Monday, August 15, 2011

What Lurks in the Longbox? #10

Vincent Price Presents #16 from Bluewater Comics
Written by Nick Lyons, with art by Juan Tomajok and Kamui Oscuro 
Vincent Price Presents is an anthology series that began under a 2008 agreement made with the estate and daughter of the late actor.  As the narrator, Price introduces the theme of each issue (fear in this case), making appearances at both the beginning and ending of the story, similar to the roles played by early television hosts like Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone

This issue features the story of a widow named Emily who tries to put her life back together after losing her husband to a psychotic killer known as “Soulless Sam.”  Besides raising her son alone, Emily’s life is further complicated by her struggle to make ends meet, nightmare flashbacks of her husband’s murder, and the well-intentioned advances of a local shoemaker.  Despite her efforts to put the past behind her, Emily is eventually forced to confront the source of her fear. 

Lyons’ story is simple but effective, and fits well with a “done-in-one” title such as this one.  Tomajok’s art has a rough edge that coincides perfectly with the old west environment, and it blends well with Kamui Oscuro’s brilliant colors. 

To the best of my knowledge, there have been a couple collected editions of the series, including an Omnibus, but you may have to contact a few shops before finding one.  I have also seen individual back issues at conventions, usually at reasonable prices. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What Lurks in the Longbox? #9

Spider-Man & the Secret Wars #1 
In the first of four issues, this mini-series expands upon the events of the original Marvel Super-Hero Secret Wars series, showing events from Spider-Man’s perspective.  It starts with the pivotal scene from Secret Wars #4 where the Hulk has to hold up an entire mountain range after the Molecule Man drops it on the heroes, and then explores the background story of that event. 
The issue also focuses on the uneasy relationship between Spider-Man and the Hulk during a reconnaissance mission, and trust becomes a major concern as the odds become increasingly stacked against the heroes. Even the usually patient Captain America starts to lose his cool when Spider-Man persistently argues that the Hulk is losing control and gradually turning more dangerous than the super-villains themselves.  Incidentally, this plotline was explored in more depth during concurrent issues of the Hulk’s own title at the time. 
Paul Tobin, along with Patrick Scherberger's art, do a solid job of quickly bringing readers up to speed who may have never read the original story.  The mini-series has an “All Ages” rating and is appropriate for both kids and adults.  The trade paperback collection of the mini-series is available at your local comic shop.