In this post, from Aspen Comics: Dead Man’s Run #6, Dark Horse Comics: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #2, Image Comics: The Walking Dead #112 and from Marvel Comics: Avenger’s Arena #12. There’s a high body count on this one folks.
Dead Man’s Run #6 by Greg Pak, illustrated by Tony Parker, cover by Tony Parker
Genre: Fiction, Hell, action, serial-killers
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is the concluding issue in Aspen’s “how did you get Greg Pak?” helmed series Dead Man’s Run which wonders what would happen if Hell was a physical prison run by demons with a system of levels that function in much the same way as Dante’s circles of Hell. Things in Hell aren’t going so well, probably because like most things in life, the rich have figured out a way to corrupt even the afterlife, paying large sums to live the high life and enjoy the souls of the innocents, even dragging them there to eat their beautiful glowing innards. And you thought greed and avarice would end in Hell and begging for forgiveness would take over. Silly you.
Perhaps my favorite part of the whole process in reading the story from start to finish (aside from seeing them tackle the different layers of Hell) was seeing the artwork of Tony Parker evolve all the way from issue one up through the sixth and final issue. He really grew from that very first issue and even had me applauding his take on the monsters of our childhood with their childlike terror and the eventual possession of serial-killer Clara as she morphed into the body of the Warden of Hell. Bravo to you sir!
Dark Horse Comics
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #2 by Gerard Way, illustrated by Becky Cloonan, cover by Becky Cloonan
Genre: Fiction, androids, science fiction, post-apocalyptic
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Based off his concept album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys with now defunct band My Chemical Romance (sad panda face), Gerard Way’s Killjoys is set after the events of the album in post-apocalyptic California. It’s a tad self-serving, but really what did you all expect from Gerard Way? At least he hasn’t written himself into it, you know what with his character being dead and all.
I must say this is a very weird comic, skirting the lines of science-fiction and the apocalypse, but in a well done way. On the one hand you have Bat City, which is on the fringes of society. You have teenagers inspired by the now deceased Killjoys trying to pick up where the rebels left off, taking down Better Living Industries (who seem set on destroying individualism). There’s also the friends of the original Killjoys, resistance radio DJ Cherri Cola who believes in the Phoenix Witch you guides the dead and the Girl who has a mysterious part to play in the take-down of B.L.I.
Juxtaposed with this you have Battery City, where the citizens are instructed to wear headphones at certain volumes throughout certain points of the day. You have sex androids traveling to social services to try to navigate the bureaucracy of this new world. And there’s the former Killologist who may be starting to feel too much thanks to a secret he is dead set on keeping hidden. All set in a world that is more stark than the Mad Max wasteland it resides next to.
The Walking Dead #112 by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Charlie Adlard, cover by Charlie Adlard
Genre: Fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombies, horror
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The Walking Dead just keeps getting better and better, and a big portion of that has to do with my favorite antagonist to ever grace the series: Negan. I honestly didn’t think Robert Kirkman could ever top the misogynist, severed zombie head loving Governor but boy did he do it. Negan is funny, he’s cruel and he seems virtually unbeatable. Armed with only his baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire he lovingly named Lucille, Negan is one of those villains you can’t help but love, even though deep down you know you should be hating him with every fiber of your being. Especially considering that fan favorite he killed off in issue #100.
For the majority of the series Rick has been the man in charge wherever his group of survivors goes (even when they’re invited in way after a group has already been formed) and for once he has found a challenge that he can’t do anything about. In this issue he tries to start a coup against Negan and we get to find out if Rick and his desires for a Ricktatorship are actually a match for the deadliest villain to ever grace these blood-soaked pages. I’d tell you what happens, but you should really read it to find out for yourself.
I often find myself in a love-hate relationship with Avengers Arena these days. Sometimes I love it (the back story of Arcade creating Murder World was fabulous) and sometimes I hate it (case in point: the reveal of Apex and her multiple consciousness/whatever is happening there). Unfortunately this issue was the latter and although the reveal on the final page is exciting, you have to slog through all the other nonsense first.
This issue picks up right where #11 left off. You find out the fate of a character stuck on the fringes of life and death (although this is Marvel and you shouldn’t expect anyone to stay dead) and the ever annoying Apex gets dealt with all while wondering who the true villain of the story is- Arcade for putting them in their dire situation, or her for merely playing the game he set forth. Thankfully once all that banter is worked through, author Dennis Hopeless reveals a twist that seems to say Murder World isn’t quite what it appears to be. In fact, it may be far more sinister beneath the surface. DUN DUN DUN!