Comics Review: The Walking Dead, Locke and Key and Damian: Son of Batman

(Source: Image - Skybound)

(Source: Image – Skybound)

Happy Samhain, everyone. Try not to OD on the sugar.

The Walking Dead celebrated it’s 10th anniversary at the beginning of the month (October 2013) with The Walking Dead #1: 10th Anniversary in full and gorgeous color. The regular issues are all in black and white. It’s still a brilliant and engrossing comic. The best way to enjoy it would be to get the collected editions. Or if you were lucky enough to catch it, Comixology had a digital bundle for 99.99 where you could obtain access to all issues from #1 to #114 and be caught up. I had a physical compilation of about the first 50 issues (heavier than a phonebook) that I loaned out to a friend.

This is a case where obtaining that many comics works a lot better in digital form. Physical editions, I’d recommend the TPB so that you don’t hurt your back. It’s a bit hard to just jump in without knowing the characters.

Before you ask, I’d still recommend reading from the beginning, even if you’re following the AMC TV series. It’s nice to recognize the differences and the alternate storylines. You do have to get used to the black and white look, but after you get hooked into the story it won’t make a difference.

Recommended.

(Source: IDW Publishing)

(Source: IDW Publishing)

Joe Hill’s Locke and Key has to be one of my favorite series of all time and we’re waiting for the grand finale. It’s intricately detailed. You can read it again and discover something new. The story sinks its claws into you and doesn’t let you go. It can be scary as hell with the darkest humor but entertaining no less with the greatest flights of fantasy.

Each volume of the collected editions has all the thrill of an entire season of a TV series. Welcome to Lovecraft – Vol. 1, Head Games – Vol. 2, Crown of Shadows – Vol. 3, Keys to the Kingdom – Vol. 4, Clockworks – Vol. 5, and Omega and Alfa which comprise the last volume,  are each great graphic novels in their own right. This is a comic that sometimes horrifies you but you can’t look away. You have to keep going. It’s not the gore but the concept so vividly illustrated that shocks you.

Welcome to Lovecraft has to be your starting point. I must warn you this is not a “fun” comic, it’s a rather dark one and it starts with death and tragedy, there will be the promise of adventure eventually. The collections work best for this comic unless you must really, really find out what happens next. The concept of the Keyhouse is simple, a key and a door. What each key does and what is accomplished by the door that it opens is sometimes magical and sometimes sinister but it’s always fascinating.

Locke and Key hasn’t finished yet. Omega was the previous storyline and now we’re on Alfa which is only two issues long. The finale is not out yet and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

Heavily recommended. If you’re not scared, you will be.

(Source: DC Comics)

(Source: DC Comics)

And we go back to DC Comics with Damian: Son of Batman. I’m kind of breaking the pattern here, but I wanted to review this comic.

It looks really good, and it’s a short 4-issue series so if you’re thinking about jumping in, it’s a short jump. If you remember pre-new 52’s, there was a Batman #666 (revisited in the New 52’s in Batman, Inc. #5) in which Damian Wayne is actually the Dark Knight. With Damian currently deceased after the events of Batman, Inc. you might be fooled into thinking this is the issue in which the kid makes his return.

It isn’t. This issue looks to be a stepping stone towards the future of #666 but it’s far closer to that future that the current events. Damian is grown up, he and Batman are teaming up. There’s tragedy even as the first pages are just being turned and Damian is left to his own devices. The last Robin goes looking for help to the very last place you’d expect – the League of Assassins, only to be turned away. Ra’s Al Ghul does plant an idea in his head that foresees the future.

It’s like a backward memento-style storyline in which we know the ending and we’re getting the storyline by drops – starting from the ending. This might not be a bad thing. This issue plays like an origin story. The cliffhanger is confusing however, but I’d really hate myself if I were to tell you what happens.

Recommended with reservations.

(Source: Comixology)

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