- Script: Christos Gage
- Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
- Colorist: Dan Jackson
- Cover Artist: Steve Morris
- Lettering: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
- Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
The San Francisco life is setting in well with Spike and Buffy, as they keep to classic staples of demon slaying while adjusting to life with a born again 13 year old Giles in the picture. Season 11 takes things into the life of Supernatural Consulting and solving darker crimes in the city, Xander and Dawn showing growth as they advance in their lives and relationship and Willow gets to set down some new roots starting a new Coven of her own.
Sounds peachy, except it’s a Buffy story so there’s always more under the surface, bright exteriors crack and fade, showing a rougher side of things and new challenges are always waiting. Legends emerge and chaos reigns, Rebekah Issacs paints the pages of issue 1 with rubble and chaos, with help from Dan Jackson the pages come to life with atmosphere and action that flow seamlessly once things really turn bad.
Christos Gage wastes no time playing with the main cast, pulling at their strings not only to send them into action and set each stage up, but also pulling at their hearts to continue to allow us a window into the voices that nag at them when they operate between those battles. Rebekah Isaacs compliments those character moments while also developing the atmosphere in each panel, on the rooftop we see strong gestures of action contrasted with worry and urgency and it’s an enjoyable blend in a season opener. Hopefully the rest of the season carries the momentum and keep feeding new twists along the way.
Release date: Out Now
Story: Steve Niles
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Justin Erickson
Published By: Dark Horse
Cal McDonald in his usual cantankerous way has a feeling that something bad is about to go down, he just doesn’t know what and he is isn’t sure if he cares. As he drowns his sorrows, a cop, Alice Blood, approaches him and asks for his help. Cal, always eager to help, get more details. Barrow, Alaska (home of 30 Days of Night) has been attacked and Alice wants Cal on the case. There has been more than the usual number of attacks (massacres) and Alice believes they stem from one vampire in particular. Meanwhile, Mo’lock and the other ghouls are facing a threat of their own and are on a mission to find the perpetrator. They soon learn that the ghoul attack is very connected to Cal’s new case and something needs to be done…quickly.
Criminal Macabre: Final Night is the first issue in a four-part series crossing over Steve Niles’ other masterpiece, 30 Days of Night. This issue sets up the story nicely and ends with all hell breaking loose. Cal is such an awesome character and for all intents and purposes should be completely unlikable but Niles manages to make him and his toxic personality a great anti-hero that you really root for! Christopher Mitten’s art is amazing. It’s dark and unique and really brings the story to life. Criminal Macabre has so many great elements that it becomes difficult to single any one thing out. I am ridiculously excited about this crossover and can’t wait for the next issue!
Release Date: December 12th, 2012
Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)
Script by: Joshua Scott Emmons and Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley
Colors by: Carlos Badilla
Letters by: Joshua Scott Emmons
Cover by: Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Saul Adams is a man who has a long history on this world, what kind of history is a bit of a mystery but it’s there and boiling to the surface in a turn of events to a world which he thought he had pinned for constants and reliability. Unfortunately a new darkness is making his town their new home and his familiars their prey as well. We only get a glimpse at this breach but it’s beyond anything this city and the feds have seen or known and it’s only the beginning.
Seeley and Emmons dive into crime drama, cults and the supernatural and deliver it in a single serving that drives up questions and shock as the story unravels. Saul is a man lost in his own world, not sure what year it is or even who he is but that after eternities have come and gone that he’s still here and getting by. This story may start off with an obvious twist, but it takes all the expectations and hurls them into the garbage bin in an instant. Saul is about to get some company in his life and it’s going to get ugly for everyone in this story, you don’t rock the boat of an immortal with arrogance and attitude and just get away with it.
Tim Seeley delivers excellent style and emotion to the pages of Ex Sanguine, the expressions, gestures and lapses are superb, it’s always rewarding to see artists that take the time to think out facial actions and even eye gestures before just laying it out there. When the mental flashes hit, the examinations and even Saul’s frustrations strike, they’re all executed with that extra bit of thought. My only dispute is that Seeley almost highlights our unexpected other supernatural force because the shift in style that happens. You can’t just deliver a massive change in color and detail and expect it to slide under the radar.
Other than that small issue, Ex Sanguine is something I’d love to see more of and I can’t wait until issue 2 arrives. It’s well restricted and doesn’t move to jump the shark with transformations and spells and random campy features, it’s cold and real and it captures your attention even though the story itself begins so vaguely. Issue 1 delivers many carefully selected mechanics and uses them at just the right time. Personally it’s a bit sad to see Saul suffering after such a long time as an immortal but it’s understandable that his brain would be overflowing with history.
Saul’s next battle kicks off in issue 2 and he’ll be attacking 2 fronts at once, be sure to read up on this story before just jumping ahead and hoping for the best, you’ll only rob yourself of a great story by doing so.
Release Date: October 17, 2012
Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover:: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse
After deciding that he can’t just sit around and wait for Buffy to call, Spike jumps in his roach mobile and takes off for the calm and serene vacation spot known as the dark side of the moon. In an attempt to gather his thoughts and clear his mind with various libations, Spike and his bug crew are on their way. Once arriving on the moon though Spike can’t seem to shake his super sad mood and the memories of Buffy seem to be everywhere. Spike’s bug friends refuse to sit back and watch him wallow in his misery so they devise a plan to get him back on track, which works, for a while anyway. Meanwhile, we learn that just like on Earth the moon has its own group of nasties with bad intentions. We quickly learn what those intentions are and all hell breaks loose. Will Spike and his bug army ever get off the moon or are they destined to become space junk?
It has been no secret that I am a huge Spike fan, so truth be told I was extremely excited about this series but also worried about how it would turn out. I first have to begin with Jenny Frison’s cover, it is spectacular in every way, everything she does is always amazing but she somehow out did herself with this one. Victor Gischler’s writing is superb. He captures the nuances of Spike perfectly. There is a bunch of funny, but there is also the torment and pain which really encapsulates what Spike is all about. The entire team working on this series is top-notch, from the cover, to the writing, to the art inside everything is really amazing. This was a great intro issue and Spike’s bugs really add a nice touch with their oddness and full personalities. If you are anything like me, fear not, this is a great issue and an excellent addition to the ever-growing Buffy cannon.
Release Date: August 22nd, 2012
Links: Pre-Order (Paper) | Preview
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: David Aja & Matt Hollingsworth
Variant Covers: Adi Granov, Pasqual Ferry & Matt Hollingsworth
Published by: Marvel Comics
Marvel broke the news on the new Hawkeye release earlier this year, no one really knew how well it would pan out until that first issue hit. Well, issue 1 is here and it’s time to see how this massive grouping of talent works out.
We see Hawkeye outside of his usual element with the Avengers, fighting crime against local crime and dealing with his everyday life outside of saving the world. It’s a unique tale that promises to shed a less glamorous and spectacle filled take on who he is and how his life is outside of those life or death moments, well I shouldn’t say that. Clint Barton manages to get himself into difficult situations no matter where he goes in the world, even in his own neighborhood.
We catch Barton recovering after a mission, his injury putting him on the disabled list for a good period of time until he can catch up and join the Avengers again. In that period though he gets familiar with his old neighborhood and lets off a bit of steam that built up during his hospital time incapacitated. We get to see his home life, what he really wants out of his days and where his sense of justice and fairness really roots itself at. While He’s just a regular guy, he came up through a rougher past and so he’s not the flying stars and stripes representative that we see out of Captain America.
In fact it’s through this book that it becomes clear how Cap and Hawkeye have so many difficulties, easily inspired in battle with him but outside of that he’s very much a man to his own devices and sense of action. Going to far to tell people as Clint, not even Hawkeye, how it’s going to be and making sure to drive that point home using the skills he’s honed to perfection as Hawkeye. There’s humor, tension and a sense of drama and pity for him through the pages, he fights for the underdog and even for dogs and it makes you think of the guy a little different. As a launch issue it takes a calmer tone and works to round out his opening story without feeling rushed and it’s a genuine relief to see given how fast so many other series are moving right now.
Release Date: August 1, 2012