This month we’re wrapping up the Star Wars Droids ongoing comic from Dark Horse.

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When I was younger, there were a couple things that grabbed my imagination when it came to dungeon fantasy – there were the Monster Ecology articles in Dragon Magazine, and the descriptions of monsters in Hackmaster and KODT Magazine. The Monster Ecology articles envisioned a fleshed out dungeon ecology, where every monster, even ones created by coked out wizards like the Owlbear, had a life cycle and found a way to fit into an ecosystem – indeed, the articles presented the idea of a Dungeon Fantasy setting as an ecosystem that the monsters fit within.

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One of the ongoing criticisms of Batman as a character is he’s a superhero whose stories solely consist of “punching brown/poor people and the mentally ill,” and at no point does he use his money to address the social ills that affect Gotham. It’s a criticism that frustrates me because, all the way back in the ’70s, you had writers like Denny O’Neill addressing this – with Bruce Wayne using his funds to address the underlying issues affecting Gotham, while Batman contents with those who would exploit those issues for their own gain.

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Batman: Night of the Monster Men is the first post-Rebirth Bat-Line crossover, with all three of the main Bat-Books (Nightwing, Detective Comics, and Batman) crossing over to deal with the larger threat of a series of, for lack of a better term, Kaiju attacking Gotham City at the same time that a major hurricane hits the city, with the Bat-Family having to contain the monsters while investigating their source.

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I’m adding the “Rebirth” tag to the title of this comic to distinguish it from the initial post Flashpoint relaunch. of the Batman books. Tonally, the book is interesting, in terms of how the book openly embraces the concept of the Bat Family (by contrast with the last Batman graphic novel I reviewed), while also escalating the power level of superheroism in Gotham City.

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With the release of Deadpool 2 this past year, a whole new range of audiences were introduced to Wade Wilson’s grumpy-Gus soldier from the future buddy, Nathan Christopher Askani Summers, aka Cable. Consequently, Marvel also put out a new Cable book, with a mid-volume shift in the numbering to line up with Cable Vol. 1’s numbering. However, what it was not was a buddy-book with Deadpool, Cable was at the fore of this story. So, the question is, what kind of story does the book tell?

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A few weeks ago (as of when I write this in October) I came to learn that the most popular tabletop RPG in Japan right now was neither D&D nor a homegrown RPG like Sword World, but Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu. Also, I learned Dark Horse Comics had released a collection of adaptations of the works of H.P. Lovecraft by artist Gou Tanabe and had announced a planned release of Tanabe’s adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness. Thus, it seemed appropriate to read the first of Tanabe’s adaptations and get a feel for his take on Lovecraft’s work. (more…)

While in the main Batman book, after Flashpoint, Scott Snyder jumped more or less straight into the Court of Owls storyline, over in Detective Comics writer Tony S. Daniel has a couple stories that fit in a little more with members of Batman’s existing rogues gallery – with a story featuring two existing members and re-interpreted versions of a couple others. (more…)

I’ve been a fan of The Shadow for a long time. I’ve enjoyed his outings in the pulps, the radio plays, and even the film featuring Alec Baldwin. However, at least in the late ’80s and early ’90s on, comic book writers haven’t quite known what to do with him. The best depictions of the character after that time I’ve encountered have effectively skipped over any idea of characterization for the character, in favor of making him a force of nature, or an unknowable cipher, instead of giving him grounded motivations. (more…)