Well, Angel #0 is pretty much a surprise, with BOOM! Studios keeping things under wraps until about a week ago with their announcement. For readers of BOOM!’s Buffy reboot, you’d probably have caught sight of a particularly familiar handsome face peeking at the action in the last panel of Buffy #4. And that’s really how Angel #0 starts out, with the last few moments of Buffy #4 being seen from Angel’s perspective and his thoughts about how his past has led to his present state. If you’re concerned that Angel’s reboot has been scrubbed of Catholic guilt and self-flagellation, you really shouldn’t worry; once a brooder, always a frownier brooder.
The Second Golden Age of Television has brought us great serialized entertainment, but there will always be a special place for fantastic standalone episodes. This week's episode of American Gods, “Donar the Great,” demonstrates their importance. Adapting American Gods into a TV show allows for the source material's mythology to expand and develop concepts that are only touched on in the book. Thor's story is briefly mentioned in the book, but what was originally a few passing lines now takes on a whole new meaning. I expect nothing less from an episode directed by Rachel Talalay.
It would appear that we’re at the end of the first arc, and all signs seem to point to a ratcheting up of the ante. For one, the final main cover is actually slightly different from the solicited version, which hints at some degree of secrecy on BOOM!’s part. For another, I’ll note that the entire final page of the advance review copy I received was redacted, so it really seems that BOOM! wants everyone to be surprised when the issue drops this Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the most recent Buffyverse news, there will be a surprise book that you’ll want to pick up on Wednesday, as well. (Hint: He’s a big Buffyverse fan favorite, and methinks the redacted page is also meant to hide his backdoor reentry into this rebooted series.)
Black Badge #8 was a body slam to the soul. The most unexpected thing that could have happened did, and it was far more upsetting than I could have imagined it would be. It sat with me for a couple weeks. Why? Because Black Badge is not lazy storytelling. That’s probably the best compliment I could give to a creative team.
Little Bird was a comic book series I didn’t know I needed, and yet, there it was. A true artistic vision of a strange, yet familiar, world in comic book form. An experience that seemed to draw upon my love of Alejandro Jodorowsky and other surrealists like him.
Gideon Falls #12 begins the story of the laughing man, the entity that inhabits the Black Barn in the world of Gideon Falls. This issue is a nightmarish puzzle box that begins in 1886 on the frontier, as Father Burke and other local townspeople, including the sheriff, discover that Norton Sinclair is behind a series of murders, and they go to his barn to get him. For those who haven't been following along, Norton Sinclair is a recognizable name, and the barn is not a safe place, to put it mildly. We all know that this is the worst idea imaginable to go into the barn after Sinclair; they do not know that – but quickly find out. Father Burke is sucked into the world-altering reality of the Black Barn after coming face to face with the laughing man.
Hit-Girl's trip to Hollywood hasn't exactly gone according to plan, and now the bad guys are closing in on everyone's favorite pre-teen anti-hero. Writer Kevin Smith and artist Pernille Ørum serve up a heaping helping of sharp dialogue and exuberant illustrations in their third installment of Hit-Girl Season 2.
Steven Prince, the creator of Monster Matador - the epic saga of a faith-based man fighting the monsters attacking our world to protect his daughter - decided to invite fellow creator Ryland Grant (Aberrant) to write a very different type of story in the Monster Matador universe. When a monster attacks Hollywood, who better to face it than the many aspects of comic book, TV, and movie legend, Batman? The only problem? The actors who portrayed the Caped Crusader don’t have any of Bruce Wayne’s gadgets; they just have his ego and money!
Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader's Castle has been on my radar for a while now. The Star Wars extended universe, both new and old canon, contains some of the greatest moments in the history of the franchise. (I'm looking at you, Star Wars Jedi Council: Acts of War.) I held off on getting into this miniseries, because I wanted to read the story as a finished product, and, luckily, that product has arrived in the form of this box set.
As season 2 of American Gods continues, the show has diverged more and more from the book. The creators have introduced more characters and made a point to focus on some of the darker atrocities in American culture. I am not quite sure where they are going with the story this season. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I do hope that we'll start to see how some of these tangential threads will be woven together.