Halloween ComicFest is coming up, and The Fellowship was fortunate enough to obtain copies of this year’s selections. Not sure if your store is participating? You can find out here. Without further ado, here are a few reviews of the nineteen comics that will be available…
1. RACHEL RISING (ABSTRACT STUDIOS)
(W/A) Terry Moore
Rachel is a young woman who finds herself dead and buried. She must dig out of her grave and try to figure out who killed her and why. And what exactly is going on in the town of Manson?
RACHEL RISING is one of the best titles out there. Each month is filled with interesting characters, snappy dialogue, and mystery and suspense that will keep you coming back for more. I can’t praise this book enough. If someone asks me what title they should try, this is the first one I mention.
2. MARVEL SUPER HERO SECRET WARS (MARVEL)
(W) Jim Shooter (A) Mike Zeck
Members of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the X-men, along with Spider-man and the Hulk have been taken to a newly created planet by an entity called The Beyonder. There they are forced to battle their arch villains in the ultimate contest of good vs. evil. But who exactly is this Beyonder? And will they be able to get back home?
SECRET WARS celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. And it has the distinction of being the first (and one of the best) crossover event titles. If you haven’t read this, you don’t know what you are missing.
3. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #1 (ARCHIE)
(W) Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (A/CA) Francesco Francavilla
Jughead brings his dog to Sabrina for help after he was hit by a car. She uses magic to bring him back to life, but doesn’t realize what evil she’s unleashed on Riverdale…
I picked up the original first issue just on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Roberto Aguirre Sacasa takes the Archie crew on a dark, scary path and it’s well done. Francesco Francavilla’s art captures the mood perfectly. Also included is a preview to the new, darker Sabrina comic. I highly recommend this issue and the series overall!
4. SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #1 (DC)
(W) Sholly Fisch (A/CA) Dario Brizuela
Scooby and the gang are looking into the sightings of a human-sized bat around town. Their investigation has them meet up with Batman and Robin again. Can the combined forces solve the mystery of….the Man-Bat?
This is a well done story that captures the classic Scooby Doo cartoons. There are some great inside jokes as well. A great book to get the kiddies into reading comics.
5. MICHAEL TURNER'S FATHOM: THE ADVENTURES OF ERNIE (ASPEN)
(W) Vince Hernandez (A/CA) Agnes Garbowska
Through mazes, crossword puzzles, pages to color, and other activities, you can help Ernie the Seahorse get back to his home in the water!
I was surprised when I picked up this comic. It’s a really great activity book with a very nice story for the kids. This will be a winner, and props to Aspen for doing something a little different with their HCF offering.
6. PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES: TIMEPOCALYPSE (DARK HORSE)
(W) Paul Tobin (A/CA) Ron Chan
Dr. Edgar Zomboss has built a Sun Vacuum hoping to steal the sunlight in order to defeat the planets and rule the world. An accident causes a rip in time which the doctor decides to begin his evil scheme. Can Patrice, Nate and Uncle Dave stop the zombies from winning?
This is a cute little teaser for the Dark Horse digital comic. If you are a fan of the game (yes, I do enjoy it), you should really pick this up.
7. VAMPLETS: THE UNDEAD PET SOCIETY (ACTION LAB)
(W) Gayle Middleton, Dave Dwonch (A) Amanda Coronado, Bill Blankenship (CA) Gayle Middleton, Bill Blankenship
Destiny Harper is awoken to the news that the Bitemares are missing. Not knowing what they are, Priceforth and Rasket tell her what they are and their importance to the Undead Pet Society. But who or what is responsible for their disappearance?
Yet another great dark, yet all ages appropriate book that was kinda fun to read. I don’t know anything about this title and there is nothing here to get you up to speed. Other than that, thumbs up.
8. GRIMM FAIRY TALES HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (ZENESCOPE)
(W) Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco (A) Jean-Paul Deshong & Various (CA) Mike Debalfo
A couple of kids stop by Belinda’s house while out trick or treating. They get a bonus treat by hearing the story of a monkey’s paw that grants wishes…with dire consequences. But does such an evil thing exist?
This is an awesome tale worthy of Tales from the Crypt. A perfect tale for Halloween complemented with some beautiful art. But definitely not for the kiddies!
9. MERMIN (ONI PRESS)
(W/A/CA) Joey Weiser
Mermin (who is a mer-man) and his human friends are trying to bring the concept of Halloween underwater to his home Mer. Will they be successful? Will Pete take the trick of “trick or treat” to literal?
I’m not familiar with Mermin and his friends, but this was a cute, funny little story. This should be a hit with the kids as well.
10. MAX BROOKS' EXTINCTION PARADE #1 (AVATAR PRESS)
(W) Max Brooks (A/CA) Raulo Caceres
The vampires never thought much of the zombies: slow, clumsy, and stupid. However when a major outbreak begins, our “heroine” realizes that the vampires’ food supply is in jeopardy. But are the vampires too late to stop the inevitable?
It’s the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a vampire, which is a cool twist to a familiar story. The tale is interesting enough for me to find the trade and check it out.
11. BOOM! STUDIOS HALLOWEEN FRIGHT FEST (BOOM! STUDIOS)
(W) Bryce Carlson & Various (A) Nichol Ashworth & Various
ADVENTURE TIME – Starchy panics when he realizes his mustache is missing! Where can it be?
FRAGGLE ROCK – Mokey has lost her inspiration. Will she ever be creative again?
PEANUTS – Snoopy and the gang get ready for trick or treating in their own unique way.
Two enjoyable little stories and two great Peanuts strips make for a nice little contribution from the folks at BOOM! Studios.
12. ANGRY BIRDS COMICS (IDW PUBLISHING)
(W) Nathan Crosby (A) Ivan Portier (CA) David Baldeon
In the main story “Night of the Living Zigs,” Professor Frankenswine has come up with a plan to reanimate dead pigs to do labor, but things don’t go so well. Other stories include an Angry Bird staring contest, and a “brilliant” plan on stealing the birds’ eggs.
I’m not a big fan of Angry Birds, but I did chuckle a few times reading this minicomic. If you like the game or the regular comic, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
13. LBX: LITTLE BATTLERS EXPERIENCE (PERFECT SQUARE/VIZ MEDIA)
(W/A) Hideaki Fujii
Van Yamano and his LBX Achilles must battle similar miniature robots trying to find out what happened to his father. But that’s not all Van will sooner discover…
I rarely read manga, and it was helpful for the publisher to have a diagram on how to properly read the book. This was very interesting tease for the trades that will be available in November. Especially if you like robots battling each other.