The Weekly Round-Up #121 With Walking Dead, American Vampire, BPRD, Morning Glories & More

The store where I shop each week was shorted on copies of Secret Avengers and The New Deadwardians, so expect those to be reviewed next week.

Best Comic of the Week:

The Walking Dead #95

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Robert Kirkman’s taken a little time to introduce the concept that Rick and his friends are not the only people living in a self-sustaining community, or the ‘Larger World’ of the story arc.  Finally, Rick, Carl, and a small group of people have traveled to the Hilltop, the community where new character Jesus is from.  Most of this issue is taken up with Rick and friends entering the community, and being shown around by Jesus.

Charlie Adlard does a terrific job of designing this place.  We get a real sense (through the liberal use of double-page splashes) the size and scale of it, with its chicken coops, water tower, and various tasks being performed by the people who live there.  The place is centred around the Barrington House, a restored Gothic mansion or something, which seems to have some resonance to the characters, but which Google is unable to inform me of.

Things look great in Hilltop, but because Rick is there, it of course does not take long for bad things to start happening.  Very quickly, someone named Ethan shows up without the three people he had been traveling with.  We learn that someone named Negan (whose name is dropped a few pages earlier) has killed two people, and is holding someone named Crystal hostage, so long as Ethan does something for him, which involves him stabbing Gregory, the man in charge of Hilltop.  It doesn’t take long for Rick to get involved (because that’s what always happens), and things turn bloody quickly.

This is what I read this title for – the long stretches of calm character development switches, at any moment, to scenes of great violence that have lasting consequence.  It’s not hard to predict that from here, either Rick’s group will join up with the Hilltop (who, we learn, are out of ammunition), or they will be driven out, and will end up joining or in conflict with Negan themselves.  Either way, it’s clear that Rick’s not going back to his own community to just worry about keeping walkers off his gate.

The Walking Dead is always a terrific comic.  I know it’s blowing up all over the place right now – I got caught up on the end of Season Two of the television show, and thought it was brilliant, and now I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue of this comic.

Other Notable Comics:

American Vampire #25

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

The ‘Death Race’ arc finishes off this issue with a few surprises.  For the last three issues, we’ve watched as Travis Kidd, a new character to the series, has been hunting the vampire who was responsible for the death of his family – our old friend Skinner Sweet.  Kidd’s whole story, but for the fateful night when his family was killed, was shown to us in flashback while he and Sweet engaged in a lengthy race across the California desert in ’50s cars.

In this issue, Travis and Skinner confront each other face to face, and we learn that Travis is much more resourceful than we were otherwise led to believe, finding new uses for the gold that is so poisonous to Sweet.  That’s not the end of the surprises though, as Hobbes, the leader of the vampire-hunting organization shows up before the fight is over.  Also, at the end of the issue, we get to catch up a little with Henry and Pearl, who are more or less the main characters of this comic, even though we often go months without seeing them.

American Vampire is always a good read, and this issue is no exception.  Rafael Albuquerque’s art continues to impress and surprise with each and every issue.

BPRD Hell on Earth – The Pickens County Horror

Written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art by Jason Latour

The side of me that prefers my comics to be monthly, and not double- or triple-shipped in a month is annoyed that the Mike Mignola machine is pumping out so much product these days in the wake of Hellboy’s removal from the schedule, but the true comics fan in me is happy to be getting a second BPRD mini-series, interwoven with the other one that is currently running (The Long Death).

The thing about the BPRD that makes such a publishing frequency work, as compared to superhero comics, is that since the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is such a large organization, there is always space for new stories within it (as opposed to stories that star Wolverine, who never sleeps or even has time to go to the bathroom).  This two-part mini-series features two agents, Vaughn and Peters, who have probably been knocking around this title for some time in the background, but whom I don’t really remember.  The story does a good job of bringing us up to speed where they are concerned though, and there’s a cool little Hellboy cameo to boot.

The Bureau is stretched pretty thin since things started going crazy worldwide, and so two agents are all that can be sent when a town in South Carolina calls in reporting strange fog in the mountains, and the disappearances of locals.  It seems that there is a family of vampires living in the hills, although just what they’re doing is not all that clear.  Late in the book we are introduced to a vampire researcher (who strangely goes unnamed), who is in the area looking for connections between these local vamps and a creature who first came to America to help quell the Revolution in the 1700s.  Vampires have only rarely been used in the Mignola-verse, so it’s interesting to see where this story is going to go.

This arc is being drawn by Jason Latour, who is an interesting addition to the ranks of BPRD artists.  He has a very clean look to his art, and is terrific at capturing the weirdness of backwoods Carolina.  I’m glad that this is a short mini-series, but I am definitely enjoying it.

Elephantmen #38

Written by Richard Starkings
Art by Axel Medellin and Rob Steen

Another issue of Elephantmen, and we get much of the same of what we’ve been getting from this comic lately.  Basically, this series has fallen into a nice groove where each new issue is advancing Starking’s general plot, and is working in a much more linear fashion than it used to.

This issue has a focus on Janis Blackthorne, the agent who has recently been working with usual main characters Hip Flask and Ebony Hide.  Blackthorne’s past is recapped a little, before she is put into the field, where she manages to track down and confront Razorback, the human who has been going around wearing Tusk’s skull and killing Elephantmen for the last few issues.  We also learn Razorback’s identity (which wasn’t really much of a surprise).

While this is all going on, we also learn a little about the inner workings of Obadiah Horn’s home, and meet one of his disgruntled employees.  As well, Hip meets Miki’s mother, which doesn’t go the way any of them would have expected.

Axel Medellin’s art continues to grow in leaps and bounds with each new issue, and he was already very good.  This issue has an almost painted quality to some of the pages, and generally looks great.

There is also the continuation of Rob Steen’s story set in the early Mappo days (which is okay but is not really grabbing me), and another chapter of the back-up story Charly Loves Robots, which I’ve liked a lot since it started.  Elephantmen really delivers value for its $4 price tag.

Morning Glories #17

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Joe Eisma

A few months ago, Casey (who is more or less the star of this series) and Ms. Hodge, the guidance counselor at Morning Glories Academy used a strange method of escaping the schoolgrounds, which we later discovered led to their being tossed back in time a ways.  In order for their escape to work, they needed two people to sit in front of some flames and cast a shadow on the opposite wall of a cavern.  These two people were Jade and Ike (who was himself a stand-in for the more amicable Hunter).

This issue returns to that scene, and shows us what happened between these two as they sat around waiting for Casey to disappear.  Jade has been the suicidal, tragic figure in this series since it began.  She’s constantly needed Casey to bail her out of trouble or to save her life, and she’s happy to be doing something to help her, even though by doing it, she expects Casey to rescue her.  Ike is the group sociopath, who has been giving everyone a hard time since the first issue, and has been quick to turn on his peer group (I can’t really use the word friends).

Jade has easily been the most irritating character in this comic, but through this issue, Spencer explores her in such a way as to make her a little more sympathetic.  We learn about her mother’s death, and some of the ways in which she chose to express her grief and frustration after it.  We also see her prevaricate on issues like the existence of God, and just what is going to happen to the students at the school.  Ike, on the other hand, is often fascinating, as he continues to put Jade down and mess with her head, but also sticks around to help Casey despite himself.

Spencer uses a few other scenes in this comic to help continue advancing some of the mysteries of this series, especially the one concerning Ike’s father.  Every month I try to avoid speaking of this comic in terms of the TV show Lost, but really, there is no other long-narrative story I can think of that comes closest to the same formula of revelation followed by more mystery than that.  I just keep hoping that Spencer’s big finish is nowhere near as lame.

Scalped #57

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by RM Guera

You had to know that the general good will and happiness of the last issue couldn’t possibly last.  We saw Dash living a clean life with a good woman, and Red Crow determined to live out his days in prison while trying to stay on a righteous path.  Both characters looked like they may have been able to achieve the redemption this entire series has had them looking for.  But, were that true, this wouldn’t be a comic by Jason Aaron, now would it?

With this issue, things get upended and screwed up mightily.  The body of Diesel, the white trash Native wannabe that Dash took out months ago gets discovered.  Lincoln learns that Carol, his daughter and Dash’s ex-girlfriend, had an abortion, and his anger causes him to (possibly) regain some of who he used to be.  Catcher even shows up again, doing what he thinks is best to protect his people, in his usual misguided way.  And, saddest of all, in my perspective, Dino Poor Bear chooses to speak up when he really shouldn’t have.

Scalped is an incredible series, which is winding down with this final arc (only three issues remain).  While it’s safe to assume that any number of characters who have hurt each other over the years will get one last chance to injure each other, I really don’t know where Aaron is going to lead this.  Last issue, it felt like happy, or at least contented, endings were possible for some of these characters; now, it looks like this series will end as it lived, in vicious anger, and clutching at redemption that never comes.  Either way, I’m going to savor these remaining issues.

Spaceman #5

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso

Here we have yet another very strong issue of Azzarello and Risso’s futuristic child abduction mini-series.  Spaceman is a bit of an odd beast – at its core, it’s a story about acceptance of people’s differences, but that theme is wrapped in a comic that is linguistically challenging and visually impressive.

Orson, the genetically-adapted ‘Spaceman’ of the title has, through some strange circumstances, ending up being the protector of Tara, a reality TV child star who was abducted from her adoptive actor parents.  The search for her has become a national obsession, even though her safety is starting to seem secondary to the ratings her continued absence is worth.

Orson is an absolute outcast, living in and off of the wreckage of a major city, and while he tries to do right by Tara and keep her safe, he’s learning that he has no one to turn to.  The woman whom he has been paying for virtual sex anonymously tries to take the child from him in this issue, and she in turn unknowingly gives some important clues to the other Spaceman that has been hired to hunt Tara down. We are learning more and more about Orson’s time on Mars, and this issue shows the circumstances that got one other Spaceman killed.

Azzarello has been having a great time developing the unique lingua franca of this story, and continues to use his projected slang to differentiate between classes in Orson’s society.  It’s clear that much more work has gone into constructing this series than is immediately apparent on the surface.  As always, Risso is an able collaborator for Azzarello, making the future look much as he makes it sound.  Highly recommended.

The Unwritten #35.5

Written by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

It’s gotten a little difficult to tell who is doing what on this title of late.  I noticed a little while ago that the credits have taken to saying that the book is ‘by Mike Carey and Peter Gross’, and I wondered if perhaps Gross has been contributing to the writing, but as the credits have usually also listed a ‘finisher’, often MK Perker, it was clear that Gross was laying out and penciling most issues.  This issue, however, has the ‘by’ credit, and then credits the art to Gabriel Hernandez Walta.  Perhaps Gross laid out the pencils – the look is consistent with other issues – but Walta is a unique artist, and the work here looks like it is his.

Regardless of who did what, this is a very cool comic.  It introduces us to Danny, a literature studies graduate, who has to deal with the same existential question that faces most lit grads – now what?  He lucks into the perfect job – he’s going to be paid to read books and occasionally transcribe parts of them by hand.  Any reader of this series would recognize quickly that he’s working for the Cabal, as part of their Grid, mysterious as that still is.

From this point, Danny plays a ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ role in the story – he’s present at, or affected by, many of the key moments that have happened over the previous thirty-five issues of this comic.  He attends the Tommy Con of the first issue, but doesn’t notice the significance of Lizzie Hexam’s questions from the audience.  He has a Leviathan sighting while on the Grid, but doesn’t share what he learned with his bosses, and he’s one of the few survivors of Tom Taylor’s recent attack on the Cabal.

Danny never figures out what his role is in this story, nor that he has had a minor affect on it.  It’s a pretty cool story that I suppose dances around some of the questions of responsibility that can be asked of low-ranking soldiers who are involved in war crimes.

A very cool issue, and a nice way to end the .5 stories.  After the next issue, The Unwritten will return to a monthly schedule (thankfully), and I suppose, take Tom and his friends into new territory.  This series is impressive.

Quick Takes:

All Star Western #7 – Jonah Hex’s story moves to New Orleans with this issue, where he is convinced to take a pause in his search for the man who enslaved children in Gotham so he can help out his sometime friends Nighthawk and Cinnamon, who are after a cabal called August 7, whose platform closely resembles those of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney (anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-anyone but the rich).  It’s a good issue, with some nice illegal boxing, and more terrific art from Moritat, who has incredibly managed to put out seven comics in a row on time.  There’s also a new back-up, featuring Nighthawk and Cinnamon (who I guess only sometimes wears her mask).  This story mostly tells us about Nighthawk’s childhood, and it features decent art from Patrick Sherberger, whose art looks a lot like Todd McFarlane’s.

Avengers #24.1 – I’ve dropped The Avengers from my pull-file because I didn’t feel that Bendis’s style of writing this book was giving me my money’s worth anymore, but since this is a .1 issue, and is priced at a proper $2.99, I thought it was a good idea to grab this.  When I was a kid, the Vision was my favourite Avenger, mostly because I love how cool he looks.  I was happy to see him brought back into the comics, despite the fact that he has been relegated to having almost no presence on the team.  This is a spotlight issue for him, so I was excited.  Until I found out that the new, returned Vision is so navel-gazing.  I get it that some bad things happened to him, and that his wife has become the new Marvel poster child for dysfunction, but man, this is a whiny comic.  I don’t understand why Vision would feel the need to confront Magneto on Utopia over his poor parenting, except, of course, because the two mens’ respective teams have to fight each other for the next six months in a big crossover (maybe you’ve heard of this).  Also, his behaviour here doesn’t jibe with how he acts in the book immediately below…

Avengers Vs. X-Men #0 – Because I am a well-trained comics monkey, I did pick this up against my better judgement, and was good and annoyed to discover that I didn’t hate it.  Okay, I hated the notion that some of the coming crossover is going to revolve around the Scarlet Witch, who I am officially bored to tears with (and not the synthezoid tears that Angry Vision shed), but I did like the Hope story written by Jason Aaron.  Frank Cho art never hurts, either.  I think I’ll probably end up getting the first issue of the cross-over next week, and see from there how I feel about it.  My overwhelming sense now is one of dread, but I’ve been proven wrong before.

Bloodstrike #26 – I picked this up because so far all of the revitalizations of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme characters have, so far, been excellent.  This one falls into the merely decent category, as it lacks the European-styled mastery of Prophet or the Vertigo-tinged mythology of Glory.  In this issue, we learn that Cabbot Stone is a re-animated supersoldier with nihilistic tendencies and a sad past, and that he is being manipulated, in his after-life, by some suit who has taken over the Bloodstrike program.  Also, Stone makes therapists sad.  It’s a little too navel-gazing and 90s revival at the same time for my liking, and makes me think that not all of these relaunches were approved with the same degree of forethought as to making them different and ‘bold’ enough.  I’m also beginning to wonder to what extent these books share a universe.  We’ve seen Supreme show up in Glory, and this comic makes multiple references to Youngblood and some of the other Liefeld-verse characters from the bad old days.  I might give this another issue as it isn’t horrible, but as I didn’t particularly care for or about any of these characters before now, I’m not sure why I should after reading this.  Oh, and the old Bloodstrike really had a character named Deadlock who looked like a cross between Deadshot and Wolverine?  Really?

Captain America & Bucky #628 – This arc wraps up a little better than the previous issues.  Really, there’s nothing wrong with this team-up between Cap and the second Bucky, which also features the first Human Torch, but it wasn’t terribly gripping either, even with wonderful art by Francesco Francavilla.  I like the idea of a rotating Captain America and… series, but I don’t think I’m interested enough to keep buying it.  I’ll check out the Hawkeye issue next month, but it doesn’t look like it will be a regular purchase for me.

Daredevil #10 – Once again, a great comic from Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera.  DD follows the corpse-stealing Moloids to the Mole Man’s underground palace, and learns just why he’s been stealing corpses.  As expected, it’s a sad story, but nicely told with beautiful art.  I like how Waid’s been slowly using other stories to allow his Megacrime hard drive story space to grow on its own, instead of instantly diving into it like so many other comics writers would these days.

FF #16 – Jonathan Hickman takes this issue to wrap up his long-running Fantastic Four/FF epic, with an epilogue narrated by Valeria.  It has plenty of good character moments, new costumes, and some camaraderie for Galactus.  In all, this is a delightful issue, with terrific art by Nick Dragotta, who is probably the perfect artist to take over this title.  Steve Epting also shows up for an epilogue to the epilogue, featuring Dr. Doom (guess what – he survived!).  A very enjoyable issue.

The Flash #7 – Alright, I’m still enjoying Manapul’s Flash quite a bit (despite not liking Barry Allen in the least), but something really bugged me about this issue that I should have been more bothered with last month.  If the entire city remains blacked out, and so many people are having such a tough time of it, why did Barry and Patty go on a pleasure cruise last issue (aside from setting themselves up for problems with Captain Cold)?  It seems a little out of character.  Put that aside, this is a good comic, if a little less visually inventive than earlier issues, but with the promise of talking apes soon!

Justice League Dark #7 – Once again, my intention to not buy this title before Jeff Lemire takes over the writing is ruined by the fact that it’s crossing over with I, Vampire, a title that I do buy.  I know that DC is strongly committed to keeping their publishing schedule set in stone (except for Justice League), but having two titles cross-over in the same week is kind of annoying – it would have been better were the books to come out so that there was a new chapter every two weeks.  Anyway, Andrew Bennett’s death in his own title has led to Cain coming back to life in this book, and vampires running around everywhere causing trouble.  Madame Xanadu brings this group to Gotham to help out, although they don’t do a whole lot except act ineffectually, worry about their mental states, and argue with each other.  Batgirl, who has a cameo, gets more done.  Maybe chapter two will have more going on…

I, Vampire #7 – And part two of Rise of the Vampires brings things together better, as we get a better understanding of just what type of threat Cain is, and Mary, Queen of Vampires switches sides.  Joshua Hale Fialkov does a better job of giving each character a reason for being in this crossover, and as usual, the book looks lovely.

The Twelve #11 – There’s a big confrontation with the member of this group who has gone all evil and crazy, which not everyone survives, and the issue wraps up in such a way that I thought it was the last one.  I’m not too sure what JMS has planned for the final issue of this comic, but if I remember the last season of Babylon 5 correctly, he is one for the long goodbye.

Ultimate Comics Ultimates #8 – Obama goes nuclear on The City, while Reed Richards has a chat with the Hulk, Tony Stark and Thor get arrested, and Nick Fury’s team stand around the city of Tian chatting with Xorn.  There’s a lot happening in this comic, and its very lovely, but it’s feeling a little more decompressed than I would like.  Still, Jonathan Hickman keeps upping the stakes, and seems to be having some fun writing this comic, bleak as it is.

Uncanny X-Force #23 – The Otherworld demon Goat story ends here with Betsy having to make a tough decision (again), as things look bad for the team and the multi-verse.  This arc has not been among the best of this series; I found the beginning to be a little muddy story-wise, and hampered by Greg Tocchini’s unclear art.  The art got better, but much of this issue is coloured very flatly, making everything drab.  I look forward to a return to form for this title.  On the positive side, I loved the Excalibur homage cover this month.

X-Men Legacy #264 – Christos Gage gives us a decent enough story featuring Mimic, Weapon Omega, and some comic book science that only the Beast can understand.  It’s okay, but I hate the way Rafa Sandoval draws Rogue’s hair.

Comics I Would Have Bought if They Weren’t $4:

Astonishing X-Men #48

Avenging Spider-Man #5

Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred #3

Choker #6

Crossed Badlands #2

Moon Knight #11

New Avengers #23

Bargain Comics:

Batwing #5 & 6 I keep coming back to Batwing, because I really want to like this title more than I do.  The notion of an African Batman getting his own series is very appealing to me, but I still have the same problems with it that I’ve always had.  First, it doesn’t feel African enough, although I appreciate the efforts made to portray David as a former child soldier.  I just feel that, as in African literature, there should be a fundamental difference in the book’s sensibilities.  Instead, I imagine that Judd Winick is just watching Feed the Children commercials and the Kony 2012 video, and thinking that counts as research.  Also, I just don’t get Batwing’s armor.  It’s never been made clear what it does, how it works, or why he wears it (let alone how it can be punctured by a machete).  I know that Marcus To is taking over the comic, and perhaps his more detailed art would be an asset; I’ll have to check out one of his issues.

Incredible Hulks #635 – This was the last issue of Greg Pak’s run, and it kind of went out on a whimper, as he tries to give Bruce and Betty a happy ending, knowing full well that everything done is this issue was going to be upended in a matter of months anyway.  What reading this issue now brings to the forefront of my mind is that it’s such a shame that no one is using Amadeus Cho right now – he’s a great character.

Moon Knight #9 & 10 – Brian Michael Bendis’s Moon Knight has to be one of the slowest moving comics in history.  Basically, over these two issues, MK gets some new weapons, talks to the cops, stakes out Count Nefaria, and then fights him, possibly getting Echo killed in the process.  Sure, it all looks very nice thanks to Alex Maleev, but there’s just very little substance to this comic, and that’s annoying.

Punisher Max #8 – 19 – I recently came in the possession of quite a number of Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon’s take on The Punisher.  This is interesting, more for the way that it re-imagines much of Frank Miller’s seminal Daredevil work, with Frank Castle taking the role of Matt Murdock.  His nemeses for this run are the Kingpin, Bullseye, and Elektra, albeit versions of those characters that feel like they were written by Garth Ennis.  Actually, maybe it’s because of Dillon’s art, but Bullseye really felt like he should have been in Preacher.  Anyway, there is some interesting work looking into Castle’s post-Vietnam life, as Aaron has him confront the fact that he wasn’t actually all that upset when his family was killed; he saw it more as permission to return to the type of lifestyle he most enjoys.  Some good stuff here, but ultimately, not all that special or new.  Once again, nothing beats Aaron’s work on Scalped.

Wolverine #19, 20 & 300 – It’s very hard to explain why Wolverine’s solo title, written by such a gifted writer as Jason Aaron, is coming off so flat and dull.  I feel like Aaron’s so focused on doing things that are going to seem ‘cool’ and knowing, that he’s forgetting to put much heart into the story.  These three issues finish off a story that guests Ken Hale and Fat Cobra, and then leads into a new tale of ninja, Yakuza, old girlfriends and Sabretooth, none of which are elements I think anyone has been clamoring for in this comic.  The 300th issue at least features some very nice art by Adam Kubert, but it’s all a little too slick and pointless for my liking.

The Week in Graphic Novels:

Grendel: God and the Devil

Written by Matt Wagner
Art by John K. Snyder III, Jay Geldhof, Bernie Mireault, and Tim Sale

I really don’t understand why it took me so long to start filling in the gaps in my collection of Matt Wagner’s incredible Grendel series.  I first started reading the comics when Dark Horse published the War Child mini-series back in the early 90s, and I was blown away, but I’ve never made a concerted effort to read the entire saga in its proper order.  I recently read the Devils Reign trade, and it spurred me to get a few of the other Dark Horse reprints, if I could find them.

God and the Devil is the story of future Grendel Khan Orion Assante, and his quest to limit the power of Pope Innocent XLII and his minions at Vatican Ouest, which as become a central power in the year 2530, when this series is set.

The Pope is a hideous creature (with a secret that comes as a bit of surprise, if you aren’t reading these trades out of order like I am) who has begun to bleed the country dry, and who has control of almost every company that helps to keep order and run things.  He runs an Inquisition that has most people terrified, and has an incredible degree of control of the media.  He is building a gigantic tower, with a goal that is incredibly comic-book bad guy, but which also fits the logic of the story.

The spirit of the Grendel has possessed one man – Eppy Thatcher, a poor genius, who begins to make a series of insane and brilliant attacks on the church, especially as it gears up for its large Easter celebrations.  Thatcher’s actions get in the way of Assante’s more organized and legal attack, and it’s not long before things start to get very chaotic.  Add to this the agenda of Pellon Cross, the Commissioner of COP, a police force for hire, and things get really crazy.

Wagner is a terrific writer, able to juggle numerous plot threads masterfully, and with a lot of density.  The art for most of this book is by John K. Snyder III, who I’ve always admired.  It’s not as wild as his art can often be, but I think that’s because of the influence of inkers Jay Geldhof and Bernie Mireault.  Tim Sale draws the introductory chapter.

This is a very enjoyable read, which asks some important questions about the power given to the media and organized religion in our society.  It’s also a very exciting comic towards the end, with a big cinematic finish.  I really wish that Wagner would return to the later days of his Grendel epic, instead of only giving us short stories that feature Hunter Rose from time to time.

Album of the Week:

Fela Kuti – J.J.D + Unnecessary Begging

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