Comics and Cosplay
Top 15 Comic Books of April 2015

Stew Shearer | 1 May 2015 12:00
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fade out 5

The Fade Out #5
The Fade Out is one of those books that doesn't really have many singularly jaw-dropping moments. Rather, it's a series that's just wholly captivating and only becomes more so the deeper you go into its twisting tale of murder and Hollywood sleaze. Issue five represents the beginning of the series' second plot arc and, in turn, is a decent point of entry for those unfortunate comic readers who have yet to step into its world of grimy noir.

Following the production of a major movie in post-WW2 America, the comic opens with a murder and then follows the efforts of a screenwriter to uncover the identity of the murderer while also contending with the rigors, personalities and ethical compromises that come with his life in Hollywood. All in all, it's just an incredible book and one that I (and most everyone else that's read it) would wholeheartedly recommend if you're looking for a comic about something else besides the shenanigans of the world's various superheroes.

Favorite Moment: "And that's how Gil finally makes a decision. He's going to all these bastards down. No matter what."

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Nameless #3
The first issue of Nameless didn't wow me at the time. To be fair, that was a story of a British magician and occult expert, which was already done to death with John Constantine. But the later issues are really growing on me for a simple reason - it's basically John Constantine in space. Welcome aboard, indeed.

Nameless is a freelance magician so dedicated to his practice, he's removed all record of his real name so enemies can't target him. But even he's out of his depth - drafted into a mission to stop a world-destroying asteroid bearing powerful magical symbols. Issue 3 is the inevitable point where everything goes sideways. Not only does Nameless' patron betrays the team while they chart the asteroid's chambers, the crew accepts an infected crew member into the ship. And unlike, say, Alien the effect of this intruder is far more twisted and psychedelic than you'd expect.

Every issue of Nameless has gone into incredibly bizarre territory and it will be fascinating to see what happens next. The mythology along is a combined of science fiction and religious lore (it turns out the war in "Heaven" created the asteroid belt) and that was before we caught a glimpse of whatever monster's behind the scenes. We're only halfway through and I have no idea where it could go - it'll be exciting to find out.

Favorite Moment: "Don't rub off the protection!"

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Convergence: Superman #1
I've defended DC Comics' New 52 in the past, but make no mistake: The absence of the old universe still feels like a punch to the stomach. That's why Convergence really interests me - it resurrects historical versions of classic characters for one final crisis event. There are countless specials this month for anyone needing a nostalgia fix, but my hit was always Superman. The one who arrived after Crisis on Infinite Earths, came back from the dead, and actually married Lois Lane. This was my Superman, and seeing him again is like revisiting an old friend - thanks mostly to writer Dan Jurgens, who defined much of the run.

When the events of Flashpoint wiped out the old universe, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen were preserved in Brainiac's Gotham City dome. But with every dome unlocked to fight for Talos' amusement, Superman's Gotham is pitted against the Flashpoint Gotham, where heroes have no problem killing. Superman thinks he can unite both sides against a common enemy, but only if the Flashpoint heroes will listen - and the life of a very pregnant Lois lies in the balance.

I love so much about this book. I love that Superman and Lois can talk like an adult couple again. I love his immediate refusal to take lives, despite the stakes. I even love Convergence's new touches - like how depowered Supes fought crime like Batman, with Lois acting as his Oracle. Or how Flashpoint Batman doubts himself when he figures out which universe he's fighting. It's too early to say which Convergence series will be best, but Superman will very likely be my personal favorite. Maybe it will be yours too.

Favorite Moment: "Deny me -- Your people will be destroyed." "No."

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