Fifth week of the month! Knew it was going to be a light week and it definitely was. So comments along with nominees this week.
Actually only read three DC books this week. Liked BATMAN ANNUAL #1. Consider it nominated. Wasn’t what I expected. While it tangentially tied into the Night of Owls story, it was really all about Mr. Freeze. Story took place in both the past (we got some insight into Mr. Freeze as a youth and his time spent working at Wayne Industries) and in the present (the new 52 strikes again! Alas, my beloved Nora, you are not who we thought you were). Batman and the boys did eventually show up, the art by Jason Fabok (I don’t know who he is is either) was great, and all and all a very fine issue. I guess I liked ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1. The promotional text for the issue read, A stand alone tale detailing the history of the epic struggle between THE RED, THE GREEN and THE ROT! Which is what I’ve been waiting for and would love to read about. This sorta felt like the same story I’ve been reading in both Animal Man and Swamp Thing for the past nine months just set in 1894! Wasn’t bad by any stretch but I would have preferred a far larger scope, and a lot more history, versus the one incident, one event story that they gave us. RAVAGERS #1 rounded out my DC haul for the week. Wanted more Caitlin Fairchild. Wanted more Rose Wilson. Did get that. Didn’t get much else as far as I was concerned. Hope you liked it!
Start with the AvX tie-ins over at Marvel. WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #11 was good as always. Iceman showed he had some game. Liked seeing Gladiator at the end. But everything that happened in the issue was in the recent past, Wolverine and Hope haven’t even reached the Moon yet, and I didn’t like that. X-MEN LEGACY #267 had Rogue stealing powers and whomping butt. So you know I liked that. But what I found most interesting about both issues was the amount of fighting going on. Yep. It’s the Avengers vs. the X-Men but I thought the Versus title was supposed to be the fighting book and the tie-in issues were supposed to advance the story. Didn’t really happen this week. Fight!
Actually enjoyed FF #18 quite a bit. Easy nomination for me. Johnny Storm heads back to the Negative Zone with a class full of foundation students. Can’t believe I’m saying this but…we need more Negative Zone action! Been diggin’ the Zone ever since they built the prison and the Johnny Storm death adventure in the Negative Zone was fantastic. Happy they went back to it. Loved that the “uprising” turned into an election. And the election results were fantastic. Annihilus got 14,980,336,901,214 write in votes! Johnny squeaked out a measly 42. Sorry Johnny. Not even some hanging chads can save you now!
And once again INCREDIBLE HULK #8 by Jason Aaron had a fantastic page. The Hulk has to Stay Angry! or else he reverts back to Bruce Banner. And nobody wants that. So, how does the Hulk stay angry. He has the Punisher shoot him in the face! Five times! The Punisher didn’t mind doing it. Sure it made him happy. Course it made the Hulk ANGRY! Which was the point all along.
Yesterday was so hectic I forgot to take a copy of ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #11 home to read! Needless to say I was very disappointed in my forgetfulness. But it totally gets nominated anyhow today cause the series is awesome, I’m sure this issue was also up to it’s usual awesomeness, and I can’t wait to read it tonight!
And that’s it for Marvel. Gotta go Indy this week if you’re looking for any volume. ANGEL & FAITH #10, POWERS #10 , RASL #14, ROCKETEER #3, STAR TREK TNG DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION #1, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #10 plus a bunch, bunch more all came out. Heck, IDW shipped eleven books all by themselves this week! But I won’t be talking about any of those today.
These were my five "Indy" favorites!
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #27 – Concluded the Nocturnes two issue arc. And was virtually one big vampire fight from beginning to end. Although my favorite part was the last page. Pearl is back. Henry is still dead. And it looks like we will be getting back to the main story next issue. Still sticking to the 1950’s but they are going back to Hollywood, and we will have to see how our newest Vampire fits into the mix.
AMERICAS GOT POWERS #2 (OF 6) – I really enjoyed. Love the Brian Hitch art. Multiple plots. Multiple time frames. Couple of surprise twists. Mom gets involved. It is far more than just a Superpower Reality TV show comic. Lots going on. Was surprised that there were only a total of 2 fatalities and 17 serious injuries after they blew up the entire arena at the end of last issue! Must have one heck of a crack medical staff.
RACHEL RISING #8 – Dead Jet is awesome. Loved how her head kept lolling back and forth. That’s what happens when your head and spine are completely severed! Although the star of the show was once again the snake. It’s an actually snake. It’s a very scary actual snake. It’s a very scary actual snake that gets swallowed quite regularly, only to be regurgitated, and sent into attack mode! Beware the snake!
SUPERCROOKS #3 (OF 4) – I really enjoyed. The Supercrooks are not very bright. Moving to Spain might have been a good idea. Trying to rob the Bastard is not. The Bastard is the greatest Supervillain that ever lived. What the Bastard did to the last guy that stole from him proved both his reputation and his name. The Supercrooks are messing with the wrong guy! Was wondering how Mr. Millar was going to be able to wrap up the storyline in only four issues. I wonder no more. They are all going to die! Horribly!
WALKING DEAD #98 – Spoilers. Spoilers. Spoilers. How can you have spoilers in the Walking Dead when nothing happens! *Ahem* Spoilers. Thought Eugene was going to be the retribution death. Nope. Abraham bites the dust. Crossbow through the eye. And brain. He ain’t Carl and he ain’t coming back! I do understand the circular criticism of the Walking Dead. Saw it again this issue. Bunch of fools roll up to the gate. Let us in or we will kill you all. Wasn’t quite the my sniper got your sniper scenario we saw before. More like my army just blew away your army. Blam! Spak! Pting! Which makes it totally different! And I will give props to Eugene. Probably not the way I would have chosen to fight back, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and he did it. My complaint, yes, I have complaints about the Walking Dead, nothing is perfect. What was up with Rick on the last page? I don’t know. I don’t know? C’mon, you’re Rick, you’re supposed to raise your stump in anger, spout out some hell raising hullabaloo, and go kill some more people! So I ask you, did you like the change of pace last page? Did you like the I don’t know Rick. Or where you disappointed, as I was, that you didn’t get another stump shake!
Best Book of the Week defaults to Walking Dead for me this week. Stump Shake or not!
Back to normal next week. Full slate of books comes out. BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1 (OF 6), AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 (OF 12), and WALKING DEAD TP VOL 16 A LARGER WORLD headline the list!
Though you won’t have noticed any changes on your end, with new comics still coming out on Wednesday like they normally do, things were a little different at OUR end this week thanks to the Memorial Day holiday. I actually had to get up early this morning! Like REALLY early! It was an outrage! In fact, I’m soooo mad — Warning! Warning! Ham-handed segue coming! — that I’m starting to feel like the Hulk.
INCREDIBLE HULK #8
Cover by Michael Komarck
STAY ANGRY! Hulk is totally pissed and, if the title of this story is any indication, he’s gonna stay that way! Punisher says, "Here, maybe a couple bullets to the chest will cool you down a little, big guy."
But seriously, from top to bottom this is one beautiful painted cover! At least… I think it’s painted. I honestly have no idea how comics are made these days. For all I know this cover could have been composed in MS Paint. I also apparently have no idea what computer programs have come out since 1992. Now excuse me while I go check my Prodigy account.
The Marvel books this week are led by Ultimate Comics Ultimates #11. Writer Jonathan Hickman has done an incredible job making this title one of the most off-the-scale comics on the rack. It consistently does well in the monthly Top Twenty and we can’t wait to see what a new creative team does for the series.
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #1
Written by Jonathan Hickman, Sam Humphries
Art by Luke Ross
New creative team! Rising talent Sam Humphries and superstar artist Luke Ross join writer Jonathan Hickman! It’s the beginning of a new era for the United States! How do Nick Fury and the Ultimates move forward in the aftermath of the People vs. the Children?
Also be sure to check out Incredible Hulk #8! The most recent issue #7.1 (which we still have in stock) was great and in this issue writer Jason Aaron is joined by artist Steve Dillon! Who better to draw an issue when the Punisher shows up?
There’s also X-Men Legacy #267. It’s one of only two Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in’s on the week (the other being Wolverine and the X-Men). In the last issue we saw tempers flare with hilarious results, as certain of the Avengers were tasked with keeping an eye on the Jean Grey School.
Finally, speaking of the Jean Grey School, we have Wolverine and the X-Men#11! The solicit below is a tad confusing since Cyclops was at the Jean Grey School last issue… but Iceman vs. Red Hulk appears to be true enough! At any rate, it’s one of our favorite Marvel titles coming out right now — and could well be our favorite of the X-books. A must read on a somewhat lighter week.
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #11
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Nick Bradshaw
AVX TIE-INS! Cyclops comes to the Jean Grey School! Will Wolverine’s X-Men join Cyclops against the Avengers? ICEMAN vs RED HULK!
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
We’ve given the big Batman event Night of the Owls plenty of play around here, and deservedly so because it’s been a fun ride so far. Lots of cool Gotham City history, lots of action. This week we’re set to get a big installment in the story with Batman Annual #1 from Scott Snyder and Jason Fabok!
BATMAN ANNUAL #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jason Fabok
MR. FREEZE is introduced to The New 52! What is Mr. Freeze’s relationship to the COURT OF OWLS? Is he an ally – or do they want him dead? "NIGHT OF THE OWLS" continues here!
And speaking of Annuals, we’re also set to get Animal Man Annual #1! From what I’ve read, it’s a standalone tale detailing the history of the epic struggle between the Red, the Green and the Rot! Which will be welcome because that’s never been totally clear to me.
On the Vertigo side look for American Vampire #27 and New Deadwardians #3 (of 8). In the former, we get the conclusion of the two-part story that got off to a great start last issue, taking place in the Deep South. While the latter continues the story of an old timey London plagued with zombies, vampires and who knows what else!
Finally, we do have a #1 issue coming out this week in Ravagers #1 from writer Howard Mackie and artist Ian Churchill (Marineman). It spins out of the Teen Titans / Legion Lost event "The Culling. We’re not 100% sure what this series will be about but we’ll definitely give it a shot!
Written by Howard Mackie
Art by Ian Churchill
First issue of a new series spinning directly out of "THE CULLING!" FAIRCHILD, brother and sister THUNDER and LIGHTNING, the monstrous RIDGE, BEAST BOY and TERRA are being pursued by ROSE WILSON and WARBLADE, who want them dead at any cost! No one’s survival is certain each month in THE RAVAGERS!
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
Following up on Brian Bendis’ Daredevil run was no easy feat, but Ed Brubaker stepped in and got the job done in a big way. We have been recommending Brubaker’s DAREDEVIL run to anyone who’ll listen and it is long overdue for a place in the Trade Paperback Spotlight.
DAREDEVIL BY ED BRUBAKER & MICHAEL LARK
ULTIMATE COLLECTION BOOK 1 TP $29.99
The critically acclaimed, award-winning creative team of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark make their explosive debut! For the past few years, Matt Murdock’s life has been teetering on the edge of destruction. Now, pushed beyond the limit, Matt finds himself behind the eight ball with no clear way out, the people he calls friends slowly deserting him, and Hell’s Kitchen gradually slipping out of control. The question is, when his back is against the wall. just how far will Daredevil go to get back what is his? Plus: a special episode focusing on Daredevil’s best friend, Foggy Nelson. Spinning out of the stunning finale of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s ground-breaking run, Brubaker and Lark pick up the billy club and run as hard and as fast as they can to leave their own mark on one of comics’ most enduring legends.
This week may be a bit on the lighter side in some respects, but there are nevertheless some potentially high quality books set to come out! We’ll start with America’s Got Powers #2 (of 6) from Image Comics, written by Jonathan Ross and featuring art by Bryan Hitch. The first issue was solid, involving a superpowers reality TV show, and we’re curious to see where it goes from here.
AMERICAS GOT POWERS #2 (OF 6)
Written by Jonathan Ross
Art by Bryan Hitch
A generation of super-powered teens battle to be The Hero on the biggest TV event in history but Tommy Watt’s dreams of fame and fortune might be over even if he survives The Trials. Someone is coming and he’s going to destroy the show and everybody in it!
Also look for Rachel Rising #8! What started out as a kind of murder mystery involving a girl who wakes up in her own grave with no idea what happened, has gradually become a pretty intricate horror story! We’ve liked it from the jump, and we continue to like it!
Next up, there’s Walking Dead #98! Two issues in one month! Issue #97 featured some solid action with Rick and Michonne laying down the law on some ne’er-do-well bikers. Closer and closer to issue #100!
Last, but in no way least, is Mark Millar and Leinil Yu’s Supercrooks #3 (of 4). Technically, I suppose, this should be filed under Marvel. But since it has literally nothing to do with Marvel I’m putting it in with Everything Else! DEAL WITH IT. Anyway, we’re definitely digging this mini-series so far. But it is only four issues long so I guess we can expect some major stuff to go down in this issue! If Mark Millar’s entire catalogue to date is any indication.
SUPERCROOKS #3 (OF 4)
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Leinil Francis Yu
Johnny Bolt has gathered a group of super-villain friends from his past to pull off the biggest robbery in history. The real surprise–the victim’s identity! But things go horribly wrong and it’s too late to turn back. The greatest super-villain of all time might have amassed a billion dollar fortune, but he’s not going to be easy to steal from. A massive secret in the American superhero community might just work in their favor…
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
Welcome to the fifth week of the month of May! Not to mention Memorial Day week. And, to answer your question, new comics will still be coming out on Wednesday!
We’ll start with DC Comics, which has two big Annuals coming out: Animal Man Annual #1 and Batman Annual #1. The latter is of course a tie-in to the excellent Night of the Owls storyline. Starring Mr. Freeze! Also from DC, look for Batman Beyond Unlimited #4 and Ravagers #1 (spinning out of The Culling event), plus American Vampire #27 and New Deadwardians #3 (of 8) from Vertigo. There’s also a new original Batman HC called Batman Death by Design!
Marvel has some solid books as well, starting with Ultimate Comics Ultimates #11. It’s been one of our favorite series of the year so far. There’s also Amazing Spider-Man Annual #39, Powers #10, Supercrooks #3 (of 4), Wolverine #307, Wolverine and the X-Men #11, and X-Men Legacy #267!
Also gotta give it up for Walking Dead #98 from Image Comics. Ever closer to issue #100! Also from Image, look for America’s Got Powers #2 (of 6). And there’s plenty more, too, including Rachel Rising #8, Rasl #14, Angel and Faith #10 and Previews!
DC Comics – The New DC 52 was THE entertainment story of 2011! Now comes the first figure in an ongoing line based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s best-selling JUSTICE LEAGUE! Leading the way is the revamped Batman (6.75" h), wearing a unique take on the classic costume as designed by Lee and still putting fear into the heart of criminals everywhere!
MARVEL MINIMATES SERIES 46
A Diamond Select Release! Designed and Sculpted by Art Asylum! This summer, the new Spider-Man movie will bring us a new costume, a new villain… and new Minimates! Based on the characters of Amazing Spider-Man, this movie-based wave of Marvel Minimates includes three all-new two-packs: Spider-Man with Peter Parker, Battle Damaged Spider-Man with the Lizard and Uncle Ben with a mystery foe, plus a rare, one-per-case variant two-pack where Uncle Ben has been replaced with Aunt May! Ben, May and the mystery foes will only be available in this assortment, so don’t miss out!
Each Minimate stands 2 inches tall with 14 points of articulation and a variety of removable and interchangeable parts and accessories.
Another month, another Top Twenty! You might have noticed last month that the Top Twenty was honored by the panel on our Cosmic Comix Conversations podcast for its impressive accuracy and the fact that showcased a deep knowledge of comics. In fact, I think I even heard James say, "This Top Twenty showcases a deep knowledge of comics." Our thanks go out to the panelists for their kudos. Let’s hope I hit the mark again this month!
In case this is your first time, the Top Twenty is an ongoing monthly look at two ordered lists comprising A) The top twenty single issues of the month and B) the top twenty current series in comics. How did we come up with the lists? Well, the Cosmic Comix Top Twenty Committee took several things into consideration: Best Book nominees, poll winners and poll votes, sales numbers and general buzz levels surrounding each book. Yes, your input is not only appreciated but also counts toward the rankings. So let us hear it!
Top Twenty Comics of May 2012 The Best Single Issues
COBRA ONGOING #13 – After last month’s semi-epilogue, we weren’t sure where Cobra was gonna go. Well, we couldn’t have been happier. Tomax is now working with the Joe’s! Though no one trusts him… especially not Chameleon. Purse to the face! Awesome, awesome issue.
SAGA #3 – A huge poll victory almost put the third issue of Saga in the #1 spot — you guys loved it! And you guys have good taste, because it totally deserved that victory. The story gets more and more intriguing and we learned more about virtually every aspect of the story to date, from the TV head people to the spider-lady assassin to the ghost girl who’s missing her bottom half and has intestines hanging out.
CHEW #26 – I almost gave this the #1 spot on the strength of the middle fingers alone! BAM! And then later… BAM! It was all about Tony Chu’s brother Chow seeking revenge on an evil rival chef and it was a joy from start to finish. The inside cover said "Space Cakes" part one of one, but the story appears to have more to it!
BATMAN INCORPORATED #1 – You have to love a Grant Morrison Batman story. Where else are you going to get Damian Wayne giving out the title of "Bat-Cow" in a slaughterhouse, goons with goat head masks AND a totally bad-ass two-page spread of Batman and Robin jumping over the hood of a cab. Of course there’s the big story with Leviathan and all that and a "shocker" of a last page… which was cool… but it sort of took a back seat to all the other cool things in the issue!
EARTH 2 #1 – Chalk this one up as another crushing poll victory on the month! You guys loved it! Was it because Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all died? Not sure where the series is going but it appears to involve Alan Scott and Jay Garrick. JSA fans unite!
BATMAN #9 – A poll winner! (Tied with Walking Dead.) Batman busted out his big fightin’ suit and purt a hurtin’ on all the Talons in the Batcave. With a little help from his dinosaur. I only wish the giant penny had gotten in on the action!
WALKING DEAD #97 – A poll winner! (Tied with Batman.) Not to mention Rusty’s Best Book pick that week. Some classic Walking Dead action here. Dudes try to muscle Rick, Michonne and Co. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I would even say, HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL. Plus there was other stuff, too! Even a few zombies!
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #3 & 4 (OF 12) – The third issue was a Best Book winner and had a fine showing in the polls. Wolverine vs. Captain America! As for issue #4, Wolverine has a talk with Hope and everyone ends up on the moon… as the Phoenix approaches. BUM-BUM-BUUUUUUUUUM!
BATMAN AND ROBIN #9 – Night of the Owls! Just as good as Batman, if not better. Got some great Talon action (HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL), Robin carried himself like a pro and we got some throwback Gotham action… as the Batman books are wont to do recently. I’m calling it the Snyder Effect.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #11 & 12 – Just a solid story being told in Cap right now. Issues #11 and 12 were parts one and two of "Shock to the System." I would classify this as a straight ahead Cap story… a totally excellent straight ahead Cap story featuring Scourge, Dum Dum Dugan and beautiful art by Patrick Zircher!
I VAMPIRE #9 – The next chapter begins in I Vampire with Andrew Bennett now leading the vampires! Watch out for the Van Helsings, though; they have choppers! Looks like we’re in for another great ride.
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #10 – A very talky issue as Wolverine and Cyclops put aaaaaaall their issues on the table related to AVX. Of note: this was Cyclops’ first visit to Jean Grey school! Plus, all the supporting stories continue to progress with Angel and Apocalypse, etc.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #9 – Jeff Lemire comes on as writer, there’s a new team, and overall this issue was outstanding. Constantine gets the team together to face Felix Faust and what happens? Really cool stuff happens, that’s what happens. If you’re into the more magical aspects of the DCU, this storyline is gonna be right up your alley.
AVX VS #2 (OF 6) – What’s that, you say? You want an awesome fight between an Avenger and an X-Man? Well look no further than AVX #2! The Gambit vs. Captain America fight in this one was great. As usual, don’t expect anything more than a fight, but believe us it was enough!
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #10 – Another great issue of what might be the craziest superhero series on the racks. Washington DC got blown up! And it was Reed who did it! So much going on it’s hard to outline here, but rest assured this story has more layers than a slice of Smith Island Cake.
X-O MANOWAR (ONGOING) #1 – This issue marks the return of Valiant Comics! Rusty gave it the "book you don’t normally read, but might just want to try" award. We meet the character, we get some history, we take it to outer space! Great start.
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #9 – The next story arc in DCU Presents begins! This time… Vandal Savage. He’s in prison and his daughter is interrogating him. GREAT start to the run and fascinating in several ways.
SUICIDE SQUAD #9 & RESURRECTION MAN #9 – These two issues were essentially one LONG issue. The Suicide Squad — led by Deadshot — is hunting down Resurrection Man! A great ride.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #4 – Conan gets tossed in jail! But don’t worry, it’s aaaaaaaall part of the plan. Another great issue for the new Brian Wood Conan.
FAIREST #3 – The art on this book really sets it apart for me, and this issue really showcased that. Plus the story, featuring Rose Red and the Snow Queen, is really, really cool.
Top Twenty Titles of May 2012 The Best Current Series
CHEW – Another excellent issue this month ensures Chew’s spot at the top o’ the charts! This series can do no wrong, it seems. (TPBs)
GI JOE: COBRA – Kicked off a new chapter this month and convinced us never to doubt it. Dear everyone who reads comics: READ COBRA. (TPBs)
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN – I’ll use this spot to recognize Avengers vs. X-Men as an event. It has been exactly what we thought it would be and a 100% enjoyable read on all fronts! Avengers! X-Men! Fight it up!
SAGA – Making its debut in the Best Current Series list! And a fine debut it is. Only three issues in and already at #4! I guess you could say we’re now convinced of its quality as a series.
WALKING DEAD – Another solid month for the most important title in comic books. Yep, I said it. (TPBs)
BATMAN – Still the most popular book in the DC Comics line-up right now. It wasn’t as awesome this month as it has been in prior months, but it was still good. And it gets a lot of credit for kicking off Night of the Owls.
AMERICAN VAMPIRE – The new issue actually comes out this Wednesday and so the series gets a little screwed on this list. But we did see a preview for the new mini-series in several Vertigo books… so at least we got a little American Vampire. No matter, we know it’s good. (TPB)
SCALPED – Scalped continues to be excellent, of course. But you definitely have to have the stomach for it. (TPBs)
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN – What impressed me this month was how this story related to AVX but still managed to keep its overall Jean Grey school vibe.
UNCANNY X-MEN – Tied into AVX very nicely and answered several important questions, namely… how did the X-Men get to the moon? On a separate note, why do people always bust on Greg Land?
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES – Time for Ultimates to take a step up in the rankings! This title deserves all the kudos we give it. And Reed Richards as a bad guy should’ve been in this year’s Cosmic Madness.
I VAMPIRE – A new story starts up this month and looks like it’s gonna be just as good as the previous ones! If you like dark, imaginative vampire/superhero stories, check it out.
DAREDEVIL – We got two issues of DD this month with the second being the stronger of the two. A great story, well written.
NIGHTWING – Two strong issues in a row give Nightwing a spot in the Top Twenty! I also took some heat on last month’s Conversation for not giving it its due and proper. So here it is, fellas!
INVINCIBLE – What do you guys think about Invincible? We love it, but we don’t hear much in the way of feedback! (TPBs)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN – Conan continues to impress! We love the way narration relates to the story being told.
BUFFY – Not much to say about Buffy this month, but it continues to be a high quality and very enjoyable comic book.
SUICIDE SQUAD– The crossover with Resurrection man this month was solid and we continue to enjoy this series. Love that it always seems to focus on Harley Quinn and Deadshot.
RACHEL RISING – Takes a little bit of a hit in the rankings, thanks to not shipping this month (though it does ship this coming Wednesday), but we’re still behind it! (TPBs)
GOON – No Goon this month! Let’s hope Eric Powell isn’t taking another extended leave from the title. We do love us some Goon. (TPBs)
Others receiving votes for the Best Current Series:
Dan Didio recently announced (in lieu of Marvel’s upcoming Wedding between Kyle and Northstar) that a previously heterosexual superhero in the DCU would come out as gay in the near future. Didio claims it would be an iconic character. I have some issues with this. First is changing a character’s sexual preference just for press instead of touting characters like Renee Montoya, Batwoman, Apollo, and Midnighter. The other part is that is seems reactionary to Marvel’s announcement. Although I applaud Marvel for their timing I’m sorry the characters involved are so lame. Seriously, Rictor and Shatterstar in X-Factor would have been a much better way to go. Expect DC to announce their character’s change soon.
There are rumors at Bleeding Cool that there are some creative changes for Legion of Super-Heroes. It seems everyone but writer Paul Levitz will be leaving the book and replaced by different talent. Personally, Levitz is the one I wish was leaving the title. I like World’s Finest, but I absolutely cannot read his LOS and have not been able to for years now.
The Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who #1 sold out and there will be a second printing of the comic. It’s Picard and the Doctor! Of course it was going to sell out!
Mark Waid will be writing the Avengers, but not those Avengers, the other ones. What am I talking about? He will be writing British super spies John Steed and Mrs. Peel for an Avengers comic based on the TV show for Boom!
Beginning as a parody of Conan, Cerebus grew into one of the longest running black-and-white comic books in the history of the medium, ending in over 6,000 pages! This series follows the life of an anthropomorphic aardvark — "Earth-Pig Born!" — and covers various thought-provoking and controversial topics. It is creator Dave Sim’s magnum opus and long overdue for a spot in the TPBs and Graphic Novels section.
CEREBUS VOL. 1 TP
Intellectual, entertaining, and though-provoking, Cerebus was the longest running independent black & white comic of all time! Cerebus, a small, gray, and chronically ill-tempered aardvark, makes his living as a barbarian, but soon his adventures will lead to much greater things!
Last week I read The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which was the beginning of what appears to be an excellent superhero story. This was yet another winning story from Image Comics so I decided to stay with them and read another one of their books: I wanted something other than capes and tights. I wanted something spooky and scary and I found that in SEVERED, collecting the seven issue miniseries written by Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft, illustrated by Attila Futaki, published by Image.
It’s 1916 and in some ways life is a little simpler. For 12-year-old Jack Garron, it’s easy enough to run away from home in search of his father, a wayward minstrel who he hasn’t been seen since birth; however, a simple life doesn’t mean that life isn’t dangerous. While Jack will meet friends who will save him, he will also meet someone who is intent on harming him. The question becomes will Jack realize the danger he’s in soon enough?
This is not your typical horror story with fearsome monsters, crazed slashers, and a huge body count. This is a slow burn in which we really get to learn who the hero and the victims are. Because Snyder and Tufts take the time to develop the characters and develop our relationship with them, the impact when one of them dies is far greater. At the same time, they develop the villain in an equally intense way. You learn very quickly who the villain is and the danger he poses to our hero which makes the cat-mouse game he plays all the more intense. This isn’t so much about scares, even though there are a couple–this is about tension and making the reader squirm because you feel like something bad is going to happen on every page, even when you know it won’t.
Read some great books this week! Cobra #13 was excellent as always, but Rusty touted that book quite a bit yesterday, and I did not want to repeat anything. I also highly recommend Journey Into Mystery #638, Chew #26, The Guild: Fawkes #1, and the surprising and enjoyable Resident Alien #1. Here, however, are my personal favorite books of the week:
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #9
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Mikel Janin
When DC announced the line of “Dark” books such as Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and I, Vampire, I though Justice League Dark was going to be my favorite of the bunch. I did not account for two things however: 1) That the other books were going to be so freaking amazing (and they are, every month) and 2) That although JLD had many of my favorite Vertigo and magical DC characters in it, it was good, but not great.
This issue brings Jeff Lemire, writer of Animal Man and Sweet Tooth, onboard to usher in a new direction for this title. Steve Trevor has recruited John Constantine with an offer he cannot refuse to reunite the team in an effort to save a loss operative. What follows is a well-crafted use of these magical characters, giving the story real credibility as to why they would work together as a team, while also better integrating them into the overall DCU. And trust me, that is no easy feat.
Not much of a surprise in last week’s poll, as Saga #3 absolutely demolished the competition with three times the amount of votes as its nearest competitors (Nightwing #9 and Daredevil #13). Something tells me it will do very well in this weekend’s Top Twenty list for the month of May.
As for this week, Rusty put together a fine list of nominees — including Batman Incorporated #1, Chew, Cobra and more — and I’ve added a few more titles to the list (including Irredeemable #37, Jeff). But now it’s your turn!
What was the best book of the week?
I Vampire #9 (6 Votes)
Aquaman #9 (4 Votes)
Cobra Ongoing #13 (3 Votes)
Chew #26 (3 Votes)
Deadpool #55 (2 Votes)
I don't like any of these--I'll tell you the REAL best book in the comments! (2 Votes)
AQUAMAN #9 – Although Aquaman is one of my favorite characters of all time, I haven’t been nominating it as of late. And while I continue to enjoy it — art is great, always has some cool moments — to be honest I’m not sure it’s worthy of a nomination again this month. Pace needs to pick up! But y’all keep voting it up for Best Book of the Week. It’s placed first or second for four consecutive months! So I’ll get ahead of the curve today and nominate it for you! Vote it up!
BATMAN INCORPORATED #1 – Easy nomination. Grant Morrison and Batman. I loved it. Was curious to see how Grant would alter his pre-New 52 story in the post-New 52 DC Universe. Leviathan is still around but mentioned Dick Grayson was Batman and a few other tidbits that I thought were enough to incorporate (ha!) it into the new DCU. Liked how the story actually focused on a down-and-out villain looking to score big by killing Damian. Careful what you wish for! Lots of the issue took place in a slaughterhouse. Blood and guts galore. Which all led to the panel of the week. Bat-Cow! Udder-ly fantastic! Ken’s new favorite superhero animal!
BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #9 – Night of the Owls tie-in! Judd Winick told a great story about another Talon, his history, and how it all ties into Haly’s Circus. We’ve seen the same general plot in many of the Night of Owls tie-ins this month. Still impressed that Haly’s Circus is being so well woven into the Owl’s (and Gotham’s and Batman’s and Dick Grayson’s) history and I really enjoyed my Month of Owls!
CAPTAIN AMERICA #12 – Easily the best Marvel book of the week and their sole representative on my list today. The art by Patrick Zircher really makes a difference. Of course, Ed Brubaker can write a great comic and I really like how this new Scourge storyline is playing out. What they are doing with Henry Gyrich is interesting and the way they are incorporating (ha!) D-Man into the story is fantastic. Hey. If we ever do the goofiest characters of all time in Cosmic Madness, D-Man might just win!
CHEW #26 – Awesome as usual. "Space Cakes" part one! Focused on Tony’s brother Chow Chu and his sister Antonelle “Toni” Chu. Toni biting both her boyfriend and Tony was great. It’s how she’s able to read the future. Her boyfriend ain’t gonna make it (although I’m sure biting him didn’t help) but Tony’s gonna be A-OK. Chew always gets the little things right and I loved the hospital management signs. Hospital not responsible for any bad stuff ever don’t sue us. Wash your stank hands. Ill tempered glass. Bed pans do not double as soup bowls or do they? Now in the back of the book, whoever is answering letters, called it a quiet issue. Which I don’t really agree with. But also said it’s the calm before the storm. Works either way for me. And if you want the storm to start early go dig out your copy of issue #27 which came out last year. A reprint with added pages comes out next month and Secret Agent Poyo #1 comes out the month after that. Can’t wait! Poyo! BAM!
COBRA #13 – Ah, Rusty. You continue to doubt. And Cobra continues to amaze! What a perfect reset to the title coming out of Cobra Command. GI Joe has moved into a Las Vegas Casino! Was heavy on the Joe angle, but it was mostly Chameleon, Firewall and Lady Jaye, all of whom have been featured in Cobra before. Loved Duke recruiting Ronin. What they did with Tomax was great. And I thought I read the moment of the night when Chameleon chucked her purse at Tomax in disbelief and surprise but two pages later after Flint explained what Tomax was doing there I actually read the moment of the night! Four bullets to the chest! Awesome! Ending was interesting too. Really like were it’s headed. Never doubt Cobra!
HERO COMICS 2012 – Benefit book for the Hero Initiative. Helping comic creators in need. More than enough reason to pick up a copy. Plus you got a Kevin Eastman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle story, a Red Star story, which was super hot years ago but we haven’t seen in quite awhile, and Dave Sim (Cerebus) did an Elephantmen story that I thought was fantastic. So we will be adding both Cerebus and Elephantmen to our Trade Paperback section this weekend! And don’t be afraid to support the Hero Initiative!
I VAMPIRE #9 – Great cover! Bite. Prey. Love. Andy finally get one right! Did jump ahead about a month from the Rise of the Vampires crossover which I thought worked well. Andrew Bennett and his vampire army are now camped out in Utah. The crowd is getting unruly! Cow’s blood. Yeeech! And Mary has had enough. Meanwhile Tig and the Professor travel to Germany to hook up with the Van Helsings! They have one sweet brigade of bombers and are flying toward Utah as we speak.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #9 – Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Sweet Tooth) comes on board as the new writer and it was the best issue of the series so far. Didn’t ignore the events that happened previously but gave us new intro’s for the characters (Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Black Orchid, Andrew Bennett) and really felt like a number one issue. Featured Steve Trevor from the Justice League. Felix Faust was the bad guy. And I loved how Constantine was the “leader” and all he did was smoke one cigarette after another! The story flowed, the plot was very well laid out and the ending was fantastic. Onto the House of Mystery!
RESIDENT ALIEN #1 – I will give another shout out to Resident Alien. Highly suggest you read issue #0 first but this issue was equally as good. It’s not complicated. It’s not fancy. It’s about some murders in a small country town. And it’s a really enjoyable read.
Before I declare my vote for Best Book of the Week, and no it’s not Aquaman, for the record my Best Cover of the Week was the photo version of True Blood #1. Although I have no idea what Rogue is doing in a True Blood comic. Don’t you have some Avengers to fight? (Who is this Anna Paquin you speak of?) And yes, Steve, I ordered you one!
See what wins the poll this week. Saga #3 was a worthy winner last week. My pick probably won’t cause I’m going with Cobra #13. Again! You really don’t know what you’re missing. Could come down to a Chew #26/Batman Incorporated #1 battle. But sometimes y’all surprise me. Poll tomorrow. Podcast on Sunday. Talk to you then.
It’s a relatively light week in the comic book world this week, but that didn’t stop the cracker jack staff of the Best Covers desk from picking out the four best covers of the day. We mulled it over, thought outside the box, ran it up the flagpole to see who saluted, and finally gave it the green light! All without throwing anyone under the bus. And, in case you were wondering, we also succumbed to the power of cliched sayings from the world of business! But what can we say? It was low-hanging fruit.
I VAMPIRE #9
Cover by Andrew Sorrentino
I Vampire wins the day with a beautiful and very cool cover. The whole thing looks sinister. And also brown and smoky. And if I had to guess I’d say the once-dead Andrew Bennett has now come back to lead the vampires with the powerful rallying cry of "Bite, Prey, Love." His inspiration is of course the bestselling novel (and movie starring Julia Roberts) called Eat, Pray, Love, though the messaging on the two ideas couldn’t be any more different.
I also have to say that the ring around Andrew Bennett’s head, which I suppose is intended to have a halo effect of some kind, made me think that I’d accidentally set a cup of coffee down on the comic before I scanned it.
We’ve seen several of the New 52 "Second Wave" titles over the past few weeks, but this Wednesday sees the release of what is perhaps the biggest Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated #1! The last issue we saw of Batman Incorporated was the jumbo-sized Leviathan Strikes, which wrapped up all the threads from the old DCU. This series brings Batman Inc. — the story of the Dark Knight setting up Batman "franchises" all around the world — into the New 52!
BATMAN INCORPORATED #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
BATMAN, INCORPORATED makes its NEW 52 debut with an all-new first issue! The series hits the ground running as BATMAN and ROBIN face off against the assassin GOATBOY! LEVIATHAN’S sinister mission revealed!
DC Comics’ Batman Incorporated #1 comes out on Wednesday!
As we mentioned in the New Comics list, the big DC release is obviously Batman Incorporated #1. We’ll have more to say about that one later in the day, but until then we’ll talk about… Justice League Dark #9! The series is just coming off a crossover with I Vampire and this issue marks a great place to get on board. Particularly, with this issue Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Animal Man) takes over as series writer!
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #9
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Mikel Janin
New series writer JEFF LEMIRE introduces a new team roster and a new mission! Featuring JOHN CONSTANTINE, ZATANNA, DEADMAN, BLACK ORCHID and more! Constantine and the team must steal a map to the source of all magic out of the clutches of FELIX FAUST! The first of a four-part story that will have lasting implications for the entire DC Universe.
Speaking of I Vampire, the series sees its ninth issue this week, too! Look for the aftermath of the aforementioned crossover, "Rise of the Vampires."
Also look for two tie-in issues to Night of the Owls, the big event in the Batman books this month. The more obvious title is Batman The Dark Knight #9 but All-Star Western #9 is also a tie-in!
It also appears to be a solid week over in the Vertigo camp, as we’re set to get Fables #117, Unwritten #37 and Dominique Laveau Voodoo Child #3.
Finally, we’ll give a shout to Aquaman #9! As the cover says, it’s the "Hunt for Black Manta!" He’s probably the most notorious of Aquaman’s enemies and this has been the story arc in which he’s made his big entrance onto the New 52 stage.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis
AQUAMAN and YA’WARA star in part three of the epic "THE OTHER LEAGUE!" More secrets are revealed about the team AQUAMAN belonged to before the Justice League! Plus: MERA learns a startling truth about ARTHUR’S past from Shin.
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
We took a look at the Marvel Comics line-up for this week and decided to call it "The Middle Week"! Why? Because of all the books that came out from the House of Ideas almost all of them are in the middle of their respective storylines! But there are some good stories being told, no doubt. We’ll start with Captain America #12, which marks the second part of "Shock to the System." The first part in Cap #11 was great (and we still have a couple of those if you missed it).
CAPTAIN AMERICA #12
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher joins Ed Brubaker for "System Failure." Ex super-villains in Witness Protection murdered! The return of an old villain and an old lover! Can Cap solve this mystery before he himself becomes a target?
Another story that people have been enjoying is "Ends of the Earth," which is of course the story playing out in Amazing Spider-Man. This week we get Amazing Spider-Man #686!
There’s also Journey into Mystery #638 and Secret Avengers #27! The former is part four of the "Exiled" crossover with New Mutants, while the latter is this week’s sole representative of the Avengers vs. X-Men event.
One new beginning can be found in Deadpool #55, though! The "Dead" story line wrapped up last issue and now we move on to… "Reborn!" Naturally.
Finally, there’s Mighty Thor #14. It, too, is the middle of a story, but it’s been a darn good story so far. Thor is trapped in some kind of nightmare state! Donald Blake, meanwhile, is free of Thor but must now deal with the Enchantress. (Awesome cover, btw.)
MIGHTY THOR #14
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Pepe Larraz
How far will Donald Blake go to regain what he’s lost? What really happens in your room at night after you fall asleep? How can Thor fight a foe that’s not there?
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!