With the calendar turning to the warmer months, May promises to be full of good horror comics and new series debuts! Here are some of the highlights to find on the racks of your local comic shop:
Bone Orchard: The Passageway (Image, $17.99) is a 96-page graphic novel from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino, the creative team behind Gideon Falls and Primordial. When a geologist is sent to a remote lighthouse to investigate strange phenomena, he finds a seemingly endless pit in the rocks. What lurks within, and how will he escape its pull? The Passageway is the first book in the new Bone Orchard Mythos, a shared umbrella that will spawn future graphic novels and limited series. While at the graphic novel price point, this series will be essential to the stories that follow, and the creators are top notch so the odds are strong that this book will deliver.
Grim #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99) centers around freshly dead protagonist Jessica Harrow, whose journey is just beginning. In the afterlife, Jessica has been recruited as a Reaper, tasked with ferrying countless souls to their final destination. Unlike the rest of the Reapers, she has no memory of what killed her and put her into this predicament. In order to unravel the mystery of her own demise, she’ll have to solve an even bigger one – where is the actual Grim Reaper From writer Stephanie Phillips (Harley Quinn) and artist Flaviano (New Mutants) comes a bold new vision of what comes after death, as well as the nature of death itself.
The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country #2 (DC Comics, $3.99) by James Tynion IV (writer) and Lisandro Estherren and Christian Ward (art) continues from last month’s debut issue. With the Corinthian loose in the waking world, it’s no surprise that people are turning up dead…although this time, they’re not the nightmare’s doing. (Well, most of them.) The Corinthian is following a trail of bodies to the mysterious Mr. agony and Mr. ecstasy…but what’s their game? And even more pressing—whose tracks are they trying to cover? I enjoyed issue #1 immensely, it channeled the horror and magical realism of the initial Gaiman series in a fresh, yet nostalgic way. If issue #2 continues to deliver, we’re in for a great story.
Pentagram of Horror #2 (Black Caravan, $3.99) continues the stand-alone horror anthology. Hate can create and destroy. Hate can unite or divide. Hate is one of those characteristics that makes us human. For some it is an obstacle, a feeling to be ashamed of and repressed; for others it is a fuel that helps bring about great and revolutionary actions. In this chapter entitled “United in Hate” we will see a man who embraces his human nature and will do anything to give us the world we deserve. A world where we too can be free to be human. To be united. Marco Fontalini did a marvelous job in issue #1 with a strong story and gorgeous, atmospheric art and now is a good time to get on board.
Finally, Absolute Swamp Thing (DC Comics, $100) collects the run by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in DC’s Absolute format. This volume collects Swamp Thing’s first appearance in The House of Secrets #92 plus Swamp Thing #1-13. Any opportunity to get Bernie Wrightson art, much less oversized art, is a good one and this book will no doubt look great on anyone’s shelf.