New Comic Book Day Roundup: December 18, 2013

In this post, from IDW Publishing: Locke & Key: Alpha #2, Image Comics: Saga #17 and from Marvel Comics: Young Avengers #14. Everything is coming to an end and I’m nowhere near ready.

IDW Publishing

Locke & Key Alpha 2Locke & Key: Alpha #2 by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, cover by Gabriel Rodriguez
: Fiction, horror, action, humor
: 5 out of 5 stars

Locke & Key has finally come to an end after 37 issues (6 volumes) and a couple of spin-offs and it’s much easier to say goodbye when you’re given such a complete and satisfying ending. Granted it’s full of death, so get your tissues ready. The issue itself deals directly with the aftermath of the fight down in the Drowning Cave, during which time 160 kids went down into its depths for a “Cave Rave” and 61 made it out alive. The officials have deemed this disaster a cave in with hallucinations brought on by a gas leak. Thanks largely to the hard work of the Locke family (mostly Tyler), their keys and the highly gifted Rufus (who gets a very Goonies ending thrown in) more live than Dodge initially planned, making the mission a success, even if many lives were lost.

Much of the focus is put on Tyler Locke, who is set on tying up the loose ends of the series. What is to become of Dodge? How did Bode make it out of all of this? And just why did Tyler see his father inside that cabinet when he was healing from a gunshot wound? All your questions will be answered and resolutions will be found, albeit viewed through the lens of death. The final act, the great equalizer, summed up in this poignant quote: “Your body is the lock. Death is the key. The key turns… And you’re free… Part of the background hum of the universe.” Thankfully for the Locke children, for them this is not the end. For them, this is just the beginning.

Image Comics

Saga 17Saga #17 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, cover by Fiona Staples
: Fiction, action, romance, science-fiction
: 5 out of 5 stars

Saga continues to be one of the best comics out there and this issue is no exception. Alana and Marko have been tracked down by Prince Robot IV, Marko’s ex-girlfriend has found Marko’s hiding place, the journalists have the stakes of their investigation upped and there is all the action. ALL THE ACTION! Fun new additions to the cast in this issue include an anti-Saint Bernard named Sweet Boy who instead of giving you whiskey to warm you up shoots you with tranquilizer darts, and a brand new Freelancer, the sexually ambiguous the Brand (the opposite of the Will). Not to mention death. So so much death.

While one character lies on his deathbed, he whispers the suggestion to rely on, “Conversion tax… Always remember… You can spread your payments… Over two years… Money fucks up everything…” Yet another portion of the plot deals with D. Oswald Heist’s newest literary creation and the implication that in near death experiences you do not in fact see your life flashing before your eyes, but super graphic sexual experiences. Also, the best quote thus far in the entire series. “The advice to “kill all your darlings” has been attributed to various authors across the galaxies… And Mister Heist hated them all. Why teach young writers to edit out whatever it is they feel most passionate about? Better to kill everything in their writing they DON’T love as much. Until only the darlings remain.” Saga, you seriously need to stop being this good.

Marvel Comics

Young Avengers 14Young Avengers #14 by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by various, cover by Jamie McKelvie
: Fiction, superheroes, action, humor
: 4.5 out of 5 stars


It’s the penultimate issue of Young Avengers and I’m as sad as Sad Loki about it. Or as the fake Tumblr hashtags put it on Yamblr, “#sad Loki #warm Loki #little ball of angst.” That’s about the level I am right now. Thankfully, to get me through this tragedy, author Kieron Gillen created the catchphrase, “need to get my Sherlock on” when dealing with a mystery and a Young Avengers after party playlist to help with the tears. Talk about multi-platform potential. Said playlist can be found on Spotify, YouTube, Grooveshark and Gillen’s own Tumblr and can be listened to while you read this second to last issue. Although possibly not the last issue for forever. I hope.

As expected, with an arc titled “Resolution,” this first part resolves things for some of the Young Avengers at the New Year’s Eve/End of the World After Party they’re all attending. The POVs in this first part of “Resolutions” deals with the love triangle between Wiccan, Hulkling and David, Miss America’s flashback to ten years ago when she lost her mothers and escaped to the current dimension (as well as pretended she was the Demiurge) and the awkward aftermath of Hawkeye/Kate Bishop’s sudden breakup with Marvel Boy/Noh-varr. Something tells us she’s going to be okay. Seriously though, WHERE IS MY SEXY NEW ADULT LOKI!?! Still not sure if I should be writing that sentence out on such a regular basis.

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