Welcome welcome all ye weary travelers, and hear me thus: I’m gonna talk about some fuckin comics now.
Pretty light week, but that’s alright. Gives me a little extra time to work on a Halloween special! I’ll be out of town right before Halloween, so to tide you over until my return I plan to release a special discussion of some of my favorite Halloweeny books. But for now, let’s jump in to this week’s stuff. (NOTE: The two DC comics had shiny covers! Most DC comics have special shiny covers this month, and the solicit art doesn’t reflect that. Check em out if you get a chance, especially Supergirl)
Detective Comics #990
Wow this arc is going nowhere fast.
Batman attempts to figure out how Two-Face is involved in all the nonsense going on with the murder and the two Fireflies. Two-Face makes a remark about it being Jim Gordon’s (police commissioner) fault that appears to have some weight. Then there’s a bunch of action that doesn’t make too much sense but seems to just be driving home the point that whatever Two-Face is up to is super fucking convoluted. The writing is a little weird here too. A lot of Batman’s dialogue feels really casual and conversational at inappropriate times. When remarking on how Harvey’s henchman won’t be enough to take him down, Batman says “I’ve battled New Gods, man.” I’m no expert, but unless Shaggy put on the mantle of the bat it’s pretty weird for him to refer to a villain as “man”.
Not sure what’s up with that, but the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m at least curious. The book is 10 issues, so 5 months, from its issue #1000 so I’ll be on board at least until then.
Red Hood: Outlaw #27
This issue is really nice, although it’s pretty “quiet”.
Before I go on, major spoilers for Tom King’s Heroes in Crisis #1 which came out a couple weeks ago. Now that I’ve got that outta the way.
In Heroes in Crisis #1, Jason’s old partner/best friend was at a place called Sanctuary. It’s a sort of hospital/rehab/mental health/etc facility for heroes suffering from whatever they’re suffering from. Roy went for addiction counseling, which he told Jason back in the Annual from a bit ago. Someone attacked Sanctuary and killed a lot of people, including Roy.
This actual issue starts with a brief fight in a diner as Jason tries to get some information about a shady shipment he’s following. It’s interrupted when Batman arrives to tell Jason the news in person. Their conversation takes up the vast majority of the book. They talk a little about Jason’s feelings, the tension left between them that caused Jason to leave Gotham, and that he should stay out of hunting down the killers. There’s one particularly beautiful page where Bruce hugs Jason, and in a reflection in a puddle beneath them the image has them in the Batman and Robin costumes. It’s nice seeing the impact of the event in a small way, not a full blown tie in. Plus it shows a bit of Jason’s growth because he takes it well. He refers to death as a “revolving door” for superheroes, which is fair since he died and came back and so did Damian Wayne, another Robin. Next issue starts another arc, so this was just a brief contemplative moment between whatever bigger stuff is happening. I liked it though, I definitely recommend this issue as a jumping on point.
This one is so much fun every issue. Charlie’s still incapable of hiding, with her pursuers basically falling into her at every turn. Vita (bodyguard) thinks she’s giving their position away but can’t figure out how.Two new hitmen enter the chase, one is a stealthy assassin/operative type, mostly what you’d expect a paid killer to be like in media. The other is basically a Twitch streamer but for killing people with Reapr campaigns leveled on them. It’s really cool every time we see pieces of the society created by the technology and laws in the story. We also find out in this issue that libraries are very different in Crowded than real life.
It’s a pretty cool “what if” for crowdfunding/job apps getting out of hand, even without the semi-legalized murder. Plus the mysteries keep piling up. Who is the assassin? What’s Vita’s story? Why the fuck is everyone trying to kill Charlie? Hopefully that all ends up revealed eventually!
That’s it this time everybody! Come back next week for more stuff, and then in two weeks for the horror special! Til next time.
Comic Wolf’s Post-Credit
For some reason this is the week DC released their little Halloween one-shot, so I’m gonna talk about that!
Cursed Comics Cavalcade Special
This one just appeared in the store and caught my eye. It’s on the pricey side as a $10 book, but it contains 10 short stories so I can forgive it.
“The Spread” – The first short is Swamp Thing! There isn’t too much too it, there’s trouble in The Green (the elemental plane for plants and botanical life) so Swamp Thing has to fix it. The narration is cool, has the Vertigo feel to it, and the art is really rad. Short but sweet.
“Gorehound” – This one features Batman and horror movie tropes. Someone called Gorehound has gone on a few killing sprees in stereotypical horror locations (sorority, farm, babysitters, motel). Batman is on the case, naturally. This one attempts a pretty sharp twist, which doesn’t feel like much of a payoff due to the extremely short length. I didn’t have time to hypothesize before it was over, so it feels pretty awkward to try a twist ending.
“Siren Song” – Next up, Wonder Woman. This one wins a lot of points with me. I love mythology stuff, so doing a siren story is already cool. It also features art/monster design that’s legitimately fucking scary to look at. The narration by Wonder Woman also felt perfect for the story, talking about the myth of the siren in juxtaposition with her belief system and how she was raised to value empathy. It’s a really nice little slice of the character sandwiched in a great little horror story.
“Life Sentence” – A character I don’t associate with horror at all and with art that’s bright and colorful. Guy Gardner stars in this fairly simple spooky ghost (space) ship story. There’s a giant prison barge but everyone on it is dead yadda yadda Dead Space yadda. It’s mostly action with Guy smashing space zombies looking for the cause. They also try something of a twist ending, and kind of get more pay off. While this one didn’t have anything particularly special about it, it’s a functional little story and that’s enough.
“Yellow Jack” – First time I’ve ever read a The Demon Etrigan story! There’s some clever play here; yellow fever is also called Yellow Jack (hence the name of the story), and the mystery involves some Jack-the-Ripper-esque murders during the outbreak. This one was cool, dealing with the man who hosts The Demon Etrigan far in the past. I think the weight of it is lost on me since I’m not much for the character, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
“Strange Visitor” – And with this Superman story, we have all three of the Trinity featured. Superman is haunted by nightmares. He thinks it’s some sort of being, Lois thinks it’s sleep paralysis. This story is odd in that it feels like it has consequences outside of the scope of a one-shot. It practically set up a whole arc. Not sure whether they’ll use that in one of his main books.
“The Monster in Me” – Another hero with “green” in the name not normally associated with horror! This time Green Arrow. He’s haunted by a specter of trauma from his time on the Island that made him. It’s a neat idea but doesn’t really play out in the length. It’s basically just the Nega-Scott scene from the movie instead of the volumes long arc in the comics for Scott Pilgrim. Bit of a shame.
“Mercy Killing” – A double billing with Black Lightning and Katana teamed up. I think they’re on Batman’s Outsider team together. Anyway, this one is a Japanese mythological demon haunting a child. There aren’t really any layers to examine. They just fight a scary fucking demon. Good enough for me, especially with bonus Myth PointsTM.
“The Devil You Know” – Double-double billing! 2 in a row! Combo! Anyway this one is Robin and Solomon Grundy. An unusual team up, Grundy is searching for people he refers to as his “family” and Robin agrees to help. They pull a lower-tier villain in, but he has definite creepy appeal so he does get points for that. It’s a shame we didn’t get Scarecrow in either Bat-based story, but oh well. Grundy is kinda cool and we rarely see him in a friendly light so that’s something.
“Halloween Hayride” – The last story features Zatanna, with her magic being a good fit for the season. I was worried they wouldn’t fit a fun/cute story into the collection but this one nailed it. Just a fun story of Zatanna getting involved in an older brother trying to terrorize his little sister with a haunted hayride. It has lovely art and captures the fun side of being scared, which is a perfect way to end the book.
That’s all there is in that massive damn book. Definitely worth the hefty price tag! Join us next time for more comics and maybe more frights!