It's time to roll the dice once again as the Critical Role prequel series continues, with our group of rag-tag adventurers finding themselves on the wrong end of the odds once again. In one of their first real teambuilding exercises, Vox Machina enter a fighting tournament, looking to take their status of being poor in coin and rich in bad ideas and at least get half of that formula remedied. To do that, they has to come together and win a few fights as a team, though that's much easier said than done.
With his family nowhere to be found and the farm animals becoming increasingly hostile, Frank completely loses his grip on reality. In the final issue of their macabre tale of paranoia, Jordan Thomas and Clark Bint bring Frank at Home on the Farm to a full boil of stark-raving madness. It's not for the faint of heart, in the best possible ways.
The new series, Godzilla: Monsters & Protectors #1, has an animated style that lends itself to the middle-school narrator and general audience-friendly premise. It could actually serve as a good template for Warner Bros. if they want to develop their recent Godzilla franchise into an animated form, much like what Universal did with Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.
Yan Ge’s hauntingly surreal novel, Strange Beasts of China, has been slotted under Science Fiction and Fantasy, but it’s a work that doesn’t fully fit into any single genre. The collection of interconnected stories centered on a failed cryptozoologist turned pulp journalist resonated as modern fairy tales, and I loved how each new section about a beast of Yong’an added to the author’s world building to reveal new facets about the nature of humanity.
Cosmic Force is a comic series by Allen Carter about a group of superheroes who got caught in a meteor shower in Hawaii and now have superpowers. The Before Times is a series of Cosmic Force prequel comics which tell the origin stories of each of the characters. If you haven’t read the series, this might not be the best place to start - which is not to say it’s not still an entertaining story.
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr is a hell of a premise. Death is fired because immortality may become a thing, but what will death do to make sure that she retains her job? How far will she go? But this isn’t Neil Gaiman’s Death of the Endless, this isn’t the Western version of death in a cloak, this is the Hindu Goddess of Death with six arms - Kali - and she’s fiery.
Writers Fleecs and Forstner are taking their time, every issue slowly upping the stakes for our lovable piecemeal dog family that has been taken in by a serial killer after he murdered their female owners. Yikes! The genuine originality of this idea is only bested by the execution of it.
If you read my review of Ultramega #1, you’ll see my unabashed enthusiasm. I love a great kaiju story… Heck, I love a terrible kaiju story, but make no mistake Ultramega falls in the former category. It is stellar. The first issue introduced us to a world in which people turn into kaiju, and three humans were given the power to turn into protectors and fight them off. You saw how weary these heroes were, how depressed they were. The battles were insanely cool, and the ending was a shock!
Writer Greg Rucka (Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Lazarus) and artist Leandro Fernández (Wolverine: Coyote Crossing, The Discipline) return to the world of immortal mercenaries found in The Old Guard from Image Comics.
Quick recap so far: We’re twenty years into the future with Zoë having all sorts of old troubles mixed in with some new ones. While the faces around her are mostly different, the jobs and the scrimmages seem familiar, but things are always different when you’re running with your young-adult daughter who’s got every bit of your stubbornness and her father’s dreaminess.