The Last Quarter Of Bad Company: A tacked on existential sequel that actually ends with the character literally becoming what he hates and murders. It's still good, if it's a radically different flavor from what preceded it.
Day Men v1, v2: It's a fun vampire romp elevated by Stelfreeze's work, who does no showy tricks but makes every five or six page vampire conversation interesting through perspective and a lifetime of draftsmanship. The writers wisely get out of his way. Bug! The Adventures Of Forager #1: I have only a little better idea than Hannah what's going on here, but look, this is the Allred family explicitly working on a Kirby creation in what I take as a respectful update of the man's themes and stylistic quirks. This is a joy. Batwoman #3: I'd love to know what's going on behind the scenes. The end result feels generic, with occasional moody, perfectly suited Epting pages. Three Quarters Of Bad Company: Goodbye, Krool World: A 2000 AD classic where the team slowly peels back the horrors of war. I hope this ends with Milligan updating the Kubert Make War No More. Monsters shooting monsters and dying.
Shutter v2, v3: What a deranged, fun adventure comic. Del Duca does dope drawing. Southern Bastards v3: This comic is so tense, so often I take it for granted. They made a football game feel absolutely apocalyptic. East Of West v6: Speaking of tense comics. Hickman's voice is unmistakable and Dragotta sells it effortlessly. Black Hammer v1, 2017 Annual: An obvious in retrospect premise executed well. It's Justice League gets stuck in a small town, with nods to the classic comics of old. Characters named Len and Bernie make an appearance. Yeah, I'm here.
Mass Effect: Andromeda. Allegedly, this is the work of the multiplayer team from ME3, and it shows. The combat's improved by an order of magnitude and no longer feels like a chore. There's some hilarious bugs in the game (shooting an enemy that spawned floating on air dropped two corpses, a critical path boss spawned in the ceiling forcing a 20 minute restart of a section, and the game spawning a seperate copy of Jaal that floated in zero g tripping balls, which even appeared in Important Cutscenes). There's some really goddamned stupid choices (do you want the red idiot ball or the blue idiot ball) but the writing's solid where it counts, in the loyalty missions and romance options. It's the first Mass Effect game I've played that's good and not great. Persona 5. I've played enough Persona to see the formula but I still feel compelled to play this iteration. The way the camera interacts with the stealth mechanics is garbage and makes combat harder not because of enemy strength or weakness but because you need to rely on the minimap not what's on the screen to figure out where the enemies are. With that out of the way, it's everything a Persona game's been thus far, but tweaked and improved. If you haven't played a Persona game, start here. Predatory older gay men make a reappearance here, I believe their names are Gay and Panic. Persona's back and it's good to play another one of these.
Caravaggio v1: Dark Horse released the first graphic album of Manara's biography of Caravaggio. MANARA DRAWS PRETTY, news at 11. Yes, Roya: An erotic story involving a love triangle, cartooning and the politics of the 50-60s. Well done. Princess Princess: A short story about little girls saving each other and family strife. Cute and kind.
Insexts 10: I'm still marginally interested in Insexts because even though I nitpick the hell out of this thing, it remains full bore strange in a way that a lot of its contemporaries aren't. There's a beat in the comic where there's a full page splash, a normal page, into a double page splash into yet another full page splash. It's a choice that's jarring that could've been improved by either a) the team giving up one of the splashes for story or b) Aftershock giving the team another page, since there's already house ads in the back of the issue. Wic/Div 28: There's some killin'. Shouts out to the Baphomet beat, too. There's some really heavy spoilers, so what I'll say is it's a genius use of those ridiculous Andrew Eldritch glasses Baphomet wears.
America 2: This comic reads like a parody of a hyper excited Tumblr comic. The writer continues to overwrite two great art teams and ugh. To be optimistic, this is a writer's first comic and the transition between mediums is difficult. As a thing that I'd spend money on: LOL NOPE. All-Time Comics 1: In what is actually a parody and is also bad, All-Time Comics. A bunch of comix dudes get together and take old, old potshots in a traditional style. These points were made years ago in alternative comics, back in the day and also Marshall Law and also in Top 10, two of those things recently reissued by the parent company of what's being parodied here. This is as obvious as Coachella. Ugh.
Divinity III, issue four: I'm running out of good things to say about Divinity. Still fantastic. Whenever it comes out, we're here. I'd love, love, love to see more of the Stalinverse heroes, because those backup features were not enough.
I'll have to look at Empress. I ignored it because Millar, but that sounds really good. Batwoman 1: Batwoman as James Bond, I suppose. I'm only reading this because Hannah's buying it. Reliably above average, but the voice feels wrong to me. Casanova Acedia 8: Cycle goes three Moon issues, one flashback Bá issue. In this case, the flashback centers around the other team looking to kill Cass' employer. Bá's fantastic, and Moon coloring him is a joy. They got five great pinups, too. Risso, Ward, Latour, Zdarsky and Gerard Way. Ether 5: Turns out this is an ongoing now. Rubín's art + Kindt's ideas are a goddamned home run. Harrow County two issues: Dark and twisty. It makes me want to read the series.
Turns out I'm missing important context and scheduling for my comments about Christine/Victoria. From J. E. Sawyer's blog: I cannot speak for Chris Avellone (who wrote and directed Dead Money), but I believe we were limited by time/scheduling. Veronica was written and recorded for the base New Vegas game with (IIRC) only a few hooks for Dead Money. I think reactions to Dead Money content itself would have required a more comprehensive level of (way) advanced planning, i.e., we would have needed to know exactly what Veronica was reacting to in Dead Money at the time that we recorded her for New Vegas. Either that or we would have needed to book Felicia Day for more studio time during the development of Dead Money. That can also be difficult and expensive, especially since voice actors and studio time are generally booked in multiple hour blocks. It’s difficult to justify if the character is only saying two or three new lines.
Fallout: New Vegas is so good and so staggeringly broken. I avoid Freeside because two of five times I go there, it crashes. The bigger my save file gets, it crashes. I ignored the Great Khans area entirely because, well, it crashes. In terms of main plot, it's okay, the choice isn't much of one (baby liberal democracy protected by kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out generals versus literal sexist slavery versus crazy brain in a jar guy who rules Vegas with an iron fist versus you, maybe, but you've never run anything before in your life and at best you make deals) I'm planning on baby liberal democracy protected by generals who commit war crimes. The characters and setting draw me in and what keep me invested in the game, even when it crashes regularly enough for me to make dinner, take out the trash, or start reading 77 Dream Songs. The lore's a strong point. If the team tied up the Christine/Veronica storyline at the final moment, F:NV could reasonably stand next to Mass Effect 2 in terms of committing and succeeding on character arcs. If. What's there for the PC at this point (I'm assuming modders fixed most of the problems) is probably an amazing game. No idea about the 360 version. What's there for PS3 is broken but glorious, just like a piece of Old World technology you might find in the Waste.
Josie and the Pussycats 5: Comedy's difficult and the team continues to nail it. Archie got the right team for this comic. Hopefully it continues and gets an off period so Ms. Mok can continue to draw it. Archer And Armstrong Escape From Gulag Whatever Number: ...not remotely what I expected from an Archer & Armstrong comic, given that the first three pages involve Russian soldiers (most of whom have a Stalin mustache) burying Archer alive. Not sure how I feel about it quite yet. The Matt Kindt/Juan Jose Ryp backup is so good it makes me want a Imperium style mini featuring the Stalinverse "heroes."