Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary #1
- It’s already been 30 years since Harley was introduced to the DC Universe and it has become all the better for it. This anthology issue aims to celebrate Harley and her unique approach to the anti-hero life as well as
giving us some great interactions with her most common conspirators. The amount of love for Harley and the Sirens in this issue makes me so happy, they’ve always been one of my favorite team-ups to read and there’s so much new content of them packed into this book. My favorite snippet from this issue is the ‘Submissive’ story, if you've read 'Harleen' this slots in nicely in the aftermath of that series. Like a little mini issue follow up I've always wanted. And if bad-ass, brutal, and blood fighter is more your speed don’t worry, there’s plenty of that in here too. This issue was truly a great way to let all the different versions of Harley shine their brightest, and bloodiest.
Vanish #1 - I swear Donny Cates should just stick to writing indies, when he gets to create his own world (and create violent and dark characters to populate them) is where his writing really shines. I’ve been less than impressed with his writing for Marvel lately so I went into this issue with some hearty reservations and I was happily made to change my mind. I was immediately sucked into this world of half reality half magic that he created. Our main character is an ex-child savoir. He broke all the rules of his childhood magic school and managed to kill the big bad. The only problem is his followers managed to flee, and that never quite managed to sit right with Oliver. Now they’re back, their presence unmissable for Oliver. And he’s ready to fight them until his own death if that's what it takes. Unfortunately for him this time around they’re pretending to be Superheroes. Guess that makes him the villain of this story.
Crashing #1 - Who's going to save those with powers after they’ve saved us? If the politicians of this universe have their way the answer will be no one. Powered people are a common thing in this world, and they’ve begun to cause destruction and mayhem. They are fighting each other and leaving people broken and damaged in their path. Rose is one of the few who works in the healthcare system that still wants to help them. She's an ER doctor and she’s seen the worst of the worst of victims come in. Yet she still intends to follow her oath and help everyone, powered or not. But everyone seems to be dead set against her. Her boss threatens to fire her after she admits 2 powered people, her partner is working for a politician running for Mayor on a platform that powers are dangerous and need to be regulated. Even her friends at work are concerned for her after the day's events. So much so that she’s being offered an out of sorts: take the pills, it’ll help things calm down. But she’s been sober for 7 years, is she really about to throw that away for one stressful day and a powered patient?
Action Journalism with Kat Kelly #1 - This book feels like a solid mix of Mission Impossible, Black Widow and The Great Pretender. A solid anthology series that had me drawn into the story immediately. Kate Kelly isn’t your average reporter, she’s willing to go the extra mile, go to lengths no reporter has gone before to break the story and find the best angle. Literally. This time around the world is about to be attacked by aliens! We’ve apparently captured their queen and have been torturing and experimenting on her like the animals we are! But if Katie knows anything its a good story when she sees one and this one has ‘scoop’ written all over it. She’s got some peak sneak skills and her technological knowhow is impressive at the worst of times. She’s also got her own ‘woman in a chair back of the office to help her out, making deadlines and editing her work into a seamless show for the viewers. I love the pacing in this issue, it doesn’t feel like they are rushing the story to hit a plot point or reveal something big at the end of the issue for a cliffhanger. It's just purely about having some fun, a quick read with a nice conclusion at the end and yet I already want to keep reading more about Katie. I’m ready for her next big scoop, whatever it may be.
One Bad Day: Two-Face #1
- “My friend and my enemy. My enemy and my friend.” We all know Two-Faced and Batman have a complicated relationship. It’s been years since Harvey Dent’s accident that transformed him into the villain Two-Faced, since then he
has served his time for his crimes and seems to have put Two-Faced behind him. Batman has had to deal with the destruction Two-Faced has caused, but deep down Bruce still has hope his friend Harvey is still in there and he isn’t the only one. As Harvey proves to be more in control, Mayor Nakano meets with Dent to discuss the possibility of becoming DA again on a probationary period and things are starting to look up for ol’ Harv. While planning his dad’s, Dent Sr, 88th birthday party, Harvey receives a letter threatening to attack the event, and after he can’t find the source, he reacts out to his old friend Batman for help. Bruce agrees, but the rest of the Bat family aren’t so quick to trust a guy named Two-Faced…you’ll have to pick up this issue to see who was right! These one-shots have been off to a good start and after the recent Batman movie, I’m pumped for the next issue featuring Penguin!!
Stuff of Nightmares #1 - R.L. Stine does not miss! He has been serving up YA spook-tastics with Scholastic since the 70s, and at age 78 he is still going strong! This time he joins up with A.L. Kaplan, who I was introduced to with his new horror series Maw! The Nightmare Keeper takes a stroll around his Cabinet of Curiosities, and regales us with the tale of “The Monster Makers”. The Cameron Brothers, Jordan and Isaac, and their lab assistant Stella have been hard at work on what can only be described as ‘Frankenstein bullshit’. The trio believe their work will create medical miracles and help mankind, but they know they would never get government approval. So far the three have been working in secret and collecting the body parts they need in not so legal ways, but they finally make a breakthrough. While they toil in the lab, local reporter Diego, is investigating missing persons cases in the area, and that leads them right to their door. Since the scientist have made such strides they have no problem sharing with Diego, but the reporter can’t get past the ethics. Now they have to get rid of this witness (which is no biggie they kidnap people on the reg), but what they didn’t know was Diego was live-streaming the entire interaction! I’m not sure how they are going to get out of this but I’ll be picking up Part II of this tale to find out!
Creepshow #1 - Amongst the many new horror titles, Creepshow is a name we all recognize. Since the horror comedy’s release in 1982, it was a major hit and fans fell in love with this homage to EC horror comics from the 50s. The original was Stephan King’s big screen debut (he seemed to do ok for himself since then in the horror world), and the universe of Creepshow keeps delivering with a new series on Shudder! Shudder has been definitely promoting the heck out of their new programs. Last week we got a one-shot with tales from their new film Revealer, and now they are serving up a Creepshow comic. Each issue will feature standalone stories by different creative teams, but with the same haunting lessons only The Creep can deliver. This issue Chris Burnham teaches a group of trick or treaters that just because no one is watching that doesn’t me you won’t get caught in “Take One”. Then in “Shingo” Paul Dini and Stephan Langford take us to a kid’s birthday party that goes off the rails when two divorced parents can’t work together, but their attempts to spoil their kid might be working too well. This is exactly what I needed this spooky season!
Kate Beaton has been a successful cartoonist for years. Her Hark a Vagrant books almost define what literary humor can be and created a huge fan base outside of the traditional comic book audience. Beaton goes full-on auto-bio with her newest book, Ducks, and she doesn't disappoint. Kate graduated college with the dreaded fine arts degree and now has a mountain of student debt weighing her down. The small, eastern Canadian town she calls home doesn't have many opportunities for her to land a job and pay off her loans. So she does what any fresh college grad would do; pack up and head west to work for oil companies in the midst of the fracking boom. Beaton is brutally honest about here time here. Being a woman in a field of mostly men, sexual assault and the loneliness that comes with being away from loved ones. This is a terrific book and her best and most ambitious work to date. Her art really shines when she lets loose on establishing shots of the landscape and refineries - really beautiful stuff! Grab this book I swear it's worth your time!