ALABASTER WOLVES #2 (OF 5)
Writer: Caitlin R. Kiernan
Art: Steve Lieber
With her would-be assassin dead, Dancy retreats to lick her wounds-only to discover that her would-be refuge has been corrupted by the town’s twisted secret.
In A Nut Shell:
This is an absolute hidden gem of a book. Kiernan’s plot burns slow with a bang of a finish each issue and her dialogue is full of pulp sass and comebacks. It’s easy to see why Neil Gaiman was so taken by Kiernan’s work. It’s pedestrianised horror with tremendous character and monologues that are pure noir. The interaction between main protagonist, teen monster killer Dancy Flamarrion and a black bird alone is steeped in wit and character, and the eerie vibe cast by the ghost town setting and some superb low key art from Steve Lieber makes this a perfect read, and one of the best titles of it’s type currently on the shelves.
BATMAN #9 (NIGHT OF THE OWLS)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo
‘NIGHT OF THE OWLS’ continues here! • Batman must stop the TALONS that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life…and Gotham City! • In the backup story, learn more about the PENNYWORTH family and the secrets they’ve kept from the Wayne family!
In A Nut Shell:
While the rest of the Bat-books have tied in with Night Of The Owl’s it’s the core Batman title that really matters; the rest are honestly fluff. Greg Capullo blew me away again with a stonking rendition of the BatMobile, Batman taking the best whupping he’s had since KnightFall and while the fight and the set up of the main tale are fantastic, it’s the back-up story that steals the show here. The Fall Of The House Of Wayne hints at a potential revelation so shattering that Bat’s will never be the same again. I honestly dropped jaw reading it, and not just because Rafael Albuerque’s art’s so damn good.
If you enjoy Batman then this is basically the required read of the Bat line. Snyder is probably the best Bat-writer of our times and Capullo was born to draw the title. The fusion of Artist and writer hasn’t been this good since Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel.
HIGHER EARTH #1
Writer: Sam Humphries
Art: Francesco Biagini
You Are Illegal On This Earth. Space is dead. Why conquer other planets when there’s a perfectly good Earth in the universe next door? Heidi, a girl born in garbage. Rex, a soldier gone rogue. The only thing between them and their destiny is an empire of a hundred different Earths, across a hundred alternate timelines. One majestic planet dominates them all: Higher Earth. Created and written by Sam Humphries (Fanboys Vs. Zombies) Higher Earth is his sci-fi follow up to last year’s indie hit Our Love Is Real, a fast-paced epic of infinite possibilities.
In A Nut Shell:
Sam Humphries set tongues wagging with controversial sci-fi one-shot Our Love Is Real and established himself with Fanboy’s Vs Zombies and with Higher Earth he’s created something that’s equally steeped in potential. The problem is in the execution, which is just a bit too fast paced and disorienting and may cause new readers to say WTF? to the point of shelving it. I had no idea what was going on, or why things were happening for the first lot of pages and the characters motivations are only barely explained.
Biagini’s art is lovely and when the action kicks off I was happy to let my baser side enjoy itself, but if this book wants a chance at lastability it needs to become a Hell of a lot more coherent by the next issue.
Writer: Cullen Bun
Art: Paul Pelletier
DR. ROT IS BACK! • Discover the secret behind Rot’s twisted family…and what Wolverine’s connection is. • FBI Agent Wells is circling closer to the truth behind the brutal murders he’s investigating. And Wolverine is his lead suspect!
In A Nut Shell:
I fell out of love with Wolverine Mid-way through Jason Aaron’s run. There was just something off about it and I couldn’t put my finger on what. But now I’m happy to say that it’s back on! Cullen Bunn writes weirdness well (see The Sixth Gun for proof), and taking a murderous character like Wolverine and instilling a horror vibe is a perfect fusion of those violent and macabre sensibilities.
Because you can pretty much do anything to Wolverine and get away with it (thanks to his healing factor) and Bunn does, mixed with the muscular art of Paul Pelletier who I’ve long loved since his days on X-Men: Legacy. Any fears I had that Wolverine was being sanitised when Wolverine and The X-Men made him a headmaster have been assuaged as this is one of the most violent and satisfying reads I’ve had from Marvel.
It’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Wolverine in. What more could you want?
Writer: David Lapham
Art: Gabriel Andrade
The Feral mystery begins to unravel. Dale Chesnut may have survived the Feral Wolf but has no idea of the horror that is to come. He’s tracked the Ferals to a small town and is coming to find who ordered Gerda killed. But this cop has no idea of the twisted nightmare he is walking into when full-on Ferals come to rip his guts out. Packed full of raw testosterone, fury, and animal lust, Ferals delivers intense character drama with violence that will leave you speechless. David Lapham has combined his trademark flare for creating interesting characters and his hard-edged crime fiction with a cast of violent supernatural killers.
In A Nut Shell
David Lapham is making a name as one of the best horror writers in the biz and Feral’s is testament to his continued appeal. This book is raw, uncensored sex and violence and has some of the best werewolf fights I’ve ever seen in comics. The art is tremendous and Lapham seems to be happy to push the boundaries to see exactly what he can get away with. The story alone is compelling enough minus the brutal shock value savagery, but really the combo package is an epic selling point. Avatar simply don’t put out bad comics and have pretty much nailed their place as the horror maestro’s of the printed page.
This is some of the best, most vitriolic stuff in print.