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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: 'Betty and Veronica: Vixens' #5 by Jamie L. Rotante, Eva Cabrera, and Elaina Unger

The Vixens reluctantly take on a surprising new member and use their muscle to come to a friend's rescue.


BETTY AND VERONICA: VIXENS #5 

Writer: Jamie L Rotante
Artist: Eva Cabrera, Elaina Unger
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Archie Comics
Release Date: April 4, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

When I began reading 'Vixens' I knew it would be a cool alternative series where Riverdale's girls form a biker gang and kick ass but I didn't expect how it would evolve over that time. Here, in issue #5 Veronica takes the girls on a field trip to see roller derby for "bonding and networking." Veronica is taking this gang leadership seriously and I love the thought of them fortifying their alliances if and when the Serpents come back for revenge. 

I hate revealing who emerges from the roller derby as one of the more aggressive participants who also wants to join the Vixens. If it wasn't already in the preview I wouldn't mention it's Cheryl Blossom but her addition riles Betty so much it becomes a tense relationship. She has to prove herself to the gang which she does quickly. She's just as vicious as you'd hope she'd be. 

Issue 5 also addresses domestic abuse and I'm glad writer Jamie Rotante went there. It's an important issue and one that goes underreported among teens. I just wished Toni's friend's predicament had gotten more development, some more context and more of a resolution. Nonetheless, the Vixens answered the call and took care of business giving that jerk what he deserved. They are a gang, after all. 

This is the last issue Eva Cabrera does pencils for before Jen Vaughn takes over. She'll continue to contribute covers but her charismatic designs and cool rockabilly fashions will be missed. She goes out in style with some fun roller derby action and an intense build-up to the previously mentioned confrontation. As usual, colorist Elaina Unger sets the tone with some brilliant pastel colors including some splashes of bold hair colors but to be quite honest, the Vixens in black look pretty badass. 

'Betty and Veronica: Vixens' ends the current arc with a surprising addition and a sober new development. There's plenty of fun thrown in too but Jaime Rotante is finding a balance between serious and amusing that is taking this alt-world story to another level. We say goodbye to Eva Cabrera as regular artist with a characteristically great issue full of fun designs. 'Vixens' is audacious as it blazes its own path in the Archie universe. Betty, Veronica, and the gang wield girl power like brass knuckles to the face and it's glorious.

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