Single issues were few and far between this week.  Not much in the way of books but there were a load of trades to look through.  Let's take a look!


Hack / Slash #17
Published by Image Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Daniel Leister
$3.50, 32 Pages

The truth behind Vlad's past is finally revealed.  The big lug that's been hanging around with Cassie Hack is the black sheep of a family of Frankenstein-like monsters.  Whereas they feed on human flesh to keep up their strength, Vlad is the more sensitive type as he was raised by the Butcher.  He has a sense of right and wrong and loyalty.  While these creatures are related to him by blood, it's people like Cassie that he calls family.

This showdown against the family was like a big monster battle royale.  Vlad squares off against his cousin Colin who's bigger and meaner than he is, with Cassie's life on the line.  Our girl isn't the damsel in distress type though, so she fights her way through these things herself.

Throughout all of this, Daniel Leister delivers some great art.  His girls are sexy and provide plenty of cheesecake.  Meanwhile, Vlad's relatives are suitably terrorizing.  These guys are massive.  The gore is also handed out in spades, with blood and limbs flying. 

As a relative newcomer to Hack / Slash, I like that they've provided a bit of back story to Vlad.  Up until this two part arc he was just a bedridden green guy to me, but this made me appreciate the character.  The old monster reminded me of John Candy's role in Nothing But Trouble, but I don't think that was intentional.






Orchid #8
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Tom Morello
Illustrated by Scott Hepburn
$3.50, 26 Pages

At long last, Orchid steps up to the plate.  It's been foreshadowed since the book started, but she has finally accepted her destiny.  No longer the pathetic prostitute who has been stepped on her entire life, she's now a leader.  It should come as no surprise that Orchid put on General China's mask.  It's been pretty obvious that that was going to happen.  Instead of walking right up to it though, she did it in a moment of desperation.  She had nothing left.  Her family is dead.  Her role model is gone.  What else was there to live for?  She tried to end it with China's mask as everyone who has put it on aside from Opal has died instantly.  Instead it filled her with power and the confidence she didn't know she had.

This is where the fun is going to start.  The first eight issues of Orchid were just the pre-cursor to what comes next.  There's going to be an epic battle between the privileged elite and the have-nothing bridge people.  A reckoning is upon them. 

Artist Scott Hepburn helps Tom Morello's story a great deal with this issue.  The writing is inspiring, as Orchid gives a big speech to all of her people, rallying them to fight a battle they can't possibly win.  It's Hepburn's art that puts it in perspective though.  Orchid's a scrawny teen who's been put down most of her life.  Although she's still that skinny girl, she's now a symbol for so many people.  Hepburn illustrates this beautifully.  You can feel the power coming off of Orchid between the glowing blue eyes and the energy that just emanates from that mask.  This kid has grown up.

Orchid has had its share of ups and downs, or rather its slow and fast periods, but things are really amping up now.  The Shadow Rebels are no longer running.  They're not going to roll over and die.  They're taking the fight to Tomo Wolfe himself. 






Spawn #221
Published by Image Comics
Written by Todd McFarlane
Illustrated by Szymon Kudranski
$2.99, 32 Pages

I haven't read a Spawn comic in forever, but with the character celebrating his 20th anniversary, I figured now was a good time to jump back in, especially with creator Todd McFarlane at the helm.  Jim Downing, the current Spawn, is struggling to find out who he was before he fell into a coma for several years.  His life is a mystery but he's trying to help people.  I wish I could tell you more about this book, but I'm honestly not sure about what's going on just yet.

The art by Syzymon Kudranski is pretty good, but it's ruined by colorist Fco Plascencia.  I don't know if it was just my copy of the comic, but nearly every panel is crazy dark.  I'm not saying it's dark like a mood.  It's dark like it would be really beneficial if someone could turn a light on or at least strike a match.  I'm sure there's some good art buried under there but it's just hard to see.

I definitely have some catching up to do with Spawn but this wasn't the best issue for me to hop back on board.  I'll keep an eye on it for the time being to see if I can catch up.





Also out in this small week but not reviewed here.


  • Animal Man #11 (DC Comics)
  • I Zombie #27 (Vertigo)
  • Vampirella Red Room #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Artifacts #19 (Top Cow Productions)
  • Infernal Man-Thing #1 (Marvel Comics)
  • Ferals #6 (Avatar Press)
  • Hellraiser #15 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Fanboys vs Zombies #4 (BOOM! Studios)
  • Lady Death #19 (Boundless Comics)
  • Disturbingly Perverted Diary Of Doktormentor Jail Babe Surgeon #7 (Shh Productions)
  • Tales Designed To Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)


While it was a small week for single issues, there were loads of great trades out.  Here's a listing of the horror books.


  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 9): Volume 1 (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Freaks Of The Heartland (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Goon: Vol 11 - Deformed Of Body And Devious Of Mind (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Infestation 2: Vol 2 (IDW Publishing)
  • Footprints (215 Ink)
  • Knights Of The Living Dead: Vol 1 (Slave Labor Graphics)
  • Zombies That Ate The World: Vol 2 - Eleventh Commandment (Humanoids)
  • Flesh And Blood: Vol 2 (Monsterverse)
  • Night Projectionist (Studio 407) - HorrorTalk Review
  • Salem's Daughter: Haunting (Zenescope Entertainment)


Definitely a good time to try out a new graphic novel.  What did you pick up this week?  Let me know in the comments!


Buy Buffy Season 9 comics at!







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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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