Now Reading: The Astounding Wolf-Man

This was a fun, but short-lived sort-of-spinoff to Kirkman’s Invincible. I guess it doesn’t really start out as one, technically, but after a while it turns out to be in the same universe and ends up being pretty directly connected to other characters from Invincible. I really liked the idea of a werewolf as a superhero. Of course there have been characters like Werewolf by Night who have been around for decades already, but despite living in a superhero universe, they’ve never actually been a superhero role, fighting crime and supervillains and such. Wolf-Man looks and feels much like a supernatural version of Invincible, with a lot of drama and colorful villains and the same kind of very graphic, yet simultaneously cartoonish violence. It’s not exactly what I’d call an essential read, but it’s pretty fun if you’re into this kind of thing. I would have gladly kept reading it if it had lasted longer than 25 issues. Oh welllllllll.

Now Reading: Chew

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Chew is the story of Tony Chu, a special agent who can get psychic readings off of anything he eats. He lives in a world where chicken is outlawed, food-related psychic powers are popping up all over the place, and the FDA and USDA have taken over as the primary law-enforcement agencies. It’s actually even weirder than it sounds.

Tony has a crazy family with powers of their own, a bisexual cyborg partner, a boss that hates him, and a food-crazy Serbian vampire for an arch-enemy. He works on cases involving an alien fruit that tastes like chicken and grants visions, genetically engineered hallucinogenic frog/chicken hybrids, and anti-chicken death cults, and it’s still even weirder than it sounds.

For the most part all the insanity plays out in a light-hearted, almost cartoonish tone, but there’s a surprisingly complex plot tying it all together that suddenly gets pretty dark and serious at times. It’s an absolutely insane and unique saga that I think has been one of the best Image titles of the last several years, and it’s nice to read it all in one shot now that the story is finally over (and all the hardcovers are out).

Now Reading: Phonogram

Kieron Gillen and McKelvie’s interesting tales of a group of music-based magicians and the music-related shenanigans they get into. Very interesting and energetic stuff that feels kind of like a prototype for their currently running title The Wicked & The Divine. I kind of wish there was more of it, as it’s such an interesting concept that could be explored so much more. Despite the fact that the music they all reference (a lot of 90s pop/punk stuff mostly) isn’t really my kind of stuff, half of it I’ve never even heard of, the metaphors are all clear and the social constructs of one music scene are apparently close enough to that of an entirely different one that all the good old cliches of elitist sub-genre cliques and such are all too familiar. Definitely a worthwhile read for anyone who likes Gillen and/or unusual Brit-magic stories.

Now Reading: Nameless (2015)

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This was basically marketed as “Cthulhu in space”, which I suppose is accurate enough to describe the theme of the book as briefly as possible. The truth of it is actually even stranger, with the concepts of elder gods, modern gods, and the afterlife, given a bizarre and terrifying sci-fi secret origin. Burnham’s art is absolutely perfect for this story and he brings some amazingly surreal and disturbingly hellish imagery to the table. While I didn’t think the pacing was quite as perfect as Annihilator and the ending was a bit muddier (in fact I’d love to discuss the ending with anyone who’d like to, I say as if I have readers), it’s still highly entertaining and memorable. A book I’m very glad to have in my collection.

Now Reading: Fatale

Most conveniently collected in Fatale - Deluxe Edition Volumes 1 and 2

Most conveniently collected in Fatale – Deluxe Edition Volumes 1 and 2

Can’t really go wrong with Ed Brubaker, especially when he’s teamed up with Sean Philips. This one takes a bit of a departure from their usual noir stories. Well, it’s still basically just another noir story, but this time with a Lovecraftian supernatural horror twist on it. Fatale tells the story of Josephine, a mysterious immortal woman with the power to control the minds of men, whether she wants to or not, and many of the unfortunate men she meets in her long life, while on the run from the evil Cthulhu-cult-type guys that keep chasing after her for reasons unknown.