The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 103 – The Taxmans

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about the Avengers Infinity War trailer and the ongoing talks of Disney buying 20th Century Fox, a Quentin Tarantino Star Trek film, the Black Mirror Series 4 trailer and Detective Pikachu. Adam also sort of reviews Justice League in ‘Now Playing’ and does go into spoilers, so if you care skip from 17:00-24:00.

Screentime – The Punisher

We review the The Punisher series on Netflix, and we go light on spoilers.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett/Justice League/Destiny 2 The Curse of Osiris DLC on PS4
Ian Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders/The Punisher on Netflix/Skyrim on Nintendo Switch and Star Wars Battlefront II on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Comic Review – Wonder Woman/Conan #2 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Man of iron and woman of granite. The two greatest warriors of any age” Narrator

Another cross over of an 80s/90s classic and a super hero is making the rounds at the moment in the form of Wonder Woman/Conan. Other than picking up Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I’ve let most of these pass me by, this one however happens to be written by Gail Simone. I got to know Simone’s work in her outstanding run on Batgirl in the New 52 and Clean Room, although she has certainly done her time with Wonder Woman before and although from what I can see her work on Conan is limited she knows her way around a barbarian thanks to Red Sonja. Naturally I had to check this out. This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Gail Simone
  • Pencils – Aaron Lopresti
  • Inks – Matt Ryan
  • Colours – Wendy Broome
  • Letters – Saida Temofonie

One thing I like with the versions of the characters offered by Simone is instead of the usual version of events where the current era hero is miraculously plucked from time and transported into the past we appear to have a unique take on the warrior princess in the world of Conan the Barbarian. The two protagonists are still working each other out at this stage in the comic, with mystery facing Wonder Woman’s past and danger around every corner. The two have an uneasy relationship, thrown into a gladiatorial arena by the manipulations of gods to battle for the pleasure of bloodthirsty spectators. This is one of the few points I was a little disappointed by in the issue. With the likes of Batman vs Superman unfortunately haunting our memories still two heroes battling it out is feeling a little old. Don’t let that put you off though. Both Conan and Wonder Woman are fully rounded characters in this incarnation with an intriguing backstory and backstories well adapted to this version of events.

Lopresti, Ryan and Broome did an excellent job on the artwork. I really like the creative borders put around the panels showing backstory and the power exuded by both warriors. A big thing for me when reading Wonder Woman is for her to feel powerful by the way she presents herself and the art team communicate that very effectively in this issue. They also have to deal with a huge cast of characters, with appearances from many side characters who have a role to play or a background to fill. Each of them is packed full of detail and character, at the standard you’d usually expect your lead characters to be at. I also really liked Temofonie’s work on the lettering, packing in a lot of dialogue to busy pages and a creative portrayal of the narrator’s lettering.

However, how well do Lopresti, Ryan and Broome team up to draw hands? They look consistently great throughout the issue. They are used well to differentiate the carefree body language and attitude of the heroes as kids in the flashback, the tension in the combat or the attitudes in conversation. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I very much enjoyed the world portrayed in this comic and the versions of the characters and their development within it. My main criticism would be some of the themes, the two heroes forced into combat right away and so on are feeling a little overly familiar now.

Score: 8.5 Broken Lutes out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 90 – VR Kitten Mittens

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about Wingnut AR, more Dark Universe news, a possible live action Cowboy Bebop series and some remasters of some Pokémon games that aren’t even very old.

Screentime – Wonder Woman

This week we chat about the latest entry into the DC cinematic universe. We’re joined by Rose and we discuss if the film is any good (it is) and if it saves the DCEU (it doesn’t matter. Adam is going to pretend it is entirely stand alone). We go into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet skip 42:50-55:00!

We’ve also got a bonus Alien Covenant review/rant at the end of the podcast from Ian and our pal Dean. Full spoilers, slightly iffy audio quality.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle Book 2) by Patrick Rothfuss/My Brother, My Brother and Me on Amazon/Prey on PS4
IanThe Well of Ascension (Mistborn Trilogy Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson/The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4/Uncharted 4 on PS4

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 78 – One Wolf

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!


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Big News

This week we chatted about the Spider-Man Homecoming and for some reason, Transformers: The Last Knight trailers, The Last of Us Part II and Gotham City Sirens.

2016 Review

This week we go through our top 3 video games, films, books and TV shows from 2016, with a few lists from others too!

Adam

Video Games

3. Alienation

2. Gone Home

1. Uncharted 4

TV Shows

3. Daredevil

2. Stranger Things

1. Westworld

Comics

3. Wonder Woman – DC, by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and

2. Superman – DC, by Patrick Gleason and Peter J. Tomasi

1. Black Widow – Marvel, by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid

Films

3. Deadpool

2. Doctor Strange

1. Captain America: Civil War

 

Ian

Video Games

3. Pokémon GO

2. Star Wars Battlefront

1. Doom

TV Shows

3. Luke Cage

2. Planet Earth II

1. Stranger Things

Books

2. The Devil You Know by Erin M. Evans

1. Hero by R.A. Salvatore

Films

3.  Captain America: Civil War

2. Midnight Special

1. 10 Cloverfield Lane

 

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam – Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray/Mad Men on Sky/Bioshock Infinite (Bioshock Collection) on PS4
Ian – The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi/X-Files/Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 75 – A Two-Week

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!


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Big News

This week we chatted about the Mass Effect Andromeda, Wonder Woman, The Flash losing its second director, and the return of Young Justice for Season 3.

Screentime – Doctor Strange

This week we chat about the new Marvel film Doctor Strange, as they enter into the more mystical realms of the Marvel Universe. We do venture into minor spoiler territory, so if you haven’t seen it yet then skip 32:38-50:15.

Now Playing 

Adam – Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake/Humans on Channel 4/Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4
Ian – The Collected Stories: The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore/Planet Earth II on BBC1/Star Wars Risk from Hasbro

(Pick up some of the Now Playing through the links and we get a cut from Amazon, or start shopping from here)

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 68 – The New Canon

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, and welcome to our first episode with our new co-host Ian Green. Ian is the DM on our D&D podcast, and after 67 episodes of dealing with Skype problems he is stepping in to join Adam in an all-London podcast, so expect sirens. We’ll be keeping some stuff the same, changing or rebranding others, and maybe introducing some new features over the next couple of episodes. We hope you enjoy it!


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News

This week we were largely talking about all of the footage released from this year’s San Diego Comic Con, so we chat about (in varying levels of detail): Wonder WomanJustice LeagueKong: Skull IslandFantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemLego BatmanDoctor StrangeLuke CageIron FistThe DefendersThe Great Wall and Blair Witch. Aside from all that SDCC nonsense, we also talk about the problems with Pokémon Go’s updates, No Man’s Sky and the huge number of copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that have been sold.

Screentime – Our tentative title for film and TV reviews and discussion
For the first instalment of Screentime (please, if you can think of a better title let us know!) we are reviewing and discussing Star Trek: Beyond, the 3rd instalment of the rebooted Star Trek movie universe. We go fairly spoiler heavy, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want parts of the plot spoiled for you then skip from 43:34-67:10. We go into what we thought of the film, and what worked and didn’t work (or who didn’t work) for us.

Now Playing – Our catchup for what media we have been consuming, the title of which we came up with after recording. We’ll be chatting about what we are reading, watching and playing right now!

Adam Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse/Stranger Things on Netflix/Uncharted 4 on PS4
Ian Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf by R.A. Salvatore/He isn’t watching anything right now/Mass Effect 3 on Xbox 360

Comic Review – Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

DC’s Rebirth continues this week, and if my total failure to pick up a few of last week’s one shots yesterday is anything to go by, it is going fairly well for them. It’s at least selling well, and most of last week’s Rebirth output seems to be going down positively too (check out Kit’s review of Batman: Rebirth from last week). This week in particular I was looking forward to Wonder Woman: Rebirth, having dropped off the character since the end of Azzarello and Chiang’s New 52 run. The return of Greg Rucka to the series has had a lot of people excited (myself amongst them, as he is one of my favourite writers), and on this issue he was joined by the two art teams of Matthew Clark on pencils, Sean Parsons on inks and Jeremy Colwell on colours for the first 14 pages, and art from Liam Sharp and colours from Laura Martin for the last 6 pages. Jodi Wynne lettered the whole book.

WWrebirth

Cover by Sharp & Martin

Wonder Woman: Rebirth is a comic about truth. More specifically the lack of it. Diana of the Amazons finds herself disconnected from the people she is saving, in part because they are unsure of who she really is. And they are not alone. She thinks back on her life up to this point, and much of it is split between two different realities with an uncertainty that goes right back to her birth: was she formed from clay, or is she the daughter Queen Hippolyta and Zeus? Faced with a schism of her own past and questioning her whole life, Wonder Woman uses the Lasso of Truth on herself, tying it around her arm and asks herself who she really is. Diana, princess, daughter of Hippolyta, tenth queen of the Amazons. And she has been deceived. And she intends to find out who has done this to her and, possibly more importantly, why?

This is a story about the fluidity of serialised storytelling and the malleability of the origins of superheroes, but it is also a metatextual look at the inconsistencies and complicated facets of Wonder Woman that appear both presently and in her past. The initial disconnect with the women she saves at the start of the issue represents a disconnect with the audience, which Rucka deftly renders into a story point that leads up to Diana literally crushing and stepping out of symbols of her New 52 guise. In that way, the issue continues the Rebirth theme that someone is fabricating reality. However, here it feels much more personal. Rucka’s Wonder Woman is intensely reflective here, but rather than wallowing in self doubt as the character has recently, she maintains a graceful strength in the face of her doubt with regards to reality itself. It’s this simultaneous intensity and care to her introspection that displays a perfect characterisation from Rucka that will serve as a through line as the story moves forward.

Art by Sharp & Martin

Art by Sharp & Martin

Both of the art teams are very strong in Wonder Woman: Rebirth, and while they are distinct from each other the transition works in a way that feels natural rather than jarring. Clark and Parsons produce a sharp and familiar rendering of Diana (with a superb double page spread of her smashing through the lies), with Colwell’s bright colour palette rounding off the art in the first section that feels rooted in the New 52 stylistically. When she essentially steps out of her New 52 costume and heads to Olympus for answers, the comic switches to Sharp’s slightly finer lines and rich, overgrown visuals that almost moves the whole genre of the book to more of a classical fantasy leaning – something that suits the character and her world just fine. Sharp’s gorgeous art is completed with colours awash with an ominous sunset from Martin, resulting in a dark and brooding tone that makes the air around seem thicker with heat and dread.

When Wonder Woman returns in two weeks it will be as one of DC’s twice-monthly books. Interestingly, Rucka will be splitting these into alternating stories that presumably will intertwine or connect down the line, but will be set at different times in Diana’s life. Each of the two will have a different art team, which will provide an internal consistency within the story while also giving each a great deal of distinction. The first story, set in the present day, is ‘The Lies’. This will presumably be picking up where this Rebirth issue left off and Liam Sharp will be continuing with that. If his work on this issue is anything to go by, that is going to be a hell of a good book and I hope Laura Martin is sticking around to colour it. Issue #2 will be the start of the alternative story ‘Year One!’, which has a reasonably self explanatory title but I expect will go into where some of these lies and fabrications have taken root. This story will be drawn by Rucka’s Black Magick collaborator and all-round excellent artist Nicola Scott, and the preview art shows a much brighter and youthful take that I’m looking forward to just as much.

Wonder Woman #1 cover by Sharp

Wonder Woman #1 cover by Sharp

When DC first announced that several of their books would be going twice-monthly I was worried. After Wonder Woman: Rebirth I’m still worried, but more for my bank account than my ongoing interest in DC Comics. The set up for the series is compelling, but the quality in the whole creative team in this issue and seeing one arm of what is to come working so well here is what will be bringing me back in two weeks. If last week is anything to go by head to your local comic shop soon before it sells out, though I think DC are reprinting all of the Rebirth books anyway so keep an eye out. This is definitely one to check out.

Score: 9 Crushed Helmets out of 10

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 60 – I Too Have a Martha

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the Final Fantasy XV announcements (including a release date, demo and anime series), the Rogue One trailer and the Creators for Creators comics grant. We recorded back on Saturday, but there is a brief catch up on stuff from during the week like the Doctor Strange trailer and the Spider-Man film title.

This week’s main talking point is essentially a review of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. There are full spoilers, so if you want to avoid them stop listening after 20 minutes! It’s a pre-recorded discussion of the film between Adam and our comics review contributor Kit, a fellow DC fan. Unfortunately the sound quality on Kit’s end could be better, so it sounds a bit like he is underwater. But should still be good!

[audio https://welcometorapture.podbean.com/mf/play/7vy8r9/WR60.mp3]
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You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 55 – Desperate Housebats

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This week we chat about the upcoming DC films (including the Wonder Woman footage and the new Suicide Squad trailer), Jessica Jones season 2 and Steven Moffat stepping down as Doctor Who showrunner, while Gary invents ‘history charts’ and Adam pretends he knows what DC comics’ ‘Rebirth’ is.

Gary in 60 seconds this week was the 1998 classic ‘Small Soldiers’. Let’s see if Gary can really cut to the heart of the film within a minute!

Our main talking point this week was ‘Top 3 inventions in fiction’. This one was a lot of fun, with some great suggestions from all of you on Twitter and Facebook.

[audio http://welcometorapture.podbean.com/mf/play/s5njr9/WR55.mp3]
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You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Adam’s Top 5 Comics of 2015

Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be sharing our top 5s of 2015, from everyone who writes here at The Lost Lighthouse. This time Adam will go through his favourite 5 comics of the year.

I’m taking a quick break from the depths of writing my PhD thesis to write about some of the things I actually cared about this year. For my final top five I’m ranking my favourite comics released in 2015. Comics are one of the few things I still manage to put a lot of time (and money) into, making a trip to my LCS every Wednesday for new comic book day. I read a lot of really excellent series, with new ones starting all the time. This year I’ve experienced a real shift from DC to Marvel, trying out and sticking with many new series of the latter before and after Marvel’s summer event ‘Secret Wars’, while dropping a large number of DC books – I’m now down to about 5 monthly books from them. But as this list will reflect, I tend to read more Image books than anything else these days.

A warning now, there may be a few spoilers along the way. If you get to a title and aren’t necessarily up to date with it, read on only if you don’t mind finding out the odd plot detail. In particular for my number 2.

5. Justice League – Geoff Johns & Jason Fabok (DC Comics)

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Justice League is one of the few DC titles I have consistently picked up since the start of DC’s New 52 back in 2011. Geoff Johns has been writing the book since issue #1, delivering the sort of blockbuster superhero action you’d expect from the title. The artist has changed every few arcs on the book, and since the end of last year Jason Fabok has taken over as the main artist. The previous arc ‘The Amazo Virus’ was decent, possibly one of the weaker plots of the last couple of years (certainly not due to the art). However, the current story ‘The Darkseid War’ has been superb, and more importantly has given Fabok the chance to really let loose with his art, not just with excellent superhero action but with huge god Vs god action between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor. His action sequences are superb and relentless, while not falling down when it comes to facial work like many action-orientated artists do.

The story is moving in to its second act this week, with the various members of the Justice League converted to various New God status. A real positive for the series has been seeing the story through the eyes and narration of Wonder Woman, while she leads the remaining Leaguers in a desperate battle while gods wage war on Earth. Justice League makes my list because it is one of the series I look forward to most whenever it comes out, and always goes to the top of my reading stack.

 

4. The Fade Out – Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser (Image Comics)

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The Fade Out started near the end of last year, and wraps up it’s 12 issue run next week. Created by long time collaborators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the series is a Hollywood crime noir set in the late 1940s. The Fade Out deals with the murder of Hollywood starlet Valeria Sommers, and follows writer Charlie Parish as he tries to piece together his fractured and drunken memory to figure out who is responsible for her death and why. It’s very different to what I would normally read, but I’m so glad I picked it up.

Brubaker creates an interesting noir mystery and it is clear that plenty of research and care has gone into making sure the era feels right for both the setting, story and dialogue. The same can be said for Phillips’s art, with the style and characters feeling very 1940s, so they all really standing out. A bonus to the whole package are the back up articles from Devin Faraci in every issue, dealing with a different star or theme of old Hollywood. It’s really fascinating stuff. I’ll really miss this series when it’s finished, and will be re-reading it all when the final issue is out to see what I missed.

 

3. Southern Bastards – Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image Comics)

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Another Image series that started back in 2014 that continues to go to the top of my reading stack whenever it comes out is the brutal Southern Bastards, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Jason Latour. This is a fucking mean book. Set in Craw County, Alabama, Southern Bastards revolves around Coach Boss and his football team the Runnin’ Rebs, state champions that essentially run the town. The arc that has run through this year has largely focused on fleshing out Boss and his various violent cronies, presumably before we return to the plot moving forward in the new year.

Aaron’s writing is incredibly dark, I tend to feel fairly bummed out after each issue full of terrible people doing terrible things, but it is so well written and compelling. Latour’s art is brilliant, bringing this world to life and imbuing it with a dirty feel and colour palette. Everything in Craw County is ugly, and that includes the people. I can’t wait to see how low this series goes in 2016.

 

2. Thor/The Mighty Thor – Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman (Marvel Comics)

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Another one from Jason Aaron, but this time decidedly less bleak. I jumped on to the Thor ongoing series during all the fuss over “Thor being turned into Lady Thor” and the huge amount of internet bullshit that followed that announcement that essentially boils down to people being afraid of change, of giving compelling stories a chance rather than knee jerk reactions and being unaware that if comic book companies only cater to the currently relatively small readership prices will continue to rise until the industry dies. And I don’t want that. I like comics. The storm in a teacup followed on from Thor as we know him, the Odinson, becoming unworthy to wield Mjolnir. In his place, a mysterious female picks up the hammer, and starts to use it more skillfully than even the Odinson. He spends a large amount of the first run leading up to Secret Wars trying to figure out her identity, which is revealed to be the cancer-stricken Jane Foster. And using the hammer is rendering her treatments ineffective, so being a hero is slowly killing her.

The story is tightly weaved and incredibly enjoyable, with really top notch plot and character work from Jason Aaron. Dauterman’s art is superb though, and probably the series’s main selling point for me at this stage. There are huge action splashes that are breathtaking to behold, and the cosmic and otherworldly elements and characters of the Nine Realms have looked great so far. When this series wrapped up for Secret Wars I was disappointed, but then delighted to hear that the same team was returning for the continuation after the summer event with The Mighty Thor. The issues so far from that I feel have been even better than the pre-Secret Wars material.

And calm down nerds. Eventually Odinson will be Thor again (in fact there is a fairly large hint in a Secret Wars tie in that we may be looking at having two Thors, which makes me happy as Jane Foster as Thor is great), Steve Rogers will be Cap again (it is his 75th Anniversary in 2016…) and I don’t really know or care what is happening with the Hulk. Just enjoy the stories. Or piss off. Either way do it quietly so the rest of us can read our comics in peace.

 

1. Black Science – Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera (Image Comics)

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Big Image bias in this list isn’t there? My favourite series of the year is the extremely high concept sci fi Black Science, written by Rick Remender and beautifully drawn by Matteo Scalera. Starting back in late 2013, Black Science focuses on a group of alternative scientists pushing the boundaries of conventional research, led by Grant McKay, formerly of the Anarchist Order of Scientists. Their project, ‘The Pillar’, breaches into different dimensions, but someone sabotages it. It’s stuck jumping across different worlds – dragging everyone that was present along with it, including the other scientists and Grant’s kids Pia and Nate.

The story has jackknifed through gorgeous worlds, deadly worlds, diseased worlds and the slowly dwindling cast of characters has had to interact with multiple versions of themselves in various realities. And while that is all pretty high concept and mind-bending, the latest arc ‘Godworld’ is utterly insane. Remender’s writing is complex and layered, with excellent and dark character work and intelligent science fiction that commands your attention. Scalera’s artwork renders Black Science as one of the most consistently superb looking books on the stands every month. The worlds he brings to life are just stunning.

The latest part of Godworld is due out next week with issue #19, and I’ll probably read it on the tube on the way home. And it will probably be weird, and anyone sitting next to me will be deeply confused and terrified. And I don’t care.