I read a lot of comics. And I tend to just read the next comic on the pile without looking at the front cover. So sometimes it takes me two or three pages before I realize what title I’m actually reading. Heck, sometimes after three or four pages I still don’t know and have to look! Never have that problem with GI JOE COBRA.
You open it up, one of the myriad of GI Joe character says, "I’ll never be Cobra Commander," or more recently, "I’ll never be G.I. Joe," and you automatically know what comic you’re reading. Just makes me happy. And it is a different character speaking every issue. And while you may not be totally familiar with the character speaking, after three or four pages of their respective back story you definitely are.
But that is all prelude to the main story in Cobra #7. Steeler, the traitorous Cobra spy, tries to make his escape! Firewall, Chameleon and Lady Jaye set out to stop him! What followed was an over-the-top, down and dirty, 10-page fight scene that was absolutely fantastic! Featuring guns a-blazin’, face punches, kicks to the jaw, a knife to the gut, a shiv to the ankle and, last but not least, a bullet to the head! It was great!
Really got the adrenaline pumping. Just exhausting to even read. And your exhaustion was mirrored in the comic with an equally fantastic last page. The four combatants are sprawled on the ground, totally spent, maybe alive, maybe dead, each lying in a pool of their own blood. The only words on the page? "Oh God" and "Continued"!
Cobra #7 another great issue in one of my all time favorite series. Can’t recommend it enough. Although at this point maybe I can. Nah! Read it up!
On an unrelated note, Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine! See ya!
I’ll be going with a title not many of you read today and show some love to a personal favorite of mine, as Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s saga of Matty Roth and life in a war-ravaged New York City comes to a close. There will be one final epilogue issue, which I’m sure I will also enjoy, but for all intents and purposes the series ends with DMZ #71.
And I thought it ended great.
DMZ is an alternative, fictional story of a civil war that breaks out in the United States, with New York City being the focal point. Matty Roth is a young, naive reporter who gets thrown into the DMZ as the war begins and we follow his exploits throughout the series until the war concludes. And it is a "real world" story. No superheroes. No magic. No aliens. Just a gritty tale of people trying to survive a very difficult situation.
DMZ #71 brought Matty in front of a war crimes tribunal to answer for all his actions throughout the series. Murder. Theft. Weapons Trafficking. High Treason. Mass Killing. Nuclear Terrorism. DMZ features many, many instances of people doing things, rightly or wrongly, which even in a war-torn environment would have to be considered suspect. And although Matty is taking the fall for some events that were not really his fault, I very much appreciated that the events which did happen throughout the series were addressed in this issue.
A nuclear bomb did explode, it had to be addressed. People did die, someone should be held accountable. We strive for consistency in all our comics. What you do in a Superman comic, you can’t do in Scalped. And if you are going to write a "real world" comic there have to be some consequences at the end. That’s why DMZ #71 was great because it ended how it should have ended. That’s why DMZ is great because it held true to itself throughout the entire series.
With DC’s new strict shipping schedule, and both Batman and Justice League shipping on the third week of the month, this might become an ongoing dilemma. Picked Batman #1 as the Best Book of the Week. Picked Justice League #2 as the Best Book of the Week. And I thought this week once again came down to Batman #3 and Justice League #3 battling it out for the Best Book of the Week.
The case for Batman #3:
Could any more story be crammed into 20 pages? Took forever to read and yet was totally engrossing. Alan Wayne’s mysterious disappearance down a manhole. The whisper gang with their iron masks. Beware the magnet! The obsession with birds. The circle of owls. The location of the secret 13th floors. All capped off with a giant explosion at the end. And you have a very plot laden issue that both clarified and expanded the overall plot while maintaining a level of excitement normally not found in such a text heavy issue.
The case for Justice League #3:
Wonder Woman was awesome! Right from the first page. Why didn’t you stop her? We tried, dude! Don’t blame us. See that hole in the wall! Forget about Zeus and not being made of clay, this is the Wonder Woman I’ve been looking for! She’s the warrior princess! And that totally came across in the issue. Throw in some more Cyborg. Some more Darkseid. And cap it off with a great last page featuring Aquaman. I found this in the water. Who’s in charge here? I vote me! And you have another fun filled romp that advanced the story as we get ever closer to a complete Justice League roster.
So who gets my vote this week? The two issues could not have been further apart style wise. Do I go with the quick paced, cool moments of Justice League #3? Or the perfectly crafted in-depth story telling of Batman #3? And my vote goes to… Batman #3! Little more meat on that bone and I’m always hungry. Although there must be another computer around here somewhere…
I nominated issue #1 when it came out. Here’s what I said then: RACHEL RISING #1 – Could have told you this before I read it. If you liked Terry Moore’s Echo, if you liked Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, you will like this. I liked it a lot. I’m sure I will be talking positively about it for many, many months to come. Here’s the issue details. Not sure about Philip. But the rise from the dead, not sure what’s what, synopsis is spot on.
I nominated issue #2 when it came out. RACHEL RISING #2 – Even better than issue #1. Newly risen from the grave, Rachel goes to visit her Aunt Johnny who just happens to be a mortician. She also happens to talk to dead people on a regular basis. The ensuing conversation was hilarious! And then a young girl cracked her older sister over the head with a frying pan! Whack! Loved it.
Nominated Rachel Rising #3 yesterday. Thought it was the best issue yet. And I thought it was the best issue I read this week.
Our mysterious blond put the evil finger on some poor schmuck who promptly decided to throw his fiancee off a roof, inadvertently taking Rachel with her, and now Rachel might be dead again!
Our young girl has now burned down her house, stuffed her dead sister in the trunk of the family car and is driving down the road using a broom handle to reach the accelerator!
And I loved the multiple references to Rachel’s new appearance. "Honey, I want whatever your’re drinkin’" "I’m not drinking." "Then you need to sue whoever did your Lasik, ’cause…damn!" Or how about, "You got the screw-me lips with the screw-you eyes."
Although the best part of the issue might have been Rachel getting sick and puking up a piece of rope. She was hanged!
Just a very well-written book. Everything is in sync, new characters keep getting introduced, plot continues to build, it’s funny, it’s serious, and it’s just great. It’s the little green book that could! Read it up!
Because I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to find out what’s up with Bucky! And while it actually hasn’t been that long since Bucky got his arm ripped off and was pronounced dead (see Fear Itself #3), I’ve been waiting and FEAR ITSELF #7 POINT ONE CAPTAIN AMERICA told me everything I’ve been waiting for!
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
Seriously? You didn’t actually think Bucky was dead, Did you? Really? Never crossed my mind once. Which made me even more curious! And the explanation for Bucky not being dead was great. No need to dwell on a forgone conclusion. Very quick and efficient. He was only mostly dead. Princess Bride style. Nick Fury spirited him away. They inject him with the last of Nick’s Infinity Formula. He lives! Really all we needed.
The real question is: what are you going to do with the character? Where does Bucky go from here? And that’s what I liked.
Bucky has always been an integral part of Ed Brubaker’s Captain America saga. Heck, the first arc was titled Winter Soldier. And we got some very good Bucky (and Captain America) stories out of the run.
Major side ramble! And you can blame it on the DC reboot. Because Ed Brubaker is the one who "rebooted" Captain America. Sure it’s been renumbered and now relaunched. If you want to get technical, FEAR ITSELF #7 POINT ONE CAPTAIN AMERICA probably should have been Captain America #616. That’s Marvel. Crazy numbering is their forte. But the Captain America you saw in this issue — the Fear Itself Captain America, the Avengers Captain America, the Civil War Captain America, the current modern Captain America you see all across the current modern Marvel Universe — began with Ed Brubaker’s Captain America. It was a Best Book winner in its heyday. Even picked a trial of Captain America issue. It was an "always" nomination throughout most of its run. I’ve read every one of those comics. I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of them. Highly recommend it. And if you want to know where to start reading Captain America, it’s with the Winter Soldier. Ramble over!
Didn’t even mind Bucky taking over the mantle of Captain America. Totally worked for a while. But eventually that storyline ran its course. And of course Cap is now back… so what do you do with Bucky?
And to have Nick Fury replace dead Bucky with a Life Model Decoy, for the world at large to still think he’s dead. To let Bucky get back to being the Winter Soldier. I just thought it was great. He’s not Bucky Barnes the sidekick. He’s not Captain America. He’s not even Sucky Cap. He’s the Winter Soldier. Even the new Captain America and Bucky title, which btw is also excellent, is retelling Bucky’s World War Two adventures with a decidedly Winter Soldier flair. It’s who he is.
Which makes it all sound like I only liked FEAR ITSELF #7 POINT ONE CAPTAIN AMERICA because Bucky is going back to being the Winter Soldier. Not the case. That’s just the part that makes me happy.
A very well executed issue by both Mr. Ed Brubaker and Mr. Bruce Guice makes it a great comic and a winner.
First off, full disclosure: I am an X-Men fan. From way back. And as a long time X-Men fan it might surprise you, especially if you’re also an X-Men fan, to find out that I am totally fine with Schism, the reboot and even the way the characters (most notably Wolverine) are currently being portrayed. But I am.
And I totally appreciate it when the writer, Jason Aaron in this case, acknowledges something that the comic book reading public (and me in particular) has been thinking. Not only did the issue begin with a conversation between Wolverine and Professor X about how it is unimaginable that Logan would be the one to reopen a school for teenage mutants, but the new Black King of the Hellfire Club, Kade Kilgore, said, “The very idea of a Wolverine school for gifted youngsters is utterly absurd. Nevertheless here we are.” Couldn’t agree more. The idea is utterly absurd! Makes me laugh every time I think about it. And yet I am going with the flow ’cause WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #1 was great.
I’ve read so many comics that had an interesting idea… a nice twist… a tantalizing hook… and failed. Why? Because execution always tops idea, and good execution can save even the most absurd of ideas!
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #1 was funny. It was nicely paced, well written and well drawn. It touched on a multitude of characters and a multitude of plots. It set the stage for what is to come, told an entertaining story and just had a real nice flow to it.
Kitty was great. The New York State Department of Education flunkies were great. Husk. Idie. Quentin Quire. Beast. Toad. Kid Gladiator. Doop. Even the ending. Loved it all. Just a great start.
And even if you’re not an X-Men fan. If you don’t read X-Men comics at all. You are welcome to enroll in the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning featuring headmaster Wolverine. Don’t worry about what’s happened in the past. Don’t worry about what’s going on in the other X-books. WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #1 was self-contained, self-explained and just a very enjoyable read. Think you’ll like it. Read it up!
If you had asked me what might be the Best Book of the Week before I actually read books, I would have guessed Batman #2. Or maybe Superior #6. Or maybe Fear Itself #7. Heck, I would have named 10 or 20 titles before I ever even got to Justice League #2.
But, believe it or not, I am going with JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 as my Best Book of the Week.
I have read a myriad of #2 issues in the New 52 that I thought were better than the first issue.
Justice League #2 blew Justice League #1 out of the water. Ka-BOOM! Not even close.
Figured all we might get was a Superman/Batman/Green Lantern fight. Which we did. And it was a cool fight. The double-page spread of Superman popping Green Lantern’s chain constructs was very cool. But the pace picked up astronomically. The story started to reveal itself. Cyborg’s character moved forward. The antagonist was revealed, in the form of a mother box and para-demons and I’m guessing eventually Darkseid.
And the introduction of the Flash was absolutely fantastic. Liked that he has a history with Green Lantern. Liked that he was in Central City one minute and Metropolis the next. Liked that he was the voice of reason. And loved his fight with Superman! “Don’t bother trying to catch me, Superman. I’ve never been touched.” Well, now you have. A finger flick! Awesome!
Books win for a variety of reasons. And I really enjoyed Justice League #2. But it ultimately wins because it’s DC’s flagship title, and after issue #1 I was a little worried. Not anymore. Keep that pace rolling! Wonder Woman next issue. Maybe even a costumed Cyborg? Bring it on and read it up!
I will be going with the Punisher as my pick this week. And actually both Punisher titles came out on Wednesday. Haven’t talked about the new Greg Rucka/Marco Checchetto core Marvel Universe series very much. We are up to PUNISHER #4 at this point. And while I was lukewarm on issue #1, the series is getting progressively better, it’s starting to grow on me and if they can keep the ball rolling it just may get nominated one of these days.
But the Punisher means Punishermax. And PUNISHERMAX #18 is my pick for best book of the week.
As I said yesterday, nothing this week blew me away, so you could consider PUNISHERMAX #18 a default pick. Don’t get me wrong. It was another great issue in a great series. Punishermax is currently ranked #4 in the Cosmic Comix Top Twenty. Deservedly so. And I will always default to a quality issue in a quality series over a less established title.
And PUNISHERMAX #18 was great. The depravity level was off the meter! Violence and sex galore! Punisher capped a comatose Bullseye. The Kingpin and Elektra capped an entire room of rebellious underlings. And then had sex. Elextra and Mrs. Fisk continued to plot behind the Kingpin’s back. And then had sex. And last but not least, the Punisher has decided to dig up Richard Fisk’s grave.
Which is enough for me, but there is an underlying plot tying all these events together, the story continues to move forward, and I’m sure it will all come to a climatic climax at some point!
Highly recommend you check the series out. That is, if you don’t mind a little (or a lot) of depravity in your comics. Nobody does it better than Punishermax!
I usually get a rundown from both Shawn and Andy on Thursday mornings about what they thought of the books each week. They both made me laugh this week vis a visCHEW #21.Andy said, “I don’t know what else I can say about Chew at this point.” Shawn said, “I want to pick it as the Best Book of the Week but it always gets picked.”
I have no such dilemma and will be picking CHEW #21 as the Best Book of the Week and talking about it once again. It was exceptional. Even by Chew standards!
Tony Chu got fired! His wacky boss finally got his wish and has banished Tony to the municipal traffic division of the city police. In other words, he’s now a meter maid!
Tony’s new boss has an entirely different view of Agent Chu. After all, Tony is a very accomplished special agent and the new boss is very happy to welcome him aboard. Throws him a party!
Tony goes to work. Parking ticket here. Cat in the tree there. But he is Tony Chu and as the day progresses he comes across a bank robbery.Licks some blood. Licks some motor oil. And captures the bank robbers! "Three cheers for our own special agent – our own SUPER special agent – Anthony Chu! Hip Hip Hooray!" So… Tony… how you like your new job?"I can’t believe it…but I think I might actually like this job." Which brought us to the last page… which was great. Summed up Tony’s life in a nutshell!
This issue captions? Monday. Let’s back up a bit. Tuesday. On the job. Soon, in a warehouse hideout across town. End of shift. Evening. Wednesday.
Might seem like a little thing but nobody does it better. Such an easy book to read. Such an easy book to follow. And yet a very complicated book at heart. Heck, everything in this issue took place in three days!
It’s Chew. It’s awesome. If you’re reading it, you already know that. If you’re not…
(Editor’s Note: There are pop-up’s a-plenty in the Best Book column today. I highly recommend clicking all of them, as they are very important to the overall experience.)(And also, they’re funny as heck!)
Secret Avengers #16 gotta lotta love a couple of weeks ago. Wasn’t my pick for Best Book of the Week, but it certainly ran away with the Best Book of the Week Poll. A crushing victory over my pick of Flashpoint #5. I did like Secret Avengers #16. Nominated it. Enjoyed it. And I’m very happy that Warren Ellis has come onboard Secret Avengers to write a series of one-shot adventures.
So, I will be picking SECRET AVENGERS #17 as my Best Book this week. Thought it blew issue #16 away and was flat out awesome.
The plot is this: a demon tractor trailer is careening through towns abducting people out of their homes via electromagnetic levitation fields; it basically shoots wormholes out its sides. Steve Rogers and his Secret Avengers — Sharon Carter, War Machine and Valkyrie, this time around — have to stop it.
Commander Rogers breaks out Quincarrier Zero and the Secret Avengers fly off to confront the Demon Truck!
It actually doesn’t go very well. A sonic attack thwarts Valkyrie and her horse. Steve Rogers basically gets run over. And War Machine gets blown away. Never fear! Commander Rogers implores the members of his team to get their act together. And they do.
Pace was off the hook. Action-packed from beginning to end. My man Warren! Mix in a Star Trek saucer separation, a tractor trailer from Death’s Head garage, and Mean Machine’s power dial, and you get one action-packed romp! Loved it.
Did GI Joe Cobra come out this week? You know it did. You know I love it. Just what does our mysterious plane stealer have in store for us? But do I dare pick it for the third issue in a row? Alas. I dare not. I love my Cobra but Batman #1 easily wins this week.
Scott Snyder’s run on Detective Comics was fantastic. The last issue, Dectective #881, was ranked as the best issue for the month of August here at Cosmic Comix (a sentiment I whole heartedly agree with) and we’ve all been anxiously awaiting Mr. Snyder’s take on Batman in the new DCU.
Needless to say, expectations for Batman were very, very high.
Consider those expectations met. If not surpassed.
Batman #1 really had a Gotham feel to it. Really had a Batman feel to it. Loved that so many different characters showed up. Loved that all the character’s roles were quickly defined. Even established what the Batcave looks like. This may be the new 52, but you knew you were reading a Batman comic!
Perfect jumping on point. Everything a number one issue should be. Really established a base line for the series moving forward. And if you haven’t read it yet, we did sell a ton of copies this week, you absolutely should. Totally worth it.
Very easy to read and yet had so many different elements to it. A monologue about what Gotham is. A riot in Arkham and Dick Grayson pretending to be the Joker. The introduction of a new Mayor and a revitalization plan for Gotham City. Batman’s conversation with Jim Gordon. Batman’s conversation with Harvey Bullock. A contact lens with a remote access processor linked to the computer. Heck, Mr. Snyder’s patented creepiness vibe even managed to sneak its way in.
And yet at the heart of it all…it was a detective story. There’s been a murder. There’s a mystery. There’s a twist. There’s a problem. And Batman will have to figure it all out.
Not picking Scalped today. Shocking! Not picking Punishermax… or Criminal or Superboy or Daredevil. All those and more totally deserve consideration for Best Book of the Week. And I’m very interested to see what book wins the poll this week. Many, many contenders.
My vote will be going to NEW AVENGERS #16, because even though I read it three days ago I can’t stop thinking about it. Loved it as a comic and loved it as a commentary on the comic book industry. And it was all about Daredevil joining the Avengers.
The book begins with Hawkeye talking:"I go online. I look to see what people are saying about us. And my favorite topic of discussion is when people spout off about, ‘Who is worthy to be an Avenger?’ ‘Who are the REAL Avengers?’ And all I can gather from the internet is NOBODY is."
So the question is posed… who is Avengers material? Which is answered with the following page. And the following (paraphrased) line: I bet a guy like Daredevil never even thought about joining the Avengers.
Now, like all the Bendis talkie Fear Itself issues, there are action scenes. And the action scenes for this issue were Daredevil fighting the giant robots of Blitzkrieg USA, Avengers tower falling, Avengers Mansion coming under attack, and Daredevil saving Jessica Drew’s baby (and Squirrel Girl!). And throughout the action scenes, Luke Cage, Jessica and Ms. Squirrel talk about the hero that is Daredevil.
Three weeks later… Luke and Jessica meet back up with Daredevil and offer him an Avengers membership. They talk! DD accepts. And the following line is posed again: “Who is worthy to be an Avenger?” And the last page of the book answers that question beautifully.
I loved it just as a comic book, yes. But it’s as a commentary that it got me thinking. Doing a lot of thinking this week. Look out!
Daredevil is joining the Avengers? I can already hear it. Well, that’s just stupid. Which brings us to, as most everything does these days, the New DCU. Grifter is a con man? Barbara Gordon can walk? Amanda Waller is skinny? That’s just stupid!
There was a mention in NEW AVENGERS #16 of people being upset that the original Avengers stepped aside to make room for new members. That happened in the 1960s! And the comic community was in an uproar in the 2000s when Mr. Bendis launched the New Avengers. Spider-Man?! Wolverine?! What are you, crazy?!
Things change. They have to. The Marvel and DC Universes have been around forever! One of the funniest comments I’ve heard about the New 52 being launched is, "Didn’t DC just do that with Crisis on Infinite Earths?" That was 1985! Which by my calculation was 26 years ago! Yeah. Time for an update. And don’t forget, Marvel updated. Not to the same scale as DC is today but as good as place as any to mark the change is New Avengers #1, circa 2005.
Anyway. Daredevil is indeed joining the Avengers. And NEW AVENGERS #16 made a very compelling case as to why it makes sense. I loved it.
And that’s all I got room for today. Got plenty more to say on the subject but it will have to wait for the next Cosmic Comix Conversation.
While the New DCU has taken center stage this week, as it should, and as it probably will for the entire month of September, my two favorite books of the week were put out by a company with the letters IDW in its name.
I have nominated every issue of GODZILLA GANGSTERS & GOLIATHS that has come out. And GODZILLA GANGSTERS & GOLIATHS #4 (OF 5) was excellent once again. Loved the comment on the inside front cover. NOTE: This story takes place in a different continuity than Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters. Which is mucho important cause Gangsters & Goliaths totally stands by itself. I’m not a Godzilla fan. I have no history with Godzilla. This is just a great comic. It’s about Detective Sato. It’s about the criminal underworld. It’s about big giant monsters causing rampant destruction! And the last page was great. Time to unleash Mechagodzilla! Can’t wait to see how the mini-series wraps up.
On a side note, the writer of Gangsters & Goliaths, John Layman, also writes a little book called Chew. Which we all know by now is awesome. In two weeks, CHEW TP VOL 04 FLAMBE, which contains issues #16-20, and CHEW #21, Part One of "Major League Chew," come out, on the same day, making it a perfect time to jump aboard the Chew train! Choo! Choo!
But once again my vote for Best Book of the Week will go to GI Joe Cobra. Or as it’s being referred to now COBRA ONGOING #4.
And once again the issue began with the words, "I’m never going to be Cobra Commander!" If you haven’t been paying attention, Cobra Commander is dead! Bullet to the head! And the search for the new Cobra Commander is on!
Major Bludd takes center stage this time. And once again it was very interesting to see what another character thinks the role of Cobra should be. Major Bludd is all business. Plain and simple.
Loved that they got back to the traitor story. Issue #1 was somewhat dissed because Breaker seemed to be the dumbest undercover spy in Joe history. Well, so much for Breaker. Black-out is the traitor and he answers to Major Bludd!
And, yes, there was a four-page scene of an unnamed operative hijacking a plane in the middle of the issue this week, which appeared right after Major Bludd said, "I need a plane." And the two sequences had nothing to do with each other. Can see how that might have thrown some readers off. Maybe Mr. Costa tried to be too cute with his scene segue. Maybe it’s a case of poor scene placement. Read it again! The book makes total sense! The unnamed operative plane hijacking was just a little foreshadowing. And I can’t wait to see where it leads.
While there were probably a couple of better single issues — Invincible #82 and Mighty Thor #5 spring to mind — I will be casting my vote for Flashpoint #5 this week. Really enjoyed my three-month foray into the world of Flashpoint and thought it ended just about as well as it could.
It was a limited concept. It was an alternate timeline story. And the genie had to be put back in the bottle.
I was deathly afraid that said genie would just be "poofed" back into the bottle with little or no explanation. And I’m willing to hear arguments that that’s what happened.. but… I just didn’t mind the explanation at all.
Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mom and the timeline is altered. Barry Allen goes back in time and lets his mom die to return the timeline to normal. Good enough for me. Really don’t know how much more you could have expected. And I am calling the entire Flashpoint experience a total success! Enjoyed it a lot!
Two additional points!
Appreciated the explanation of why the Wildstorm Universe and Vertigo Universe are now part of DCU proper.
Batman cried! Which could either be the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen or the most touching… you decide!
What did you think of Batman crying at the end of Flashpoint #5?
I thought it was touching. A very nice moment all around. (25 Votes)
Are you kidding me?! Batman never cries! He's Batman! (13 Votes)
Between vacation and the Baltimore Comic-Con, I haven’t actually picked a Best Book of the Week the last couple of weeks. But I do agree with the poll winners of the last two weeks. Detective Comics #881 was fantastic and maybe the best book I’ve read this month. Can’t wait for Scott Snyder to start writing Batman in the new DCU. And Flashpoint The Outsider #3 was great. Martian Manhunter going all big and bad only to get ripped in half by the bigger and badder Outsider. A very surprising and enjoyable issue and I’m very curious to see what Flashpoint #5 brings us this Wednesday.
Today I will be going with Chew #20. "Flambé" part 5 of 5 as the fourth story arc concludes. Wasn’t the best issue of Chew I’ve ever read. But even a good issue of Chew is better than almost everything else and I just didn’t think anything else beat it this week.
I was talking to Aaron in the store this past Wednesday. He’s a big DC/Marvel guy. Gets a lot of floppies. But tends to read the rest in trades. And in fact just finished reading the Scalped trades, which are of course awesome, this past week. And Aaron asked, what do I recommend next? And I said…
And one of these days I may start actually talking about Chew again but not today. Check out the trade paperback solicits if you want to know more about the series. As the cover to this issue states, it is an Eisner award winner for best continuing series and I believe it won an Eisner for best new series a couple of years ago. Needless to say it is awesome. Read it up!
[Once again, it is I, Andy B., filling in for the still-absent Rusty. I will not even try to fill his shoes, because really, who can? All I can offer is my own take on my favorite book of the week. Do with it what you will! Unless that involves hurling squishy tomatoes at me. Do what you will, except for that.]
I didn’t actually get into comics until relatively late in my life, somewhere around sophomore year of college, which would put it at 1998 or so. The first comic I picked up was Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, whose excellence needs no mention here. The SECOND comic I picked up was Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.
Having read Sandman, I was already pretty open to interesting art and generally unique comic styling, but Hellboy really made an impact on me. I loved how dark everything was, how heavy the lines were. I also loved how, interspersed with the action, were panels that looked like portrait paintings of the characters. All together, it managed to look like a World War II story that was somehow written and drawn in the Victorian Era.
Which brings me to my subject today: HELLBOY: THE FURY #3, my pick for best book of the week. [SPOILER ALERT: Highlight the following text if you have already read this issue and/or know what happened.] In this issue, Hellboy dies. Not the death of a chump either. My man has his heart ripped out! And all of this was preceded by a fight of incredible proportions, which gave the fights in Fear Itself and Flashpoint a run for their money. It was awesome. I sort of knew what was coming, but even still, when it happened I still managed to say, "Whoooooaaaaa."
Hellboy will surely go down as one of the great characters in comic book history, not to mention one of my own favorites. He is the guy who fights humongous supernatural monsters and when one of them lands a good shot, he will most likely respond with something an ordinary Joe would say. Something like, "Son of a…," "Crap!" or maybe just an exclamation point, "!" Basically, he talks like Sgt. Rock… if Sgt. Rock were suddenly confronted by a witch who lives in a house that stands on walking chicken legs.
With this week’s issue, the status quo is forever changed. One of my favorite characters will never be the same again (to say the least). And it was all thanks to this fantastic issue, which put a cap on a run of epic proportions. And I for one am happy to have been here for it.
While I can’t wait until September and the New DCU, let’s not forget August and the old DCU. Dan Didio talked about it on the DC Nation page this week and I’m gonna talk about it today. Because as much as I love #1 issues and trying something new, how a series ends is just as interesting to me.
And all the DC titles are ending in August. In a wide and varied way. SUPERMAN #714 wrapped up the Grounded storyline with a Truth, Justice and the American Way theme along with the formation of Superman Inc. JONAH HEX #70 mixed it up for its final issue and went with a Weird Western tale. ADVENTURE COMICS #529 flat out said "To be continued in Legion of Super-Heroes #1."
But the best ending this week easily goes to Secret Six and SECRET SIX #36.
Secret Six has always been a very good series with a very dedicated fan base and when the new DCU titles were announced, when we found out Secret Six was getting cancelled, it was a sad day indeed.
But I’m not sad today. Cause SECRET SIX #36 was a perfect send off for the crew.
To go out as bad guys. To go out fighting. To go out against the assembled forces of virtually the entire DC Universe. Highly appropriate. Loved that the characters stayed true to form until the very end.
Ragdoll opines, We are worthless. We are the scum of the planet. We only have one redemptive trait, my dear, sick, wounded friends. We don’t know how to surrender.
Bane’s thoughts? We go out like gods.
Catman summed it up best. We’re the Secret Six. We’re always outmatched. And we never win.
And they don’t. The assembled heroes totally take down the Secret Six and leave them bloody and battered on the last page. As it should be, they’re the bad guys!
Also appreciated that they just didn’t kill everybody! Very easily could have. Didn’t. They are bloody and battered but alive and we may have not seen the last of the Secret Six. Fingers crossed!
Going with one of my personal favorites this week. Although at this point I’m not sure what to call it. Used to be GI Joe Cobra. Then it was momentarily called GI Joe Cobra Volume 2. Now they call it Cobra Ongoing. But whatever the official title is at this point, I’m picking COBRA #3 this week.
Sorta glad they took off the GI Joe designation. Don’t really care for the other GI Joe books, but I do like my Cobra. And while there is a Cobra Civil War going on in all three of the Joe titles right now, and they were theoretically supposed to be intertwined into one overall story, they are really not, and in three issues Cobra has once again totally separated itself from the other GI Joe titles.
Really thought COBRA #3 recaptured the feel of the first series. Tomax is in jail. Tomax is lamenting. I’m never going to be Cobra Commander. Half of them think I’m broken. The other half think that, absent my brother, I’m impotent. And now I’m in here. The first of the high command to be incarcerated. Unacceptable.
Tomax decides to break out of jail. By scraping paint chips off the wall and eating them… and giving himself Cadmium poisoning. Which gets him sent to the infirmary. From which he escapes. After which he puts a plan in motion to put himself into contention to be the new Cobra Commander.
Might sound simple. WASN’T. Chuckles was awesome in the first series, with his plans within plans, elaborate scenarios of destruction and mind games galore. Tomax was awesome in this issue for the very same reasons.
And I continue to, as I have for the past two years or so, totally recommend you read GI Joe Cobra.
I will absolutely be voting for the WALKING DEAD #87 when I get home tonight. Loved it. If you didn’t know, Walking Dead is one of my favorites and "Where’s Mom?" was perfect. Can’t wait to talk about it on the next Cosmic Comix Conversation.
And I’m all for voting for your favorite comic on the poll. Vote it up! But I have to go with DAREDEVIL #1 as the Best Book of the Week and the book you really need to read this week.
A) It was excellent, and
B) It was everything, and if it’s even possible, more than, a number one issue should be.
Highly recommend you read it. Doesn’t matter if you’ve never read a Daredevil comic. Doesn’t matter if you’ve never read a Marvel comic. Heck, really doesn’t matter if you have ever even read a comic book before! The only thing that matters is that you know how to read!
It’s a total reboot. A pure beginning. You need to know absolutely nothing about the character, his past, the Marvel Universe, etc., etc. to enjoy it. It explained everything! It set up everything! All in one issue.
And Daredevil #1 was not an issue that made me say, I don’t know, let’s see where it goes, let’s see what happens in issue #2, issue #3, issue #10, before we determine what the series is all about. It’s all established in this one issue! The humor, the action, the plot, the cast of characters, the tone of the series. It’s all there.
I liked it a lot. Think you will too. Plus, your commitment to the series is exactly this one issue. That’s all you need to read to know if this is a series for you. Or not. Try it and find out.
I can’t talk about it enough. Flashpoint that is. And I will go with FLASHPOINT EMPEROR AQUAMAN #2 (OF 3) as my pick this week.
An origin story, an action story, a story to move the plot forward. Liked the dolphins saving baby arthur and the "new" origin. Liked the "I thought I smelled seaweed" line. Liked the no-nonsense attitude of the characters. Liked it all. Just really enjoying Flashpoint.
As I said last week, after reading Flashpoint #3 my interest in the ancillary titles has also increased. Liked the first issue of Deathstroke and DEATHSTROKE THE CURSE OF RAVAGER #2 was good once again. Not a big Scott Kolins fan, but liked CITIZEN COLD #2. Gotta be some of Mr. Kolins best artwork to date. And FRANKENSTEIN CREATURES OF UNKNOWN #2 was excellent.
My absolute favorite part of Flashpoint, overall, is how each individual issue is contstructed. So much happens every issue! Usually get some kind of origin. Usually get some character development. Always get some action. And the plot always moves forward. Each issue stands alone but each issue is also part of the larger plot.
And from what were hearing, that’s the theory that DC will be applying to the books in the new DCU. No more decompressed storytelling. No more middle chapters. No more mystery plots. No more writing for the last page. Sounds like a plan to me!
Plus I can’t wait to see how much of Flashpoint is actually incorporated into the new DCU. Gonna be interesting. Gonna be fun. Can’t wait until September. Until then, enjoy some Flashpoint!