BALTIMORE CURSE BELLS #4
Written by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art by Ben Stenbeck
With the diminutive devil Madame Blavatsky preparing to curse the bells and damn thousands, will Baltimore choose to save the many or be blinded by his personal lust for revenge? Jailbreaks, our hero face to face with the horrific Haigus, teenage torture at the hands of an inquisitor, and more in the penultimate issue of Curse Bells!
Grant: At this juncture, I'm not sure what else I can say about this title. Mike Mignola is a genius. Ben Stenbeck is churning out some mind blowing art. And I'm sure Christopher Golden is doing something, too! I kid, of course. Mignola and Golden have been combining to tell one hell of a story about post-World War 1 vampires and the man who hates them so, and I'm enjoying every moment of the ride.
Horror! Batwoman faces the terrifying villain stalking Gotham City’s children. Can she defeat the gruesome monster in time to save the city’s most innocent victims? Intrigue! Kate Kane unearths a ghost she has tried hard to bury, even as the D.E.O. closes in on Batwoman. Can Kate outrun her past and Cameron Chase? Romance! Kate’s relationship with Detective Maggie Sawyer continues to evolve. But will Kate’s nocturnal activities cause a rift between the two?
Grant: While I, like others, was rather excited to see what J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman could manage with their relaunch of a Batwoman-starring title, I don't know if anyone expected it to be quite so good. Certainly I was ready for the art (which continues to push boundaries), but the writing has been near as good. Greg Rucka's absence is a non-issue, which means I might stop mentioning it whenever I talk about this book. Maybe next time it can be entirely Rucka-free.
DEMON KNIGHTS #3
Under siege and under fire – quite literally – the hastily assembled Demon Knights find that the villagers they’re trying to protect are ready to turn on them… and that they’re locked behind embattled walls with a demon whose very touch can kill! And if the only human Etrigan gives half a damn about dies of her wounds, then Hell help anyone around him…
Grant: I'm loving this book to pieces. It's striking a pretty good balance between humour and earnestness, while giving a decent page count to each one of the many heroes starring in the title. The plot hasn't been super complicated thus far, but any book that has Vandal Savage eating cooked dragon like a giant chicken leg is good by me.
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #3
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
Frankenstein and The Creature Commandos crash-land on the invading alien planetoid and all-out mayhem ensues, but nothing can prepare them for the coming of The Titans of Monster Planet! And just when they thought things couldn’t get worse, Father Time receives a troubling message from his past.
Grant: This title is still on somewhat rocky ground for me. The first two issues have been pretty enjoyable, but they haven't been quite as good as I was expecting. Jeff Lemire has tons of high-concepts flying around each and ever issue, but I feel like the series is still lacking some coherence. With all the big ideas going on, there hasn't quite been enough time to provide the unity to link them together. It seems like there's even more monster mayhem coming our way; I just hope Lemire can tie it all up before issue's end.
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross & M.K. Perker
The game-changing, twice-monthly epic called “Tommy Taylor and the War of Words” begins now! Tom Taylor goes to war against the cabal that has tormented, imprisoned and tried to destroy him – and it’s far more than just a war of words! To have a hope of winning, Tom must use every weapon he can get hold of, but even storybook magic carries its own risks. And for a story unlike any you’ve ever seen, one issue a month isn’t enough! In the special, standalone .5 issues, Tom’s crusade plays out against the backdrop of the cabal’s sinister secret history and delves deep into the dark past of some of the series’ major players. When it’s all over, very little will remain Unwritten.
Grant: Call it gimmicky if you will, but I can't wait for these twice-monthly issues of The Unwritten. This literature-heavy series by Mike Carey and Peter Gross has been getting better with every issue, slowly building momentum with each and every revelation, and I think things are about to go into overdrive. I don't quite know where this will all end up, but I'm eager to see how it gets there.
So that's that. These are the five books that I'll be picking up and reading this week. I know there's lots more out there, but none of the other titles from this demi-fortnight have grabbed me. Have a made a huge mistake? Is there a glaring oversight missing from this list? Let me know!