Image © Eric Kripke and Glenn Fabry
Josh’s life has been revitalized by a nootropic drug he ordered online. “Jacked” is the brand name, and it seems to have given him youthful vigor, enhanced perception, and even surprising strength. We know there’s going to be a price to pay for all this, Josh does too, but he’s feeling so good, he can’t stay away from the pills. His family are giving him new respect, and he’s doing things for them he thought were no longer possible.
“Jacked” has not necessarily made Josh wiser, though. He has a thuggish neighbor with an annoying dog (see the cover), and while common sense would say stay away, Josh gets involved when the neighbor is beating his own wife. The repercussions of the encounter are already looking pretty dangerous for Josh.
I love the art, the writing is fine, and this book has been a nice surprise for me: not something I would probably have tried if it weren’t for the people involved, not really my kind of story, but I’m enjoying it a lot.
Image © Busiek & Dewey.
A new story arc begins with the surviving magicians and townsfolk from the fallen sky-city now apparently on a smaller sky-craft (sky village?), with their leaders still squabbling and fighting for control of their now limited power. Their savior, the soldier they conjured from the distant past, is not among them. Learoyd and his young friend Dusty have been left behind for dead at the scene of the battle with the bison-men. Learoyd nearly is dead until Dusty pulls him from the river. The rest of the issue is largely a dialogue between the two of them that covers lots of interesting ground: the history of this world, its magic, Learoyd’s past, their enemies, and what they might need to do next. I think this may be my favorite issue so far.
Image © Beukes, Halvorsen and Kelly.
The story lines of the first three issues are set aside to allow the exploration of the very odd Muskagee House, which has been talked about earlier as both an actual haunted house and the setting of a horror film series. We explore the actual house (I think) in the company of one of its ghosts, and meet several others, as well as the husband and wife team of religious ghost-busters who are the living inhabitants. It’s a trippy tale that makes it hard to tell what’s supposed to be real and what’s coming from the imagination of the ghosts, or even the horror films. It has some chilling moments, but in all the tone did not convince me or draw me in. Rather it kept me puzzled and unsure what to think about the purpose of this diversion. There have been some creepy haunted houses in comics, but this does not come across to me as one of them when all is said and done, and it raised more questions than it answered.
Image © DC Comics
Len Wein, creator of Swamp Thing, and Kelley Jones had the hit of the recent Convergence crossover event with their version of Swamp Thing, and have been rewarded with a new ongoing series. In many ways it’s a throwback to comics of the past, but at the same time is great fun to read, so I’m all for it. Len’s opening captions take us back to the feel of the original series he did with artist Bernie Wrightson, and Kelley’s art is clearly strongly influenced by Wrightson, though Jones has is own distinct style. It’s not an homage, but it feels retro. Swamp Thing seems to be on his own in the Louisiana bayou swamps, no sign of a supporting cast. His first opponent is a very large crocodile. The story moves in a straightforward way to a rescue, and then a request for help against black magic. The muck monster seems secure in his own vegetable skin, and not full of worries and fears, as has often been the case in recent series. His abilities are certainly informed by what Alan Moore and others did with the character, and Jones has a great time depicting them. So far the story line is uncomplicated and the cast small, but that’s kind of refreshing. I can’t see any reason not to read and enjoy this comic for what it is, rather than hold it up against what other creators have put forth, and that’s what I plan to do. I suggest you do the same.
Image © Williams & Dowling
The plot thickens, and the thickening is well handled in this issue. For the 140 “winners” of the shares of the dying Mr. “Billionaire” Ferrell’s fortune, it seems like a wonderful windfall. Now they’re all gathering on his private island, and a more diverse collection of characters it would be hard to imagine. The stalking cat on the cover is a nice symbol for what’s likely to come next, as the 140 find out more about Ferrell and his bequest, and what they might have to do to get their hands on his fortune. Let’s just say, it’s not all pie and cake, but it should make for great reading.