Tag: Dark Horse Comics

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  • Conan’s Inescapable Ending Ahead, Uncountable Dead Behind

    conanslayer5

    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!

    ether1

    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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  • The Legend of Zelda Lives On

    lozot

    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!

    SEE BEST-SELLING ZELDA PRODUCTS AT TFAW

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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?

    FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH CYBORG TODAY [Timothy S. at TFAW.com]

    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.

    SEE ECLIPSE ISSUES AT TFAW [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    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.

    DISCOVER EVEN MORE DAREDEVIL TODAY [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    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.

    ORDER THE FIRST THREE RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME ISSUES NOW [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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  • 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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