Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog #1 Review

(W) Rodney Barnes (A) Jason Shawn Alexander & Patric Reynolds

Back when we chatted to Rodney Barnes, (Check out episode 117 in the podcast section of the website), he had mentioned that the world of Killadelphia was getting bigger.  If this was the kind of quality he was talking about for tie-in series, then we are in for a treat.

We have always talked about the quality of Killadelphia on the podcast, and although a reading of that series is preferable (and highly recommended), you could jump into this series cold and still be absorbed into this world.

Whereas Killadelphia focuses on Vampires, Nita Hawes Nightmare Blog focuses on ghosts and demons.  The titular character is Nita Hawes, a former lover of Jimmy Sangster and now a teacher in Baltimore (Rodney Barnes really does love The Wire…), and the most prominent spectre she sees is her little brother, Jason, who died tragically young.  He appears to her to warn her of an impending supernatural invasion.  Other story threads introduced include two detectives investigating gating a grisly murder, and a nurse at a rest home who fears one of her patients may be possessed.

This is everything a great first issue should be.

The writing by Barnes is tight and sharp, with enough time given to every individual story thread to make them matter and draw you in.  The art by Alexander and Reynolds is both haunting and emotive, with some great creature design.  And Luis NCT is on board as colourist, which is a great thing given the great work he does in Killadelphia.

For sure a title to watch, and an excellent companion piece to an already great main series.


Deadly Class #47 Review

(W) Rick Remender (A) Wes Craig

  • I’m sure everyone is bored at this point with me waxing lyrical constantly about this title.  But there’s a very good reason why I do.  It is one of the most consistent titles on the shelves and will go down as one of THE great all time comic series.
  • Coming from Rick Remender and Wes Craig, as indeed has every single issue so far, issue 47 is at turns absolutely brilliant but also worrisome.
  • I say worrisome, because we have been dealing with some time jumps in this particular arc, and I’m not sure the series is going to continue much longer.  Now while there has been no official confirmation to back up my worries, that number 50 definitely looms large on the horizon…..
  • With Issue 47, we are catching up with Saya who, like many of her foirmer Kings Dominion classmates, has fallen on hard times. The story jumps ahead to 2001 (you have to remember Deadly Class kicked off originally in 1987), where Sya is sans a hand, and addicted to stealing to fund her drug habit.  But the narration is always heartbreaking, having Saya’s thoughts openly on display detailing regrets for the road not taken.
  • The early years were all about the coolness of being a teenager, having your whole life ahead of you, having opportunities at every turn.  The middle arc focused on that transition to adulthood, and now we’re firmly in the realm of realising you were never as prepared for the world as you thought you were.
  • But you know what?  This issue ends with the best of things – hope.
  • The writing has always been strong in Deadly Class, bristling with commentary on Generation X and the punk movement, but this title has always been a two man show.  Without Wes Craig’s frenetic, vital, dynamic, but also in this issue, wistful art, this title would not be the masterpiece it is.
  • I will always try to stay away from recommending Deadly Class a pick of the week, because this is a series that needs to be enjoyed from the start.  There are no jumping on points.  But maybe if I keep eschewing its virtues, you will know that this is a title that not only is consistent from issue 1, but arguably is able to get better the longer it goes.
  • If I can convince you of one thing, it’s not to pick up Issue 47, but it’s to pick up that first trade and enjoy one of the best indie comics of modern times.  And before you know it, you’ll reach issue 47 and understand why it’s such a special issue, and such a special series..

Blue & Gold #1 Review

(W) Dan Jurgens (A) Ryan Sook

  • An excellent first issue for two of DC’s more under-utilised characters – Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.
  • Coming from the team of writer Dan Jurgens and artist Ryan Sook, it’s no surprise this is a witty first issue and that it looks absolutely gorgeous.
  • Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) is semi retired after the chastening experience of the recent Suicide Squad run when he was mistaken for the big bad guy, and some health issues.
  • Michael Carter (Booster Gold) is the ultimate opportunist superhero and has fully embraced social media and  broadcasts live streams of all his battles, though they don’t always go the way he would hope! But as the issue opens, he may be the Justice Leagues last hope…
  • But he’s gonna need to get the band back together and seeks out Ted to join him on his quest as the Blue Beetle…
  • There’s just something pleasingly old school about this title. Good old fashioned four colour adventures with a buddy cop dynamic, daring adventures and last minute escapes. All framed by the constant social media reactions to the action on the page.
  • Great start to a very promising miniseries.