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BOOM! Reveals a House of Slaughter #1 Variant Cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto

BOOM! Studios has revealed today a super rare variant cover by acclaimed artist Gabriele Dell’Otto for House of Slaughter #1, the premiere issue of the brand new ongoing original series in the world of the Eisner Award-nominated Something is Killing the Children, written by co-creator James Tynion IV and co-writer Tate Brombal, and illustrated by co-creator Werther Dell‘Edera and artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design. Discover the inner workings of the mysterious House of Slaughter in this new horror series exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today, available on October 20, 2021.

You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. . .

House of Slaughter #1 features main cover art by series artists Dell’Edera and Shehan, as well as variant cover art by acclaimed illustrators Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Jenny Frison, and Mike Del Mundo.

House of Slaughter #1 Gabriele Dell’Otto

Check Out these Brand New Character Designs for House of Slaughter #1

BOOM! Studios has revealed character designs of monster hunters-in-training Aaron Slaughter and Jace Boucher by acclaimed artist Werther Dell’Edera for the upcoming House of Slaughter, a brand new ongoing original series in the world of the Eisner Award-nominated Something is Killing the Children. 

House of Slaughter is written by Something is Killing the Children co-creator James Tynion IV and co-writer Tate Brombal, and illustrated by co-creator Werther Dell‘Edera and artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design. Discover the inner workings of the mysterious House of Slaughter, exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today, available on October 20, 2021.

You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. . .

House of Slaughter #1 features main cover art by series artists Dell’Edera and Shehan, as well as variant cover art by acclaimed illustrators Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Jenny Frison, Mike Del Mundo, and Gabriele Dell’Otto.

Your First Look at House of Slaughter #1

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at House of Slaughter #1, a brand new ongoing original series in the world of the Eisner Award-nominated Something is Killing the Children, written by co-creator James Tynion IV and co-writer Tate Brombal, and illustrated by co-creator Werther Dell‘Edera and artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design. Discover the inner workings of the mysterious House of Slaughter in this new horror series exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today, available on October 20, 2021.

You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. . .

House of Slaughter #1 features main cover art by series artists Dell’Edera and Shehan, as well as variant cover art by acclaimed illustrators Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Jenny Frison, Mike Del Mundo, and Gabriele Dell’Otto.

HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #1

Discover the House of Slaughter in October

BOOM! Studios has announced House of Slaughter, a brand new ongoing original series in the world of the Eisner Award-nominated Something is Killing the Children, written by co-creator James Tynion IV and co-writer Tate Brombal, and illustrated by co-creator Werther Dell‘Edera and artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design. Discover the inner workings of the mysterious House of Slaughter in this new horror series exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today, available in October 2021.

You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. . .

House of Slaughter #1 features main cover art by series artists Dell’Edera and Shehan, as well as variant cover art by acclaimed illustrators Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Jenny Frison, and Mike Del Mundo.

House of Slaughter #1

Review: Barbalien Red Planet #2

BARBALIEN RED PLANET #2

In Barbalien: Red Planet #2, writers Tate Brombal and Jeff Lemire, artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Aditya Bidikar use the Black Hammer Universe sandbox to show the danger, tension, and yes, joy of being a queer man in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis. The first half of the comic is an homage to ball culture as Miguel, the young Latinx gay activist that Barbalien saved last issue, shows Mark Markz (Disguised a closeted, blond gay man named Luke) around an underground gay club until it is raided by the police. The dark, yet welcoming colors from Bellaire create a vibrant space that is interrupted by the jarring reds of the homophobic cops, their night sticks, and slurs. These are Markz’s colleagues on the force, and throughout the comic, he grapples with his different identities and roles in society: Martian, gay man, and police officer and tries to reconcile them while using abilities to be different things to different people.

Barbalien: Red Planet has done an excellent job of showing how difficult life was for my queer elders. Nowadays, I can go on Yelp and find a decent gay bar or queer-friendly space. Coming out was personally difficult, but being queer is something that is mostly tolerated by members of American society unless you’re a piece-of-shit Republican or Trumper. Rainbow capitalism is a thing, cops show up at Pride, well-meaning, yet tone-deaf corporate grocery stores think that “ally” is part of the LGBTQIA spectrum, and Ru Paul is a fracker. There is an assimilationist streak going on in the queer community (i.e. Lesbian couples throwing gender reveal parties.) where folks try to fit in with our late-capitalist, neoliberal, and fuck it, white supremacist kryriarchal society instead of resisting it. They applaud a racially profiling medium town mayor for being the first LGBTQ cabinet member in the administration of a right of center groper and a gender essentialist TERF and amuse themselves by watching annoying, heterosexual late-night TV hosts act out queer male stereotypes before a bloviating audience. (Aka fuck Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, James Corden, and Prom.)

However, Barbalien: Red Planet #2 doesn’t do any of this and centers on the BIPOC who were critical in the struggle for LGBTQ rights and trying to get the U.S. government to acknowledge the AIDS crisis. In Barbalien: Red Planet #2, Brombal, Lemire, and Walta introduce readers to the Black drag queen, Knight Klub, who is drawn, colored, and even lettered in a larger than life manner. She is an inspiration to queer men like Miguel, who spins stories of her being at Stonewall and assaulting a police officer at the White Night Riots. And Knight Klub lives up to the hype in the comic as she reads one of the raid cops and gives Miguel and Luke a chance to run away into the Spiral City night. The tension between direct action and trying to lay low continues towards the end of the book when Miguel’s friend Rafael channels his inner Marsha P. Johnson and throws a brick into a police station where the cops are planning to “shut down homosexual spaces”. He is angry that the police grabbed his partner Devon, who is HIV positive, and was inspired by Miguel hanging up a Pride flag at the courthouse. However, this is also just plain dangerous even with Markz mediating and trying to make none of his new friends are arrested or hurt. Because I live in an ostensibly more tolerant society, I can’t 100% relate to what happens in this comic, but I definitely have decided to not publicly come out as nonbinary because of pushback and constantly dealing with being misgendered. (I’m using he/they pronouns for now, but really prefer they/them.)

Barbalien: Red Planet #2

These atmosphere of activism and the characterization that Tate Brombal gives to Miguel, Rafael, and Devon are like the velvet to the emotional diamond that is Luke’s coming out story. This is technically his second coming out because Barbalien was exiled from Mars for being gay, sympathetic toward humans, and a peaceful man in a warlike society as shown in his previous stories. Luke is new to being around people like him, being called slurs, and even dancing and definitely comes across like a deer in headlights. However, to Miguel, it looks like he is giving off mixed signals, and Walta does a wonderful job of showing his frustration when Luke shrinks away from a kiss. He is exploring his identity during a volatile time, but there are some peaceful moments like Barbalien hanging out next to a Pride flag in Spiral City’s gay village.

These are the moments to savor between cop raids/attacks, and the most typical superhero/sci-fi part of this comic, which is a basically smartphone-wielding Martian bounty hunter tracking Barbalien down to make him pay for his “crimes” against Mars. The bounty hunter is a fairly straightforward protagonist, but Bombral, Lemire, and Walta draw some ghastly parallels between how he treats human beings and the police treat queer men and don’t pull any punches. They’ll kick down the doors just like the bounty hunter will blast them away with a similar intense color palette from Jordie Bellaire, who does a wonderful job gauging the emotion of each panel from peace to awkwardness and even sadness in a silent sequence where Luke looks at the sleeping Miguel, pictures of him with his partner, and then looks down at his police badge as he tries to reconcile his desire for peace and to do good with his true identity as a gay alien.

Two issues in, and Tate Brombal, Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar’s Barbalien: Red Planet is easily my favorite story set in the Black Hammer universe (Black Hammer ’45 is fantastic too.). It’s the one I’ve been able to personally connect to. It’s a soul-searing character study for Barbalien/Mark Markz/Luke, and how he struggles with his identity and place on Earth/Spiral City while also centering the role of BIPOC in LGBTQ+ activism during the 1980s and telling their stories as well. And it does all of this with a superhero secret identity/shapeshifting twist.

Script: Tate Brombal Story: Jeff Lemire and Tate Brombal
 Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Barbalien Before Black Hammer

A groundbreaking new historical sci-fi series in Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s world of the Eisner Award–winning Black Hammer universe, about identity, survival, and the choices we make. Coming off of his work in The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia, upcoming writer Tate Brombal, with Eisner-winning artist Gabriel Hernández Walta, pens an origin story set during the heights of the HIV-AIDS crisis in Barbalien: Red Planet.

Mark Markz has found a comfortable life on Earth as both a decorated police officer and as the beloved superhero, Barbalien. But when Mark is suddenly thrust onto the frontlines of the AIDS crisis, his role as a cop raises doubts and he must now reckon with his own closeted sexuality. Growing tensions make balancing his disparate identities seem impossible—especially when a Martian enemy from his past hunts him down on Earth to take him home, dead or alive. Heroism, privilege, and complacency are all called into question, as Mark becomes more-and-more embroiled in the activism of the time and with the man leading its charge—the handsome and headstrong Miguel.

Barbalien: Red Planet #1

The World of Black Hammer Gets a Definitive Guide

If you’re a fan of the Eisner Award-winning series but have questions about the weird and wonderful world filled with Golden Age pulp heroes and alien warlords then you won’t want to miss this! Critically acclaimed writer and Black Hammer co-creator Jeff Lemire is teaming up with writer Tate Brombal to explore the colorful characters that populate the Black Hammer universe in a brand new one-shot, The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia! 

This special one-shot offers a guide to the world of Black Hammer, presenting detailed biographies of Black Hammer’s heroes, villains, and supporting characters, illustrated by a wide assortment of superstar artists, including David Rubín (Ether), Wilfredo Torres (The Quantum Age), Tyler Crook (Harrow County), Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom), and more! The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia features colors by Dave Stewart (Hellboy, Black Hammer) and a cover by Andrea Sorrentino!

The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia goes on sale July 3, 2019.

The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia
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