It used to be that every time I saw there was a new Conan release, I would hang my head and sigh deeply before laying my money down on the counter. It was a crapshoot, to say the least. But in the past few years in general, and this month in particular, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. This trade paperback, King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border, is a prime example of masterful storytelling and sequential art working in perfect harmony.
Read on for more information as to why I loved it so much!
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 Written by Nick Abadzis
Art by Elena Casagrande, Alice X Zhang
Colors by Arianna Florean
Letters by Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt
Covers by Verity Glass Titan Comics
Release Date: December 17, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99
The beauty and wonder of Doctor Who is that each series has a unique flavor to the stories. Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #5 follows the adventures of Ten right after he and Donna Noble part ways, and it feels every bit like a true David Tennant-era episode.
In the issues leading up to this one, the Doctor stopped by New York City and was drawn into a fight between aliens who feed on fear and were launching an invasion of Earth. They made their way here through the washing machines at Gabby Gonzalez’s family laundromat, and she soon teams up with the Doctor to fight off the invasion. Once that’s taken care of, Gabby joins the Doctor on a trip to Ouloumos where she can join a creative community and flex her artistic skill. This, in true Who fashion, gets her mixed up with an alien that has a viscous clone trying to destroy the art gallery, the Doctor, and Gabby.
Death Sentence #1 Written by Montynero
Art by Mike Dowling
Letters by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by Montynero Titan Comics
Release Date: October 9, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
Who here hasn’t dreamed of having a superpower? Even if you won’t admit it, everyone wishes that could do something so unique and spectacular that it would set them apart from the average human. Now what if you could have a power, randomly chosen, would you do it? What if the downside is that you would only have six months to live? Not so enthusiastic about it now, are you? Well, that’s the premise to Death Sentence #1. Because of a new virus, called G-Plus, random individuals have been given a power that is slowly killing them.
Our story focuses on a few seemingly unrelated people who have all been recently diagnosed with the virus. We start off with Verity, an introverted graphic artist who is being given the diagnosis on the first page of the comic. We move quickly on to Weasel, a not-so-talented rock star who has a habit of wearing a flying helmet and goggles regardless of the activity involved. He’s also a bit preoccupied with having random sex with his groupies. Lastly, we have Monty. He seems a bit narcissistic but more crowd focused in that he plays to them in everything he does.
Angel & Faith #25 Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs
Executive Produced by Joss Whedon
Colored by Dan Jackson
Lettered by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover by Steve Morris
Alternate Cover by Rebekah Isaacs Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 28, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
When Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended its seven-year run in 2003, fans of the Joss Whedon-created television series could (and did) take solace that a Buffy spin-off, Angel, was still on the air. Weekly forays to the Whedon-verse, however, ended when ended its abbreviated five-year run only a year later, Buffy/Angel fans contented themselves with syndicated reruns and DVDs. Whedon, of course, moved on, first to the short-lived Firefly (one season followed by a big-screen wrap up, Serenity) and Dollhouse several years later. Dollhouse only made it through two seasons on FOX. Despite his other projects, Buffy and Angel were never far from his mind.
Rather than attempting to bring Buffy back to network or cable television (an unlikely possibility given the passage of time, rights issues, and the availability of key cast members), Whedon decided to continue the series in comic-book form, first through Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, a sprawling 40-issue run that ran from 2007 through 2011, and subsequently through the about-to-be-concluded Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9. Acting initially as co-writer for Buffy, but primarily as an executive producer or showrunner, Whedon handed over Buffy to newcomer Andrew Chambliss and a new spin-off series, Angel & Faith to longtime comic-book scribe Christos Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs. Both series were meant to run in parallel, each with 25 issues plus two spin-offs, one devoted to Willow, Buffy’s best-friend and witch, and the other to Spike, the other vampire with a soul.
If you haven’t kept up with Season Nine of the Buffyverse, here is the short version: All magic has disappeared from our world, now that The Seed had been destroyed. With some help from Angel, Willow has used Buffy’s broken scythe to open a way to another world where she might find a new source of magic and reestablish a connection to the powers she sorely misses. Willow: Wonderland is a five-issue limited series that is now available in graphic novel form for those who missed it the first time.
Jumping into a new world with nothing but a weapon in her hand, Willow establishes a destination after a quick incantation. Shortly after she is attacked by the local denizens and has a pretty close call with a humongous monster, she finds herself face to face with another mage from Earth (though he has had a bit of a mishap) named Marrak. Their adventures include meeting the original caterpillar from Lewis Carroll’s classic book, a reunion with Willow’s former mentor Aluwyn, and an introduction to Aluwyn’s Supercoven that she created near a Wellspring of magic.