August 6th, 2023
Kill Your Darlings #1 - This debut series from the writing team of Ethan Parker and Griffin Sheridan takes readers from the 1690s to the 1990s, from the suburbs to the land of make believe. Rose is a young girl with an active imagination, defending her personal queendom of Rosewood from the forces of evil. The challenges of defending the realm are a welcome escape from reality, where her mother struggles to provide. The worlds of the real and the imaginary are both upended by the arrival of something evil from long ago. Artists Bob Quinn and John J. Hill sell the whimsy and the horror of this book. If you’ve been enjoying this years Hairball, give this a read.
Hunt for the Skinwalker #1 - BOOM! Studios presents this new series, based on the book of the same name. The Gormans are the new owners of a ranch in Utah, a place already rich in legends of strange sightings and mysterious creatures. It begins with little things, minutes of lost time, objects suddenly out of place. Then come cryptic animals, lights in the sky. Whether supernatural or extraterrestrial in origin, the signs that something beyond human is at work on Gorman Ranch. Rather than take on the narrative approach of Blue Book, writer Zac Thompson opts for a more matter of fact documentary style in relating these allegedly true events. Making characterization take a backseat to conveying the immediate strangeness of the events themselves serves the material well. It recalls the creepily clinical style of 90’s UFO literature that inspired X-Files.
Birds of Prey #1 - A long overdue return for one of DCs great team books. Writer Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel, Rogue & Gambit) delivers a first issue full of charm, character, and action. This opening chapter is all about getting the band together. Dinah Lance’s sister sin is in deep trouble, so she suits up as Black Canary and starts recruiting. There’s faces old and new in this line-up, and no one on this team is getting sidelined. Every character is sharply defined and given their time in the spotlight, so we can see just why they are here and what they’ll bring to the team dynamic. This issue moves fast while introducing the players and laying groundwork for the story to come. We’ve been waiting for this team to get a new showing, and this jam packed premiere will give you what you’ve been waiting for and leave you wanting more.
Spider-Gwen Annual #1 - The Spider-Gwen Annual released this week was an interesting story with an even more interesting pairing. We follow Ghost-Spider and White Fox as they find themselves in a strange new world, with their memories being altered by some force they can’t fathom. This issue is a part of the Contest Of Chaos, which unbeknownst to the duo, is the reason for the strange happenings around them. The fight choreography in this issue was wonderfully illustrated and I loved the interactions between Gwen and Ami. My favorite moments from this issue would definitely be when the two heroes team up. Though temporary, it just felt right seeing the two exchange banter and figure out what they got themselves involved in. The team-up doesn’t last long as they eventually duke it out to see who gets to go home and who gets left behind. The different genres the two jump through as they attempt to find a way home made this a fun and quick read with enough variety to hold your attention, so come grab a copy!
Fire And Ice #1 - Since the prelude in Powergirl Special #1, I’ve been eagerly waiting for Fire and Ice and it finally arrived on shelves this week! Following Superman “grounding” them to Smallville, the story shows Beatriz (Fire) being overly eager to prove the duo's worth as true heroes. Tora (Ice) is fed up with her partner’s hotheaded personality, trying to find comfort in her new life. Beatriz goes out of her way to challenge the villains in the area to battle her, endangering the citizens of Smallville and getting lectured by, well, everyone. Superman swoops in to save the day, only further setting Fire off and causing a divide amongst the duo. Ice doesn’t understand Fire’s motivation for doing something so outrageous. I adored the vibe of this issue and I love the refreshing ‘small scale’ story that we’re given by the team. The coloring done in this issue was incredible and I enjoyed how vibrant the world felt. The humor in this issue didn’t feel forced at all. In fact, everything felt incredibly natural and relatable as this is simply the story of two friends trying to start a new life in a small town, who just so happen to have powers. Hopefully this series gives Fire and Ice the push they need to get on more peoples radar. Joanne Starer, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ariana Maher did an amazing job on this and I can’t wait for more!
Kill Your Darlings #1 - This story was amazing. Given to us by Ethan Parker, Griffin Sheridan, Robert Quinn, and John Hill, the first issue of Kill Your Darlings follows a young girl named Rose who spends most of her time in fantasy worlds she’s imagined and her mother who has been struggling to make ends meet. It opens up with a chilling scene of a young girl being burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials. We then switch gears, bringing us to 1995 and Rose is stuck inside her daydreams. The artists did a fantastic job capturing the contrasts between Rose’s world and her mother’s world, dulling the colors whenever her mother is in panel, and brightening everything when we’re in Rose’s fantasy. Without giving anything away, the story ends with a jaw-dropping climax. It rips Rose from her fantasy world and leaves the reader with mentions of a “Great and Terrible Evil”- which I am theorizing has something to do with the witch trial we were shown in the opening panels. Whether it’s a dissociative episode or actually an ancient curse is still pretty blurry, but this story is definitely one to keep your eye on!