Comic Book Reviews (Week December 14, 2022): Dark Ride Issue 3, Specs Issue 2 & More!

Dark Ride issue 3 review
Dark Ride Issue 3 (Image: Image Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (December 14, 2022). I will be covering Dark Ride issue 3, Specs issue 2, Two Graves issue 2, and more.

Let’s begin by talking about Dark Ride issue 3 from co-creators Joshua Williamson (writer) and Andrei Bressan (artist). The latest chapter did seem to promise some answers being delivered in the next installment. So, I’m excited about that. I really want to learn more about Arthur Dante and how he was able to create such a horrific theme park in the first place. Also, are his children even human?

Even though Sam and Halloween are being contacted by paranormal voices. I think it’s safe to assume that they don’t know that the theme park has actually killed a bunch of people over the decades. That’s why it will be interesting to see if they side with their father or try to stop him once they learn the truth. Arthur warned his children about certain dire consequences if they didn’t help him improve the park. Again, I want answers and I hope that we get them in the next chapter.

We also got to see Summar get a bit closer to figuring out what happened to her lost brother. Here’s hoping she’s able to survive snooping around the park by herself. There are dark forces at work.

Bressan and Adriano Lucas (colorist) have continued to deliver in the gore and horror department. And with the story moving toward some big reveals (Arthur’s been working on something!), I’m ready to see what else the art team has up its sleeve.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Specs issue 2 review
Specs Issue 2 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Specs Issue 2

From co-creators David M. Booher (writer) and Chris Shehan (illustrator), the ending of Specs issue 2 really took me by surprise. After wishing for their bully Skunk’s disappearance in the debut issue, the second chapter had Kenny and Ted trying to carry the weight of what they had done. I liked how organic the two teens acted during the opening scene and the dread they felt as they continued attending school without any sign of Skunk. The entire thing was well done!

With the narrative featuring a queer kid and his Black best friend/crush, the second chapter also highlighted the difference between Ted and Kenny’s experiences. Ted was understandably worried about the whole town coming after him after realizing Skunk had gone missing after he and Skunk had a fight at school. It also didn’t help that the school’s principal was racist as heck. The scene where the principal handled both teens very differently during the interview process was visualized quite impactfully.

Due to a major theme being ‘be careful what you wish for’, I could tell something was going to happen when Kenny made his wish to help Ted. But I was surprised by how the wish occurred and where the second chapter left off. I can’t wait to read issue 3! 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Two Graves issue 2 review
Two Graves Issue 2 (Image: Image Comics)

Two Graves Issue 2

From writer Genevieve Valentine, I think I can kind of tell what’s happening after reading Two Graves issue 2. Emphasis on kind of. Apparently, Emilia’s dead but she hasn’t crossed over yet. And while she’s got some personal issues to deal with while hanging around with some kind of a Death Reaper and being able to access other people’s memories, nature needed to take its course and that’s why she’s being hunted by a Trio (Indigo, May, and Decima) that wants to help her leave the physical plane. The Trio will use force, if necessary. However, there’s more to Emilia than even she realizes.

Persephone‘s name was brought up again in this chapter. And again, I don’t know what I’m supposed to get from it. If Valentine’s using Greek mythology in Two Graves, she’s using it in a manner that I’m unable to recognize as of yet.

However, while I still find the story to be confusing, I have to say that it’s interesting enough for me to continue reading it. For now.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Crashing issue 4 review
Crashing Issue 4 (Image: IDW)

Crashing Issue 4

From writer Matthew Klein and artist Morgan Beem, issue 4 of Crashing was a heavy one. With Rose trying to cope with everything that recently happened to her, you could tell she wasn’t going to last long in her line of work. Her insistence on correcting certain things by herself led to a major loss. And I don’t know if she will ever be able to forgive herself for that.

The messed up relationship between superhero Rex and his sidekick/son Piper allowed the creative team to discuss some deep stuff. Rose saw parallels between her experience and what a young Piper was going through. I really liked the scene where Rose kind of dragged Rex for not helping Piper when he needed it the most.

I think Rose had a point when she said that sometimes parents tend to ignore that their kids are facing trouble (addiction, in this case) because of the stress the parents put them through because accepting the truth would mean that their parental skills needed improvement. And, frankly, we all know certain parents who are not ready to acknowledge that they might not be the “good” parents they think they are.

With only one more issue left and Rose still wanting to set things right, her troubles are far from over. I’m really interested in where she will find herself once the dust settles.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up

Wynd The Throne in the Sky Issue 5 review
Wynd: The Throne in the Sky Issue 5 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Wynd: The Throne in the Sky Issue 5

From writer James Tynion IV and illustrator Michael Dialynas, Wynd: The Throne in the Sky issue 5 was, basically, spectacular, as far as my opinion goes. So much happened! We got to see the story take a very sharp turn and leave readers on an intense cliffhanger.

Everyone interested in catching up to our team of young heroes did exactly that with the humans, Faeries, and Vampyres fighting each other to respectively protect, kill, or kidnap certain characters. Even though Wynd got a power-up from the Sprytles living in Strawberry’s beard, he’s still a kid and his battle experience was no match for the Vampyre General Zedra. By the end of the issue, Zedra recieved a power boost of her own. However, I’m not sure if it will be permanent or not. Anyway, she was strong enough to get what she wanted aka flying away with Yorik and Wynd.

Oakley and the rest are definitely going to try and rescue Wynd and Yorik. But they can’t do that without regrouping and coming up with a good plan. There’s also a lot of politics involved and things will need to be prioritized.

As for certain character developments, Oakley finally got to meet her father. But the two didn’t have time to actually talk because of the chaos around them. A whole lot of emotion came from Thorn’s reunion with his father. The fact that Thorn’s father refused to even hug him because Thorn had been touched by magic was just wow. Again, the “changes” Thorn went through because of magic were used to invoke the homophobia certain queer people experienced from their family and friends. Thorn’s father still did what he could to protect his son, but the walls of bigotry need to come down. And here’s hoping they do so soon.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

What did you think of Dark Ride issue 3? Which comic books did you read this week?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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