comScore Tia Vasiliou | The Mary Sue
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Posts by Tia Vasiliou

Review: Image Comics’ Miyazaki-Inspired ISOLA #1 Is Beautiful and Intriguing

The fantasy story, about a soldier escorting her queen (currently in the form of a turquoise-striped tiger) on a perilous journey to a mythic underworld island, has drawn comparisons to the work of filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. This is not by happenstance. ISOLA’s thematic and aesthetic homages to films like Princess Mononoke, full of fantastical creatures and a foreboding sense of danger, are thoughtfully crafted aspects of its world-building and storytelling.

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Review: Veronica Joins the Ranks of the Undead in the Fun, Smart Vampironica #1

Where the CW Riverdale show is dark in a Twin Peaks sort of way, Archie Horror comics lean into the supernatural. Zombies, demons, witches, werewolves, and vampires give the gang a lot more to worry about than love triangles and saving Pop’s Diner.

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Review: Treat Yourself to Twisted Romance #2 This Valentine’s Day

Twisted Romance, an Image series headlined by writer Alex de Campi, is basically an anthology series. A main, self-contained story by de Campi, drawn by a different artist in every issue, sets a theme for additional creators to contribute a short prose story and a backup comic. The first issue contained romance stories that had a supernatural twist; the second (out for Valentine’s Day!) unravels the twists and turns love can take, exploring the epistemology of love itself.

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Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special #1 Will Leave You Excited for More

If you’re a certain kind of geek, the 1986 film Labyrinth was a formative influence on your sensibilities. Who among us didn’t wish for the Goblin King to whisk us away on a magical quest replete with goblin sidekicks, peril lurking around every turn, and catchy dance breaks? (Not to mention the late, great David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King, in all his tight-trousered glory.)

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Review: Spiritus #2 Takes You on an Escape From a Prison for the Mind

Corporal punishment only exacts its retribution as long as the body and consciousness remain coupled to receive it. When corporal becomes capital punishment, the body expires, and the mind is freed from its physical constraints (give or take certain theological beliefs, of course). But in the world of Spiritus, the justice system has found a way to close this loophole.

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Review: Image’s Generation Gone #1 Paints a Picture of Real Human Beings

World-building in a sci-fi book is always important, but the strength of this first issue of Generation Gone is how much it invests in establishing its characters as real human beings.

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Gail Simone and Cat Staggs Deftly Turn Tropes Upside Down in Crosswind #1

A frequent criticism of literary or visual media is the use of what have colloquially come to be known as "tropes." Certainly, using stock characters and clichéd plot devices can dilute the impact of a story. But these conventions can also play an important role in furthering a narrative, particularly one that’s about subverting expectations. Take, for example, Gail Simone and Cat Stagg’s new Image book, Crosswind, in which a hitman and a housewife swap bodies.

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Review: Vault’s Heathen #4 Has Loss, Bravery, Hope, and Queer Love

My favorite thing about Heathen, by Natasha Alterici, is that it feels like a familiar story, because in many ways, it is.

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Review: Bitch Planet #10–We Are Woman Enough to Survive

Bitch Planet is a book that, from the first issue, felt bigger than what was printed on its pages.

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Review: Rose #1 Holds a Beautiful, But Deadly Story as Its Name Implies

Check out the Machiavellian world of Rose, where only the strongest survive.

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Review: Mirror #6 Is an Absolutely Gorgeous Story You Need in Your Life

One of my favorite books in the last year, Mirror, by Emma Ríos and Hwei Lim, is at its core about connections—to one another, to our own identities, to the places and experiences that forge who we are.

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Review: The Belfry Packs So Much Intense Horror in a One-Shot Comic

You would think that a shadowy, disorienting plane crash on an uncharted island would be the scariest part of The Belfry. But that’s just the beginning.

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Review: Curse Words #1 Explores Benefits of Good, Evil, Free Will, Hot Dogs, and Sunglasses

Have you ever felt that your life has no meaning? Or maybe just that your talents and self-actualization are being co-opted by The Man, against your own best interests? Wouldn’t it be really freaking awesome if your best friend was a talking koala named Margaret? If you answered “yes,” (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?) then I have the comic for you…

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Motor Crush #1 Is the Candy-Pink Philosophical Cyberpunk We’ve Been Waiting For

Motor Crush is a book about speed and danger, which also makes it a book about limits and consequences.

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Southern Cross #9 Gives Us What We Need: A Badass Old Lady With a Gun and a Mission

We’re making progress when it comes to representing diversity in some things, but where are my old ladies being awesome in comics? In Becky Cloonan's Southern Cross, that's where.

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Review: The Wicked + The Divine 1831 Is a Gorgeous Twist on the Romantics

1831 isn’t going to spoil anything for trade waiters (Rising Action, the trade for the fourth arc, is out in a few weeks), but it will give theorizers at any stage of reading a lot to think about.

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Betty and Veronica #1: Finally, We Can Fight About Something Besides Archie

Are you more of a Betty or a Veronica? I’m probably a Veronica, albeit a somewhat less spoiled version (I hope). It’s not that I’m not nice, exactly…but I’m definitely not a blonde. And everybody knows that blondes are the wholesome, nice girls, right? Except when they’re having more fun or being bimbos? I don’t know, it’s hard to keep track of all the boring, one-dimensional archetypes of women that limit the kinds of stories we tell about them.

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Review: Tomb Raider #4—A Surprise Treasure

A few months ago, to my intense bewilderment, a friend recommended that I check out the new Tomb Raider comic. Now, I am not a gamer, and nothing about me suggests that I’d be at all interested in a scantily dressed archaeologist with dubious field research methodology. You can’t just run around the jungle in short shorts, people. Also? I think UNESCO frowns on tomb raiding.

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