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Preview: Books of Magic #18

Books of Magic #18

(W) Kat Howard (A) Tom Fowler, Craig A. Taillefer (CA) Kai Carpenter
In Shops: Mar 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Tim Hunter has followed his future self’s instructions into total disaster… and now, in an icebound land woven from nightmares, he’ll look into the gaping maw of his own grave! The saga of Tim and his doppelgänger reaches its explosive conclusion!

Books of Magic #18

Preview: Basketful of Heads #6 (of 7)

Basketful of Heads #6 (of 7)

(W) Joe Hill (A) Leomacs (CA) Igor Kordey
In Shops: Mar 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Hill House Comics
In the darkest and most desperate hours of the night, June Branch will use her impossible occult hatchet to cut her way back to her boyfriend. But time is running out for Liam, and June’s basket is getting heavier with every new swing of the axe! It’s all going down in the penultimate chapter of the gonzo gorefest that launched Hill House Comics!

Basketful of Heads #6 (of 7)

Preview: The Last God #6

The Last God #6

(W) Philip Kennedy Johnson (A) Ricardo Federici (CA) Kai Carpenter
In Shops: Mar 25, 2020
SRP: $4.99

The Guild Eldritch’s plans for peace are thrown into peril by a defiant act of heroism, splintering Cyanthe’s fellowship and leaving them weakened as they go into battle against the transformed King Tyr. As the unlikely band of heroes attempts to put an end to their relentless foe, some of them will be tested, some will be punished, and some will be broken.

Death is coming for the second fellowship, and it will not be denied.
Thirty years in the past, armed with the secrets of the Last God’s birth, Tyr and his fellowship stalk the dark woodlands of Tchakatla Tuo in search of an ancient magic that Skol believes will be the key to defeating Mol Uhltep and his army of the undead.

The Last God #6

Review: Plunge #2

Plunge #2

I’m not much of a horror fan but Plunge #2 delivers chills and unease. It’s exactly the type I like. Written by Joe Hill, the second issue picks up on the discovery of a dead body and from there just layers on the creepy factor.

What Hill does especially well is pile on new mysteries while not frustrating the reader. We’re two issues in and reveals would be a bit premature but at no point is it frustrating. I found myself uttering “wtf” multiple times but that’s part of the fun and entertainment.

This isn’t horror in the hacker/slasher sense. Hill’s delivery is a tense psychological thriller that may have a big bad bug as the actual villain. Or, is it all psychological? Hill keeps us guessing.

But Hill goes beyond the scares and makes sure to deliver characters we’ll like. While Plunge #2 dials back the character focus it still gives us a bunch of solid moments. There’s enough humor to break the tension and already I found myself reacting to actions like “don’t go in there.” There’s that internal interactive element that makes horror fun. It helps too that so far all of the characters are likeable. Some are more so than others but none are at the point you want to see them die, even the shady ones I have my questions about.

All of this is helped by Stuart Immonen‘s art and Dave Stewart‘s colors. There’s an unease about it all. The blues of the comic gives it all a sickly feel in a way adding to the vibe of it all. The comic is all about giving the reader an off feel about everything. What should be straightforward often isn’t with enough detail to create angst without grossing readers out. At no point does the comic go into over the top gore but there’s more than enough to get to the point of disturbing.

Plunge #2 continues the psychological horror thriller adding to the mystery of it all and going for unease instead of scares. It delivers a fantastic mix of characters and settings with a look that helps create a creepy tone. This is a must for those that enjoy this sort of horror and for even those that don’t.

Story: Joe Hill Art: Stuart Immonen
Color: Dave Stewart Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Alienated #2

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alienated #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Three kids discover an alien and there’s no way this goes well. An amazing first issue and we’re expecting the same from the second.

Archangel 8 #1/Hotell #1/Red Border #1/Resistance #1 (AWA Studios) – AWA Studios launches with four series all being released this week. We’ve read the teaser magazine and these all look great. A new publisher? We’re in!

Artemis & the Assassin #1 (AfterShock) – A time traveling assassin and a spy from 1944 try to kill each other. Yeah, this sounds awesome.

Bad Reception #4 (AfterShock) – Each issue is like an Agatha Christie novel and it’s been so good.

Bang! #2 (Dark Horse) – The debut was a crazy riff on the James Bond genre. There were enough twists to make it stand out and we want to see where it goes.

Canopus #2 (Scout Comics) – Fantastic sci-fi and a must get. The debut issue was one of the best of the year so far. Helen’s stuck on a mysterious planet and doesn’t know why.

Outlawed #1 (Marvel) – There are absolutely echoes of Civil War but the first issue is a solid start to what’s coming.

Plunge #2 (DC Comics/DC Black Label/Hill House Comics) – The first issue was fantastic horror and we’ve been awaiting the second.

Starship Down #1 (Dark Horse) – An extraterrestrial ship is discovered buried under the ice for thousands of years.

Undiscovered Country #5 (Image Comics) – This comic has been crazy with everything it’s throwing out there and mixing together. Mad Max and apocalypse story with possible time travel-ish elements. It’s all over and just crazy fun.

Wicked Things #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A spin-off from Giant Days about everyone’s favorite child detective: Charlotte Grote!

X-Ray Robot #1 (Dark Horse) – Mike Allred’s latest and Allred’s name alone has us excited for the first issue.

Preview: Plunge #2 (of 6)

Plunge #2 (of 6)

(W) Joe Hill (A) Stuart Immonen (CA) Jeremy Wilson
In Shops: Mar 18, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Hill House Comics
After discovering a corpse upon the Sinnikik Atoll, Moriah Lamb leads a team to hunt for other castaways, while Gage Carpenter begins the exploration of the ghost ship Derleth. But there’s something down there in the icy darkness of the Arctic sea, something that doesn’t want to be found. And it isn’t any safer on land. There are things waiting for the search party in the mountain caves, things that were once human…and aren’t quite anymore.

Plunge #2 (of 6)

The Dreaming: Waking Hours—Who is Ruin?

Who is Ruin? Writer G. Willow Wilson has penned an essay about this new character spinning out of the Sandman Universe.

Legacy series are tricky things. You want to honor the stories that came before, stories in which readers have a huge emotional investment, yet at the same time, you want to say something new. To get there, you have to ask the right questions. Ruin evolved from a question I wrote down as I was plotting out The Dreaming: Waking Hours: who haven’t we heard from yet?

The Dreaming is a vast landscape, and over the years we’ve traveled through it with faeries, angels, demons, muses, myths, sentient environments, personified ideals, and the occasional Shakespearean escapee. It’s hard to do the unexpected in a world built on the unexpected. We needed a walking plot twist.

Around this same time, I was going through one of my occasional bouts of really, really bad insomnia. I’m talking about nights when I’m lucky to get three or four hours of rest. I found myself awake at 3am thinking about how delighted I would be to have a horrific nightmare right about then, because at least it would mean I was asleep.

Then came the epiphany: what if we put a nightmare at the center of the story? What does it mean to have a bad dream as a protagonist? And then Ruin came tumbling out faster than I could write him down. A nightmare who falls in love with the person whose dreams he was sent to haunt. A nightmare who doesn’t want to be a nightmare and tries to change, who aches for a kind of human connection he might never have. It raises tantalizing questions from a storytelling perspective—if you have power that is inherently malevolent, can you simply choose to use it for good? Or is there more work involved? What do you have to sacrifice to become something better?

That was the genesis of our ‘lanky lavender lad,’ as Nick (Robles) put it. He’s very different from the other nightmares we’ve met in the Sandman Universe, all of whom live up to their names—they’re malicious and sadistic. Ruin, on the other hand, isn’t very good at his job. He’s soft, he’s shy, he’s awkward, he’s eager to please. He is as terrified by his own darkness as a dreamer would be. He makes this profound, heartbreaking effort not to frighten anyone. And he sets off on this quest to find the person he fell in love with, against all odds.

The insomnia passed, and I am once again a nightly citizen of the Dreaming. For now. So is Ruin, but while we—with our mounting anxieties and screen time and caffeine and stress—are increasingly desperate to live in his world, he, in his own way, is dreaming of ours.

The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1 by G. Willow Wilson and artist Nick Robles hits shelves May 5.

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