Sacred Creatures is warming on me more with each issue. It is a beautifully illustrated book, with detailed artwork that carries two distinctive styles - one for the present day and one for a series of flashbacks. It is also a much thicker comic than you usually see - this issue has 48 pages of story, for example - and that gives it a lot more room to expand each installment for maximum impact.
It is a decidedly adult comic book. Previous issues have featured plenty of violence; this one tops that by the personification of Lust sparking off an incontrollable orgy in a New York hospital. Interestingly while the design and illustration of Sophia (aka Lust) is of the vaguely tiresome Greg Land school of sexualised characters, the actual story feels a lot more like the sort of thing you'd see in an issue of The Invisibles. I had my earlier doubts, but this book absolutely has me hooked. (4/5)
Sacred Creatures #4. Image. Story and art by Pablo Raimondi and Klaus Jansen. Colours by Dean White, Chris Chuckry and Brian Reber.
Under the cut: reviews of Lazaretto, Mech Cadet Yu, and Scales and Scoundrels.
Boom Studios. Written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Art and colours by Jey Levang.A viral outbreak has seen a college dormitory be quarantined from the rest of the world. Charles and Tamara have only just met, and now what seemed to be a new life on campus only an hour ago seems set to be a desperately struggle to survive as life inside the dorm turns violent. This is a very bleak and deliberately cynical presentation of just how quickly a community of college students will revert to violence, intimidation and tribalised divisions when their society breaks down around them. The real star for me is Jey Levang's sickly and atmospheric artwork. It creates an enormous sense of unpleasantness that really accentuates Clay McLeod Chapman's script. (4/5)
Boom Studios. Written by Greg Pak. Art by Takeshi Miyazawa. Colours by Triona Farrell.The dreaded Scrags have returned to Earth, putting humanity on a war footing and accelerating Standford Yu's mech training by a significant margin. The high-pressure training regime puts pressure on Stanford's relationship with his mother, as well as further pushes forward his unwanted rivalry with star academy pupil Park. It all has a feel of big-screen action, with a mixture of Evangelion-style giant robot drama and Top Gun-style military hardware in action. So far it's been mostly an enjoyable pastiche, but a few developments here suggests the story may receive some welcome complications in the next issue. (4/5)
Image. Written by Sebastian Girner. Art and colours by Galaad.The brash treasure hunter Luvander has found herself holed up with a foreign prince, his bodyguard and a dwarf guide - all with a plan to enter the mysterious "Dragon's Maw" in search of glory. This is a neatly written and distinctively illustrated riff on Dungeons & Dragons. Given it is working within a fairly well-worn fantasy genre, it's critical that Scales and Scoundrels finds some means of standing out from the crowd. So far that's meant a lot of humour and self-awareness, not to mention Galaad's striking and deliberately simple artwork, but long-term the story is going to need to find a means of making a specific and distinctive impact. (4/5)