This Week’s Comics — And Too Much Commentary

There aren’t a TON of solid-looking books coming out next week, but some are my favorites and the others look to be worth experimenting.

  • BATMAN BEYOND #1 (OF 6) – I’m curious, and for $3 it’s worth giving the new adventures of Terry McGinness a shot.
  • CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD LAST BATTLE #4 (OF 6) – It’s been quite a while since we saw the last issue of CoW come out, which is a shame since it’s the funniest comic you can buy that doesn’t involve Muppets.  As long as, you know…nothing ever offends you.  Ever.
  • GREEN LANTERN #55 – After Green Lantern #54 I put this title On Notice, in that it’s only one bad issue away from getting dropped from my pull list.  But with Lobo in this month’s issue it’s safe for now.
  • MUPPET SHOW #7 – And speaking of Muppets, issue #7 of the main title comes out this week.  Even though I still somewhat miss Roger Langridge’s art, Amy Mebberson’s is definitely growing on me.  Her smooth linework is so dead-on it makes me feel like I’m watching an episode of the Muppet Show, especially when she manages to make the pigs or frogs tuck their noses into their mouth.

Usually I’m fairly autonomous in the comics I pick up every week, but after reading Matt’s Game Tape last Thursday I was convinced to pass on Superman #700 and pick up Fantastic Four #580 instead.  I may never know if Superman was as big a letdown as he said, but picking up FF was a great move. I’ve only been sporadically picking up issues in the Hickman run, but I’ve been pleased each time so I think this will move to the regular pull list.  The main story with Arcade was light and well done-in-one, but the Reed-lead Future Foundation is terrific, and I’m anxious to see where Ben Grimm’s “High Cost of Living”-esque story goes.  Hickman’s dialogue really shines, but I was incredibly impressed by the linework of Neil Edwards’ Bryan Hitch-meets-Alan Davis pencils.  THIS is what the Fantastic Four should be like.

When going over last week’s new releases I apparently spaced over Thunderbolts, the second issue of Jeff Parker’s run with Luke Cage taking over the team.  This is the best incarnation of the team I’ve read since the early Busiek days, as Cage and the team all start feeling each other out and exploring their limitations.  You know, like the T. Rex in Jurassic Park.  And for whatever reason, the presence of Man-Thing takes the book to a whole other level, even if he doesn’t do very much yet.

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

This Week’s Comics

It’s a decent-sized run this time around! Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • BATMAN AND ROBIN #12 – A reminder that I haven’t read #11 yet, but this has been my favorite arc of a really strong Morrison run.  I don’t expect that to change here.
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #1 – We’re going to find out why these 12 characters (out of everyone who has died) were chosen to come back to life. However, I imagine I won’t really care.  Still, it’s $3, there’s curiosity and a freebie White Lantern ring, so I’ll bite.  The most interesting thing about the White Lantern so far is how it mirrors Kyle being given his ring by Ganthet waaaaay back in Green Lantern #50.
  • MUPPET SHOW #5 – And speaking of reminders, I still haven’t read #4 yet.  Still, this book never fails to delight.  I’m a little concerned how not having Roger Langridge’s art will affect the book, but since he’s still writing I’m unconcerned.
  • SHADOWHAWK #1 – Okay, I’ll cop to this being nostalgia tinged with an unsafe level of curiosity, especially since Shadowhawk symbolizes a LOT of what was wrong with comics in the early 90’s. Still, much like Image United (where’s issue 3, guys?!?!?!) this one’s siren song may be too strong to resist.  I’m weak, I know this.

Lots of solid freebies came out last weekend and I’d just like to run through the few I’ve read so far.  I haven’t gotten to the big titles, but here are some of the indies I was able to go through.

Love and Capes –
This honeymoon issue was a great intro to the book, which I’ve been wanting to check out since hearing Thom Zahler on the War Rocket Ajax podcast.  A cute book with some genuine laughs, this is the “what if Lois and Superman” were really married book.  Well done, I’m just tired of the Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman analogues in every indie book about superheroes (and I say this hypocritically knowing I have plans for one, too).  Let’s invent some new characters, folks.
Oni Press Free For All – All three shorts were entertaining, but Salt Water Taffy by Matthew Loux towered way over the others…Over anything else I’ve read from FCBD 2010, actually.  It’s rare that a comic can elicit laughs (or laffs, if you’d rather) from me, but SWT did.  I’m definitely going to pick up the first 3 collections now. Well played, FCBD…Well played.
Overstreet Guide – It’s probably about time that Overstreet tried protecting its own interests in comics, but I would have much rather seen a real comic.  Kids can totally learn the anal-retentiveness of comic collecting on the streets, they don’t need a handbook.
Irredeemable/Incorruptible – This a great intro to Mark Waid’s world where Superman goes bad (there we go again!).  I don’t know if these were complete issues of the first issue of each respective book, but it was a great primer, and I think I’m going to check out more in trades.

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

Random Reviews — Finally, I have things to compliment!

Finally!  A chance to spread the good word on some good comics rather than complaining that X-Babies exists!

Avengers vs Atlas #1 – If Matt and Hannah Montana have taught me anything, it’s that there are only 7 plots in literature,* so I wasn’t terribly concerned when I read his review of this book before I got a chance to read the book itself. I wouldn’t even say that this book fits the category of “teams meet, fight, realize they’re on the same side, then team up” unless you count earlier issues of the AoA ongoing and X-Men vs Atlas (which is fair because if you read comics then you should have been reading already). Recycled plots or no, it’s the way Parker puts them together than makes AoA so special. The humor, banter, and situations always feel fresh and novel, as if it’s the first time we’re seeing a Human Robot interact with a Gorilla Man. I don’t have much to say about this book that Matt didn’t say first, but I definitely second how great this was. The Namora backup was a weak story we’ve seen dozens of times before, but there’s still a lot of bang in here for your 4 bucks.

The Muppet Show #1 – This book? Well, if our frequent shilling for Roger Langridge and BOOM!’s Muppet Show books haven’t sold you yet it won’t now, but this continues to be the funniest comic on the stands. Langridge really gets a) comedy, and b) Muppets, and doing both is apparently harder to do than you’d think. After the damage done to the theater in “The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson”, the Muppets take their show on the road to any gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse that will have them. Fozzie, meanwhile, has temporarily gone his own way to rediscover standup (the alphabet at the end of the book was brilliant!). It’s a spectacular read, as always. The next issue should have the Muppets rolling into Little Statwald, which I can only hope is a town full of Stadlers and Waldorfs.

Thunderbolts #140 – This is more like what I was expecting from Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts run. The Agents of Atlas/Thunderbolts battle is resolved and Jimmy Woo proves he’s willing to do anything to take down Norman Osborne, with unexpected results. Hopefully it doesn’t make me a bad person that the horror and shock of what happened was matched by thinking it was pretty funny (and a relatively ingenious twist). The dichotomy between the lighter Atlas team and the darker T-Bolts is certainly fascinating, though I’m afraid Parker may have made the Agents too powerful. We’re starting to see a lot of psych-outs by Marvel Boy and characters who are unaffected by Venus’ song. Still, we’ve had 3 AoA books this month, which is proof that Marvel either recognizes quality, is still working their “throw it on the wall and see if it sticks” publishing philosophy, or is just willing to print anything Jeff Parker wants to write.

Weekly World News #1 – I was amazed by how much I like this comic! The first story arc, “The Irredemption of Ed Anger” follows the regular WWN columnist (who tends to get “madder than a <NOUN> in a <RELATED NOUN>) and television pundit as he rails against the freaks and illegal (space) aliens that the WWN specializes in. Of course, this puts Bat Boy at the center of his rage. Chris Ryall puts together a very funny story here, and weaves in more disparate WWN regulars than you would think possible (and thankfully annotates them in the back).  Alan  Robinson’s art was quite good, as well: consistent, well laid out, and with only one facial expression for Bat Boy (as it should be). Ryall’s text piece in the back relates a history with Weekly World News that Matt and I can definitely relate to. I’m looking forward to more issues, especially after the last-page reveal. Anyone with a fondness for the WWN should be pleased by the comic, and I’m curious to see how far they can take it.

*Hannah Montana is “Man vs. Self”.

This Week’s Comics — Or Lack Thereof

Another truly awful New Comic Book Day.  Between Matt potentially losing his LCS and me not getting new books anymore, I hope we have the mojo to keep skipping along.  Still, here’s what I’m looking at for this week.

  • BATMAN #695 – Grant Morrison, please come back! This book is boring!!!
  • MUPPET SHOW #1 – I’m seriously looking forward to this new road trip story arc.  Thank goodness for new Muppet Show comics!
  • WEEKLY WORLD NEWS #1 – This may be a must-get.  WWN was a staple in Matt and my dorm room in college.  It was pretty disappointing to see it go under.

I suppose that’s all on my list.  I’ve been getting a ton of back issues recently, so hopefully I’ll have some new reviews of old books soon.  What are YOU getting?

This Week’s Comics — And A Hit And A Miss

Still not much out this week, but compared to the last month, it’s like a deluge.  Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • HAUNT #4 – I’m just repeating myself here, but this book is way more enjoyable than I thought it would be.
  • MARVEL BOY URANIAN #1 (OF 3) – This one is news to me, but I’ll take any new Agents of Atlas I can get.
  • MUPPET SHOW TREASURE OF PEG LEG WILSON TP – Okay, I won’t be picking this up since I got the  individual issues, but this was a really great book.  If you’ve been on the fence about checking out the new BOOM! Muppet Show books, this is a great place to start.  I’m looking forward to the next “road trip” miniseries.
  • SIEGE #1 (OF 4) – The price point is out of my reach, but I’m really looking forward to some normalcy in the Marvel Universe.  Since House of M I think the whole 616 has been relatively inaccessible, and I’m looking forward to some sort of status quo where casual fans still have some idea what’s going on.

And since I’ve got a lot of extra space to fill up today, a couple quick reviews:

The Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion – After one week with 2 really solid Hercules books, I took the plunge and picked up this Secret Invasion tie-in book.  Hercules leads a multi-pantheon coalition of gods across the planes of existence in order to kill the Skrull god motivating their takeover over Earth.  It feels like Morrison’s JLA meeting Gaiman’s Sandman with more punching things. And if that sounds like a mess, it doesn’t read like one.  It’s an action-packed adventure with Pak and Van Lente putting it all together seamlessly.  I’ve already ordered more Herc hardcovers and am looking forward to more of the same.  This is what superhero comics should be.

Image United #2 – And then there’s this.  Basically, every review I read about issue 1 applies to this one.  It’s a schizophrenic muddle, and even Kirkman can’t get us from one place to another seamlessly.  I’m really questioning the whole purpose now, which is pretty disappointing given how much I’ve been looking forward to it.  A “preview” of Liefeld’s Bloodstrike doesn’t add much value, either.

So that’s it for me.  What are YOU getting?

This Week’s Comics — Minus the Comics

Well, this is by far my saddest New Comic Book Day post yet, as the only think I’m looking to get is MUPPET SHOW #0, and even that may not happen depending on what I’m getting for me $3.

I could talk about how thoroughly disappointing Blackest Night is, with its excessive wordiness and lack of details (Our Heroes solve what’s going on in a vaccuum, deducing/guessing answers/taking shots in the dark, at which point they are just taken for fact).

But I think I’m going to spare everyone, and just accept that this will be a poor December between this week and the Diamond bye week. I’ll work on my overly-fawning Image United review instead, and wish everyone a Happy Monday.

More Muppet Madness – Bonus Random Links

Apparently I have more Muppet links to throw out…Why do we always come here?  I guess we'll never know.

Stay tuned for next time, as I spoil the hell out of Blackest Night.