Comic Book Reviews (Week January 11, 2023): Dark Ride Issue 4, Crashing Issue 5 & More!

Dark Ride Issue 4 review
Dark Ride Issue 4 (Image: Image Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (January 11, 2023). I will be covering Dark Ride issue 4, Crashing issue 5, Something Is Killing The Children issue 28, and more.

Let’s begin by talking about Dark Ride issue 4 by co-creators Joshua Williamson (writer) and Andrei Bressan (artist). The latest chapter had a bunch of twists as Summer finally found her brother’s dead body. I have to say, I was a bit worried about her fate when she decided to enter one of the rides without any kind of weapon or backup.

Considering how her arc seemed to have concluded, I wonder if she will pop up again down the line. And yes, the way her brother’s death caused numerous people to visit Devil Land felt a bit too real. A whole lot of people are indeed like that. With the story progressing quite a bit after giving us a very surprising reveal at the very end, I’m looking forward to seeing what the mysterious creator of Devil Land has planned.

Kudos to Bressan for how a particular scene involving a mask played out. In my opinion, evoking horror is harder on a static medium like comic books compared to live-action or animation. So, yay to Bressan for delivering. 

Due to how things are right now, I have to say, I wasn’t expecting myself to begin rooting for Sam when I first started reading this series. Color me surprised. I hope he and his daughter make it through.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Crashing Issue 5 review
Crashing Issue 5 (Image: IDW)

Crashing Issue 5

From writer Matthew Klein and artist Morgan Beem, Crashing issue 5 gave me a very well-written conclusion. The final chapter was about Rose trying to make things right with the people she had hurt.

The creative team could have easily tried to tie everything together with a nice little bow. But I appreciate that they didn’t. They kept the conclusion of such a fictional story “real” as Rose realized that apologizing and even taking action didn’t guarantee things would work out the way she had hoped. Her and Don’s relationship played out in a manner that I liked. Some mistakes, even those made unintentionally, are just unforgivable. Indeed, the best course of action was for Rose to ensure she didn’t repeat said mistakes and also helped others not to fall into the spiral she had a lot of experience with.

Even though I was a bit hesitant to read a comic book that featured a lead character dealing with addiction, I have to say that the creative team handled the narrative well. And with how things ended, I have my fingers crossed that we get to see Rose again soon.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Specs Issue 3 review
Specs Issue 3 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Specs Issue 3

From co-creators David M. Booher (writer) and Chris Shehan (artist), the penultimate issue of Specs showed that the wish-granting glasses were indeed a dangerous curse. It wasn’t even Ted and Kenny’s fault. Due to the nature of such a highly cursed object, the glasses found their way to the teens because that’s what they had been doing for decades; searching for people it could feed off by granting their wishes in a very double-edged sword kind of way. Depending on what Booher and Shehan have planned, Specs could become an anthology similar to The Silver Coin.

With the town wanting Ted dead, I don’t know how he and Kenny will get themselves out of such a mess. We know that it’s an older Kenny telling us the current story. But having learned more about the cursed glasses, I’m worried that an older Kenny existing in the present timeline might not be such a good thing after all. I can’t wait to read the final issue!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Something Is Killing the Children Issue 28 review
Something Is Killing The Children Issue 28 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Something Is Killing The Children Issue 28

From writer James Tynion IV with art by Werther Dell’Edera (illustrator) and Miquel Muerto (colorist), Something Is Killing The Children issue 28 finally gave us the highly anticipated confrontation between Erica and the assassin Charlotte Cutter. And it didn’t go the way I had expected it to.

Charlotte really is deranged. She’s all about playing with her food – in this case, Erica – and our lead had no other option but to play the twisted game. I liked the sense of anger and frustration emanating from Erica when she realized she didn’t get to have a say in the matter. I’m really looking forward to seeing Erica trying to hunt down and kill a dangerous supernatural monster with the police chasing after her while Charlotte continued to pull the strings. It’s basically Charlotte’s chessboard at the moment. So, let’s see if Erica’s got what it takes to beat Charlotte at her own game. At this point, I’ll even take Erica flipping the entire board over.

Gabi and Riqui didn’t really have much to do in this chapter. However, with how involved they are in what’s happening, I think they still have an important role to play down the line. And while I was glad that Charlotte didn’t kill Carter, I really need him to start believing Erica and get on the good side ASAP.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Billionaire Island Cult of Dogs issue 3 review
Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs Issue 3 (Image: AHOY Comics0

Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs Issue 3

I was provided with a free digital copy of Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs issue 3 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

By writer Mark Russell and artist Steve Pugh, the third issue of Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs had investigative reporter Shelly running from mercenaries only to fall into a situation involving a bunch of people putting her on a trial for her life. While I understand why her truthfulness was tested by the community, it was tough for me to actually be worried about her fate.

The highlights in this particular issue were definitely the retelling of ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and people finding themselves in echo chambers when using social media. I won’t pretend and say that I fully understood what Russell was trying to say through his ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ retelling, but judging what I did understand, the entire bit did offer some powerful stuff about human nature, greed, and capitalism.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Which comic books did you read this week? Did you enjoy Dark Ride issue 4?

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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