October Staff Picks: Comics!

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Magneto #11, Cover, Cullen Bunn & David Yardin, Marvel 2014MAGNETO #11

Cullen Bunn (W)

Gabriel Hernandez Walta (A)

Cover by David Yardin

Marvel Comics 

It’s almost not even an effort to say that Cullen Bunn’s Magneto is going to be hot for October. This series has been a solid punch in the gut and a kick in the teeth since issue one. Magneto’s powers since A vs. X are at a lower ebb than they have ever been before and having to use his reduced powers in more creative ways has made him more terrifying, not less. Some of the things he has done are really the stuff of nightmares—which, I suppose, makes Magneto’s title the perfect read for scary, spooky October.

In addition, Magneto has, for the moment, abandoned working with the X-Men again. He’s gone back to doing this “protect the mutants from those who would hurt them and, if not, avenge them” thing, tied in with his memories of the Holocaust.  That’s a combo that guarantees you get a read that cuts deep every single month. He’s made some new acquaintances and is pretty much a globetrotting menace, wreaking unholy havoc on mutant abusing humans from the United States to the Far East to Genosha.

This one is a tie-in to the AXIS crossover event—involving the Red Skull and the Avengers—that’ll be running through all Marvel’s titles. Rogue and the Scarlet Witch have been deadish for a while—we’ll see whether they return in one form or another and face off against The Big M here, or whether the other plans Magneto has been brewing for the previous ten issues are about to come to fruition. He’s also about to make a comeback to the Uncanny title, so there is no shortage of sources for conflict, drama, and action for Bunn and Hernandez Walta to draw from. I can’t wait.

— Jamie 

Sleepy Hollow #1SLEEPY HOLLOW #1 (of 4)

Marguerite Bennett (W)

Jorge Coelho  (A)

Cover Artists: A: Phil Noto B: Jorge Coelho

BOOM! Studios 

The bad news is that it’s only a four issue mini-series. The good news is that BOOM! Studios is releasing a miniseries based on Fox series Sleepy Hollow. If you’ve been trapped inside a mystically sealed log or something all this time, Fox’s re-imagining of the old Washington Irving tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman was practically an instant hit. They turned all the classic bits on their ear. Ichabod was pretty much the James Bond of the Revolutionary War period and married to a witch who mystically bound him with the Headless Horseman (who was a Hessian). He awakens in twenty-first-century Sleepy Hollow and has to convince the local police of his bona fides starting with Abbie, who really doesn’t want to embrace a belief in the supernatural.

The show blew old school casting traditions out of the water by casting the talented Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, John Cho, and other diverse actors in the roles of the Sleepy Hollow Police whom Ichabod and Abbie must work with while trying to prevent the rise of evil bent on overtaking the earth. The comic is apparently running concordant with the series. The pair are fresh from escaping from the danger they were in as of Season 1’s cliffhanger, only to discover good things seem to be happening. Or are they? More spooky supernatural goodness for Halloween’s favourite month.

The comic is coming out shortly after the show begins its second season, and it gives every indication of being true to the spirit of its source material. The art by Coelho appears accurate, but also brings to mind the stylings of Bill Sienkiewicz from the 80s—a visual style I love and don’t mind seeing called back.

— Jamie

Locke & Key, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez, Vol. 6, IDW, paperback coverLocke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega

Joe Hill (W)

Gabriel Rodriguez (A)

IDW

I have been waiting for Volume 6 to come out in paperback, and what better time for ending this amazing horror comic series than in October? This also means I have avoided learning about the conclusion, so DON’T SPOIL IT FOR ME!

Locke & Key is about the Locke family’s move to the historic family home—Keyhouse—in Massachusetts after the murder of Mr. Locke, the family patriarch. Events unfold that indicate that his murder wasn’t mere happenstance and is related to the secrets of Keyhouse. Along the way, the Locke children—Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode—deal with their trauma as they discover various keys in Keyhouse that perform a variety of magical things, such as changing one’s gender, turning one into a giant, oh and opening portals to demon-infested dimensions.

The horror genre was my genre of choice as soon as I stumbled across R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series at the book fair in the fourth grade. I started reading comics again a few years ago after not having touched them since my childhood and have only recently begun to explore the world of horror book comics. Locke & Key is intelligent and the underlying mythos is unique and incredibly fascinating. Further, Rodriguez’s art is stunning; it makes blood and gore visually arresting but still disturbing (as it should be).

Frankly, I very rarely get invested in comics with white, cisgender, hetero male leads, but besides the unique premise and stunning artwork, Hill explicitly draws attention to white privilege and provides flawed and fascinating male and female characters. Locke & Key does what good horror should do—it addresses cultural fears and anxieties without necessarily offering catharsis.

— Ginnis

 

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About Author

Jamie Kingston is a Native New Yorker, enduring a transplant to Atlanta. She’s a lifelong comic fan, having started at age 13 and never looked back, developing a decades-spanning collection and the need to call out the creators when she expects better of them. Her devotion extends to television, films, and books as well as the rare cosplay. She sates her need to create in a number of ways including being an active editor on the TV Tropes website, creating art and fan art, and working on her randomly updating autobiographical web comic, Orchid Coloured Glasses. As a woman of color, she considers it important to focus on diversity issues in the media. She received the Harpy Agenda micro-grant in November of 2015 for exceptional comics journalism by a writer of color.

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