Each week I'll spotlight a couple independent books I've read and may have flown under people's radar.
SAMURAI JACK 13
Jack's been in a rough spot these last few issues. Here, things get both better and worse for him. Aku has a way to find Jack, but Jack possibly has a way to fix his sword. I suspect, without checking solicit info, Jack and Aku will meet on the final page of next issue and fight in 15. This issue did away with my concerns at the beginning of this arc, and slid the title back over to the "recommended" column.
Last issue, I was worried one issue wasn't enough to wrap up this story. I wanted the adventures of Duke McQueen to continue because I was enjoying it so much. But after this, the final issue, I'm more than pleased with the conclusion. If you haven't been reading Starlight, I hope you'll pick up the trade once that comes out. It's a great read.
THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 5
Last issue (spoiler!) Luci broke out of prison. This is what happens next. The final words of the issue are "it's not over." Of course it's not. I'm not going to talk about what happens between those two events, except to say that it's good and you should read it. Also, check out the well-written essay at the back. There's even a special note in the credits, which I looked at only so I could write the next sentence. Everything between the covers of this book is brilliant. I hope you read it.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES/GHOSTBUSTERS 1
IDW's excellent Ninja Turtles series jumps dimensions into IDW's excellent Ghostbusters series (sadly concluded). It's so brilliant, I don't know why it wasn't done sooner. If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of both series. The two teams meet on the last page of the issue, so they haven't yet interacted, which will be the true test of believability. Thankfully, the regular writers from each series are involved here, so I don't think there will be any problems there. Three different art teams is a bit weird, but done in a way that minimizes the changes. Recommended for anyone reading both or either series, or even just fans of the franchises.
PREDATOR VS JUDGE DREDD VS ALIENS
Honestly, if the title alone doesn't do it for you, I don't know what to say. Actually, the cover and title are a bit misleading, because the book is actually two stories - Dredd vs Predator and Dredd vs Aliens. Still. I've never read Dredd before but have been wanting to get into it for a while. I've read very little Predator or Aliens comics, but I'd been similarly toying with the idea for about a year. So seeing this on the rack, it practically leapt into my hands.
Predator vs Judge Dredd is from 1997, so the art is slightly dated, but I had no problem slipping into it. Judge Dredd vs Aliens is from 2003, but the art has a much more modern feel and could easily sit alongside any indie title today. Both stories are written and co-written, respectively, by John Wagner, so Dredd is definitely in the right hands. I thoroughly enjoyed both and suspect many other fans of these franchises would as well.