For this latest found of comic book mini reviews we thought we would stick with some Image Comics books that, none of which are first issues. These are all books that we are either sticking with as they are relatively new, or, in the case of Nailbiter, we have stuck with for about a year and a half. These are all good examples of why Image Comics continues to be the leader, not just for non-superhero books or genre comics, but across monthly comics in general.
The Goddamned #2 (Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera, Image Comics)
This second issue is a gritty follow up to the first, setting us in a pre-flood world of the Bible’s Genesis. Here the Earth is still young, but old enough to be saturated with brutal violence, depraved tribal behavior, and a world that reflects a very pre-modern crime environment. Cain has been expelled from the garden and walks the earth, which can be called both post and pre-apocalyptic, and discusses how he still lives even though he has opened himself up to the release of death. The book itself is less about plot points and more about realizing the darkness that is implicit in the Biblical story, which is both about the depths of depraved humanity and the struggle for survival.
Nailbiter #18 (Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, Image Comics)
Williamson and Henderson’s serial killer horror comics Nailbiter has seen some ups and downs. With some of the recent issues slowing the pace, a few readers jumped off, but things have picked up as we actually leave Buckaroo and some time has past before the last issue. Now we are in Georgia as a new serial killer is coming forward(though maybe we know them from somewhere), who is brutally disfiguring bodies to make them appear as the devil. This is a good turn for the book as things had begun to meander and it is hitting a really good pace over the last two issues. If you drifted away from Nailbiter, issue #18 is a reminder that this is Williamson’s most successful work and something that they really should stick with.
I Hate Fairyland #3 (Skottie Young, Image Comics)
This book is Skottie Young’s solo effort attempting to capture his love of comedy and Mad Magazine, though quite a bit more adult. Here a young girl is transported on a wish to a fairy land filled with cartoon creatures, both wonderous and fantastic. Fast forward several decades later, she has not grown into an adult yet internally has become bitter and angry. What this leads to is a lot of jokes about a young girl fighting these different mystic creatures, essentially violating the childlike appearance of the place. Now with the third issue is is already starting to slow down as it is really a difficult concept to continue into a long-term storyline. It is not necessarily that it is impossible, but really that the concept and jokes are really only successful on a short time frame. It is certainly possible that Young intends for this to just be a miniseries, which is preferred, but it is also hard to see how it can even be successful for a longer run of eight issues or so. A complex plot could possibly solve this, but it is doubtful since its cache is more in its appearance and tone, all of which are hard to serve with a normal story arc.