What happens when the magic in a fantasy world vanishes?  In a moment, there is an absence of something that once was thought of as a necessity to life.

One of the most important things a good story can do is hold a mirror to the world and reflect on it. Killswitch, by Jeffrey and Susan Bridges, provide that reflection in one of the most exciting and action-packed sci-fi stories of the year, and one that centers on a question: Do the ends justify the means?

The Statue of Liberty.  That is the reference in this week’s title.  Well, it is in a roundabout way with more than one meaning, of course.  Everyone remembers the lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”, even if they do not know the title of the poem (“The New Colossus”) or the poet (Emma Lazarus).  But this week’s Westworld episode title also comes from that same poem: “her name / Mother of Exiles…” (Not true, her actual name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” which we call “The Statue of Liberty,” just like we call Lesane Crooks “Tupac Shakur” or we call Marion Morrison “The Duke” or “John Wayne” – nothing in America is called by its actual name.)  So, the Mother of Exiles is the Statue of Liberty, the celebration of liberty and immigration.

Full disclosure here: I was totally new to the Heirs of Isildur (No, NOT Tolkien’s Isildur!) universe, and going in blind was kind of fun. As a primer, I watched a 5-minute long heavy metal music video that provided the context for the opening of Tales from Nocturnia #1. Not surprisingly, the music video also gave me an idea of what I was getting into. In short: a clashing of heavy metal and fantasy tropes that I have always kind of associated with Meat Loaf’s album covers.

The end is here for the Augurs. Whether that means they escape or die trying is up to them, but - either way - they aren’t going back.  Killswitch creators Jefferey and Susan Bridges culminate this intense and politically inspired tale in a climax that ends on a bittersweet note.

Like much of quarantined America, I have binge watched and obsessed over Tiger King. While the craziness and over-the-top characters are fun (and sad), I admire the well-crafted narrative. The people are allowed to slowly reveal things about themselves. Sometimes, they reveal things about themselves that they themselves are not aware of. The story seems to unfold effortlessly. Where the remarkable craftsmanship is, however, is in a narrative structure that, untelegraphed and without fanfare, suddenly upends everything you think you knew about this story so far. (Tiger King spoilers ahead.)

Buddy the unicorn lives in Glow, one of six magical realms throughout the galaxy, and the seat of power for them all. Looked down on by the other unicorns because of the little stump where his horn should be, Buddy longs to prove himself and be considered worthy.

There are times in life when you don’t want to take anything seriously. James Rallison, author and illustrator of The Odd 1s Out: The First Sequel, has hit the New York Times bestseller list doing just that.

Freedom and the search for truth are the underlying themes in this sequel to Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and the show on Hulu.  A driving force in many people’s lives and aspirations, this story takes us deep into what it means personally for three women whose lives intertwine in unsuspecting ways.

I was not expecting that. I started reading this first issue of Spy Island really having no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting that. And that, folks, that was amazing. The synopsis is in the title. We’re on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and there are spies, but also - and hold onto your hats - because I’m not going to give away what else is on this island. Why would I ruin that?

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