This Week’s Comics

DC’s Zero Month continues, partying like it’s 1994!  Here are this week’s new and noteworthy releases.

  • ATOMIC ROBO FLYING SHE DEVILS O/T PACIFIC #3  – After a somewhat rough start with the first issue (I found the aerial combat too hard to read), AR: FSDotP (whew!) has really hit it’s stride.
  • ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #6 – You DO know that Robo learns kung fu from Bruce Lee in here, right?  RIGHT???
  • DAREDEVIL #18
  • GHOST #0 – I spotted this in my first Previews and Portents column a couple months back, and the Kelly Sue Deconnick/Phil Noto tag-team is enough to make me give it a shot, even though I’m not really familiar with the character.
  • ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #12 – Despite a fairly sleepy middle act, Snarked has been revelatory. It’s easy enough for kids yet complex enough for adults.  And funny!  With this final issue I’m somewhat afraid we’ll finally SEE the snark, since the running gag has been not knowing what he looks like.  I’m happy enough to NEVER know what Langridge’s looks like, content to have the snark of my imagination. Sad as I am that it’s going away, I’m equally as excited to see what Mr. Langridge has for us next.

That’s it for this week.  Expect reviews later in the week for Hawkeye, Rocketeer, and more.  What looks good to you?

Saturday Morning Comics

This week I’m settling down with a bowl of Cookie Crisp and taller than usual stack of comics. It’s a big week, and it’s a good week for comics. With that in mind, I’m going to keep most of the reviews brief.

The Muppets #2 story and art by Roger Langridge; published by Disney Comics (a Marvel imprint). With no color problems this go-round, the issue is much better. It’s summer and the Muppets take a crazy trip to the beach. What keeps this arc from being perfect are the damned covers. Kermit and Fozzie are horrible to look at here. Why? Why? Why?

Action Comics vol. 2 #12: written by Grant Morrison; art by Rags Morales, CAFU, Rick Bryant, Bob McLeod, and Andrew Hennessy; published by DC Comics. Yeoman’s work. After 12 issues we finally have a real clues as to the over arching conflict…and it involves the 5th Dimension.

 Love and Capes: What to Expect #1: by Thom Zahler; published by IDW. I’m so glad this is back. It’s still fun and a joy to read. As suggested at the end of the last arc and the title of this arc, we can expect a super birth by the end. It works well if you’ve never read any of the previous Love and Capes stories, but there’s an extra layer for those familiar with the world and the established character dynamics. Check it out; it’s clever with winks and nods to comicdom’s goofier moments.

Transformers: Regeneration One #82 story by Simon Furman; art by Andrew Wildman (p) and Stephen Baskerville (i); published by IDW. HOLY MOLEY! Hang on to your butts because Megatron is back and he’s more of a bad-ass than he’s been in a while. If your jaw was on the floor when we saw what he’s done to Earth in the last issue, this issue tops that.

Hypernaturals #1&2 written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; art by Andres Guinaldo, Brad Walker, and Mark Irwin; published by BOOM Studios. Easily the greatest thing about this week’s shipment. When I saw that DnA had a new superhero book out I thought I give it a shot. I was not disappointed. The great strength of these first two issues is that they are fast paced, yet everything necessary to understand the world and the characters is apparent within the first four pages of the issue. Unlike the team books of Distinguished Competition, we’ve got a whole team in issue one and we know the threat. The characters are familiar but interesting. Math is used like magic and a villain leaves his fingerprint on an entire planet.

I’m reticent to make a comparison because it will make the book sound misleadingly too derivative, but there are shades of the JLA, the Legion of Superheroes, and the Guardians of the Galaxy throughout this book. Maybe it’s more fair to say that DnA have taken the best BIG concepts and feelings from these three titles and woven them into an original and enjoyable work.

If you’re a fan DnA’s work on titles like Guardians of the Galaxy and Legion of Superheroes, or your a fan of good story telling where real stuff happens before the sixth issue, this is the book you need to be reading. It’s one of those books that will make you feel you as when the Earth was new.

In other news, Rasl is out this week with a final issue. I’m missing a couple of issues so I’ll get back to you on how it is. Also, I’m reading James Robinson’s Earth-2. It’s James Robinson; it’s the Justice Society; who are you to judge?

THIS WEEK’S COVERS

This Week’s Comics

Oh, hello there.  I didn’t see you come in.  It’s another light week, but here are this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • DAREDEVIL #16
  • LOVE AND CAPES WHAT TO EXPECT #1 – For Matt’s creator-owned pull list.
  • MUPPETS #2 – The Last Langridge Muppet Story is a bit of a lost classic, and it’s been nice to revisit old friends, even if they haven’t been gone that long.
  • THIEF OF THIEVES #7
  • TRANSFORMERS REGENERATION ONE #82 – And speaking of revisiting old friends I don’t think Regen One has quite recaptured the vibe of the first run 20 years ago, but I can see the spark.  And it IS a good book, it just doesn’t seem like Furman and Wildman have recaptured their groove yet.  It’s dumb, but I will mention that one of the best things are the word balloons.  Growing up on the old Marvel series, Transformers always spoke with rectangular balloons with those strange flared corners.  No other series since has gone that route, and it’s nice to see them back.

I also picked up the 100-Page Spectacular so I could get caught up on issues 76-80 from the original series before picking up #81.  I have
about half the issues and had never read the rest, so it was a good refresher for me.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see those stories hold up remarkably well, and not “for Transformers comics,” but as stories in their own right.

That’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?

Saturday Morning Comics

Weekly comics reviews are moving to Saturday mornings starting this week.

In honor of the move, the weekly review feature is getting a new name and a new look.

The Muppets #1 story and art by Roger Langridge; published by Disney Comics (a Marvel imprint). As Jesse mentioned earlier in the week, this is a story fans have been waiting for and worrying about. When BOOM! ended the series, shortly after Marvel was purchased by Disney, this (second to)last arc’s future was uncertain. Disney had already reprinted three of Langridge’s arcs in a large magazine format, and they promised Four Seasons would be on its way. The wait is finally over this week with Spring. True to the other arcs, it essentially follows the format of the television show: the back-stage story is broken up with on-stage acts in between. This particular issue celebrates spring with a love story between animal and a dancing gorilla. Like the previous issues and the current running Snarked!, the “musical” acts are poems made up by Langridge. Story and art-wise this issue is of the same high quality as the previous arcs.

I did have two problems on the production end. The first is that we’re deprived of the original Langridge cover. In its stead we are given  something less than satisfactory…almost…cute and cuddly. I’ll put both covers below in the cover section. The second problem is with the coloring. Kawaii Creative Studio is credited, and they should be ashamed. Outside of Fozzie not being the same color from page to page, the Pigs in Space uniforms are inexplicably red. RED? You see that Piggy’s skirt is also colored blue. The costume ends up looking more like one of those cheap Wonder Woman knock-off costumes. The last problem is that Statler’s suit appears grey/navy (as it should) in the first half of the book, but changes to a brown to match Waldorf’s in the latter half. This book appears to have been made piece-meal by a committee of people from around the world without any quality assurance. I’d have thought Disney might be a little more careful.

Wolverine and the X-Men #13 story by Jason Aaron; art by Nick Bradshaw(p/i), Walden Wong(i), and Cam Smith(i); published by Marvel Comics. Ugh. This issue gives us the back story of the Warbird assigned to protect Gladiator’s son while at Wolverine’s school. It’s really boring to read as all manner of interesting things appear to be going on in the background. Why aren’t we getting a view of what the students are doing/ feeling during all of this Phoenix foolishness? Again I say,”Ugh.”

Saucer Country #5 story by Paul Cornell; art Ryan Kelly; published by Vertigo (a DC imprint). After reading Jesse’s description of issue #1 some time ago, I decided to add it to my list. What’s not to like about the concept: popular and influential politician has encounters with UFO’s, decides to run for president, and conspiracy ensues. The problem is that there are two way to go with this concept. The fast paced exciting and interesting path or the slow plodding path. That Cornell is taking the second path sucks the life out of the book. This isn’t even story decompression. I read these issues and it feels like nothing has happened of interest. There is a story, but it’s pretty dull… I don’t know where this is coming from because I liked Cornell’s work on Action Comics and Captain Britain and MI-13. This is lacking his punchy dialogue and well developed characters.

CHEW: Secret Agent Poyo #1 story by John Layman; art by Rob Guillory; published by Image Comics. I’m working on a review for CHEW that will see the light of day next week, but for now you will have to be satisfied with a review of a one-shot. For those not in the know, Poyo is a rooster whose famed for his cockfighting skills. Not that the world of CHEW is a serious one or one with a firm basis in our reality, but this one-shot devoted to a rooster pushes the boundaries of plausibility within the world that Layman and Guillory have created. Still, it’s a helluva lot of fun. It’s got everything you never realized you wanted or needed in a comic book: a homicidal cybernetic rooster; farm animals as precipitation, a battle against the hordes of Hell itself. It’s a fun book and it doesn’t really require a working knowledge of the main book to enjoy. If you liked Hitmonkey, but felt it a little too serious, this is the comic for you.

THIS WEEK’S COVERS

This Week’s Comics

Despite scrambling with a late-arriving list from Diamond, I finally got this week’s This Week’s Comics put together.  And don’t forget, comics ARE coming out Wednesday, despite it being a holiday.  Diamond has been really good about not having holiday delays lately, and I feel like we haven’t given them the credit for that.  At any rate, here are this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 – James Robinson writing He-Man is such a weird combination that, if I didn’t have a DC ban in place, I’d have no choice to check it out.  And yet the news has been Geoff Johns (who has nothing to do with the series!) creating a new character.  Sheesh.
  • HULK #55
  • MIND MGMT #2 – After hearing so many positive things about #1, I’ll give it a shot.  Well, assuming I can also dig up a #1.
  • MUPPETS #1 – New Roger Langridge Muppet stories are here!  Well, technically they’re older than the Boom! series, but I’ve never seen them, so new to me counts.
  • ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #4
  • SHOWCASE PRESENTS SHOWCASE TP VOL 01 – I think I may have just fallen into the nexus of the universe.
  • THIEF OF THIEVES #6

Matt and I were both excited to see Chris Roberson’s announcement of Monkeybrain Inc, his new webcomic venture with ComiXology.  Roberson, the pen behind iZombie, Elric, Starborn, and the man who made sense of JMS’s disastrous Grounded arc, is a talent to keep your eyes on.  Unceremoniously dumped by DC after publicly expressing commonsense opinions about Before Watchmen, rather than fading into the scenery and never being heard of again he’s focusing on creator-owned work and now this new venture.  I’d be happy to follow him regardless, but after seeing the other creators he has lined up, including Colleen Coover, Curt Franklin, Chris Haley, Joe Keatinge, Chris Sims, Paul Tobin, and Bill Willingham.  I mean, damn!  That’s just a no-brainer.

God go with you, Chris Roberson, and you thirty-two comic creators. God’s not done with any of you, yet.

That’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?

Leaked San Diego ComiCon Rumors!

Summer convention season is upon us, and most publishers take the opportunity to use the bigger cons to announce their plans for the next year.  We’ve managed to intercept some of them from the L.E.M.U.R. satellite orbiting 22,300 miles above the earth, and are happy to spoil their plans.  For the children.

  • DC

    DC will no longer publish comics. Instead it will create and sell lines of merchandise based on the art of Jim Lee. Look for a glut of Batman figures, figurines, and girl’s panties. Also expect more figurines envisioning DC’s famous properties in a hyper sexy anime style.

    • DC will launch Crisis on Finite Earths, except set in the Marvel Universe as the Wolverine of Earth-X and the Spider-Man of Earth 3 finally meet and push the Gwen Stacy of Earth-1 off a bridge.  Then the worlds collapse or something.  Look, it’s just time that Marvel did this, too. Trust us, we’re pros.
    • Feeling that Miracleman rights are a little too close to getting sorted, DC announces they will hire Neil Gaiman to finish his run for them instead of Marvel.
    • Rob Liefeld will become Deputy Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, assisting Geoff Johns.  They will also collaborate on a new title, tentatively scheduled to be a reboot of Jack Kirby’s Sandman.
  • Marvel
    • Thor figures front and center this fall, as he becomes a single mom.
    • Marvel will incorporate hidden Mickeys in each issue of each title they publish. Readers are encouraged to document each occurrence and mail it in. Entries will be checked for accuracy and winners will be selected every six months for a free trip to Euro-Disney.
    • This will be Marvel’s last year at SDCC.  Going forward they will be Spotlight Guests at the brand new San Diego DisneyCon the last week of July.

    Marvel is being exceptionally tight-lipped about this Fall’s Namor War. Bleeding Cool reports that they’ve come up with a name and 6 promo images but have absolutely no idea what to do with them.

  • Dark Horse Comics
    • In honor of Concrete’s 26th anniversary Dark Horse Comics ALL Dark Horse publications will participate “Concrete Month.” Stories will revolve around and feature Paul Chadwick’s iconoclastic creation.
  • Image
    • In the largest crossover of it’s kind, Kurt Busiek’s Astro City will cross over with Ed Brubaker’s Fatale and Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects.  Nick Spencer’s Infinite Vacation will make an appearance, but 8 months late.
    • Top Cow has decided to drop the charade and simply call itself Tits Comics.
  • Boom!
    • Roger Langridge will take over as Editor-in-Chief, put snarks in every title.
  • Archie
    • Archie Comics will shock readers in November with “Who Killed Archie Andrews?”
  • Diamond Distributors
    • In an effort to improve customer service, Diamond will be breaking itself into 12 smaller independent distributors based on geographic region. Griff Moran, a spokesperson for Diamond, assures that these “Diamond Chips” will only be 1/12th as incompetent as the original monopoly. Expect this change in January of 2013.

Alan Moore will write issues 9-12 of Adventure Time. You heard it here first!

This Week’s Comics

Despite a Memorial Day Holiday, this week’s comics will still be out on Wednesday.  Don’t be late!  With that in mind, here are this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • AMERICAS GOT POWERS #2 (OF 6) – Well, it’s new if not noteworthy.  For the record, I didn’t especially care for it.
  • CHANNEL ZERO TP COMPLETE COLLECTION – Interested in Brian Wood’s work before DMZ?  Channel Zero is a great place to start, plus Wood handles all of the creative duties here.  It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up after all these years.
  • COW BOY A BOY AND HIS HORSE HC – By Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos, whose FCBD preview hooked me good.  You can also check out the first four chapters completely free at cowboycomic.net!
  • FF #18
  • ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #3 (OF 4)
  • ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #8 – I feel like we’re getting close to the conclusion, but every issue has been a lot of fun.
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #10

That’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?