Review of The Shadow Over Innsmouth

feb141204Dynamite Entertainment’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth puts Lamont Cranston (AKA the pulp avenger The Shadow) and his companion Margo Lane in the strange community of Innsmouth, which should be a familiar locale to fans of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.  Cranston and Lane are stranded in the town due to a thick fog, and it’s not long before The Shadow is confronted by some strange creatures that may have been spawned by dark, ancient gods.

Writer Ron Marz crafts an eerie, entertaining adventure story that allows The Shadow to take on the horrible creatures of Cthulu fantasy.  Artist Ivan Rodriguez conjures the action, the supernatural monstrosities, and the human moments that the story demands.  The comic has some great “Easter egg” surprises for Lovecraft fans, although it is accessible to both new and veteran readers, so put away your copy of the Necronomicon and check this comic out.


Review of Bodies #1

MAY140392The first issue of Bodies features a mystery… or is it mysteries?  Four detectives (Edmond Hillinghead, Charles Whiteman, Shahara Hassan, and Maplewood) each discover a dead, mutilated body (and it does a appear to be the same dead, mutilated body) in the same location (in London’s East End) in their respective time periods (1890, 1940, 2014, and 2050, respectively). Hillinghead is a detective in Victorian London trying to bring science and professionalism to a police force that doesn’t seem to care for either. Whiteman is a corrupt cop during the London Blitz.  Hassan is a smart, professional Muslim policewoman in modern-day London.  And Maplewood is a strange, confused female detective in a future London.

Although the story is written by Si Spencer, the individual detective stories are illustrated by four different artists:  Dean Ormston (Hillinghead), Phil Winslade (Whiteman), Meghan Hetrick (Hassan), and Tula Lotay (Maplewood), with colors by Lee Loughridge.  Bodies #1 is an intriguing first issue, with its connecting mystery of a dead man appearing in multiple centuries, as well as a sinister secret society in Victorian London that might have a connection to the dead body and something called “the long harvest”.  All the characters and their respective time periods are well-rendered and engaging, and the shift between time periods and artistic styles is done in a deft, non-distracting manner.  This comic is worth investigating.

Review of Evil Empire #3


Boom! Studios’ Evil Empire is a political thriller that explores the devolution of the United States into an “evil empire”.  Splitting its focus between two time periods – the chaotic present and the dystopian future – a provocative rap singer named Reese gets caught up in the political manipulations of presidential candidate Kenneth Laramy, who unleashes a wave of violence across America with the confession that he killed his wife, who apparently – according to Laramy – had it coming for abusing their daughter; Laramy’s violent philosophy of “do what you want” apparently has a mass appeal.

Writer Max Bemis attempts to do some ambitious things with this comics series.  Bemis is trying to make some points about the collusion of media and politics. Bemis is trying to warn readers about the danger of a society that loses its sense of community in order to embrace selfish personal gratification.  Bemis is trying to write a compelling political thriller.

Unfortunately, with issue three, Bemis’ story destroys the ability of readers to suspend their disbelief; the plot becomes absurd.  In the present, Reese – a controversial but popular rap star – decides to keep crucial information that she gets from a fan regarding Laramy’s whereabouts  from the FBI  in order to track Laramy down on her own.  Also, the paparazzi discover that Reese is having a romantic affair with Laramy’s political opponent, a man likely to become the next President of the United States.  Laramy, it turns out, may not be the big bad villain readers thought he was.  And there is a lot of distracting, gratuitous cussing that adds nothing to the plot.  While in the future, the revolution comes to Los Angeles, whatever that means.

Evil Empire is an ambitious comics series that has something to say, but it suffers from a confusing story that shifts between two time periods in a very inelegant manner. The art provided by artists Ransom Getty and Andrea Mutti is great.  Evil Empire #3 is a nice looking book, even though its plot is confusing to both new and veteran readers.



Black Science 6BLACK SCIENCE #6
By Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera & Dean White
Stranded in the most dangerous dimension yet, Grant McKay’s rage at his onetime boss boils over. Ignoring the chaos all around them, the two finally come to blows! Only one thing is certain: before the Pillar makes its next jump… one of them must die! Don’t miss the conclusion to the first arc of the world’s most mind-melting sci-fi comic!
Chew 41CHEW #41
By John Layman & Rob Guillory
DeadlyGridFinalDEADLY CLASS #4
By Rick Remender, Wesley Craig & Lee Loughridge
Class trip! Marcus, Willie, and Saya tear through a neon-soaked Las Vegas, high on life… oh, and a bunch of acid too. And when you’re a teenage killer-on-the-run, stalked by a mutilated psycho with a raging hard-on for revenge, you’re in for one baaad trip.


Dream Police 1DREAM POLICE #1
By J. Michael Straczynski, Sid Kotian & Bill Farmer 

Dream Police Detectives Joe Thursday and Frank Stanford have been partners for as long as they can remember, patrolling the alternate universe of dreams, nightmares, and the great void beyond, an alternate but very real dimension of changelings, echoes, wisps, ethers, and nightwalkers, those who died in their sleep and wander the dreamscape forever. They’ve seen it all. But when Frank steps away and disappears… and the woman who returns says she’s Joe’s partner, that she’s always been Joe’s partner… he begins a journey into the unknown that will shake the dreaming down to its very foundations.

By Stuart Moore & Gus Storms
Stand-alone issue. Three rookie EGOs members go on an unauthorized adventure through time and space. Plus: marital strife! Quantum physics! Inadvisable sex! And the origin of the universe (maybe)!
Elephantmen 56ELEPHANTMEN #56
By Richard Starkings, Mark Schweikert & Shaky Kane
SHAKY KANE returns to ELEPHANTMEN to tell a chilling story of the L.A.P.D’s Lieutenant Trench.
Southern Bastards #1SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1
By Jason Aaron & Jason Latour 
Welcome to Craw County, Alabama, home of Boss BBQ, the state champion Runnin’ Rebs football team… and more bastards than you’ve ever seen. When you’re an angry old man like Earl Tubb, the only way to survive a place like this… is to carry a really big stick. From the acclaimed team of JASON AARON and JASON LATOUR, the same bastards who brought you Scalped and Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted, comes a southern fried crime series that’s like the Dukes of Hazzard meets the Coen Brothers… on meth.
Tales of Honor 2TALES OF HONOR #2
By Matt Hawkins & Jung-Geun Yoon
THE HONORVERSE EXPANDS TO COMICS! Based on the best-selling military science fiction novels by David Weber, this original comic book series continues the story of Honor Harrington as she investigates the threat to Basilisk Station by the Republic of Haven. This series is part of a new multi-platform story world that includes a mobile game app to be released with the first issue and a feature film currently in development.
Ten Grand 9TEN GRAND #9 
By J. Michael Straczynski & C. P. Smith
When Joe Fitzgerald was hired to find a runaway, he never imagined that pursuing that case would take him into the afterlife itself, pursuing the man who was also responsible for the death of the woman he loved more than life itself. Having crossed into Hell, Joe at last discovers that what seemed like a simple case is in fact a plot to tear down the walls of Heaven, overthrow God and reboot Creation itself… and Joe is the only man who can stop the destruction of everything.
umbral_6UMBRAL #6

By Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten
Rascal runs from the Redguard’s clutches – but it will cost her more than she can imagine! Where can she go? Who can she trust? Are you sure? Because nothing seems certain any more. And by the end of this issue, nobody will be above suspicion!

Marvel Comics for 4/30/2014

anxAll New X-Men #26
Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen 
THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE FUTURE IS BACK! And it doesn’t mean good things for the X-Men of the past! 
ASMAmazing Spiderman #1
Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos
The Greatest Super Hero of All Time RETURNS!
The world may have changed since Spidey’s been gone, but so has Peter Parker. This is a man with a second chance at life, and he’s not wasting a moment of it. Same Parker Luck, new Parker attitude. Putting the “friendly” back in the neighborhood, the “hero” back into “super hero,” and the “amazing” back into “Spider-Man!”
Also returning: The recharged and reenergized ELECTRO!
AVGAvengers #28
Jonathan Hickman, Salvador Larocca
A challenge twenty-eight issues in the making, as Bruce Banner puts the pieces together and confronts Iron Man . . .
AAIAvengers AI #12 
Sam Humphries, Andre Arujo, David Marquez 
The stunning conclusion of AVENGERS EMPIRE!
In the year 12,000 CE, how have the Avengers evolved?
It’s the Avengers vs. Dimitrios for the fate of the entire galaxy!
aqAvengers World #5
Nick Spencer, Stefano Caselli
Three Avengers’ lives depend on Manifold breaching the unbreachable.
What is Manifold’s true destiny?
dkswDisney Kingdom Seekers Of The Weird #4
Brandon Seifert, Karl Moline, Mike Del Mundo
With their parents kidnapped, teens Maxwell and Melody leap into a thrilling race through the world’s most bizarre-and threatening-museum!
With their family’s fate in the balance, the Keep teens have only hours to retrieve the Coffin Clock. But is it really their parents’ salvation . . . or the planet’s doom?
Designed–but never built–by famous Walt Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump, the Museum of the Weird at last comes to life!
hkHulk #2
Mark Waid, Mark Bagley
Following the shocking events of last month’s INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK finale, Bruce Banner lies at death’s door! If he survives, it WON’T be as the Bruce Banner we’ve known! How will the Hulk wreak vengeance on Banner’s assailant? How CAN he?
nANew Avengers #17
Jonathan Hickman, Rag Morales, Lenil Francis Yu
Must the New Avengers destroy a perfect world so that the Earth can live? 
oGOrigin II
Kieron Gillen, Adam Kubert
As Creed plots something Sinister, can Logan regain his humanity?
Kieron Gillen (THOR) and Adam Kubert (AVX) bring the tale of Logan’s beginning to a close!
ssSilver Surfer #2
Dan Slott, Mike Allred
Who is the NEVER QUEEN? How is the entire future of the Marvel Universe tied into her very existence? And why is she trying to DESTROY the Silver Surfer?!
Are these questions important? Sure. But you know what’s just as important? Lunch. Because what Earth girl Dawn Greenwood has for lunch today could change the fate of EVERYTHING!
Not kidding here. This is a very important lunch.
uaUncanny Avengers Annual #1
Rick Remender, Paul Renaud 
The first appearance of the Avengers of the Supernatural!
When the producers of the Mojoverse can’t make a hit series they call on Mojo to gather an all-new, all-creepy Avengers!
Can the Uncanny Avengers survive the wrath of an unleashed Spirit of Vengeance?
WIAOUWhat If Age of Ultron #5
Joe Keatinge, Ming Doyle
What if Hank Pym never created Ultron at all?
Could a world without Ultron survive a world without Ultron’s own weapon-turned-Avenger, the Vision?
Can the very idea of the Avengers survive without each other?
In the darkest of all realities, can the Avengers ever hope to Assemble?
wvWolverine #5
Paul Cornell, Gerardo Sandoval, Ryan Stegman
Logan faces his most dire threat yet — with no healing factor to protect him. Gerardo Sandoval (CABLE & X-FORCE) joins the team of the All-New Marvel Now smash hit! 
xfX-Force #4
Si Spurrier, Jorge Molina
X-Force goes head to head with France’s superhuman black ops team!
But will X-Force’s resident Frenchman Fantomex botch his teammates’ mission?



Valiant Comics 4/30/14

Rai #1 (Cover A - Crain)

Rai #1 (Cover A – Crain)

by Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain

VALIANT FIRST begins in force this May with an all-new vision of the future in RAI #1 – a new monthly series from comics superstars Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain!

The year is 4001 A.D. – led by the artificial intelligence called ‘Father,’ the island nation of Japan has expanded out of the Pacific and into geosynchronous orbit with the ravaged Earth below. With billions to feed and protect, it has fallen to one solitary guardian to enforce the law of Father’s empire – the mysterious folk hero known as Rai.

They say he can appear out of nowhere. They say he is a spirit…the ghost of Japan. But when the first murder in a thousand years threatens to topple Father’s benevolent reign, Rai will be forced to confront the true face of a nation transformed…and his own long-lost humanity…

Shadowman End Times #1 (of 3) (Regular Camuncoli)

Shadowman End Times #1 (of 3)

by Peter Milligan, Valentine De Landro, Giuseppe Camuncoli

The end times are now! Master storyteller Peter Milligan is pushing Shadowman to the edge – but can Jack Boniface survive the plunge? Jack thought he’d finally fixed his life – and the source of his dark power. But when a figure from the past emerges with a troubling revelation about his destiny, the new Shadowman will plummet into an abyss far darker than any demon. Make no mistake – doom is coming for Shadowman… and it all begins right here in the first of three oversized issues!




Baltimore:  The Witch of Harju #1

Baltimore shelters a woman on the run from a possessed dead man and the witch playing his puppet master.

* From Hellboy creator Mike Mignola!

“2014 is shaping up to be an intense year for Baltimore.”—Bloody Disgusting

“Although not as well known as Hellboy, Lord Baltimore does have my vote for Mignola’s best work.”—Comic Bastards


Captain Midnight 13



Captain Midnight #13

The madman responsible for the assassination of Arcadia’s police chief in Two Past Midnight escaped . . . and now Tempus is back! Addicted to technology, Tempus wants Jim Albright’s inventions . . . and he’ll happily kill to get them! No one knows the Secret Squadron headquarters better than Captain Midnight, but he’ll need all his cunning to protect his home from this lunatic!

* Die Hard–style action by the artist of Skyman!

* Cover by Dustin Nguyen (Batman, Batman: Li’l Gotham)!

Deep Gravity





Deep Gravity #1

He didn’t get onto the most lucrative interstellar mission for the money—Paxon wants to be reunited with the woman he loves. But his high-stakes journey takes him to a savage world full of the galaxy’s most dangerous game, where the gravity can turn your bones to powder.

* Written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy, Planet of the Apes).



Emily and the Strangers Breaking the Record 2




Emily and the Strangers:  Breaking the Record #2

Though they’ve offered Emily and the Strangers a seemingly awesome record deal, it’s beginning to look like Awesomely Awesome Records isn’t all they appear to be. Initial investigation shows they might have something to do with the stray cat situation in Emily’s hometown! The gang decides they have to investigate before they sign anything!

* An Emily the Strange feature film is in development.

“A good fun comic with a great message for young female comic readers.”—Read Comic Books

King Conan the Conqueror 6




King Conan the Conqueror #6

As Xaltotun and his traitorous lackeys face the returning King Conan, it’s their black magic against Conan’s fury and steel! The barbarian has an oath of vengeance to keep, some powerful friends of his own by his side, and a promise of love to fulfill! The epic adaptation’s thunderous climax!

* Conan confronts an ancient evil as he seeks to regain his crown!

“10 out of 10.”—Newsarama



Massive 25



The Massive #25

The Crash was only the beginning. The earth has begun to tear itself apart. And the truth of Mary’s identity, which began as a faint signal, grows louder and is seemingly connected to it all. The secret of the Crash and the location of the missing ship The Massive get answered here, in the final arc, Ragnarok!

“Wood’s post-Crash world . . . remains as interesting as it did when it began.”—Comic Book Resources







MIND MGMT concludes its second year in this crucial one-shot revealing “The Life and Times of Henry Lyme,” with a shocking twist that sets up the final two arcs!

* The AV Club’s best series of 2013!

* This issue is the perfect jumping-on point for new readers!

* Retailers, see your order form for a special offer.

“Matt Kindt is a storyteller so fully in control of his gifts that his graphic novels read like quietly compelling arguments for the comics medium’s narrative potential.”—NPR

“There’s espionage and conspiracy for the thriller seekers, and mind control, loquacious dolphins and reality corkscrewing like taffy for fans of Lost, Fringe, and The Prisoner.”—New York Times

Pariah 6


Pariah #6

A fatal outbreak causes the Vitros to divide their focus between saving Earth and preparing to launch their space station out of Earth’s orbit.

* Created by Academy Award winner Aron Warner (Shrek).

* Written by Philip Gelatt (Petrograd), with art by Eisner-nominated painter Brett Weldele (The Surrogates).





Star Wars Rebel Heist 4


Star Wars:  Rebel Heist #4

The Rebellion’s plan is coming together. All Luke Skywalker has to do is elude an Imperial spy—and perform some unanticipated rescues! But this farm boy is on the edge of greatness, and he is not about to stop saving the galaxy now!

* Matt Kindt writes the Leia, Han, and Luke from the classic era of Star Wars!

* Covers by Adam Hughes and Matt Kindt!







The Veil #4

The truth about Veil leads even more eyes to focus on the strange young woman found wandering out of an empty subway tunnel. Passions run high around her as the body count increases, but is she just an object of desire—or a force to be reckoned with in her own right?

* From Eisner Award winner Greg Rucka!


Valiant Comics 7/25/14

Armor Hunters Harbinger #1 (of 3)

Armor Hunters Harbinger #1 (of 3)

by Joshua Dysart, Robert Gill, Lewis LaRosa

Earth is besieged by alien enforcers, and some of the most powerful people on the planet…are the kids!

The Harbinger Renegades are still reeling from a tragic death in their ranks, but in the face of monumental destruction they’ll find unlikely allies in a fellow group of super-powerful teenagers.

But is Generation Zero here to help…or just looking out for themselves?

X-O Manowar #27

X-O Manowar #27

by Robert Venditti, Diego Bernard, Miguel Angel Sepulveda

Hunt it. Trap it. Kill it. The Armor Hunters are the most dangerous fighters in the universe – unparalleled in their abilities to catch and destroy their prey.

Their mission has been long and unforgiving…and has featured the destruction of many X-O Manowars. For the first time, we see the brutal beginnings of the Hunters…and the devastation they have vowed to combat.

Marvel Comics 7/30/2014

100gotg100th Anniversary Special Guardians Of The Galaxy
Andy Lanning, Ran Marz, Gustavo Durate
Just in time for the release of their SEVENTH epic motion picture, the Guardians of the Galaxy are celebrating their 100th Anniversary…by taking on the THE SILVER GALACTUS!
angrAll New Ghost Rider #5
Felipe Smith, Tradd Moore
‘ENGINES OF VENGEANCE’It’s the fight you’ve been waiting for: GHOST RIDER VS. a modified MR. HYDEROBBIE REYES’ violent neighborhood has become a full-blown urban battlefield. Can he save it? Will he want to?

All-out action and a twist that will hit you at a 100mph!





avAvengers #33

Jonathan Hickman, Lenil Francis Yu

50,000 years into the future. Holoworld: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes captured in conceptual space. How do you defeat an idea?








cyCyclops #3

Greg Rucka, Russell Dauterman

Q: What’s the problem with stealing a Badoon ship?

A: It’s a Badoon ship.

Corsair and Cyclops experience engine trouble, shipwreck, and have the nice father-son chat they’ve both been avoiding, as Rucka and Dauterman continue the smash hit of 2014!





dpgDeadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #4

Gerry Duggan, Brian Poeshen, Reilly Brown

• You saw Deadpool’s marriage to the succubus queen Shiklah, now see their first meeting and romance! • The hit series originally presented as a Marvel Infinite Comic makes the leap to the paper medium for the first time! • When Dracula hires Deadpool to transport a highly-valuable delivery for him, he has no idea what kind of trouble he’s in for. Guest-starring Blade, M.O.D.O.K., Hydra Bob, Werewolf by Night, and more—hop on with Deadpool for a crazy journey across the world…and into the heart of the Merc with the Mouth! • Note: part of issue #1 contains content from the free DEADPOOL: THE GAUNTLET #1




gotgGuardians Of The Galaxy #17

Brian Michael Bendis, Ed McGuiness

With some new faces on the team, it might be time for the Guardians to have a little team-building vacation.

Or, you know, they could keep fighting alien warlords and galactic empires.

Guess they’ll have to plan that team-building retreat for next month.






hkHawkeye #19

Matt Fraction, David Aja

Cover by David Aja • Kate gets to the bottom of the greatest mystery in the entire Marvel Universe right this very hot second: just who the H is that guy in the trench coat that seems to live in her cat food aisle? The answer may surprise you. • Or maybe not, maybe you’re super-good at this kind of thing. • Anyway a simple investigation dovetails into Kate’s desperate race to stay one step ahead of the woman that’s sworn to kill her: Madame Masque and what started off as a zany summer vacation gets a little bloody. Buckle up, buttercups

imsIron Man Special #1
Sean Ryan, Rahmat Handoko, Gary Choo
CONTINUING THE STORY FROM JUNE’S UNCANNY X-MEN SPECIAL #1 Iron Man returns to space to settle a score, but ends up embroiled with the fugitive UNCANNY X-MEN!Their paths cross in pursuit of Cyclops, who’s been kidnapped by mysterious n’er do wells. All this and guest-starring NOVA, THE HUMAN ROCKET! 





IPIron Patriot #5

Ales Kot, Garry Brown


The conclusion of ‘UNBREAKABLE’ arrives — and nothing will ever be the same! He could have fallen alone. But instead they ran to his rescue

Losses on both sides multiply as the country spirals towards a new future






naNew Avengers #21

Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti

A world must die! But which New Avenger will find the strength to press the button? And what will come in the aftermath?








osOriginal Sin 3.3

Mark Waid, Mark Bagley, JG Jones

Everybody has one….








saSecret Avengers #6

Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, Tradd Moore

“ACT TWO/THE SPEEDING REIGN OF COLLAPSE” Black Widow, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye go after Lady Bullseye and Artaud Derrida. What does S.H.I.E.L.D. want with the Fury? M.O.D.O.K. will show you! Coulson’s investigation takes him to Peru.







uffUltimate FF #5

Joshua Hale Fialkov, Andre Arujo

SUE STORM. IRON MAN. FALCON. TOGETHER WITH XXXXXXXX MAKE THE STRANGEST TEAM OF ALL! Trapped outside the Universe, an old friend returns to help. The Secret Origin of XXXXXXXXX REVEALED! Something unimaginable comes through the rift






uaUncanny Avengers #22

Rick Remender, Daniel Acuna

This is it! The final chapter of the story that began in Dimension Z!

Complete unity is established, but is it too late?

The fate of the seven prime timelines decided!

Kang’s ultimate revenge on the Uncanny Avengers revealed.





uxmUncanny X-Men #24

Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo

With the secrets held within Xavier’s will laid bare, how will the X-Men cope with the shadows of his past? Could a power previously unknown to them now be their greatest threat?







xmX-Men #17

Brian Wood, Matteo Buffagni

The Future has come calling…and he wants his son Shogo back! But will Jubilee and the X-Men let their bouncing baby boy go without a fight? Spoiler alert: HELL NO!