October 11th, 2023
Creepshow Vol. 2 #2 - Just in time for the spooky season, another set of chilling tales from Creepshow. The first story comes from Michael Walsh (The Silver Coin), a creator who is no stranger to anthology horror. In “The Man With No Eyes,” a boy is left home alone and makes a new friend. When Dan’s father leaves to work the night shift, television becomes the babysitter. TV introduces Dan to a new friend, The Man With No Eyes, and together they give dad the fright of his life. “Keep It Down” from writer Dan Watters (Coffin Bound) and artist Abigail Larson (Sandman Universe: the Dreaming) is about a girl with a gift. Amy Blavatsky can hear the dead, and they’ve got a lot to say. Too much in fact. Whether it’s a final message to a loved one or a question about TikTok, dealing with the dead is getting in the way of life. She does whatever it takes to get some peace and quiet, and gets a lot more than she expected.
Wesley Dodds: Sandman #1 - Fresh from his undead outing in DC’s Knight Terrors event, the Sandman returns with his own series. 1940; Wesley Dodds is many years into his career of crime fighting as the Sandman, but still some time away from his acquaintance with the heroes who will become the JSA. Raised in the shadow of the first world war, haunted by his fathers accounts of chemical warfare in the trenches, Dodds developed his signature sleep inducing gas as a way to resolve conflict without violence. The process led to many failures and toxic formulas. When his research is rejected out of hand by the military, Wesleys pacifist idealism is wounded, and his ego as well. This was a chance to do good in his own name instead of the Sandman. While he stalks crime in the alleys, crime finds its way into Dodds manor, and the secret laboratory of the Sandman. The deadly mistakes of his early experiments now lay in the hands of an unknown enemy. As someone who fondly remembers the 90s Sandman Mystery Theatre retelling of the character, this book was a pleasant surprise. Noir and Golden Age comic aesthetics are finely balanced with writing that showcases the thoughtfulness that sets this character apart from other costumed detectives.
Blade #4 - Marvel has been killing it with their horror related titles lately from Ghost Rider to the monster mash that is the current Hulk. In four issues, Blade's combination of supernatural horror and action has placed it at the head of the pack in terms of sheer fun. Blade and company are still hunting for a weapon to take on the Adana. When there is a skinless elder god trying to destroy the universe, the Sorcerer Supreme won’t be far behind. With the help of Dr. Strange, we’re treated to an action-packed train heist for a sword that used to belong to the devil. It’s fantastic schlock played perfectly straight. Blade’s laconic attitude keeps his one liners feeling like natural expressions of personality and not quips for the audience's sake. There’s an epic confrontation around the corner, but will a weapon of godlike power prove too much for a half-mortal man?
Blade #4 - The fourth issue of Blade was high-stakes and filled to the brim with action. Following right where the last issue left off, Dr. Strange appears to help Blade on his journey and retrieve Lucifer’s Sword from Hamilton Achilles & his group of vampires. Without giving too much away, the interactions between Blade and his crew were great, but there is one scene in particular where Strange confronts Blade about his pride that I felt was perfect. The action scenes were illustrated wonderfully and with Blade's fighting this issue feeling like a perfect gift for fans. This run has been phenomenal, and the way this issue ended, the finale looks to be an epic one that you won’t want to miss so grab issue four today!
A Haunted Girl #1 - A story brought to us by father/daughter duo Ethan and Naomi Stacks, comes Haunted Girl! A young girl named Cleo has suffered with childhood depression and suicidal ideations the majority of her life, and to make matters worse, she is now seeing paranormal entities. Besides the horror elements placed throughout the book, the depiction of mental illness, or moreso, peoples reactions to your mental illness makes this book worth the read to me. The constant stares as people wait for your next inevitable breakdown, the judgment not-so-cleverly disguised as concern, and the endless amounts of empty “It’ll be okay" and “Everything will go back to normal soon" that you’re forced to sit through. The story is inspired by Naomi Stacks real struggle with childhood mental illness and it’s a very authentic take on the subject. The art by Marco Lorenzana fit the story exceptionally well, especially the various facial expressions. The first issue ended on a very interesting cliffhanger, so if you're looking for a new read make sure you pick up Haunted Girl!
Nights #1 - An incredibly unique and immersive read from Nights #1. Created by Wyatt Kennedy, Luigi Formisano, Francesco Segala, and Maria Letizia Mirabella, Nights is a story following a boy named Vince, who now lives with his older cousin and his cousin's misfit roommates. The catch is that one of them, a woman named Gray, is a vampire with a twisted fate that has yet to pass. She isn’t the only supernatural being in this world, however. Other Vampires, Ghosts, etc. are quite common, making Gray’s role all the more interesting as you wonder what she could do to disrupt the supernatural and mortal world. The writing is fantastic, and this first issue makes sure to take its time and really flesh out its characters and help you understand their personal motivations. The ambiance of this story is very reminiscent of that of an A24 film, and even comes with a soundtrack on the back of the book to fully experience the mood the writer wants you to. Again, this was a fantastic story and you’ll definitely want to follow this as it releases!