work may recognize a familiar prayer for peace that serves as a throughline through both stories.
Geof Darrow continues to shine in both writing and artwork in issue #4 of Shaolin Cowboy #4: Cruel to be Kin. The word shine really does not do justice to the incredible art that Darrow creates in relentless delivery of panel after panel of astoundingly detailed and incredibly vibrant illustration.
In the aftermath of the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series on Disney+, there has been renewed interest in the Star Wars prequel movies. Though not entirely beloved when they hit the big screen, new appreciation for those films has moved through the fandom at a rapid pace. Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories #1 continues this trend.
Well, the Serenity is covered in magnetic bombs and… yeah, that’s where we’re at. Oh, and apparently trying to pry them off will result in detonation. So, ya know, mid-level stakes with this crew, right?
Nostalgia is a funny thing. Besides drawing on personal memories, it also can create a sense of appreciation for the present moment. In the early 1980s, comic book readers found themselves experiencing different aspects of the medium that hadn’t been explored before. Titles like GrimJack, American Flagg, and Judge Dredd challenged the mainstream series published by Marvel and DC Comics. Among these creator-owned properties was Aztec Ace.
This comic makes it clear very early on that anything goes. Within the first few pages, we get a flying shark who battles a herd of laser dinosaurs. There’s a knight, a barbarian, a werewolf, a time traveler, and much more. It’s a free-for-all of superhero tropes combined with whatever other crazy, random things the writer could dream up. It’s glorious.
In the final issue of this series, the gang is faced with overwhelming odds against them. While some losses are incurred, they gain a surprising ally in their fight that may help turn the tide a bit.
This movie is a perfect example of what I love about the DC Animated Universe. That may come as a surprise, considering the films I’ve reviewed lately. I tend to be more critical of the darker, more serious ones (e.g., Injustice or Deathstroke) and instead rave about the broader, more fantastical ones (e.g., Batman: Soul of the Dragon or the recent DC Showcase). But believe it or not, the darker films were the ones that drew me to the DC Animated Universe in the first place. When done well, they’re an opportunity to explore deeper, more complex themes in a more mature way. Beware My Power does it very well.
When I reviewed Clodagh #2 earlier this year, I found it difficult to describe effectively, even though I really enjoyed it. Now in issue #3 (which will soon launch on Kickstarter), I’m finding the same problem. It’s a really compelling comic with engaging characters, but when I try to write out why, it doesn’t seem to do it justice.