It's a pretty light week for horror fans in the funny book world. The old adage of quality over quantity is true here though.
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Erik Burnham
Illustrated by Dan Schoening
$3.99, 32 Pages
Fresh from their trip to upstate New York, the Ghostbusters must now figure out what's going on a heightened PKE rating in the area. Egon is on the case and we're reminded why he's one of the smartest people in the world. He's always been my favorite Ghostbuster, so I was excited to see an Egon-centric issue, but I remember now why we haven't seen one of these before. Egon can be kind of boring and he definitely lacks the fun wit that other members of the team have.
Plus, get a load of that awesome cover!
|B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth - The Long Death #3
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Illustrated by James Harren
$3.50, 32 Pages
Johann Kraus' trip into the woods comes to an end this month. He tried to take out former B.P.R.D. team leader Captain Ben Daimio, who can now transform into a horrific red were-jaguar, but to no avail. It's clear that Daimio wants his life to end, but he can't bring himself to do it himself, so he seeks out the only creature in the area that might be able to do him in: The Wendigo. This is all set up in the first few pages of the issue of The Long Death. The rest is a knock-down, drag-out battle between two fierce monsters. One is seeking an end, but will not go down easy, while the other is realizing just what it needs to free its tortured soul.
As with the previous issues, James Harren nails the art. You can see the desperation in Daimio's eyes. You can sense the sorrow in the Wendigo's face. These two monsters have one of the most violent and bloody battles I've seen in months. Neither one of them know how to stay down and Harren catches every moment in this brutal fight. There are some impressive full page spreads here that are just insane.
The Long Death brings closure to a chapter of the B.P.R.D. that's been popping up through a few mini-series now. It's a tragic story and a little heartbreaking, but Mike Mignola has a talent when it comes to this type of comic and it's definitely seen here.
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Jan Strnad
Illustrated by Richard Corben
$3.50, 32 Pages
The living castle Ragemoor has taken another victim, must to the dismay of Herbert, the castle's current owner. It seems the sanity of Anoria is in question after the horrors of the manor popped up and those weird baboons attacked. Herbert looks to put an end to those damn dirty apes once and for all but what he finds is even more frightening.
Richard Corben has been popping up more and more in Dark Horse's horror books. He has a unique style with his work that lends itself to the story of Ragemoor. It's such that you don't bat an eye when you see giant cockroaches hard at work in the kitchens or other equally strange things. You just take it as par for the course as part of the world you're entering with this book.
Ragemoor was a book that I read late when the first issue came out last month. I regret missing the boat that time because it's a really creepy read. This is the kind of comic that that you can feel crawling up your spine. Something is clearly wrong in this house and there's some dark spirits afoot but perhaps the creatures that lurk beneath the surface are even scarier. Presenting the book in black and white helps accentuate that uncomfortable feeling too.
|No Place Like Home #3
Published by Image Comics
Written by Angelo Tirotto
Illustrated by Richard Jordan
$2.99, 32 Pages
I feel incredibly dense that I didn't get the very obvious Wizard of Oz reference in No Place Like Home from the get-go. It wasn't until they introduced a psychotic flying monkey last month that it clicked. More clues surrounding the murders in 1959 are starting to come to life. This monkey is linked to the "tornado" that blew through the area recently and that seemed to happen back then, too. The body count is growing and Dee wants to find out exactly what happened to her parents.
Thanks to artist Richard Jordan, I'm never going to look at the Wizard of Oz the same again. This man draws a scary flying monkey. It's bad enough it's got sharp pointy teeth and a fierce look about it, but it's also swinging a big knife. This is the kind of thing I'm going to show my kids in the future when they wonder why we can't have a pet monkey. Sure, it would be fun at first, but if it ever grows wings and picks up a knife, you'll be sorry.
No Place Like Home crept up on me like a good mystery. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place as...the curtain is pulled back. Yeah, I made an Oz reference. The beauty of this series is that it's showing just how deadly a secret can be in a small town. You'd think that if you're only dealing with a few people a cover-up wouldn't be that bad, but it's proving to be so much worse because it's more personal.
|Planet of the Apes #13
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Daryl Gregory
Illustrated by Carlos Magno
$3.99, 24 Pages
The first year of Planet of the Apes was just the setup. Things get kicked into high gear with this new arc entitled "The Half Man." It's been 10 years since Sully's son was stolen from her by Voice Alaya, who has raised the human child as her own. Meanwhile, Sully has amassed an army to lead a revolution against the apes. It's been slow moving as she doesn't have much in the way of weapons. As she's making deals to ensure the survival of her group, her estranged son Julian is kidnapped by a human terrorist group.
I've said it numerous times, but Carlos Magno does a great job with Planet of the Apes. He's kept a steady level of quality with each issue that never disappoints. Former general Nix has calmed down some since his days as a soldier, but when Julian's life is endangered his old rage bubbles to the surface and Magno illustrates this beautifully. It's incredibly detailed and just plain scary. Similarly, when we enter the Council Chambers there's an old and weathered chimpanzee named Nerise that looks fantastic. Right from her first panel you can see that she has led a long life. It's in her eyes. Now she's in a position of power over some of the other residents of the city.
Planet of the Apes continues to satisfy my hunger for monkey violence. There are plenty of new twists with this introductory issue for The Half Man that make it clear that author Daryl Gregory has a plan for the series. I have a feeling that Julian's story is going to be the most interesting as he's a human that was raised by apes, led to believe all of the propaganda that's out there about his own race. We'll have to see if he can be broken of these thoughts by his captors.
Published by Image Comics
Written by Brandon Graham with Farel Dalrymple
Illustrated by Farel Dalrymple
$2.99, 24 Pages
This issue picks up with a different John Prophet. After the events of the first three issues, it seems there are several of them out there. This one wakes up in a battered Proembryo, but it seems he's one of the few that survived. Led by a mysterious long-haired girl that only appears occasionally, John makes his way to the head of a giant fallen robot. He's pulled here. He cannot deny the urge.
Farel Dalrymple's artwork isn't much of a departure from previous artist Simon Ray, but I like his style more. His art direction is also quite good, but I wish he was able to play around a bit. There are a handful of panels that are deconstructed. For example, early on John is running through a hallway and we get a third page sized panel that provides a detailed list of the contents of his space suit with images of each item. There are also some subtle spaces where Dalrymple provides the reader with a sense of scale. There's a shot of the location and then a closeup of John, with an arrow from one to the other so we understand that this is where he is.
I've been reading Prophet since it was relaunched a few months back and I find myself pulled in with each issue. I'm still not exactly sure of what's going on overall, but it's damn interesting. Prophet is like Akira mixed with Duncan Jones' Moon viewed through a fever dream.
Rounding out the week were a few more books that weren't covered here but were still notable in the horror realm.
- Dark Horse Presents #11 (Dark Horse Comics)
- Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #2 (Vertigo)
- Hellblazer #290 (Vertigo)
- Danger Girl And The Army Of Darkness #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
- Vampirella #16 (Dynamite Entertainment)
- Walking Dead #96 (Image Comics)
- Witchblade #155 (Top Cow Productions)
- Rachel Rising #7 (Abstract Studios)
- Stitched #4 (Avatar Press)
- Hellraiser Masterpieces #12 (BOOM! Studios)
- Blood Feast #1 (Silver Phoenix Entertainment)
There were also a handful of graphic novels, mostly collections out this week.
- Abe Sapien: Vol 2 - Devil Does Not Jest (Dark Horse Comics)
- HP Lovecraft The Dunwich Horror (IDW Publishing)
- Spawn Origins Collection Vol 6 (Image Comics)
- Young Lovecraft Vol 1 (Kettledrummer Books)
See what I mean about a light week? I'm sure your wallet was thankful. What did you pick up this week, horror fans?
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