Tag: Dark Horse Comics

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    A Raging Road Trip Down a Bloodstained Highway

    “We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other.” -Tom Araya, lead singer and bassist, Slayer

    Slayer has dominated the thrash metal scene for nearly four decades. Then in 2015, the band teamed up with director BJ McDonnell (Hatchet III) to write and direct a music video for their song Repentless. The band was blown away by the resulting video. Repentless received an overwhelmingly positive public response.

    The music video has over ten million YouTube views. Based on the reception of Repentless, Slayer went back to the well. They hired McDonnell to write and direct a prequel and a sequel video. The videos, in chronological order, are You Against You, Repentless, and Pride In Prejudice.

    No Signs of Slowing Down or Showing Mercy

    Slayer: Repentless #1 is an extension of the storyline that runs through the three music videos. Writer Jon Schnepp (Metalocalypse) offers a script full of violence, racial tension, and gore. And he brings depth to a familiar story and invites the reader to join him on a brutal and horrific journey.

    In addition, artist Guiu Vilanova (Weird Detective, Twilight Zone) is well known for his diverse settings. In just the first couple pages, he takes the reader from a murder scene in suburbia through a peaceful foster home to a Neo Nazi rally. Scene transitions are seamless and easy. As a result,  the action sequences, facial expressions, and body language are all spot on.

    However, the appeal of Slayer: Repentless doesn’t end with Slayer fans. This series has that dark dramatic quality of series like Jessica Jones, Gerry Conway’s classic Punisher, and Constantine the Hellblazer. But none of the characters are really baby faces. Some are just worse heels.

    PRE_ORDER SLAYER: REPENTLESS #2 AND #3

    Slayer: Repentless #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release date January 25, 2017, Written by Jon Schnepp, Art by Guiu Vilanova, Cover by Glenn Fabry, $4.99

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    Sins of the Past

    Everyone’s favorite vampire with a soul is back. Spinning out of appearances in the successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel & Faith series, Angel stars in his own solo series again.

    In Angel Season Eleven #1,  Angel and his longtime associate Fred investigate a haunting in a Dublin hotel. However, the investigation soon leads to memories from Angel’s very dark past.

    What do these memories mean and why are there so many bugs in them? These questions lead Angel and Fred on the mystery that forms the spine for the series’ first arc.

    Angel and Fred Team Up

    Angel’s past as the villainous vampire Angelus has always been ripe for story potential on TV and in comics. It’s a strong choice to make his backstory a cornerstone of this series. Angel is one of the most haunted characters in pop culture. Writer Corinna Bechko uses that to blaze forth a new storyline for him.

    The other interesting thing about the book is the inclusion of the character of Fred. Viewers of the TV show know Fred’s body was possessed by the ancient demon Illyria in the final season. In this new series Fred tries to share her body with Illyria.

    As you can imagine, a modern-day girl and an ancient demon don’t make the best pair of body-mates. However, with Illyria inside her, Fred is able to access powers important to revealing the truth about what’s going on in Dublin.

    Angel has always been a fan favorite character within the Buffy-verse. So, it’s nice to see him in his own series again. Based on this first issue it seems like a lot of narrative seeds have been planted. This makes for a large-scale adventure for the issues to come.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AND PRE-ORDER ANGEL SEASON ELEVEN #2 AND #3

    Angel Season Eleven #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release Date January 18, 2017, Written by Corinna Bechko, Art by Geraldo Borges, Colors by Michelle Madsen, Cover by Scott Fischer, $3.99

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    The Long Claw of the Lobster

    Lobster Johnson was first introduced in Hellboy in 1999. He has been a cornerstone of writer’s Mike Mingola’s supernatural world ever since. The Lobster, wearing his signature jacket and goggled helmet, continues to strikes fear into the hearts of both the mundane and paranormal.

    In the standalone adventure Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, he stalks the streets of 30s era New York. The Lobster attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding a mob enforcer, And mobster Benny Jeunot may not be quite as dead as the authorities might wish.

    We find The Lobster in a graveyard accompanied by one of his trusted allies, Harry McTell. Harry informs the titular hero about the enforcer in question and how he most certainly can’t be a zombie. Despite Harry’s litany of reasons, The Lobster remains stoically certain about the paranormal goings on.

    An Imperfect Hero on a Mission

    Our hero sends Harry away to search the caretaker’s quarters. Then, The Lobster’s suspicions are given terrifying form. He is assaulted by an enormous attacker that bears a striking resemblance to the late Benny Jeunot. Thankfully, Harry returns in time with a double-barreled surprise for the apparent zombie.

    The duo follow the trail of their attacker and end up at table with three practitioners of a dark art called Fimbakonu. The result is a brutal struggle involving a pack of risen dead and Benny Jeunot. Harry’s quick thinking handily dispatches the revenants. That leaves three necromancers at the mercy of Lobster Johnson himself.

    Garden of Bones is an excellent entry into the Lobster Johnson saga, providing paranormal action layered with the crime-noir that befits the time period.

    GET MORE LOBSTER JONES

    Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, Dark Horse Comics, Release date January 11, 2017, Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, Art by Stephen Green, Colors by Dave Stewart, Cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.99

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    You Can’t Do That, Warden! It’s a Crime Scene!

    Detective Linda Caruso’s job is usually a piece of cake. She works in Mariposa County’s Jail Crimes Division. Her cases are usually pretty cut and dried. That also  means that she’s usually bored out of her mind. After failing the detective’s examination as a deputy, she was railroaded into taking a position in Jail Crimes. 

    Dead Inside #1 is a familiar feeling story of a broken down detective in a dead end job. Caruso is recently divorced and drinks more than she probably should. She fits the archetype further by having absolutely no clue when it comes to office politics. Her social game is defective, but easily relatable.

    A Big Cover Up

    When Caruso has to investigate a murder suicide at Bennett Pen, it doesn’t take long for her to realize this case is different. In a very short period of time, she has enough evidence to close the case, but something about the case is off. It’s too easy. It appears that someone is pulling strings to make sure that Caruso doesn’t get more than a cursory look at any of the evidence. She runs into solid brick walls any time she tries to dig any deeper. She is being seemingly directed by an unseen agency.

    Artwork by Toni Fejzula is instantly recognizable. Fejzula’s clean lines, deep textures, and unique angles underscore the oddity and gruesome nature of Arcudi’s script. Andre May’s color choices work well and add to the underlying tension throughout the chapter.

    Dead Inside is aimed at fans of crime procedurals, noir, mystery, and prison drama. Think CSI mashed up with Columbo and Wentworth. There’s also a hint of horror thrown in for good measure.

    FOLLOW THE CASE AND PRE-ORDER DEAD INSIDE #2

    Dead Inside #1, Dark Horse Comics, Release date December 21, 2016, Written by John Arcudi, Art by Toni Fejzula, Colors by Andre May, Cover by Dave Johnson, $3.99

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    Conan’s Inescapable Ending Ahead, Uncountable Dead Behind

    Conan the Slayer is what happens when you hand Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, The Sixth Gun) the reins to one of the oldest and most visited mythos in modern comics.

    Bunn’s take on the Barbarian is reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s historically inaccurate (albeit highly entertaining) film portrayal of Braveheart’s William Wallace. Now Conan is hardly a mindless Barbarian roaming the countryside, indiscriminately butchering defenseless sheep.

    Conan’s Complex Character

    Rather, in the opening scenes of chapter one, Conan allows four pursuing Turanians every opportunity to turn back and leave him alone before finally sending the hunters to meet Crom. Diving deeper into the Blood In His Wake story arc, it’s clear “The Slayer” is only one facet of Conan’s surprisingly complex character.

    By the time we reach the opening pages of Conan the Slayer #5, the wily Cimmerian has talked his way out his own death sentence. He’s also battled a sea hag and her offspring, become a trusted advisor to a Kozaki Hetman, and solved a murder mystery.

    The art team does an outstanding job bringing Bunn’s script to the page. Sergio Davila’s artwork and Michael Atiya’s color beautifully capture the raw emotion and gore of the action sequences. Still there is room for vulnerable moments. The Slayer never looked better. Letters by Richard Starkings pay homage to the series’ origins, using typeface to set scenes. Conan’s dialogue is delivered in angular balloons, suggesting The Destroyer not speaking his native tongue.

    PRE-ORDER CONAN THE SLAYER ISSUE #6 AND ISSUE #7

    Conan The Slayer has broad appeal. It’s familiar enough for devotees of previous incarnations of Robert E. Howard’s brainchild, while crossing new genre boundaries. Fans of fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, and occult comics will enjoy this new series.

    Conan The Slayer #5, Dark Horse Comics, Release Date November 30, 2016, Rated 14+, Written by Cullen Bunn, Art by Sergio Davila, Colors by Michael Atiyeh, Letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft, Cover by Admira Wijaya, $3.99.

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    Millar & Capullo’s Reborn Is Just What Comics Needed

    New Comic Book Day November 16th

    Mark Millar turns his new series on its head this New Comic Book Day. Nightwing gets help with his nightmares, Doctor Strange starts a new arc, a new team of Renegades forms, and our magical cross country tour makes its first stop in Spell on Wheels. 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.

    Nightwing #9
    By: Tim Seeley, Marcio Takara

    It’s common that after story arcs end, a single story issue provides some transition from one story to the other. It’s rare though that such issues are also character defining. Nightwing provides a bit of unseen backstory on Dick Grayson–namely that he has been haunted by nightmares for some time. In an attempt to help, Superman uses Kryptonian tech to enter Nightwing’s dreams. The adventure this takes us on shows not only how important Nightwing is (as the glue of much of the DC Universe), but also how this new Superman really is the back-to-basics version of the character fans have been craving.

    Tim Seeley continues to prove his love for Nightwing. He captures the fun, but also underlying struggle the character has been having recently. It’s this kind of nuance that has always made Nightwing a compelling character. Marcio Takara’s art adds the layer of grit needed, but without this feeling like a typical dark Gotham book.

    Personally, Nightwing is not anywhere near my favorite Bat-Family character, but with how well this book is, this has consistently been one of my favorite offerings from DC’s Rebirth. The balance of well-written stories with a large helping of heart hits this old comic fan right where it counts. I highly suggest you make this a regular pull. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Reborn #2
    By: Mark Millar, Greg Capullo

    This is it folks. This is where the real journey begins. The glimpse of this realm that we received in the first issue does not prepare you for how fantastical everything is. Mark Millar, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and Fco Placencia really made something special with this issue. At first, you start to see typical tropes from this type of story but then they immediately turn that on its head!

    You get a proper explanation, a good look at the protagonist, a few great mysteries and a great segue into what I am sure will be an epic adventure full of emotion. Read on warriors! [Sean W. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN MARK MILLAR’S REBORN SERIES TODAY

    Doctor Strange #14
    By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, Al Vey, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Tim Townsend, Wayne Faucher, Antonio Fabela, Java Tartaglia

    The newest issue of the Doctor Strange comic book lives up to its name–Strange. Get ready to go to “all-new all-different” hell and pal around with Satana, the devil’s daughter.

    Wile the story reads like a quick scene in a larger narrative, I could see people really digging into this. Chris Bachalo’s art is whimsical and frenetic. He really shines when Strange takes on his astral form. Good stuff. Jason Aaron is taking a comical beat this issue and it’s rather fun to experience. I’ve had a lot of fun seeing Strange at his lowest, slowly dragging himself from the muck and rebuilding himself. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    SEE ALL THE NEWEST DOCTOR STRANGE COMICS & MORE

    Harbinger: Renegades #1
    By: Rafer Roberts, Darick Robertson

    A brand new #1 from the team at Valiant Entertainment. Harbinger: Renegades #1 is a new team of heroes. What looks to be fragments of the old Renegades team with some new faces. Like most team-up books, this issue sets up not only who the team will consist of, even if momentarily, but also who the villain is.

    Rafer Roberts’ writing is great; he creates a real world and gives the characters responsibilities and lives that fit within our reality more so than any other book I’ve seen lately. Darick Robertson does an amazing job with facial expressions–you really see the shock and awe in his line work. With the team just starting to come together, I’m anxiously awaiting the next issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Spell on Wheels #2
    By: Kate Leth, Megan Levens, Marissa Louise

    When we last left our trio of witches, they were on a road trip to get back their stolen magical items. Their first stop: Massachusetts. This issue of Spell on Wheels picks up with the gang as they meet with an old artist who purchased one of their stolen pieces. Unfortunately the package hasn’t arrived due to, you know, shipping and all. So the girls wait there until the next day for the package to arrive. Little do they know however it’s not quite that simple.

    I love the dialogue in this comic. It feels like I’m talking to a friend. Another thing I really enjoy about how Kate Leth wrote this is how strong these women are with or without magic. Next stop Connecticut! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT OUR NCBD REVIEW OF SPELL ON WHEELS #1
    JOIN THIS AWESOME NEW SERIES

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

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    I’m A Scientist!

    Legendary Science Fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke famously stated: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This statement is the basis for Dark Horse’s new comic Ether.

    Ether #1 introduces Boone Dias, a scientist exploring the magical realm of The Ether. Boone is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones. He’s an adventurer with the mind of a detective. In this adventure, he sets out to discover the scientific facts that will explain the existence of magic.

    Ether has a clever and highly engaging plot that seamlessly blends the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Writer Matt Kindt creates a fascinating new take on the concept of a magical world, with a hero entirely unfazed and almost unimpressed by it.

    Looking at Magic Through Science

    Boone’s Holmesian-characteristics show most when he flexes his intelligence for citizens of the Ether. He seems to pity those who merely believe in magic. Meanwhile, Boone is tasked with solving a murder involving a sentient bullet and a giant magical library.

    It’s fun to walk through this magical world treated with such a blasé’ attitude.There are baboon gatekeepers, giant snails that function as taxis, and songbirds that render people unconscious. All of these are simply accepted as just a normal part of everyday life. Nontheless, our hero has a mission and can’t get bogged down in the wonder of The Ether.

    This story will appeal to the science lovers and the magic obsessed. It manages to get everyone involved in a compelling mystery. Boone is also a hero with the potential to intrigue readers for many issues to come.

    PRE-ORDER ETHER #2

    Ether #1, Dark Horse Comics, November 16, 2016, Written by Matt Kindt, Art by David Rubin, $3.99

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    Thor Gets His Groove Back

    New Comic Book Day Nov 2nd

    For New Comic Book Day this week, Dark Horse Comics blows up a new issue of World of Tanks, Unworthy Thor begins, and Justice League starts a new arc “OUTBREAK.” It was hard narrowing down this week’s new releases to arrive at this week’s reviews, but that’s the job. 😉 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, folks.

    World of Tanks #2
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    After the explosive first issue, our WWII tale of a British tank team fighting against their German counterparts gets more intriguing. The comic splits up parts between the two teams, taking viewpoints from both sides. The book does an especially good job at highlighting where each team is and what pressures await on the battlefield.

    When it comes to comics about war you can’t go wrong when Garth Ennis is writing it; this series is no exception. The artist Carlos Ezquerra has worked with Ennis before on Battlefields, so the series in in highly capable hands. With a style full of grit, you can almost feel the dirt and grim on the pages.

    This series, based around the hugely popular MMO World of Tanks, is sure to satisfy you off the screen and drag you into the trenches. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP INTO THE FIGHT WITH WORLD OF TANKS

    The Unworthy Thor comics at TFAW.com

    The Unworthy Thor #1
    By: Jason Aaron, Olivier Coipel, Matthew Wilson, Russel Dauterman, Joe Sabino

    Though the reason has yet to be revealed, Thor was deemed UNWORTHY in the pages of Original Sin. He has since relinquished the name of Thor and searches for redemption as The Unworthy Thor, and the first issue of the 5-issue miniseries is a fantastic entry–great for new readers and longtime fans of Jason Aaron’s take on the character.

    For my money, there’s no better Thor writer than Jason Aaron. Period. This series is a snapshot of the Odinson at his lowest point. He’s depressed, drinking way too much, and self-loathing. This is the equivalent of a major star getting embroiled in controversy and falling from grace.

    I’m not going to ruin the issue by revealing the events of the last few pages, but I am excited to be along for the ride for what I am calling “Thor Gets His Groove Back.”

    One last thing: I’ve gushed about Aaron’s writing (albeit not as much as I want to), but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that Olivier Coipel’s art and Matthew Wilson’s colors are out of this world. I’ve come to expect a lot from these artists, and that’s because they bring it. Every. Single. Issue. Highest marks for this one, true believers. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    VISIT OUR SPECIAL THOR PAGE TODAY!

    Justice League comics at TFAW.com

    Justice League #8
    By: Bryan Hitch, Neil Edwards, Fernando Pasarin

    After the Justice League’s victory over the Kindred, the team has saved the world, and although many were spared, one innocent civilian lost their life. While various members deal with what this means, someone (or something?) hacks into the Watchtower and the Batcave, ultimately putting the entire team — and the world — in danger.

    Told from the point of view of Cyborg, Bryan Hitch does a great job of demonstrating why Victor Stone is one of the most capable and underestimated additions to the League. In a world ruled by connection-based technology, the man who has access to it all could be the greatest hero, but also the most vulnerable to corruption. Neil Edwards’ pencils do a wonderful job of highlighting the somber moments, but hits with a bang in action scenes. He’s an artist who frames shots similar to the way Hitch does in his art, making them a great collaborative team.

    Justice League #8 continues to be a great book featuring the most powerful super team in comics. Be sure to pick up this great jump on point. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE TODAY

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com

    The Wicked and the Divine #23
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kevin Wada

    Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as teenagers. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.

    The team behind critically acclaimed Young Avengers and Phonogram have taken us on a hell of a ride for the past two years in The Wicked and The Divine, and the series just keeps getting better. We were able to get our hands on a copy of the WicDiv #23, and I’m here to give you the skinny on the issue and lay out the case for why this is the best series on the shelves.

    I couldn’t think of a better case study to attest to Gillen’s talents as a writer. I’ve been a fan of The Wicked and The Divine from day one, but this issue has really amplified my love of the series. I was reminded of Marvel’s Front Line series of the past decade in that this issue gives us a different perspective of characters like The Morrigan, Baal, Amaterasu, Lucifer, and Woden. I like that the team is experimenting with these one-off issues because they make the reading experience unique. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    FIND OUT WHY WICKED AND DIVINE IS BETTER THAN ANY OTHER COMIC BOOK
    BUY WICDIV COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Did our review spark your interest in any of these books? Have you read previous issues? Join the conversation and share your experience with us below!

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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]

    VISIT OUR STAR TREK COLLECTION

    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]

    JOIN THE MAGICAL SPELL ON WHEELS SERIES

    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]

    SEE ALL A-FORCE COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

    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]

    SEE WHY NIGHTWING IS COOLER THAN BATMAN

    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.

    ORDER SERENITY NO POWER IN THE VERSE COMICS
    DISCOVER A UNIVERSE FULL OF GREAT SERENITY/FIREFLY PRODUCTS
    RSVP TO THIS SIGNING VIA FACEBOOK

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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.

    CHECK OUT LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR AT TFAW
    VISIT OUR SPECIAL HORROR SECTION

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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]

    JOIN THE NEW TRINITY SERIES TODAY!
    SEE OTHER REBIRTH ISSUES

    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]

    LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBORG BEFORE HIS BIG SCREEN DEBUT

    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]

    CHECK OUT EVEN MORE PUNISHER PRODUCTS

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

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