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REVIEW: 'Home Sick Pilots' #2 by Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard, and Aditya Bidikar

The Old James House has lost its ghosts. With her new powers, it's up to Ami to bring them back...whether they want to come home or not. Even when they're really big ghosts wrapped in metal, with lots of sharp edges and things. HOME SICK PILOTS #2 Writer: Dan Watters Artist: Caspar Wijngaard Letterer: Aditya Bidikar  Designer: Tom Muller Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: January 13, 2021 Cover Price: $3.99 Score:  ★★★☆☆ (3/5) A powered-up ghostified Ami has been compelled to find the ghosts of The Old James House in the form of an enchanted horseshoe. Its current bearer isn't going to give it up so easily. Meanwhile, Ami's friends Buzz and Rip are left looking for answers about her whereabouts back at the house. The second issue of Home Sick Pilots from Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard takes a surprising turn as it defies the expectations of a haunted house story established in its debut. Issue one was a stellar debut that had a lot of energy from its young protago

REVIEW: 'Hit-Girl' #4 by Mark Millar, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, and Sunny Gho

The first arc of 'Hit-Girl' wraps up as only Mark Millar can and that's with all guns blazing! Amid all the bloodshed and explosions, Millar finds a beating heart and a new beginning.


HIT-GIRL #4  

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Colors: Sunny Gho
Lettered and Designed: Melina Mikulic
Editor: Rachel Fulton
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 23, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Four issue arcs can be hit or miss. Sometimes, it's not enough issues to develop characters sufficiently and still get a satisfying conclusion. While the main focus has been on Mindy coercing Mano to kill rival cartel members as well as his own, we finally get more info about the mysterious mother whose son was Mano's first kill. It's not a lot but enough to demonstrate how her pain, anger, and guilt led to hiring Mindy to get revenge. It ultimately leads to a surprisingly optimistic ending.

There is a method to Mindy's madness and while she may be a psychotic vigilante killer she gets the job done. The elimination of two drug cartels is quite an achievement but it takes a lot of bullets and there's no shortage of carnage on display. That was to be expected so fans of this world and over the top ultra-violence won't be disappointed.

What surprised me was Mano's character arc. Millar doesn't humanize the mob enforcer but I got the feeling that his life could have gone another way had he had the right influences and opportunities. Mano felt the cartel leader was a father-figure and the cartel his family. It's a sad reminder of how fragile and random our lives are. Mano could have been a real role model to his younger brother but instead, his brother is used as leverage to manipulate him into killing...everybody. Mano has to pay for his many sins though and even his sadness for the loss of his "family" can't redeem him.

Ricardo Lopez Ortiz emerged as the perfect conductor of Millar's symphony. Ortiz thrives in the chaos, frantically penciling one firefight after another, constructing every manner of gruesome death imaginable complete with exploding skulls. He's a complete artist and storyteller as he moves the camera holding certain beats in the few quieter moments that resonate amid the noise. I imagine he's as gleeful as Mindy drawing her destruction on the page. Sunny Gho has to fill these scenes with color to convey a mood, emphasize the blood splatter, or create transitions in time and emotion and does it with ease. Melina Mikulic has her work cut out for her with not just dialogue but every "blam" from a gun and the many exclamations that heighten the tension. It's one giant artistic mosh-pit of comic book excellence.

'Hit-Girl' ends its first arc in Colombia with figurative and literal fireworks. Fans get their money's worth of violence and gore as Mindy's plan comes full circle. The new series is a wrecking ball to the globe like Amy Reeder's amazing cover. Mindy is taking over one country at a time bringing her bloody sense of justice to criminals everywhere. Millar has done it again.

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