This Week’s Comics

Happy New Year folks!  As we here at the L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog orbiting space station settle in for a night of sorting comics, we’d like to wish you and yours the happiest of 2013’s.  New Comics Wednesday is still Wednesday this week, so let’s take a look at this week’s new and noteworthy titles.

  • There are six characters on this cover.  Care to count how many feet are drawn?

    There are six characters on this cover. Care to count how many feet are drawn?

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER WILLOW WONDERLAND #3- I really took a gamble here, betting that Jeff Parker would be able to tell a good story to someone who knows less than nothing about Buffy or their cast of characters.  He’s really done a great job getting to the core of the character (Willow is a witch looking to bring Magic back to Earth, nuff said) without burdening the book with needless continuity.  MAYBE there’s shoutouts to the diehards in here, but it’s nothing that prevents me from enjoying a really solid fantasy title.

  • GLORY #31
  • MANHATTAN PROJECTS #8
  • PUNK ROCK JESUS #6 – PRJ has been the one of the biggest surprises of 2012 for me.  Sean Murphy has just knocked this book out of the park and even as I’m looking forward to the end of the extraordinary comic I know we’re going to continue to see great work from him.
  • YOUNGBLOOD #75 – Perhaps the “Extremest” of the Extreme relaunch titles, as it was The Rob’s initial book when he started at Image, and it’s the one that holds closest to its original vision as Glory becomes a fantasy title and Prophet is now lo-fi sci-fi (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).  Youngblood sticks to the core idea of government-sanctioned heroes, does it well, and even has some solid Liefeldian art thanks to Jon Malin.  And despite all MY predictions, at least, several issues have some out on schedule.  They’re doing things right over in the Extreme offices, folks.

That’s it for this week, and see you in 2013. 

This Week’s Comics

There are several noteworthy books this week, but surprisingly few I’m picking up.  Still, let’s dive in to this week’s new releases.

  • INVISIBLES OMNIBUS HC – Grant Morrison’s Invisibles is one of the last great, ambitious titles of modern comics, and even it’s 15 years old now.  Still, it’s nice to see that DC is giving it the prestige treatment it deserves, even if compiling all 59 issues into one volume is going to be as awkward to read as it is hernia-inducing.  Perhaps one volume for each series, DC?
  • JACK KIRBYS FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS TP VOL 03 – I *LOVE* the concept behind the Fourth World Omnibi — Jack Kirby’s Fourth World stories collected chronologically instead of by title — so you really get the experience of reading it as if you were seeing it for the first time as in the 70’s.  Not to mention the high production values of the paper, coloring, and whatnot make it a high-value upgrade if — like me — you only have the individual-title TPB’s.
  • ROCKETEER CARGO OF DOOM #1 – Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, who have been doing incredible work on Daredevil recently, are bringing their considerable talents over to IDW’s Rocketer with this new 4-issue mini.  This is going to be one to watch for, friends.
  • SCALPED #60 – I’ve been following Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s Scalped in trades, and though it’s terrible, terrible protagonists make it not a book I’ve really LIKED, it’s a book that’s definitely been consistently and quietly GREAT month in and month out.  And if that seems like a contradiction then you just haven’t started in on Dash’s story yet.  This week’s is the last issue.
  • YOUNGBLOOD #73 – (Intentionally) funnier than you’d think a Rob book would be, with art by Jon Malin that mimics The Rob’s strengths without falling prey to becoming a stereotype (see also: Marat Mychaels, Dan Fraga), it’s a solid title if you’re in the mood to “Rub the Blood”.*

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

* Just kidding, that’s a Bloodstrike tagline.

Hey Kids, What Time Is it?!?!?!

…Time to review some comics!

I’m noticing a significant amount of IDW titles producing diminishing returns.  They start out great, but drift off directionless and never really fulfill their potential.  And so it is with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 10, the most recent issue.  The beginning is great but there never seem to be story arcs with a conclusion, so every issue becomes the middle.  That’s how life works, but it doesn’t make for a gripping story.  Yes, the concept is good.  Yes, Tom Waltz’s writing writing is solid enough (the art by Dan Duncan is fine, but not exceptional).  But without defined story arcs it feels like we’re just adrift.  The recent Micro-series — where each turtle gets his own single-issue spotlight — was much better in comparison because there was a definite beginning, middle, and end.  The dramatic arc is a pretty big deal; we always seem to be stuck in rising action, and without the climax, falling action, and denouement you can’t have closure.

Speaking of IDW, despite the rage-inducing Kingdom of Monsters #12, I gave them another shot with their new “ongoing” Godzilla series.  I shouldn’t have, it’s identical to KoM.  Every monster suddenly starts attacking and only one elite ass-kicker charged to look over a little girl looks like he’ll be able to survive the assault.  No thanks, IDW, you printed that one already.

Which brings us to Youngblood 71, the last title of The Rob’s Extreme Relaunch.  Much like Bloodstrike, it picks up where the last title (an ongoing series that lasted 9 issues) left off, with a few missing characters (Badrock) and a new Shaft.  And of all the things I expected from a Youngblood title, what I didn’t expect was for it to be funny.  Sure, the Honey Badger gag would have been better had it not been explained, but it’s a good shot.  And everyone in the team referring to the naive n00b as Not-Shaft is a nice touch that rings true for a team dynamic.  Vogue was a comic book cliche of the girl on the team, but I get the feeling that was the point.  I think this is going to be the most accessible of the relaunches.  And while it may end suddenly (Youngblood volume 4), with the way the relaunch has been going I don’t expect it to fade into oblivion after an issue or two like volume 3, Imperial, Bloodsport, or Genesis (whew!).

Free Comic Book Day Rarities

Free Comic Book Day is one of the greatest comic-reading days of the year, but it’s not just

Looking for IDW’s Hostess Artist’s Edition? Get there early!

the free comics.  Sometimes publishers take the opportunity to introduce a new character, kick off a huge event (like this year’s Age of Ultron), or experiment with something new.  It’s always these experimental books that are the hardest to find. For this week’s LIST we present Rare Free Comic Book Day Issues.

  • Archie Presents: Moose and Reggie –

    The jock and the stomach get their own title at last!  But the real draw for this book was the rediscovery of the lost 1948 character Mr. Winklefarthing.

  • Geoff Johns’ The Darkening (Fanfic press, 2004)

  • Things We Found Digging in Alan Moore’s Rubbish Bin (Avatar)

  • The Liefeld Podiatric Sketchbook (Image)

  • Spider-Man: Night of the Lepus #0

  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, A Gentleman # 0.5 of 50 –

    Dynamite Entertainment continues their unrelenting acquisition of public domain properties with this graphic novel translation of the most incomprehensible novel in the English language. Written and drawn by Tony Daniel with inks by Wade von Grawbadger.

  • Ben Grimm’s Man vs Food (2005)

  • Blinded by Scientology! The L. Ron Hubbard Story  (Bluewater Comics) –

    This marks the first in a series of bio-comics exploring the lives of famous figures in Scientology.

  • Cerebus, the one-volume edition –

    All 300 issues of the indie comic, in one free volume!

  • Portraits of Famous Beards (Arctic Press)

  • Bone: Year One –

    a fresh new take on a stale old classic!

  • The Cathy Sampler (IDW) –

    ahead of the release of Cathy vol. 1 (Nov. 1976 – April 1977), IDW presents The Cathy Sampler revisiting everyone’s favorite shopa-choco-holic. This 40 pg. sampler includes the controversial arc where-in Cathy ate pot laced brownies, ACK!

Tomorrow’s Comics

I’m so excited for this week, no preamble.  We’re jumping right in! Here are this week’s new and noteworthy releases.

Yes, that's a robot about to whack something with a tiny dinosaur.

  • ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #1 $2.75 – New Atomic Robo, and look at that price!  Many issues of AR include backup features written by Brian Clevenger and drawn by other available artists.  Real Science Adventures takes these from the backups and makes them the featured story.  I admit I always appreciate Scott Wegener’s art the most on Robo, partially because he’s just that good, but mainly because the quality of the guest artists tends to fluctuate pretty wildly.  Still, new Robo is new Robo, and you can’t go wrong for less than $3.
  • BLOODSTRIKE #26 – I am SO torn about this one!  On the one hand, it’s Bloodstrike, the main signal that the 90’s had gotten dangerously out of control (yeah, yeah, I read it.  Shut up.).  On the other, The Rob’s Extreme relaunch has been surprisingly good, so it’s got the virtue of being in good company.  I’m in for now.
  • DAREDEVIL #10 – I believe I covered this.
  • FF #16 – After finally finding FF #1, I’ve read the first year’s worth of stories now.  It’s technically good, but I definitely feel like it misses out on part of the appeal of Hickman’s run, namely that just about every story was a standalone but fed into the whole.  It was very artfully done, and after 12 issues a complete story hasn’t been told yet.  I think that’s pretty poor form.  Still, it’s solid FF’ery if you can be patient with it.
  • SNARKED #6
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #8

I had planned to take this space to mention Greg Rucka’s new Punisher series, but that will have to wait until next week, when I’ll pair it up with Rick Remender’s new Venom.  So that’s it for this week.  What looks good to you?

Truly, this is the LIST of LISTS

Oh, we've THOUGHT about telling you where his nose went, but we kept it to ourselves.

We’ve been running our weekly LIST for a while now…82 weeks to be exact, which makes it one of our longest-running features..  We don’t give ourselves a lot of boundaries, but there are some things even we consider crossing the line.  For this week’s LIST we take you behind the scenes to LISTS We’ve Scrapped.  For one reason or another, these just were not  and could not make the cut.

  • Things found in Alan Moore’s beard

  • Superheroes’ Favorite Numbers

  • Heroes that are also Urban Dictionary Entries

  • Other Things Hank Pym Has Hit

  • Crimes that would land you in the Phantom Zone

  • Mutants Based on Kama Sutra Positions

  • Characters and Titles that never made it past the Comics Code Authority

  • Fish Aquaman Has Only Commanded Once

Wanna know the weirdest things ever found in these envelopes? Trust us, you don't.

  • Where to hide a body in Gotham City

  • Other characters Bob Kane has taken credit for

  • Aunt May’s Favorite Sex Toys

  • Distances measured in units of Wolverine

  • Ant-Man’s Trophy Room

  • Things Rob Liefeld Can Draw Better Than Anyone, Ever