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Comic Spotlight: Locke & Key: Small World Deluxe Hardcover
Waerloga69   |  

Locke & Key: Small World Deluxe Hardcover header

Locke & Key: Small World Deluxe Hardcover
Written by Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Robbie Robbins
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Cover Price: $14.99

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are back to give us a short one-shot tale of the creepiest family in comicdom. In the Locke & Key: Small World Deluxe Hardcover we are given not just the twenty-four pages of story but also a lot of background information and setup from the creators. In fact it spans seventy-two pages altogether; that’s a lot of extras!

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Comic Review: Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1
Waerloga69   |  

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency #1
Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1
Written by Chris Ryall
Pencils by Tony Akins
Inks by John Livesay
Colors by Leonard O’Grady
Letters by Robbie Robbins and Shawn Lee
Covers by Tony Akins and Paul Mounts (Regular), Rob Guillory (Subscription), Robert Hack and Stephen Downer (Retailer Incentive)
IDW Publishing
Release Date: May 20, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

Everything is connected. That’s the long and short of how the title character in Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #1 sees the world in general and how he works through his mysteries in particular. If you haven’t read any Douglas Adams then immediately following this review, go do so. The man was not only amazing but he should have been sainted for the wonderful work he did in science fiction literature. I applaud anyone who revives or adapts his work for the newer generations. But we are here to talk about this individual issue, folks, so let’s do just that!

As it turns out, the concept of fundamental interconnectedness means that time, space, and reality can all be thrown to the wolves. If the entire makeup of everything is connected to everything else then it’s as if the universe is playing a game akin to the Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon! In this comic, we see the eponymous Dirk Gently seeking those very same connections! Relying on his wits and wisdom, and a good deal of luck and fate, he somehow manages to find the thread that links it all together.

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Comic Review: Zombies vs Robots Omnibus
Maximus Prime   |  

Zombies Vs Robots Review

Zombies vs. Robots Omnibus
Written by Chris Ryall
Illustrated by Ashley Wood, Menton3, Paul McCaffrey
Lettered by Robbie Robbins
Cover by Ashley Wood
IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 11, 2015
Cover Price: $29.99

What’s the best weapon to thwart a zombie and the horde it’s roaming with? A knife? A bat? A sword? A gun? No! What about a cheeky, intelligent, battle robot? Yes! Oh, and sexy, Amazonian warriors wouldn’t hurt in the fight either. The zombie apocalypse has begun in Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood’s Zombies vs. Robots Omnibus, and it’s a fast-paced world of destruction and mayhem.

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Comic Review: V Wars #3
Maximus Prime   |  

V Wars #3 review header image

V Wars #3
Written by Jonathan Maberry
Illustrated by Alan Robinson
Colored by Jay Fotos
Lettered by Robbie Robbins
Covers by Ryan Brown and Kevin Eastman
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 18, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Can one man change the ideals of two warring factions? In IDW’s V Wars #3, written by Jonathan Maberry with illustrations from Alan Robinson, the humans and the vampires continue their bloody onslaught against each other.

Taurus Harper, a soldier whose entire platoon is slaughtered by an anarchist V-Cell, is recruited to the V-8 squad – the elite military force known for taking out vampire threats quickly and efficiently. As Professor Swann gets to know Taurus, he is overwhelmed by the man’s genuine humanity and understanding that not everything about the V-War is black and white; however, Taurus himself may not be all that he seems.

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Comic Review: Wraith #5
Chris Murphy   |  

Wraith #5 cover by Charles Paul Wilson III

Wraith #5
Welcome To Christmasland
Created & Written by Joe Hill
Art by Charles Paul Wilson III
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Robbie Robbins
IDW Publishing
Release Date: March 26, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Wraith #5 is… well it’s another in a very strange story that really feels like it should be enjoyed while partaking in a hallucinogenic substance… or it was written while enjoying some. Wraith continues the journey into Christmasland as we see what Manx’s little psychotic children get up with a sex criminal and discover a little more about how one can escape this perpetual Noel Hell.

I’ll be honest with you all, I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but it did grab my attention and kept it. The art is unique and while it’s not what one would consider high quality by mainstream standards, it’s absolutely fitting for the book. Manx’s children are drawn in a way that will fuel nightmares, and the sporadic blood splatter that Charles Paul Wilson III and Jay Fotos have devised is downright jarring at times. I’ll never look at an ordinary pair of scissors the same way again, I promise you that.

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Comic Review: Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2
RevN4   |  

IDW Publishing: Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2 cover by Tommy Lee EdwardsDoctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2
Written by Tony Lee, Jonathan L. Davis, Matthew Dow Smith, Al Davison, Matt Sturges
Illustrated by Al Davison, Matthew Dow Smith, Blair Shedd, Kelly Yates, Brian Shearer
Colored by Lovern Kindzierski, Charlie Kirchoff, Phil Elliot, Al Davison, Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettered by Chris Mowry, Robbie Robbins, Neil Uyetake, Al Davison, Shawn Lee
Cover by Tony Lee Edwards
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Cover Price: $29.99

Doctor Who Omnibus, Vol. 2 is a massive collection featuring the tenth Doctor, as portrayed by David Tennant. It collects issues #1-16, as well as the 2010 annual comic, and an eleventh doctor story, “A Fairytale Life.”

Now, I’m a pretty big Doctor Who fan, and the tenth doctor is my favorite, but this collection largely fails to capture that Whovian magic I was looking for. I would have expected to have larger, more explosive stories in a comic because the special effects budget has no limits, but I found the majority of the stories were contained to a handful of “sets” and sometimes felt claustrophobic.

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Comic Review: Mystery Society, Vol. 1
Waerloga69   |  

Mystery Society, Vol. 1Mystery Society, Vol. 1
Created by Steve Niles and Ashley Wood
Written by Steve Niles
Artwork by Fiona Staples, Andrew Ritchie
Letters by Robbie Robbins, Chris Mowry, Shawn Lee
Cover by Fiona Staples
IDW Publishing
Release Date: October 2, 2013
Cover Price: $27.99

Volume 1 of Mystery Society takes you on a journey around the world in 160 pages. Nick and Anastasia Hammond, er…I mean Mystery (they had their name legally changed), are the leaders of the newly formed Society and are hell bent on righting wrongs and pretty much just saving the world. Of course, they have their faults. You can’t look that good and have that much money without some issues, right?

Nick is a bit overconfident, not to mention a tad impulsive. These two attributes tend to get him in trouble from time to time. Luckily he’s actually a pretty good superhero, especially when you add his wife, Anastasia, to the mix. She’s far more level headed and meticulous about the plans they make when setting out to solve a problem. The coolest thing about these two is their backstory. They inherited a bunch of money but before that they owned a bookstore (awesome, right?). And it was during those early years that they decided that, if given a chance, they would spend their time helping people. Add in some cool hideouts and gadgets and that is how the Mystery Society was conceived.

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Comic Review: Thumbprint #1
Waerloga69   |  

Thumbprint #1Thumbprint #1
Based on the novella by Joe Hill
Written by Jason Ciaramelia
Art by Vic Malhotra
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Cover by Vic Malhotra
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

As a country we are basically supportive of our troops, usually believing them to be acting in our best interests. Unfortunately, sometimes those same soldiers make poor decisions that haunt them to the end of their days. Thumbprint #1 sets up a story that is much like that, all centered around a soldier who made some choices with which she is trying to learn to live.

Private First Class Mallory Grennan is newly arrived back in the United States after serving abroad, arriving home only to find her father has just recently died. She quickly realizes that she is still living in his shadow even after his death. Working at the local VFW bar, his old friends are constantly reminding her of what a great man he was, a medic and a hero. Purple Heart, Silver Star…he really embodied what it meant to be a proper soldier. Unfortunately, sometimes the apple falls far from the tree.

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Comic Review: Womanthology: Space
Maximus Prime   |  

Womanthology: SpaceWomanthology: Space
Written by Bonnie Burton, Sandy King Carpenter, Alison Ross and Stephanie Hans, Ming Doyle, Stacie Ponder, Blair Butler, Joelle Sellner, Ellise Heiskell, Robin Furth, Rachel Edidin, Jennifer de Guzman, Jody Houser, Devin Grayson, Christine Ellis, Barbara Randall Kesel, Allison Pang, Laura Morley, Cecil Castellucci, and Kiala Kazebee

Illustrated by Jessica Hickman, Tanja Wooten, Stephanie Hans, Jordie Bellaire, Stacie Ponder, Alicia Fernandez, Jean Kang, Maarta Laiho, Carli Idhe, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Leigh Dragoon, Sally Thompson and Kathryn Layno, Lindsay Walker, Elva Wang, Diana Nock, Chrissie Zullo, Sara Richard, Kel McDonald, and Isabelle Melancon

Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Ronda Pattison

Lettered by Rachel Deering, Robbie Robbins, Amauri Osorio, and Isabelle Melancon

Cover by Renae DeLiz
Series Edited by Mariah Huehner
Collection Edited by Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $24.99

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that women receive enough of the limelight within the comic book industry; thankfully, artist Renae DeLiz (The Last Unicorn) came up with a fantastic way to showcase a variety of fantastic female talent and IDW jumped on board. Womanthology: Space is the collected addition of the first five issues of the monthly ongoing series of the same name. Building off of the success of DeLiz’s first venture with the graphic novel Womanthology: Heroic, Womanthology: Space is an amalgamation of short comics with the overarching theme of “space” created solely by established and up-and-coming female creators. Check out my impressions of some of the best and worst that this anthology has to offer!

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Comic Review: Locke & Key: Omega #5
Waerloga69   |  

Locke and Key: Omega #5Locke & Key: Omega #5
Written by Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Covers by Gabriel Rodriguez, Shane Leonard
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

There are comic books out there that I read strictly because the art is just so fantastic it must be seen to be believed. There are also those that I read because the story is so riveting or the writing is so phenomenal. Well, Locke & Key: Omega #5 is firmly housed in both those categories. I cannot stress enough how awesome this entire series has been. From the very first comic to this current issue, nothing has ever changed my initial opinion of “WOW!”

First and foremost is Joe Hill, author extraordinaire. Brilliant and twisted are the first two words that come to mind when I think of him. Not in an over-the-top horrific way, but in a subtle, never-saw-it-coming kind of way. His characters are all so richly developed and so very damaged in one sense or another. Tragedy is commonplace and almost to be expected with the Locke family (the main protagonists of this series), they’ve seen so much of it and it never seems to let up. And just as in real life, the characters grow stronger and closer throughout most of it…really instilling the reader with the feeling that this family intends to endure and conquer whatever they come up against.

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