Is it just me or as a comic book fan do you often find yourself thankful when you get to a week when your pull list is pretty light? It's a bizarre situation when you're happy you don't have too many comics to pick up. Let's get into what came out this week!
|30 Days of Night #8
Published by IDW Publishing
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by Christopher Mitten
$3.99, 24 Pages
I feel like I've written the same review for 30 Days of Night every month. Vampires kill a bunch of people. The FBI struggles to figure out what's going on. The art is not very good. Rinse and repeat. This month's issue isn't all that different. Eben has brought his vampire pack to the FBI building in LA so the locale has changed, but the formula remains the same.
Christopher Mitten's art has diminished as his time on the series has grown. There are pages that look like he just threw a bunch of crap on the panels that hopefully resemble some action. There's one page towards the beginning with the pig-tailed vampire just standing in front of a group of humans that are getting torn apart or eaten or something. I can't tell you exactly what because there's just a big glob of black with some splotches of blood tossed in.
With Eben bringing the fight to the FBI, I'm hoping for a bit more than the monthly blood orgy we've been getting in 30 Days of Night. Until then, I'll just try to decipher what vampire is ripping apart what human.
Published by Top Cow Productions
Written by Ron Marz
Illustrated by Stjepan Sejic
$3.99, 32 Pages
Since the first part of Artifacts wrapped up and Jackie Estacado re-shaped the universe, I was a little confused as to how this book tied in to the other Top Cow titles (The Darkness and Witchblade). There's no clear connection between this comic and Witchblade yet, but the link is pretty clear between the Darkness and Artifacts after this month's issue. The Angelus has been reformed, although not with its previous wielder. Being that its sole purpose is to battle the Darkness and keep it in check, you can imagine that it's a little pissed off at being fractured amongst a bunch of mindless drones. Now that the Angelus has collected its thoughts, it wants revenge. That results in a big battle between the forces of light and those of darkness.
I've said it time and time again, but Stjepan Sejic is incredibly talented. This battle between the Angelus and the Darkness would not look the same illustrated by any other artist, nor do I think it would have the same effect. Sejic delivers a two page spread showing the winged forces of light flying in from above as Jackie and his dark creatures rally to meet them from below. It's just f-ing beautiful and deserves to be blown up and framed on a wall somewhere. As a side note, how the hell do you pronounce his name?
This issue of Artifacts wraps up the first story arc and moves some of the players around a bit. It also cements the fact that this isn't just some alternate reality version of the truth. Jackie and the Darkness intend to keep the world the way that they've made it and they're willing to pull out all the stops to do so.
|Fanboys Vs Zombies #3
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Sam Humphries
Illustrated by Jerry Gaylord
$3.99, 24 Pages
The zombies are still at San Diego Comic Con and Rob and his buddies are trying to find a way to safety. Unfortunately, Rob has been bitten, but, miraculously, pouring the weird energy drink on the wound is holding off infection long enough for everyone to kill a bunch of zombies and go through a ton of relationship drama.
I've had ups and downs with the brief history of Fanboys vs Zombies so far. I think the jokes they make struggle to find their mark and often sound insulting to the nerd audience, which is probably the main group of people that are picking up this comic. When it's not trying to be wacky and slapstick, it's drowning in this stupid love triangle between Rob, Kyle, and Jenna that feels incredibly out of place.
The only great part of the story is the character of Amanda, who continues to cut through the crap and just get down to the business of zombie slaughter. She has geek cred out the wazoo and manages to find a mecha amongst the crowds to take out the undead giant robot-style.
Jerry Gaylord's artwork is pretty tight with a lot of easter eggs for nerds of all sizes. The zombies look creepy and he matches the cartoony flow of the story with the over-the-top action scenes.
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Illustrated by Jeffrey Edwards
$1.00, 24 Pages
A few years ago, Mark Waid wrote a mini-series for DC Comics called Empire that was based on what would happen if a super villain actually completed his quest to take over the world. Now, Simon Spurrier takes a similar approach with Extermination, but instead of the super villain winning, it's the invading alien race. That's right. The combined powers of the all the super powered individuals on the planet couldn't stop the force of the alien army. Now civilization has been destroyed and the last remnants of humanity struggle to survive.
This debut issue -- which can be picked up for the crazy low price of only $1! -- follows Nox (think Batman with guns) and the Red Reaper (your average mad genius) as they cruise around in a sweet bladecycle, complete with side car, looking for Nox's old hideout. This is no easy task as the world has been decimated by the aliens. The present day story is intercut with flashbacks to the past, specifically a confrontation between the two main characters in what I presume are the final moments before they're invaded.
Spurrier wastes no time and, more importantly, no panels within this issue. This is a fast read, but it's packed with information. You're introduced to the main players and any supporting roles are filled in with basic facts but you're not sifting through a bunch of backstory to get to the action. This isn't an origin story. You're plunged right into the thick of it. The world is screwed. These guys are trying to fight back. Get used to it or leave.
Joining Spurrier in Extermination is artist Jeffrey Edwards. He co-designed the characters with Garry Brown, which I'm sure can be a real pain but also rather fun. They created an entire world with all new super heroes and villains from scratch, not to mention a full race of alien creatures hellbent on destroying mankind. Sure, many of the powered characters bear a deep resemblance to others you'd find in the big two publishers, but Spurrier's dialogue almost acknowledges it and then pokes fun at it. The aliens take a back seat position when compared to Nox and Red Reaper, but whenever they appear on the page, they make their presence known. They're like a cross between a mosquito and Cthulu. Very cool but very scary.
I thought Extermination would be a basic super hero adventure kind of story, but I couldn't have been farther from the truth. The book is a horror tale of survival and desperation that happens to star a super hero and villain. The dialogue is smart and witty and the issue is filled with story. You will not find a better way to spend $1 this week.
|Hack / Slash #16
Published by Image Comics
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Daniel Leister
$3.50, 32 Pages
Cassie and Vlad are hot on the trail of the Beane sisters in the hopes of tracking down Vlad's relatives. The poor lug has been bed ridden since I started reading Hack / Slash and I don't know why. Fortunately hope may lie in his long lost family, but they're not the Christmas card type. They're more of the crocodile-skinned dysfunctional sort of family and they're not going to welcome Vlad back with open arms. Cassie grabs her bat filled with nails and goes out swinging.
What I like about Hack / Slash is that it's easy to jump right in. You don't need much in the way of explanation with the plot. Cassie actually sums it up pretty well when she introduces herself to Vlad's old friend Mari. She says "I'm Cassie Hack. I kill monsters." In those two sentences, you have the essence of this character and this comic.
Daniel Leister sure can draw a gory scene and there are plenty of them in this issue. There's a huge fight towards the beginning of the book with numerous decapitations. There is blood everywhere, but it doesn't feel tasteless. It's fun while being super violent. It's also not gory for the sake of being gory. The blood and guts serves a purpose with the story as it's showing just how far Vlad's relatives will go and how little they value human lives.
Also out this week but not reviewed here were the following:
- Animal Man #10 (DC Comics)
- Night Force #4 (DC Comics)
- Swamp Thing #10 (DC Comics)
- I Zombie #26 (Vertigo)
- Pantha #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
- Prophecy #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
- Spawn #220 (Image Comics)
- Crypt Of Horror #14 (AC Comics)
- Steamcraft #1 (Antarctic Press)
- Caspers Scare School #2 (Ape Entertainment)
- Crossed Badlands #7 (Avatar Press)
- Penny For Your Soul: False Prophet #5 (Big Dog Ink)
- Lady Death #18 (Boundless Comics)
- Wasteland #38 (Oni Press)
And in graphic novel news...
- Creepy Archives: Volume 13 (Dark Horse Comics)
- Infestation 2: Volume 1 (IDW Publishing)
- Walking Dead: Volume 16 - A Larger World (Image Comics)
- Witchblade: Rebirth: Vol 1 - Unbalanced Pieces (Top Cow Productions)
That about does it for this week's edition of Funny Book Splatter. You heard what I thought of this week's books but I want to hear what you had in your pull list. Hit me up in the comments!
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