PTSD Radio Volumes 1-6 (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Masaaki Nakayama
Urban landscapes are profoundly haunted. Cities are built on the ruins of villages and small towns, turning those who lived there previously into ghosts that linger in the corners. PTSD Radio begins as a series of disconnected horror stories, an anthology centered around tormented spirits, but then patterns start to emerge. The presence of hair and dark figures tugging at the scalps of sleeping victims are recurring motifs. Slowly but surely we uncover a story about a rural village where cultural changes led to the destruction of a primitive idol. This, in turn, unleashes a quiet evil that permeates the lives of the people who grew up in this village, following them into adulthood.
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Written & Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Without even realizing it, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has been every present in my adult life. Twenty years ago, this August, I saw The Sixth Sense on one of my first weekends at college, and it messed with my head. Many years later, having seen much darker and more horrific cinema, I don’t think it could affect me as profoundly, but it remains a good film. A year later I was in the theater seeing Unbreakable, a film that was everything I ever wanted in a superhero movie. I remember seeing Signs while I was staying with a friend for a month in Montgomery, Alabama. My first viewing of The Village was at the now shut down Springfield Cinema here in my hometown. I was living in Washington state when I went to the theater on my own the summer of 2006 and saw Lady in the Water. My last Shyamalan cinematic experience was watching The Happening at a theater in Puerto Rico with my then girlfriend (now wife). She yelled at the screen at one point due to how genuinely terrible that movie is. From then on I’ve only ever watched his films outside of theaters and entirely skipped After Earth due to The Last Airbender being so damn bad. Shyamalan is a filmmaker who continually has me wondering how everything went so wrong, how he could go from making something like Unbreakable which still holds up to giving us The Visit, a film that is so flawed and broken. So now, nineteen years after Unbreakable he finally gives us the closing chapter in that story.
Continue reading “Movie Review – Glass”
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Written by Steve Englehart
Art by Joe Staton
Life is going about as usual in the DC Universe when the peace is interrupted by the return of two strange figures: one Guardian of the Universe and one Zamaronian. These two ancient cosmic beings are on Earth to warn of the threat of the Manhunters and the coming of a group of special humans called The Chosen. The heroes of the DC Universe are split into groups to travel the globe and contact the Chosen while protecting them from the cult-like Manhunters.
Continue reading “Comic Book Review – Millennium”
The Flash Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Everything changed when the original Wally West returned, emerging from the timestream when his Uncle Barry Allen aka The Flash remembered him. Now the speedster hero of Central City recalled that there was a reality before this one and that some unseen force is manipulating the memories and realities of the people around him. He doesn’t have much time to dwell on this when a sudden speed force storm grants his powers to dozens of everyday people. This includes police detective August Heart and STAR Labs scientist Meena Dhawan. Is this the work of the criminal organization The Black Hole or the newly emerged speedster villain Godspeed?
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Detective Comics: The Rebirth Deluxe Edition Volume 1 (2017)
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows, Ben Oliver, Raul Fernandez, Eber Ferreira, and Alvaro Martinez
Something is watching the heroes of Gotham City. Strange bat-like drones are found tracking members of Batman’s extended crime-fighting family starting with Azrael. There is apparently an organization out for these people, so Batman pays a visit to his cousin, Kate Kane aka Batwoman to make her the leader of a new team. The roster is made up of Robin (Tim Drake), Spoiler (Stephanie Brown), Orphan (Cassie Cain), with a surprising addition of villain Clayface. Batman sets them up in the Belfry, a tower in the center of Gotham which Tim Drake has outfitted with all the training and investigative tech they could ever need. Then the dark force in the background makes themselves known, and a war begins across Gotham.
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Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins (Dark Horse)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Dean Ormston
It’s been ten years since the heroes of Spiral City was pulled from their reality and deposited in a small town that they cannot escape from. Abraham Slam. Golden Gail. Colonel Weird. Madame Dragonfly. Barbalien. They all live in hiding to one degree or another, trying to suss where exactly they are and how they get back home. After a decade its become somewhat normal and worn some of them down. Golden Gail was a woman in her fifties but, like a reverse Shazam, is trapped in her child form until they can escape. Colonel Weird seems to be a living ghost fading between the small town and a tangle of time where he visits his past and future selves. Barbalien, already an exile from his homeworld of Mars, struggles to deal with the feelings he has developed for the town’s preacher. But across the cosmos, a stranger in Spiral City nears closer and closer to finding these lost heroes.
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My Favorite Books and Comic Books of 2017
Click the book cover for my full review of each book.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
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