Comic Review: Midnight Mystery

Published: 2018-2019
Written by: Bernie Gonzalez
Art by: Bernie Gonzalez

Alterna Comics, 110 Pages

Review:

Midnight Mystery was the latest comic book series from Alterna to complete its story, so I wanted to review it and get it out there.

This is one of my favorite Alterna comics that I’ve read over the last year, since I started picking up everything the publisher puts out. While this is very unique, as are most Alterna releases, it kind of channeled a lot of the same feelings I got from Alterna’s Tinseltown.

Bernie Gonzalez wrote an energetic and captivating story. His art style is also cool and it worked for me. I especially dug Gozalez’s use of color, which comes off as a hybrid of the noir chiaroscuro style with understated vivid giallo tones. There is good contrast, great ink work and it all pops off of the newsprint.

I don’t want to give too much plot away but the book follows a detective as he looks into a few cases all of which have a supernatural or strange twist to them.

This is a good mixture of humor, noir and horror elements. And frankly, I am glad that there is another Midnight Mystery miniseries on the horizon.

In the end, this is just one more Alterna title that has proved that these comics are definitely the best bang for your buck. They’re only $1.50 in a time when some comics sell for as much as $8 for a single issue. Alterna has a formula that works and every time a new comic of theirs is in my hands, I’m usually pretty satisfied.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: other recent Alterna releases, especially Tinseltown, Feast or Famine and Eden.

Comic Review: Feast or Famine

Published: 2019
Written by: Dave Swartz
Art by: Joseph Cooper, Wes Locher

Alterna Comics, 93 Pages

Review:

I wasn’t sure what this comic was about before getting into it but I was pleasantly surprised by it and I think that it’s one of the best comics Alterna has put out.

The comic takes in you in many different directions and it is best not to know much about the plot beforehand. This has some famous scientists at the center of the story but I don’t want to ruin anything.

There are twists, curveballs and some cool reveals as the story progresses over its three issues. Based off of how this ends, I don’t think that it would have a follow up but I would check out anything else that this creative team could do together in the future.

The writing was great, the art was fantastic and I especially loved the colors in this and how well all the art looked on newsprint.

I wish I could talk more about the plot but I would rather people just go out and pick this up. For being three issues priced at $1.50 a piece, you can get this stupendous tale for a lot less than a standard trade paperback or graphic novel.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: other sci-fi comics from Alterna.

Comic Review: Blood Realm: Dark Covenant

Published: September 20th, 2018 – February 7th, 2019
Written by: Robert Geronimo
Art by: Robert Geronimo

Alterna Comics, 75 Pages

Review:

Alterna constantly throws titles my way that are a lot of fun, imaginative and just cool.

Blood Realm is no different. It’s a dark fantasy in a sort of sword and sorcery setting. It has its own mythology which is well established and explained in this series.

Dark Covenant is comprised of three issues and this story arc is the first part of a trilogy. It’s hard to tell how good this will be going forward but this was a solid setup for the larger story.

I absolutely loved the art. It’s dark, menacing and enchanting. The main character is pretty interesting and comes to us in an unusual way. It’ll be neat seeing how this all unfolds moving forward, as this definitely isn’t just a rehash of fantasy or sword and sorcery stories that we’ve seen before.

This is a top notch indie comic and a refreshing read. I’m always down for something different and this was exactly that. I look forward to the two future story arcs.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pairs well with: future Blood Realm releases and other fantasy comics by Alterna.

Comic Review: Eric Henson’s Eden

Published: August 30th, 2018 – March 21st, 2019
Written by: Eric Henson
Art by: Eric Henson, Michael Babinski, Stephen Downer, Robert Doan

Alterna Comics, 112 Pages

Review:

Eric Henson’s Eden is a comic book series that really fits well within the Alterna Comics style. If you are a fan of Alterna, this comic should hit the mark for you.

The story follows a warrior woman who is searching for her lost son. She is joined by a badass alien and another human warrior. The trio fights off alien threats and some pretty scary and large space monsters.

Henson created an interesting universe that feels lived in and that has a rich history. This is kind of a small story within that large universe and this all sort of wraps up within the four issues but it makes me wonder if there are plans to tell other stories within this universe. I hope so.

I liked Henson’s art style and the colors were vivid and beautiful.

My only real complaint about this is the same complaint I have with most Alterna releases and that’s that even at four issues, I want more. Alterna doesn’t do any ongoing series but some miniseries get sequels and I feel like this is a comic book that could benefit from that.

But when it comes to creator owned comics, each title’s future is ultimately in the hands of its creator. So whether Eric Henson does additional Eden stories or gives us something else, I’ll still be interested in checking out what’s next.

Eden was a good read, though. Great art, good story, a few powerful moments and it created the desire for me, the reader, to want more.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: other sci-fi releases by Alterna Comics.

Comic Review: Tinseltown

Published: April 19th, 2018 – January 10th, 2019
Written by: David Lucarelli
Art by: Henry Ponciano, HdE

Alterna Comics, 118 Pages

Review:

I’ve gotten way behind on comics and my Alterna stack has been piling up, as a few different series have come to an end over the last few months. I’ve been waiting to read this one since I got the first issue, almost a year ago, but I was waiting to get the entire story so that I could binge read it.

Tinseltown is one of the best books I’ve read from Alterna but the company produces so many good indie comics that this really is head and shoulders above a lot of the other stuff on the shelves.

The story is about a young woman living in Hollywood who has aspirations of becoming a cop in an era where women weren’t really accepted on the police force. She starts out as a security guard for a film studio but soon finds herself caught up in a noir-style mystery.

If you like cop stories, historical fiction, the golden age of Hollywood or film-noir, then there is certainly something here for you to enjoy. If you love all of those things, than this comic book is a real treat.

David Lucarelli wrote a very good story and the art by Henry Onciano did a fine job of capturing the style and tones of the era.

This was a fun read with a lot of energy and heart. I’m not sure if there is a future miniseries in the works or not but I liked this enough that I hope this isn’t the last we see of this character and her journey.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other recent stuff from Alterna Comics.

Comic Review: Cyco KO!

Published: September 6th, 2018 – December 19th, 2018
Written by: Robert Feldman
Art by: Robert Feldman, Peter Simeti

Alterna Comics, 67 Pages

Review:

I’ve been picking up everything from Alterna Comics, as of late. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about Cyco KO, as I’m not a big reader of humor comics but it still had some interesting character design and looked like something I’d probably find some enjoyment with.

Well, it was funnier than I expected. The tone and style of the humor is similar to old school Adult Swim programming before it got shitty.

Each issue is really its own story and you don’t have to read one to read the others but all three still work well as one body of work.

While this was a really fun comic, I feel like I just got my feet wet with the character and his universe. I hope that this spawns more miniseries or an ongoing title. Alterna seems to prefer doing limited runs, however.

This is a cool, exciting comic and if you like your stories humorous, bizarre and unique, than this is probably a comic book that you’ll want to pick up.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: Alterna’s other recent releases but especially the more humorous stuff like Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat.

Comic Review: The XII

Published: March 23rd, 2017 – November 9th, 2017
Written by: Patrick Trahey
Art by: Luis Suarez

Alterna Comics, 149 Pages

Review:

If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic comics, this will probably be right up your alley. In fact, it reminded me a lot of another Alterna Comics series, The Wicked Righteous. Both had a post-apocalyptic setting and a similar tone but this one was even a bit darker and had a good mystery built into it.

The story follows a father and his small family group, as they set off on a journey after being robbed. All along the way, we keep hearing about this legend of “The XII” or “the twelve” and how they are something to fear. The father dismisses this modern legend and keeps pushing forward.

This has a strong human element to it and it does get pretty emotional as the group is faced with immense adversity and tough challenges. Plus, the legend they fear does rear its ugly head.

I don’t want to spoil too much and it is better to read this without much info or plot details.

I liked the art style and the color palate, which was just black and white with orange hues. But this book looks beautiful on newsprint. The imagery is pretty striking.

Ultimately, this was an enjoyable read but it left me wanting more. I guess there is a sequel planned and there needs to be, as it ends in a way that feels more like a TV season cliffhanger than a definitive conclusion.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other recent Alterna Comics releases but most notably, The Wicked Righteous.