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The weirdest thing happened to members of The Stately Beat Manor yesterday. None other than Bessie the Hellcow was seen loitering our gated off community. We’re not heartless, so we decided to let Bessie in for the day (more like a week). Now relieved of her Earthly crusade to seek vengeance upon Dracula, she has gained a completely new state of mind after kinda (sorta) dying at hands of Howard the Duck. We attempted to further her new mindset by teaching her how to read…comic books of course! Only a few Beat Staffers even have the capacity to read books with words (is that even still a thing?). Unlike Floyd Belko (A.K.A. Arm-Fall-Off-Boy) from last week, Bessie immediately grew a taste for exploring the world of Valiant Comics. Since there are few titles that are all so easily accessible, Bessie was able to read the entirety of Valiant’s 2012 catalogue after a couple of all night binging sessions. We thought it was unhealthy, but proceeded in joining her late into the evening. After diving headfirst into exploring the wild and wonderful world of comics, here’s what she and the rest of the Beat Staff had to say for the week of 5/6/15.

Dead Drop #1

Writer: Ales Kot Art: Adam Gorham Cover: Raul Allen  

Four issues. Four stories. One ticking clock! Red-hot writer Ales Kot (Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier) and rising star Adam Gorham (Zero) start the countdown to DEAD DROP as an unlikely cast of superhuman operators fall in deep for an undercover conspiracy action thriller in the darkest corners of the Valiant Universe? There is a secret black market in New York. It is hidden in plain sight – in our streets, trains, restaurants. Those who know how to navigate it exchange secrets of extraordinary nature. But when the secret in circulation is a biological weapon derived from Vine technology, the gloves are off – and the most extraordinary agents are released to stop the disaster before it occurs. Otherwise, in less than thirty minutes, there will be no world to come back to. X-O Manowar, Archer, Neville Alcott, Detective Cejudo and Betamax are ready to save the world.


Somehow Bessie managed to get her hands on Ales Kot’s hit title; Zero and enjoyed the series quite a bit. Due to her aforementioned Valiant bias, she was more than excited to hear that the Zero creator was coming onboard to the Valiant Universe. Dead Drop is a four-issue mini-series that features a revolving cast based around trying to get drugs off of the street of the Valiant world.

Roche Limit: Clandestiny #1

Writer: Michael Moreci Art: Kyle Charles Cover: Kyle Charles

The breakout hit of 2014 returns with volume two of the groundbreaking sci-fi trilogy! It’s 75 years after the events that left the Roche Limit colony in flames. When a crew of military and science personnel are sent to the forgotten and desolate planet on a mysterious expedition, they quickly learn its dark secrets-and that their mission is not what they thought it to be. With danger lurking all around, the crew members fight to find a way off the planet and resist the mysterious presence that haunts them all.


Bessie also managed to read the first few issues of Roche Limit, and wanted to give a shoutout towards Roche Limit: Clandestiny. The Hellcow proclaimed that she had a penchant for connected superhero shared Universes and hard science fiction epics. After many hours of research and several contracts signed between Bessie and the full Beat Staff, the aforementioned comics were the two titles that we finally agreed on.
After bleeding the rest of our Beat Manor graphic novels dry, Bessie was gone. She mentioned in passing that she had a Deadpool Team-Up thing to go to…we tried not to ask any questions, (we really don’t like Deadpool.) So like that, Bessie had departed the Stately Beat Manor in a hurry. Thankfully, we still have these carefully milked staff picks for our readers to enjoy!


Not Bessie:

Secret Wars #1 (Marvel Comics)

Writer: Johnathan Hickman              Art: Esad Ribic


After a year of teasing and being put through the Marvel mass media hype machine, Secret Wars is finally here. The 616 and Ultimate universe are about to clash and from the ashes an all-new all different Marvel universe will be born. Marvel’s already given us the ending and beyond, it’ll be interesting to see if the path to get to it will be captivating enough to follow the series. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but despite recent Marvel “event comics” being flat and convoluted; I still have hope that Secret Wars will be packed with those “Holy crap I can’t believe that happened!” moments.

Davey’s Pick:

Arcadia #1 (Boom! Studios)

(W) Alex Paknadel (A) Eric Scott Pfeiffer (CA) Matt Taylor


When 99% of humankind is wiped out by a pandemic, four billion people are “saved” by being digitized at the brink of death and uploaded into Arcadia, a utopian simulation in the cloud. But when Arcadia begins to rapidly deplete the energy resources upon which the handful of survivors in the real world (aka “The Meat”) depends, how long will The Meat be able-and willing-to help? Featuring the first of five connecting covers by Matt Taylor.

If this book lives up to even half of its description, then I’ve found my favorite Boom! thing next to Lumberjanes. Bam! Trade collection quote son!

Heidi’s Pick


Black River
Josh Simmons

I hope you are not tired of stories about bands of people surviving in harsh conditions, because this bleak post apocalyptic tale of a bunch of survivors—most of them women—who search for sign of civilization in a frigid, grim world is a dandy addition to the genre. Simmons (house) brings his indie comics chops to a savage, weird story with many levels, strong characterization and a very fresh approach. If you thought The Road was too chipper, you’ll love this. Also the physical book is a gorgeous object with gangrene-colored paper. Here’s a preview if you want to see what I mean.



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