by Molly Jane Kremer, Clyde Hall, Brendan Hodgdon, Sara Mitchell and Rachel Acheampong. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. From the latest issue of Berger Books’ ‘She Could Fly’ to Black Mask Studios’ ‘The Devil Within’, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.
Dark Horse Comics/$4.99
Written by Christopher Cantwell.
Art by Martín Morazzo.
Colors by Miroslav Mrva.
Letters by Clem Robins.
SM: Upon embarking on She Could Fly, I really hoped the story was about the eponymous flying woman. Someone so remarkable, so extreme, so unreal. But it’s not. It’s about an obsessive-compulsive 15-year old girl, Luna, who you could never really call grounded, but is nonetheless incapable of flying. And like Luna, the first time I saw the flying woman, I felt like we were guaranteed beauty, a gateway into the mysticism of life… just as soon as we could get close enough to her. Stretching our hands up to the sky, fingertips on fire, wanting so badly to know the flying woman, to know everything. To fly away, to escape. But the flying woman dies. We’re denied. Left here on Earth to forage through the wreckage.
She Could Fly is a tortured mystery. Alongside Luna, we search for a scrap of the answers we convinced ourselves we were promised. But this woman made no promises to us. She was a troubled human being. She struggled and lived with a lot of pain, and she just happened to be a brilliant physicist. She flew for herself, not for us. Along the way we learn how fallible she was. We learn about divorce, a custody battle, depression, and all of those oh-so human things that weigh us down, that keep us from flying. Or so Luna thought. Or so I thought, really.
And so this is where the heart of She Could Fly lies. Down on Earth, stuck to the ground, amongst the rubble. It’s not beautiful or weightless. It’s a young girl who lives with complicated horrors. A school counselor barely hanging on. An overworked father. An overlooked mother. A young prostitute. A disgraced physicist. Everyone has the weight of the world on their shoulders. The reason you should pick up the final issue of this story today isn’t because there’s a flying woman in it. It’s because there’s a young girl who, despite being fallible and weighted, can still be someone so remarkable, so extreme, so unreal. So much better than the miraculous, an actual human being.
Written by Ram V.
Art by Sumit Kumar.
Colors by Vittorio Astone.
Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
MJ: October is the prime season for consuming everything spooky. Be it movies, television, books or comics, I love to wallow in the creepies this time of year. Vault Comics had a surprise in store for me.
Confession: I didn’t even realize These Savage Shores was a horror title until I started reading it. (The series grabbed my attention almost entirely from the strength of Alison Sampson’s breathtaking variant for its first issue.) But horror it is indeed, gripping and engrossing, with a few legitimately unexpected twists and turns.
Sumit Kumar and Vittorio Astone’s art is a huge reason everyone should pick up this book, for its attention to intricate historic detail, masterful storytelling, and abundantly lush visuals. Writer Ram V (co-creator of the Image Comics series Paradiso) pens this sanguine yarn, giving at first the appearance of an Anne Ricean tale of Georgian-era Euro-vampires abroad. The last few pages, however, pull off a narrative surprise that few will see coming, which makes it clear that These Savage Shores will be something different. Something more. Something that has the potential for terrifying greatness.
Black Mask Studios/$3.99
Written by Stephanie Phillips.
Art by Maan House.
Colors by Dee Cunniffe.
Letters by Troy Peteri.
CH: A friend once posed the question, “What would you do if I went mad?” It seemed like a joke, but he wasn’t making idle chatter. He maintained that we should all anticipate our response if loved ones and closest friends suddenly turned murderously unstable. That line of contemplation led to a divided realization. An unstable and violent friend would be distinctly unpleasant, but someone living in your household when turning on that homicidal dime would likely end you. They know you best, and how to strike when you’re most vulnerable. If their degeneration wasn’t rapid, if they began to exhibit unsettling signs too slight to act on but increasingly scary, forget Simon and Garfunkel; home becomes hellish.
This week’s The Devil Within #1 concerns a young couple, Michelle and Samantha, in the process of moving in together when Michelle begins experiencing visions of shadowy figures, fleeting glimpses of shapes in the mirrors, and an inhuman voice only she can hear. Samantha finds herself sharing a domicile with someone she loves, but who may be possessed. Or on a winding, downhill course toward madness.
Paranormal or not, it’s the stuff of truly adult horror. The dread of the person you trust most becoming a stranger you scarcely recognize. The trepidation of a shared sanctuary devolving into a prison. This tale from new talent Stephanie Phillips, artist Maan House, colorist Dee Cunniffe, and letterer Troy Peteri is based around an actual incident. Could The Devil Within get any more attractive for the Halloween reading season?
Script by Donny Cates.
Art by Iban Coello.
Colors by Andres Mossa.
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles.
BFH: If you had told me a year ago that the new Venom comic would be one of my favorite books of 2018, I would have been… highly skeptical, to say the least. Venom has never been the most compelling of Marvel’s characters for me, and I tend to shy away from a lot of “villain-turned-hero” kinds of stories these days. But with Donny Cates (quickly becoming one of my favorite writers) and Ryan Stegman working at the height of their powers, Venom has become a wild, must-read title.
With their first arc having recently concluded to tragic effect, I am very interested to see where the series goes next, and we’ll get our first glimpse of that with this week’s issue #7. For this issue, Cates is joined by the talented Iban Coello, and if you’ve read Venomverse or Venomized you’ll know just why he’s a great sub for Stegman. This is a quality title through and through. As me move forward I’m bolstered by the hope that Cates & Co. have a nice, long run with this ur-’90s character.
Written by Gail Simone.
Art by David Baldeón.
Colors by Jesus Aburtov.
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles.
RA: Coming off the exhilaration of Domino Annual #1, Neena Thurman and her partners Diamondback and Outlaw find their services are once more in need. In Domino #7, creative team Gail Simone and David Baldeón kick off a brand new story arc for this ongoing series that, additionally, brings on artist Gang Hyuk Lim as the book’s new cover artist. His first piece is the enchanting cover on the left.
Domino is bringing Neena into the wider Marvel Universe and I am here for it. Any series with a character from the extensive X-World will generally spark my interest and Domino has been spot-on since its premiere. Simone sets the main character and her cohorts on rampage-for-hire missions and writes them in a way that is both jazzy and vivacious. This latest arc promises more of the same, with Neena, Rachel, and Inez taking on vampires just in time for Halloween. Domino has had an abundance of laughs and bloodshed, perfect for our soldier of fortune. Looks like luck is ever on her side.
What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below. Best answer wins a free set of DoomRocket stickers!