we are not dead, just incredibly busy. :/
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Duncan Fegredo
Colorist Sherilyn van Valkenburgh
Letterer John Costanza
Cover art by Duncan Fegredo
Published by DC/Vertigo 1993
Reviewed by Lydia H.
A few years back when I started to collect comics Enigma was one of the first ones I picked up and was determined to complete. It’s an older comic from the mid-nineties making it one of the more difficult things to find in a local shop. For two years I added to my set eventually grinding to halt with one issue missing. For the last year or so every time I went to the shop and looked through the 50c comics I always looked for that one issue. I never found it (number 5 of 8). I did, however, receive it as a gift from my awesome girlfriend in July. I put off reading it for a couple of weeks, afraid the series would suck and that I’d be utterly disappointed having invested so much time into completing my set. Eventually the desire to read it outweighed the fear of disappointment and I caved.
Enigma is about this ordinary guy, Michael, living a very ordinary life. His life is so predictable and boring. The guy has sex with his girlfriend every Tuesday, I mean how much more boring do you have to get? However, something happens that draws his attention away from the comfortable predictability of his life. A series of murders plague his city. The victims all have their brains eaten from their skulls through a tiny hole. Michael finds himself intrigued by mystery of it all. Who is the brain eater? Is it just some ordinary Joe like himself? He drags his girlfriend in the middle of the night to Felgrado Heights where a “masked man” has been spotted in the vicinity of a fresh murder scene. Something about everything that’s happening seems eerily familiar. It sparks a new sense of passion in Michael. He is sure he has dreamt about the “masked man” and even thinks he remembers him from his childhood. Eventually, Michael starts to piece together the clues in his mind and realizes that these “villains” that are emerging are from an incomplete comic series he’d read over and over again as a child (the comic is obviously a result of psychedelic 60’s counter-culture). The masked man is the Enigma and the villains are his enemies. Michael decides to set out to find the writer of this comic series thinking that he may have some idea of what’s going on.
What I thought was turning into a bizarre super-hero story is much more than that. A lot of strange connections are revealed and the true identity of the Enigma comes to light as well. This series has been described as a “post-modernist existential pop narrative” and I think that’s quite fitting. Issues of identity, sexuality, interconnectivity, perception of time, etc. are all touched on in this series. I was slightly disappointed with the ending as it felt like it was left just hanging. Maybe that was intentional to parallel the unfinished comic within this comic.
I checked Amazon and it appears there is a TPB, however, it seems to be out-of-print. People are selling it for $35 - $70 on Amazon. I can tell you I didn’t spend nearly that much finding single issues in my local shop. If you really want this series (and I HIGHLY recommend you get it!) I’d suggest trying Ebay and ComicCollectorLive.com for single issues. If you’re comfortable and able to spend at least $35 (plus shipping) then you can easily purchase a TPB from an Amazon seller.
B.P.R.D. Night Train
Published by Dark Horse Comics 2003
Story by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins
Art by Scott Kolins and Dave Stewart
Letters by Pat Brosseau
B.P.R.D Created by Mike Mignola
Reviewed by Megan H
Night Train is a one shot comic taken right out of Mike Mignola’s world of B.P.R.D. In this short, B.P.R.D characters that make an appearance are Lobster Johnson, Liz, and Roger. The story starts out with Lobster Johnson hunting down a Nazi man who has intentions of destroying the train. Unfortunately, he succeeds killing all of the passengers including Lobster Johnson. Back at B.P.R.D headquarters, reports are coming in of ghost trains being spotted night after night. Liz and Roger head out to investigate the reports. They find the train stopping outside of a local cabin and break in to meet the man who so many years ago killed all of these people. The old man passes his aura onto Liz, and Liz is carried back to the train by mistake by the ghosts of the train passengers.
This is a very good and quick read. I found this copy for 50 cents at the local comic book store but you can always purchase this in trade paperback form in B.P.R.D. Volume 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories.
Superman Earth One
Published by DC Comics 2010
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Pencils by Shane Davis
Colors by Barbara Ciardo
Lettered by Rob Leigh
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Reviewed by Megan H
Recently there has been a lot of hype surrounding Superman because of the release of the new Man of Steel movie. I have never seen or read anything Superman until recently. I watched Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and from then on I have been hooked. I found a great article that gave the best five Superman novels to start with and Earth One was top of the list. I found the first trade paperback this weekend and decided to give it a go.
In Earth One, Clark Kent is struggling with his identity. Not sure of who or what he is to become, he heads into the city of Metropolis with the intention of finding somewhere to fit in. He interviews for several jobs, including pro-football, research scientist and a reporter for the Daily Planet. While Clark struggles with his identity, we learn that he came here alone from another planet. His parents put him in a vessel right as their planet was being destroyed. While venturing out, the Kent’s saw what they assumed was a meteor crashing into the planet. Curiosity got the better of Mrs. Kent, and they proceeded to check it out. They found a baby boy and decided to take him with them along with a small piece of the ship he was travelling in. They knew there was something special about him when they started seeing military style choppers swarming the area. One afternoon, Clark somehow activates this piece of ship and the remains begin to rebuild. At the same time, beings from the planet that destroyed Clark’s home world arrive looking for him. It is in these moments that Clark realized what he is to become, and emerges as Superman.
For my first Superman novel, I really enjoyed this. It was easy to follow and provided a lot of background information on how Clark really does struggle with not knowing who he is and the purpose of his existence. The art is very well done in this novel, showing incredible details and colors. If you haven’t ventured into the Superman world yet, definitely check around to see where you want to start. This is a great first novel and I recommend it to any DC Universe Fan.
Story by Mark Millar
Art by Peter Gross
Colors by Jeanne McGee
Published by Dark Horse Comics 2004
Reviewed by Lydia H.
I grew up in a religious family. As I grew older I learned more about the world around me, other religions, and cultures. Eventually, I rejected the doctrine that had been drilled into me. I don’t claim any religion whatsoever, but I do still really enjoy the mythology of religious stories. When I saw this three issue story about the supposed second coming of Jesus, well, I snatched it up.
Jodie is a twelve year old boy living in a small town. One afternoon he and some friends cut part of class to find a porno mag someone left in the woods. A dog, Angel, runs in front of a large truck. The driver, in an attempt to miss the dog, ends up careening off a bridge and straight on top of a dumbfounded Jodie. Jodie not only survives the crash, but crawls out from the wreckage completely unscathed. The driver ends up in a coma. From that day on Jodie suspects there’s something that makes him different from all the other kids. Suddenly he is fluent in every language on earth, knows the answer to every question asked by his teachers (in several subjects)—he even accidentally cures a friend’s asthma. After that he attemps to perform other miracles, giving a friend 20/20 vision and turning bottles of water into wine.
Slowly the boy gains a following in his small town and everyone seems to think he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Jodie too is convinced and attempts to live a more “pure” life. He treats his parents with respect, stops masterbating, and tries to stop cursing. But while Jodie and his followers remain convinced, others, like the local priest, aren’t so sure of what’s the truth.
The art is excellent and I absolutely love the use of watercolor. I use watercolor to color my own comics and think it’s really exciting to see it in a more mainstream arena like Dark Horse.
Normally I can predict an ending to stories like this one early on, but I was really surprised and pleased with the way it ended. Trust me, it’s a good one. You might be able to find this in old back-issue comic boxes at your favorite comic shop (like I did) or you can purchase them online in comic form or in TPB form (American Jesus Volume 1). There is supposedly a movie of this coming out sometime? It was supposed to be filmed last summer but I haven’t heard anything else. There is also supposed to be a sequel which I haven’t seen yet, but I’m sure it’s on the way!
Batman/Green Arrow: The Poison Tomorrow
Published by DC Comics 1992
Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Penciller: Michael Netzer
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Letterer: Todd Klein
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Reviewed by Megan H.
The Poison Tomorrow is a one shot crossover featuring Batman and the Green Arrow. I have never read anything that included the Green Arrow and was surprised at how much I liked him. The story begins with a plague of sorts. A doctor, who has been seeing Poison Ivy, has been infected with a contagion. Blisters have broken out on people exposed and causes them to cough themselves to death. The contagious doctor has shown up in Gotham causing quite a stir. Batman immediately finds him and takes him into custody, until the Green Arrow shows up and demands that the doctor return to Seattle with him. Unfortunately the doctor begins coughing and dies on the way to the hospital. Batman calls in a favor to have an autopsy performed immediately and the duo learns that there is a high amount of poison in the doctor’s body, the same type as Poison Ivy. Batman and the Green Arrow seek out Poison Ivy, who we learn has teamed up with a business tycoon to implement a plan which causes a plague. Obviously they are the only ones with access to the cure. Will Batman and the Green Arrow stop Poison Ivy in time?
I definitely suggest this quick read to any fans of Batman, the Green Arrow or Poison Ivy. It is a very interesting story and the ending is bit surprising. I found this for a quarter at a local sale. Check your local shop for a back issue of this; you definitely will not be disappointed.
Published by DC Comics 2000
Writers: Ray Snyder, Dan Jolley, and Tony Harris
Penciller: Dusty Abell
Inker: Jim Royal
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Reviewed by Megan H.
Lazarus Five is a five part comic book series which follows a group known as the Inquisition. The Inquisition has been given a second chance at living in order to fulfill a request sent directly from God. In each issue, we learn about a different member of the group. First is Mordecai, who in his previous life had a wife and daughter and was a practicing physician. Mordecai was ridiculed out of his job when two bodies he was set to autopsy disappeared while he was away. Second is Hank, who we learned was raised by the Inquisition because he died not long after birth. Third is Digit, a human with a really long tail. Fourth is Jeb, a former priest, who one day was approached by the angel Michael. Michael came to him and told him that he would not age anymore if he were to dig deeper into the invasions. Our final character is a man named Holy. Holy experienced these invasions first hand when he was at church with his family. They all turned demonic and Holy was forced to execute all of them. When the locals found out what had happened, they sentenced him to death.
The group has learned about several locations where monsters are coming tears. They set out to several of these locations to fight off the monsters, and close up the portals they are coming through. At one particular location, they find a shoe print which they soon realize belongs to one of the bodies that left the morgue under Mordecai’s watch,
This is an interesting little series. It reminds me of the B.P.R.D and Hellboy universe. The graphics are really well done, with many vibrant colors. I would definitely recommend this to fans of B.P.R.D and Hellboy, as well as those who love anything involving the undead. Unfortunately, there is no trade paperback of this series, so if you are interested check your local comic shops for the back issues of these.
Written by James Robinson
Art by Teddy H. Kristiansen and Peter Snejbjerg
Colors by Daniel Vozzo
Published by Vertigo 1994
Reviewed by Lydia H.
Witchcraft is a three issue comic about one of the oldest tales: vengeance. The story begins in ancient time. A group of pagan women in the midst of prayer and incantation are interrupted by a group of ruthless men cast out from their clan from the North. The men wreak havoc, raping and murdering each of the worshipers. Only one woman, Ursula, finds the inner strength to call to Hecate and pray for the chance for revenge against Rafe Ban Cooth. Her cries are heard and the three witch goddesses that are one find themselves arguing amongst themselves about whether to grant her request. Eventually they agree their daughter deserves a chance to right this wrong.
Three times the souls of Ursula and Cooth are born; in medieval time, in Victorian era, and finally modern day. Three times the witch goddesses intervene in an attempt to assist Ursula’s soul in finding the vengeance she seeks. Three times Cooth’s soul causes Ursula’s soul pain and torment. Does she find vengeance in the end?
I really enjoyed this mini-series. I have begun looking for the next arc Witchcraft: La Terreur. The art is some of my favorite; dark constrasting shadows interact very well with the brilliant color palette. This wasn’t a difficult set to track down. I was lucky that my favorite shop has a nice selection of back issue comics that go back as far as the mid 90’s. Anything before that is more difficult to find for sure. I love dark magic, witchcraft, and pretty much anything dealing with the occult in a more serious tone. The ending was pretty intense. There are several issues for sale on comiccollectorlive.com so if you can’t track it down locally you might order it there.
Gotta apologize for being so quiet. I don’t know how many of you know that I am currently working on my own comic (which is taking up a LOT of my free time) as well as turning a friend’s poem into a graphic novella (also a lot of work) and I just signed on to turn my friend Wyatt’s screen play into a comic/graphic novel as well. All independent endeavors to get my foot into the door of the comic industry. Alas it hasn’t left much time for reading or reviewing. But comics are my passion and I promise reviews will continue. Megan has a few she is about to write up and I have another I’ll be reviewing (hopefully today). Thanks for sticking with us! :)