Welcome to the recently rebooted Comics Creepshow! Now on every Wednesday - which for all you non fanboys is New Comic Book day - I will give you a rundown of three or four of the biggest horror comic releases just hitting the stands. From time to time I'll also be talking about some trade news, and whatever titles I happen to be reading. This week is the perfect week to change format, since quite a few high quality books are coming out. Let’s get to it:
Remember, back in the early Nineties when people were obsessed with Alien Conspiracies and Area 51? I enjoyed those times quite thoroughly, and I always wonder why no one seems to give a flying hoot anymore about possible alien prisoners held a Nevada Air Force base. Well, Chris Ryall and Ben Templesmith give two hoots. Stop worrying about the guys they have held at Guantanamo, and start worrying for Ng Hudson, the grey alien that the government has locked away at Groom Lake. According to the description of GROOM LAKE on the Comixology website, this hidden base contains all the secrets the world needs to know.
Just the premise alone is worth giving this book a look. It also helps that it is written by Chris Ryall, who happens to be the Editor - In - Chief of IDW. If he holds his own writing up to the standards that he holds for then other IDW books he looks over, it is a safe bet that this will be well written. IDW is one of the biggest independent comic book publishers that has come out in the past decade.
It was a horror comic that put IDW on the map- 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Artist, Ben Templesmith was the penciler on that book, and has now brought his distinctive Style to GROOM LAKE. There is no need to shower the Australian artist with credit here. I have already done that in previous Comics Creepshows, where I raved about his work in WELCOME TO HOXFORD and the comic adaptation of DEAD SPACE.
This trade collects the four issue limited series that came out way back in 2000. Why should you be interested? Well, first off, it’s got Batman in the title. Besides that, it is written by Doug Moench, who, by 2000 was already a comics veteran for quite a few decades. Moench knows how to write a horror comic. He has had experience working for multiple companies, besides DC, and has worked on such cult-fave horror books like HOUSE OF MYSTERY and WEREWOLF BY NIGHT. WEREWOLF BY NIGHT might sound familiar to some of you comic fans, since it is the title where Moon Knight first appeared. Yeah, Moon Knight, Moench created him too.
Moench and Kelley had a ton of experience working on Batman books prior to HAUNTED GOTHAM. They are most famous for creating BATMAN AND DRACULA : RED RAIN, which was the first in the Batman vampire saga. Just as in that limited series, there is a stronger emphasis on the horror aspect in HAUNTED GOTHAM, as opposed to the super heroics. HAUNTED GOTHAM is an Elseworlds title, which just basically means that it takes place in an alternate reality. In HAUNTED GOTHAM, we find the titular city has been under the control of Hellish lords, and Bruce Wayne is the head of the Resistance trying to bring them down. Bruce has two companions to help him in his struggles with the supernatural- a Skeleton named Cal and a sorceress named Cat Majik. I will give you two guesses as to who those two characters represent (for those of you not in the know, it would be Superman and Catwoman.) Pick up the trade, and see if Bruce and his company prevail. My guess, a lot of people die in viscous ways.
The Detective Exorcist, Alex Hotwire is back, in all of her smoking albino hotness. I have gotten a chance to look over this second issue, in advance of it hitting the stands. What can I say? Just as in the first issue, the artwork is phenomenal and the story is just as good. The plot thickens as Hotwire and her new partner try and uncover and thwart the forces behind the possible “Ghost Bomb” (does that concept remind any of you guys of ‘Dragonball Z’?)
The two lead characters, just like in any Warren Ellis script are sarcastic to the point of being obnoxious, but like I said in my review of HOTWIRE issue one, the main appeal of this book isn’t the characters, but the complex future that Ellis and Pugh have constructed. If you think that “Blade Runner” and the movie “Pulse” would be a great combination, check out the first two issues of HOTWIRE.
That pretty much wraps up this weeks Comics Creepshow. From now on, if any of you out there pick up the books I have suggested, I would really appreciate it if you threw in your own two cents. I want to know, that if I am an enabler to your comic book addiction, then at least I am turning you on to the good stuff.