Comic Books, Issue #4 | July Haul

This month’s haul is a continuation into my downward spiral into the world of comic books and graphic novels. It’s quite the lengthy haul– I went a bit crazy at the beginning of the month, and had slowed down considerably toward the end. Let’s dive right in!

Image Comics

Southern Cross 1-4

The very first thing I picked up was every available issue of Southern Cross, as you could probably guess from my review of the first four installments which I posted early this month. This is one of my favorite series and I cannot wait to see where it goes. The atmosphere builds slowly, and I really appreciate that this series does not gloss over character introductions in order to get to the action. Southern Cross #5 was supposed to be out by July 22, but was postponed until July 29… and then postponed again, so it will hopefully be in my hands on August 12, 2015.

25243735Next, I actually received the trade paperback of Wytches, Vol. 1, from my friend Kelsey (NerdAtHeartt). This was something both of us had been eagerly anticipating for months in advance. It is a horror-based graphic novel centered around a family of three who move to a small town to start their lives over. We all know how well that scenario pans out…

I have a very short review of this volume on Goodreads. I don’t think I will be posting a lengthier review in a future blog post, mostly because I don’t have much else to say about Wytches.

Wytches is all wrapped up… at least for now. The epilogue left plenty of room to expand on the series, but no future issues are scheduled for publication.

23093359The Wicked + The Divine series has been picking up a lot of steam on the hype train, so I finally decided to start with Vol. 1: The Faust Act. This series centers around gods (of various religions) who are reincarnated in the bodies of teenagers once every hundred years and within two years of their arrival, they are all dead.

I also have a short review of this volume on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this one. The art style was beautiful, the characters unique. I will say I wish I had at least a rudimentary knowledge of some of the gods before going in. This volume left a little too much unsaid.

The Wicked + The Divine #13 will be out on August 5, 2015. If you want to catch up, there are two volumes out in trade paperback, as well as Issue #12 which kicked off the new arc this month.

15704307Everyone and their dog has read Saga by now… except me. Saga is a sci-fi (adult!) series telling the story of a child of two warring species and the parents who brought her into the world. I was debating buying the single-volumes versus the enormous hardcover collection of the first three volumes, and in the end, I ended up just purchasing the first volume. I know I’ll probably want to continue this series immediately upon finishing the first volume, so I’ve been taking my sweet time getting into it.

Saga #30 came out on July 8, 2015, and no future issues have been scheduled for publication. I’m pretty sure this series has come to a conclusion, but obviously I’m not the best source for all-things-Saga.

No Mercy 1-4

You have no idea how many times I went in to my local comic book store to harass the employees for the second installment of No Mercy, which was out-of-stock for an entire month before they got, like, one copy that I snatched up the day they put it back on-shelf. No Mercy is written, drawn, colored by an all-female team, and follows a bus full of privileged American teenagers whose study-abroad trip goes off a cliff literally and tosses them into hell. This is a series that finds a perverse giddiness and sense of whimsy in the death of young people… so it’s definitely not for everyone, but it did hit a weird sweet spot for me.

The first arc concluded with the fourth issue, so the trade paperback should be hitting the shelves this fall. There is no official date listed on Image Comics website, but in the back-matter of No Mercy #4, the team behind the series hinted that the fifth installment could be out by November.

I definitely have a lot to say about No Mercy, so keep your eyes peeled for a full review!

Marvel

gwen

That I continued with Spider-Gwen should come as no surprise considering I posted a review of the first four installments earlier this month. I didn’t realize at the time that Spider-Gwen was only a 5-issue mini-series in between Edge of Spider-Verse and the rest of Spider-Verse. Obviously, this series follows a spinoff Spider-Man universe where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker.

23546893Having completed everything Spider-Gwen has to offer, my negative feelings toward the series have not changed. The conclusion, especially, was confusing because it felt like it was starting an entirely new arc instead of wrapping up the ongoing story. While the introduction of Spider-Gwen in Edge of Spider-Verse cleared up a few things, it didn’t do enough to make the entire story arc make sense. My final verdict: not worth it. Sorry, Spider-Gwen.

The rest of the stories included in Amazing Spider-Man: Edge of Spider-Verse were a mixed bag. The Spider-Man Noir story was definitely the strongest, and the horror retelling of Spider-Man was fascinating and disgusting, but the other two (SP//dr and The Spider Man) were kind of boring and a chore to get through. Overall, my dabbling in the Spider-Verse left me unimpressed and not inclined to continue.

Dark Horse

27905On one of the days I was hoping and praying No Mercy would appear, I almost walked out of the store empty-handed. But then I remembered, the comic book store is pretty far out of my way and it would be such a shame to waste a trip. So I asked the girl at the counter for a recommendation, to which she replied, “Do you like weird stuff?” and handed me Negative Space. This is a new, horror-based series, in a similar vein to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil or Cabin in the Woods. And, honestly, weird is about the only way to describe it. Weird and so interesting. I was on the fence about this one, but by the time I set down the first issue I was completely sold and kind of charmed.

Again, this is definitely not a comic I’d recommend to anyone, at least not until I see a little more of where the story is going. Nevertheless, Negative Space #2 will be released on August 12, 2015.

25297Next I picked up the first issue of Mulan: Revelations.  This is set in a futuristic, cyberpunk world where a strange disease that affects tech-implants is quickly turning into a plague, and pharmaceutical companies are racing to be the first to discover a cure. Enter Mulan. No, not that Mulan, but her namesake. Yes, this is based on that Mulan, the hero who saved China. Trust me, that’s the exact reason I picked it up. This first installment actually opens on imperial China with a fantasy twist before transitioning to the future-timeline. I hope it continues in much the same manner, with two interwoven timelines, but I would have been fine with the cyberpunk story on its own.

Mulan: Revelations #2 was just published on July 29, 2015, and I’ll be picking that up the second I can get over to the store! Mulan: Revelations #3 will be out August 26, 2015. This is a miniseries, so I believe the fourth installment (October 14, 2015) will also be the conclusion.

BOOM! Studios

Spire-001-A-Main-925f2After watching Lindsey Rey’s Landfall Freight unboxing (a subscription service focused on women in comic books), I picked up the first (double!) issue of The Spire. The Spire is a huge pillar of rock and metal that towers over the desert and houses a tiered city. As the new Baroness is about to be sworn in, a new serial killer begins their string of murders, and it’s Captain Shå’s job to track down the culprit before the coronation. This new miniseries has a fascinating queer female lead who is also the last of her species, the Medusi.

Though the next issue doesn’t have an official release date (that I can find), I tweeted the artist (Jeff Stokely, @JeffStokely) to confirm it will be out sometime next August. I can’t wait!

powerup_001_a_mainFinally, finally, I picked up the first issue of Power Up. I haven’t seen Steven Universe, though I’ve heard nothing but fabulous things, and apparently this is by the creators of that TV show. I picked this up on a whim when I was picking up the rest of No Mercy– the girl at the counter who obviously gives me such fabulous recommendations every single time I see her was bagging/boarding them. She described this new miniseries as “Super fun, super queer, super good!” I was sold.

This is about a team of misfit heroes who were prophesied to usher in an era of peace and prosperity, but those ancient prophets might have gotten their math a little wrong. By the way, one of the heroes is a goldfish who can morph into a super-whale. Oh yeah, it’s good.

Power Up is going to be a series of 6. BOOM! Studios website is very confusing, so I cannot find the exact date of the next issue.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these! If you’re looking for my July Book Haul, it is now up on my YouTube channel! Check it out:

alecksis.

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