May was a major month for comic books, and genre comics in particular. Image, Dark Horse and IDW pumped out a number of stellar works, but they weren’t alone in their mission to entertain; a handful of indie publishers also jumped into the mix, and made a case for recognition with some top-notch reads.
Here’s a peek at the absolute best of the bunch… click the titles for purchase info on each!
A reckless kid aspiring to be a Ghostbuster fools around with the wrong equipment, and suddenly our heroines are facing a danger they may not be perfectly prepared to combat. Something has come through an open portal… and Earth isn’t a place this booger wants to call home.
GHOSTBUSTERS books have always been a little limited in range, but GHOSTBUSTERS 101 differs from most, for a few different reasons. If you’ve read a handful of these, you’ve got a fair idea what to expect from IDW’s new book — but you’d better be prepared for the ladies to lead the ghost-busting charge this time around. It’s tame in nature, but a great book for younger crowds. The lighthearted tone isn’t designed to appeal to those who prefer the edgier side of comics… but don’t be shocked to find that GHOSTBUSTERS 101 sports a sizable fan-base with more positive things to say for the book than most had to say about the movie reboot.
IDW’s new DREDD title follows the mysterious man of the law, now deep into a future existence where Mega City One is in utter ruins, and the age of physical prime is ancient. Can the aging symbol of justice begin rebuilding… or is the future as bleak as the present?
JUDGE DREDD remains one of the stronger books on the market; no matter the arc, if you get the call to pen DREDD, you’ve got to be good — and BLESSED EARTH hasn’t done a thing to sway that opinion. This is yet another well-written, beautifully illustrated book that’s going to win new fans over and keep a stranglehold on the hearts of preexisting fans.
This story deposits readers in the middle of a suspected alien invasion… and that reality doesn’t sit well with those who hold some of the country’s greatest secrets. But what can be done to combat invading forces literally alien to us?
If you call yourself a fan of THE X-FILES, then you’re probably going to be comfortable as a fan of SAUCER STATE. With that said, the opening issue of IDW’s new book is admittedly cluttered; it’s got so many questions stuffed into the plot you may initially feel a tad overwhelmed… but ride it out. As the book draws to a close, the turbulence eases off and the final pages give way to a quality cliffhanger.
AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS follows a convict who’s released from prison only to learn that his wife and a friend recently passed in a car accident. Those two individuals also happen to hold Shadow’s fate in their hands — with both gone, he’s left with no job and no place to go upon release. Enter the mysterious Wednesday, and an offer that Shadow simply cannot afford to pass up. But what’s Wednesday up to… and why does he seem to know the ins and outs of the man’s life?
Iconic writer Neil Gaiman crafts this mesmerizing story, while Scott Hampton tackles writing duties. Dark Horse is behind the book, so you know you’re dealing with a very special piece. It’s got the unique supernatural twist that Gaiman mastered long ago, but manages to avoid any form of predictability — which is refreshing, but not so surprising. If you like your horror laced with stellar mystery and engrossing characters, AMERICAN GODS: SHADOWS is worth getting your hands on.
Once upon a time, a witch was pulled from her home to be tortured and eventually murdered in cold blood. Fast forward a number of years and the witch has awakened — but not in the manner some may suspect; she’s taken up residence in an entirely different body. Can that body fend off the witch’s wicked influence… or are the casualties destined to pile high in Harrow County?
Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook have given us a modern-day masterpiece of folklore with a perfect dose of humanity: the characters are absolutely amazing, the small-town vibe is pitch-perfect, and each arc boasts magnetic elements that leave it hard to put the book down. This was one of the freshest new pieces just a few short years ago — but it hasn’t lost a hint of its steam.
Mike Mignola never ceases to amaze, and he again delivers a superb period piece that pits mortal men against the evil being known as the “Red King” and his legion of monstrosities that eagerly go to war for him. How can man overcome such an imposing supernatural threat?
As most probably anticipate, this book has that awesome B.P.R.D./HELLBOY vibe all over it. Mignola weaves a fine tale, and Christopher Golden delivers the atypical yet precise style of artwork we’ve come to expect from Dark Horse and Mignola’s macabre landscape. The story is edging toward closure… so it’s the perfect time to get onboard.
Dark Horse does readers a major solid with this new PREDATOR tale: Look for things to function in reverse here, as the Predators aren’t dominating unsuspecting humans — this time it’s the monsters themselves that are the hunted, and they may not be as well equipped to handle a defensive battle as they are when on the offense.
I’m crazy about this book. Having read countless stories loosely based on the original concept by John McTiernan and Jim & John Thomas, it’s nice to run into an offering that feels refreshing and new. There are only so many things that can be done with books like PREDATOR (and even ALIEN, for that matter), and at this point most of those things have already been done. This one attempts something new, however… and I’ll be the first to tell you it works like a charm.
Blood and extreme sex collide in a new masterwork from the makers of THE END OF THE FUCKING WORLD, which is shaping up to be one of the stronger independent releases we’ve seen in 2017.
Alternative Comics sends SLASHER our way, and for those who like kinky violence and a little blood with their pleasure are going to get a kick out of this morbid little feature. There isn’t a wealth of buzz behind the project — likely due to the lack of a major publisher behind the book — but don’t let that fool you: SLASHER #1 is a serious winner.
REDNECK places focus on a family of vampires who’ve essentially given up slaughtering humans for sustenance, instead opting to pursue cows for a meal. They’ve got an affinity for barbecue, and a habit of hiding away in the countryside… but their seemingly mundane life is about to take a radical turn when the locals show their own dark side.
Image comics is one of the greatest publishers in existence, and they’ve held that title for 25 years. This is a company that targets freaks like us, and gives us captivating stories like this — which is one of the more compelling vampire pieces on shelves today. The great Donny Cates writes, accompanied by the visual flair that only Lisandro Estherren can summon.
Diego Olmos pieces together a sleeper treasure, adapting Robert Wiene’s fantastical, iconic silent-era chiller. It’s a solid approach to the material, and Olmos proves a capable writer and artist, destined to amass a strong following.
If you’ve never taken the time to watch the original film of CALIGARI, or if you’ve avoided it because of its age (it’s nearly a century old now), you’ve got a fresh chance to check out the story in a package that may be a little bit more appealing to you. Amigo Comics is currently releasing the story in comic book form, and it looks and reads wonderfully. It may be aimed at hardcores more than casuals… but anyone who opts to pick this beauty up is going to be rewarded.
Bane returns to the pages of DC… and this time he’s on a mission to build a criminal empire that stretches across every inch of the globe. That means an assortment of new challenges for the surprisingly savvy beast that broke Batman.
BANE: CONQUEST isn’t an outright horror title — but it is a dark book that’s going to resonate with anyone who’s ever found enjoyment in a BATMAN tale. Bane is still the badass we met about 20 years ago, and seeing him in his own title once more — especially with Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan behind the project — far surpasses gratifying. This is stellar work, and a must-own for those who like the dark side of the DC realm.