October 5th, 2022
Night of Ghoul #1 - Another new Scott Snyder series is here and I'll give anything he writes a chance. Once again he’s taking on the horror genre and it is such a well timed release with the Spooky Season getting into full swing. Forest Inman and his son Oswald are massive horror movie fans. Tonight they’re on an adventure related to the supposed ‘greatest horror film ever made’ but it was never released because parts of it were destroyed. Now Forest and his son are attempting to meet the director of the film, T.F. Merrit. They’ve investigated his entire life through several name changes and false identities to the old peoples home he’s currently living in. Under a clever ruse Forest is able to gain access to his idol and the gushing over his works begins. But Merrit is only concerned about one the, The Night of the Ghoul, supposedly destroyed; he now needs to know who has seen what remains of the tape. Those who have are in grave and immediate danger and though Merrit can do little to change their fate he is happy to share his story with them. I’m a little in love with the art style switching between old film and then the currently day setting, it definitely adds an extra layer when listening to Merrit tell his tale,
Kaya #1 - The newest series the artist of Deadly Class, Wes Craig, is finally on shelves! Kaya and her little brother Jin are all that remains of their society. A tragic accident has killed everyone else and now they are left to wander the desert in hopes of finding help. Jin the little prince is also a little brat, constantly complaining about their current situation and crying that a Prince shouldn’t be treated this way. Kaya is doing her best but they’re struggling, they can only last so long without food or water and even worse there’s Lizard Riders out looking for their next catch. Luckily for them Kaya is rather recognizable, and formidable, and they find some friends before they become someone's dinner. But now with the reality of the world being laid out in front of them, knowing that everyone else is in similar situations to them, they've decided to fight back. The world that been created with just one issue is incredible, it feels like we know so much about the history of the world and we’ve met so many species that I’m really excited to see just how unique this series is going to be.
The Shepherd #1 - Lexi and Nico have gone through some terrible tragedies in their short lives already. They experienced the death of their brother at the hands of an overdose and the death of their father at his own hands. It is said that death and tragedy can change a person but you have no idea how true that is for these two. They’ve gained powers! Both are able to communicate with and see the ghosts of dead creatures, though Nice is much better at conversations with them Lexi seems much more attuned to their emotional sides. She can make people experience and see the memories of the dead with a touch of her hand and raise their souls around her. Dog loving readers beware, this issue features the two siblings taking on the leader of a dog fighting ring. Ensuring that he never messes with another animal again. I’m definitely curious to see where this series goes. You’ve got 2 kids waiting for their mom to fall asleep so they can run around helping ghosts get closure and pass on to the other side. They are bound to get into some trouble at some point.
Dark Ride #1 - Another perfectly timed new horror read for the Spooky Season. Have you ever wished there was a horror version of Disneyworld? Then look no further than Devil Land! After being fired from his job building rides for another park (and a violent fight with his now ex-wife) Arthur decides to open his own park with a little convincing from an external force of course. Now years later he’s built an empire, the greatest horror themed park to ever exist. Problem is Arthur hasn’t been seen in months. His son Samhain is running the show while his father hides at the top of the tower, brooding and buying his time until inspiration hits. Arthur’s daughter Halloween has been anything but helpful to the brand and park. Things aren’t going so well for the park, they’re struggling to keep bringing in guests and at finding new promotions to run, the children are fighting with each other and lawsuits are flying. Samhain is sure a new ride is exactly what they need to really liven things up, hopefully the new kid can bring the right spirit to the team to help. Arthur sure seems to be inspired by him.
Gotham City: Year One #1 - We enter 1961 Gotham, and just to really capture the time, they don’t skimp on the racism. I mean it, there is even a disclaimer “This comic contains language of a racially offensive nature…intentional creative choice…to highlight the fact that language of this type was frequently deployed in the past decades and remains in use today, even as contexts evolve…”. So if you are a reader “for whom such language is triggering or hurtful” you’ve been warned, and if you miss a time with more blatant inequality, add this to your Mark Twain book club and jump in! So like I said, it’s 1961 and Richard Bruce Wayne and Constance Wayne are the first residence of Wayne Manor. They’re rich, they’re white, everything was going their way, that is until someone goes all “Lindbergh Baby” on their two month old daughter Helen. So far the kidnapper has done a pretty good job concealing his identity by only communicating in notes, the first left in the home after Helen was taken and now via former GCPD member turned private investigator, Samuel Bradley. A woman dropped the sealed envelope off with payment for delivering it to Mr. Wayne, but didn’t have anymore information. P.I.s be P.I.-ing, so Bradley heads to Wayne Manor, but not before getting his partner to trail the mystery woman. After the Wayne’s goons squeeze him for info to no avail, they feel they can open up about the kidnapping/contents of both letters. It’s your standard ransom, but it’s how the ‘napper signs the note that will leaving going “wait what?!” This is two generations before the Bruce Wayne we know and love, but this is where Batman’s story truly begins! —Also, if you are looking for another Batman adjacent tale, check out The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #1. The issue ends with a major twist, and for those readers who are in it for those 60s values, there is a bonus story at the end where Joker goes all “no means yes” as he attempts to woo Power Girl.
Night of the Ghoul #1 - Ooowiee, warm up this fall by peeing your pants, because spooky season is in full effect! Forest Innman and his son, Orson, are on a bit of an undercover mission. You see, Forest works in film restoration and one day came across reels of a film he’d never heard of, but fell in love with the 1936 movie Night of the Ghoul. He was determined to find the rest of the footage and track down the creator, but that’s when he learned of the mysterious studio fire that killed the cast and destroyed the film. Forest couldn’t just let this go and was able to track down the film’s director, T.F. Merrit, to a hospice care facility, and this is where the undercover job comes in. He set an appointment with Mr. Merrit (who at this point was using an alias) claiming to be from an insurance agency, and in hopes to impress his angsty teenage son, he drags him along. It took some time to devise this plan, but finally Forest is face to face with the man who made the best horror film he has ever seen! Forest explains his true intentions, but this fan boy doesn’t get the answers he was expecting. Turns out, the blood curdling horror he wrote wasn’t fiction, and the reason he was so hard to find is because the monster in the film has been holding him hostage…in this hospice…and now they have him too! So much for a family bonding trip, Snyder & Francavilla nailed it with this thriller and I can’t wait for the next issue! (Check out Image’s ‘Dark Ride’ that dropped this week if you want another creepy tale, serving B-Movie/grind house realness, from the team that brought us the hit series Birthright!)
Earth Divers: Kill Columbus #1 - If you need a palate cleanser after accurately captioned 60s racism of Gotham: Year One, let’s jump forward to the year 2112 and the a plot to murder Christopher Columbus! The planet’s been destroyed by human overindulgence, as human’s do, and most of Earth’s residents have fled to other planets to make new homes. Most of those who remain are indigenous peoples and while roaming the land came across a cave/portal with time travel capabilities. I know what you’re thinking “what are the odds”, but one guy found it first and left a message in the past telling others about it in future, duh! So a group sets out to stop the raping of the land where it all began, 1492. There is only one man in the group plus he knows several languages of the era, thus would have the best chance to get close to Columbus. He knows it’s a one way trip, but he and his wife know it’s for the best. He disappears into the tunnel, and the rest of the group sit in modern day, wondering if this even worked. The only way they can be sure is to leave the cave, and find the closest history book! Meanwhile, our time traveling assassin reaches the other side and quickly “finds” a uniform to disguise himself, and under the name Rodrigo he boards one of the infamous ships on their voyage. Unfortunately, Columbus is on another ship and as days pass, he finds it more difficult to blend in with the crew. After making the major goof of speaking English on a Spanish ship, he is given a test to make sure he isn’t a spy. That’s when Columbus boards to meet the alleged stowaway, finally, he is closer to his goal, but has to do something drastic to keep his true intentions secret. Our hero is finding his trip to save the future might cost him his soul…Definitely sticking around to see Christopher Columbus get merc’d!!
Spider-Man #1 - This was the most genuine Spider-Man issue I have ever read. My experience with Spidey has always been minimal. I really enjoyed Peter Parker as a character but I never felt that I truly appreciated him. Maybe it's because of the break from Spidey, but this was a really cool issue of Spider-Man! We got to play up Peter's personality with just enough quips to work and there's a large sense of progression between Spider-Man and the general audience of his world, it really works! Slott and Bagley did a damn good job making Morlun into a certified badass. This issue really played to the idea that there was genuine fear at play here on Spidey's part. His genuine desperation to stop Morlun from even from getting a single strike made for a good encounter! It was probably one of the best ways to build a character, with subtleties to make new readers want to find out why this guy is a problem!
The Shepherd #1 - A series I never knew I needed! The Pit is a continuation of the events of The Shepherd, following Lawrence's children Nico and Lexi Miller, siblings who are more than just a little accustomed to the supernatural. Everything seems normal on the surface until we get into the kid's ability to see and understand beings from the afterlife. One lost soul needs their help to save some canine friends from a dog pit ring leader - hence the subtitle of the comic. I have no complaints at all, love the art and the story was really dope - can't wait to see more!
X-Men A.X.E. #1 - We are continuing on the judgement train one hero at a time! I'm absolute head-over-heels in love with this particular issue. If you can't tell by the main cover (which phenomenal), this is the Jean Grey trial. How would the Progenitor take the actions of Dark Phoenix, what trial would appear for Jean, and would the events of the council be brought up? All huge questions I had in my mind the moment I figured Jean was next and with full confidence it didn't disappoint at all. Give me mini series on the trial of Dark Phoenix! I know we're set with certain characters to get more time but I'm already wishing we had more of these personal looks on each hero's life! Iron Man's trial hit hard; like broke him down to his base Components and this kinda reminded that there's so much Phoenix has done so it might be a little impossible to cover it all. Either way just the surface was enough to get me on board for more!