Mnemovore #5 came out this week. (For some reason issue #4 shipped twice—once just before Comic-Con and again last week.) This week’s issue, or at least my copy, has a strange quirk to it. Some of the word balloons are faded, as if a rubber stamp was pushed down with unequal force, or as if someone ran a gradient tool over the text with Photoshop. I’m still not sure whether it’s intentional or just a coloring or printing error.

This scan should be relatively non-spoilery:

Panel showing faded word balloon

At one point I thought they might be the result of coloring gradients applied above the word balloons instead of below, but I could only get a few to match up.

The thing is, it’s appropriate for the book—if maddening to try to read. The premise is that into our information-saturated world has come a predator that feeds on information, eating people’s memories and leaving them amnesiac or worse. In a story about information loss, gaps in information make thematic sense. And there was one panel with the same effect last issue: “They can make it so you can’t…”

Just one issue to go…

Let’s see… what have I picked up recently?

Otherworld (Vertigo). I picked this up on the strength of Phil Jimenez and part of the concept. A group of people from present-day Earth get dragged into an extra-dimensional war—which, of course, has been done before. After issue #2, I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on, beyond the basics. We’re still figuring out who gets transformed how, and as for what’s actually going on in the other world, I think we’re going to have to find out along with the leads. (Heck, I’m still trying to figure out which character is narrating the whole thing.) I’m hoping things will become clearer with #3.

The Atheist (Image/Desperado). A skeptic paranormal investigator (nicknamed the Atheist by his colleagues) comes up against the one case he can’t debunk: the dead are returning and taking possession of the living. In some ways this reminds me a bit of Simon Spectre and Frank Ironwine, the two Apparat books inspired by Doc Savage and the detective pulps. Definitely continuing with this one.

Beyond Avalon (Image/Desperado). King Arthur’s daughter takes up a sword and leaves the island of Avalon to see what’s out there. #1 was just interesting enough to get me to buy #2. But I haven’t actually read #2 yet.

Mnemovore (Vertigo). The concept of this one intrigued me enough I had a dream about it a few nights ago. (Appropriately, I can’t remember much of it.) The main character, injured in a snowboarding accident, has amnesia…but something is causing everyone around her to lose memories as well. Something alive, that Kaley encounters at the end of the first issue. Another one I’m definitely following.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis (DC). I have to admit I had very low expectations for the latest big event book. But the 80-page giant was actually quite good. Three of the four spinoff minis are out now, and they’ve been hit or miss. On one hand, I like the idea that each series focuses on a different corner of the DC universe—Day of Vengeance for the magical characters, Rann/Thanagar War for the sci-fi, The OMAC Project for the superhero/thriller types and Villains United for…well, you can probably guess. On the other hand, at 6 issues apiece plus the 4-issue Return of Donna Troy, that’s already 29 books, plus however many issues Infinite Crisis itself will be. This is all for the 20th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was only 12 issues! And, frankly, the “Which one will lead to Infinite Crisis? Buy them all and find out!” gimmick offends me.

Anyway, I liked the first issue of The OMAC Project, Day of Vengeance #1 left me just curious enough to pick up #2, and Villains United didn’t intrigue me much at all.

Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead. Now that JMS and Top Cow have resolved their dispute and finished Rising Stars, the publisher can start releasing Fiona Avery’s spinoff minis again. First out of the gate is this one, focusing on Lionel Zerb, who talks to the dead. Unfortunately I can’t help but wonder what happened to Rising Stars: Untouchable, the mini about telekinetic assassin Laurel Darkhaven announced two years ago. My impression was that it was done, or at least completely written, with publishing held up by the dispute. I’ll have to reread VotD without that question in my head. (Strangely, I can’t find anything about either series at Top Cow’s website)