Welcome to an Early HALLOWEEN Edition of the Sunday Stash. We’ve got the most abused, costumed superhero every October 31st (Batman); um, wytches; some evil demonic posessions; and a bunch of Has-Bro’s. Oh, and a brand new spanking kick-ass journalist with MPD.
I’m Baaaack! Scott Snyder (The Wake) and Greg Capullo (Spawn) are ALSO back with a vengance after their epic origin arc, Zero Year. To finish out this nothing less than spectacular run, the dynamic duo appropriatly titled their 4th quarter storyline, Endgame.
In true Snyder fashion, Batman #35 pulls no punches–literally. If you thought the Riddles of the Secret, Dark, and Savage City were the ultimate test, just wait till you witness the Dark Knight against is his own Justice League teammates. Crazy. Thankfully — and only appropriately — Bats comes fully prepared with gadgets galore, and leaves nothing to chance when fighting these “Gods Among Him” who seem hellbent on permanently ending The Batman.
By the end of this issue, fans will know the architect behind all of this and be pleasantly surprised.
I’ve gotta say, I’ve been a fun of Capullo’s artwork since his days at Image with his work on Todd Mcfarlane’s Spawn. He had big shoes to fill back following Mcfarlane himself and has become one of the best artists in the business today. His take on Batman goes toe-to-toe with other great Bat-artists such as Jim Lee, Neal Adams, and Frank Miller. Greg’s ability to illustrate Gotham’s gritty street level crimes and Batman’s epic takedowns of the his fellow leaguers is something to behold. Or, as Snyder explained over the weekend at New York Comic Con, a comic that is “over the top and muscular, [with our mystery mastermind] breaking every piece of every toy of every game”.
If this is truly the end of the Snyder/Capullo Era then.. give me a moment so I can weep. I’d say life isn’t fair, but we still have a wild ride ahead of us before that sad day truly becomes reality. Batman #35 also includes a back-up story written by James Tynion IV (Talon) and illustrated by Kelley Jones (The Sandman), that tells a creepy tale of something that, at first, appears to have nothing to do with the main story, but slowly plays right into what’s to come in Endgame.
You’re gonna want to sleep with the light on.
With Wytches #1, Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) — again! — brings the terror. From the atmospheric opening, the tension and a sense of dread is damn near jumping off the panels. Through the intro, set in 1919, we get a brief taste of what can be expected later in the book. Wytches, horrible terrible creatures, exist and are out there. Forget everything you thought you knew about them; these witc.. wytches are nothing like that.
The book revolves around the Rooks Family, mainly daughter Sail Rooks. From the outset, the story is layered in mystery. It’s Sail’s first day of class at a new school, and she has a dark secret in her past, which I wont spoil (you’re welcome). The pacing of this issue is impeccable, rivaling that of the finest hollywood has to offer. Not surprisingly, production company New Regency, who plans to adapt the comic with Plan B, has ALREADY optioned the comic for a film. The artwork by Jock (Batwoman) and colors by Matt Hollingsworth (Daredevil), is as stunning as it is terrifying– perfectly capturing the tone and feeling of a horror classic. This would be a perfect issue if the cliffhanger for this issue didn’t feel pre-mature, as you dont really get a sense of the danger thats being set up, or why. But that doesn’t detract too much for me, if at all. Reading Snyder’s story from his younger days “witch hunting”, which everyone should read, it’s evident how personal of a book this is, and it comes through beautifully. These fears feel real and intimate. Overall, a frightening, marvelous first issue– easily one of this Dynast’s favorite books of this year. 4.5/5 Talking Broomsticks.
So…IDW Publishing just recently Darby Pop(ped) one of their latest titles through the comic foxhole. Created and written by the dynamic, linguistic duo of Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, I must confess under interrogative duress; that I am unequivocally unimpressed! After cutting their choppers as script assistants on Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, and dropping post-apocalyptic dialogue on the now defunct Jericho (along with penning a recent Zorro reboot and an upcoming Ghost Recon script for pyro-laden spectaclemeister Herr Michael Bay), I found myself numbingly shell-shocked into stupidity after thumbing my nose through their initial ish of: DEAD SQUAD. Stilted, clichéd dialogue too easy to telegraph, that ballpeen hammers out a military espionage title with all the usual tired tropes that a 12-year-old boy would yawn over.
Having dropped hot lead and molten black for such titles as: The Fallen, Spirit of the Law, and Hellraiser, before now, it appears painfully obvious to me that Michael Montenat’s pencils have been worn to worthless wooden nubs with no graphite soul, his India ink diluted to a gray that doesn’t matter. On this SQUAD, his lines and marks too pristine and clean, lacking any visceral vitality.
Breakdown: Delta Force Operatives Blake, Hooper, and Shane (visual clones of actors Chris Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, and Michael B. Jordan, respectively), didn’t come off as the Ops they’re supposed to be; and they ain’t even no weekend Stormtroopers either. They blow up some bad guys, who may not necessarily be bad; they find out their Colonel and CO may have gone rogue; they have a brief argument with their Colonel Richard Crenna-look-alike; and things get predictably worse for the D Squad from there. I saw and read all I needed to from this dog turd, by simply glancing the cover page. I wouldn’t waste a single hollow-tipped wad-cutter on this blood-drained carcass. DEAD SQUAD is D.O.A… I give this 1 Six Empty Chambers out of 6, on a shitty ole rusty wheel gun that Chris Walken wouldn’t have even used in The Deerhunter after he and Bobby DeNiro get pulled outta the flooded rat cage by the Viet Cong… 1/5 Empty Chambers.
The band, October Faction, was a bastard son of the hardcore punk rock band, Black Flag; and THE OCTOBER FACTION, is one of the latest comic titles, caesarian-sectioned fist-first, from the tomb of IDW Publishing. Open up, and suck on this lumpy, red gravy…you ghastly bastards!!!
IDW Prez, Greg Goldstein, had the testicles of oblivion to dig the earth for more corpulent stylings from Steven Niles (30 Days of Night) and Damien Worm (In the Dark). These voodoo priest killers recently slashed and stitched up the fiendish Frankenstein’s Monster/Jack the Ripper hybrid, Monster and Madman (a slightly older TOF sibling; that just slipped IDW’s beef-curtained labium nary eight moons ago)…
Diagnosis: Familia, Allan = Neo-gothic noir clan, cum The Addams Family + The Incredibles (with: father of hunter, mother of killer, daughter of witch, and son of warlock). Doktor von Niles runs Tesla coil current through the dialogue, from colloquial to literary, as a slightly nonlinear tale begins to burn on multiple ends of the candelabrum; a tale not all readers may take a shining to. Don’t worry ya bonez, Holmes. There remains enough Nilesian verbal elixir to keep the cauldron aboil.. Animated under the skin of Undertaker Worm’s surgically precise lead point and coagulated bloodwork, the image cells that house the heroes, heroines, and hellions of, THE OCTOBER FACTION, phase and fugue from sepia tones to grayscale and back again, shot with splattered crimson (smearing together visual tropes of cinema, comica, and supranaturala, in a seductively slimy broth). Worm’s visions, often marred with scratches and flecked with viscera & ooze break the comic fourth wall, spilling into the no man’s land of gutter space between each frame..
Dark souls Niles & Worm have graverobbered up an anti-hero, here. One: Frederick Allan; of body parts a la: Abe Lincoln, Clint Eastwood, and Colonel Sanders. I’ll be shoveling worm dirt, digging for more– down to the bloody quick of my fingernails. Rating: One, full-on, bloated & festering corpse, with all orifices fully distended.. Come get your necrophilia on, Texas Chainsaw-style!!! 4.5/5 Bloody Effing Bibles.
Ernest Fairchild is one epic raging assassin for Lucifer– even if he’s so batshit crazy other followers in hell keep their distance. Your lovely Bishop had no choice to dive into this issue (ask Moody) and was quite frankly lost in the pages; but not in the good way. I mean, if you’re not familiar with the story of Ernest Fairchild in Evil Ernie #1, then.. it’s going to become clear you need to have read the origin of the character. Moving on, Twisted Sister frontman son Jesse Blaze Snider‘s action was decent for the issue Death, as beheadings, blood in this ish are totally present and done tasteful. Entertaining, was the fact that there was female hacker talking to the totally carbon copied style Hell Cube from (Hellraiser movie) and what happens from there, well, let’s just say I kept laughing. Towards the end you see an attractively illustrated Fem Demon — drawn by Jason Craig — talking to her minions, with the looks as if the gang will eventually get back together. Ernie, looks like you have family planning a visit. Just make sure they are welcomed home properly. 3/5 Tombstone Piledrivers.