- Newsarama gives us an extensive three-part interview with the talent behind Ex Machina
- Let’s Be Friends Again provides the origin(s) of Aquaman
- Roger Langridge talks The Muppet Show
- Choose Your Own Adventure Books That Never Quite Made It.
- If you’re into nerdcore, you may be interested in the Adam WarRock (Euge from War Rocket Ajax) West Coast Avengers mixtape.
- Kurt Busiek’s opinion of the state of comics has leaked. I feel bad, because these were obviously things said in confidence, but he’s not wrong. It’s curious, because Mark Waid has also recently and publicly sworn off superhero comics from the Big Two. He and Busiek put out most of the readable comics during the 90’s drought, so to see the two of them on the same page means its worth paying attention. That said, I couldn’t disagree more with his opinion on Jonathan Hickman. I’m pretty sensitive about padding and found Hickman’s FF run to be wonderfully paced and bursting with big ideas.
- Frank Cho made it to the cover of the Washington Post!
- Apparently The State has a comedy album that’s never seen the light of day. Until now! Huzzah!
- I am incredibly psyched about the new Brave and the Bold game.
I’m going to get some reviews of recent releases out of the way before I take a look at this week’s books.
- Haunt #1 – Here’s how I think it went down:
INT – Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman are trying to come up with ideas for a new book together
Todd – I’d love to do Deadman, but he’s owned by another company.
Robert – I’d love to do Firestorm, but he’s owned by another company.
Todd – Wait a minute…
Both – TWO GREAT TASTES THAT TASTE GREAT TOGETHER!
Okay, that’s probably not how it happened, but that’s what it feels like. Here’s the thing, though: it works. We’ve got a cynical priest, a dead brother, and some killers. That’s a good setup! Anyone looking for McFarlane’s influences will probably be disappointed, though. He’s credited as co-plotter and inker, but not much stands out in the artwork to scream McFarlane. That’s probably for the best, since Ryan Ottley’s art is solid, and I don’t think the story would benefit from Todd’s grotesque (that’s an adjective, not a judgment) style.
- Blackest Night: Batman – I think we just got a digression here, but it was an interesting one. And the pain Tim and Dick felt came through. Of course, unless the Gordons are complete idiots — and I don’t think they are — between Damian name-checking Tim Drake and Alfred helping them out undisguised, some secret identities are blown. That’s a big let-down.
- Batman #691 – Oh, look, it’s Black Mask! Who could have seen that one coming?
I also picked up Deadpool #900 (not just because The Rob draws a close-up of a hand, though he does) and the new Chronicles of Wormwood, but haven’t read them yet. Alright. Finally! Now for this week’s comics…
- ARSENIC LULLABY PULP EDITION OMEGA – Ever since this has been relaunched as a magazine I haven’t known what’s going on with it, but if I don’t have it already, I’m in. Yes, I’m sick. I know this.
- BLACKEST NIGHT SUPERMAN #3 (OF 3) – No. No, thank you.
- EX MACHINA #46 – Three issues left! On the plus side, I think we’re really going to find out what’s been going on. I just wish I wasn’t so excited that it’s about to be over.
- FIVE FISTS OF SCIENCE GN – I bought this the first time around, but I can’t recommend it enough. This is messed-up Steampunk at it’s most insane.
- LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS HC $24.99 – Really, Marvel? You put out 4 issues of a mini-series featuring sidekick pets and then put it in a hardcover and charge $25 for it? Are you sure you know who your audience is? Think Big Little Books.
- PUPPY POWER BO OBAMA – Just to prove that I’m not only hating on The Big Two, I’d just like to say “Stop, Bluewater.” Still, I would LOVE to know the sales figures on this.
- STUFF OF LEGEND #2 (OF 2) – ARGH! I still haven’t read the first issue yet, but I’m definitely picking up issue two based on the strength of the FCBD book. See, comic publishers? Proof that Free Comic Book Day works!
- UNDERGROUND #2 (OF 5) – This one is going to have to pass the flip test if I’m going to keep going with the series. I’m not entirely sure why I’m reading it.
That’s it for me. What are you getting?
- AGENTS OF ATLAS #11 – This is, without a doubt, the single best book I get every month and I *JUST* finished reading #9. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but the more I like a book the harder it is to crack it open. (I’m two issues behind on Tales Designed to Thrizzle which is, at best, an annual.) Still, every human being (and most animals) should be reading this. This new arc follows Chris Claremont’s advice that the best stories show our heroes outmatched, so Jade Claw has her own team of agents. And a sea serpent. Thank you for being awesome, Jeff Parker.
- BATMAN AND ROBIN #4 – Morrison + Batman – Quitely = a knockout comic that might actually come out on time.
- BLACKEST NIGHT #3 ( OF 8 ) – Darn you, DC! Of all the crappy mega-events that have come out over the past few years, this is the only one I’ve really been wanting to read, and you priced it out of reach.
- EX MACHINA #45 – I don’t remember what I said last month, but I’m sure it still applies.
- FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH ESCAPE #5 (OF 6) – Seriously? There’s a Final Crisis book that still hasn’t wrapped up yet?
- MODOK REIGN DELAY – Going through the Diamond releases for this week was the first I’ve heard of this, but I’ll give it a try. M.O.D.O.K. is only a book or two away from being tremendously over-exposed, though.
- ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS #1 (OF 4) – Does Marvel *REALLY* have 2 Armor Wars books going on at once? Were we clamoring for more retellings of 15 year-old stories? With this and the new Clone Saga book coming out, apparently so.
I guess I can’t be too judgmental, though, considering I picked up the *OTHER* Iron Man: Armor Wars book. After reading Chris Sims’ glowing review, I decided I had to pick it up. It was a solid, no-continuity
Adventures-line book, but not as madcap and awesome as I had built it up to be in my mind. Still, Ursa Major was exceptionally awesome.
Well, I’m apparently not going to be picking up Blackest Night…I’ve really been looking forward to it and the first issue was a solid read, but with a $4 price point and no extra pages (previews still don’t count, DC!), it looks like if I want to read it I’m stuck rummaging through back issue bins in a couple months. And trying to avoid spoilers on teh intarwebs. Here’s what I AM getting this week:
- BLACKEST NIGHT SUPERMAN #1 (OF 3) – This is more of a “might get,” depending on how good or bad it (and the rest of this week’s books) are. I feel like I need some sort of Blackest Night storyline, especially since Superman is still alive and I’m not picking up Blackest Night. Still haven’t made it through BN Batman #1, yet…
- EX MACHINA #44 – At this point, you’re either picking up and digging Ex Machina or have long since given it up. With 5 issues left (at least if Brian K. Vaughn is still planning on wrapping up with #48, it’s been some time since I’ve heard anything) you know what you’re getting: The West Wing with enough sci-fi to keep things interesting. Still, while the arcs have been good and the ideas have been interesting, I’ve been wondering what the point has been with the whole series. Especially with a set ending, what’s the raison d’etre for Ex Machina? I have to admit I’m not sure. Perhaps after re-reading them all at once I’ll have a better idea.
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #603 – We’re still getting solid Spider-Man stories for $3 a week and that’s always a plus. I confess I’ve been reading it only sporadically since Brand New Day began, picking up a bunch of issues at the beginning in dollar boxes and finding that they were pretty dull. I never found the new cast, red herrings, and new villains as interesting as I was supposed to. I also picked up New Ways to Die, but with only one creative team I was getting a known quantity. At this point we’ve gotten “re-establishing the new status quo” out of the way and with the re-introduction of MJ and The Gauntlet looming around the corner, things are picking back up.
- DAREDEVIL #500 – Again, I’m a sucker for anniversary issues, and ever since DD relaunched with Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada it’s been worth checking in on from time to time. I find the timing of all these anniversary issues curious, though. I think the numbering is being rigged, especially with Incredible Hulk #600. Archie #600 is an anniversary best left to better men than I, though…
What are YOU getting this week?