Horror Comic Roundup Image drawn by Travis Wayne Pursell, colors by Decapitated Dan
Welcome to the Horror Comic Roundup! Join Decapitated Dan, Billy Dunleavy and friends each week as they review new and old Horror Comics that you will either be dying to read or terrified to check out!
Bloody Hell #1 (Boardguy/DriveThru Comics)
Decapitated Dan: Now this is a fantastic anthology. I have to start by just saying how GORE-Geous Wilson's artwork is. It is seriously to die for. The use of color on two of the 3 stories, made no difference from the black and white one, because it was all so damn good. The stories themselves are amazing too. The first is an adaptation of a Loobecraft story that will chill you to the bone (adapted by Rod Lott). The second story and third stories are so good, matter of fact, this book is just so damn good all around. Stop reading this review and go read it, seriously stop reading this now, your still reading this aren't you? Dying Breath 5.0 out of 5.0
B.P.R.D. Vampire #3 (Dark Horse)
Billy Dunleavy: If you haven’t been keeping up with the BPRD universe, shame on you. This mini-series in particular has been quite good, and the creative team behind it is very much responsible. We watched Agent Anders in the previous series (BPRD 1948), as he kind of went off the deep end. Well, in this one, Professor Broom has pointed this Agent in a specific direction, and it’s one that includes a centuries old vampire. After figuring out what area to search, Anders befriended one of the locals, and she wants to help him any way she can. The two go exploring and find ancient ruins and caves. Once inside though, they get separated, and Anders must face not only two ghosts, but the vampire he’s been seeking! Mignola, Moon, and Bá have done a great job with the pacing of this tale, and definitely are getting things churning with this issue. The colors of Dave Stewart must be mentioned as well, as he always knows how to set the mood with just the right blend of darks and lights. Rating 4/5
Decapitated Dan: Okay, so what I missed issue #2, and that is my own fault, but this issue was accessible because I read #1. I loved the scene where Andres comes back, and just opens that huge can of whoop ass. This issue looks so stunning thanks to Bà and Moon. What I take from this is a fun read. It doesn't carry that real serious tone of Baltimore, but it's still a very solid read, and with the ending given... it's only going to get better from here. Dying Breath 4.0 out of 5.0
Crossed Badlands #29 (Avatar Press)
Decapitated Dan: Whoa! Lets all welcome Gage to the writing party on Crossed. This issue was a fantastic read from start to finish. I can't lie, typically with Crossed it can be a little too over the top, but this issue really delivers on the story, and it had me hooked as soon as I was introduced to "Smoky". This kind of plays off that great concept in Land of the Dead, where you have someone realizing they might not all be stupid. With fantastic artwork by Zanier, this issue is not to be missed. Crossed is getting better and better with each issue! Dying Breath 4.5 out of 5.0
Denise Dutton: This shorter-story-arcs spinoff has proven to be just as good if not better than the original. Much like the arc in Badlands #19-20 (“Conquers All”) this new story arc by Christos Gage (Absolution) focuses on an Alpha Crossed nicknamed “Smokey” that seems to be able to keep his penchant for mayhem under check…so he can deliver maximum suffering later. It also focuses on a nerdy anthropologist grad turned high school teacher named Oliver and his ability to gauge how the Crossed operate. How will Oliver’s group of survivors fare with a Crossed that can reason? Since this arc is called “Quisling”, things aren’t exactly coming up roses. Great for readers, really sucky for those characters. Not like we’d expect anything else from this deliciously evil series.
Dead Man’s Run #5 (Aspen)
Billy Dunleavy: This is one of those series that for one reason or another has slipped under the radar of most people. It’s quite a shame to, because Greg Pak and Tony Parker are knocking it out of the park! You have a young man and his sister that were delivered to Hell via an automobile accident. He’s a bit of a shyster, but she’s not supposed to be there. We witness what lengths he’ll go to for her to get “topside” again, and the story has another twist to it as well. Hell is basically a prison with many levels, and Sam Tinker and his band of sinners are pretty far down. He’s gathered a few of Hell’s not so nice inhabitants to help rescue his sister, not get killed, and make it back to the surface world. All in a days work, right? Wow, so again. Pak and Parker are doing a fantastic job on this title and other than long gaps in the book shipping out, this book is a winner! Rating 5/5
King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon #1 (Dark Horse)
Billy Dunleavy: Before you say…”Hey, Conan isn’t a horror book”, listen up! In this issue a bunch of rogue mystics made their way into a crypt, and raised a former magician from the grave! These mystics have brought him back for one reason and one reason only. To help them defeat Conan, and destroy him forever! As Conan leads his troops into battle, he’s attacked by this undead magician, and almost killed. He’s Conan though, and he’s not that easy to defeat! Wow, it’s fantastic to see Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello, and Jose’ Villarrubia back on a Conan book! This team is responsible for one of the greatest looking hard covers that I’ve ever seen (Conan: Iron Shadows in the Moon), and is fantastic at the recreations of these Robert E. Howard stories. Do yourself a favor, and get out and grab this book, because it’s a thing of beauty. Rating 5/5
Denise Dutton: Conan is an old man now, but he’s far from feeble. #1 starts off with Conan visiting his first wife Zenobia’s tomb, and then recounting his deeds to a scribe for posterity. So, as you might expect, Conan tells the boy about how he met Zenobia. C’mon, this is Conan we’re talking about, it ain’t gonna be no wine and roses. In fact, things get dicey from the start, when Conan is poisoned just as a huge battle is about to begin. By Crom, this sounds interesting!
Kitty and Batz #1 (Legends of Heroes and Villains, 2011)
Decapitated Dan: Sometimes when you read a first issue of an independent comic you can see the growth within it. I can't lie that the story started out a little rough with the dialogue, but as the issue progressed Spain and Zerga really started to hit a solid stride. Is it horror, no, but it is a dark comedy that has some great moments in it. The artwork is what stole the show in this first issue. I was a big fan of Zerga's panel layouts and how the art played out on the pages. The character designs are great, and the comedy within the art helped drive the story. Overall it's a good start, I can see a growth/learning curve in this issue, so it only means that #2 is going to be even better. Dying Breath 3.0 out of 5.0
Morbius The Living Vampire #5 (Marvel)
Billy Dunleavy: To say that this series has been a disappointment to long time Morbius fans is a monumental understatement. Hearken back to the times of the magazine Vampire Tales for a moment. You had not only Morbius, but a myriad of other horror characters that made your senses tingle and the artwork made your mouth water. This portrayal might make you run to the bathroom to vomit. Joe Keatinge & company have taken a bloodthirsty vampire and turned him into a street thug that looks like something from a Jay-Z video. A story of hoodlums and the very wimpy villain, The Rose, to make you realize what a mistake it was buying this book. The artwork is mediocre at best. Rating 1/5
Denise Dutton: An interesting blend of noir and vampire-ness, which is apt since Michael Morbius ain’t your typical vampire. And no, he doesn’t sparkle. Thank god. Trying to stay away from the humans that fuel his experiment-gone-awry need for blood, Morbius ends up becoming an unwitting, unusual hero. But a villain named the Rose may be pulling strings behind the scenes…. I’m not loving the revamp (hah) of Morbius, but it is definitely better than his old Count Dracula In Space outfit. Seriously Marvel; only a very small percentage of the world can carry off a Van Dyke without looking stupid (or douchey). In a world full of quality horror comics, my horror loving tuchas will need more to sink my own teeth into than what writer Joe Keatinge has going on right now. Then again Morbius has always been a villain/antihero rather than a horror comic star. So fans of the scary? Understand that and read if you dare. *bwahahahah*
Next Testament #1 (BOOM!)
Decapitated Dan: I'm not 100% on this being a horror title yet, but man did certain scenes in this issue creep me out. I thought that the story by Barker and Miller was fantastic. It has this great mystery vibe to it, that mixes religion with the strange and odd. The artwork by Jang was solid throughout, but the scenes that really shined were the ones where people literally fell from the sky. While I'm not too sure about what will happen next, I can expect some crazy things to come from this series. An intriguing start, can't wait to see where it will go. Dying Breath 4.0 out of 5.0
Denise Dutton: You had me at Clive Barker and Mark Millar y’all. Next Testament is a crazy fever-dream, but it’s got Haemi Jang delivering the gorgeous art (though I do kinda wish that Clive himself had at least drawn the cover…well, maybe in a later issue) that washes over you while the tale unfolds. Pow! Bam! No, it’s not Batman. That’d be your brain as you read it. What’s going on? Not sure, but I damn sure wanna find out. “The world will rejoice. It will have no other option.” Tell me you don’t wanna read this. Yeah you do.
Shadow Hunters #2 (Scattered Comics)
Decapitated Dan: This is just something to throw out there in general for all comic creators, put in a recap page. It has been a while since I read issue #1, so the hardest thing was to remember what happened. The story in #2 does a good job of recalling those memories from my mind of what came before, and it delivers a fun filled action ride. This story fits into the necromancer genre mixed with some comedic elements. The writing by Dube is solid throughout. The artwork by Jordan is booty-ful, as I think it's safe to say sex sells. The art plays into the humor of the writing at times, but what really shines are the action scenes towards the end. Overall a great issue that will leave the reader wanting more based on the ending. Dying Breath 4.0 out of 5.0
Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #80 (Broadsword)
Decapitated Dan: Say what you want about the art of this title, but understand that the story is really great. While the issues that have already come out in the "Dark Spiral" storyline have been better, this one plays on some really good comedy. I thought that the adult themed jokes were very funny, and fit this title oh so well. It was actually a great break in what came before. I know this book is not for everyone, but I am really liking what has been going on with this arc so far. Dying Breath 3.5 out of 5.0
Vitriol The Hunter #4 (IDW)
Decapitated Dan: Why on Earth have I not been reading this series? Lets start with the GORE-Geous artwork, and let me emphasize on the gore! It almost shocked me to see this bloody mess in something that looks so animated, all I can say is wow! The writing has moments where it could be stronger, but it's all tons of fun. I am mad at myself for missing out on everything so far, but hear me now, I will not miss another issue! Dying Breath 4.0 out of 5.0
The Wake #1 (Vertigo)
Billy Dunleavy: An underwater mission that seems text-book but becomes mysterious and creepy in two pages. Yep, that’s what you get with the newest creation from Batman whiz kid Scott Snyder, and artist Sean Murphy. The story has a few different levels to it, and one is a relationship between a mother and her son. This drives the first few pages of the book, but it becomes apparent very quickly, that she’s going to be in for a wild ride once she gets to an underwater facility that houses something never before seen by mankind. This book was difficult to review for one reason. It seems very similar to another story that Image published a year or so ago called “The Vault”. A team of researchers/scientist are in a facility and something unholy is found, and on one knows what to do initially. This story did have some differences, but definitely had the same vibe. Rating 4/5
Decapitated Dan: This issue was a typical Snyder book for me, the story took soo long to get somewhere, and then at the end BAM, it hooked me! It's not that it was too wordy, it just didn't have anything to really grab me until the end, and now I just want more! The artwork by Murphy was great overall, but it me scratching my head on a few panels. I really love the look of the "monster". The issue took a while to get there, but those last 4 pages really nailed this one in my mind. I can not wait to see what is next. Dying Breath 3.5 out of 5.0
Denise Dutton: Two words: Scott Snyder. The Wake feels like 20,000 Leagues Under WTF. But Snyder has built a ton of cliffhangers worth following. Dr. Archer, a woman who happens to be an expert on whale sounds but got booted from NOAA anyway, is tapped to assist on an expedition that’s super top-secret. And when she starts to figure out why, it really starts to get freaky, with cavemen, undersea laboratories and what looks like The Creature From The Black Lagoon. The jury isn’t in on my subscribing to this, but so far I definitely want to continue the ride.