Awesome as usual!
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It should come as no surprise that Walking Dead completely dominated last week. It was a great issue, well deserving of the victory. And it was the second book in as many weeks to win the coveted Double! That’s the winner of the poll and the winner of Rusty’s pick for Best Book.
This week, we’re bound to get some different results. For one thing, it wasn’t Rusty picking the Best Book; it was Andy! And he picked Incognito: Bad Influences #1. But there was plenty of other cool stuff to choose from, including an appearance by Death in Action Comics #894, an adorable issue of Littlest Zombie #2, and great issues of Captain America #611 and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #15, plus the Hetrick-endorsed GI Joe Cobra II #9. So choose!
What was the best book of the week?
Total Voters: 29
We’ll give the nod this week to Generation Hope #1 from Marvel Comics! The mutant messiah teams up with several of the X-Men to investigate a new mutant… be it friend or foe. Also from Marvel, look for Chaos War #3, Wolverine #3, Captain America: Man Out of Time #1, Iron Man Thor #1, Scarlet #3 and a new Wizard of Oz series beginning in Ozma of Oz #1!
From DC, we still have to go with writer Jeff Lemire and Superboy #1! Lemire is ideally suited to Smalltown, USA… er, make that SmallVILLE, USA! Plus, Lemire’s own series under the Vertigo banner, Sweet Tooth #15; Batman and Robin #16; Brightest Day #13; and Batman Catwoman: Follow the Money #1!
We’re also finally getting Invincible #75! A big anniversary issue for the excellent series by Walking Dead scribe Robert Kirkman.
The full list follows…
Hi there. This is Andy B. I’ll be writing the Best Book You Did Read column today. Please accept my obviously-inferior-to-Rusty’s opinion and let me know what you liked this week!
I have to say, I didn’t even make it to the first page of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ INCOGNITO #1 before I was enjoying it. Didn’t even make it to the first page! Because on the inside front cover is a note that reads:
PREVIOUSLY: Zack was a super-villain living in witness protection. Lots of bad stuff happened. You should just buy the trade collection to catch up, really.
Awesome. Luckily, I have read the first Incognito trade, along with the four Criminal trades, which aren’t connected to this story in any way but certainly set the stage for it., just in their tone. Anyway, it was almost a foregone conclusion that I was going to pick this one today because I loved Criminal and Incognito (and really crime fiction in general), so it would have taken a a lot for me to NOT like it.
As for the story, we’re back on Zack. There’s a bit of jumping around in time, including a classic noir kind of beginning ("How did I get here in prison? If I think about it, I can remember the exact moment…"), but suffice it say that former bad guy Zack is now working for the good guys. Sort of like Incorruptible, except there’s no Plutonian to take down… oh wait! There sort of IS a Plutonian! A former undercover agent in a bad guy squad who’s "gone native"! And boy has he gone native. Not like Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves ("Tatonka!")… much, much worse.
I think my favorite thing about Brubaker’s crime works is the dialogue. Big surprise, right? Considering that’s what sets good crime fiction apart from bad. And Zack is so funny and bitter. "…You ancient old busybody…" He just hates everybody. It’s great.
Good start to the series, hope it keeps up.
- Andy B.
Last week, I read The Losers, which was a real world, action-adventure story. Well, as real world as comic book stories get of course. So this week it was time to get back to the reason we all started reading comic books in the first place: the superhero! I wanted to see if one of those glorious stories of my youth was as good as I remember it to be, so I read THE INFINITY GAUNTLET, written by Jim Starlin with art by George Pérez and Ron Lim, published by Marvel Comics.
For purposes of describing the story, I’m going to assume that everyone knows who Thanos is. The Infinity Gauntlet also continues storylines started in the Silver Surfer series and the Thanos Quest mini-series. Neither is crucial to your understanding of the story, but they will enhance it if you have already read them. Anyway, in The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos has gained control of the six infinity gems giving him power over all that is. Thanos, supplanting Eternity, has become the living embodiment of the universe. He still loves Death and tries to seek her favor by instantly eliminating half of the living beings in the entire universe. This doesn’t make anyone happy, least of all Earth’s superhero population, and they rush off to battle him so the universe can be returned to its natural order. Needless to say, lots of fighting ensues.
As I’m sure you noticed by now, I’m a little late getting my column up. Things have been a little hectic here in the newsroom and the Best Covers desk was swamped with work. That said, I can only give you one cover today, but boy is it a good one.
THE LITTLEST ZOMBIE #2
Perhaps you’ve heard of a little show coming up on Sunday called The Walking Dead? It’s been getting hyped from all quarters (including ours), and it’s looking like it could be the biggest comic book show EVER. Well I just wanted to give some play to a somewhat littler known zombie… in fact, the LITTLEST zombie!
And to answer your question: no, I haven’t read this series yet. But it looks too doggone adorable to pass up! I believe it began as a story in an anthology called A Very Zombie Christmas, a story about a young zombie boy who just likes to get to know people… before he eats them.
Creator Fred Perry appears to be taking the little boy’s affability in a new direction because there he is on this cover dressed in ladies clothes and having a nice cup of afternoon tea! Although wait a second… if you look at a close up (just click to enlarge), the little zombie’s hands are actually bound, so I guess this girl hornswaggled him into drinking tea with her! I should have known! I learned very early on never trust girls offering you tea and biscuits.
- Andy B.
PS – My copy boy just clued me in to something: The Littlest Zombie #1 made the Best Covers column back in March!
It would be difficult to talk about anything else this week besides The Walking Dead, which will debut on Sunday night at 10 pm on AMC. The buzz surrounding this TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s outstanding comic book series is amazing and I find myself trying very hard not to get my hopes up. (It seems absolutely incomprehensible that it will not do anything but rock!) People all over the world are breaking out their inner zombie in preparation for the film. And I have to reflect on how far the zombie film genre has come and, for that matter, how far the comics have come too.
Zombie films quickly gained a cult following ever since George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Though the genre really can be linked to the survival horror branch of horror films, I think by now they have truly earned their own subgenre in the horror field. In recent years, films from the Dawn of the Dead remake and Romero’s slew of smaller zombie films, to the revolutionary 28 Days Later (a twist on the zombie fiction; no undead, just rabid human beings), and comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland have all taken zombies to new heights. Zombies are now less cult status and more mainstream than perhaps they ever have been before.
David Lee’s Best Book You Didn’t Read column is one of the most popular features here on the Cosmic Comix website. Each week, David reviews a title that most likely flew under your radar, critiquing the story and art and basically just telling you why you need to read it. Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27, we’re putting five of the books featured as Best Books You Didn’t Read ON SALE FOR $10.00 EACH!
Look for them on the table at the front of the store. And don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of them, that’s the whole point of the column: these are the books you probably HAVEN’T heard of but still need to read! Here’s what we’ll have. Just click on any of them to go to David’s review and learn more. Each one will be on the front table for just $10.00!
Dynamite Entertainment announced a new book entitled Sherlock Holmes: Year One by writer Scott Beatty with art by Daniel Lindro. The book will of course follow the character’s early career and show the first meeting of Dr. Watson and Holmes. Look for it in January.
CBR is reporting that despite Marvel’s announcement to introduce new books at a $2.99 price level, seven of the 10 new titles solicited in January from the company are still listed at $3.99. Not sure what Marvel’s excuse for that might be but if I were a guessing man I would say it was because they had to react to DC’s announcement and therefore did not have the time to change the pricing in the upcoming solicitations. If they fix it come January it is not a big deal. If there is no adjustment that only dulls their previous announcement in my opinion, which was already looking rough compared to DC. At this rate it looks like they only said there was a new pricing initiative while retaining their previous way of doing business.
The old 100 Bullets team will be bringing a new sci-fi series to Vertigo called Spaceman. Bleeding Cool reported on the details that seemed to leak from an Argentina convention last week. Writer Brian Azzarello, artist Eduardo Risso, editor Will Dennis, and cover artist Dave Johnson will all be involved. Spaceman will be a nine-issue series followed by a series of mini-series. The creative team compared it to Blade Runner. I’m ridiculously excited about this project. We need more fantastic science fiction.
Andy K was nice enough to fill in for me this week! Enjoy! – Rusty
It seems that I go into every Wednesday with certain preconceived notions of what comics I’m going to like this week. As with every CCX subscriber, I have my pull-sheet filled out to ensure I get whatever monthlies, limited’s, biweeklies, bimonthlies, one-shots (I could go on) that I know about or am interested in. I mean there are just some comics that we all need to get; those books that you simply can’t miss, the type where you would certainly crumble under disappointment if you missed the latest issue in your favorite serial.
Then there are those new series, new titles that have all the hype and word of mouth one can stand, but maybe we’re just a little hesitant to put them on our pull sheet, so some of us arrive at the wee hours of the morning. We sit in our cars or drool on the CCX window waiting for the strike of 11:00 AM eagerly waiting for the flip of the sign to COME IN WE’RE OPEN.
We get the books from our box, scan the racks, flip through those books we’re a little unsure of, maybe we look in the back issues…finally we bring our books and CCX rings up the take. Sometimes we’re surprised at how much we spend, sometimes we’re not. But for us, the truly rabid readers, the cost rarely matters when it comes to comics…as long as the comics are GOOD.
We’re elated upon leaving the store and immediately go to our cars so we can open that top-of-the-pile-can’t-wait-for-issue. It is here where our preconceived notions take a little gut check. Were they correct for good or ill or did we get a nice surprise. Whether these notions are based on your own personal connection to a book, a writer/artist, a preview you saw online, or an interview you checked out…our speculation continues until we open the pages and start letting all the words and art permeate into our minds. Now is the time we determine for ourselves if a book will be good, bad, or just okay.
So which, if any of this weeks books met, exceeded, or fell below my preconceived notions? The Walking Dead is almost always great and as such has the very unique position of one of the only books on a separate scale. Compared to the other books I read this week, it was by far the best. Compared to last issue, this issue delivered much more of that vaunted Kirkman brilliance and was therefore better. So for TWD, the book itself exceeded these notions. The other book to exceed these notions was Resurrected #1. You can only put so much hype into a book before it fails to live up to the hype. I thought Vertigo did a good job of keeping this book from reaching such hype. All other books were good and lived up to what I thought they would be. Daredevil was by and far the worst of the lot, but I wasn’t expecting much. And now! Without further ado let’s dive into this my (Andy K’s) week in review.
Marvel Comics’ Chaos War kicked off this month and the second issue hit the store just this week! Fans of Incredible Hercules will not want to miss this event, which brings Hercules back to the Marvel Universe in a very big way! How big you ask? Well to face off against the Chaos King, Hercules brings together Thor, Galactus, Silver Surfer, Sersi and Venus to form a "God Squad." And of course where Hercules is, fan-favorite character Amadeus Cho cannot be far behind! Also, a certain God that died in the Siege, may also be making an appearance. (*cough* Ares *cough*) Co-writers Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente team up with artist Khoi Pham to make sure it is done right!
The rest of the five issue mini-series is coming out over the next three months. There will also be various Chaos War one-shots featuring Thor, the X-Men, and more! Pak it also letting the series crossover with his Incredible Hulks title through issues #628-620. (See the checklist! Click to enlarge.)
We know many fans were disappointed when the Incredible Hercules went away and we know this event will make them extremely happy, but just in case it was flying under your radar, we wanted to make sure you knew what you were missing! C’mon, its a war featuring Marvel’s God characters! Someone’s getting a great cosmic beat down!
Came across this website called Wordle recently. It’s a word cloud generator, which just means it looks at your website and creates a cloud of words based on the content, with the most frequently used words showing up the biggest. Apparently, we like Spider-Man around here. And vampires. Click to enlarge!
Full disclosure: I removed the word "variant" from the search because it dominated the landscape!
There wasn’t much competition last week, as the popular choice for best book of the week truly lived up to is name: Superior! And it won Rusty’s pick, too, which gives it the highly coveted Double! Kind of like in English soccer when a team wins both the Premier League and the FA Cup.
This week, I predict the competition will be a little hotter. Though Rusty picked Walking Dead (again)(but for good reason)(because it’s awesome), there were several other books that were really solid and enjoyable. Kick-Ass 2 #1 got that series off the ground pretty well, while over in the DC Universe there were some very strong releases with Power Girl #17, Batman and Robin #15 and Superman Batman #77. And of course you can’t deny the power of Vertigo with Fables #99 and Hellblazer #272! Plus much more, including fan fave Morning Glories!
What was the best book of the week?
Total Voters: 32
Next week’s comics are led by Marvel’s Incognito: Bad Influences #1, the second installment of the excellent superhero/crime noir series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It’s also a big Ultimate week and a big X week, as we’re set to get Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #3, Ultimate Comics Mystery #4 and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #15 PLUS Uncanny X-Men #529 and X-Men Legacy #241. And more, including Fantastic Four #584 (the second part of "Three"), Avengers #6 and Secret Avengers #6!
Over at DC, the Man of Steel has a big week, led by the Superman Earth One HC by J. Michael Straczynski. Plus, Superman #704 (not by JMS) and Wonder Woman #604 (by JMS)! We’re also looking at Action Comics #894, Green Arrow #5, Scalped #42 and two more Bruce Wayne: The Road Home one-shots.
Plus Previews, Wizard and more!
The full list follows…
The DC Comics represented themselves nicely last night. POWER GIRL #17 and SUPERMAN BATMAN #77 were both excellent. BRUCE WAYNE: THE ROAD HOME – CATWOMAN #1 kept on trucking. Even enjoyed BRIGHTEST DAY #12, although that was a heck of a lot of Martian Manhunter action, and BATMAN AND ROBIN #15, although once again I make no claims that I know what’s actually going on.
Only read six Marvel books so far, PUNISHER MAX TINY UGLY WORLD #1, another bizarre David Lapham jaunt, DAREDEVIL #511, did I miss something? All the heroes are dead? And Thor! Who took center stage in four books last night. ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #4 (OF 5), HULK #26, LOKI #1 (OF 4), and of course, THOR FIRST THUNDER #2 (OF 5). So most of the pile is still sitting on the dresser, couldn’t take the chance Thor would show up again. I was Thor-red out by that point.
Everything else? KICK-ASS 2 #1, I liked, although mostly a reset up. Did feel a bit contrived this time around. Hate to see it become a caricature of itself. DV8 GODS AND MONSTERS #7 (OF 8) was great, again. Finally got our big fight. Sorta. An oncoming comet stopped it short. FABLES #99 was awesome, again. Master Dark talks to the North Wind which is all leading up to a Totenkinder/Master Dark throwdown in the giant sized issue #100. MORNING GLORIES #3, I enjoyed again. The hour of our release draws near! And we may have a new leader in the pilot season competition as PILOT SEASON 7 DAYS FROM HELL #1 was real good. Of course, having Phil Noto do the art certainly helped.
And the Best Book I Read this Week? Well, WALKING DEAD #78 did come out yesterday. Which made it the book to beat going in and nobody did. And it’s not a default choice. Easily won. It was a great issue. Our new band of survivors reaches the compound and tries to take it by force. Mistake! Blam! Blam! Brakka! Brakka! You’re dead! And Rick, sans band-aids is now the de facto leader of our merry little town. Now all he has to worry about is a giant herd of Zombies headed his way!
Last week, I talked about Okko 2: Cycle of Earth, which was a pleasant piece of action fluff. I enjoyed it and, with life being busy, I decided to continue reading action-adventure fluff. Because of all the hype surrounding the latest comic book-come-action film, Red, I wanted to read something that had already made the leap from paper to silver screen. This week I read THE LOSERS VOL 1 & 2, collecting the entire 32-issue run of the series, written by Andy Diggle with art by Jock, Shawn Martinbrough, Nick Dragotta, Ale Garza and Colin Wilson, published by DC Comics/Vertigo. (Former Trade Paperback Spotlight! -Ed.)
The Losers is about a team of special operatives looking for a mysterious man by the name of Max who ordered their assassination. The Losers have the element of surprise on their side because everyone believes they are dead. But they don’t know why they were targeted or who Max is. In fact, everyone they talk to says that Max is dead too! And so starts a world spanning adventure full of intrigue and more than a little back stabbing.
Andy Diggle writes one heck of an action story in this series. And, to be clear, this is one long, continuous story told in story arcs that range from three to five issues long. The motivation for the characters is clearly defined in the opening arc and the motivation is reinforced throughout the series. At the same time, each arc provides our heroes with a piece of the puzzle required to solve the puzzle "Who is Max?" From a purely technical point of view, it’s a thing of beauty because it’s obvious that Diggle had a plan and he executes it to perfection.
When Disney bought Marvel Comics, everyone had opinions about just what that meant for the House of Ideas. I have heard everything from wild speculation about a Mickey Mouse/Punisher crossover (let’s be honest, who wouldn’t read that) to more realistic suggestions like better Marvel animated films. In the last few weeks those speculations have given way to definitive decisions by Disney and a clear idea of what to expect over the next couple of years.
The first true Disney/Marvel collaboration came with the new Avengers cartoon for the Disney XD. I hope kids like it because it looked far too goofy to me. (Pun totally intended.) Still, it is the first small step for Disney, now in control of Marvel. After months of wondering when or if the first real news from the purchase of Marvel would actually bear any fruit, this past two weeks has been full of information.
The big news (as far as the entertainment sites believe) was that Disney bought back the last two films in the Marvel/Paramount deal for a whopping $115 million. The films Disney got back are Avengers (2012) and Iron Man 3 (2013), while Paramount will still release Thor and Captain America in 2011. Though this costs Disney some money (supposedly Paramount still gets a percentage if the films do monster box office as well) the importance of this cannot be overlooked. This way when both of these films come out they will be under the Disney studio umbrella. These will be the first major films tying Disney and Marvel together in the minds of the public.
Well, I think we can truly say that the first ever Cosmic Comix Caption Contest last week was a big old success. Your thoughts on what Bullseye (or Daredevil) could be saying, if occasionally a tad off-color, were thoughtful and funny. So thanks again! And I hope to make it a regular thing, maybe every other week, maybe once a month, I’m not sure yet. It might just be whenever I see a cover that is screaming to be captioned. ONLY TIME WILL TELL!
KICK-ASS 2 #1
As you can tell by the image at right, I am not featuring the cover to Kick-Ass 2 #1 (which you can view right here if you are so inclined). No, today I am giving the best cover of the week honor to the BACK COVER of Kick-Ass. Why? Because Cosmic Comix Reviewer-in-Chief Shawn Douglas is featured in one of the pull quotes! Just click the image to enlarge. And it’s not just one of the pull quotes… it’s the most prominent one! Right under the picture!
As Julian mentioned yesterday, this isn’t the first time Shawn has had a quote featured on the back of Kick-Ass.* And in fact, this isn’t the first time that same quote has been featured on the back of Kick-Ass! I guess they just really like that one.
* By the way, my headline for that post — "Shawn Gets Plugged!" — could easily have been read as a tragic turn of events here at the store, so I’m sorry if any of you were misled.
Marv Wolfman and Brent Anderson are doing a Green Lantern/Plastic Man: Weapons of Mass Deception one-shot slated for December. It is always nice seeing Plastic Man get more play in the DCU.
We got to see some cool stuff from the Scream Awards this past weekend. The first is that when Ryan Reynolds came out there was a huge Green Lantern behind him which is the same design as the Lantern in the film. I included a pic for you.
Sadly, colorist Jonny Rench — who worked on comics like The Authority, Human Target and Gen 13 — passed away recently from a heart attack. He was only 28 years old. Such a shame. I offer my condolences to his family and friends.
J.T. Krul, current writer of Green Arrow and soon-to-be writer on Teen Titans, has signed an exclusive agreement with DC Comics. This announcement is for Greg, who I understand loves Krul’s work. You’re welcome, Greg!
Dark Horse Editor Scott Allie will be co-writing two issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, setting up Joss Whedon’s "season finale"in issue #40. Guess writing and directing an Avengers film bogarts your writing time. Who knew?
Batman takes the headlines this week as Bruce Wayne has returned! Not officially I guess. Have to wait until the release of Batman the Return #1 in a couple weeks for his official return but seeing as how he showed up everywhere this week I’m willing to say he’s back!
And I hope you read your Batman books in order this week. DC could have been a little more helpful in that regard. Wasn’t exactly sure what to read first but BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5 (OF 6) was late and a couple of the Road Home books were held back because of that so I figured that was a good place to start.
Now Bruce did seem to “return” on the last page of RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5, albeit as some sort of bizarre, wired up, cyborg, demonish Batman but nonetheless he seemed to be back especially after reading the Road Home books. And I am interested to see what happens in issue six to bring Bruce all the way back to the Bruce we saw in the Road Home books this week. There is still a gap that needs to be tied together.
But the most interesting thing about RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5 was easily the Thomas and Martha Wayne aspects. Once again Grant Morrison has portrayed Thomas Wayne as a very bad man who perpetuated the death of his wife, while faking/surviving his own death in Crime Alley and subsequently going into hiding. Which while consistent with how Grant’s been portraying Thomas Wayne over the last couple of years, still totally changes the Wayne’s “history”. Which I don’t necessarily mind but, wow, I still can’t believe the powers at DC let him do it. And it might just be Grant being Grant, but, wow, talk about changing the history of possibly, Superman and Spiderman might have something to say about it, the best known superhero origin of all time. I am very curious to see if and when another writer picks up on the Thomas Wayne never died thread cause that would definitely make it the new canon. Right now I’m only willing to say it exists only in Grant’s world but Grant’s world does tend to come true.
Anyhow, onto BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME BATMAN & ROBIN #1, which was definitely part one of the Road Home story, some kind of notation on the cover would have been nice, although it did say to be continued in BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME RED ROBIN #1 at the end. Both were written by Fabian Nicieza, the regular Red Robin writer, and it really was a two part story, both of which I highly recommend if you want to follow Bruce’s road home.
We do meet a mysterious stealth suited observer watching Batman and Robin, Dick and Damian, take down some criminals. And at the end of the issue, this mysterious stealth suited stranger, in a conversation with Red Robin, who already seemed to know who this stealth suited stranger was, is revealed to us to be Bruce Wayne. Wasn’t a shock by any stretch. Who else could it be at this point. Had to be Bruce. And as I said above issue six of Return of Bruce Wayne will hopefully fill in the gap, but I do give them credit for not dragging out the non-suspense, and just confirming what we already knew. Bruce is Back!
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