Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well, Walking Dead fans, the big boy is finally here. In what is almost unheard of in the industry today from the big two, let alone an indie book from Image, The Walking Dead celebrates is monumental #100th issue. Worry not though, as usual, I will spoil absolutely nothing about it here. See, I'm a nice guy like that, I don't ruin things for people. The other comics in my subscription this week were almost all over-shadowed by it, but there were a couple of other standouts. Brian Wood's "The Massive" shipped it's second issue, and was even better than the first, Bloodshot is back courtesy of Valiant, The Court of Owls story finally wraps in glorious fashion over in Batman, and ladies and gents, we all owe Dark Horse a debt of gratitude as they've not only brought Creepy back into our lives but have followed suit with Eerie as well. Eerie is back people!

Let's get this one out of the way first. It was good. It was damn good. But it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, which I guess I should be used to from this book by now. I'm only going to say that as I read the issue, I realized one, just how good of a writer Kirkman is, and two, just how involved with these characters I've become. I actually noticed my heart rate increasing as I read it, and I'm not exaggerating. I can't tell you honestly that this has EVER happened to me while reading a comic. It was so good that I was actually angry when I finished it, and not because it was a bad comic, but because I hated the villain so much. That is good goddamn writing right there.

I've talked in length in these Fresh Ink posts about the resurgence of Valiant Comics, spotlighting both X-O Manowar and Harbinger when their first issues shipped. This week , my favorite Valiant property finally got it's relaunch, and I'm happy to say that while I've enjoyed everything so far, it only took Bloodshot one issue make me declare it my favorite. Everything I loved about the original series is back here, only tweaked a little. Bloodshot is still the perfect soldier, the product of military experimentation and cutting edge nano-technology, and he still has no memory of who he was before it. Just as before, the military implants memories as they see fit to set Bloodshot loose on a particular target. For instance, in this issue, he believes he's a retired soldier with a family, who is called upon to go on one last mission to rescue an old friend who has been captured. Duane Swierczynski is handling the writing, and so far it's apparent that he's either a fan of the previous iterations, or just a big fan of the character. Duane is a writer who I've always either liked, or been indifferent to. I've liked his stuff before, other times just thought it was ok, but have never hated anything of his I've read. Same goes for artist Manuel Garcia. While he typically only does the occasional fill-in issue, I can't honestly say I've ever hated his art. In fact, I liked his Aries mini-series from Marvel quite a bit.

For those not familiar with the old Creepy and Eerie magazines, they were basically magazine sized anthology comics in the vein of EC's Tales From the Crypt or The Haunt of Fear. Instead of the Crypte Keeper, we got Uncle Creepy basically. A couple of years ago Dark Horse started a new Creepy series up, only regular comic sized instead of magazine sized. It ships every other month, it's black and white, and it's filled with short horror stories from some of horror comics finest contributors. Today, Dark Horse resurrects Eerie to go along with Creepy. Eerie is to Creepy what The Haunt of Fear was to Tales from the Crypt. Not only horror stories, but horror stories with a sci-fi twist. In the first issue there are four stories, including a David Lapham story about a man who is convinced that his family and everyone else around him are robots who are trying to take over the world, and a Bruce Jones and Richard Corben collaboration about a mad scientist who can't have children, so he decides to make himself one, Frankenstein style. Seriously stoked to see Eerie back. I love anthologies, it's going to be interesting to see how many awesome people Dark Horse can get to contribute.

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