It's happened before. It will never happen again. So goes the final issue of the years-long epic, The Wicked + The Divine. After several years of exploring this world of gods, secrets, lies, and a weaving story, this beloved series is coming to a close. As someone who has followed this series since its first issue, this is a bittersweet moment for me. I've loved this series since issue #1 and have followed it through every twist, turn, and big reveal. While the contents of this issue are important, I think the bigger picture to look at here is the celebration of this crowing achievement of media, storytelling, and creativity.
In Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum’s Sea of Stars, gone is the cynicism and coldness of modern-day sci-fi that has ramped up ever since Ridley Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner. Instead, they’ve embraced that gee-whiz, sci-fi pep of the '50s and '60s. This is an adventure split in two.
I always enjoy James Tynion IV’s work on popular series like Detective Comics and his other ventures over at DC, but where he truly excels to me as a writer - where his voice as a creator is amplified - is when he releases one of his horror or sci-fi series at BOOM! Studios. Memetic, Cognetic, and Eugenic took the sort of body horror aspects from David Cronenberg and spun some truly great, socially relevant horror stories. Something Is Killing the Children looks like it’s the next in this sort of socially aware horror series, and he doesn’t wait to get into it.
As the title of this issue alludes to oh-so subtly, this issue serves as a prelude to BOOM!’s first epic Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel crossover event: “Hellmouth.” After the relatively slow burn of the last arc (Xander almost turned into a soulless vampire, and Willow sacrificed a bit of her soul to prevent that, NBD.), this issue is laser-focused on its mission to get us to the Hellmouth.
Christopher Cantwell’s second foray into comic books doesn’t ease you into it; you’re catapulted into its chaos. His previous series which ended last month, She Could Fly, was about one girl’s mental illness and her desperate journey to be free of it. It was amazing, heart wrenching, surreal, absurd, and one of my favorite series of the last two years. Everything ups the ante.
David Pepose has a talent for combining the best aspects of nostalgic entertainment. His new series, Going to the Chapel, combines the action/adventure elements of Die Hard with that of a classic rom-com. Readers are introduced to the bride, Emily, who is unsure about her perfect soon-to-be beloved, and her rich family who are about to be robbed by a handsome stranger and his gang of Elvis-masked cohorts. And, there’s about to be a very big (and probably awesome) firefight with the sheriff.
Picking up immediately after issue one, issue two of Berserker Unbound sees the Berserker more-or-less befriending Joe Cobb, the transient he encountered after emerging from the cave portal. Though the two characters are unable to understand each other’s speech, Cobb invites the Berserker to his forest camp, where he bandages him up and provides him a tin of food. The next day, after disguising the Berserker in more common clothing, both make their way into the city to visit the food bank and a liquor store. The Berserker is perplexed by the squalor the other transients live in and awed by the skyscrapers of the city; however, when it comes to pass that Cobb is not able to help the Berserker further in his quest to find the wizard, he sets off into the city alone.
The most important thing to remember with any Watt O’Hugh novel is that time is not linear; in Watt’s case, it’s not even sequential most of the time. It’s been several years since I read the first two installments in Watt’s adventures as reluctant Western hero, time roamer, and member of the movement against the Sidonians, so re-entry into his quirky, time-defying story was a bit like participating in a polar bear swim: slightly terrifying, a little disconcerting, but ultimately refreshing and memorable.
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