WWACommendations: X-Men vs. Vampires, Emily Carroll, Harleen, Chronin

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Happy October! What comics are you reading lately? October is my favorite month, not just because of Halloween, but fall activities like soccer, marching band, drinking apple cider, and hearing the crunch of fallen leaves on a walking path. Do you have favorite spooky or horror comics you’ve read lately? Let us know on Twitter! I’m excited to read Emily Carroll’s latest which Wendy Browne discusses below. Check back every month for more comics to enjoy! Have more thoughts about a comic? Pitch us!

Emily Lauer: This month I completed a ten-year plan to read Chronin, by Alison Wilgus! I excitedly wrote about Chronin Volume 1 when it came out in the spring, and when Chronin Volume 2 came out in early September, I was thrilled.

Chronin by Alison Wilgus, published by Tor Books, photo by Emily Lauer
Chronin by Alison Wilgus, published by Tor Books, photo by Emily Lauer

Alison Wilgus had been working on Chronin for almost as long as I’ve known her and it was lovely to get to experience it turning out so well. The second volume is heftier than the first, and just as well researched and engaging.

It has surprising but absolutely believable twists and turns, with a satisfying resolution to the story. In the first volume, student time travelers to nineteenth century Japan encounter differences and problems they hadn’t expected, and in the second volume those problems (and the interpersonal complications that arise because of them) are addressed. There’s intrigue! There’s time travel! There’s romance! There’s a rallying speech about progress! There are quiet scenes of characters we like eating rice! It has everything, really.

Wendy Browne: When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll was the selection for my ladies comic book night this month. While all of the group appreciated the stylized art, the bold black, red, and white contrast, and the way the images vacillated between slinky and horrific, we all found the story a bit confusing and the ending rather abrupt. Still, the twisted take on a Dracula-like story gave us a lot to talk about in our meeting, which is never a bad thing.

While there at the comic store, I also picked up a few more comics for my weekend reading pleasure. While I haven’t cracked the spines just yet, I’m really excited to read them all. The first volume of Motor Crush was a gorgeous read with luscious art by Babs Tarr and a mysterious origin for our protagonist that I must learn more about in this second volume. The first issue of Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ DIE spoke to me as a 40-something woman who wouldn’t mind hopping into one of my favourite RPGs and video games, but I’d like to not come out with severe PTSD. And I’m very excited to read Stjepan Šejić’s DC Black Label take on Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

Draven Katayama: Did you know the flagship X-Men comic in 2010 started with a plotline about the X-Men fighting Dracula’s son, Xarus? If you love vampire stories, you’ll enjoy this arc, titled “Curse of the Mutants.” Xarus murdered his father and assumed leadership of the various vampire factions. The core of the story, though, is Jubilee, who lost her mutant powers a few years prior, gets infected by a manufactured virus that turns her into a vampire. Jubilee-as-vampire becomes her new status quo in comics until 2018, so if you’ve ever wanted to know what her life was like when she first become a vampire, this is that story. Armor and Pixie, two of my favorite characters, show up in this story, while Wolverine plays a larger supporting role as well.

You can get the main story in X-Men #1-6 plus there are tie-in one-shot issues with Blade, Storm and Gambit, and Namor. The story begins in the one-shot issue Death of Dracula #1, which is packed with lore about the vampire factions.

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Draven Katayama

Draven Katayama

Writer at Sidequest and WWAC; past executive editor of Kollaboration and writer at Newsarama and Comicosity. I'm a huge fan of Life is Strange, The Last of Us, TWICE, Blackpink, and ITZY. My MyDramaList: https://mydramalist.com/profile/loudlysilent Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/loudlysilent Tell me about the fandoms you love! @loudlysilent