Welcome to my new weekly segment on HorrorTalk, taking a look at the horror comics released every Wednesday.  The plan is that for each week you'll get a nice list of all the spooky funny books that you can check out at your local comic shop or, in most cases, on your favorite e-reader.  Try as I might, I'm not going to be able to read every single issue that's released, but I'm going to do my best to give you the best info I can, so without further ado, let's check out this week's pull list.

 

Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends #11
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Matt Triano, Marlin Shoop & CA Gutierrez
24 Pages, $2.99

 

This wraps up the second Myths and Legends story arc with a very bizarre look at the Little Mermaid.  If you're looking for Ariel and a charming singing lobster, you are in the wrong place.  Here we have Erica, a nice girl who's just been turned into a fierce siren out to get revenge on everyone that's wronged her.  She's being manipulated by a sea witch who's looking for vengeance of her own and Samantha, the guardian of earth, is trying to help Erica see the light.  

This issue is cobbled together with work from three separate artists.  It really diminished the final product because the styles, while somewhat similar, are glaring and took me right out of the story.  While I admire Zenescope's commitment to the book to make sure it can come out on time, the comic was hurt as a result.

It looks like author Raven Gregory is building towards a bigger end game with these stories.  The previous arc was perhaps the best and scariest interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood I've ever read.  This one was a little shorter and could have benefited with another issue to really flesh out the storyline.  The next issue starts with a look at Beauty and the BeastMyths & Legends is tied in to the main Grimm Fairy Tales series, but can still stand on its own for fans that haven't read all the back issues yet. Each of the story arcs so far have focused on a select group of characters which make these easy to pick up.

 

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The Price One Shot
Published by 215 Ink
Written by Glenn Arseneau
Illustrated by Allen Byrns
33 Pages, $3.99

 

If you're looking to try a new comic this week, pick up The Price from 215 Ink.  This is a one shot issue that could turn into something more.  The story focuses on Erin, a young woman who's lost somewhere near Bumblefuck, USA.  After finding no help from the local feeding hole, she encounters ghosts along the highway and her world is turned completely upside down.  Reality seems to warp around her and it's difficult to tell what's real.

I dug the story for The Price, but what really caught my eye was the art by Allen Byrns.  It is very reminiscent of Ben Templesmith and that's certainly not a bad thing.  The style and background coloring is all very Templesmithian.  Byrns still has a little ways to go though, as some panels, especially towards the end of the issue, start to lose that gritty texture that holds them together, becoming very basic caricatures.

 

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The Goon #37
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written and Illustrated by Eric Powell
24 Pages, $3.50

 

Full disclosure: I've never read an issue of The Goon until this week.  I've heard about the character and the seemingly inevitable, but non-existent film adaptation, but I've never read an issue.  This is a standalone tale, centered on a factory with poor working conditions.  After a group of employees is killed in a horrible fire, a cover up ensues and the workers unionize, hiring The Goon to look after them when the corrupt cops try to silence them.

What I can tell right about The Goon is that it's damn fun.  While the main character was barely in this issue, the setup that author / artist Eric Powell puts through feels educational, yet humorous.  What's great about this book though is the art.  Powell just kills it.  You get the Industrial Revolution vibe from the way each character looks, but they also have a cartoony quality to them.  

The closure to this issue felt a bit rushed, but overall a fun read.

 

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Godzilla: Legends #3
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Mike Raicht
Illustrated by Tony Parker
30 Pages, $3.99

 

If you're in the mood for giant monster destruction, then look no further than Godzilla: Legends from IDW.  This issue focuses on Titanosaurus and a secret group looking to control the monsters plaguing earth.  We're introduced to Tristan, a young boy with physic powers who's recruited by this organization to try to bond with one of the beasts.  The story is filled with conspiracy and reminds me a little of that one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the invisible girl.  You can tell that these people are up to no good, but you just don't know why until the very end of the issue which has a great payoff.


Tony Parker's art is pretty average.  The characters look OK, but not great.  The monsters, on the other hand, look awesome.  The scenes where Titanosaurus is rampaging through the city are great and the two page spread that closes the issue is epic.  I want to print it out and hang it on my wall.

 

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The Theater #4
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Robert Gill & Novo Malgapo
30 Pages, $3.99

 

The Theater is an interesting book that's been rather hit or miss.  The premise is that there's a spooky movie theater where crazy stuff is happening, but that serves as a bookend to a different story each issue, as if they're showing a movie.  This month's story was called Down the Street and is about two guys who befriend a new neighbor only to find out a horrible secret about their new buddy's past.  It reads like an average thriller without any surprises.  The overall Theater story is way more interesting with a demented projectionist causing terror for two moviegoers.  Unfortunately there are only a few pages dedicated to that and there's little-to-no development, so we're left hanging.  I doubt this will get picked up as each issue has focused on different people in the theater.

The art is pretty basic and nothing to write home about.  Everyone looks okay, but characters often have strange expressions on their faces, as if the artist wasn't sure where some of their features should go.  Things like eyes that are too close together or elongated faces.  Things like that.

 

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Valen the Outcast #2
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Matteo Scalera
24 Pages, $3.99

 

This book is just damn fun.  It's a bloody fantasy story with zombies.  Valen, the former king of this land, is looking to reclaim his soul from the evil necromancer Korrus Null, but he's shunned by his own people.  This issue sees him and his only loyal friends tearing through an army to get across a bridge.  The battle is gory and non-stop.  Heads are chopped off left and right.  It's great.


Matteo Scalera is on art here and gives the book a slight cartoony vibe, but never loses the serious tone of the story.  There's a great scene where Valen prepares for the battle by doing something extreme to his body.  It manages to be slightly over-the-top while also filled with honor and just plain badassery.

 

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Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes #3
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
24 Pages, $3.99

 

Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes continues to deliver issue after issue.  This is the penultimate chapter in the mini-series and I have no idea how the authors are going to tie up every loose end.  Aleron gains support in the prison and looks to escape while Dr. Zaius gets closer to the truth of the vast conspiracy.  The ape society is becoming a powder keg and it's getting ready to explode.  This book is fast-paced, but never feels rushed as it bounces between each of the main characters.


Gabriel Hardman keeps delivering fantastic artwork to keep up with the story.  There's a great pulpy feel to each panel and the art direction is top notch.  Honestly, you are not a Planet of the Apes fan if you're not reading this comic.

 

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Clive Barker's Hellraiser #9
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Clive Barker and Anthony Diblasi
Illustrated by Stephen Thompson and Janusz Ordon
24 Pages, $3.99

 

Pinhead's quest to return to human form has been successful.  Now he's helping Tiffany destroy the remaining Lemarchand Devices out there.  His memory of his former life is starting to come back slowly, so we'll soon be learning about who the man was who became Pinhead.  I'm not really sure where this story arc is going, but there's a satisfying cliffhanger.


The art in this issue is split between two artists.  It works as Stephen Thompson handles the first few pages, which consist of a flashback to the early days of Pinhead, and Janusz Ordon takes care of the rest of the issue set in present day. Thompson's art is dark and scratchy while Ordon's is a bit brighter, although there's a lot more blood in his section.  The character designs are pretty basic.

 

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Hellraiser Masterpieces #5
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by D.G. Chichester, Dwayne McDuffie, and Ron Wolfe
Illustrated by Paris Cullins, Tom Palmer, and John Van Fleet
32 Pages, $3.99

 

BOOM! continues their reprinting of classic Hellraiser comics with the latest issue of Masterpieces.  This collects the first two parts of Devil's Brigade.  I don't know if there's more to the story.  Basically, a war in Hell is breaking out and chubby Cenobite Flagellum takes it on herself to put a stop to it.  She finds that there are a series of turning points on earth that her people need to make sure go their way.  The story is rather dry and I have no connection to any of the characters, so I didn't care much if they succeed in their plan or not.  It alternates between ridiculous gore and lame self-abuse.  The second chapter details one of the missions.


The art in the first half fits in perfectly with the comics you'd see in the ‘80s and ‘90s.  It looks okay, and is nothing special.  The second volume is done in a photo style, but instead of sprucing up the images, things are just made darker, so I had a hard time seeing what was going on as everything was draped in shadow. This is an example of how not to do photo comics.

 

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Jurassic Park: Dangerous Games #5
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Erik Bear
Illustrated by Jorge Jimenez
32 Pages, $3.99

 

This was the conclusion to the arc featuring agent Espinoza trying to escape from dinosaur island, which is now controlled by drug lord Cazares.  He's found help in Dr. Frances White, who's been living in the jungles of the island for years and has a pack of raptors loyal only to her.  The issue is action-packed and dripping with revenge.  The characters are interesting and I just hope there's more to it now that this story is done.

The art looks a bit like an anime, but it doesn't distract from the story.  The style actually fits the action scenes very well.  The outlines seem a little lighter with this issue, but that's on the inker.

 

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Also released this week in the horror genre, but not reviewed here are:

 

  • True Blood: French Quarter #5 (IDW)
  • Charmed #17 (Zenescope)
  • Ferals #1 (Avatar Press)
  • Lady Death #13 (Boundless Comics)
  • Crypt of Horror #13 (AC Comics)
  • Scourge #6 (Aspen Comics)
  • Soulfire #6 (Aspen Comics)
  • Living Corpse Exhumed #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Robocop: Road Trip #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Vampirella Vs. Dracula #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Shinku #4 (Image Comics)
  • Fatale #1 (Image Comics)
  • Graveyard of Empires #3 (Image Comics)
  • Witchblade #151 (Top Cow Productions)
  • Terminally Illin #1 (Last Gasp)
  • Supernatural #4 (DC Comics)
  • Swamp Thing #5 (DC Comics)
  • iZombie #21 (Vertigo)



There are a bunch of graphic novels out this week for the horror fan to start the year right.  Look for reviews for most of these on HorrorTalk in the next few weeks.


That's it for this week's edition of Funny Book Splatter.  I told you what I thought of this week's comics, but what did you think?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.

 

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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