It’s time to continue Matt Reads Comics‘s October tradition: Re-reading the next volume of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke and Key! A series that, at this pace, will take us only six years to finish.
My favorite DC comics show superheroes as friends, people who truly understand one another and work together within an elaborate, established DC Universe. Which is why I like DC Comics Presents No. 58, a book you’ve likely never heard of, so much.
Like a number of others, I learned what “incels” are the other month, and it depressed the hell out of me.
Nothing my gender does should surprise me anymore. But somehow, the thoughtlessness and cruelty of men’s actions still shocks. If you too are depressed that The New York Times published an article asking, essentially, “But what if sexually-entitled male asshats have a point?”, and you want to fight back by reading something that refutes the patriarchy … well, you should pick up Bitch Planet.
I know I’m not the only reader who swore off Spider-Man comics in 2007. When one of your favorite heroes makes a literal deal with the devil, negating a relationship you’ve been invested in for the last 20 years, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
As a result, it was a long time before I read any of the recent Spider-Man titles written by soon-to-depart Spidey author Dan Slott. But over the years, my “outrage” faded. When Brand New Day and Slott-era stories began showing up in my local library and cheap on comiXology, I began picking them up.
One story in particular served as the perfect jumping-on point for Spidey’s new world, smoothing the way from “One More Day” to where we are now. That story also just happened to be Dan Slott’s first big Spidey event, so I thought now would be a perfect time to look back at it.
If you’ve been out of the loop since “One More Day,” and you want to see what Spider-Man’s been up to before June’s upcoming Amazing Spider-Man relaunch, there’s no better place to start than “New Ways to Die.”
The best horror comics create a feeling of anticipation. A slow, building sense of unease that you know will eventually amount to something terrible. In the next panel, on the next page, the BAD THING is going to happen. And when it does, it will be horrific, but also cathartic. You’ll finally be released from your feeling of dread. You’ll be able to stop turning the pages, imagining what is about to happen, because there will be a settled conclusion. Horror done is less horrific than horror still to come.