It’s Tuesday and that means BULLET REVIEWS!!! Quick looks at recently released comics. If you’re having a light week, maybe something here will catch your attention! This week: Alabaster: Wolves #3, Amazing Spider-Man #688, Fairest #5, and Hellraiser #15
ALABASTER: WOLVES #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
The half way point of a 5-issue miniseries begins with the main character, Dancy Flammarion, having a flashback about fighting a werewolf monster and, well, losing. Having not read the first two issues I’m not sure if she’s dead or alive. This may also have something to do with the ghost girl she’s travelling with, a girl who, apparently, Dancy killed.
She then tells the ghost and her talking bird a story is about her time in the desert and a rather nasty confrontation with a gas station owner and the ‘panther’ he claims to have captive behind his place. It’s really an interesting story, reads almost like a classic horror comic but I won’t be giving away too much here other than to say that the panther may or may not actually be a panther.
The series is written by Caitlin R. Kiernan, a renowned author of dark fiction and sci-fi, and you can tell it’s written by someone who writes prose more than comics. The pacing and the dialogue between the characters just feels different. In a good way. I’m not willing to call this a horror comic, even though there is a feel of the classic EC’s here, it stands on its own a something more like dark fiction than horror. There is a difference.
Also, I have to mention that this book looks gorgeous thanks to the art of Steve Lieber! I may not read the rest of this individually but I would certainly place this on the list of trades I’d love to have in my collection! -Skott Jimenez
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #689 (Marvel Comics)
In an ocean of announcements about the next chapter in Marvel’s evolution and an upcoming sidekick for the Web Slinger, as well as the news about the upcoming 700th issue it’s easy to overlook that this series is still ongoing!
Last issue Spider-Man and his unlikely (and unwanted) ally Morbius The Living Vampire saved Curt Connors and turned him back into a human. Only it wasn’t as big of a success as they thought. During the Shred story line the Lizard went to great lengths to destroy Connors once and for all, a plan that included killing and partially eating Curt’s young son, Billy. Morbius dug up the boy’s body in order to use his DNA to help Curt Connors become human. Only problem is…he’s only human looking. It’s still the Lizard and he’s trying to revert back to his own form and maybe change other humans into more Lizards.
To do this he needs to distract everyone and give him a reason for being in Morbius’ lab. He sends the scent of blood into the air which drives the Living Vampire into a frenzy and he attacks someone then takes off, disgusted with his actions, and Spider-Man gives chase, determined to stop him once and for all. It almost seems as if Spider-Man is willing to kill the guy; I understand he’s very angry with Morbius but, sheesh!
On another front: Madame Web gets a vision that, naturally, means bad tidings for Spider-Man and goes off to try to warn/help him. More great stuff by Dan Slott with artist Guiseppe Camuncoli and inks by Klaus Janson showing, yet again, why Amazing Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s best books and, just tossing this out there, hopefully will NOT be starting over from #1 during Marvel NOW! (#MarvelNOW). Please don’t reboot this series, it’s amazing, literally! -Skott Jimenez
FAIREST #5 (DC/Vertigo)
The inaugural story nears its conclusion as we get to see what the Snow Queen is really made of! Hadeon, a wicked step-mother, has taken offense to her name being mentioned repeatedly during Jonah’s story and decides to take her anger out on the Snow Queen and the fight is on!
During the fray, Ali Baba and Rose, aka Sleeping Beauty, try to figure out a way to help the Snow Queen. Well, more Ali than Rose because apparently Ali is taken by her and wants to know what these feelings are all about.
The real story here is the fight between the Snow Queen and Hadeon. It’s really something to see, especially with the never disappointing art of Phil Jimenez (no relation, sadly). It’s great to finally see the Snow Queen show her powers in a battle setting instead of using them to intimidate and just threaten people. The fight is great and entertaining but it’s the Snow Queen’s secret weapon(s) that really up the ante! The next issue is going to be something very interesting to see!
Fairest is only 5 issues old but has already proven itself as a worthy sister title to the long running Fables series! Thank you, Bill Willingham!
Also, yet again we get a great Adam Hughes cover that just screams to be made into an over sized print or full-sized poster! -Skott Jimenez
HELLRAISER #15 (BOOM! Studios)
Wow, is that right? This is the 15th issue? It’s surprising that it’s the 15th issue but considering how absolutely fantastically the series has been co-written by Clive Barker and Mark Miller I’m not surprised how far into the series I am. It’s like Fables if that series was more about Hell, sex and blood. Not many books can do this sort of material and keep it interesting for over a year but this one does it simply by adding new layers.
Kirsty Cotton, long time nemesis of Pinhead, has actually taken the mantle of Pinhead and has kept it for some time now. She’s recently realized that this new station wasn’t just to help the former Pinhead, Elliott Spencer, to find salvation, rather it just freed him from his duties and connection to Leviathan giving him the space to gather his own power base and set himself up on Earth as a god and beginning the creation of his own version of Hell.
It’s some really great storytelling and add to this the Female Cenobite who, supposedly, wants to get Spencer back so she can torture him for turning his back on her yet her alliance with Kirsty is seemingly short lived when she betrays the new Pinhead to the legions of Hell. We have some awesome dynamics that we haven’t seen in the Hellraiser mythos in a very long time… or at all on this level at least.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fans of Hellraiser who have been disappointed in the movies recently MUST check this series out! It more than makes up for the torture of the recent movies! -Skott Jimenez
And that wraps up another week! Let us know what you think about these books. Do you agree with our Bullets? Disagree? Now’s your chance to speak up! We have that comment section below just for that reason, you know.
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