Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ten Books To Read For Halloween: #8

Continuing my countdown of ten comics to read for Halloween, we come to a comic about magic. Unfortunately, there are no werewolf books in my countdown, as that monster usually gets the shaft for some reason (where are the movies? books? Where's the love? Damn vampires.), but here we do get witches. I have kind of a weird inclination toward girl witch books. Kind of strange, I know, but there it is. So, last year, I was really excited about Marvel's Witches series (just horrible)...then DC/Vertigo's The Witching(disappointing)...I sought out the older DC/Vertigo series Witchcraft (which was...okay), but nothing had that certain element where it was....oh, you know, good. Until this year. I'd just about given up on finding a good one, so I was completely blown away...

8. Spellbinders by Mike Carey and Steve Perkins
I know a lot of people are going to be thinking "lame, a Marvel Next title," but by God, this book is damn good. And, for those of you who haven't already recognized the name of the writer on the series, it's Mike Carey, the man behind the acclaimed Lucifer series for DC/Vertigo (a brilliant series if you ask me). I reviewed Spellbinders back in August when it had finished its six-issue run, so forgive me if I repeat myself but I have to give my reasons for putting this on my Halloween list. The opening scene: two boys are looking through a book on magic, one reading mockingly until, with a look of horror and a mispronounced word, he falls to the floor and shatters into thousands to tiny green lizards that spill out of his clothes. From there, this series doesn't miss a beat, but just keeps on thrilling. We follow a new girl in town, Kate, as she transfers to a school in Massachusettes (guess where). The series moves from creepy air elementals to a grand, larger-than-life battle against...well, you can see for yourself. Aside from the dreary magic atmosphere and haunting monsters, we are treated to an issue where Kate is pretty much huddled beneath a table in the dark, hiding from a man with a knife. She is trying to use her powers (a sort of astral projection) and does so to watch the killer close in on her location, with nothing she can really do about the situation. It's a really suspenseful story overall, with plenty of heart-stopping moments and surprises. Mike Carey is just awesome for creating this series, and Mike Perkins provides for some very beautiful art as well, complimenting the story nicely. And this book comes in digest format for what, $8? Come on, just check it out!!

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