CRY HAVOC #1 (Image): If you’ve ever read a comic by Simon Spurrier, you know basically what to expect: dissection of mythology and its meaning, sharp-tongued British colloqualisms, and a happy dash of absurdity. That said, CRY HAVOC is different from his usual fare; it comes off as deadly serious, for one thing, and the jokes cracked are surrounded by intense monologues about the cannibalistic habits of hyenas and pre-emptive strike warfare. Heavy stuff for a werewolf book—except it’s not really a werewolf book in the traditional sense. There are no nighttime killing sprees, and Louise doesn’t wake up every morning with blood under her fingernails. This is partially because the story is told in three separate timelines and with three separate colorists for artist Ryan Kelly, whose attention to detail and paneling style makes Lou’s journey easy to follow despite its narrative complexity. Stick around for Spurrier’s end notes, too, which are entertaining and full of trivia. This book could go a lot of places and I’m excited to see what comes of each mythological “being” when immersed in modern espionage. 9/10

VICTORIE CITY #1 (IDW): Depressed detective comics are a dime a dozen, it seems; and yet, the good ones know how to tweak the angles to arrive at something more than just another crime story. Keith Carmack and Vincent Nappi have done that here: the pages and lettering are heavily stylized, making everything pretty to look at, while the monochromatic monologues by the main character are just hefty enough to keep your attention. Even when the villain cries “I HATE LOSING CONTROL!” and you get flashbacks to every sympathetic serial killer story ever, something about VICTORIE CITY maintains a sense of sympathy and momentum. You want to know what happens—something that seems like it should be a given in single issues, but can be hard to achieve. 7/10

JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS #11 (IDW): If you’d told me last year I would be voluntarily reading an issue of JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS I might have scoffed—but that was before the ingenius designs for this “Dark Jem” storyline hit the internet, and the decadent goth in me drooled. So, shall I forever regret the decision to read this? No, actually—it’s not WATCHMEN or anything, but the band antics are fun, Sophie Campbell’s art is gorgeous, and Kelly Thompson’s dialogue is downright readable unlike a lot of comics that attempt to conquer “teen” lingo and just end up sounding like a tumblr feed. Plus, there are only so many neon-hair-colored young people I can look at before feeling like I’m in a 90s anime, so by page 10 I was right at home. 8/10

STRAYER #1 (AfterShock): There have been a lot of intriguing new books coming out of AfterShock, some great (INSEXTS) and some not so great (REPLICA). Justin Jordan is one of my favorite creators, so I was super stoked on this particular book. Unfortunately, it earns a mere “meh” from me. It’s hard to dislike a fantasy book about fighting giant monsters, but something about the setting and characters felt very generic (“Theirs was a time of legends”) and Juan Gedeon’s art just didn’t do it for me—very slapdash and, dare I say it, overstylized. Granted, there are some very funny dialogue moments, so it’s not a total bust. 5/10

COLDER: TOSS THE BONES #5 (Dark Horse): Anyone who’s spent a modicum of time on this website in the past few years knows about my complete obsession with COLDER. It’s horror done oh so gloriously right, with intelligence and artwork to die for. So I’m sad to say goodbye, but I must say, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. Juan Ferreyra’s art continues to be a standout, with eyeball tentacle monsters freaky enough to give Lovecraft a run for his money, but Paul Tobin’s script is also lovely and very circular in how it brings Declan and Reece’s love story back to the forefront of all this madness. So farewell, COLDER, and godspeed, but thank you for the incredibly disturbing memories. 10/10