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The Unwritten, Crossed among comic book reviews 

As usual, I've been reading a ton of comic books lately -- too many, in fact, for me to review in this space. So, behold a few bite-sized reviews of fairly new titles:

The Unwritten No. 1 (Vertigo/DC): This clever riff on Harry Potter-esque pop fiction could easily fall into parody territory. Instead, writer Mike Carey and artist Peter Gross have injected enough complicated human emotion and enigmatic subplots into the story to make this comic engrossing. Buy it.

Crossed No. 5 (Avatar): The latest issue of this zombie-flavored horror title has been a long time coming. And if you're expecting the gory disembowelings and anal rape scenes presented in the previous four issues, you'll be in for a shock. This issue is all about character development sans violence. But it's still enjoyable.

Ghost Rider No. 35 (Marvel): I haven't read Ghost Rider in a long, long time. Consequently, I haven't seen what writer Jason Aaron has done with the comic under his creative guidance. I liked this issue -- even though it's the third part of a multi-part epic of some sort. Aaron's work here is funny, gross and slightly scary. But the best thing about this edition of Ghost Rider is the art, which is superbly handled by Tony Moore; he's able to render moments of humor and horror without skipping a beat.

Dellec No. 0 (Aspen): The debut issue of Aspen's new title sets up a bunch of mysterious characters and situations -- but it doesn't seem like anything I haven't seen before. I guess I'll check in on the series again once it gets going, but, for now, I'm not interested.

Some reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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