Comic Book Reviews (Week December 23, 2020): King in Black Issue 2, The Department of Truth Issue 4, and More!

king in black issue 2 review
King in Black Issue 2 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (December 23, 2020). I will be covering King in Black issue 2, The Department of Truth issue 4, and more!

Looks like there wasn’t a single DC Comics offering that interested me this week. So let’s begin with Marvel Comics. Even though I’m not a fan of Venom-led comic books, I’m enjoying all of the chaos writer Donny Cates has been delivering during the King in Black event.

With a number of powerful heroes taken off the board (and now under Knull’s control), King in Black issue 2 focused on the remaining good guys trying to come up with a plan. According to Tony Stark, they had to heal Eddie Brock (who’s very close to dying after Knull dropped him from a building). With Tony trying his best to collect a Dragon-symbiote to revive Eddie, Blade and Namor had their own missions to complete. Turns out, the heroes had no other option other than using powerful forces (even evil ones) to stand a fighting chance against Knull.

King in Black issue 2 featured a lot of emotional moments. I know our heroes will come out okay in the end, but that doesn’t mean Cates won’t make them go through a lot of hardship and hopelessness first.

Talking about Knull’s control, I wonder how beings like Dr. Strange and Storm are faring. The two have been stated to have willpowers strong enough to hold the essence of Eternity (the immortal embodiment of the universe).

Storm housing Eternity
Fantastic Four Issue 550 (Image: Marvel Comics)

I wonder if Cates will address Dr. Strange and Storm trying to fight Knull from completely taking over their minds and if that will lead to the two being easier to rescue.

Storm housing Eternity
Fantastic Four Issue 550 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

something is killing the children issue 13 review
Something is Killing the Children Issue 13 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Something is Killing the Children Issue 13

I continue to love Something is Killing the Children by writer James Tynion IV. The latest issue was quite fast-paced, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. The House of Slaughter isn’t playing. Not only did Erica have to keep James and Bian safe while performing a ritual, but she also has to be quick about it to save the townsfolk because we know The House of Slaughter is okay with killing innocents to protect dark secrets.

I am ready to learn more about the ritual Erica’s got to perform as well as what’s up with her possessed stuffed doll. Even if Erica’s successful during the ritual, will she be able to face The House of Slaughter on her own? I want to know! 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Department of Truth issue 4 review
The Department of Truth Issue 4 (Image: Image Comics)

The Department of Truth Issue 4

Another enjoyable story by writer James Tynion IV, The Department of Truth issue 4 gave an explanation about how conspiracy theories had the power to alter reality in the fictional world Tynion’s created. This series continued to mention real-world events and how information can be dangerous, especially false information.

Why are some people so quick to believe conspiracy theories? Was it because said theories are all about encouraging distrust in government by feeding the unease certain people experience at a subconscious level? The Department of Truth will raise a lot of questions for you.

department of truth issue 4 review
The Department of Truth Issue 4 (Image: Image Comics)

And yes, there’s a sense of irony involving how a story about conspiracies revolves around a fictional ‘Department of Truth’ that’s meant to keep reality intact. Again, this comic book will make you think and I’m here for it.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Goosebumps Secrets of the Swamp issue 4
Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp Issue 4 (Image: IDW)

Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp Issue 4

From writer Marieke Nijkamp, Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp issue 4 shared information about the long-running conflict between the werewolves and hunters. The werewolves just wanted to live freely and alone in the swamp. But, of course, the hunters saw them as a threat to humans. Certain secrets were revealed and our lead character Blake made the courageous decision to help the werewolves. As a fan of Goosebumps, I’m ready to see how this story will conclude.

The current story does feature themes involving the importance of understanding others and not directing hate and fear at those who are different. I think those are great lessons to learn.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up. 

Breaklands Season 2 Issue 2 review
Breaklands Season 2 Issue 2 (Image: ComiXology)

Breaklands Season 2 Issue 2 (of 5)

By writer Justin Jordan, the second issue of Breaklands Season 2 showed Kasa trying to escape from Cannibal Sky Pirates. While that’s happening, Ruth’s trying to take out an army of opponents while the rest of the group’s trying to take Kasa’s brother to safety. There’s a lot of ‘trying’ going on. I love it when the good guys struggle.

I liked seeing Kasa coming into her own during the current narrative. In a world that operated on superpowers, she’s the one holding the important cards. She’s just got to figure out how to play them better.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Snow Angels Issue 0 review
Snow Angels Issue 0 (Image: ComiXology)

Snow Angels Issue 0

Snow Angels issue 0 is a free preview for the upcoming Snow Angels ComiXology Originals series by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Jock. The first issue will debut on February 16, 2021. The preview gave us narration from a young girl named Milliken. She and her sister Mae Mae were born in The Trench. And like the rest of The Trenchfolk, they will live there until they die.

There are three rules that everyone has to follow (I’m paraphrasing below):

  • Never leave The Trench.
  • The Trench provides everything you need.
  • The Trench is endless.

Apparently, if someone decides to climb The Trench, they will face icy winds that are so strong, it will rip the flesh off your bones. There’s also a being called the Snowman who has been described as death incarnate. 

You just know someone is going to mess up and break one or all of the rules. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what Lemire and Jock have in store for readers.

edgar allan poe snifter of blood issue 3 review
Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood Issue 3 (Image: AHOY comics)

Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood Issue 3

I was provided a free copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood Issue 3 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

If you want a story where Poe showcased his clear disdain for Sherlock Holmes, writer Rachel Pollack and artist Alan Robinson’s ‘The Mystery of Marie Roget’ is for you.

The other story I enjoyed was ‘Meat the Parents’ by writer Brendan Mallory. It told a creepy little tale about the unusual way a married couple decided to become parents.

‘The Cask of Amontillado – Rediscovered!’ by writer Shaun Manning and artist Greg Scott offered a sci-fi romp with an unsettling undertone. While ‘Winfield’ by writer Tyrone Finch talked about how quick paranoia can spread when a community’s unable to understand someone different. He was only making perfect burgers! Sigh!

If you’re looking for short stories that mix creepiness and horror with other genres, you should consider reading the Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood series.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Which comic books did you decide to read this week? What are your thoughts about King in Black issue 2?

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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