This week served up an awesome blend of monster-slaying, truth-bending, symbiote shenanigans and a fresh series that’s equal parts Oliver & Company and Silence of the Lambs. Let’s take a look at some of the notable new titles this week in comics!
Stray Dogs #1
Sophie has a lot of problems. She’s skittish, anxious, afraid…oh and she’s a dog. Vague memories of her former master, trips to the vet, an injection of some sort all swirl together as she finds herself in a new home surrounded by nearly a dozen other dogs.
She does her best to adapt to her new environment, but when a harrowing memory returns, Sophie discovers that her new master isn’t necessarily the warm and welcoming dog-lover her new peers claim him to be.
I was not expecting to pick this book up today. The cover drew my eye and I thought I’d give it a chance. The style is highly reminiscent of Don Bluth’s notable animation style, particularly subjects you might find in All Dogs Go To Heaven or Disney’s Oliver & Company. The contrast of this aesthetic with the haunting plot is well executed, and the second twist in the final page is an effective hook to see what’s next.
Definitely pick this up if you can. A great ride!
Something is Killing the Children #15
After Erica’s seemingly suicidal dive into the remaining brood, it appeared the monster-hunters of St. George were ready to kill the entire town of Archer’s Peak in order to cover their tracks and maintain their singularly focused mission.
When Erica proved to be successful in finishing off the monsters, however, an uncharacteristic act of grace, aided by a willing martyr willing to bear the burdens of the murdered children, opens the door for a (relatively) peaceful conclusion to St. George’s assault on Archer’s Peak.
I don’t know how Tynion is balancing this along with Department of Truth, but it’s incredible. While the clean-up scene in the gym can feel a bit forced, Erica’s conversation with the head of St. George is a well-executed moment of narrative tension. You’re unsure if he’s going to do anything, what his abilities are…the uncertainty layers in tension and results in a great scene.
While the saga at Archer’s Peak is over (for now), I’m interested to see what’s next for Erica, while also eagerly awaiting further news of the pending TV series!
Department of Truth #6
James Tynion continues with the series that keeps on giving. Department of Truth #6 gives us a peek at a pivotal moment in Oswald’s history, and in the process reveals a broader truth that we have only just begun to uncover.
The storybook rendition of the art, combined with some amazing dialogue and mind-bending historical revisionism (or is it…?) results in another fantastic entry for the recently optioned series.
I’m interested in returning to Cole’s storyline in due time, but for now I’m content digging a bit deeper into the current Director’s backstory, and doing my best to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
King in Black Tie Ins
So, four titles had tie-ins this week: Symbiote Spider Man, Namor, Black Cat and Return of the Valkyries.
In Symbiote Spider Man, Peter and company make their way to Knowhere to get more information on the Black Knight’s magical blade – said to have the power to challenge Knull and help save Earth. Of course, they’ll have to go toe-to-toe with the shadowy Mister E, as well as a pair of troll siblings obsessed with killing each other (and anyone who gets in the way).
A fun jaunt, it continues to stand out as one of the more substantive tie-ins in terms of lore and writing. 8/10
Namor just hasn’t been doing it for me, on the other hand. Namor and his remaining allies are horrified by the power and ruthlessness of the Black Tide, and they struggle helplessly to gain an advantage on them. Possible salvation arrives in the closing page from a highly unlikely source.
I’m interested in seeing how the story concludes, but it just feels like a slog at this point. Not a lot of engaging character development, and the story just kind of chugs along. 6/10
Return of the Valkyries has been a lot of fun, and this issue was surprisingly touching, especially in the closing arc of the issue. A small team of valkyries stands committed to bringing Knull down, invoking the use of a magical needle to weave a new destiny for themselves, both figuratively and literally.
The closing panels are evocative and beautiful, and I’m excited to see how the story arc ends. 9/10
The standout of tie-ins once again is Black Cat. The 3rd issue documents Felicia’s newfound power after channeling the fragment of Yggdrasil in Doctor Strange’s staff. With the power of creation at her fingertips, will the notorious burglar be able to turn down a cosmic-level prize?
This issue has it all: bombastic action sequences, excellent writing, and stellar art. An unexpected trip down memory lane also serves as a powerful focus for re-visiting key moments in Felicia’s past and shining a light on some of her development over the years.
Overall, a fantastic issue and one of my favorites this week. 10/10
That’s all for this week! Feel free to share in the comments which books you’re looking to pick up this week, or join us at our Discord to continue the conversation!