The anthology series from Boom! Studios takes a bit of a twist this issue with three tales meant to astound and amuse, but all feature a world affected by Cthulhu and the other gods of the old age.

Cthulhu_Tales_10_cover.jpgIf you were a social worker and you were alerted to a family that was planning to use their child as a gateway to unleash one of the elder gods into our dimension?  You’d probably put the child in a foster home.  That’s where the first story starts off, but things quickly go awry when the extended family starts going nuts and go on a killing rampage.

I wish I could tell you more about what this story is about, but for some reason, this tale seemed to be told out of sequence, with strange jumps between locations, time, and events.  I don’t know if this is a printing error, or something else, but I was left more confused at the end of the story than I was at the beginning.

Not a good way to start the issue.

The best segment by far features Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth stuck in an airport waiting to board their plane.  If that wasn’t humorous enough, the four have returned to Earth to form a rock band in an attempt to gain enough power to take over the planet.  It’s just too bad the group is having creative differences and are contemplating breaking up.  I was rolling at Cthulhu’s anger each time the attendant announced another boarding delay.  Unlike the Beetles, the group does stick together after the appropriate offering up of annoying children from the terminal.

This is a black and white tale, and I do like how each of the characters are portrayed – even Yog-Sothoth, the lurker in the doorway, who does just that throughout the story, never speaking a word.  The lack of color does get the reader to focus on the art as it relates to the story without being distracted by some flash of color.

I haven’t read every issue of Cthulhu Tales, so I don’t know if the book has ever had a two parter before, but this issue features a multipart story by Michael Alan Nelson that ties into the events of Boom!’s other title Fall of Cthulhu:  Apocalypse.  I never got into that series as much as Cthulhu Tales, so figuring out what is going on might be difficult for the casual reader, unless a disembodied brain and nervous system floating in a jar and then being transfered into a corpse is something you deal with on a daily basis.

The ending is a good hook to get readers to pick up the next issue to see what happens next, but I hope this tale doesn’t end up as a continuing saga in this book.  If Nelson wants to tell a Fall of Cthulhu: Apocalypse tale, it might be better served in a continuation of that limited series.

I like that Boom! Studios gives different artists a chance to work on its books, but, for the most part, the art in this issue left me wanting more.

The Cthulhu Tales series has had some really good stories, and some that have kind of missed the mark.  I’d say this issue is about 1 for 3 in the hitting it out of the ballpark category.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I mean nothing can be perfect 100=percent of the time, and this issue just happened to be the stumbling block for this reviewer.  This issue did feature horror, humor, and sci-fi stories that worked well enough to earn Cthulhu Tales #10 3 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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