A pretty light week for horror comics, but still some pretty decent titles to check out.  I've got my thoughts on the issues below.  Let's get into it!

 

Irresistible #2
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Derlis Santacruz
$3.99, 32 Pages

I had originally dismissed Irresistible as a bizarre fantasy comic, but it wasn't until this month's issue that I realized how scary it could be.  The story focuses on heartbroken Allen, who is still pining for his ex-girlfriend.  He saves an old lady from being mugged and makes an offhand wish that women would throw themselves at him.  It turns out that elderly woman was a gypsy and now Allen can't turn around without bumping into a pair of boobs.  Of course none of them are the one that he really wants, so he's still all mopey.

Irresistible reminds me of a weird version of Stephen King's Thinner.  It'll probably take Allen a little while to figure out what he did wrong and seek the old woman out in an effort to get through the never-ending pile of poon that has appeared at his doorstep.  But will it be enough to regain the love of his life?  Or will he finally get over this chick and just accept the gift that he's been given?

This issue takes a look at the dark side of this porno fantasy land that Allen has found himself in.  Women can get really jealous and they don't take kindly to being treated as objects in this guy's booty train.  The results turn bloody as these ladies try to satisfy Allen and get increasingly drastic. 

While Raven Gregory's story is interesting enough to get pulled in (aside from how much of a whiny baby Allen can be), the art by Derlis Santacruz is hit or miss.  Most of the people look wooden and awkwardly posed.  They lack depth, appearing very flat.  Facial expressions are often very strange.  This isn't helped by colorist Franco Riesco, who gives almost everything a bright sheen to it.  Everyone looks too shiny and the way that this book is pacing doesn't match up to these vibrant colors.

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Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends #20
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Troy Brownfield
Illustrated by Joshua Hood
$2.99, 32 Pages

Twins Hank and Gina have found a great new location for their fake ghost-hunting TV show in the Witch's Den in Plainville.  On this site years ago, a witch was responsible for the deaths of dozens of people and her ghost is said to haunt her former home.  They run through a scene of the show, but Gina flubs her lines right when the climax was supposed to happen.  This episode is big for a number of reasons, not just because this seems to be the largest setup that they've done yet.  They're also planning to "kill off" the on-air crew of the show too.  Of course, since this is a fake reality show, they won't actually die...right?

This arc of Myths & Legends has been Zenescope's take on Hansel & Gretel.  It's been pretty slow to start, but in this penultimate issue, we finally get rolling.  Up until now, we've had some mediocre character development that has resulted in my complete apathy towards Hank and Gina.  The former is a fame-hungry jerk and the latter is a confused dumb blonde that is just following her brother around for the most part.  Their crew is even worse as they fill the roles of stereotypical -- and most of all, disposable -- horror movie characters.  There's a jock, a smart girl, and a wiseass. 

The art on this issue is much cleaner than previous chapters, but not without problems.  Joshua Hood can draw some great facial expressions.  There's a shot of the witch as she's being hanged that is so friggin' creepy.  She's looking right at the townspeople with a smirk on her face, like she's thinking "Oh, I'll be back."  This is balanced out by some strange choices when it comes to the characters as they pass through each panel.  People have arms that are too big or not quite in the wrong place.  Legs are a little twisted.  It's not that distracting, but it is noticeable.

The end of this issue has a nice cliffhanger that I'm hoping finally leads to some action with this arc instead of the sibling bickering we've had so far.  The last few pages ramp everything up, but I'm worried it'll be too little too late.

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Harvest #2
Published by Image Comics
Written by A.J. Lieberman
Illustrated by Colin Lorimer
$3.50, 32 Pages

Former doctor Ben Dane has found a new job after his medical license has been revoked.  It doesn't look like the kind that has a 401(k) plan, though.  He's been picked up by the black market to continue the life of a surgeon.  The facilities are top of the line and the money is good.  He's handling organ transplants and other problems as they arise, but that pesky Hippocratic Oath keeps nagging at him.  This isn't the kind of place where you hold on to your conscience.

Harvest can be a brutal read, but it's one that I can't look away from.  Ben's life is a complete train wreck.  He's a disgraced surgeon.  He's tied up with what looks like the mob.  He's hallucinating in the form of a child that's following him around.  There's not much in the way of a happy ending for him on the horizon.  Even with all this crap that he's sifting through, Ben still clings to a glimmer of hope.  He can see what the right thing is and he's not comfortable with this new situation.  These people aren't the type that takes too kindly to being told "No."

Colin Lorimer continues to kill it on art.  Each page serves to drive home the sheer desperation that Ben is currently dealing with.  He's at the end of his rope and it shows.  His beard is unkempt.  His hair's a mess.  He just looks tired and beaten.  Yet, he's able to do his job when needed.  Lorimer also does a great job with the colors with Harvest too.  Much of it has a washed out look, especially the surgery scenes.  You can feel that harsh buzz from the overhead lights as they illuminate everything but destroy the color. 

This issue of Harvest feels like that point in a roller coaster when you've reached the top of the first climb.  Ben's decisions have given him the slight push he needed to begin his descent down the drops and flips ahead of him. 

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Overall:

 

 

True Blood #4
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Michael McMillian and Annie Nocenti
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos
$3.99, 24 Pages

After four issues of True Blood, I finally figured out when this series is supposed to take place.  It would have been helpful if it was written on the intro page, but this first arc of the comic is set in between seasons four and five of the TV show.  So far, Remus, an old vampire who believes that mainstreaming is wrong (very much like Russell Edgington), has chosen Coffin Night, the anniversary of the vampires going public, to lash out.  He's seeking revenge for the murder of his nest by Eric Northman, so he's sought out anyone in the Viking’s party, including Sookie. 

This chapter sort of centered on the werewolf Alcide, but also served to wrap up the arc.  It looks like there should have been more to it as it feels rushed.  Everything gets tied up in a nice little bow, but it happens too quickly and doesn't feel like a satisfying ending.  The bit about Alcide's past was unnecessary as it added nothing to the overall story.  It looks like it was thrown in as an afterthought because he's become a popular character. 

I want to like this True Blood comic, but the story is lackluster and the art is uneven.  It's like a neutered -- or de-fanged (HAR HAR!) -- version of the TV show.  All bark and no bite.

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Black Kiss II #2
Published by Image Comics
Written and Illustrated by Howard Chaykin
$2.99, 24 Pages

So last month Bubba's life was saved on the Titanic by a hermaphroditic demon who anally raped him.  To up the bar in this issue, creator Howard Chaykin has Bubba bang some no-name Hollywood starlet and somehow win her over to the dark side with his enchanted semen.  Then the two of them, working with the seed of this succubus that was on the sinking ship, start to...I don't know, force fuck evil into various people around Los Angeles. 

Black Kiss II is like a shady piece of erotica that's written by a sixth-grade boy into horror movies.  Hey, wouldn't it be cool if some demon with big cans did a guy in the butt and then he went around banging chicks left and right?  No homo.  The answer to that question is no.  It wouldn't be cool.  It reads like poorly made smut.  I'm not saying this as a prude.  Sex has a place in the funny book business, but this is thrown in for shock factor and to draw attention away from the fact that there's not much of a story here.  We're one third of the way through this mini-series and there's no clear path.  Just a big penis that a lot of people want to jump for some reason.

Chaykin's art is in black and white, which makes most of it look like barely finished sketches.  Some color would have been helpful because most of the women look very similar, so it's difficult to tell them apart.  Similarly, there are narration boxes and square-shaped speech bubbles that are tough to distinguish between, so having them as different shades would have gone a long way.  The pencils look a little rushed, like Chaykin was trying to wrap this up before his mom came in and saw what he was doing.

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Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #1
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Illustrated by Damian Couceiro
$3.99, 24 Pages

The writing team of Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman continue their look at the years before Taylor arrived on the Planet of the Apes.  Their latest mini-series, Cataclysm, takes place just eight years before that crash landing.  There is peace in ape society, but a strict caste system has some major prejudices running wild.  Humans cannot speak and are treated as animals.  Also, the moon gets destroyed.  Yup, that happened.

For the first time that I can remember, we're given a glimpse back into the possible cause for the original catastrophe.  There's a colony on the moon that was on the brink of war with countries on earth.  Missiles were launched from this lunar base that caused a mess of problems.  Years later, the warheads that were lying dormant planet side finally seek their target, but there's a major price to pay now.  Huge pieces of the moon start falling to the earth, destroying homes and started fires.  This is terror that the apes have never seen before.

What's great about these mini-series is that Bechko and Hardman are filling in the gaps.  I didn't need to know these things, but I can't imagine not knowing at this point.  While the main POTA ongoing series is centered on one piece of time, many years before this one, this team is focused on giving us an idea of where these characters were just before the film series started up.  Seeing these creatures develop their own laws and have the same problems the humans did 2,000 years before, it's interesting on an anthrological standpoint.

Damian Couceiro is on art duty this time around.  He does a good job with these characters that have been popping up in each of the Bechko and Hardman series so far.  Where he excels is when the destruction gets kicked up.  There's this one oversized panel of the moon blowing up that looks awesome.  There are occasional problems with cartoonish looks on some of the ape faces, but that's my only real issue with Couceiro's work.

Cataclysm starts with a literal bang.  Apes are dying and they're seeing devastation on a level that is completely unknown to them.  This team has been able to draft tense political thrillers in the past so I'm looking forward to how this is spun with the next few issues.

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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Wonderland #2
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Raven Gregory
Illustrated by Sheldon Gok
$2.99, 32 Pages

Tensions ride high as Calie and her daughter Violet adjust to their new life in hiding.  Calie has finally spilled the beans on her past with Wonderland and why she's so concerned for Violet's safety.  It's a never-ending struggle for her to hold on to her sanity and to keep this land of madness away from her little girl.  Of course, her paranoia might be justified, but even if it is, Violet is a teenager and they have a tendency to rebel against their parents.  That may be fine if you're talking about staying out past your curfew or picking up a cigarette, but it's an entirely different concept when there's a world full of lunatics that want you dead.

Despite Calie's story being central to the Wonderland mythos, I'm far more interested in the new character of Sammy.  He's inherited the Mad Hatter's hat, which was formally worn by Calie's brother Johnny.  It's affected him in a big way as he sees the light from that far away land and he needs to paint it red.  He's killed his parents and now he's recruiting others to his cause to eventually take on Calie and Violet.  To what ends remains to be seen, but I can't wait to find out.

Meanwhile, the Queen of Spades is making moves to take over Wonderland, but I really don't care about that right now.  She's drafting an army or something, but it's not nearly as entertaining as what's going on with Sammy or even Calie.

Sheldon Gok's artwork for Sammy's portions is pretty spot on.  He captures this look on the face of his characters when their eyes are opened.  It's an expression of joy that's soaked in madness.  The rest of his art is rather uneven.  The styles are slightly different during the scenes with the Queen of Spades and those with Calie and Violet.  It's a subtle change. 

The first issue of Wonderland was a bit of a disappointment, but this one picks up much better.  I'm looking forward to the next chapters to see how these bits start tying together.  At the very least, I want to get to Sammy's end game because he's being manipulated, but I don't know how.  Is Johnny somehow still alive?

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The Crow #3
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by John Shirley
Illustrated by Kevin Colden
$3.99, 24 Pages

The Crow will have its vengeance!  The BioTrope Corporation has been swapping the bodies of their executives with those of young people in an effort to live forever.  One of those was Haruko, the fiancée of the current embodiment of the Crow.  Now he seeks revenge against not only those that wronged him but those at the top of the organization that committed the same crimes.  He wants to put these souls to rest. 

While I dig the overall concept of the Crow, author John Shirley fills this issue with punny dialogue that doesn't mesh with the character.  I just can't picture this spirit of vengeance spouting out lines that are like a cross between a Mel Brooks movie and an emo kid's LiveJournal.  Each one of these comebacks falls flat and takes me right out of the comic because it ruins the vibe.  The Crow is dark and is routed in heartbreak and revenge.  That's what powers him forward on his quest.  He shouldn't have time for snappy retorts.

Kevin Colden has this great style that makes the panels look almost like they were painted.  It matches  the Japanese setting, especially when it gets into the mysticism of the spirits that have already been rescued.  When the blood starts flying -- and there's a lot of it in this issue -- it really stands out.  Lots of great splatter across the board as these henchmen drop left and right.  I almost feel bad for these guys.  Almost, but not quite.

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Also out on comic shop shelves this week, but not covered here were...

 

  • Animal Man #0 (DC Comics)
  • Swamp Thing #0 (DC Comics)
  • Army of Darkness #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Vampirella #22 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Mind the Gap #4 (Image Comics)
  • Spawn #223 (Image Comics)
  • Last Zombie Before The After #1 (Antarctic Press)
  • Penny For Your Soul False Prophet #7 (Big Dog Ink)
  • Lady Death #21 (Boundless Comics)
  • Foster #2 (Dog Year Entertainment)
  • Bettie Page In Danger #4 (Shh Productions)
  • Charmed #23 (Zenescope Entertainment)
  • Grimm Fairy Tales #77 (Zenescope Entertainment)

 

And in graphic novel releases...

 

  • Ghosbusters Omnibus: Volume 1 (IDW Publishing)
  • Spawn Origins Collection: Volume 7 (Image Comics)
  • Stephen King's The Stand Omnibus Hardcover Slipcase (Marvel Comics)
  • Stephen King's The Stand: Volume 4 (Marvel Comics)
  • War Goddess: Volume 1 (Boundless Comics)
  • Strontium Dog Life And Death Of Johnny Alpha The Project (Rebellion)
  • Grimm Fairy Tales: Volume 12 (Zenescope Entertainment)

 

That wraps up this week's edition of Funny Book Splatter.  You've heard my ramblings about the horror comics released this time around, but I want to hear yours.  Hit me up in the comments!

 

 

Buy Buffy Season 9 comics at TFAW.com!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to comment on this? 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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