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.
Don’t you just love it when something great just comes together? Take Nosferatu Wars, for instance. Originally published in four parts in Dark Horse Presents #26-#29, this comic is a perfect example of a classic vampire story. And what makes it even better is the way the creators twist this tale to bring us something completely out of this world.
Centered around two vampires, Tarquin and Moira, we are given a story of unfettered bloodlust and carnage mingled with a love affair that has stretched for ages. The setting is the old world and the time is that of the Black Death. Using this horrible plague as a cover for their nightly exploits, the two undead lovers travel towards the estate of a nobleman with deadly purpose.
Upon arrival there, they are faced with seemingly overwhelming odds that quickly turn in their favor thanks to their strength and ruthlessness. Slaying much of the household, they present the lord of the manor with a proposition, one he quickly accepts. But as with all things, the devil is in the details as he soon finds out.
Transfusion Volume 1: “Vampires vs. Robots” by Steve Niles, with art by menton3, is a new horror publication from IDW that proves to be an intensely frightening story. The concept may sound sort of humorous, but it surely is not. The only Steve Niles book that I’ve read until now was 30 Days of Night, and let me tell you, the man still knows how to write a terrifying tale; only this time, vampires aren’t the only menacing antagonists.
In the future, only a small number of human strongholds remain due to a war with the robots that they had once created. The robots””and I mean giant, floating mechanical beings with human skulls protruding from their heads””scour the planet in search of any lingering people as they need human blood for fuel. Vampires””also in need of human blood to survive””are now at war with the robot menaces in order to preserve their own lives. William, a vampire born in 1976, is in charge of finding humans before the robots do, and bringing them back to his clan. In a sudden ambush, William’s vampire clan is slaughtered by a group of robots, but he is saved by two human women. Forming an alliance with his saviors, the three regroup with another vampire clan and plan to attack the robots head on. During their risky assault, William and the group make a startling discovery that could drastically change the course of their actions moving forward.
I’ll admit, when I first was assigned to review Monocyte #1, I hadn’t seen a comic like it in a while, and probably wasn’t ready to. Growing up in the 90’s, the surrealist style of H.R Giger was all the rage. Aliens had come out just four years before 1990 and, at the time, you couldn’t pick up a comic without seeing hints of Giger’s twisted influence.
It was great for a while, but after a certain point, the style began to seem dated, especially as Jim Lee and Image were introducing the world to the bold and vibrant styling of Wild C.A.T.S and Stormwatch. I have always preferred capes and utility belts to brooding, gritty vigilantes stalking the streets of New York, Detroit, and Chicago. Swap a pistol for a ray gun and you’ve got my attention. I had no place in my heart for the brutal reality and endless darkness that was found in comics like Zero Hour and Judge Dredd. So, when I first opened issue one of Monocyte, it all came flooding back. The darkness, the agony, the complete hopelessness, it was all there.
The Monocyte series has a certain level of charm based on the fact that the dialogue of this book is so intellectual that it is oftentimes incomprehensible. From the dark and textured artwork of Menton3 to the profound script of Kasra Ghanbari, Monocyte screams “˜NOT FOR EVERYONE!’ That being said, Monocyte #3 is by far the most linear issue of this comic to date. Even though this comic may seem intimidating to newcomers, if you give it chance, Monocyte will change what you expect from comics.
Monocyte #3 deals explicitly with the origin of Azrael’s favorite death dealer, Monocyte. It is a bold move by the creative team to interject an origin story on only the third issue. Luckily this gamble pays off. Once the history of this comic’s protagonist is displayed, much of this story begins to move from mystifying to intelligible. It is almost as if Ghanbari began the story with a mystery and slowly, over the course of three issues, unlocked the secrets of this universe.