This Week’s Comics

Well, this is somewhat disappointing.  I’m only picking up one comic this week — GORILLA MAN #3 — which wraps up that mini.  There’s not much more harping on Jeff Parker, Agents of Atlas, or Gorilla Man I can do at this point.  I haven’t gotten to read last week’s comics yet, focusing instead on working my way through Joe Casey and Ashley Wood’s Automatic Kafka, which I’ve been trying to complete for several years now.

Since I have the opportunity (and it worked so well last time), I’ll throw today’s post open to comments: what should I check out?

The last time I did this I got some killer recommendations from Friend of the Blog Larry, who suggested DMZ and Nightly News among others. I’m on the 6th DMZ trade now and it just gets stronger with each collection.  I’ve only been able to track down the first issue of Nightly News, but so far it’s incredible: everything Brian Wood’s Channel Zero promised to be but didn’t deliver on.

I say this every week, but what are YOU looking at?  All suggestions will be considered, but anything coming out this week that has a $3 cover price will probably get picked up. Fire away!

This Week’s Comics

It’s all-Marvel (and mostly kvetching) this week at your number one site for Golden Age Aquaman history. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • DEADPOOL #1000 – If anyone deserves to mock the recent spate anniversary issues, I suppose it deserves to be Deadpool, who has turned into the Marvel U’s answer to Ambush Bug. Still, in light of Marvel’s creative accounting when it comes to tallying up issue numbers, they’re shining The Harsh Spotlight of Truth (TM) on themselves more than the industry.
  • GORILLA MAN #2 (OF 3) – I’ll take a new tack this time around. Rather than talking about the genius of Jeff Parker, I’ll talk about the genius of Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man. It would be all-too-easy to turn him into a despondent, woe-is-me reluctant hero, a la Ben Grimm. Instead, we get a funny, action-seeking hero who has embraced the reality of his situation and seeks to make the best of it. Parker’s look at the origin of Hale shows us that his life was never easy, but he has the strength of character to best of his situation. Also, the art is PURTY.
  • MARVELMAN FAMILYS FINEST #2 (OF 6) – When the first issue came out I was very excited to get the chance to read some classic Marvelman, but when I actually picked it up (just before setting it right back down) on the stands I was disappointed. For $4 Marvel reprints these stories in black and white on the cheapest newsprint I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. A cynical man would say Marvel figured anyone who actually cared to pick this up would do so regardless of cost or production values, so I should probably just be relieved they didn’t throw in 3 pages of text by Bendis and charge $5.
  • SHIELD #3 – Fortunately, Marvel saves some face with the new SHIELD book. I’m not entirely sure what the point is, but the ride so far has been worth it.

While I’m on the topic of Jonathan Hickman books, I’ve been filling in the gaps of his Fantastic Four run. I was particularly impressed with his first arc, “Solve Everything,” featuring the ultimate team-up of the Reed Richards’ of the multiverse, but every issue seems to top the one before it. It’s fun, adventurous, and scientific; pretty much everything an FF book should be. Last week’s issue kicks off what looks to be a pretty massive time travel arc, and the only quibble I can find is that it’s occasionally hard to tell the bearded characters apart. Don’t forget to stick around for the letter page, featuring Franklin and Val.

Well, that’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?

This Week’s Comics

I’m running a day late due to a L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog family reunion, as Matt and I sat around my living room talking comics rather than blogging about them. There are some really solid books out this week. New stuff to try, the conclusion of one of the best series of the 00’s, and more. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • ALAN MOORE NEONOMICON #1 (OF 4) – I tend not to care about most books put out by Avatar. Creators tend to take the lack of editing (or maybe more accurately, standards and practices,) as a reason to come up with the most disgusting books they can. Still, a new mini by Alan Moore is cause for celebration, and I’ll probably be snagging this one.
  • ATLAS #3 – In light of last week’s new that Atlas will be ending with issue 5, if you haven’t read this yet, start with the first collections and pick this book up once it’s collected. I suspect this won’t be the last we see of our agents, though, since Jeff Parker will still be working in the Marvel Universe and he tends to bring his best characters with him.
  • BATMAN BEYOND #2 (OF 6) – I enjoyed the first issue, though I’m not really sure if this comic has legs. I’ll be picking up #2 to make sure.

    With the Scott Pilgrim movie almost here, Bryan Lee O’Malley gives us the final book of the Scott Pilgrim saga. So far each book has been better than the one before, so I’m expecting big things from this one.

  • THUNDERBOLTS #146 – Jeff Parker, Juggernaut, and Man-Thing. If that doesn’t sell you, nothing can.
  • TIME MASTERS VANISHING POINT #1 (OF 6) – I’m not sure if I’ll wind up picking this one up, but this kicks off the DCU side of Return of Bruce Wayne, and we’ll learn why Superman and Booster Gold are trying to stop Batman from returning to the present. Um, Clark? You can’t.

That’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?

There doesn’t seem to be much reason to continue this farce…

Over at Comic Alliance today, Chris Sims has an interview with both Ken Hale and Jeff Parker. This should be cause for celebration. It is not. The bad news is that Atlas ends at issue #5. The “good” news is that Parker feels he’s walking away on his own terms.

It’s tempting to go into a rant here, but I’ll spare us all. Still, the death of consistently smart and entertaining titles like this points to the exit door for me more quickly than the consistent price hikes.

This Week’s Comics

Thanks to everyone who came by to check out my piece on cover prices this weekend, and especially to everyone who’s commented.  I hope we can make quite a conversation out of this.

As for this week’s comics…Well, there’s not much of note this week. And most of the noteworthy books are pretty pricey.  Still, let’s dive in.

  • ASTRO CITY SILVER AGENT #1 (OF 2) – I’ve resolved to start talking more about Astro City.  Maybe I shouldn’t since I don’t have a full run (or even most recent issues), but I know enough to remember that Silver Agent was Astro City’s greatest hero.  It will be very cool to see him, even if for only 2 issues.
  • BATMAN #701 – More Morrison, that’s all I care about.
  • GORILLA MAN #1 (OF 3) – I can’t believe we had to wait for The Uranian and Namora to get their own books before Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man and hands-down greatest Agent of Atlas, to get his.
  • STUFF OF LEGEND THE JUNGLE #1 (OF 4) – The first Stuff of Legend book was terrific, and I’m glad to see there’s more on the way.  Highly recommended if you’re looking for something different.

The biggest news of last week was how great the newest issue of Batman and Robin is.  Morrison’s masterpiece is really building up now, and it’s incredible.  Damian’s interactions with the Joker were
brilliantly accomplished, and Morrison really straddled the line between Batman of the past (the scenes with Dick and Commissioner Gordon reminded me of the 60’s TV show) and the future (the madness of
the Joker and Robin).  This book was superbly done, and a lesson to anyone still writing 6-issue arcs of Batman versus generic gangsters.

I’ll close this week on a sad note, the passing of Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame.  His was truly a unique voice in comics, and one that will be missed in comics.

Update: Yes, I stole this from this post over at Comics Alliance.  I’m not proud.  And I think it looks awesome.

Game Tape

The euphoria of Wednesday books has worn off; now it’s time to review the game tape and see what worked and what didn’t. This week was strong considering how light it is for me. Unfortunately, there only seems to be one Mad Hatter story: his infatuation with “Alice.” To his credit, Landry Walker does his best effort to make it interesting. If you didn’t bother to read Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, then let me tell you that Landry Walker’s best effort is pretty good. It’s just not enough to hide the fact that we’ve heard this story before. There are some new and disturbing moments here. We see what makes the Hatter so dangerous; he’s not just a kook with fetish for hats and the writings of Lewis Carroll. Still, for most of you out there, I’d say unless you’re a big fan of Landry Walker and co., wait for the trade on this. A while back, November or December, I predicted that we’d see Cobra Commander making an appearance the new GI Joe series by March of this year. So I was off by a few months. GI Joe #19 marks the second time we see the revamped Commander… briefly. He made an appearance in last month’s GI Joe: Cobra II. The new look is interesting and favorable. The fangs at the bottom are a really nice touch. Story-wise, we see Destro proving he’s more than just a pretty face and a weapons maker. He tears a new one for Major Bludd. Two interesting things about this series are that the Joes are always on defense and Cobra troopers are pretty bad ass. Yes, GI Joe is still America’s top secret, highly trained, special mission force. It’s just that they didn’t know until very recently that there was anything out there that could give them a run for their money. So they’re scrambling to play catch-up. Remember the cannon fodder from the cartoon? The Vipers with the silver face masks and the goggles? In this iteration, one of them nearly killed Snake-Eyes. Let me repeat that for emphasis. One of them nearly killed Snake-Eyes. Beat the ever-loving crap out of him.

I did pick up New Avengers #1 this week. It’s pretty okay. In spite of the fact that it’s got a strong and different line-up, it’s my least favorite beginning of the three starts. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but, more so than Avengers, this was classic talky Bendis. I like the magical-mystical-mysterious threat: someone’s after the Eye of Agamotto. On the other hand, It didn’t occur to me until just this minute, but all three Avengers titles follow the exact same plot. Team is set up, threat is introduced in hints woven throughout, final page is a surprise/ reveal. So this is essentially the third time in almost as many weeks that I’ve read this issue.

Agents of Atlas #2 was enjoyable as we get some interesting clues as to what’s going on here. It hints also as to how 3-D has “memories” of Section Zero in the 1950’s. Naturally Parker’s snappy dialogue continues to make this the single most enjoyable read by either major publishing company. People should be taking notes on how it’s done.

That’ll wrap things up. On a tangentially related note, I asked my comic vendor to drop JLoA, JSoA, and Green Lantern from my pull list. I’ve spent too many months only being mildly interested in them. The JSA title has the best chance for redemption. I’m probably only it through the crossover.

This Week’s Comics

There’s a decent amount of comics coming out this week to comment on, but not much I’m picking up. Here’s what I’m looking at.

  • ATLAS #2 – And comicdom’s greatest book is back to a $3 price point. Thank you, Marvel.
  • BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1 (OF 6) 2ND PTG – If you missed out on the adventures of the cave-Batman the first time around, now’s your chance to recify that situation.
  • DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES #2 – Is anyone out there reading this one?  I dig the concept, and Len Wein is a solid storyteller working with some incredible artists.  Right now the cover price is the only thing keeping me from trying it, but I haven’t heard much about it.
  • DETECTIVE COMICS #854 NEW PTG – It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to read an issue of Detective, and this one is a buck.  I’ll definitely be picking it up, and hopefully it’ll be something new (to me).
  • GOON FANCY PANTS HC LTD ED VOL 03 – I’ve really been loving the Fancy Pants hardcovers of The Goon that Eric Powell has been putting out. They’re nicely produced, tell a complete story, and occasionally come with unexpected signatures.  If you’ve been looking for a good place to start with The Goon, give any of these a try.
  • NEW AVENGERS #1 – As much as I usually don’t fall for Marvel’s marketing gimmicks, I’m pretty much a sucker for a new Avengers #1. Still, with the increased cover price, they’ve got to give you a little something extra for that additional dollar.  Avengers #1 did, but Secret Avengers did not. Hopefully New Avengers will pass the flip test.

That’s it for me.  What are YOU getting?

If it’s good enough for Grandad does this really mean it’s good enough for me?

The convention ended about an hour and a half previous to the writing of this post. On the whole, I enjoyed myself thoroughly; I’d go so far as to say that this statement is true for the majority of the people in attendance this weekend. Vendors, pro’s, fans, everyone seemed to be content, if not tired, at the end of the day.

So after a good meal and a chance to decompress, here are a couple of final thoughts on the weekend.

0. The nice thing about not having to fill holes in my collection is that I’m free to find things. I can flip through a box and discover a ridiculous amount books I’ve read about or heard good things about. I can also feel more free to take a chance on things just because… It was surprisingly fun to look aimlessly with no goal in mind.

1. To quote Mark Waid, “There are a lot of genuinely good people in the comic industry, but there are also a lot of lazy people in the industry.” Mr. Waid said this during the Family Friendly Comics panel. It was in reference to the current over reliance on explicit violence and gore in mainstream comics. As always though, it’s what happens to be selling. Aggravating.

2. DC does not, and for the foreseeable future will not stand for Digital Comics. Odds are they’ll stand for Dad’s Comics. They’re going to be playing catch-up and it’s going to hurt. Digicomics came up again and again in panels  across the board. But, according to Ian Sattler of DC, the company is only merely looking into the possibility. Marvel has already dabbled in this and is getting much more serious about the form. The Iron-Man annual will be released on the same day in both pamphlet and digital format. Further, Mark Waid, Editor-in-Chief of BOOM!, has many of their titles online and speaks positively of it as augmenting, if not changing, the face of comics.

Success in this experiment should mean a couple of things…some obvious, some not so much:

a. The worry of the price-point might be a thing of the past…hopefully,

b. A wider audience can be reached. As Jeff Parker pointed out today in a panel, web-content of all sorts will be able to link to downloadable content. Mentioning that interviews and news stories that catch a reader’s interest could offer instant contact with content,

c. With lower overhead, companies might be more willing to experiment with content. They might also offer content that wouldn’t sell as well in paper form… a return of US1? Maybe…hmmm?

In regards to digital comics the next six months to a year will be telling.

3. Readership needs to grow or prices will continue to rise and content will continue to stay at this level of quality(?).

It could be a brave new world that we stand before, or it could be business as usual with dwindling readership.

This Week’s Comics

I’m a day late, but there’s some really great looking comics coming out tomorrow. Here’s what I’m looking at.

  • BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #2 OF (6) – Caveman Batman? Check. Puritan Batman? Check. This is turning into the best Elseworlds series ever, because it’s all real. Well…”real”. Thank you for being awesome, Grant Morrison.
  • GREEN LANTERN #54 – Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what to say about Green Lantern at this point. It’s space-fallout from Blackest Night. I’m okay with that, but it’ll be nice to eventually get back to Green Lantern stories and put the mega-event behind us.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST #2 – And speaking of said mega-event, I guess I spoke too soon. I liked the first issue, and didn’t think Winick was up to his usual tricks of not having anything interesting happen. I dig the premise, and even though we’re getting the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire-era team without the BWAH-HA-HA’s, that’s okay, the DCU has changed since then. I’m just glad the characters haven’t been shuffled off into Limbo.
  • SECRET AVENGERS #1 – I’m as surprised as anyone else, but I picked up and enjoyed last week’s new Avengers title. So, as much as I’d like to ignore this completely, I’ll give it a shot. Plus, even though I’ve never read a good Moon Knight story, for some reason I’m drawn to him.
  • THANOS IMPERATIVE IGNITION #1 – And speaking of being drawn to characters, I’ve got a soft spot for Thanos, too, based more or less exclusively on his awesomeness in The Infinity Gauntlet. And geez…that was 20 years ago! Assuming we set some extra content, I’ll give this one a shot.

Hey Matt, What’s that over there???

  • THUNDERBOLTS #144 – And here’s where what I’m most likely to consider “Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts” kicks off, with Luke Cage’s team of reformed villains. And Man-Thing, which makes no sense (yet) but I’m super-excited to read about.

That’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?

Random Links for Your Weekend

It’s been a while, so here’s a healthy batch of linkage.  This’ll keep you busy for a while!

  • I’ve talked a lot about the Incredible Hercules, but less about his sidekick Amadeus Cho.  That’s unfortunate, because he brings a huge amount of heart to the book.  Comics Alliance gives us his 7 Most Brilliant Moments.
  • Chris Sims has a solid post on jumping into the Legion.  I can’t stand them them but Matt’s been getting sucked in, and sometimes you just have to love the people your friends love.
  • The finger-pointing and back-stabbing begins.  Sure, they’re trying to cover it up (for now), but it’s only a matter of time.  It will come to no surprise to anyone who followed the daga of the Image 10th Anniversary Hardcover that Todd McFarlane is behind the delays.
  • Jeff Parker talks Agents of Atlas.
  • In Transformers news, Shia La Boef (French for “Shia the Beef”) acknowledges that Transformers 2 (and the latest Indiana Jones) were stinky piles of crap.  In other “Dept of the Obvious News,” Megan Fox and Jive-Talking Robot Twins are out of TF3.
  • Is it just me, or does this Jonah Hex trailer look…I dunno…Awful?  Note to Hollywood: Yes, Megan Fox is a mostly-functional fembot, but go for human women who can act.  Still, she’s just what a Fathom movie would require. 
  • It’s a little too “here’s a story about me” for my taste, but The Onion also has a nice piece on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and what makes it so special.
  • They’ve also got a great interview with Grant Morrison, where he strikes just the right amount of honesty about how awesome All-Star Superman is.
  • In the interest of self-promotion while I’m sending you elsewhere in the Intarwebz, don’t forget to hit us up on Facebook.

And that’s it for this go-round.  I think I’ve set some sort of link record for myself here…