It's a pretty light week but the fifth Wednesday in any month gets the same type of treatment. Fortunately we've got some pretty good horror comics to hold us over until next week.
Angel & Faith #7 Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Christos Gage Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs $2.99, 24 Pages
Angel & Faith is a book that is working on several layers and the current "Daddy Issues" arc is amplifying this. Faith is learning to love her dad, thinking that he's changed from the douche that he was. Angel is dealing with the return of Drusilla and her sanity thanks to a demon that feeds on emotion. When I first heard of this arc, I was expecting a bigger blowup between Faith and her father, but Angel's situation is far more interesting. In fact, I thought that Faith kind of rolled over a bit too easily.
Drusilla seems to have a unique perspective on Angel that even he doesn't see. She explains that Angelus is still a part of him, almost like another personality or a voice in his head, constantly whispering in his ear to do bad things. Think of the devil that would appear on the shoulder of a cartoon character. Angel represents the other side of that equation so he's constantly at war with himself. His quest to bring Giles back from the grave -- and a natural death -- is changing him further as the old watcher is starting to influence his mannerisms.
I said it last month, but it bears repeating. Rebekah Isaacs kills it on art for this book. Everyone looks great and clearly resembles the actors that were playing these roles in Buffy. Author Christos Gage doesn't have to say a thing about Faith's dad's past because of how Isaacs draws him. You can tell right off the bat that this guy has seen better days with his ugly sweater and poor excuse for a combover.
Hack / Slash #13 Published by Image Comics
Written by Tim Seeley Illustrated by Emilio Laiso $3.50, 32 Pages
Cat Curio lives up to her name as she investigates a theory about the group's benefactors at Monster Bait Film Studios. I'll be the first to admit that those dinosaurs with the big brains freak me out. If you thought those little guys that killed Newman in Jurassic Park were scary, just imagine them with telepathy and knowledge of the English language.
In other news, for once a comic lives up to the promises made on the cover. Cassie does indeed get laid. While her and Sam Hain are bumping uglies, Cat is running around the studio from these killer dinosaurs and all kinds of hell is breaking loose.
Emilio Laiso picks up the art duties on this issue of Hack / Slash. I don't know why Daniel Leister didn't continue from the previous issue considering this is part of the same arc. Fortunately, Laiso's work is top notch. It has a very Adam Hughes vibe to it and in a book where the main character is a hot chick who kicks ass, that's definitely a good thing.
Oh, and in case you were looking for just one more reason to check this book out, let me just throw this out there: Gorillaconda. Yeah, that's a thing.
Infestation 2: Team-Up #1 Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Chris Ryall Illustrated by Alan Robinson $3.99, 32 Pages
It should be a rule that every event book in comics gets at least one issue that makes fun of itself. Infestation 2 has that with Team-Up, an unlikely adventure starring Bat Boy from the Weekly World News universe and Archibald, the chain-smoking alien from Groom Lake. The pair share stories of events gone by and how none of them really changed anything despite all of their promises to the contrary. Bat Boy only communicates is high-pitched skrees that everyone but normal humans can understand, so to the outside viewer the conversation is a little one-sided.
Alan Robinson's artwork is pretty solid and it's clear that he and author Chris Ryall had a lot of fun with the book. Robinson gets to draw everything from Rod Serling as a bartender to spoofs of big event books such as Avengers: Disassembled, the Infinity Gauntlet, and Crisis of Infinite Earths. He even gets to poke fun at Rob Liefeld.
Team-Up does tie-in to the overall Infestation event, but it's done in a very tongue-in-cheek way and almost as an afterthought. This is a fun book that serves to remind us that comics can be silly and should probably not be taken all that seriously. It's something that we forget all too often.
The Darkness #100 Published by Top Cow Productions
Written by Phil Hester Illustrated by Romano Molenaar, Leandro Oliveira, and Jose Luis $4.99, 48 Pages
This is it! The big battle between Jackie Estacado and the Darkness! Jackie has fought his way through the inner realms of this ancient force to finally confront its true form. And boy, what an ugly form that is. The fight makes up the bulk of the issue, but it really is an epic one as Jackie is finally confronting the thing that he's been struggling against all his life.
The art on this milestone issue was handled by three different artists and it looks fantastic. Top Cow pulled out all the stops for this book and it shows. There are some great panels too. Early on there's a very meta section where Jackie cuts into the Darkness with a blade formed by the Angelus. It opens up a black hole in the comic and when Jackie steps through it, the captions and speech bubbles are shown in reverse, like he literally walked through the page. It's a great effect. Similarly, the final form of the Darkness is terrifying. It's represented as a giant, mutated creature with an almost infant-like appearance, as if the years spent ruining the lives of its bearers took a serious toll on it. It makes sense that this is the form that's hidden deep within itself.
This was my first arc with The Darkness and it was a great one. This wrapped up Phil Hester's run on the book and he did it with a bang which can serve as a satisfying end to the series, but from the looks of things, we're nowhere near the completion of Jackie's story. This issue is also packed with bonus content including a massive cover gallery, interviews, and a preview of the next issue which looks to be a great jumping on point for new readers. I'm looking forward to where it's heading but I'm going to have to go back and pick up all the previous trades just because.
Green Wake #10 Published by Image Comics
Written by Kurtis Wiebe Illustrated by Riley Rossmo $3.50, 32 Pages
You ever finish reading something and wonder "What the hell did I just read?" That's the feeling I get after wrapping up the latest -- and final -- issue of Green Wake. Granted, I got the party a bit late, only reading the second half of the short-lived series, but it's a strange one filled with scary bird children, a frog man, and a creepy, pustule-covered creature that looks like a piece of Tetsuo towards the end of Akira. From what I can tell, the town of Green Wake is a bit like purgatory, with its residents stuck there until they can either make amends for the wrongs in their lives or embrace the dark side.
The confusing story wasn't helped any by Riley Rossmo's artwork. It has a frenetic quality to it that looks like he was rushing to finish it. Most of the characters are almost indistinguishable and the panels look like they were drawn on spare pieces of paper that Rossmo had lying around.
I'd be willing to give the overall Green Wake a shot, but after reading the last few issues I was not impressed.
Hellraiser #11 Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Clive Barker with Robb Humphreys and Mark Miller Illustrated by Stephen Thompson and Janusz Ordon $3.99, 24 Pages
Kirsty Cotton is getting used to her role as the new Pinhead. Even with her friends in tow as some pretty heinous Cenobites, she's trying to fight the system from the inside. Meanwhile, her predecessor, now known simply as Captain Elliott Spencer, is working with the remnants of Kirsty's group on earth to destroy the remaining boxes.
I'll be the first to admit that my back knowledge of Hellraiser is pretty light, but I'm just not all that drawn into this book. The artwork is split up between Janusz Ordon and Stephen Thompson. Ordon handles Kirsty's pages and Thompson draws the ones centering on Spencer. Thompson's art is bright and clear with a lot of detail. He also illustrates a flashback scene from Spencer's time in the war in black and white with the only other color being the red of blood. It's a great looking set of panels that works very well in this issue. I wish I could say the same for Ordon's pages. His work is rough and very dark, making it difficult to tell exactly what is going on. There are still some nice effects though, such as Kirsty's design with her long white robe and stark red belt.
While I dug Spencer's flashback and bits and pieces of Kirsty's perspective, I'm just not pulled in all that much for this issue. That's probably more on me though as I haven't seen the movies. I want to like it more but I'm not vested in the characters.
Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends #13 Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Raven Gregory Illustrated by Matt Triano $2.99, 32 Pages
After murdering his father, Edward struggles to keep the beast inside in Grimm Fairy Tales' twisted version of Beauty and the Beast. Alcohol can't keep it at bay. The only thing that silences this inner rage is violence and even that doesn't hold it off for long. Edward decides to avenge his brother's death by seeking Jenna Washington, the woman that drove him to the grave.
Matt Triano's artwork in this issue of Myths & Legends is very hit or miss. Some characters look awkward, like they don't know what to do with their hands or they just have weird facial expressions. On the other hand, I love how Triano draws Edward. You can see throughout the issue how his appearance is changing. Before the beast was something that just lurked inside of him, but now his face is starting to resemble the horrific creature that's been below the surface the whole time. It evolves as each page is flipped and it's a great look.
This chapter of Myths & Legends is a hardcore tale of revenge. Edward is absolutely brutal in his attack on Jenna and he will stop at nothing to make her pay for his brother's death. It's going to be interesting to see how this ties in with the overall Grimm Fairy Tales mythos and I'm looking forward to it.
Also out in the wide world of horror funny books, but not reviewed were:
Immortal Demon In The Blood #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Robocop Road Trip #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Walking Dead #94 (Image Comics)
Xenoholics #5 (Image Comics)
Bettie Page In Danger #2 (Shh Productions)
Disturbingly Perverted Diary Of Doktormentor Jail Babe Surgeon #5 (Shh Productions) - Can anyone tell me anything about this company? I am dying to read these books.
And it was a light week in trades too. Not much to choose from but I can personally vouch for the zombie book from BOOM! Studios.
Monsters Are Just Like Us (Action Lab Entertainment)
Key of Z (BOOM! Studios)
That about does it for this week's horror comics. You heard what I had to say but I want to know what you had in your pull list this Wednesday. Let me know in the comments!
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.