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Top of the Hump: Best Comics 2/8/23

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Another hump day, another pullbox dump. We pick our favorite issues from this Wednesday's releases.

Top of the Hump is a new weekly column where we select our two favorite comics of the week. This Wednesday, we're celebrating Blood Stained Teeth and All Against All as the build toward some epic climaxes.


One of our New Year's intentions was to bring our Top of the Hump column back to the site. So, here ya go! Each of us has picked a favorite comic from our review stack. We're highlighting two titles we cannot get enough of, which is a shame because they're both rapidly approaching their conclusions. Of course, we have our fingers crossed that Image Comics will gift the future with some follow-ups.

2023 is already off to a strong start, wrapping up a few of our favorite titles from last year while providing some killer beginnings for new stories. We want to hear from you. Two months in, how do you feel about this year's books? What has stood out? What are you most excited to continue? Hit us up via our email:


Brad's Pick: Blood Stained Teeth #9

Image Credit: © 2023 Image Comics

Writer: Christian Ward

Artist: Patric Reynolds

Colorist: Heather Moore

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $3.99

It's the end of the line for Atticus Sloane. The First Born Council is ready to punch his ticket unless he eradicates all the humans he's transformed into vampires. Blood Stained Teeth #9 opens with Sloane tracking down an old Sip, a pathetic crime fighter who stalks the night like another caped crusader you might recognize. Honestly, the first two pages are a pitch-perfect homage that elicits a strong chuckle but only does so to distract you from the gnarly outcome at the other end of the book.

Christian Ward and Patric Reynolds end the ninth issue with a sprawling brawl, an action sequence that ranks right up there with the best comic book bouts. Just when you think it's reached a logical, bloody conclusion, the violence projects itself even further into catastrophe. All the mayhem elevated by Heather Moore's usually brilliant colors, selected to sell the emotional reality of the scene.

Blood Stained Teeth brings wallop after wallop with each issue. We get a few more glimpses into Sloane's history, suggesting nothing good is on the horizon. Ward and Reynolds are building to something revelatory, and issue nine carries an anxious energy with it. This comic is a frenetically paced nightmare ride, expertly crafted to deliver shivery jolts. Not exclusively for its reader, but definitely for its main character.

Again, we don't want the series to end. However, we can feel a satisfactory climax in progress. Ten issues, all with bite. #fanglife


Lisa's Pick: All Against All #3

Image Credit: © 2023 Image Comics

Writer: Alex Paknadel

Artist/Colors: Caspar Wijngaard

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $3.99

In many ways, All Against All #3 is the issue we've been waiting for this entire time. Helpless is trapped, but not for long. The human beast gets the upper hand on his captors and brings a world of hurt upon them. That particular action beat is rendered wickedly by Caspar Wijngaard, not quite giving us a glorious splash but an image that will operate like one in my memory.

We're only two issues away from the end. A lot can go wrong between now and then. Not in terms of quality or craft, those quantifiers are set in stone as far as I'm concerned, but for Helpless' victorious solution. And I'm not sure that's the finale I want for All Against All, as I've grown attached to the alien overseers too, which makes me feel awful.

The horror explored in All Against All is painfully human, even if most of it is committed by extraterrestrial psychos. The casual evil throughout the book is recognizable and causes despair. Alex Paknadel injects his outrage into the comic, creating a passionate and very loud plea to his readers. Will All Against All change minds or serve as a rallying cry? I dunno. Put this book in the right hands and it will create quite the internal stir.


Top Trade of the Week: Love Everlasting Volume 1

Image Credit: © 2023 Image Comics

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Elsa Charretier

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: $16.99

What more can we possibly say about Love Everlasting that we haven't already said? We named Tom King our Writer of the Year and Elsa Charretier our Artist of the Year. Love Everlasting is a comic that seems created for our needs directly but magically appeals to others as well. Huh. Cool. We're not alone in this universe.

We're mostly hoping those who have yet to jump on King and Charretier's Substack or purchased the single issues from Image will pull the trigger on this first volume. It's a comic that raises an eyebrow with its premise and gleefully confuses the reader after its first chapter, but as the narrative reveals itself more clearly toward the end of the first section, Love Everlasting imprisons your curiosity. There is no going back.

King and Charretier brutally deconstruct nostalgic notions of poisonous pop culture romance, playfully condemning the old ways and acknowledging their societal stranglehold. Love Everlasting is a hoot from cover to cover, but the delight is tinged with aggressive righteousness. The comic is hot to touch, a masterpiece in motion. We're eager to see where the rest of the story goes, counting down the seconds until the next issue drops.


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