Tag: Mike Johnson

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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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    NCBD: Old Man Logan, New Super Man, Kong of Skull Island & Star Trek

    For New Comic Book Day this week – we look at an Old Man, a New Super Man, a Giant Gorilla, and celebrate Star Trek’s 50 years. As always these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. 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.

    Old Man Logan comics at TFAW.com

    Old Man Logan #8
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
    In the last issue of Old Man Logan, we saw Logan defending the people of Killhorn Falls from a crazed group of killers called the Reavers lead by Lady Deathstrike. He will stop at nothing to keep this group from killing the woman who became his wife from his lost timeline. With his back against the wall, Logan succeeds in pushing the threat away from the population and leaves to keep them safe.

    In this much-anticipated issue, we find Logan not too far in the future from the events of the last story arc, living once again with his team and family, the X-Men, with one exception – Jean Grey is alive and wants nothing more than to help out her lifelong friend. We also get to see, through Logan’s memories, the events that lead to the night the heroes fell. We now know what happened at the Xavier School for the Gifted – when the villains used Logan as their killing machine to take down the X-Men (see Old Man Logan by Millar and McNiven) – but we never got to see the fall of New York, or what led to the descent of Hank Pym. By the end of this issue, all will be revealed. And in the conclusion of this amazing book, we get to see a perfect reunion that will hit home with any Wolverine fan – or any comic fan in general.

    I can’t say enough to about how much I’ve loved this book. Jeff Lemire has taken the mantle of this story and used the new and old universes to make this a truly fantastic book, with the beautiful art of Andrea Sorrentino making the characters and action jump right off the page. I cannot wait for what happens next issue of Old Man Logan! [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    New Super Man #1
    By: Gene Luen Yang, Viktor Bogdanovic

    Shanghai, China. Kong Kenan is a bully that justifies his behavior by picking on Lixin, whose father runs an airline. The very same airline who he holds responsible for the death of his mother. Kenan’s father is a mechanic that is part of a “Writers’ Group” which are conspiracy theorists attempting to prove the existence of the Ministry of Self-Reliance.

    These pieces converge when the villain Blue Condor swoops in to abduct Lixin. Kenan instinctively throws a can of soda (which he stole from Lixin) at Blue Condor. This is caught on video and gains the attention of the Ministry of Self-Reliance. Who approaches him to grant him the powers of Superman.

    All that power given to one without the moral compass of our Kryptonian is going to steer us on an interesting course, indeed. Gene Luen Yang’s story and Viktor Bogdanovic’s art are both flashy enough to catch our attention, and keep us watching, as this story evolves. It’s going to be an interesting series seeing this New Super Man go from bully to hero. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Kong of Skull Island #1
    By: James Asmus, Carlos Magno, Felipe Massafera

    First things first, the art of this comic book is gorgeous! I was memorized by Carlos Magno’s clear and very detailed illustrations. This issue opens up to a time before Kongs became extinct. The people believed the gods protected us through the Kongs.

    As the natives travel to expand the islands they rule, they take their protectors with them. When the natives discover Skull Island, they get more than they bargained for. This island has bad written all over it and as the people try to steer clear of it, the ship is attacked by monsters! As the ship starts to sink, one Kong struggles to get back on the sinking ship. As the people are drowning… the only thought you can conjure up is “Save the Kong!!!”. Kong of Skull Island is going to be one heck of a ride! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Star Trek #59
    By: Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen

    As we near the 50th anniversary of Star Trek we see the crew of the Starship Enterprise enter a place in space that seems to be a bridge to alternate realities. The crew, for a time, switches minds with their movie and original series counterparts. This comes with some comedic surprises for them.

    Switching back and forth between old and new crew members was cool. Mike Johnson did a good job slightly altering how each Kirk or Spock said the same line, highlighting the differences between the two universes. Since he came aboard, Tony Shasteen has done a fantastic job drawing the series. Each character is easily recognizable, even for casual viewers of the series.

    It will be fun to see how both crews deal with such an anomaly in Star Trek #60![Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Star Trek: Manifest Destiny, Divinity II, Dept H, Extrodinary X-Men, & Wonder Woman

    This week we take a look at 2 Sci-Fi, a Mystery and 2 Superhero books for New Comic Book Day. These are just a few stand out new releases this week. 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.

    Dept H comics at TFAW.com

    Dept H#1
    By: Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt, Jeff Lemire

    Who doesn’t love a good mystery? However, this is not your typical whodunnit!
    Journey with Mia as she takes on what I can only imagine may be the hardest thing she has ever had to do; discover who murdered her father!

    Death, love, an enclosed environment and a ton of suspects have me hooked in to this series for sure! The beautifully drawn and colored book really has a way of letting you grasp what it would be like to be on this ocean adventure.

    Furthermore, there are small details in the art and writing that capture each scene; down to an obvious accent that really adds to a character. Matt and Sharlene Kindt have created something special here!

    Dept H #1 [Sean M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny comics at TFAW.com

    Star Trek: Manifest Destiny#1
    By: Mike Johnson, Ryan Parrott, Angel Hernandez

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny #1 fits right in with the “JJ ‘verse” (for non-Trekkies that’s what the new timeline that JJ Abrams has created with his two films). From the accurate-yet-comic-feel of the art to the perfect style of dialogue, this book just FEELS like JJ Trek. You can’t help but hear the actors voices as you read through each panel. As for the story itself, Trek fans were clamoring for more Klingons from this new timeline and this series looks to deliver — starting with a Klingon invasion and the setup of a new Klingon villain. This book is a great way to start celebrating Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary this year AND get ready for Star Trek Beyond this summer. Qapla’!

    Star Trek: Manifest Destiny #1 [Dustin K. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    Extraordinary X-Men#9

    By: Jeff Lemire, Ken Lashley, Humberto Ramos

    We left off on the last issue off Extraordinary X-men with the newly formed X-men team being confronted by the new horsemen of Apocalypse, fronted by a broke down Colossus. In the midst of this, the younger team of X-men are sent to the future, were the new lord Apocalypse has bent the world to his will.

    In this new issue of Extraordinary X-men, you get to see what happens with the young team when they’re sent to this new, dystopian future to face the horrors that lay before them at the hand of its new ruler. Will Piotr be able to help them get safely back to their time and save the earth from this new future? Will they all make it back in one piece–or even the same? How will the Storm-led team deal with one of their loved ones being used as a hand of doom? “Mutantkind ends here: so says the lord Apocalypse.” Or does it? Find out in Extraordinary X-men #9.

    Jeff Lemire (All New Hawkeye & Descender) showcases his unique ability of bringing real human emotion to the fantastic in this book; he is accompanied by Humberto Ramos’ (Amazing Spider-man) striking artwork.

    Extraordinary X-Men #9 [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Divinity II #1
    By: Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Tom Muller

    Historically I’ve not read many Valiant titles. I’ve picked up a few books here and there. Nothing really drew me into the universe that Valiant Comics has to offer — Until I read Divinity II. And that’s kinda the funny part; this is the second part of the Divinity story. So really, I should be blind as a bat and have no clue as to what is transpiring in this comic. But because Valiant has done a fantastic job of telling new readers about what came before (nestled within the second page prior to the story that takes place in this first issue) I had no problem at all following the characters Matt Kindt writes about in Divinity II, issue #1.

    Within 24 pages I immediately cared about all of the characters. I was completely engaged with the back story about the main character, Myshka. From becoming one of Russia’s first cosmonauts, to traveling to the farthest reaches of the known (Valiant) universe, we learn about Myshka’s childhood and upbringing. Learn about what she’s had to endure from the other test subjects in Russia’s space program and we begin to understand what makes up the fiber of Myshka’s being and why Myshka is able to possibly become…something more. The art by Trevor Hairsine is lovely, dark and at times haunting (inker Ryan Winn & colorist David Baron have a lot to offer with the amazing atmosphere of this book also).

    As Myshka is pushed to the edges of human capability, it’s clear that Trevor and Matt, et. al, care very much about what happens to Myshka and how their story is interpreted by you, the reader.

    If you’ve ever wanted to dive into a Valiant Comic but didn’t know where to begin, I think this would be a great place for you to start with Divinity II #1. I’m definitely in this one for the long haul.

    Divinity II #1 [Ethan S. at Beaverton TFAW]

    Wonder Woman #51
    By: Meredith Finch, Miguel Mendonca, David Finch

    Building off the events of the last issue we find Wonder Woman going deep into Themyscira to help Zeke. We see her deepest fears as it tries to tear her apart, down to her core.

    Meredeth Finch does a fine job planting you inside Diana’s head. With most of this issue speaking through captions. It works great due to how weird it would be talking to yourself out loud for that long.

    Miguel Mendonca, Dexter Vines, Diana Egea, Stephen Downer and Ulises Arreola all do a great job with the art in this issue. Giving Themyscira creepy orange and red tones, along with heavy dark lines pull off how scary this place could be to visit.

    If you are currently reading Wonder Woman this is a fine issue in the story arc. If you haven’t been, you might want to go back a couple of issues just so you’re not lost.

    Wonder Woman #51 [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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

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    Star Trek Manifest Destiny is Coming — buy’ ngop!

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny #1 Subscription Variant at TFAW.comThe crew of the Enterprise is about to embark on their five-year mission to explore the unknown, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until July for follow their exploits! IDW Publishing has been publishing stellar Star Trek comics for years, and the upcoming four-issue Star Trek Manifest Destiny looks amazing.

    We had the chance to chat with series writers Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott, artist Angel Hernandez, and the book’s editor, Sarah Gaydos, about their favorite Star Trek memories, where the idea for Star Trek Manifest Destiny came from, and what kind of action we can expect from the series. Read on!

    TFAW: How did the idea of Star Trek: Manifest Destiny come about?

    Mike Johnson: We aren’t doing a movie prequel this year, but we wanted to do another event-worthy series to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. What could be more event-y than a showdown with the Klingons? And this time both sides are out where no one — human OR Klingon — has been before.

    Ryan Parrott: The Klingons are seminal but we really haven’t gotten to see a lot of interactions between them and our crew in this particular reality. Since the comics have always been great for filling in the cracks or expanding on moments, it just seemed like there was an appetite for a story that could help justify all the upcoming bad blood.

    Star Trek Manifest DestinyTFAW: Can you give us a behind the scenes tour on how you two worked together to write the story?

    RP: Our stories always begin differently — one of us has an image we want to see or an idea we want to explore. This one started with — who’s the Klingon “Captain Kirk?” What does their “Enterprise” look like? How does the Empire explore? So we did some research into the Vikings and Mongols, just to establish a base — which helped flesh out our characters — then Mike and I start throwing the story back and forth until we’re both happy . . . or one of us just gives in.

    TFAW: None of you is a stranger to the world of Star Trek comics, how does this story relate to or build upon your previous work in the Star Trek universe?

    Angel Hernandez: My first contact drawing Star Trek comics was the Star Trek Green Lantern crossover. I felt very comfortable with the universe of that project. I had been drawing several series of superheroes at DC Comics and it was an exciting change. I really wanted to continue working in this universe and this project has given me the opportunity to keep doing it, and I love it.

    MJ: We’ve shown the Federation and the Klingons mixing it up before, but this story raises the stakes because both sides are on their own, far from any reinforcements. The Klingon ship is a match for the Enterprise in size and power. This is probably the most intense battle we’ve shown in the comics yet, and the most personal.

    RP: Up to this point, I’ve only ever done stories set at Starfleet Academy — so the opportunity to write the real crew on the five-year mission was a dream come true . . . and I finally got to cross “Scotty” off the bucket list.

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny #2TFAW: I really dug Angel Hernandez’s art on Star Trek Green Lantern. Can you talk about your collaboration with him on Manifest Destiny?

    MJ: I was lucky enough to work with Angel on Trek/Lantern and I quickly learned that he can draw anything a writer can dream up. We’re excited he’s on board for this event, and he’s already producing pages that make our jaws drop.

    TFAW: What can you tell us about the new villain, Shotok?

    RP: There are some great villains in the original series, but outside of Khan, they’re mostly races — Klingons, Romulans, etc. So our goal was to try and create a worthy adversary for Kirk — someone personal, who thinks and acts like he does. Shotok is an outsider who doesn’t conform to the traditional Klingon code of honor. And because of that, he’s dangerous, unpredictable, and a bit of a wildcard when he first encounters the Enterprise.

    TFAW: How much research did you have to do for this story so you felt comfortable that you’d have a viable story set in the canonical Star Trek universe?

    MJ: We really want the book to feel like a big summer action movie, so it’s not so much research but we’ve been thinking in terms of what cool epic scenes we want to see, how we want to pace it in a way you don’t always see in comics, things like that.

    RP: Like I mentioned before, when we knew we wanted to see how Klingons explore, it was pretty obvious they wouldn’t do it the same way the Federation does. So we looked at examples in real history, aspects from all the different series and even stuff from expanded Klingon mythology — like “The Klingon Art of War.” Then based off all of that — we built the version that made the most sense to us.

    TFAW: IDW is also producing Klingon Language Editions for the series? Who came up with that idea, and how can we thank them?

    Sarah Gaydos: I can’t claim that we’re the first one to translate a Trek comic into Klingon (see: IDW’s Star Trek: Klingons: Blood Will Tell, and more!) but we just could not resist. We really want to highlight how badass the Klingons are, but also how incredibly deep their culture is — to the point where they have this fully fleshed out language. We’re working with several great folks from the Klingon Language Institute to make this possible!

    TFAW: What kind of creative freedom did you have on this book, Angel?

    AH: I have had total creative freedom. I had worked with Mike before, therefore I already knew where the lines were, but I have always understood very well what I wanted to convey in every page of script and within those parameters I have been able to move with absolute freedom. To agree with the rest of the team about the visual issues allows you to work more comfortably on the other aspects of the project.

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny #2 Subscription Variant

    TFAW: What influences did you draw upon for character designs in this series?

    AH: Visually, I followed the parameters of the new films (J.J. Abrams) but I have referred to the classic saga in order to capture the essence of some species. And I don’t want to tell more to avoid spoilers.

    TFAW: Was there a panel or page that was particularly challenging to draw?

    AH: There is not any particular panel that has been more difficult than another, but in this comic there are many action scenes involving a large number of characters. Ensuring that it does not become a mess and that the reader can follow the sequence correctly is always a challenge for an artist. And this comic includes many of those challenges.

    TFAW: Artists often sneak Easter Eggs into their work, whether it’s a wink to the fans, or including likenesses of friends/family as background characters. Can you clue us in on any you included?

    AH: I do not normally include personal references in the comics I draw, but in this case I have included some environments that surround me, especially in the landscapes that can be seen in some scenes. I come from a volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (Canary Islands) and many Hollywood productions come to shoot here. It was logical that I successfully exploited those spaces to include them in the comics I draw and the places visited by the crew of the Enterprise often match with places that I can really visit.

    Star Trek Manifest Destiny #2 Variant Cover by J.K. WoodwardTFAW: What is your favorite Star Trek memory?

    AH: There are many special moments in the saga as for example, Spock’s death or the destruction of the Enterprise. I also find memorable the death of Spock’s mother and everything that happens around that. I think it is very emotional and, at the same time, a very spectacular moment. But, certainly, the encounter with the Klingons in the film of 2013, the whole scene is a moment that I love.

    MJ: My favorite memory is playing with the big Original Series Mego figures when I was a kid. Real cloth uniforms! Giant blue phasers!

    RP: For me, it will always be, “There Are Four Lights!” The majority of Star Trek episodes end at the exact same place they started — with everything pretty much back to normal. But that story — what Picard went through and his mental state at the end — it felt like it had resonance. It was such a strong performance (by both Patrick Stewart and David Warner), I just knew I’d never forget it.

    TFAW: Who is your favorite Captain?

    AH: Chris Pine. For professional reasons I have developed a very close link with him, he is almost like a coworker.

    MJ: Can’t lie: Picard.

    RP: Picard, 100% — but Pine’s slowly creeping up the ladder.

    TFAW: What comics are you reading right now?

    AH: Lately I do not have much time to read, but as soon as I have a moment, I’ll start with Saga and Fables. And I have accumulated Blacksad, Magneto, O’Boys, Hellboy on the shelf because I do not have time to read everything I would like, and that it is a lot.

    MJ: I just read the new Asterix book. My favorite series growing up, and it’s still going strong.

    RP: I can’t get enough East of West and Casanova.

    We want to thank Michael, Ryan, Angel, and Sarah for an excellent interview! Make sure to order your copies of Star Trek Manifest Destiny, including the Klingon Language version, today!

    PRE-ORDER STAR TREK MANIFEST DESTINY ISSUES

    ORDER STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN BOOKS

    *buy’ ngop means “that’s great news” in Klingon, literally translated as “the plates are full.” Gotta love the Klingon Language Institute!

    Are you looking forward to Star Trek Manifest Destiny? What’s your favorite Star Trek comic to date? Post your comments below!

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 1 of 5 – Dark Horse

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    As we look forward to the new year, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released in 2015. What follows is the first in a series of five “Best Comics of 2015” posts we’ll be posting through January 6. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Known for publishing licensed books such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Conan, Predator, and Tomb Raider, Dark Horse Comics also has a strong commitment to creator-owned series. Series like Colder, Usagi Yojimbo, Hellboy, ElfQuest hit the shelves month in and month out. If you see the horse on the cover, you’re going to get a great comic!

    The Best of Dark Horse (in no particular order):

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    Fight Club 2
    By: Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, Nate Piekos, David Mack

    I know that I’m about to break the first rule of Fight Club, but I think the sequel warrants a little leeway, don’t you? In the 10 years that we’ve waited for Chuck Palahniuk to invite us to Fight Club again, we’ve been hoping that Marla and the novel’s protagonist were free of Durden and were left to settle in to normal lives. It seems as if others–even Marla herself–have other plans.

    Throwing us right back into the ring, Palahniuk delivers Fight Club 2, a story that is equally compelling to fans of the book and the movie. Palahniuk teams with Eisner-award winner Cameron Stewart to take us for a full-on beat down, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

    One thing that really stood out to me from the first issue was Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart’s panel design. From the first page you get this feeling that this isn’t Chuck’s first time writing for comics. Cameron Stewart flexes his artistic muscle, resulting in art that will forever take over when I re-read the novel. And I’m completely ok with that.

    You wanted more Tyler? You got more Tyler! [Martin M.]

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    ei8ht
    By: Rafael Albuquerque, Mike Johnson, Nate Piekos

    What happens to your keys or that matching sock when you lose them? The short answer is that they’re in The Meld. Here’s the long answer. Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson’s five-issue miniseries, ei8ht takes us on a journey to a place that exists outside of time. Past, present, and future meet in a story that draws you in and keeps you hooked right up until the end.

    The team expertly uses color to help the reader know when we are, with the past in green, present in purple, and future in blue. The resulting effect is that a seemingly disjointed story comes together in a way we haven’t seen before.

    ei8ht is one of those books that’s a little off the beaten path, but sticks with you after you read it and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The first arc was captivating and hinted at a much larger world for future (or past) stories, and I’m 100% on board for the next trip. [Josh C.]

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    Lady Killer
    By: Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich, Laura Allred

    Co-written by Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer is a tour de force unlike anything modern day comics has seen in a very long time.

    Many people liken the series to Hannibal, Silence of the Lambs or Dexter, but really, Lady Killer is in a league all its own. The series takes the classic idea of the American housewife and turns it, rather violently, on its blood-soaked ear from the get go.

    The strength of the story’s main character, Josie Schuller, hits on the struggle to take back what was once “yours.” To find a place that you can come to in your life where you have to work as hard as you possibly can to make a bad thing right. If there is any analogy that I can take away from this story, it’s that you can take control of your life. And Josie is a strong character that will take her life back, screaming, bloody and impaled, but at the end, her life will be hers.

    The storytelling is flawless as is the characterization that Jamie and Joëlle bring to the table. The world they create is rich and filled with colorful and villainous characters that make you actually fear for Josie and her family. This fear for the main character within the comics world is indeed a rare and welcome commodity as it serves to create an emotional connection with Josie and her family, and makes this book a tense page-turner. [Ethan S.]

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    Harrow County
    By: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook

    A book that will make your skin crawl, literally. Witten by the prolific Cullen Bunn (the busiest man in comics), Harrow County is a creepy little piece of Southern Gothic storytelling. The story centers on a young girl named Emmy, around her 18th birthday she begins to get visions and exhibit strange powers. Is she an instrument of good or evil is the question that forms the spine of this delightfully unsettling horror book.

    Tyler Crook’s art is both gorgeous and at times disturbing. At its core this is a coming of age story about a young girl questioning her future and her path in life as the world she knows and people around are changed forever. Like the best horror stories, the scariest things are the seemingly familiar. [John C.]

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    Archie Vs. Predator
    By: Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jason Millet, John Workman

    Archie’s no stranger to being prey—after all, Betty and Veronica have been pursuing him for more than 70 years! But what happens when he’s up against the universe’s most terrifying hunters? Dark Horse and Archie Comics teamed up this year to bring us Archie vs. Predator by Alex de Campi (Grindhouse, No Mercy), Fernando Ruiz (Archie: The Married Life), and Rich Koslowski (Three Fingers), delivering equal measures of gore and humor, and making it one of my favorite miniseries of 2015!

    Archie vs. Predator starts out like any ordinary tale from Riverdale: Jughead wins a luxury beach vacation and brings the whole gang out for spring break. A popularity contest and a confrontation between Betty and Veronica ensues. However, when things quickly escalate, a vengeful Betty accidentally attracts the attention of a Predator, who follows them home. Ridiculously violent hijinks ensue.

    De Campi shines a thoughtful light on the age-old triangle of America’s favorite teenagers–and the back-and-forth between Betty and Veronica–and it’s endlessly fun to see such rampant gore in the classic Archie style. A must-read! [Elisabeth F.]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting four more Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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