Comic Book Review: Y: The Last Man Volume 1: Unmanned

(Submitted by with love by Mr. Prince Adam…Ho-pe you’re having a very Happy New Comic Book Day, Kinky Ho-mies! xoxo)

“Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, EX MACHINA) and with art by Pia Guerra, this is the saga of Yorick Brown–the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth. Collects issues #1-5.” (Vertigo)

This comic book gets a lot of critical praise and is lauded in the fanboy community as well! The way some of my friends talk about it, you’d think it’s the greatest thing you’ll ever read. Having just read the first volume, I just don’t get the high praise. For me it was okay, but I definitely had problems with it. One of the things I did like, was the idea that a virus/plague was killing every male on Earth. Now I didn’t like it because my male brethren were dying off. However, this was an intriguing plot point that is unique to any comic book I’ve ever read. The male death epidemic, allows the story to give us incredibly strong, prominent and badass female characters. Sure, Yorick Brown is the last man and he’s at the center of this story, along with his pet monkey Ampersand but this story would be pretty boring if it was about a dude and his monkey. By the way, this book gets extra points because a lead character has a pet monkey. The monkey is a pest, and a pain in the ass to Yuri, which drives most of the humor in this post-apocalyptic story. Also it reminds me of Friends and Joey. The president is obviously now a woman, and Yorick’s mother is a state representative in Washington. In an effort to set the scene for these two characters and this book before the male population goes extinct, this book gets quite political. We see Yorick’s mom arguing with a male counterpart over the issue of an abortion amendment. We see the soon to be President in Israel in the midst of Israeli/Palestinian warfare. Both abortion and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are still big issues even a decade plus after this book was published. I’m pleased that these issues are present, as comic books rarely touch on them. I only hope that it wasn’t all for exposition, or that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, when the story shifts its focus to Yorick’s journey. Speaking of Yorick’s journey, to find out the nature of the virus, why he wasn’t affected by it, he’s joined by two other awesome female characters. The first is Agent 355. The character is tasked by the President to guard and escort Yorick from Washington to Boston. The interesting thing about Agent 355 is that she is no simple body guard, she is a member of the clandestine group Culper Ring. She says they are a part of American history but you can sense there’s more going on with this group and I can’t wait to delve into that history and their ultimate machinations in future volumes. The third member of Yorick’s Scooby gang is Doctor Allison Mann. Dr. Mann is a geneticist, with a special aptitude for cloning. She successfully attempted the cloning process before, and cloning Yorick seems like a way of re-establishing the male population to ensure the births of future generations of humanity. If you suspend disbelief, that sounds like a viable option and she sounds like someone who can get it done.

The main antagonist of this first five issues is the Daughters of the Amazon. They view extinction of all men as a blessing and as a chance to rise up and return Earth to its glory days, when it was led by only woman. These women take Amazon mythology to its extreme. To the point where they cut off one breast because it makes it easier to shoot a bow. If one of their ranks or another woman doesn’t fall in line with the exact ways of the group they are killed. Brian K. Vaughan writes the Daughters of the Amazon with the most extreme stereotypes people have of feminists. This group of women are man hating vandals, societal disrupters and killers. I don’t think the writer is doing this to disparage normal, sane and legitimate feminist, he’s just creating a hyper stereotypical version, who do horrible things so that the readers have an antagonist to root against and despise. If he depicted feminists as they really are, this book would have zero action beats at all. It’d just be marching and protesting. While that may be real world appropriate, it translates to one boring comic. With Yorick, Agent 355 and Dr. Mann getting into confrontations and being on the run from the Daughters of the Amazon, this book has a bit of a Mad Max vibe going for it. The book ends with our trifecta in a bind. Not only are they on the run from Amazon wannabe’s, but they reach Dr. Mann’s Boston lab, only to find the building and her research up in flames. However, the perpetrator of this arson, is a lieutenant general of the Israeli Defense Force. She was seen briefly and early in the story and is after Yorick, to ensure the future of her nation. That’s what I liked about this book. What I didn’t like was Yorick. This guy is in his mid-20’s, jobless and is obsessed with maintaining a long distance relationship with a girl who, it is clear that she’s on the verge of breaking up with him, so the guy proposes to her over the phone. What a douchebag. When the plague hits and all the men die, and it becomes clear that he is the only person capable of insuring humanity’s ultimate survival, his only concern is going to Australia to find his girlfriend. Really? I mean the savior of humanity throughout the book, acts like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way. Yeah, if the future of the human race was really left up to someone like him, I’d rather we all die off. The other thing the book does poorly is deal with the relationship between Yorick and his sister Hero. He tells us how close they are, yet we never see them interact. A flashback to Yorick and Hero’s youth would’ve helped build the bond. Instead, we see Hero at the very beginning and end of the book. At the beginning, we see her banging her figherfighter boyfriend in the back of a fire truck, while at the end we see her with one boob and she is one of the members of Daughters of the Amazon tasked with finding Yorick. Seems to me Brian K Vaughan jumped the gun with her character arc, if you can call it one. Then there’s the issue of the plague killing all the men. The biggest plot point of this book and we don’t get so much of a hint at what it is, or what might have caused it. I understand there’s lots of story left to be told but come on, tease us with something.

Pia Guerra is the artist on this book and it’s the first time I’m seeing her work. To me it has a similar style to the artist of iZombie. While the work is good, given the nature of this story, there aren’t many action scenes to gush on about. I do like the picture of the wives of the dead republican male senators, approaching the White House with weapons, demanding their husband’s places on the senate. The image looked like something akin to zombie’s attacking in a movie or TV show. The page where Yorick gets into a fight with a few Daughters of the Amazon’s resembled the aftermath of an nWo wrestling match. A couple Amazon’s held Yorick down, while the ring leader roughed him up a bit. There was even spray paint involved! The final splash page is an aerial shot showing our characters lost in a literal fork in the road, with the road making the shape of a Y. Now that’s a cool way to end the first arc of a book. Ultimately though, I wish cover artist J.G. Jones was doing the interiors. His art is far more realistic looking and suits the real world story and scenario’s this book deals with.

I’m mostly split on this book. There’s a lot to like about this book but there’s a lot I don’t like about this book. Right now, I’m skewing more negative, due to an unlikable idiot of a main character, under developed backstory and character relationships, and bad pacing in certain places. I’ll probably give this book another go, in the hopes that another volume will build on the parts I did like, and reveal answers to the questions I have about the virus/plague. After Volume 1, I’m left wondering “Y” The hell do so many of my friends and critics think this book is great!?

News Bleed: The “Tales of Blackenstein” Edition

First, the bummer news…

J. Geils has passed away. 🙁 USA Today

Netflix haunts with The Haunting of Hill House! 🙂 Deadline

I hope they serve whiskey in Hell… Hellboy gets his own brand of whiskey! Whiskey Critic

IT’S ALIVE!!!! Severin brings Blackenstein to Blu-ray! 🙂 Dread Central

John Carpenter will chill us with Tales of Science Fiction!

These new Hellraiser: Judgment images will tear your soul apart! Bloody Disgusting

The new Boomerang streaming service launches and will make every morning a Saturday morning. 🙂 Variety

P.S. House of 1000 Corpses came out 14 years ago today, so John Squires of Bloody Disgusting just dug up these spooky-cool DVD menus! Happy Birthday, Captain Spaulding! 🙂

Creepy Comic Carnival: The “You Big Dummy” Edition

Dedicated to Don Rickles. xoxo

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please!
Come in close, so everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell.
A listen don’t cost a dime..
..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”

Salutations from the Carnival, culture vultures! Our dead-lining act is real wooden one from the demented dummies at EC Comics! It concerns a voice-thrower with a secret so shocking, it’ll leave you speechless! From the putrid pages of Tales from the Crypt #28, it’s The Ventriloquist’s Dummy!

Y’know, my fabulously freaky friends… horror dummies are a rather dull bunch. They either come to life to engage some rather tired terror or they play mind games with weak-minded. Well. our performer ain’t no dummy-dummy! This seasoned pro has an act that’s really FLESHED out! Impressively, for a monster from the ’50s, there ain’t a single termite to be found. Armed with a twinning secret, this old-timer is ready to show Today’s dull dolls how it’s done!

For your amusement and education, I give you The Ventriloquist’s Dummy!

Heh. How’s that for a punchline, creeps? I gotta HAND it to Larry: he kept his brother close!

Of course, with a yelp yarn this disgusting, HBO just had to take a stab. They got a Scream Team to Hand-le this one! Richard “The Omen” Donner helmed this doll scripted by Frank “The Walking Dead” Darabont. The late. great Don Rickles played the ventriloquist with a fistful of terror. As a terror-ific tribute to the creep-comic, Rickles’ voice-thrower shares a last name with artist “Ghastly” Graham Ingels. Don’t be a dummy! Check out this Chiller-Diller below!

Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!

Comic Book Review – The Lost Boys

(Submited by our Heroic Ho-mie, Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Sir! 🙂 xoxo)

“Santa Carla, California is on edge. The eccentric coastal town and haven for the undead was finally returning to “normal” after its last supernatural scuffle left the local coven’s head vampire dead and gave newcomers Michael and Sam Emerson a housewarming both violent and bizarre. Now the brothers must once again team up with militant vampire hunters Edgar and Allan Frog when a new gang of ruthless, stunning, life-sucking nightcrawlers known as the Blood Belles emerges from the aftermath to collect Michael’s love interest and their lost sister, Star.” (Vertigo)

It’s confession time; I have never seen The Lost Boys. I know, shame on me! The only reason I knew of it was because Kiefer Sutherland was in it. I really became intrigued by it, when Ms. Diana Prince got all excited over The CW developing a TV series based on the film property. So I tracked down the film, before hitting another stumbling block. That stumbling block was the film being directed by Joel Schumacher. Ever since Batman & Robin, my movie viewing has consisted of a “Sans Schumacher” rule. So I thought me and this film ever crossing paths was a no go! Then DC Entertainment, through the Vertigo imprint announced a comic book miniseries. So this was my compromise. Having read the book, and thoroughly enjoying it, as well as for reviewing purposes for this site; I will break my “Sans Schumacher” rule and watch The Lost Boys! See how much I love this site! Aside from liking this book, another reason I must watch the movie is because this book is a sequel to the film! I simply have to watch the events that led to this story unfold. Having said that, if you’re like me and have never seen the film, this book is not confusing. It tells you the basics. Brothers Sam and Michael move to Santa Carla. Michael falls for a girl he meets on the boardwalk named Star. However, Star has ties to a guy named David, a Vampire. Michael is lured into and seduced by the world of the Vampire’s. That leaves Sam, his grandfather James, and two other Vampire Hunters known as the Frog Brothers to save Michael. Our story picks up with the David and his gang of Vampire’s seemingly dead. Sam works at the local comic book shop (bonus points), Michael works at a retirement home, but is also making a life with Star, who’s trying to live amongst us as a human with his family. Meanwhile, his grandfather operates a flailing vampire hunters group out of a Veterans Center known as the Santa Carla Hunters Union. What I loved about this early portion of the book was that writer Tim Seeley catches the reader up to speed with the film just enough, yet works some other spoilery pertinent information about the film for later, when it serve his new story. I enjoyed the Frog Brothers. They kind of remind me of a younger version of Bill and Ted, mixed with the Stranger Thing kids. My one problem is that they seem to be too young for any responsible adult to train and allow go out & hunt Vampires. This is the same problem I have with Bruce Wayne allowing and training 9 year old Dick Grayson to fight crime and be his partner. Both cases are socially and morally irresponsible. Maybe it’ll play out differently when I watch the film, but right now, as they are presented in the book, it bugs me a little. I like that Sam works at a comic book store and in said store, there is a book that mirrors the events of the film. I like when comics and movies have that cool Meta aspect to them.

The peaceful status quo is interrupted when a fire erupts at SCHU headquarters. This lures the remaining few hunter left outside and the vampires kill them, including Michael and Sam’s grandfather. This action causes Star to flee and Michael to chase after her. Meanwhile, the Frog brothers are on the case, trying to figure out what the vampires are up to. Armed with wooden stakes, crosses, holy water and garlic, they find themselves at the Santa Carla Sea Caves, where they discover an underground female gang of vampires known as the blood belles, who revived David and secretly used an unknowing Star, to lure Michael and the Frog Brothers to their caves. Their ultimate goal; to resurrect the lost Vampire City of Xibalba, which had been lost under these caves thanks to earthquakes for six thousand years. Along with the city, their inhabitants, the Mothers of Vampires will be resurrected. To do this, they need to drain the blood of a half human/vampire of his blood, which is why they have Michael, as well as sacrifice a virgin, which is why they kidnapped the Frog brothers. This aspect of the story offers so much to like. First, is the classic method to kill a vampire. I’m a sucker for the tried and true techniques of killing a vampire and it’s nice to not see a story try and reinvent the wheel just to be different. I love that the new vampire threat in town is a gang of women, better still that they are revving an ancient civilization’s group of vampire’s. With rare exceptions like Buffy, Vampirella and Van Helsing, the vampire genre’s history is to position women in the roles of damsel’s in distress. It’s good to see them take the lead here and to be villainesses power houses too! Even David, the lead Vampire is working FOR them. He is their minion and that is a bold statement by our writer. As for how David survived death from the film? He was given an injection of blood from the Mother’s in stasis, which heals his wounds. I like the idea that their blood can save fellow vampires, as well as the conceit that a mere injection of vampire blood can turn humans into vampires. Typically, a human injected with vampire blood has to die before turning but here the change can happen amongst the living, which is unique. At least to me it is. Star’s Sire and chief member of the Blood Belle’s, Billy was the daughter of a master and a slave. While she was freed, she was chased by a witch hunter who branded her with the mark of a witch. As a result, her townspeople attempted to burn her. However, she was saved by a vampire, one of the original Blood Belle’s. Ultimately, she dies in the third act of this book, by watching sunrise, one last time. I was entranced by her origin but feel as though it was glossed over. They could do her origin story and early history justice with a comic book miniseries. Her death served to tell the reader that in this books mythology, when a sire dies, their offspring return to being human. This presents Star with a dilemma at the end of the story. Does she take the injection of blood from the mothers of vampires, or does she live out her days as a human, waiting to succumb to her pre-vampire disease of cystic fibrosis? Oh btw I am so not spoiling the end. Read it and see for yourself.

I do have some problems with the finale of the book. For one, Michael, Star and the Frog Brothers are rescued by Sam and an underdeveloped character known as The Believer. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this guy as a vampire hunter. He has more in common with Ashton Kutcher in Dude Where’s My Car, than he does with Abraham van Helsing. Not to mention, we’ve already chronicled Sam’s non experience as a vampire hunter. The Mothers of Vampire’s were built up as such a threat, with their blood holding so much power, yet, they are given so little time to showcase their true levels of badassery. In the end, they are felled by a Vampire bomb thrown into the cave by Sam, which causes the cave to crumble on top of them. I think that was a waste of great setup for these characters. Also a waste, was the subplot of the residents of the Hughes Retirement Home being turned into vampires. First off, the turn was done off page, so you didn’t know it happened until you see them. Add to that, the fact that they are confronted and killed within half an issue. This book suffers from pacing problems, and could have easily been an 8 or 12 issue maxi series. All is not lost though. These problems could be fixed in a follow-up comic, which I believe is likely, since the ending suggests that original Lost Boy, David, once again escapes eternal death in this story.

Steve Godlewski is the artist for this book and provides great work. While his art is nowhere near as realistic looking as Alex Ross, I think the characters bare a strong resemblance to their film actor counter parts. This is especially true of David. You can definitely see a young Kiefer Sutherland in the rendering. One panel that is particularly beautiful is the shot of the Santa Carla boardwalk all lit up during a night setting. Also, in terms of picturesque beauty, the final image of Michael and Star kissing on the bluff as the sun sets, looks like something you’d see in and old school film like Gone With the Wind. Let’s get to the vampires shall we. I loved the look and wardrobe of the Mothers of Vampires. The Ancient Egyptian look really gave weight to their distinction as the mothers of vampires. One extremely striking image was the pages featuring the residence of the old age home as vampires. It’s striking because recent movies, television and books don’t depict elderly people as vampires. It’s typically reserved for the “young and beautiful.” The most gruesome images of the book go to the flashback of Billy being burned at the stake and David being skewered in the head/eye. I have to give special mention to the early pages of Sam working in the comic book store. On the walls, you can spot actual comic books from the 80’s including John Byrne Superman and John Ostrander Suicide Squad issues.

This was a really good book. I’m glad I decided to read it. Sure, I had some issues with it but overall it was fun and I got invested into most of the characters. This book is so good it has me eagerly looking forward to watching a Joel Schumacher film. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the highest amount of praise I could give to a comic book.

Comic Book Review: Fathom: Blue Sun

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam, who was very brave to tackle this, as he knows I love Aspen and Michael Turner with every bit of my heart and soul… 😉 Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Heroic Ho-mie, and I hope all my lil’ Kinkbots are having a very Happy NCBD! 🙂 xoxo)

“There are two worlds. The one we know, and the one below. Aspen Matthews was a marine biologist who, in a failed experiment, discovered that she is actually a water nymph, able to live and thrive beneath the water.” (Aspen)

The first I’d became known of Michael Turner was his turn as artist on Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman book. More recently I’ve tracked down Witchblade, initially because it was being drawn by him. I’ve constantly seen Fathom artwork at my comic book store and at conventions I’ve attended. Every time I see it, I say to myself; I’ve got to read that. Well, thanks to a New Year’s sale on Comixology, I found my opportunity. While the art is certainly a main draw for purchase, the mystery surrounding the story definitely hooks you in. We first meet Aspen Matthews in flashbacks at age 11. She is a stowaway on a ship that had disappeared 10 years prior to the beginning of our story, only to be mysteriously found in San Diego. Our young protagonist has no memory, history, or name. So she is taken in and adopted by the ship’s Captain Matthews. When our story picks up in present day, the little girl is now in her mid to late 20’s. Her name is Aspen Matthews, a former Olympic swimmer and now a Marine Biologist. Yes, when setting up this story, writer Michael Turner makes it obvious, painfully so, that our protagonist feels at home in the water, as though she was born to be one with it. So if the cover to issue one doesn’t hint that water would be a major theme then the prologue to issue one most certainly will. Things get more unique when she gets recruited to Deep Marine Discovery Limited to research underwater habitat 1200 feet below sea level. When the underwater habitat that Aspen and her crew are in, is accidentally hit by a torpedo the vessel is capsized, fully submerged in water, where most of her crew dies. Fully submerge under water Aspen feels at peace, and calm. She is greeted by humanoid individuals wearing alien armor, who can seemingly manipulate and communicate with the water. They swim away from her, when they realize she is being rescued. When she regains consciousness in a hospital bed she shrugs this group of individuals off as hallucinatory visions as a result of almost drowning to death. She even recalls having similar visions after almost drowning during a scuba diving training, years earlier.

Those “humans” in the water weren’t a vision caused by a near death experience but instead are a race of aquatic humanoids known as The Blue. They hail from a place known as Chanarnay, which is beyond the Earth’s crust. For decades, there has been conflict within the ranks of The Blue. The majority want to live separate, and peaceful from the surface world. Another faction wants to attack and subjugate the surface world for all the atrocities they’ve committed. Aspen learns she is a member of The Blue, and that years earlier an attack by the extremist sect of the race, lead to the death of her parents, the disappearance of her brother, and caused her to flee, which lead her to find her way to that missing boat and onto the surface world. In the intervening years, two members from both sides of The Blue have been keeping tabs on her. Killian is the extremist trying to win Aspen’s favor, while Cannon Hawke is trying to recruit Aspen to help him keep Killian’s machinations at bay, Killian gets to her first, luring her in by teaching her how to use her abilities. Killian tricks her into helping him create a doomsday type weapon known as the “Blue Sun.” This weapon is a ball of energy in space, which is powered by three underwater stations. With this weapon, Killian intends to drill a hole in the Earth’s crust to reach The Blue’s home of Chanarnay. When Aspen see’s the destruction and loss of life this will ultimately cause to Earth, she begins to regret and question her involvement. It is here, where she is approached by Kyla, a spy in Killian’s ranks who is working for Cannon, so she defects and helps them try to destroy the “Blue Sun” and defeat Killian. I’ve left out several key surprises and the books finale for those who haven’t read it. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out what unfolds.

The idea that there is a race of aquatic humanoids living in the depths of the Earth’s waters and in the Earth’s crust requires suspension of disbelief, yet I can let myself go there because we’ve explored so little of the Earth’s waters, who knows what’s truly down there. I love the idea that there was political upheaval within the ranks of their civilization. While Killian’s end game is somewhat unclear, what we do know of it reminds me of Zod’s plan in Man of Steel, where he wanted to terraform Earth into New Krypton. So maybe Killian wanted to turn Earth into New Chanarnay. While I wish this was further explained, what Michael Turner did fantastically was give us enough backstory and interaction with Aspen Matthews, so that we as readers got excited and cared for the character, prior to all the sci-fi trappings kicking in. In doing so, it intensified reading and seeing Killian’s plan unfold because as that happens, we are learning about the history of “The Blue” as well as learning about Aspen’s true nature. One thing that wasn’t clearly defined, is what exactly “The Blue” are. Is their origin rooted in Atlantis, I’m not sure. Atlantis as their home is never mentioned. Also, “The Blue” aren’t confined to the water. They have flying ships, so they could very well be aliens. I’m hopeful that we’ll get an answer as I progress with the story. I will say that it doesn’t bother me not knowing right now, as I’m a sucker for speculation, even if it’s my own.

I could sit here and write Michael Turner’s art is amazing and end the review there because it’s true. However, I’ll point out a few specifics while I’m at it. First off, every character in this book looks like they could be cast in a show on The CW. Holy Hotness Batman! I mean seriously, if you’re a man, and hey, even a woman in some cases, there’s no way you can look at Michael Turner’s rendition of Aspen Matthews and not get aroused. Or maybe you can and it’s just me. In that case, never mind. For the women who prefer men and the men who prefer men, don’t worry, this comic book has eye candy for you too. Having said that, it wouldn’t hurt this book to draw some plain average looking people. Just saying, not everyone looks like a super model you know! The San Diego view is also beautiful! Damn, this book makes me want to take a vacation. Michael Turner’s pencils combined with Jonathan D, Smith’s use of gold and orange for sunlight and sunset, along with the crystal blue water make San Diego look stunning. The only other selling point one needs, is that Comic Con takes place there. The armor worn by The Blue, as well as their aircraft and weaponry look crustacean, which is the perfect aesthetic for these aqua based humanoids. The image of the Blue Sky disrupting the water and for moments nearly flooding the Earth, make the flood described in the Bible look like a light sprinkle of rain. Also the scene where Aspen battles the beam of energy of the Blue Sun, called to mind the scene where Superman battles the World Engine in Man of Steel. Such a great final set piece for this book and that film.

I’m glad I came to the Fathom party this late. It means I have plenty of work by the late, great Michael Turner to get to! What this book shows me is that Michael Turner was a strong writer with a fantastic idea, He was blessed with talent on both ends of the comic book creative spectrum and brought it to life. I can’t wait to read and review more. Also, Fathom NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE! I have the perfect choice to play Aspen Matthews, our very own Miss Kinky Horror, Diana Prince herself. No, I’m not just saying that to kiss the bosses ass. Nor am I saying that because I want to see her wet and in a bikini, though there’s no denying that is a vision of true epic-ness and beauty! I sincerely believe she’d be great in the role. So make it happen Hollywood! (Lol Yeah, yeah…That raise is a comin’!! 😉 xoxo)

Creepy Comic Carnival: The “Pranks for Nothing!” Edition

(Submitted by that Interdimensional Man of Mystery known only as…The Talker. Thanks for this festive fiXXX, Ho-rror Ho-mie! :)) xoxo

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please!
Come in close, so everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell.
A listen don’t cost a dime..
..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”

Step right up, my foolish friends! To-day is indeed a rare one: April Fools’ Day. What a truly glorious howl-iday this! Ghouls and boils are encouraged to commit as many horrible, nasty acts to their “friends” and “loved ones” as possible, and the victims are just supposed to laugh it off ’cause tradition! Heck, lyin’ is grinned upon, if you do it well enough! It’s cruel! It’s mean! It’s a gas! Even your old boney Talker likes to gag around on this day! Why, about an hour ago, I gave a fellow a peanut can full of snakes… Cobras, that is!

If there’s any group of creeps who appreciate a sick joke, it’s the fine fiends over at EC Comics! Their joke concerns two doctors and a corpse that’s not quite dead. Puzzled, my abominable audience? See, I’m not the sort to spoil a good punchline, so I’ll let the comic tell this twisted joke. Chickens need not read on! With sickening artwork by Jack Davis, this one will surely knock ya dead! From the putrid pages of Tales from the Crypt #37, it’s Dead Right!

Still craving some jolting japes, folks? Well, good ol’ Horrorwood’s got ya covered! See, when HBO’s Tales from the Crypt was still hauntin’ the airwaves, they adapted just about every EC chiller-diller they could get their slimy claws on, including Dead Right! Under the new title of Abra Cadaver, the HBO skeleton crew made the men brothers and added some good ol’ fashioned nudity and a tinge o’ gore! For your amusement and education, I present Citizen Kane

APRIL GHOULS’!

Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!

Opinion Piece: Justice League Trailer Breakdown & Wonder Woman Thoughts

(Submitted by the stately Prince Adam…Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Kinky Ho-mie. 🙂 xoxo)

March 25th marked the one year anniversary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. To commemorate this fact, Warner Brothers dropped the first legitimate trailer for the first ever live action Justice League film. Before I discuss that, there’s another important DC Films project releasing on June 2. That film is the long awaited, long overdue Wonder Woman film. For my money this is the first bonafide female led superhero film. No I don’t count the Catwoman or Elektra films, as they were utter horse shit and complete bastardizations of their characters. Unlike those farces, Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot looks incredible.  I love that the film is a straight up origin tale. Some fans may be getting tired of origin films but Wonder Woman has never had one and thus, I think it is necessary.  From the trailers, specifically the most recent one, I love the contrast of the pristine, seemingly untouched beauty of Themyscira, compared with the smoke filled war torn London England. The home of the Amazon’s is a parallel for heaven, while man’s world looks like hell.  Diana’s journey from childhood princess to warrior/superhero is reminiscent of Bruce Wayne’s journey from orphan to vigilante in Batman Begins.  My favorite scenes of the trailer are the training on Paradise Island and Wonder Woman emerging from the trenches onto the battlefield, deflecting bullets with her bracelets. That’s symbolic because Wonder Woman is emerging from the trenches into a no man’s land while the men fall behind her. This film is culturally and socially important because Wonder Woman is stepping out of the shadows and standing front and center, in a film genre, that for far too long, has been dominated by men.  I think the movie is going to be a big hit at the box-office. However, there is a smear campaign going on against the film in the blog sphere.  It started way back when Gal Gadot was first cast.  They said she was not muscular enough and that her boobs were too small.  Then she appeared in BvS and fans loved Gal as Wonder Woman. So now that the fans are onboard, the clickbait websites need a different kind of hate to spew, so they make up headlines about Wonder Woman’s armpits being bleached, and joke about the JL Wonder Woman poster looking as though she’s pissing fire.  My message to fans of Wonder Woman and DC Films; when Wonder Woman hits theaters, buy tickets to see the film.  If you can, pre-order them. Buy Wonder Woman related products and apparel from the film. Let’s show these haters that we want more Wonder Woman, we want more DC Films and we want more female led superhero films.

June 2nd isn’t the only time you’ll see Wonder Woman on screen in 2017.  She’ll join Batman and form the Justice League on November 17th.  The first trailer for the film has just been released and I love it. It is a fantastic teaser. I know it’s long to be classified as a teaser, but they’re typically all that long now.  As a teaser, it gave us the right amount of nuts and bolts of story for still being 8 months out.  An alien threat has come to earth, and Batman and Wonder Woman are recruiting a team of meta humans to stand against them.  We then get character moments highlighting how “super” each one of them is.  Aquaman got the best few solo shots of the trailer.  First, parting the sea by smashing the butt of his trident to the ground.  I mean, even Moses would be jealous of that shit! There’s also the scene where he throws his trident, impaling two pardemons.  Ezra Miller’s take on The Flash looked cool as well. This iteration seems to run through the speed force every time he uses his speed, which is a novel approach that differentiates from the television incarnation. I love how happy he is to be doing the superhero thing and being part of this team.   For the most part, I liked the look of Cyborg.  My favorite frame of his was when he was in flight. You can tell the visual effects on him aren’t finished but given that we’re 8 months out, I’m not concerned.   We know how BADASS Batman and Wonder Woman are already, but Zack Snyder reminds us by showing Batman using the Gatling gun on the Batmobile to take out parademons. I’m honestly shocked to have seen this because after years of WB being under the Chris Nolan worldview, the thought of Batman fighting aliens seemed like a nonstarter. Also, Wonder Woman’s apparent signature slow motion leg sweep/kick is present and accounted for.  The humor in the trailer works, it doesn’t seem forced at all. Barry asks Bruce what his super-power is, to which Bruce says; I’m rich.  There’s also a scene of Batman being joined by Aquaman on the roof of the GCPD, where Aquaman says; “Dressed like a bat. I dig it.  Also, this scene gives us our first look at J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. God bless Zack Snyder for giving us vintage Jim Gordon, complete with big white mustache, fedora and trench coat. The brief moments of character interactions we got between the heroes reminded me so much of the Justice League animated series. In fact, my favourite scene is the “line up shot”, featuring every Justice League member with the sun glistening behind them.  This was a clear homage to the intro of the animate series that gave me goosebumps.

What I love about the last Wonder Woman trailer and first Justice League trailer, is that they showed us a lot, while revealing very little.  With Wonder Woman, we have yet to see Ares and for Justice League, we’ve yet to see Superman’s return or Steppenwolf.  To be honest, I hope we don’t see them until we’re all sitting in the theater watching the films. No need to blow your proverbial Ares and Superman loads too quickly Warner Brothers.  I was extremely happy and satisfied with both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.  However, Wonder Woman and Justice League prove the best is yet to come for DC Films,

#SuperheroSaturday Comic Book Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us #4-6

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED COMIC REVIEW TO PRESENT YOU WITH THIS VERY IMPORTANT #SUPERHEROSATURDAY ANNOUNCEMENT: THE FREAKING JUSTICE LEAGUE TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED!!! *REPEAT* THE FREAKING JUSTICE LEAGUE TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED!!! (And it’s dope AF, as the kool kids say. ;))

Sooooooo badass, yes, but also sooooooooo far away!! 🙁 Which brings us back to this rockin’ review from Mr. SuperheroSciFi himself, Prince Adam…Thanks for giving us a lil’ something to help fill the gap, Heroic Ho-mie. xoxoxo (PS- #thatswhatshesaid ;))

“In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy he unwittingly helped to trigger, Superman faces his greatest loss and his most challenging moral decision ever. Everything is about to pivot on the choice he makes; it could change the course of the world–and the lives of all the super heroes–forever. Green Arrow is featured in a solo adventure. Fearful of Superman’s vengeance, the archer is put in charge of protecting the Joker’s crazed accomplice, Harley Quinn. Finding somewhere to hide Harley isn’t the challenge–keeping his sanity during prolonged contact with her is. But who will be the first one to drive the other crazy? Still reeling from the destruction of Metropolis, news from a war-torn country creates a tipping point for the Man of Steel. He decides it’s time for him to take a more proactive role in stopping man’s inhumanity to man. But does the sudden appearance of Wonder Woman mean he’s created a new enemy or converted an ally to his cause?” (DC Comics)

Two out of the three books deal with the fallout of the Joker’s heinous crimes, while the middle issue is a humorous but still heartfelt interlude that lightens the mood. Issues 4 & 6, show Superman going through stages of grief and anger. The scene with Superman holding a deceased Lois Lane in his arms in the middle of the detonation zone was such a quietly haunting moment, which lingers long after you’ve read the story. There’s an incredible exchange between Batman and the Joker that calls to mind The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight. When Joker explains that he did what he did, because it would be fun to see how Superman would react, proves that Tom Taylor has grasped Joker’s chaos and sick mentality. Issues #4 & 6 really set up Superman’s status quo hinted at in the game. Superman kills Joker in such a way that is so shocking, at least to this Superman fan. The death of his wife, the fact that he broke one of his cardinal rules, and add that to what he’s witnessing in a war-torn country and Superman decides to be more forceful! After revealing his identity, he puts the world on notice that he won’t allow the loss of anymore innocent lives. Killing and getting involved in wars, foreign or domestic, are against type for Superman but given what he’s been through, completely understandable. Even though this book is a video game tie-in, none of these reactions feel forced to line up with the game. These occurrences progress very naturally. Issue #5 was a nice change of pace. It was mostly Green Arrow babysitting Harley Quinn, a.k.a. keeping her hidden from Superman. The result is an exchange between Harley and Oliver, where Tom Taylor reminds fans that at one point in comics’ history, Green Arrow was a cheap Batman knockoff. In the midst of the humor, Mr. Taylor manages to remind readers that a hero who is not afraid to go over the edge for justice and a homicidal maniac are still people with emotions and a need for human comfort.

There are so many great images in these three issues. Seriously, the scene with Batman & the Joker looks so much like the “The Dark Knight”, especially Batman. The scene where Superman kills Joker will leave you speechless. It’s quite the jarring imagery. Likewise, the previously mentioned image of Superman cradling Lois’ lifeless body will send shivers through your body. Mike Miller does great work in issues #4 & 6. Bruno Redondo draws issue #5 and treats fans to a look at vintage Oliver Queen, while giving Harley Quinn a more dangerous yet sexy updated look. The only thing I didn’t like was the Arrow car. It looks ridiculous to me. Jheremy Raapack creates a stunning depiction of a Batman vs. Superman confrontation for the cover! Seeing as these are my two favourite characters, this cover leaves me captivated yet conflicted, just like the movie did!


The creative team continues to create a book that I consistently want to read. It firmly makes my top 3 “must read” list, despite have great “new” comics to read every week Since it feels like there is so much more to come, it could easily find itself standing at the very top of that list before too long!

Kreepy Komic Karnival: The “Swamp Pop” Edition

(Submitted with all the love by the mysterious being known only as…”The Talker”. Thanks for sharing this with us, Mysterious One. 😉 xoxo)

Dedicated to Bernie Wrightson.

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please!
Come in close, so everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell.
A listen don’t cost a dime..
..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”

Gather from far, gather from near! Your ol’ pal The Talker is back and DEADER than ever! I’ve got an act lined up today that’ll shake you to your roots! A real show stopper that make you GREEN around the gills! Part Man! Part Plant! All Monster! Ladies and Gentlemen, the incredible SWAMP THING!

You folks may be familiar with a Dr. Alec Holland, the scientist who became the Swamp Thing via a freak accident. Well, he ain’t the creep I’m talkin’ about! Swamped, are ya? Well, fiends and friends, our star performer of the evenin’ is an Alex Olsen, the first Swamp Thing! In 1971’s House of Secrets #92, the late Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein drained the  swamp and gave us Swamp Thing, a one-off spook short centered around Ol’ Green-‘n’-Gruesome! Alex Olson  is man caught in a Bermuda Love Triangle that results in a terrible explosion that turns him into the florid freak we all know and love!

So popular was this terror tale that DC gave Swampy his own series the following year, introducing the popular Alec Holland version. Unfortunately for fright-seekers, Swampy’s solo series swayed towards superheroics more than somber scares.  Swamp Thing in House of Secrets wasn’t exactly evil, but he had more in common with Frankenstein than Superman. Alex Olson’s story would bring a tear to my eye… if I still had one. This gothic gem is about  loneliness and the beauty of the beast… peppered with some good ol’ comic violence, of course!


For amusement and education, I give you Swamp Thing!

Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!

Kinky Komic Review: American Vampire- The Beast in the Cave

(Ho-wdy, fiends! Back to ho-st post duty after my mini-hiatus. You know ho-w much prep goes into Anuual Purge night …Ho-pefully you made it through ok without me. 😉 Let’s get things Crypt Jam-min’ round here again, starting with a Kinky Komic review from our prestigious pal, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks so much, you Superheroic Stud, you!!;)  xoxo)

“This tale comes from the early 1800’s with the “The Beast in the Cave” featuring art by the legendary Jordi Bernet (Torpedo, JONAH HEX). Learn about the original American Vampire, Skinner Sweet, and his involvement in the brutal Indian Wars, and an ancient evil hidden in the heart of the Old West. Plus, more about the man Skinner used to call his best friend – James Book!” (Vertigo)

This book has always been set in past eras but the story itself, always moves forward in time.  For the first time, writer Scott Snyder takes us back to the 1800’s and the great Indian Wars.  Before that though, we’re taken to the late 1700’s. Here we see a young Skinner Sweet whose family farm has been burned and scorched to the ground as a result of war.  With his family and his home gone, Skinner is taken in by his best friend’s family. That best friend is James Book.  Yes, with this storyline, Scott Snyder is essentially giving us the Smallville story for American Vampire.  Obviously, James Book is the Clark Kent character, with Skinner Sweet being the equivalent of Lex Luthor.  As kids, they always played Lawman Vs Outlaw, which foreshadowed the future of their relationship. I didn’t consider the possibility of a prior friendship, but when you look back at the first story featuring their adult counterparts, it makes total sense. In that first story James Book was always more laxed with the law when confronting Skinner, while Skinner would attempt to save James Book from the European Vampires in that first story arc.  All this, in spite of their adversarial nature at that point in time.  You also see how the child Skinner is fearless as he shoves his arm in a rattlesnake’s cave hole. Once again, Snyder foreshadows, this time the end of this story, when Skinner fearlessly travels into the cave of the fist Native American vampire’s. When the book transitions from the children to the adult armed soldier versions of Skinner and Jim, we see the versions of their characters we are familiar with nearly fully formed. Jim Book is straight laced, follows the rules, and upholds rank and the chain of command.  Skinner meanwhile, is the risk taker who falls out of line, breaks the rules, and even deserts the army, all to prove that his supervisor’s information and tactics are wrong. He feels the natives are undermanned, while his supervisors feel they are outnumbered. Of course Skinner is technically right. The circumstances may be different but his attitude and behaviour is exactly in line with what got vampire Skinner into trouble with the ancient European vampires in the first story. This book is a lesson in Scott Snyder being a master at the art of the callback and seamlessly tying his previous work with his newest installment. One area this book suffers in is its portrayal of the Indian Wars.  We’re told that they’re brutal, but we never really see the affects the war has on the combatants.  This is unfortunate, especially when you see how fantastically Snyder handled World War II Japan in the last arc.  Snyder had a chance to highlight the horrors Native American’s experienced, yet here it was simply glossed over.

The reason I said Skinner was technically right about the Native American forces being undermanned, was due to the fact that he had no knowledge of their ace in the hole or should I say, ace in the cave!? This being Mimiteth, the Goddess of Death.  The second issue of this three part story tells the story of Mimiteth, a young Native American woman who was sold into slavery by her French husband, to other European travelers who wanted to use her as a translator.  One night, she followed them from their camp into the woods, she saw them transform into Vampires and maul a bear. When they catch wind of her they drain her of her blood.  However she survives due to an immunity to wood and her ability to feed on sunlight. When she comes to, after herself feeding, she absconds to a cave in her village of origin.  In this story’s present day, the head of the Apache tribe summons her and asks her to help save their people and turn the tide of the war. She agrees but ultimately her hunger is too strong. She kills the members of her tribe and absconds back into her cave.  The book closes with a wayward Skinner arriving at the top of the cave, seeing all the Apache warriors’ dead, before fearlessly entering the cave.  This segment reminded me of the Smallville episode Skinwalkers. That episode featured a woman who would turn into a wolf to protect the sacred Native American caves that Lionel Luthor wanted to excavate and then demolish. Initially she just wanted to scare Lionel’s contractors, but the animalistic nature of the beast within her took over and she killed. In this story Mimiteth didn’t want to kill, which is why she secluded herself in a cave.  However, her vampiric thirst and hunger for blood led her to killing her own people.  I assume that when Skinner walks into the cave, shortly thereafter he is turned into a vampire. I could be wrong, but it’s never shown.  If this is the case, I’m slightly disappointed at being robbed of that iconic moment.

Jordi Bernet steps in on art for this three issue story.  While I’ve grown to appreciate the regular artist on this book, I really enjoyed this artwork.  It was certainly refreshing to not have to see every character have a constipated look on their face once every issues.  The art had a very Lone Ranger/Zorro aesthetic to it, which is perfect since were dealing with a “Cowboys vs. Indians tale. The canyons, mountains and ridges looked stunning.  While there was little to no war battle action, the two images of both groups in their bunkers, waiting for the other side to make the first move, looked particularly intense.  To the delight of Miss Kinky Horror herself, this book isn’t afraid to free the nipple. Several times in this book, Mimiteth walked around with her breasts and full nipples exposed.  The two scariest/horrific pages of this book are Mimiteth with her fangs expose ready to attack the Apache tribe and Skinner Sweet and James book discovering those bloodied dead bodies scattered all over the ridge.  Mimiteth full Vampire look is monstrous, specifically classic devil looking.  While this design looks too unoriginal and safe, I appreciate that the artists give us new vampire designs every time the story takes us to a new era.

Is this portion of the American Vampire a must read? I would say no, simply because it doesn’t advance the overall mythology forward.  Would I still recommend you read it? Yes. It gives readers our first taste of the true American Vampire.  I for one love that it’s a woman and a Native American woman too. Taking two often extremely marginalized groups, and putting them at the forefront of a popular series, with a brand new vampire mythology makes for a great idea, and a good story.