Tag: Dark Horse Comics

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  • Kate Leth’s New Series Casts a Spell on New Comic Book Day

    NCBD OCT 19th

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Star Trek Boldly Go comics at TFAW.com

    Star Trek Boldly Go #1
    By: Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen, George Caltsoudas

    Set months after the events of Star Trek: Beyond, Boldly Go finds the crew of the Enterprise split up as their ship is rebuilt. Kirk has taken over interim Captain duties on the Endeavor along with McCoy and Checkov. Sulu is now first mate on the Concord. Scottie is teaching at Starfleet Academy, and Spock and Uhura are on sabbatical on New Vulcan. That is until a new, yet familiar, threat forces the gang back together much earlier than expected.

    Mike Johnson captures the tone of the new Star Trek series perfectly, while at the same time introducing a classic Trek nemesis to an unfamiliar crew. In many ways he’s combining three eras of the series into one, and expertly so. Tony Shasteen captures the likenesses of the actors from the movies, as well as the clean and crisp aesthetic. If you’re a fan of the recent films, or of Star Trek in general, this is a must read. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Spell on Wheels comics at TFAW.com

    Spell on Wheels #1
    By: Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise, Ming Doyle

    Dark Horse’s newest magic comic comes just in time. Not a horror based comic, but with Witches what better time is there other than October?

    Spell on Wheels is the story of three best friends working and living together. One day their house gets broken into and they must go on a road trip to reclaim their belongings. They’re witches, and you can bet that the stolen items are a little more than just a few trinkets…they REALLY need to get their stuff back.

    Kate Leth brings us a fun group of gals for what looks to be a fun adventure. The characters all have their own abilities and traits beyond their magic. I felt like anyone could relate to that feeling of despair and loss after being robbed. While obviously has more to do with the magic they wield, you can relate to their situation. Megan Levens and Marissa Louise do a stand up job within this first issue. I love the character designs. The emotions come through very well with each character. [Martin M at TFAW.com]


    A-Force comics at TFAW.com

    A-Force #10
    By: Kelly Thompson, Paulo Siqueira

    The A-Force Civil War II tie-in found the team in Colorado on the hunt for bug creatures that were once the cities inhabitants. The problem is, they must find a way to stop this plight from spreading before her teammates turn int these very same creatures.

    This was a fun final issue for A-Force. On top of that it was a good Civil War II tie in. I’m not caught up on Civil War II issues, but I didn’t need to play any catch-up to jump into this issue — it felt very solid as a stand alone story. Kelly Thompson has been doing a bang-up job with A-Force ever since she started at issue #2. Paulo Siquerira, Joe Bennett, and Rachelle Rosenberg do a fantastic job bringing this team to life. One panel in particular made me go “wow!” (It’s spoiler-y so I wont say, but feel free to guess!) You really can’t go wrong with a team made up of Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, and Dazzler. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Nightwing comics at TFAW.com

    Nightwing #7
    By: Tim Seeley, Javi Fernandez

    Set right after the events of the epic Night of the Monster Men crossover, Nightwing is checking in again with the Parliament of Owls in Australia. Only to find them all dead, somehow linked to the Cult of Kobra. Nightwing tracks down his recent ally, Raptor and discovers that Raptor has been in Nightwing’s life much longer than he thought.

    Tim Seeley has been doing an amazing job of rebuilding Nightwing into the fan-favorite version of Dick Grayson people have been missing. He allows the story to breath on its own, but still fold seamlessly into the events happening with the entire Bat-Family. Javier Fernandez on pencils provides a lot of grit to the story. Nightwing is in a darker place than normal, and I love it. Nightwing #7 is another amazing addition to this great series, with plenty more to come. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Meet Chris Roberson at TFAW’s No Power in the Verse Comic Book Signing

    No Power in the Verse Comic Book Signing at TFAW

    We’re excited to announce that we are hosting writer Chris Roberson for a special Serenity: No Power in the Verse comic book signing from 6-8PM on October 26th at our Portland Things From Another World comic book shop. We’ve also partnered with the PDX Browncoats and the Oregon Food Bank, and are inviting the community to help us support a great cause.

    Food Drive Supports Oregon Food Bank + Gives You a Chance to Win

    Serenity Malcolm Reynolds 1:6 Scale Statue at TFAW.comBeginning October 12, and running through October 26, we’ll be collecting nonperishable food items that will go toward supporting the Oregon Food Bank and the Oregonians who depend on its ongoing efforts.

    Beyond the great feeling you’ll get by donating to an awesome cause, we’ll also give you a raffle ticket for each item you bring in from October 12-26. TFAW will be giving away a Serenity Malcolm Reynolds 1:6 Scale Statue (pictured here) valued at $249.99–it’s sure to become the centerpiece for your Firefly/Serenity collection.

    Oregon Food Bank’s Most Wanted Foods:

    • Shelf-stable milk
    • Foods high in proteincanned meats like tuna, chicken, or salmon, canned or dried beans
    • Foods high in nutrientscanned fruits and vegetables (preferably with reduced sodium and reduced sugar)
    • Whole-grain foodsbrown rice, whole grain cereal and whole-wheat pasta
    • Soups, chilies and stews (preferably with reduced sodium and reduced fat)
    • 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
    • Unsaturated cooking oils
    • Other nutritious foods (preferably with reduced fat, sodium and sugar)

    Chris Roberson will be picking a raffle winner at the Serenity: No Power in the Verse signing on 10/26. Winner does not need to be present to win (though it would be more exciting for everyone if they are).

    No Power in the Verse Comic Book Signing

    Serenity No Power in the Verse comics at TFAW.comWe invite you to join us at the Portland TFAW on Wednesday October 26 as we celebrate the launch of the newest serenity series, Serenity: No Power in the Verse, written by iZombie co-creator and all-around awesome guy, Chris Roberson.

    We’ll be kicking off the event with a Q&A with Roberson, followed by the raffle winner announcement and a comic book signing.

    About Serenity: No Power in the Verse

    The Verse is a complicated and dangerous place, and Mal Reynolds and his outlaw crew aboard the Serenity are experiencing tough times. When tensions rise among the crew, a call for help becomes a welcome interruption: they must track down a missing friend and the answers to the mystery surrounding her disappearance.

    The six-issue comic book miniseries is published by Dark Horse comics and written by Chris Roberson (iZombie, Hellboy) with art by Georges Jeanty (Buffy Season Eight), Karl Story (Nightwing, Tom Strong), and Wes Dzioba (Aliens, Star Wars Invasion).

    Can’t make it to the signing at our Portland, Oregon store? Order your Serenity: No Power in the Verse comics and get them shipped to your door.


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  • Welcome to Lovecraft Country

    Locke & Key vol 1 and Harrow County a love letter to HP Lovecraft

    H.P. Lovecraft’s name is indelibly linked to the horror genre. A true master of spinning the mundanely macabre into cerebral terror that pesters the mind long after you’ve finished reading his works. Lovecraft’s voice reaches out of his grave and aims to scare us into our own. The Lovecraftian horror stories are his legacy, and some of today’s top creators are carrying the torch.

    He’s introduced the psychological and the existential to our fears, invented incredible monsters to feed upon us, and shone new (albeit flickering) light on the oblique things that have always quickened our pulses. It’s no surprise his influence has exerted itself all things horror, including comic books.

    In many ways, Lovecraft has found his true successors in a couple of notable comic book series: Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook, and Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Harrow County is an exhilarating ongoing series produced by Dark Horse comics and is a lead feature for the company, with a TV series currently under development with the Syfy channel. Locke & Key is arguably one of the most talked about horror comics ever written.

    Locke & Key is something of a comic phenomenon. It’s been re-released in several reprints including a master edition and a holiday set. It’s also been turned into a coloring book, a card game, adapted into an audioplay, and there was even an infamous TV pilot.

    Both the Harrow County and Locke & Key series share a legacy of Lovecraftian horror that helps to define them as something beyond mere scary stories. While there are countless comics that have been influenced by Lovecraft’s work, these two series stand apart when looking at the elements that truly make Lovecraft’s work singular.

    What makes a Lovecraftian story truly different than your average tale is its execution. Lovecraft tales are an intricate combination of a gothic story of inherited guilt, a monster story about a powerful otherworldly being, and part psychological trauma. These stories offer more than just your typical jump and scare horror. Lovecraft’s stories are dark and threatening, pushing readers beyond their boundaries of belief.

    Harrow County is Ripe with Lovecraftian Horror Touches

    Harrow Couty Volume 1Slow burning, lingering terror is what you expect when imagining Lovecraft’s work and it’s absolutely what you get in Harrow County. It’s a visceral new take on the tradition of small town witch stories. It builds a sense of dread, slowly unveiling the truth of the dark magic that haunts the eponymous county. The heroine, Emmy, finds that she is intimately tied to the terrible legacy that has mired Harrow County in fear for generations, leading to revelations that stain the rest of the unfolding story. Harrow County takes this classic structure of a witch story and broadens it with Lovecraftian themes of inheritance, the resurgence of eldritch powers, and toxic superstition.

    Harrow County is the kind of story that sits on your chest, making it subtly harder and harder to breath as the panels pass. It’s makes you feel anxiety about putting your feet near that unthought of gap between your bed and your floor, and reminds you that you really should run up the basement stairs.

    It’s not just a New England Witch story. It’s a story about the things we see in the dark and the what they could become if only given the right injection of magic. It’s not just a ghost story. It’s the story of the primordial things that made us first image them away as ghosts.

    Locke & Key Echoes Lovecraft’s Love of the Forbidden

    Locke & Key vol 2Much like Harrow County, Locke & Key is filled to the brim with its share of monsters. The Locke family is faced with ghosts, a manipulative echo that lives at the bottom of of their well, living shadows, giants ,and demons that threaten to rip apart the very fabric of their world. The story reminds us, however, that the most dangerous monsters can be the people that have been right next to us all along.

    From the very beginning, it is evident that Locke & Key draws on Lovecraft for inspiration. References to his work are made throughout, but most importantly, the very first issue finds the Locke family relocating to the New England town named Lovecraft after the murder of their patriarch. The true significance of this is because Lovecraft’s settings are so iconic, with many of his works taking place in pastoral villages or small towns in New England. In fact, this type of setting is so deeply associated with the late writer that it’s gained the nickname “Lovecraft Country.” This setting is used with purpose, as these places resist modernity and foster an eerie isolation that glances at the modern world, but shies away from it.

    In Locke & Key, you see echoes of Lovecraft’s fascination for the forbidden, especially when it comes to the idea of hidden knowledge. Several of his stories touch on the subject of the erasure or obscurement of memory, and the discovery of secret things hidden from the minds of others.

    These stories find their answer in the magic of the Keyhouse as it blurs the lines between memory, fantasy and reality. To Lovecraft, knowledge was a primeval power that upon looking into its depths could drive a person to madness. This destructive quality is threaded throughout Locke & Key, with the blooming knowledge of the Keyhouse becoming poisonous to the people tied to it and reaching beyond the pages to disturb the minds of the people who read about it.

    Harrow County and Locke & Key are those rare series that will linger in your bones for long after you’ve finished reading them. Both  share a similar heritage that makes them something more than just your run of the mill scary comic both as they are heavily influenced by the master of horror craft, H. P.  Lovecraft. Both embrace the themes he used to terrify his audience while translating them into a new medium, all the while haunting an entirely new genre with them.


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  • Frank Castle Takes Down a Drug Ring in Punisher #5

    NCBD featuring Punisher, Cyborg, Trinity and Aliens

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Aliens comics at TFAW.com

    Aliens: Life & Death #1
    By: Dan Abnett, Moritat, Rain Beredo, David Palumbo

    The Aliens comic book series joins the Life and Death crossover story in the shared Aliens/Predator/Prometheus universe. While we’re coming in later in the story, Aliens: Life and Death #1 doesn’t make a new reader feel like they’re late to the game. Sure, this issue drops us in the thick of the action, but isn’t that where you want to be when you’re reading a crossover? I would say yes.

    Dan Abnett’s story shines here — the pacing sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat as the action unfolds before you. If you’re a fan of the Aliens films, underdog stories, or bloody action and gore, this story is for you! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Trinity comics at TFAW.com

    Trinity #1
    By: Francis Manapul, Clay Mann

    Since the launch of DC’s Rebirth, a question that’s been on everyone’s mind is how the original Superman is going to fit into a world that’s not his own, and how will he interact with a Batman and Wonder Woman that were a friend and lover to their world’s now fallen Superman.

    To force the confrontation of this question, Lois invites Batman and Wonder Woman over for dinner to Superman’s surprise. What unfolds is a rekindling of friendships that never really existed as each character reminisces on things that the other has no recollection of. What we get from this is an acknowledgment that no matter what reality each character came from, at their core they’re still the same person.

    Where I think most writers would try to bring these characters back together with conflict, Francis Manapul brings them together like people, solidifying the mission statement of the Rebirth movement, that it’s about legacy, not reinvention. Combine his writing with expert art, what we get is a book that I think will be one of the key titles to follow over the coming months as the big picture of this world develops. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Will Conrad

    Within Cyborg #1 we get a quick glance at what may be our main villain, an unnamed assailant that looks like a failed attempt at Cyborg. Our hero is doing what he does best, stopping Detroit’s worst from committing crimes. Afterward, his father makes him go through tedious diagnostic tests to make sure everything is working properly. While not coming out with his anger we can tell that something is wrong with Cyborg, emotionally. We find out that he his questioning his humanity and whether he has a soul. The fact that his father is struggling with these same existential questions adds a healthy dose of family drama.

    John Semper Jr. does a great job getting us up to speed with the character, who he is, his environment and how he works within it. The storyline is an old one, but one that is never tired of being explored — Am I Human?.

    Artists Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Scott Hanna, and Guy Major give this issue a greatly detailed issue that harkens back to the standards of superhero comics. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #5
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Frank Martin
    Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire

    Becky Cloonan’s Punisher story has been intense. Frank is out to take down a drug ring being run by a mercenary outfit called Condor. He’s run into people from his past, had a run-in with a couple of D.E.A. Agents, and now it’s time for him to get to do what he does best — Punish wrongdoers.

    The Punisher #5 is a strong issue. Cloonan packs the book with some fantastic (read: violent) moments, and Steve Dillon has a chance to be realy expressive. You can see the psycho behind the eyes of the issue’s main protagonist, Face. Colorist Frank Martin knocks it out of the park — identifying light sources to inform shading, including little things like textures on walls and floors, and his use of the rich red hues from blood. I’m a fan.

    With all of the action and major revelations this issue brings, I’m SUPER excited to see where team Punisher takes us next. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • The Legend of Zelda Lives On


    Like many Millennials who grew up with video games, I really love The Legend of Zelda. I’ve played almost all of the games and there are not one, but two Link Nendoroid figures holding court in my living room at this very moment. I even have a Wind Waker-era Link tattooed on my arm—and I’m planning on more Zelda-themed ink in the future.

    Link from Wind Waker tattoo The story that Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka released in 1986 has grown into something I’m sure they never could have imagined it becoming. The first game was a simple fantasy about a boy named Link, a courageous Hylian, who is tasked with saving Princess Zelda. Her kingdom in the land of Hyrule has been plunged into chaos because of the evil Ganon, who invaded her lands and stole the Triforce of Power, a piece of an ancient magical artifact. In order to beat Ganon and regain order and peace, Link must undergo many trials, battles, and adventures.
    Legend of Zelda Concept Art

    Zelda Toys & Statues

    Of course, The Legend of Zelda truly is a legend now: now in its 30th year, the universe has expanded to encompass 18 video games (not counting spin-offs), an animated TV series, music (including its own original symphony), clothing, and beautiful collectibles like the Twilight Princess Link and Ganondorf statues from Dark Horse, or the incredibly sculpted Skyward Sword Link figure. For those of us who still like to play with our toys, the Nendoroid figures come with lots of different accessories, including weapons, masks, fairies, and more, which can be set in tons of different action poses.

    Zelda Comics & Art Books

    And, of course, there are countless print adaptations. There are Zelda original graphic novels, manga series that correspond with almost every video game, novels, game books, and official companion books devoted to the art, characters, and details of the games.

    In 2013, Dark Horse Comics published the international edition of The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, which was a runaway success. It was so popular that it took the number one spot on Amazon’s sales charts away from 50 Shades of Grey! It’s an amazing collection of everything you could want to know about the series, all wrapped up in a beautiful hardcover edition fit for any library. It’s full of concept art, a complete history of Hyrule, an official game chronology, and an exclusive prequel comic. This was like a crown jewel in the series’ publishing history.

    The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts cover Hyrule Historia was practically an instant classic, and that’s why Dark Horse is following it up with The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts in 2017. Art and Artifacts will contain over 400 pages of rare promo art, illustrations from the games, official character designs, interviews with the artists, and more.

    But 2017 still feels like a long ways away! So to tide us over until then, we can look forward to November 2, when The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time. This book is going to be AMAZING. Ocarina of Time is often referred to as a fan-favorite installment of the Zelda series, and for good reason: its memorable music, exciting action, thought-provoking puzzles, and beautiful design make it a game that holds up to our cherished memories of it. Its manga series has been equally revered, and this deluxe edition will do justice to the beloved story.
    The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time cover
    In the upcoming Ocarina of Time graphic novel, Link has to undergo a long and dangerous quest in order to find the spiritual stones that hold the key to the Triforce. Then he has to deliver them to Princess Zelda and defeat the Great King of Evil himself: Ganondorf. The stakes couldn’t be higher, because whoever controls the Triforce could easily rule the world!

    This Legendary Edition kicks off a new series of 2-in-1 releases of the 10-volume fantasy adventure. In this one, parts 1 and 2 will be contained in an oversized format, and they will feature new covers and artwork by renowned manga series creator Akira Himekawa.

    Beth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director for Perfect Square, says “The Legend of Zelda is an unforgettable and tremendously loved property among multiple generations of video games, pop culture, and manga fans. We are very excited to bring fans The Legend of Zelda in a comprehensive new way with these collectible omnibus editions.”

    Don’t miss out on this fantastic edition of the best Zelda story ever The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol. 1: Ocarina of Time! It will be out just in time for the holidays, so preorder it now and save 30% for yourself and for everyone you know who loves video games, engaging fantasy worlds, and thrilling adventure!


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  • Review: Aliens: Defiance #2 – Getting the Job Done

    Review of Aliens Defiance #2

    Aliens Defiance #2 CoverIn Aliens: Defiance, Episode One: Derelict, Colonial Marine Private First Class Zula Hendricks finds herself aboard a ship full of Weyland-Yutani combat androids headed toward an apparently abandoned hauler adrift in space. Her mission is to enter a code into the ship’s computer and transfer the flight recorder data to Tranquility Base: Luna. That will transfer salvage rights to Weyland-Yutani.

    Once aboard the ship, she and the synthetic soldiers discover Xenomorph infestation. Hendricks later learns from one of the synthetics, designated Davis-01, that Weyland-Yutani was fully aware of the Xenomorphs aboard the hauler. Weyland-Yutani had applied for the salvage in order to capture the creatures, weaponize them, and bring them to Earth. Davis-01 is an apparent anomaly among Weyland-Yutani synthetics who has willfully rejected his programming in favor of independent thought.

    In Aliens: Defiance, Episode 2: Kinetic, the Davises (all the synthetics are named Davis) are AWOL and have put down any synthetics who refused to go along with the new plan, to locate and destroy any remaining Xenomorphs. This puts our protagonist in the awkward and deadly situation where she must either also defy orders and go AWOL, or potentially be executed by this band of rogue androids. Zula feels like she may be able to trust Davis-01, but the other security drones have noticed the braces on her back and legs and see her as a liability. This just adds to the already palpable tension of the situation.

    The ship arrives at LV-44-40, a deep space science station that hasn’t sent any data transmissions for 7 hours. Upon approach, the crew learns that all automated systems on the station are down, but there is a large heat signature coming from one the storage bays. PFC Hendricks and Davis-01 will have to board the craft to see if the signature is coming from survivors or Xenomorphs.

    I continue to be impressed with this outstanding series. I love that Brian Wood cast aside the obvious angle, a shoot ‘em up gore fest devoid of much story, in favor of giving us real depth and character development. There is a great balance of suspense, action, and horror. The art by Tristan Jones is fantastic as usual, and Dan Jackson’s color talents bring it home.

    Aliens: Defiance #2, released May 25, 2016, script by Brian Wood, art by Tristan Jones, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnevale, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen

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  • A Total Eclipse of New Comic Book Day

    NCBD reviews featuring Cyborg, Eclipse, Daredevil and Rise of the Black Flame

    New Comic Book Day Eclipse’s us with great books. From Cyborg, and his origins to Daredevil keeping the peace in Hell’s Kitchen. Remember these are just a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg Rebirth #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier, Will Conrad

    John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier and Will Conrad’s Cyborg Rebirth #1 hits its mark as a fresh start for readers interested in the titular hero – before he hit’s the big screen in Justice League next summer.

    The first part of the comic gives a guided tour of Victor Stone’s life – leading up to becoming the cybernetic superhero – mixed with a present day brawl with an unknown robotic monstrosity. These battle scenes keep the energy going throughout the book and find time to mix in some fun superhero/villain banter: “I’ve never met data that wasn’t capable of being crunched.” Once the backstory segment is finished, Cyborg comes to a startling realization about his father and his own existence.

    We’re given new questions that’ll frame the next part of Cyborg’s journey. What kind of being is he? Is he a man with a few mechanical parts? Or is he a machine imitating a human? And what does our mysterious narrator want with him?


    Eclipse comics at TFAW.com

    Eclipse #1
    By: Zack Kaplan, Giovanni Timpano, Betsy Gonia,
    Chrois Northrop, Troy Peteri

    Science Fiction mixed with murder. Someone is out in the day, killing people and David Baxter will have to figure it out – before he becomes a victim.

    What if solar flares caused us to live underground, away from the sun. Could we survive? Eclipse from newcomers Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano give us a glimpse into what the world would look like if that was the case.

    Kaplan does a good job setting up this world quickly, so we can get right into the main plot. On a routine daylight patrol, a body is found and it isn’t there by accident. Eclipse has promise to become a very entertaining and grim look at a post-apocalyptic world that we really haven’t seen before.


    Daredevil comics at TFAW.com

    Daredevil #11
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    Dark Art continues as a piece of “art” has been found. Made with over 100 people’s blood, the person who found it wants to make money off of it – this is New York City after all. Our heroe’s everyday persona Matt Murdock as D.A. is asked to make sure that the show doesn’t go on.

    Before the “blood mural” can be shown a new piece is found–this time involving Inhumans. Luckily, Daredevil is en route to let this new assailant know how much he loves his work.

    Charles Soule continues to unravel this new world Matt Murdock has come back to after his move to San Fransico. Along with Artist Ron Garney, and colorist Matt Milla, this Hell’s Kitchen has gotten a lot darker. This story reminds me of the environment during Shadowland.


    Rise of the Black Flame comics at TFAW.com

    Rise of the Black Flame #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Christopher Mitten, Dave Stewart, Laurence Campbell

    Here’s the setup for Rise of the Black Flame: Young girls are disappearing from the British colonized cities of Burma. The trail will lead a group of international adventurers deep into the jungle, to an ancient evil power, wielded by the bloodthirsty Cult of the Black Flame…

    The story starts off with an abduction of a young “English-born” girl. Two local police officers, the seasoned Sergeant McAllister and a young man named Sandhu, have pledged to track down the abductors.

    Their investigation takes them from Rangoon to Bangkok where the two encounter monster hunter/ghost chaser Sarah Jewell and Marie Therese Lafleur. McAllister has encountered Jewell before, and believes they are in search of the same people, so the four band together to enter the jungle for the search for the Temple of the Black Flame.

    This is a really intriguing story that’s captured my attention in a big way. Fans of the B.P.R.D. will get the most enjoyment out of Rise of the Black Flame #1, but the issue also serves as a great entry point and will undoubtedly lead newcomers down a journey that will be only be sated by continuing down the rabbit hole that is the Mignolaverse.


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Review: Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1 – The Mega-Crossover

    Review of Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1

    predator vs judge dredd vs alien #1We’ve seen Judge Dredd take on a Predator before. We’ve seen him take on Aliens before. Well, the ante has officially been upped. Welcome to a sci-fi geek’s wet dream: It’s Predators Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens!

    The stage for this epic showdown is set far from the walls of Mega-City One—Alabama, to be precise (and if you thought Alabama was weird now, try the dystopian future…). Dredd and his posse of Judges are motoring across the Cursed Earth wasteland in pursuit of a robotic messiah and his fanatical followers who left half a city block in ruins. After stopping at a shady desert saloon for a quick skirmish, the Judges’ chase takes them into a zone where the locals dare not tread: the Alabama Morass.

    The Morass happens to be the territory of a gang of animal-headed mutants, led by their creator, Dr. Reinstot—a sort of backwoods Dr. Moreau, if you will. Earlier in the episode, Dr. Reinstot’s cronies had captured a Predator who was trespassing on their turf. Always looking for fresh bodies on which to perform his gene-splicing experiments, Dr. Reinstot is particularly excited about this new specimen, for whom he has some special plans.

    As the Judge convoy speeds through the swampy jungle, they are unaware that their presence is being monitored by Dr. Reinstot, who is keen on adding these intruders to his experimental queue. However, right about that same time, another group of trespassers arrives. Turns out Reinstot’s prisoner left behind some sort of homing beacon before being captured—and you’ll never guess who’s coming to the party.

    With John Layman (Chew) on the script and Chris Mooneyham (Five Ghosts) on pencils, the series is in more than capable creative hands. Not to mention dutiful: If the first issue is any indication, fans of the representative franchises can rest assured of the characters being treated with the utmost reverence. And though we haven’t seen an Alien yet, we’re sure as hell going to, so strap in and get ready for a gruddamn good ‘n’ gory time!

    Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens #1, Dark Horse/IDW Comics, Released July 27, 2016, Written by John Layman, Art by Chris Mooneyham, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Letters by Michael Heisler, $3.99.

    Review by James Florence.

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  • Review: Aliens: Defiance #1 — Suck It Up, Soldier!

    Review of Aliens: Defiance #1

    aliens: defiance #1Private First Class Zula Hendricks thinks she is aboard a ship full of Weyland-Yutani Corporate Security Drones (combat synthetics) solely as a mater of protocol. Weyland-Yutani has claimed salvage rights to a mass hauler adrift in space with no functioning transponder or communication. Because of the ship’s location, a Colonial Marine must board the craft with Weyland-Yutani’s androids to enter a code and transfer the craft’s flight recorder data.

    In the first pages of Aliens: Defiance, Episode 1: Derelict, we see that PFC Hendricks was severely wounded in the line of duty and required intensive reconstructive surgery to her spine, nanotherapy, and rehab to be able to even walk. The fact that she is still serving on active duty is a testament to her grit and determination. This mission is the Colonial Marines’ version of light duty until she makes a full recovery.

    The story sets up in much the way you would expect: Upon boarding the hauler, Zula discovers the ship isn’t completely devoid of life. There are no live humans aboard. There are…wait for it…Xenomorphs! As formulaic as this sounds for the franchise, with Weyland-Yutani wanting to capture and weaponize Xenomorphs and sending an unwitting crew into almost certain demise, there’s actually a very interesting and unexpected twist that sets this series apart from its predecessors.

    Brian Wood gives us honest, whole characters that make sense. PFC Zula Hendricks comes across as a very proud and determined soldier who is reticent to show any weakness at all, making her all the more determined during her lengthy recovery period. Synthetic Davis shows a range of emotion and actions that are wholly unexpected from a Weyland-Yutani synthetic.

    The art by Tristan Jones is remarkable. The set pieces are tight and claustrophobic when the crew is battling Xenomorphs, and the reader is reminded that there really is nowhere to run in open space. A hole in a suit or a crack in a helmet can be a death sentence.

    Dan Jackson gives us great filters of light and dark. The scenes on board Colonial and Weyland-Yutani ships are light, well lit, airy. The scenes aboard the doomed hauler are dark, spooky, lit in reds and yellows. I don’t think colorists get nearly enough credit for their contributions to great comics, but at least half of the setting is the color. If it isn’t right, there’s nothing scary about the best written script or the most brilliantly drawn panel.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first chapter of this twelve part series. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Aliens: Defiance, Episode 2: Kinetic.

    Aliens: Defiance #1, Dark Horse Comics, released April 27, 2016, script by Brian Wood, art by Tristan Jones, colors by Dan Jackson, lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot, cover by Massimo Carnivale, 30th Anniversary variant cover art by Mark A. Nelson, $3.59

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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  • Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • NCBD: Supergirl and the Suicide Squad Join DC’s Rebirth

    New Comic Book Day 8/17/16

    This week brought a strong group of comics. For New Comic Book Day, we continue catch up with The Punisher and Daredevil as a conflict comes to a head, jump into the new Suicide Squad series, continue reading Jeff Lemire’s incredible Black Hammer series, and check out Supergirl’s Rebirth. Remember, these are only a few of this week’s new releases be sure to check the TFAW website to see even more. We’d love to know what you think of these books too!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Black Hammer comics at TFAW.com

    Black Hammer #16

    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    We last left Black Hammer with the whole team meeting up to reminisce their past lives with the hero (and their leader): the amazing Black Hammer.

    In this new issue we get to see a glimpse into the background of Gail Gibbons, aka Golden Gail, wherein she was given the gifts of the gods to fight to keep the world safe — or is it a curse? Now Gail, stuck in the body of a nine-year-old, is just trying so hard to get back the powers that she once felt burdened with. We also get to see Walky Talky and The Barbalien trying to get a probe outside the boundaries of the small town that they are trapped in. Also, we get to see a clash with one of their old foes, Doctor Sherlock Frankenstein (best name ever!).

    How will this “family” deal with all the troubles of trying to fit into the small town they’re stuck in, and what steps will they take to find their way home? Are they even in their universe, or are they in a pocket dimension? Could this be an elaborate trap by a villain from their past?

    All that, plus we still don’t know the full story of Black Hammer’s fate. I’m really looking forward to learning more in the next issue of Black Hammer. [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    Daredevil Punisher #4

    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Jim Charalampidis, Clayton Cowles

    Daredevil Punisher #4 completes the “Seventh Circle” story, and it’s been a great ride. DD and Punisher have worked together in the past, but they’re at odds this time over a gangster named Sergey Antonov. D.A. Matt Murdock is transferring Antonov to Texas so he can get a fair trial, but Frank Castle thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.

    Soule wraps up the Daredevil Punisher miniseries in spectacular form, but I won’t tell you how this one ends, folks. What I will say is that it’s really great seeing how far both Daredevil and Punisher will take things, given their conflicting convictions. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #1

    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    For anyone who wants to learn more about Suicide Squad after the wonderfully fun movie, you should definitely grab a copy of Suicide Squad #1! The story starts off with Amanda Waller’s inner monologue discussing why she assembled the Suicide Squad — she believes that bad can do good, and she’s . . . well . . . somewhat right!

    The group is sent to retract a cosmic cube in space, and as the group battles motion sickness, Williams provides a flashback of how Deadshot landed right into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. It’s a great first issue, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Pick this issue up before it sells out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    Supergirl Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando at TFAW.com

    Supergirl Rebirth #1

    By: Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Michael Atiyeh

    Supergirl Rebirth serves as a slingshot for those unfamiliar with Supergirl’s past and her place in the DC Universe. The issue starts with a flashback that establishes a potential threat (or possibly ally).

    In the new status quo that is the DC Rebirth, Supergirl only recently crash landed on Earth (like, a few months ago recent), and the D.E.O. is trying to make sure she becomes a hero like her cousin, Kal-El. They’ve assigned full-time handlers Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers to show her the ways of this planet and act as “parents” to her alter ego, Kara Danvers.

    I anticipate good things from writer Steve Orlando; we’re already seeing strong elements of a family drama for this series and I’m excited to see how Kara adapts to Earth and comes to understand our ways.

    Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are already a good pair, and I’m excited to see how they will continue to come together as a team. Their art is similar to that of Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • NCBD gets scarred, beaten and saved with Black Monday Murders, Harrow County, Batman and Spider-Man

    NCBD review for Aug 10 2016

    This week for New Comic Book Day, Batman and Two-Face take a road trip, we learn about a cult that crashed the stock market, Harrow County’s Emmy finds out she has more family than she knew of, and Dead No More starts to unravel. As always these were only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Amazing Spider-Man comics at TFAW.com

    Amazing Spider-Man #16
    By: Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Alex Ross

    As Dead No More gears up, Amazing Spider-Man #16 lays the groundwork for what could be a pivotal moment in the Parker story. Jameson Sr. lays in a hospital bed with a genetic unknown disease. A scientist from NEW U tells the Parker and Jameson family that there is a new procedure that could work. Jay Jr. is hesitant but Peter wants to try. As Peter goes over NEW U’s research, an explosion pulls Spider-Man to a Parker Industries Plant. Spider-Man saves the day, or so it seems.

    Dan Slott has been doing an excellent job in his Amazing Spider-Man run – along with Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Marte Gracia this issue has a John Romita Sr. style that is very welcoming. As the first issue to captivate us for Dead No More, Amazing Spider-man #16 is a great start!
    [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    All-Star Batman comics at TFAW.com

    All-Star Batman #1
    By: Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr

    In this tale, which I like to consider “Gotham by Midnight (Run),” Batman is taking Two-Face on a road trip in an effort to permanently remove the fractured personality of Harvey Dent. Two-Face, on the acid-scarred hand, has other plans. Which he sets into motion offering to release all the blackmail material gained on everyone in Gotham over the years. Some surprises reveal that this dirt the Deacon of Duality has runs deep and no one is safe.

    The coloring by Dean White in this issue really adds texture and depth to the art, and Snyder’s pacing is as methodical as always. The backup story in this issue is even more compelling to me though. Having Duke (from the excellent We Are Robin) stepping into his new role training with Batman for what appears to be more of an ally than a sidekick role this time around. They set the boundary that he is not going to be Robin, but something else entirely. While also laying out the various training styles and how they resonated differently with each of Batman’s former sidekicks with color coding. Very interesting stuff that enriches the iconic Batman mythology even further.

    All-Star Batman looks to be an exciting new series from Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr, and Dead White. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Black Monday Murders #1
    By: Jonathan Hickman, Tomm Coker

    What if I told you that you could be rich but, you’ll pay in blood. Money, Power, and Magic – it’s all one in the same in The Black Monday Murders.

    Johnathan Hickman’s newest series tells a tale of altered history, where Black Tuesday (the stock market crash of 1929), was set in play because of a debt. We as a whole owed someone or something and it was time to pay. We get jumped into the present as we see a detective getting a new case that’s one of his…

    As a first issue, this really pulls you in giving you a lot of backstory and insight to this world. There are internet forum posts, history book pages, and company/family tree’s added into this oversized issue. It gives just enough information to keep you intrigued.

    I always love Tomm Coker’s art and this series is no exception. Tomm draws out panels and frames them like a cinematographer. It’s amazing.

    The Black Monday Murders is a highly recommended series for those looking for an alt-history series that dabbles in black magic and crime noir. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Harrow County comics at TFAW.com

    Harrow County #15
    By: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook

    One of the best horror comics being published today – Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County – continues to weave this terror of magic, resurrection, and fate. In issue #15, Emmy is given a deeper look at her “family.” Given a choice that will not only affect her but her home as well.

    Crook does it again with his beautiful watercolor pages. Even if you don’t care for horror, his landscapes of Harrow County are just gorgeous to look at. Cullen Bunn also has this magnificent way of crafting his story to get you to come back month after month.

    There is a reason Harrow County was nominated for Best New Series at the 2016 Eisner’s and won Best Ongoing Title at the Ghastly awards in 2015. If you haven’t been reading this series, now is a fantastic time as the Syfy channel is adapting it for a series. Pick up Harrow County you won’t be disappointed! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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