It’s the day after New Comic Day, which means it’s time for Four-Color Bullet, the Internet’s only comic-book review column that ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts.
From Marvel this week, Peter’s early exploits as the Amazing Spider-Man continue as what started out as fun and games for new villain Clash turns serious, and a classic Spidey foe shows up to make it worse, in The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #1.4; The new Frightful Four! Can Reed prove Ben’s innocence? And the original Human Torch pops in, in Fantastic Four #9; The Uncanny Avengers are reunited and the threat of Kang is over. So what comes next? Find out in Uncanny Avengers #32.
Over on the DC Comics side of things, the mystery of the masked Superman continues, in Futures End #17; Deadman’s backstory revealed as the Justice League Dark takes on Pantheon for all the marbles, in Justice League Dark #34; Following the fight with Green Hornet and Kato, Batman and Robin pursue the coins stolen from the Gotham Bank. But are the coins just another deadly trap? Find out in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #8
Image Comics introduces a new horror series starring Rori Lane, who, while visiting her mother in Tokyo, finds herself pursued by shadowy forces that cause her to discover a power within her. Described as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a twist of Hellboy,” it’s Wayward #1.
From the IDW-verse, Harlan Ellison’s Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever continues with its third issue as Kirk and Spock, stranded in Earth’s past, desperately search for the focal point that altered the time-stream. But once they find her, they could be foiled by a power greater than the Guardians of Forever: love. And, The League of Extraordinary Villains has vastly underestimated our heroes. Now, Samurai Jack, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter, and even Ed, Edd, and Eddy, are bringing the fight to them and getting to the bottom of the League’s devious plan, in Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War #3
IDW’s Ghostbusters reaches the penultimate chapter of its 30th Anniversary epic, Mass Hysteria. Tiamat has been trying to get her brother Gozer’s goat for some time. Now that she’s managed it, the two are duking it out in Ray’s mind while the rest of the team are powerless to stop them. But if they don’t figure something out fast, Ray, and the rest of the city, county, and state of New York are going to be in Big-Twinkie-Sized trouble.
Writer Erik Burnham writes a fantastic issue that leads to what may turn out to be a shocking and monumental finale. This is Ghostbusters at its best. Action, quips, and truly personal stakes for all involved. Most of the story takes place in Ray’s mind, as he’s forced not only to watch, but host, a titanic throw-down between two angry Sumerian deities. All while the rest of the team try and try again but are powerless to stop the gods without injuring their friend.
Burnham uses this to answer some questions that have been hanging around, as well as giving us some new stuff to take right on in to the finish. Dan Schoening’s art is beautiful as always. Constant movement and seriously gorgeous and epic fight scenes with Gozer and Tiamat. Delgado’s colors make Schoening’s already perfect art jump off the page, especially concerning the Sumerian Smackdown.
Just a great story overall and Burnham and company pull out all the stops to bring us to the big finish. And the finish, it appears, will definitely be all-caps-big.
Kirkman, Azaceta, and Breitweiser deliver another quality issue of Image’s new horror comic Outcast. Issue three is light on, but not without, the horror that the two issues before it have brought, this time serving as more of a character- and story-building exercise. We see Kyle share dinner with a neighbor, and discover that both of them have dealt with tremendous loss. Will this forge a new friendship for the emotionally detached Kyle? And we get more on Reverend Anderson, Kyle’s go-to-guy in the weirdness that has suddenly invaded his life.
But the horror is still there. Early in the book, a demon-possessed man brings tragedy to a new character’s life, sending him looking to Kyle for answers, and the mysterious man in the brimmed hat returns to save the day for two of our players. But is he friend or foe?
Paul Azaceta delivers his shadowy and beautifully dark pencils, and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors, while extreme and in-your-face when looking to scare, also provides quiet, reflective moments as well, in this particular issue.
Every good series needs to give the reader time to breathe before it ratchets up the suspense for the next lap. Outcast takes a break this issue, mostly, from the scares, but I don’t think we’ll rest too long.
And that’s it for this week’s Four-Color Bullet. Email and comment below if you so choose. Today brings Ghostbusters back to the big screen for its week-long 30th Anniversary. If you haven’t seen it on the big screen and you’re a fan, go. Find a theater near you that’s showing it and see it in all its glory. I’m going. This nerd’s not about to miss it.
It’s a good time to be a comics fan. See you next week!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!