Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.4.4, Only Fear Itself…

Last week was a good week for fresh reads, with a little something for everyone.

Below are my further notes on the following books, mostly released last week (with minor spoilers). Read on!!!



The Old Guard #2 (Image Comics) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“PART TWO The Old Guard is revealed. A new immortal is discovered. Things go sideways, fast.”

I felt astounded by the inside art, panel compositions for this second issue. I think there Greg Rucka does well with storytelling in relation to the artist working along with (especially on Detective Comics Batwoman arc, Gotham CentralQueen and Country, Lazerus). The storytelling is leaps ahead of the first issue, where we learn more about the immortal soldiers in past war flashbacks and them coming together. In the present, the men seem almost lost in their trapped state, taking direction from their female commander (Andy). Then we meet Nile, another female immortal new to the game. There is a quick bond, leading to a fearful end of which is shocking and presents an interesting direction for the series.

Plague #1 (AAM/Markosia) by Dennis Fallon, Jason Palmatier, Zachary Brunner

“When the King of the Fey dies from the Black Plague, his angry young heir, Twylyth Tegg, vows to save his people by any means necessary. That same night, we meet our hero, Robb Aubert, a fearful friar of the Jedburgh Forest who has lost his faith and fellow friars to the dreaded plague. Driven by a mysterious note from the German Bishop of Hildesheim, Friar Robb is about to catch the last boat leaving the English Isles for the mainland when he crosses paths with an injured English Fairy – Danann Atreyu – a fey girl who has just lost her family to the infamous Black Cross, the Warbishop Jean De Moray. But Moray is more than just a bloodthirsty tyrant, he’s a man haunted by the long-ago death of this baby brother and at war with himself over all he’s done in the name of God since. His dreaded Dyrewolves track Danann’s blood-trail to the gates of the abbey where Friar Robb has unwittingly taken her in. It seems Robb is harboring a magical creature – a crime punishable by death.”

Plague brings us the best of classical fantasy escapism mixed with the worst of medieval era real life horrors. The awesome art, with a mix of pencils, earthy tones and sudden touches of fairy magic feel very inviting. But reading throughout, there is an eclipse of darkness leading to some ghastly violence and the sad realism that mirrored the times that inspired this hybrid fantasy world. There is a repeated theme of personal loss of loved ones under cruel circumstances, where both hero and villain deal with such in their personal way. Then, we have a fairy creature caught in the middle, who also suffered the loss of loved ones. This first issue is a gripping read, though it may feel a bit heavier to those who identify more so with the characters within.

Rough Riders: Riders of the Storm #2 (Aftershock) by Patrick Glass, Patrick Oliffe

“Madman Leon Czolgosz has just shot President McKinley at the 1901 World’s Fair. As the nation looks to Vice President Theodore Roosevelt for guidance, he calls upon his fellow ROUGH RIDERS to help him investigate the assassination attempt. As they dig deeper they unearth a WORLDWIDE CONSPIRACY that not only threatens the fabric of our society, but also pits the Rough Riders against some of history’s most famous characters. Join this secret adventure of the greatest band of heroes that the world never knew.”

Rough Riders remains a personal guilty pleasure, with this escalated mix of cheesy action and historical fan fiction. For this issue, there is a lot more interaction between the heroes and what makes them tick.  Aside from that Roosevelt is a bit more of a detective in this issue, whose actions carry the story in a more logical direction. Meanwhile, Annie is a very casual badass with some very hell yeah moments. Jack Johnson is a good muscle though I wish more involvement with his character. Edison, I feel has grear potential in an eventual villain to this overall story. I like the development in the casual pacing of Rough Riders, of which I am enjoying and hoping it will be around for a while.

Jughead: The Hunger #1 (Archie) by Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh

“BRAND NEW ONE-SHOT SPECIAL! Jughead Jones has always had an insatiable appetite… but what if his hunger came from a sinister place? When a murderous menace is on the prowl, taking the lives of some of the most well-known and esteemed inhabitants of Riverdale, Jughead and his family’s dark legacy comes to light. Join writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and artist Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers) for this horrifying one-shot for TEEN+ readers.”

Not confused with the award-winning series, Afterlife with Archie; Jughead: The Hunger has a similar visual tone and style involving supernatural horror. Yet here, there is a closer draw to its campy, humorous feel to the comics originally based from, but without the cartoonish caricatures. The violence and PG-13 situations are present, and the visuals are very dark, drawing closer to the classic EC horror classics. The premise is simple. Jughead hungers for more than hamburgers, as his nature becomes more lupine. What develops through is a fun treat for horror readers and fans fo Archie Comics, in whatever bizarre form they transform.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe: The Movie #1 (IDW) by Tom Scioli

“Imagine a world where the greatest comic book crossover of all time inspires a movie adaptation… and that movie adaptation inspires its own comic book! Visionary writer-artist Tom Scioli returns to the weird world of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe and brings an even weirder twist to this new story: what would the comic book adaptation of the movie version of the comic book look like? It’s time to find out in the most epic, scintillating, off-the-wall, exciting comic of 2017!”

Just when I thought the surreal oddity that was the recent Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe series ended, then came this surprise issue. And once again, something only for the purest, nostalgia-loving fans of the cartoons that popularized, thinking deep into whatever philosophical tones that could come from them. Throughout, we get the usual fan-service to a high degree, with some meta-commentary thrown in. This being my favorite moment:

So yeah, do enjoy for whatever one may take from this issue, for which there is much. Even with the story over, there continue some goofy extras. An overall oddity, that will be appreciated much like the franchise, in time.

Animosity #6 (Aftershock) by Marguerite Bennett,  Rafael De LaTorre

“When Jesse is abducted by humans, Sandor, her faithful and protective Bloodhound, will cut a swath of blood and bone through everything that stands in his path to find and rescue his beloved friend.”

Another great issue, though I think for the wrong reasons. I savor the drama in this book to a higher emotional state than intended for the continuous absurd premise of the series. I really enjoyed the developing suspense and horror to of the sudden reveal of the “dragon,” being a truly horrible beast, and in ways worse than a dragon. Then we have Jessie, who is directly the opposite, though she resorts to the desperate surprising measure of survival while in captivity. Her friends, I also fear towards any sudden horrible end that remains possible with every possible page turn. Sanders, remaining the most fearful, and I think will eventually come. Overall, a short felt victory of good vs.evil, until we get to the end…very chilling.


That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!


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