Review – The Walking Dead #70 (Image, 2010)

After the high drama and explosive action of last issue, you pretty much get what you might expect this time – a slowing down, more dialogue, and a proper introduction to the ‘safe zone’. As you may also expect, Kirkman and Adlard almost immediately begin to convey a sense of uneasiness about this new community – but whether that is merely the creative team showing the unease of Rick and his companions in these new surroundings, is unclear.

That uneasiness, that tension increases when we are introduced to the nominal ‘leader’ of the community, Douglas Monroe. His conversation with Rick is fairly straightforward until he/Kirkman plunges the reader into a bizarre and stomach churning account of a Fathers inhumanity to his Son. What makes it particularly poignant – and more distressing – is that it is based on fact. Monroe’s purpose in mentioning this crime seems pretty unfocused, other than the fact he is illustrating that we,as a race, have an inordinate capacity for cruelty and failing our loved ones. Maybe it is portentous. It was unsettling.

There is more to suggest that this community is recovering from some terrible event, and again we as readers are reminded that this ‘safe haven’ is barely concealing scars. The name of ‘Davidson’, mentioned last issue, crops up again. Whatever it was that he initiated, it sounds terrible. We will no doubt be better informed on him in time.

As well as the unease, there is a sense of out protaganists finally accepting they have reached some sort of safety, and actually enjoying the ‘little things we take for granted’ moments, like a hot shower, or kids playing out in the open, care-free. Nice moments.

A solid, entertaining opener to this new era. A mix of hope and crushing, frightening reality – ‘the lights are on but the shadows seem to be encroaching’ type of vibe. I get the feeling this will not end well.

Review – Resurrection #8 (Onipress, 2010)

My relationship with this title, if anyone is interested (and if you can really have a ‘relationship’ with a ‘title’ / comic), is a bit like my ‘relationship’ with the disgusting / scary / sometimes boring ‘Crossed’. In other words, I blow a bit hot and cold with ‘Resurrection’. Some months I think it is fabulous. Other months I can barely read it. Overall, and on average, it has enough going for it to keep me reading. This month, it tips itself over into the area marked ‘okay’. It managed to move itself from the area marked ‘rubbish’, which is where it found itself last month. Not a lot of action, and very talky, and the improbable star of the show, Mr Bill Clinton, former President of the USA, is very much centre stage. But it works. I like the fact that he is very much in the thick of it in this ravaged new world. There is a nice reveal at the end. That’s all there is to it really. Oh, there is a spaceship in the centre of some sort of sports field that looks a bit daft and I don’t understand its significance. But all in all, BRAVO!

PS There is another one of those side stories in this issue, but I just could not be bothered. That may have stretched my patience, or ruined the moment.

Solicitation for Choker #4 (Image, 2010)

CHOKER #4 (of 6)
story BEN McCOOL
art & cover BEN TEMPLESMITH
MAY 19
32 PAGES / FC
ISSUE FOUR: BEAST COPS
Teamed with the dirge of Shotgun City’s police force, Johnny Jackson is thrust into confrontation against Hunt Cassidy and his band of killers, their sinister influence having put the city on edge. And when Hunt realizes that a precious possession is missing, the full extent of the madness is revealed…
RETAILER WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

Crossed – there is more (2010)

In other news, that happy and life affirming* series, Crossed, has taken a surprising turn. You may well have thought that with the upcoming issue #9 (of 9), that that would be that. But no. The world of the ‘Crossed’ will live on this spring. But Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows will not be the creative team. Instead, we will have the estimable David Lapham, who most recently gave the world the thoroughly twisted rock n’ roll acid nightmare of ‘Young Liars’, and art by Javier Barreno. Interesting in so many ways – and a lot of them are dark and perverse and you do not want to think too long and hard about it. But one point of interest is the fact that you don’t get many creators ceding creative control over of an owned title like Crossed to another team. More about it here;


http://www.avatarpress.com/2010/02/16/crossed-day/

I think it is going to be immense, disgusting, perverted and shocking, but also rather brilliant. We shall see – it’s out in May. Lapham talks it up here;

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/02/16/david-lapham-on-writing-crossed-volume-2-family-values/

Depending on your state of mind, you may or may not want to have a look at the grisly, macabre, disturbed and blacker than a black hole humour of Jacen Burrows Crossed covers. He is doing the new series covers as well you know. If you are easily offended, then do not click here – seriously;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avatarpress/4361219935/in/set-72157605058082820/

* I am taking the piss. For ‘happy and life affirming’, read ‘thoroughly dark and depressing, savage and bleak’

Solicitation for Unknown Soldier #20 (Vertigo, 2010)

At issue 20 already, and getting better and better. An amazing success story. Plus, another wonderful Dave Johnson cover.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER #20
On sale MAY 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Written by JOSHUA DYSART • Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI
Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
Barely clinging to sanity and hunted by Karamojong cattle raiders, Moses finds himself physically and psychologically under siege in a hidden village of the exiled and deformed – a village that may very well exist only in his mind.

Solicitation for Sweet Tooth #9 (Vertigo, 2010)

SWEET TOOTH #9
On sale MAY 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Written by JEFF LEMIRE • Art and cover by JEFF LEMIRE
Jeppard’s life would forever change the day he met Abbot, Dr. Singh’s deadly muscle-for-hire. It’s a day that’d start his deadly journey toward becoming a heartless killer. A day he’s been trying hard not to remember – until now.