This Week’s Comics

Wow, there’s a good amount of stuff to talk about this time around. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • AVENGERS #12
  • BATMAN #709
  • BLACK DYNAMITE SLAVE ISLAND GN – Expect a dissertation on Black Dynamite to show up tomorrow, but for now I’ll say this: Black Dynamite is an amazing film, with a cast and crew who really know and love their source material: blaxploitation films.  This is not one of the ridiculous be-afro’ed pimps who show up in a comic every couple years, this is the real deal.  Black Dynamite comes with my highest possible recommendation.  And there will be sharks.
  • GREEN LANTERN #65 and GREEN LANTERN CORPS #59 – I’m resisting the urge to start quoting The Godfather, but I was happily out of the Green Lantern line until War of the Green Lanterns kicked off.  And now I’m off the wagon.
  • SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1000 – Seriously Marvel, you can bite me with this shit.
  • SUPER DINOSAUR #1 – The cynic in me says this is a blatant attempt to catch in on the wave of new zany comics, or at the very least Axe Cop.  But the optimist in me says it’s a kid running around with a cybernetic dinosaur so I have to at least check it out.
  • UNCANNY X-FORCE #8 – Marvel makes sure we know that they’re going to pry every single possible dollar from our hands by keeping their titles at $4.

o hai

I’ve finally picked up a copy of Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1.  I found out that local shop I Want More Comics also got their shop one of the variant covers so I was happy to be able to check it out. I’m fairly pleased with it, a slow burn of a first issue that doesn’t explain the origin of Godzilla so much, but does present the first appearance of the king of the monsters in Japan, and explain where his fire breathing ability comes from (not that I’ve ever cared).  This is very much a  ground-level Godzilla story, taking place from the human point of view rather than the monstrous.  Powell is a comic book master, and while I’d prefer a little faster pacing, I understand the need to properly lay the groundwork for the appearance of a creature that looks like it’s going to destroy Tokyo.  I have faith he’s going to take us where we want to go, and this title promises to feature all of the Toho creatures, so I’ll be on-board for a while.  The art by Phil Hester is solidly drafted (he opted for one of the more feline variants of Godzilla), but his panel layout is incredibly hard to read at times.  The way his pages are laid out are reminiscent of how Powell lays out The Goon, but Powell has the benefit of softer coloring to pad between scenes and I think Hester would be well-served to stick with more traditional panel borders for the time being, unless the coloring style changes up.

I was happy to get caught up on Nick Spencer’s new Image title Infinite Vacation, whose second issue hit the stands last week.  Infinite Vacation is a service that uses the theory of infinite universes to create an online auction system that allows you to trade lives with any parallel version of yourself, letting you live a life that may have been.  Mark is a heavy user, averaging almost 10 jumps per day, and someone is killing him across realities.  While that would be a good enough story to provide you with plotlines for years, Spencer also looks at the social and moral ramifications of the Infinite Vacation, and provides an interesting counterpoint with the “deadenders,” the 3% of society that refuses to participate (and the group I would probably fall in with).  I’ll have to do some research to find out if this is an ongoing or a mini, but I’d love to see stories of other vacationers, too.  This is a lush, well-rounded world Spencer and artist Christian Ward have created in just two issues, and I can’t wait to see where they take us.

Mile High Comics’s web site is starting to show significant price drops of this year’s issues, so that is a resource I’m able to take advantage of now.  I’ve updated my running pull list to reflect the new books I’ve picked up, and that’s it for this week.  What are YOU looking at?

This Week’s Books — And Some Rude Comments

Wow! Finally a decent-sized week for me!

  • BATMAN AND ROBIN #5 – Unlike everyone else, it seems, I liked #4. I dug the art (much more modern and less “lumpy”) than Quitely’s, and Morrison’s still telling a good story.

  • BATMAN ANNUAL #27 – This one will come down to page count and storytellers for me, but I’m leaning towards picking it up. The cynic in me says that the days of annuals being special are gone, with the dearth of minis and one-shots rendering them meaningless, but it’s been so long since we’ve had one, I think I’ll give it a shot.
  • BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 01 – One of the best strips ever, finally collected in the deluxe format it deserves. I can’t wait for this.
  • IRON MAN ARMOR WARS #3 (OF 4) – I think I was just the victim of unrealistically built-up expectations on this one. Not bad, but not incredible, which is especially disappointing if you dig the idea of seeing Tony Stark fight a boatload of Iron Man suits while wearing a Doombot.
  • PLANETARY #27 – I know Matt’s been pretty disappointed with the delays on this one, but I always thought #26 was the last issue, so this is just a bit of lagniappe for me. I plan on reading through the whole series in one sitting (well, not ONE sitting, but as close as possible) as soon as I can.

  • SPIDER-MAN 1602 #1 (OF 5) – Dear Jeff Parker, I love you and would buy this is if it weren’t $4. Even so, you’re good enough you don’t have to take Neil Gaiman’s crumbs. Joe Quesada should respect you more, and I would be happy to sit down with him and explain your worth if you would like me to. Your friend, Jesse
  • STRANGE TALES #2 (OF 3) – The price point on this one is killing me, but this book is awesome. Once Strange Tales wraps up, PLEASE check out these guys’ indie books.
  • WAR HEROES #3 (OF 6) – Well, I remember LIKING the first 2 issues, but it’s been a while, and all I really remember is the US Army and an unused Ultimates plot. Still, it’s Millar and Harris, so you know you’re going to get a quality, if cynical, book.
  • X-BABIES #1 (OF 4) – Fuck you, Marvel. Seriously. “Let’s throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” is not a publishing strategy.
  • X-MEN VS AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 (OF 2) – The price point may mean I don’t pick this up, but assuming there’s a decent page count, I’m in. Have I mentioned yet how incredible Carlos Pagulyan’s art is? Incredibly detailed and realistic without sacrificing storytelling. I don’t know if AoA is his first book, but I look forward to seeing more from him.

Well, that’s it for this week, but I feel terrible. I’m getting way too cynical about comics. Obviously every company wants to sell their product and make a profit, but it just seems like Marvel and DC just see dollar signs instead of readers. I know the Internet is supposed to bring us together, but when the only thing you can trust is that Editor/Writer/Artist X is following the company script, does that really help the reader? Sure Stan Lee’s canival huckster act was gladhanding, but when it only came from one place once a month it felt more sincere…