Reviewed by Krista McKeeth by Jose Malaga, Dynamite Entertainment, Diamond Book Distributors

WELCOME TO THE END OF DAYS! 

A mysterious hijacking — by an undetectable force which leaves only death in its wake — lures Vampirella to Russia, and deeper into a deadly conspiracy where nothing is what it seems. At the request of Vampirella’s allies — the Vatican’s paranormal covert strike force, Cestus Dei — the blood-drinking scourge of the supernatural travels to Russia, on the hunt for a terrifying killer with a gift for murder.

But there’s more at play than a simple search-and-destroy mission. Complicating matters is the return of the King of the Vampires, Dracula — more powerful than ever before, and determined to consecrate an unholy pact with ancient, unknowable forces that even the lords of Chaos and Order wisely fear. War is on the horizon, and only one who has worn the Crown of Worms can sit upon a Throne of Skulls. Old foes are reborn, alliances are broken, and nothing in Vampirella’s world will ever be the same! Collecting issues #12-20 of the popular ongoing Vampirella series, with a complete cover gallery. A scantily clad vampire detective is looking into the mystery of a plane full of humans cut into pieces and hidden in the cabin. It’s total chaos. Vampirella heads to Russia to find the answers to what kind of creature would perpetrate such a massacre, and why …   Traveling in underground caves as well as through the ruins of an old village, Vampirella must battle the evil Von Kriest, demons, as well as save a friend Sofia who has been possessed. There are many different layers to this story and intense and colorful graphics. Several different characters and demons come into play for a non-stop action packed story. This is one of the most detailed graphic novels that I have read. So many things happen with well-rounded layering of stories that it would be a hard to convince anybody that this is not worth it’s value. It’s intense, bloody, fast paced and suspenseful. As Vampirella is busy doing detective work, the people who have accompanied her on the trip get into situations of their own, adding to the drama. Vampirella must endure an internal battle as well as the physical challenges she faces throughout the story, and with the return of Dracula, her vampire side is calling. Marianne’s comment: I haven’t read this one, but I just wish they didn’t have to portray female characters half naked. Why can’t you be a sexy heroine with clothes on?

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Alice in Wonderland #1 Released January 25th Artwork by Artgerm, Eric Basaldua and Nei Ruffino.  32 pages

Paperback: 168 pages Publisher: Zenescope (January 22, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 1937068668 Decades ago, a girl named Alice was sacrificed into the horror-filled realm of Wonderland but her terrifying and awe-inspiring experiences there have been shrouded in mystery. The one thing known is that her time spent in a world full of insanity left her a broken adult. However, her courageous will to survive is what ultimately saved humanity. Now the story of Alice’s visit into Wonderland is fully revealed and the truth of the terror will be told in full! From Raven Gregory, Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha, the same minds behind Grimm Fairy Tales and Return To Wonderland comes the newest series that Zenescope fans have been waiting for. What every Zenescope fan has been waiting for is finally here! Follow Zenescope back down the rabbit hole and find a world of madness like you have never seen before!

In a dark twist to an already unusual story, this graphic novel tells a story of a young  Alice who is coaxed into the Real of Dreams by her grandparents. Alice has become a slave to the evil and grotesque Jabberwocky. In Vol 1 we see Alice as a young woman who with some help, escapes the Jabberwocky and has several encounters with the people/creatures of Wonderland. The Chesire Cat is chasing after her to return her to her master and Alice is stuck in a land of terror.

Throughout the story we get flashbacks of how Alice came to be in Wonderland and what is happening in the real world. As she travels through Wonderland, and encounters different people, she soon comes to realise that she has to conquer the Jabberwocky to ever really be free of him. As with all comics, this one was a very fast paced adventure, introduced to us with a Grimm twist. There is no down-time as Alice is in a race for her life. With full colored  pages, a more risque, adult version of Alice and horrific landscape, this comic is a view into a twisted and terrifying side of Wonderland. Most of the storytelling is done through the art work and visuals to accentuate the creep-factor of the characters and lands she travels through. (There are no fluffy white bunnies or flowers in this version!) It has a good balance between dialogue/story telling and really focuses on the artwork to reveal the  majority of the story.
Fever Moon: The Fear Dorcha (Fever)

by Karen Marie Moning, Al Rio (Artist), David Lawrence (Scripter), Cliff Richards (Illustrations)

An all-new Mac & Barrons story by #1 “New York Times” bestselling author Karen Marie Moning, marvelously adapted into a full-color graphic novel by writer David Lawrence and illustrator Al Rio 

In “Fever Moon, ” we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he’s traveled worlds with the Unseelie king, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he’s hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe. Dublin is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned over half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them. With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those closest to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

Hardcover, 144 pages  Published July 10th 2012 by Del Rey  ISBN 0345525485 (ISBN13: 9780345525482)

This graphic novel had very detailed illustrations. The emotions and intensity of the story leapt off the pages. After what has happened to Mac in the past, she’s out for revenge. She’s pissed off and now that her friends and acquaintances are being attacked, it’s personal. She doesn’t run from anything, in fact she runs towards it. It was entertaining to see how the artwork portrayed the villain with no face, and how each of the victims had parts of their face stolen. Mac’s purpose is to discover 1) who is stealing face parts 2) how many faces are they going to take and 3) how much time does she have. I was impressed by how much detail went into the artwork. The city is in the middle of a war and buildings are destroyed. Most of the story takes place at night and it’s dark, dirty and falling apart. Each brick, facial and body expression, plus details in the crowded bars and streets were all very precise. The landscape is gloomy, the creatures are frightful and the men, well..they are sexy! The majority of the story is told in dialogue and pictures, with some side details along the way. This has been my favorite form in graphic novels as it really helps to push along the plot at a faster pace, as well as getting to know the characters better at the same time. There is a bonus feature in the back of the book where we not only get a detailed overview of the Fever series by the author herself but we also get a handful of pages where each of the characters are drawn and their involvement in the series are detailed. The fully colored pages add the extra visuals to the story that help us put a face to the name.
Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 -- Sisters in Crime Australia 

 

 

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