The Eighth Seal #2: (Thrillbent Web comic) Things are getting shaky for the First Lady, and I’m not talking aphids in the rose garden. When we last saw her, she was trying to keep the horrible, violent images out of her brain with the help of shrink extraordinaire Dr. West. But now it looks like these visions are starting to literally break through to her real life. And the monster she sees seems to have a taste for her husband, with the teaser image for issue #3 really kicking things into high gear. If you’re not reading this, you really should. And spring for the Comixology version; the concept art is a great way to see how this comic merges Western pencils and old school horror Manga. (Ripped off from my monthly Ghastly Awards Pick for May)
The Wake #1: (Vertigo) Two words: Scott Snyder. The Wake feels like 20,000 Leagues Under WTF. But Snyder has built a ton of cliffhangers worth following. Dr. Archer, a woman who happens to be an expert on whale sounds but got booted from NOAA anyway, is tapped to assist on an expedition that’s super top-secret. And when she starts to figure out why, it really starts to get freaky, with cavemen, undersea laboratories and what looks like The Creature From The Black Lagoon. The jury isn’t in on my subscribing to this, but so far I definitely want to continue the ride.
Clive Barker’s ‘Next Testament’ #1: (Boom) You had me at Clive Barker and Mark Millar y’all. Next Testament is a crazy fever-dream, but it’s got Haemi Jang delivering the gorgeous art (though I do kinda wish that Clive himself had at least drawn the cover…well, maybe in a later issue) that washes over you while the tale unfolds. Pow! Bam! No, it’s not Batman. That’d be your brain as you read it. What’s going on? Not sure, but I damn sure wanna find out. “The world will rejoice. It will have no other option.” Tell me you don’t wanna read this. Yeah you do.
Crossed – Badlands #29: (Avatar) This shorter-story-arcs spinoff has proven to be just as good if not better than the original. Much like the arc in Badlands #19-20 (“Conquers All”) this new story arc by Christos Gage (Absolution) focuses on an Alpha Crossed nicknamed “Smokey” that seems to be able to keep his penchant for mayhem under check…so he can deliver maximum suffering later. It also focuses on a nerdy anthropologist grad turned high school teacher named Oliver and his ability to gauge how the Crossed operate. How will Oliver’s group of survivors fare with a Crossed that can reason? Since this arc is called “Quisling”, things aren’t exactly coming up roses. Great for readers, really sucky for those characters. Not like we’d expect anything else from this deliciously evil series.
X-Men v4 #1: (Marvel Now) The New 52 has competition from this new storyline from Marvel’s favorite gang of mutants. I know; how many versions of X-Men does anyone need? But with “Primer”, Writer Brian Wood has thrown a wrench into the war between wonder-bacteria John Sublime and the X-Men with the appearance of Sublime’s sister Arkea. Arkea is a powerful tech virus with a powerful hatred of her brother. So guess who needs help from our mutants? Newbies can pick up the X-Men action quickly, though knowledge of the basics is required. Should be an interesting face-off between brother and sister, not to mention plenty of hijinks when our gang has to make nice with one of their biggest Big Bads.
Amala’s Blade #2: (Dark Horse) This feels like a children’s version of Saga. Two warring groups can’t seem to get along; the Purifiers, who use steam, and the “Modifiers” who, well, modify themselves with technology. Amala, “the greatest assassin”, is tasked with killing Lady Strawbale, a high-ranking Purifier. Amala has help though, from the ghosts of those she’s killed. I know, I found that kind of strange too. I mean, if someone killed me, the last thing I’d do is hang around ghost-helping. Art and inking by Michael Dialynas feels like a teen comic with it’s rounded edges and hyper-stylized action. Since this is only a four part series, I’ll take this trip with Amala. But with a choppy story and a heroine that I can’t get a real grasp on, I wouldn’t stick around for more than that without some real slam-bang awesomeness comin’ around the bend.
King Conan #1: (Dark Horse) Conan is an old man now, but he’s far from feeble. #1 starts off with Conan visiting his first wife Zenobia’s tomb, and then recounting his deeds to a scribe for posterity. So, as you might expect, Conan tells the boy about how he met Zenobia. C’mon, this is Conan we’re talking about, it ain’t gonna be no wine and roses. In fact, things get dicey from the start, when Conan is poisoned just as a huge battle is about to begin. By Crom, this sounds interesting!
Morbius, The Living Vampire #5: (Marvel Now) An interesting blend of noir and vampire-ness, which is apt since Michael Morbius ain’t your typical vampire. And no, he doesn’t sparkle. Thank god. Trying to stay away from the humans that fuel his experiment-gone-awry need for blood, Morbius ends up becoming an unwitting, unusual hero. But a villain named the Rose may be pulling strings behind the scenes…. I’m not loving the revamp (hah) of Morbius, but it is definitely better than his old Count Dracula In Space outfit. Seriously Marvel; only a very small percentage of the world can carry off a Van Dyke without looking stupid (or douchey). In a world full of quality horror comics, my horror loving tuchas will need more to sink my own teeth into than what writer Joe Keatinge has going on right now. Then again Morbius has always been a villain/antihero rather than a horror comic star. So fans of the scary? Understand that and read if you dare. *bwahahahah*