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UNCLE $CROOGE AND THE INFINITY DIME #1 by writer Jason Aaron and artists Paolo Mottura, Francesco D'Ippolito, Vitale Mangiatordi, more

I have long wondered why Disney doesn't make use of Marvel Comics, the largest and most successful comics publisher in North America, to publish its comics, especially since it's owned Marvel for 15 years! And yet, Disney keeps farming out the Disney characters to Fantagraphics, IDW, Dark Horse — anybody but Marvel. 

I'm not talking about Marvel's creators doing the books necessarily (although Thor and Avengers scribe Jason Aaron is writing this one). What I mean is that Disney should take advantage of Marvel's infrastructure (printing, distribution deals, etc.) and market reach. You want Uncle Scrooge to sell better? Let it piggy-back (contractually, if necessary) on Amazing Spider-Man. Why lease Disney comics to a small-press publisher like Fantagraphics, which has to struggle to get the book to market? If they moved the operation to Marvel, the current writers and artists could continue to create the book, becoming contractors for Marvel instead of for whomever they're conracting for now. 

But no. This book is being referred to as a one-off, so Disney still isn't putting all its eggs in the Marvel basket. Maybe if this sells well, they will.

Anyway, the story is about Scrooge's money bin being raided, and it turns out the raider is an evil Uncle Scrooge variant from a parallel world, So Scrooge must scour the multiverse for the culprit (and I assume the No. 1 dime), alongside his nephews, Gyro Gearloose and multiple variant versions of himself. It's Everything, Everywhere, All at Once with ducks!

"As far as I'm concerned, there's no disputing the fact that Uncle Scrooge is one of the absolute greatest characters in the history of comics. And I don't just mean comics that feature talking animals. I mean all comics ever, bar none,” Aaron said. “Uncle Scrooge's rich, action-packed history includes some of the most exciting adventure comics ever created, by legendary creators like Carl Barks and Don Rosa. It's one of the most mind-staggering thrills of my career to get to craft this epic cosmic adventure for the World's Richest Duck, one that looks to honor the character's legendary history while taking him to some wild, new, unexplored places in the way that only Marvel can deliver.”



Week 9 in "Blood Hunt"

DRACULA: BLOOD HUNT #2 (OF 3) by writer Danny Lore and artist Vincenzo Carratu: The Dracula/Bloodline team-up (now including Daredevil) continues, which is leading me to figure this thing out. I'm guessing that Blade is possessed, and Dracula, who is probably peeved at being displaced as king of the vampires, has figured out a way to un-possess Blade using his daughter (but only if she's alive), and regain his throne. (Then he'll go back to trying to kill them both.) And who is possessing Blade? There are a lot of possibilities, from Dormammu to Nightmare to Mephisto. But I'm going with Chthon, who started this vampire business in Ye Long Ago Times, and whose Darkhold is central to one of the miniseries (Strange Academy: Blood Hunt).

OTOH, the inclusion of a lawyer (Daredevil), suggests a deal with Mephisto. Hmmm.

"Blood Hunt" wraps up in a month (July 17), so we'll see if I'm anywhere close to being right.




  • DOCTOR STRANGE #16: Clea and Wong vs. vampire Doctor Strange. I'm sure he'll get better.
  • BLACK PANTHER: BLOOD HUNT #2 (OF 3): Bast gives vampire T'Challa a warning.
  • WOLVERINE BLOOD: HUNT #2 (OF 4): The Logan/Louise (former warrior nun of the Nightguard) team-up continues.

This week in Spider-Man:

  • UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN: FALL OF X TP: This is really an X-Men title, but the mutants seem to have the week off.
  • VENOMVERSE REBORN #1 (OF 4) is the Spider-Verse of Venoms, with stories of symbiotes from across the multiverse. The appeal of this concept still eludes me.

This week in Star Wars:


This week in Ultimates:


Elsewhere at Marvel:

  • ROM: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC: Get 'em while the contract with Hasbro lasts! Collects ROM #30-50, ROM Annual #1-2 and Marvel Two-In-One #99.



This week in Batman:

  • BATMAN #149
  • BATMAN/SUPERMAN: WORLD'S FINEST #28 features the "Doom Imp" who's trying to destroy the Fifth Dimension (in his beautiful, his beautiful balloon, no doubt) plus various imp counterparts of characters other than Superman and Batman. Which could be funny, in a Bizarro sort of way.
  • CATWOMAN #66
  • NIGHTWING #115

Elsewhere at DC:

  • WONDER WOMAN #10 is a Wonder Girl-palooza, with Donna, Cassie and Yara. Plus, somehow, future Wonder Girl, Trinity.



DANDELION TP by writer Sabir Pirzada (Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel on TV, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant) and artists Martín Morazzo (Ice Cream Man), Vanesa R. Del Rey (Scarlet Witch, Redlands), Eric Koda (Ms. Marvel, Shang-Chi), Roy Allan Martinez (Zorro Swords of Hell), Gegê Schall (Made in Korea), Thomas Campi (Joe Shuster: The Artist Behind Superman), Adrian Rivero, Juha Veltti, and Marquis Rogers

REVIEW: The PR calls this Nomadland meets Mad Max. It was ... pretty good.

I don't mean to damn with faint praise, but it's an anthology, which as we all know, means each story is hit or miss. I found the hits few and far between (but my taste isn't universal, so you may disagree). And the central mystery, to me, wasn't one I wasn't really interested in solving.

But OK, now the positives: All these stories take place in a shared future world, where climate change and AI/automation have idled/impoverished/de-housed most of humanity. Impoverished because, as we all know but rarely discuss, the rich are going to just keep hoarding resources, and changing the rules in their favor, until the not-rich don't have anything at all. Those not in the  top 10%, it's implied, are all jobless and homeless. One inventor's solution is lighter-than-air homes — essentially hot-air balloons, but more sophisticated and with lightweight materials so they're big enough to not feel like prisons. But they are prisons, as people who accept life in one of these "dandelions" lose all citizenship everywhere, and can't set foot on the ground for the rest of their life. In short, they can't leave the dandelions, which means these homes are philosophically indistinguishable from prison cells. The "exiles" get regular food shipments by drone (and if they don't, who would know?) to keep them pacified, and they are always under surveillance. So the rich do, in fact, inherit the Earth (everyone else is in prison), which is your basic social commentary, and the dandelions are a cool, high-concept sci-fi gimmick whose world-changing nature is fun to explore.

For my money, though, it's not expored enough. There are a couple of stories about how the exiles fight back a little, but I wanted more. I honestly think this scenario would eventually lead to outright revolution — as one characters says, "there are more of us than there are of them" — and while the poor would likely lose any conflict, I don't think they'd all accept the status quo lying down forever. That isn't addressed in Dandelions, with the stories seemingly much more interested in showing us what it's like to live in air prisons. Which left me a little dissatisfied (and depressed).

And the central mystery is boring. The idea is that the person who "invented" the dandelions is an obvious front, so who really invented them? Stories about the fake inventor are kinda boring (she's a chef) and I don't really care who invented the dandelions. We do get an answer, which gets a "so what" from me. I felt it was a poor substitute for an actual climax.

tl;dr: Dandelions is based on a terrific, high-concept, sci-fi premise. But for my taste, most of the stories seemed to be sort of navel-gazing, treadmill fare and the concept isn't taken to what I consider the inevitable conclusion. It's far too much Nomadland and not near enough Mad Max.


DESTRO #1 (OF 5) by writer Dan Watters (Loki, Universal Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives!) and artist Andrei Bressan (Dark Ride, Birthright

Maybe someday I'll sit down and read the "Energon Universe" from the ground up. That day is not today. Here's what Image says about Destro:

"James McCullen Destro XXIV is the man behind M.A.R.S. Industries, the undisputed leader in providing high-tech weapons to world powers...for the right price. But the emergence of Energon has changed everything. As Destro’s ambitions grow, the “Crimson Twins” Tomax and Xamot Paoli emerge to destroy their competition, and Cobra Commander realizes his current ally could be his future greatest enemy."

“I'm incredibly excited to bring Destro to life with Andrei,” said Dan Watters. “This is going to be a visceral, explosive thriller in which he [Destro] isn't very nice to anyone at all — everything you’d want from your favorite amoral arms trafficker.”

“I just can't wait to see what Dan has planned for Destro!” said Andrei Bressan. “I’m pretty excited because everything going on with the Energon Universe so far has been bonkers and Destro...he is just an absolute bad***, ready to kill and destroy.”








SELF HELP #1 (OF 5) by writers Owen King (Sleeping Beauties, The Curator) and Jesse Kellerman (The Genius, The Golem of Hollywood)  and artist Marianna Ignazzi (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, An Unkindness of Ravens)

REVIEW: Down on his luck ride-share driver Jerry Hauser is constantly mistaken for filthy rich self-help guru Darren Hart. As luck would have it, the driver answers a call to take the guru to someplace remote. The guru is rude and insulting to the driver, who loses his temper. If you've read an EC comic, you know where this is going.

But, spoiler, that's the climax of the first issue. The bulk is taken up showing us who these two guys (and the supporting cast) are. As you can imagine, our sympathies are meant to be entirely with Jerry, who is estranged from wife (maybe ex-wife) and pines to spend more time with his daughter. There is a mystery about how his previous career went south. Then there's Darren, who is almost cartoonishly awful. Which can be fun, and is.

We are promised "cheerful Finnish mobsters, bloodthirsty white supremacists, snide English butlers, and panther-wielding Euro-trash assassins," but none of that appears in the first issue. I can be patient.

The art is clear and clean, with subdued rendering from the Dick Giordano or Denys Cowan school. I might be on board for this one.


SPAWN: MISERY #1 (OF 4): Todd McFarlane has introduced Cowboy Spawn, Medieval Spawn, Not-Really-Spawn, Future Spawn and more. This is Angsty Teen-Age Black Girl Spawn. 



A new set of connecting variant covers, from the father-son duo of Sean Phillips (Criminal, House of the Unholy) and Jacob Phillips (Criminal, Newburn), will appear on The Walking Dead Deluxe #91-96. With art by Sean Phillips and colors by Jacob Phillips, these issues contain the “A Larger World” storyline.





ART OF MARVELS SPIDERMAN 2 DLX ED HC/ART OF MARVELS SPIDERMAN 2 HC: I don't buy art books and I don't play video games, but I've been carrying a press release for this forever. So here's the dang art!



JOY OPERATIONS II #1 (OF 4) by Brian Michael Bendis (co-creator of Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Powers) and Stephen Byrne (Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Legion of Super-Heroes, Wonder Twins)

Image didn't send a review copy of this first issue, which is OK, since I didn't read the first Joy Operations series anyway. This one is described as a "fast-paced, fiercely ambitious sci-fi odyssey." Here's more:

"It's 55 years from right now. Joy was an en voi — a special agent of the Jonando Trust. Trusts are corporate-owned cities that are the centerpiece of modern society. She rights wrongs for the trust. Because of the joy operation that saved the world, Joy now lives with fellow en voi Hampton inside her head. Joy and Hampton try to embrace their 'new life’ together. They re-enter society ... and Joy's marriage. They try to re-establish a connection in a new trust, but many people in the world blame Joy for what happened. The joy operation has an enemies list!"


THE MIDNITE SHOW TP by writer Cullen Bunn and art Brian Hurtt

REVIEW: Here's a one-off book that I found well worth my time. Like Operation Sunshine (below), Bunn presents a simple premise that instantly makes sense, at least to anyone with a background in classic Universal monster movie mythology. It fit together in my head not as monster-movie history, but as alternate one that I grasped almost instintinctively.

In this scenario, a single auteur is responsible for the original Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. (Although names are changed where not in public domain.) Basil Saxon not only wrote and directed all those movies, he played the monsters in each personally, as if Tod Browning and Lon Chaney Sr. had a baby. But he died in a fire on set of his magnum opus, God of Monsters, before it was released. It was rumored that the movie was cursed, and it was lost.

But lo! A copy has been found and will be shown for the first time at a horror convention or movie revival of some kind. We have the usual cast of characters at such events: the enthusiastic, knowledgeable fanboy; his bored girlfriend; the influencer filming herself for clicks; the aging stars signing autographs (and providing exposition); the young movie theater employees behind the popcorn counter (who hope to get lucky with each other). It turns out, though, that the movie isn't just a movie: It's some kind of summoning that brings all the monsters to life, who then must fight to the death, for the last survivor to become — wait for it — the God of Monsters.

So yes, it's a monster mash with the five classic Universal monsters. Which could be a good, albeit unsurprising story.

But Bunn goes an extra step that elevates the story. The surprise here — well, it surprised me — is that all the old B&W movie tropes lulled me into a false sense of security. Because, you know, Van Helsing always succeeds and Dracula always dies. The monster always gets burned up in a windmill or a castle or something. Almost nobody gets killed and the romantic couple clinch at the end. Harmless fun.

But this is not the 1930s, and these monsters are savage and bloodthirsty. There's a LOT of murder going on here, and most of it took me by surprise. ("Hey, THAT kind of character always survives to the end! What th-!?") So we get a classic House of Frankenstein monster mash, but we also get modern horror movie surprises. This gave me a sense of urgency, fear for my favorite characters and a surprising failure to guess how this could possibly end well ... if it's going to.

Welcome to 21st century monster movies.


OPERATION SUNSHINE VOL 1: BLOOD RUN GN by writers Henry Zebrowski & Marcus Parks and artist David Rubin

REVIEW: My only complaint about this book is that it doesn't have a complete story. It collects Operation Sunshine #1-4, a title which obviously continues, given the cliffhanger ending.

This is an amazingly original book. The writers create a coherent vampire history/hierarchy almost casually, which the reader picks up on as the story progresses.There are OVs (original vampires) which are not human and never have been (their origin is slowly being revealed), who have extraordinary powers a la Dracula. They sometimes turn humans, who get none of the powers, who can't die but can be horribly injured (they heal, but painfully) and who suffer from eternal bloodlust (they can eat and drink nothing else). These unfortunates are called "bugs" by the OVs and live at the margins of both vampire and human society. All of this dovetails with existing vampire lore (think Dracula as an OV and Renfield as a bug), but is nevertheless remarkably original, at least to me. If there's precedent I don't know of it, but regardless, I found this scenario remarkably satisfying.

Our protagonists are a centuries-old teenage bug (whose every reminiscence is fascinating, albeit a reminder of mankind's endless cruelty), a newly turned office-drone bug (comedy relief, but also useful for his computer skills), a redneck bug who loves firearms ("Guns are always useful") and a decommissioned CIA vampire hunter. (There appears to be a truce between the OVs and the human leaders who know of their existence, a story waiting to be told.) They are all enlisted — well, leveraged would be a better word, as the bugs have no choice — into service of a magic-using OV whose behavior and dialogue are delightfully bizarre. He intends to replace the OV who is the head of his clan ("Big Daddy"), but his plan is opaque, his tools magically peculiar and his opposition significant. He promises once he's esconced as "rightful" head of his family, he will use a magical object to turn the bugs human again. (Nobody really believes that, because the guy is so untrustworthy. But what choice do they have?) 

All of this wacky (but deadly) business is supported by art that is also a bit off the beaten path. If I had to find a precedent for Rubin, I'd say Gahan Wilson, especially when the characters shift to their vampire faces. But even so he's not a swipe artist, and his world is coherent, his storytelling skills excellent and his rendering wonderfully eccentric.

Needless to say, I will be reading the second collection whenever it arrives. Heck, I'm tempted to dive into the current miniseries, but I want an ending this time, dammit!


THE WRITER #1 (OF 4) by actor/singer Josh Gad (Frozen), "creative storytellers" Ben and Max Berkowitz (The Forever House) and artist Ariel Olivetti

REVIEW: None of the writers of this book are traditional comic book writers, and it shows. I had to read this book twice to understand it. I also had to use Google. 

Part of the problem is failure to give readers basic information. We're introduced to Stan Siegel as man and boy, but I only know that he's a comic book writer because I read the press release. He's introduced giving a lecture at some sort of school (not named, not described), leading one to believe he's a professor of some kind. I knew better because of the PR, but most readers will not. The intro where Stan is a boy must be intuited; there is no identifier as to time or place and no obvious connection to the rest of the story. (The scenario is a man reading a story about Solomon to a boy, and it was only on second reading that I figured out that the boy was Our Hero.) 

The lack of information complicates our understanding of the story, too. For example, Stan has a note and a ring from his father. The note suggests (but doesn't say) that the father has committed suicide, or at least has abandoned the family. (One more thing we don't know.) The note says Stan needs to keep the ring (which has the Seal of Solomon on it) but never wear it (he keeps it on a chain around his neck). Almost as soon as we get this information, Stan puts on the ring.

What does this mean about our hero's motivations and state of mind? To the reader, absolutely nothing. Because we don't know how he feels about his father. We don't know how long he's had the ring. We don't know what led to this decision. It's pure plot, with no emotional resonance, which it is almost certainly supposed to have.

Also, Stan starts eating pages of his father's notebook to get super-powers, which he does after a throwaway line from a minor (so far) character about which we know nothing. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't have jumped from what was said to eating paper. And somehow Stan knows he must write on the paper first, and somehow he knows WHAT to write, words to which we are not privy.

Which I might know, if I was Jewish. This book leans heavily on Jewish folklore, mythology and religion, to the point where I have to use Google more than I'd like. And I am no ignorant goy when it comes to Judaism. I was imbedded in Jewish subculture in high school (most of my friends were Jewish), I've taken Mideast history classes and I know enough Yiddish to translate for my wife when it's used on TV. But when it comes to words like "shedim" I have to look it up. When it comes to knowing what's actually in the Tanakh about Solomon and what is mythology, I have to look it up. When it comes to Hebrew letters that appear on foreheads that don't appear to spell "emeth," at least as they appeared in Golem stories at other publishers, I have to look it up.

Gad says in the PR " "Here we are, diving headfirst into a universe where cultural folklore meets the high-octane adventures that defined our youth," not seeming to understand that not everybody's cultural background is Jewish. I do get it that Stan Siegel's name and occupation are a reference to Jewish comic book creators of the past (Stan Lee + Jerry Siegel) but that seems throwaway more than meaningful.

I will grant the "high-octane adventures" part, as the story races ahead pell-mell, which I normally consider a plus. But I know so little of what is happening that is more frustrating than fun. I'll give the second issue a try and hope some of these omissions are addressed.



AL CAPONE: VAMPIRE #0 (American Mythology): Here's an homage to Jack Davis' Tales from the Crypt #36.



ALL MY BICYCLES TP (Fantagraphics): This "nonlinear" graphic memoir uses the author's many bicycles as the, ahem, vehicle for telling their story.

AMERICAN NATURE PRESENTS #1 (Floating World) features the Santos Sisters, formerly with Sitcomics, and someone named Tedward. I don't know what happened to Sitcomics, but it makes me sad.






BEWARE THE WITCH’S SHADOW: FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES #1 (American Mythology) is a B&W horror anthology narrated by The Witch.

CYN GN (Humanoids): A sci-fi Western with a protagonist who remembers both her human and her cyborg lives. Don't ask me what that means; it's Humanoids, and could mean anything. Here's a PREVIEW at Multiversity Comics.

DEE SNIDER: HES NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Z2 Comics) purports to tell the story of how Twisted Sister's front man has fought for freedom of expression all his life. The subtitle is "The True Story of the One-Man Revolution That Helped to Save Free Speech." That seems a stretch. But Twisted Sister fans might like it.

DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH TP (Mad Cave Studios) reprints the 1987 miniseries from Marvel's kiddie line Star Comics. Um, yay? There is a new Defenders of the Earth coming soon, hopefully for an older audience, which probably explains the existence of this. BTW, Defenders of the Earth cartoon watchers, is there any in-story reason for why Flash Gordon, Mandrake and The Phantom know each other and team up?

DELIVER US FROM EVIL #1 (Blood Moon) is a horror book that describes itself as a cross between Hellblazer and The X-Files.


DOCTOR WHO: THE WHITE DRAGON TP is European, but not by UK's Titan, which publishes the Doctor Who comic book we Americans are familiar with. This is by Panini, and says it's reprinted from Doctor Who magazine, but it must be a different Doctor Who magazine from the one Titan publishes, because creators and content don't line up. Features the Thirteenth Doctor.

FAITH RETURNS #2 (OF 2) is the latest "Path to Resurgence" book from Valiant. 

GALAXY OF MADNESS #1 (OF 10, Mad Cave Studios) features a swashbuckling space archaeologist in the 41st century who learns a big secret. It's nice that to know that people will still be buckling swashes 20 centuries from now. The art is very Michael Avon Oeming-esque, as you can see from the preview below.



REVIEW: This is the third Gun Honey miniseries, fourth if you count Heat Seeker, and I haven't read any since the first issue of the first series. I hit a lesbian cunnilingus scene that was too close to pornography for my comfort, and dropped the book. But I went ahead and dived into this one. So here goes:

Do you see the variant cover with the censor bar over Gun Honey's sweater kittens? The real cover doesn't have the bar. It's not just a tease — it's a promise. Gun Honey spends a lot of time in the first two issues not just topless, but completely naked. 

And if I have a complaint about this series, it's that. The constant pandering annoys me, the naked fighting assaults my suspension of disbelief, and my sympathies for women tired of objectification are offended. Joanna Tan, the Gun Honey, is presented as competent, clever, athletic, an unfailing marksman and an expert at hand-to-hand combat. The story is engaging, a page-turning pulp noir/espionage adventure with plausible, and building, reveals. Gun Honey doesn't need to be naked to get my attention.

The story, as I say, is as fun and exotic as any James Bond adventure, which is a big plus. It begins where the last series ended (either Gun Honey: Blood for Blood or Heat Seeker: A Gun Honey Series, not sure), with Joanna and a male companion (she's gay, so he's just a sidekick) hiding in the jungles of Borneo. They then go hop-scotching around East Asia. I was momentarily puzzled, but author Charles Ardai told me what I needed to know as I went along, which is almost something of a lost art among comic book writers. Plus, there was a "what has gone before" text piece at the end by Ardai. Nicely done!

The art, once you get past the nekkidness, is really very good. Ang Hor Kheng is Malaysian, so I've no idea who his artistic inspirations might be. But while I don't see specific U.S. or European influences, I get whiffs of the better adventure artists from days of yore. The storytelling is clear, the figures have weight, and the rendering is right up there with the best of Western artists. Again, I don't need Joanna's implausibly bodacious ta-tas to induce me to drool over the art.

I'm hooked on the story, and will be back next month. Who knows, maybe I'll catch up on the series I've missed. But only when my wife isn't around.


IBARAKI & FRIENDS HC (Z2 Comics) is a collection of Japanese legends and folk tales, as told by Matthew Kiichi Heafy of the band Trivium. That's just an odd enough provenance that I thought it worth mention. As I've often said, if you want to break into comics, don't try to do it the normal way, by getting good at writing or drawing and submitting a portfolio. Instead, get famous at something completely unrelated and the publishers will beat down your door.



KING OF THE MOTHS GN (Ablaze): The solicitation doesn't tell me much, just that a couple celebrating their fourth anniversary have a falling out, while something unspecified feeds on their bad feelings — and  is still hungry. That sounds like a great start for a horror story, but leaves a lot of premise-related questions unanswered, like isn't something that feeds on human misery in a constant state of satiation already? We're a pretty miserable species. And why would it settle for hurt feelings? Go to Ukraine or Gaza, whatever you are, and eat your fill of true misery. Maybe it's stuck in this specific spot, and it has to wait for someone to come by and feel bad. Or maybe it causes break-ups and other bad feelings. Hard to say from what little info we have. Hopefully the story answers these questions. In the meantime, here's a nice, long preview. 



MOONRAY: ECHOES OF ASCENSION HC (Living the Line): This is set in a post-human future, which makes me wonder why we should care. It is pretty far-out, concept- and art-wise, which is cool. Here's a PREVIEW.

AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS DLX HC (Blue Fox Comics): I have an adaptation by Francois Baranger, and I will never need another one.


OF HER OWN DESIGN GN (Mad Cave) is about a writer whose work comes to life, but I can't really nail down if she's in high school (she lives with her parents) or later, or what the deal is with her oddball friends (are they lovers?), or if this ability is supernatural or what. I think this might be a YA book, but again, I just can't tell. Here's a preview:



PROXY MOM: MY EXPERIENCE WITH POSTPARTUM (NBM) explores postpartum depression. Here's a PREVIEW.



SCIENCE OF GHOSTS GN (Legendary) features a transgender parapsychologist — i.e., a ghostbuster — who must face "her first post-transition relationship, a hostile ex-wife and clues to murder long forgotten."

SELF ESTEEM & THE END OF THE WORLD GN (Drawn & Quarterly): An author's self-esteem is crumbling as the ice caps melt, so he goes on a journey of self-discovery. Navel, meet gaze. Here's a PREVIEW.

SUFFRAGE SONG HC (Fantagraphics): "The Haunted History of Gender, Race and Voting Rights in the U.S." is the subtitle, and the book goes from Seneca Falls Convention to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Educational!





THE INSPECTRES TP (Blue Fox Comics) takes huge artistic license with history. Here's the solicitation blurb: 

"Set in England during the late Victorian era, famed author Arthur Conan Doyle must push aside his skepticism of the supernatural with the emergence of Spring-Heeled Jack, a mysterious phantom of urban legend. This sets in motion the revival of The InSpectres, a secret society devoted to the investigation of the occult originally formed by Charles Dickens, and brings together, alongside Doyle, Harry Houdini, Bram Stoker and 10-year-old Agatha Christie to try and save London from a deadly, paranormal event."

Let's review. Arthur Conan Doyle was a HUGE believer in the supernatural. That's surprising for the author of the ultra-rational Sherlock Holmes, but nevertheless true. He was a sucker for hoaxes and grifts like fake photography and seances. As to the others, I know nothing of their supernatural beliefs, but at least most were more or less Doyle contemporaries in England. Well, except Houdini, who lived and worked in the U.S. and probably never met any of these people. (Doyle did famously meet Oscar Wilde once for dinner, where both were signed to book contracts by a third party.) And why would any of them let a 10-year-old girl hang around in dangerous circumstances? This is a mangling of history on a par with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the movie).

Here's a PREVIEW.

TEZUKA SHAKESPEARE MANGA THEATER GN (Ablaze): The legendary Osamu Tezuka adapts the also legendary William Shakespeare with The Merchant of Venice (1959), Robio and Robiette (from Astro Boy, 1965), Macbeth (from Vampire "The Three Fortunetellers", 1966), Hamlet (from Rainbow Parakeet, 1981), The Taming of the Shrew (from Rainbow Parakeet, 1981), and Othello (from Rainbow Parakeet, 1982).


WRONG EARTH DEAD RINGERS #3 (OF 5): Ahoy Comics alert!

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  • One possibility about Blade in "Blood Hunt" is that he has been possessed by Varnae.  He is a pre-Atlantean vampire-sorcerer of monstrous appearance that, in Marvel continuity, created the circunstances that made Dracula a vampire so that he could retire as Lord of Vampires.  He made some apperances in the 1990s.

  • Oh yeah, Varnae! He should be a player in this. Been around since the Hyborian Age, and might have been waiting millenia for sufficient Darkforce users to exist.

    • Do we know anything about the origin of the Darkforce? 

      It is connected to the Darkforce dimension and somehow opposed to Dagger's Lightforce, but to the best of my knowledge that is as far as we know.

      Perhaps that is about to change as "Blood Hunt" runs its course.  Apparently Blade or whoever is behind him knew how to make the Darkforce users lose control of their powers, so that may lead to someone who has that knowledge.

    • Varnae has indeed turned up in one of the "Blood Hunt" tie-ins of this week, albeit mainly in flashback of a distant past.  I want to avoid spoilers, so that is as much as I will say for the time being.

  • Energon Universe - It might be great, Cap, but my desire to start investing in a whole new universe or whatever, ain't what it used to be.

    Gun Honey - I know we've talked about it before, but I can look past the obvious pandering, just because I enjoy the stories so much. That scene you talked about truly shocked me when i first saw it. But if I want porn, I have the whole internet at my finger tips.

    • Do we know anything about the origin of the Darkforce?

      It's been pretty well explained. Here's a summary. The Darkforce Dimension is more or less sentient. It's a cold vaccuum that hates outsiders, and forces visitors to go through their worst fears perpetually. People who pass through it (like in Cloak's cloak) are psychologically traumatized and physically cold. It wants connections to the real world toi spread fear, and it trades the Darkforce power to humans in order to gain access to our dimension. Maybe it's the Darkforce Dimension itself that is possessing Blade in order to access our world, but that doesn't explain the vampire connection. Maybe it's just a tool in this story, or maybe it created vampires originally and Chthon stole the idea.

      Varnae has indeed turned up in one of the "Blood Hunt" tie-ins of this week, albeit mainly in flashback of a distant past.  I want to avoid spoilers, so that is as much as I will say for the time being.

      Varnae ("Varney the Vampire" when he first appeared in an 1845 penny dreadful) got me to thinking about other early vamps and if they'd been incorporated into the MU. I'm thinking of Lord Ruthven, Count Orlok and Carmilla, but I don't remember if they've ever appeared.

      I know we've talked about it before, but I can look past the obvious pandering, just because I enjoy the stories so much.

      I did, in fact, enjoy the one I reviewed, although the gratuitous nudity was annoying.

      That scene you talked about truly shocked me when i first saw it.

      Me too!

      But if I want porn, I have the whole internet at my finger tips.

      That is my attitude. I don't understand the audience for material like Zenescope -- if you want to look at naked girls, why look at half-naked cartoon girls when there are fully naked real girls all over the Internet? I'm not putting anyone down -- each to his own -- but I truly don't understand it. I hate not understanding things.

      Darkforce Dimension
      The Darkforce dimension is the physical source of Darkforce, being its own separate reality located outside of many universes.[4] The Darkforce dimen…
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