This week, Sam enjoyed both The Woods and Goldie Vance from BOOM! Studios, while Kylee finished up Eden’s Fall from Top Cow and Image Comics. She also continues with Cryptocracy, enjoying this issue from Dark Horse Comics.

Jackson may or may not have felt the payoff of following Jason Aaron’s run on Thor with The Unworthy Thor #1 from Marvel Comics.

Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.


Sam’s Reads

The Woods #27

woods27Author: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC

There’s two plots basically progressing side by side in these latest issues of The Woods. Back on Earth you have a handful of parents – in this issue, Karen and Adrian’s mothers – refusing to give up on their kids. And then you’ve got the kids basically teaming up with Isaac and ghost Adrian to find a way home. I still don’t know how I feel about the whole ‘Ghost Adrian’ thing but I’ve kind of just had to accept it at this point.

Basically this issue serves as an information dump. The parents’ storyline doesn’t progress but the kids’ does. Isaac brings the rest of the kids to him and basically explains everything he’s figured out. The ‘planet’ is really a space station. The original creators meant for it to basically serve as a device to enslave populations in order to fight their wars for them but, in the end, they all died off anyway.

So the ‘planet’ goes around trying to find a new master and apparently it’s decided that at some point in history Earth is going to produce that master. There’s a lot about biological interfaces and what not and while the technology is entirely beyond us at this point Isaac is confident that he can at least find a way to make the ‘planet’ work for him.

And if not he’ll have the others kill him before whatever supercomputer those original people left behind takes him over and turns him into something else entirely… Yikes. Fun times. Basically, there’s no guarantee they can get home yet but that’s where we’re headed. I’m going to be interested to see what happens if they do find a way home.

The Bay Point kids have gotten pretty integrated into their new community at that point. Is it possible that some of them may choose to stay behind? And what about the people of New London? What are they going to do when given the opportunity to return to Earth? Generations of their families have existed solely on this new world. And honestly there’s no way the Horde isn’t going to pop up again at some point to ruin everything. Maybe they’ll sacrifice their chances to go home in order to defeat the Horde and prevent them from returning to Earth. 

Goldie Vance #7

goldiev7Author: Hope Larson
Artist: Brittney Williams
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC

Goldie Vance gets a little old school James Bond on us this issue with secret underwater military bases and secret government conspiracies. We also get to spend a little more time with Goldie’s mother, Sylvie. While the story itself is interesting, I like spending time with Sylvie. Since Goldie works at the same resort as her father it makes sense that you’d see more of him but her mother is such an interesting person. She’s a real-life mermaid!

So at the beginning of this issue Walter and Goldie realize that their mysterious astronaut didn’t come from space but from the ocean which starts to take their investigation in a different direction. Well, actually, Walter ends up getting caught up in a bit of romance with their visiting FBI agent while Goldie and her mom actually continue looking into things. Goldie comes to the conclusion that the astronaut’s amnesia was actually caused by the bends from coming up out of a dive too quickly. And while it’s news to Goldie, it turns out there’s some super secret base on the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Florida. 

Working at this base is apparently an alternative to working in space for NASA rejects and at the end we see Cheryl sadly gazing out into the ocean while Goldie races to ‘save’ her from settling for second best. But here’s my question: why did this female ‘aquanaut’ come up from that base in such an unorthodox method in the first place? Did Cheryl take this girl back to some dangerous situation that they’re really going to need to be rescued from in the end?

Knowing this book, there are bound to still be plenty of twists and turns in this particular story arc. This was a fantastic issue in particular because it sets us up for all kinds of new revelations next month. The story is always fun and enjoyable and it manages to never be too predictable. I really love that about this series. It’s very smartly written and the story moves at a great pace without overlooking the little things – like developing Goldie’s relationship with her mother, Sylvie, which was a big part of this issue. 


samstaffpic2Sam Wildman  is a co-founder and co-editor at Nerdophiles. Her mermaid tail would totally be a bright green. Or maybe yellow. She needs to think about this some more. Follow her on twitter @samaside.


Kylee’s Reads

Eden’s Fall #3

ef003_covasocialAuthor: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill
Artist: Atilio Rojo
Publisher: Top Cow / Image Comics
Source: Publisher

Like I was first surprised to learn that Eden’s Fall was a major cross-over event with three of Top Cow’s other titles, I was also caught off guard by issue #3 being its last. The bombshell of the second issue is quickly laid to rest (literally) before the machinations of revenge being to take shape.

It’s jarringly brief, with Dwayne forced to forever live a lie in order to escape the group’s failed mission – Jimmy died in a car accident, nothing more. Samantha was captured and is being held on charges related to previous arcs from… The Tithe maybe? And Loren isn’t even mentioned but for the ‘What You Need to Know…’ section.

Ultimately, Dwayne contacts someone within the CIA to finish the job his group couldn’t. The person who does brutally and efficiently clean up their target in Eden, with some help from the mayor, may or may not have been associated to that meeting? It’s unclear why she was unwilling to help Jimmy, but flat-out asked this mystery woman (who may or may not be a character readers of the three respective books should know?) to kill Thornton. Dwayne also takes it upon himself to free Sam, allowing her to escape to freedom and an unknown future of his own.

Interestingly, this series peaked in its second issue and may hold more emotional resonance to readers of Postal, The Tithe, and Think Tank, who will have to deal with the aftermath and may feel more connected to these characters. While I did feel like I knew them immediately, the connection was severed as abruptly as the series ended, leaving me without a huge inclination to continue into their respective series. For readers who want a short, gut-punch of a series grounded in human emotions and human failings, Eden’s Fall might be just what the doctor ordered.

Cryptocracy #5

29784Author: Van Jensen
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Source: Dark Horse DRC

The plot moves forward at lightning speed in issue #5 and Bela is finally brought into the fold of the main characters’ stories, albeit in an amusing and somewhat accidental way. From the cliffhanger ending of Temple ending her father, the leader of Mars, and consulting with Hum in the aftermath, the brakes are never hit. Nick is obliterated, so that his mind cannot be retained and Temple’s betrayal revealed. This was meant to assure her ascension to the head of the family, but Grahame challenges her for authority and ultimately takes it.

Nick’s death is glossed over in favor of Grahame’s failed mission to end Bela and her meddling. It turns out that he’s sympathetic to her being manipulated by Hum as well and wants to get her help and keep her safe, bringing her to witness the ritual for head of the family instead. After winning, he gives her an uncensored peek into the lives of the families and another cliffhanger at the end of the issue has him trying to save her from her own followers.

Pete Woods’ art in this issue manages to be bright, dynamic, and flows smoothly over the tumultuous story of change. Where past issues might have felt slightly cluttered, there were none of those faults to be found. The only gripe I have is the unrealistic ritual scenes, where they somehow managed to climb at the same speed even after Grahame was knocked down once? I also continue to have issues reading the Grays’ font and usually just skip over whatever they’re saying to keep myself in the story.

Fast and furious, issue #5 of the series may be its best so far with bringing together all of the major players, giving peeks into the ruling politics of the mysterious families, and winking at readers with nods to actual conspiracy theories (looking at you horse at the Denver airport). ‘Fun’ is probably not how I should describe an issue with so much bloodshed, but this rollicking adventure continues to unfold in such an engaging way that I can’t help but be charmed.


Kylee Sills is an associate editor at Nerdophiles. Sign her up for Denver International Airport conspiracy theories. Did everyone else know those were a thing? Follow her on Twitter @kyleewho


Jackson’s Reads

The Unworthy Thor #1


Author: Jason Aaron
Artist: Olivier Coipel
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Unworthy Thor #1 marks the 50th issue of Jason Aaron’s run on Thor across 5 series and 4 years and it’s the first issue that really feels like a culmination of that long of a story. That’s not to say Aaron’s run has been slight but it’s a story that never really looks back, maintaining a sense of momentum that was always pushing its heroes forwards against newer, bigger threats.

Some of that is the focus on the character here. Illustrated wonderfully by Olivier Coipel, The Unworthy Thor #1 opens with Odinson staging an escape from his alien jailer as he seeks Thor’s hammer from Earth-1610 and layers on the insanity from there. Nick Fury is back in the role of The Unseen, the replacement of The Watcher who’s been mostly missing since Aaron and Mike Deodoato’s Original Sin event and he provides the impetus for Odinson’s quest to regain the power he lost in that event. It all adds up to a story that ties into just about everything Aaron’s been writing since 2012, short of Wolverine and the X-Men.

With all that to consider, The Unworthy Thor #1 isn’t going to be the most welcoming book for those who haven’t kept up Aaron’s run on Thor or remember the details of Original Sin, one of the most easily forgettable event comics in a decade of easily forgettable Marvel event comics. That’s certainly a factor to consider before you pick up the first issue but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

Like much of Aaron’s run on the character, The Unworthy Thor #1 operates on high fantasy logic and lives on action sequences that look ripped from heavy metal album covers. It’s a book where a fallen thunder god fights trolls on the moon, where noble brothers of the battlefield meet in space as lightening strikes around them, where axe-wielding men on goats ride through the stars. It’s the same puckish, slightly silly attitude Aaron has used throughout his run on Thor and it works here with epic art and inspired battle sequences.

Ultimately, The Unworthy Thor #1 feels like more of the same, a big metal space opera about gods and monsters, little different than what else is going on with this character. That’s certainly not a bad thing and is a testament to how strong Aaron’s vision for the character is but it’s also something of a statement of how little this story has changed and advanced in the last four years.


AslO75XCIAExmT4Jackson Adams is a staff writer at Nerdophiles. It’s weird that Jason Aaron wrote Thor in both the first and second Marvel Now initiative. Follow him on Twitter @JacksonInACup.


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