The ambitious, new Chinatown noir from writer Pornsak Pichetshote and artist Alexandre Tefenkgi takes a measured first step, but leaves a lasting impression. The Good Asian #1 is more than just a gripping mystery and meticulously researched historical fiction, it's a thoughtful examination of identity and timely reflection of modern anxieties in the Asian-American community.

One of the most difficult things about growing up is living up to the examples of our heroes. Parents, mentors, and others can unwittingly create barriers for the generations that follow. This was the premise of the Flash comic book in the 1990s in which Wally West tried desperately to live up to Barry Allen’s ideals. This is also the premise of Dark Horse’s new series, Jenny Zero.

I love Japanese folklore and horror. I also love the wise dogs of Beasts of Burden - dogs that use witchcraft to protect the world. Normally, they’re protecting their neighborhood, but we’re getting a flashback to World War II during which a dog (Emrys) and his master have arrived in occupied Japan, where decapitations have been occurring.

I will never know true, unfettered fear. Not like some people. I’m not wearing that as a badge of honor, it’s simply a reality of the world we live in. I have more fear for other people than I do myself, and yet, I’m afraid. Like so many of the rest of the world, we are taught to fear: fear the other side, fear circumstances yet unseen, fear the unknowable. Especially in the last four years, as a culture we’ve lived in a cacophony of fear, because we see just how vulnerable we truly are: vulnerable to the whims of a terrible leader, vulnerable to a wide-ranging disease, vulnerable to the people who are supposed to protect us.

There’s an absolutely masterful sequence in the third issue of Dead Dog’s Bite in which shadows are used so effectively that you feel a real sense of dread and danger simply from their existence, long before that danger is confirmed, and even then, it’s kept abstract, like a nightmare.

In this fantasy/alternate history series, we find ourselves in a Mesoamerica that consists of elves, orcs, sorcery, and the warrior Helm Greycastle.  The Aztecs hold dominion over Central America, and the gods bow to none other than Montezuma III. It is a brutal world, and Greycastle and his team are on a mission to rescue the young dragon prince kidnapped by the Aztecs. But the mission is made even more difficult with the shifting Aztec political alliances, leaving Greycastle and his team not knowing who to trust.

Quick recap: Well, we’ve found Mal. He’s apparently a hermit on a nowhere rock, with some major ghosts haunting him; however, what’s lost can always be found, and Mal probably isn’t hard to find. Oh, and he has a new furry friend.

Quick recap: With the McGuires and associates kept busy by Lancelot and a dragon, Galahad retrieved the Holy Grail and galloped off into the sunset. Duncan and Co., atop a newly befriended dragon (naturally), were in hot pursuit of Galahad as he raced back to deliver the Holy Grail to Arthur.

America has a fascination with violence, everything from our Mortal Kombat games to Saw films. Somehow, somewhere, that desire for violence became a necessity in our lives. It’s not very often when that violence is used to make a point or to tell an emotional story. Often, you have to look overseas or seek out World War II or Vietnam films that will use violence to remind you that “war is hell.” In America, we have learned to glorify the act of violence for the sake of violence. So, when a story comes along that treats you to a healthy dose of ultraviolence and then wings you emotionally in the end, that’s something special.

IDW’s charming and educational series reaches its conclusion in this clever issue.

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