Almost back from vacation (the plane for home leaves today, annoyingly late, so I can have minimal sleep before work on Tuesday), so let's get back into the normal swing of things here:
New comics this week (Wednesday, 6/25/08):
Final Crisis #2
Ah, back in town just in time for more of the big Grant Morrison event. I've greatly enjoyed the online discourse about the first issue, with some saying that it was boring and little happened, while others said that was the genius behind it. And some said it was ugly and sordid, but others loved that aspect. Myself, I thought it was all right, but I'm waiting for things to ramp up and get really crazy. And bring the Morrison weirdness, although there's no need for Invisibles- or Filth-level nuttiness; I'll be happy with, I dunno, that JLA story where the angels invaded.
Immortal Iron Fist #16
Okay, it looks like this is the final issue of the Fraction/Brubaker run, although this issue is just Fraction, doing a wrap-up of their tenure, I guess. Will this stuff end up being collected so I can read it? I kind of wish I hadn't waited for the trade. Thanks for jerking me around, Marvel.
Jack of Fables #23
Crap, I don't know what's going on here anymore. Last issue was a flashback to Jack's cowboy days, right? So now are we back to more adventures in Americana? I don't even read all that many single-issue comics (compared to some), but I have trouble keeping up with the ones I do follow. Eh, I bet this will still be enjoyable.
Madame Xanadu #1
Is this a revival of a long-time DC/Vertigo character? I think so, but I don't know much of anything about her. Apparently she's some kind of medieval sorceress? Matt Wagner is writing, so that will get people's attention, and the art by newcomer Amy Reader Hadley sure looks nice. I did read the recent preview that was in Northlanders or some other Vertigo book, and wasn't too impressed, so I'll probably skip it.
No Hero #0
Shouldn't Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp finish their other "superhero violence" miniseries before starting another one? Or did that last issue of Black Summer come out and I missed it? Anyway, this one is about a group of superheroes that have been around in various incarnations for 40 years, and "their luck runs out", whatever that means. It'll probably involve gore and rubble. And lots of smoking and cursing, and discussion of cool cutting-edge technology. Not that I don't plan to get it, but I've learned what to expect when reading Ellis comics. But I generally dig it, so don't let me down, Ellis!
Pigeons from Hell #3
While the first issue of this series was nice and moody, the second one jumped straight into a full-on gorefest. Yikes. Nathan Fox can draw some crazy, fucked-up stuff. I can't wait to see what he'll come up with this time around.
In which Peter Milligan's patriotic Americans vs. dirty Commies superhero series concludes. It's been a wild ride; I hope the finale doesn't disappoint.
Whoa, this is "long-running (i.e. delayed) Joss Whedon series finally conclude" month, isn't it? This story arc has taken way too long to finish, and much like Astonishing X-Men, it's almost sure to disappoint, even if the scale of this series is much smaller. I have generally enjoyed Whedon's stint on the series, but due to the delays, the book has pretty much fallen off my radar, and that sucks, since it used to be something to look forward to each month. As it is, I'm going to drop it after this issue, and if I hear good things about the upcoming Terry Moore/Humberto Ramos run, I'll consider picking it up in trade.
Secret Invasion Runaways/Young Avengers #1
I guess the idea was to get the Runaways back to the present so they could participate in this thing, 'cause everybody's gotta be involved in the big Marvel events. I normally wouldn't be interested in this, especially since it's written by Christopher Yost, whom I have exactly zero feeling about, but the artist the Takeshi Miyazawa, and from the preview art I've seen, it's pretty nice-looking. So maybe it will be worth getting, at least for the pretty pictures.
Thor Reign of Blood
This is the second of the Matt Fraction-written mythology-style Thor one-shots, with art by Khari Evans and Patrick Zircher this time around. Sure to be enjoyable, in an epic, giant-smashing, wine-quaffing way.
Keep on fighting those Sandies, guys! The war continues, with good times had by all.
What If Fantastic Four tribute to Mike Wieringo
The late Wieringo's incomplete last work, an imaginary story about the New Fantastic Four (you know, Spidey, Wolvie, Hulkey, and, uh, Ghostey), gets finished here by an all-star lineup of artists, including Art Adams, Mike Allred, Stuart Immonen, Cully Hamner, and Barry Kitson. 48 pages for $4.99, and I doubt I'll be able to pass it up.
All Star Batman And Robin The Boy Wonder Vol. 1 HC
Here you go, you can find out what sort of Frank Miller awesomeness you've been missing! Thrill as Batman calls Robin a retard! Gasp as they fly around in the (goddamn) Batmobile for three or four issues! Cheer as Superman hits Wonder Woman and then makes out with her! Surely one of the greatest comics of all time! That seems to be the current response around the interwebs anyway, having swung from "terrible" to "enjoyable because it's so ridiculous". Or something. I still don't really care about it (I don't get why Jim Lee is so popular), and I've only read a little bit (and paid for none), but it's fun to watch the reactions to each new issue. So if you really want to find out what's the hubbub, here you go, at $25 for the first nine issues. Whoopee.
Andru And Esposito's Get Lost TP
I wasn't aware of this series, but it was apparently a Mad knock-off from back in 1953 by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. It lasted three issues before being sued out of existence by Harvey Kurtzman. Sounds interesting. This volume collects those three issues, so here it is to check out.
Barks/Rosa Collection TPB Vol 2 Donald's Atom Bomb
The Carl Barks/Don Rosa Disney duck comics are always worth a read. Reprints of them were among the first comics I collected, and I can still read them and enjoy them even more than I did back then. So here's a batch of them, ready for perusal. I'll keep saving up for that "complete works of Carl Barks" set though...
Batman Jekyll And Hyde TPB
I don't know if this is any good, but it features art by Jae Lee, so it should look nice. Unfortunately, Lee left the miniseries halfway through (I remember DC trying to market the art change as somehow reflective of Harvey Dent's split personality, which was amusing) and was replaced by Sean Phillips, who is also pretty good but not exactly the same sort of thing. Hell, the series is written by Paul Jenkins who really isn't very good, so I probably shouldn't even bother mentioning it. Sorry to waste everyone's time.
The new all-ages book by Hope Larson, about a girl at summer camp. I definitely wouldn't mind reading it.
The Vertigo edition of Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan's excellent anthology series. I loved this book (and I'm really excited about the upcoming follow-up), so I heartily recommend it if you haven't read it.
Ex Machina Deluxe Edition Vol 1 HC
Another of my favorite series that I haven't read in a while (I switched from buying single issues to trades), in fancy-schmancy hardcover format for more money. This book collects the first ten issues (which seems odd, since I think that means it will end in mid-storyline) of the "superhero mayor of New York" book by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. I recommend it, although the softcover trades are probably a better deal.
Good Bye HC
The new collection of Yoshihiro Tatsumi short stories from Drawn and Quarterly. I think this one has to do with post-WWII Japan, which should provide plenty of fodder for angst and despair. I've only read Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and it was interesting, if not something that I loved. While I don't know if I would want to buy these books, I wouldn't mind reading them, so I'll keep an eye out for this one (and The Push Man) at the library.
Jack of Fables Vol 3 The Bad Prince TPB
Fun stuff in this volume, as Jack gets a sword (Excalibur? That doesn't really match up with the most recent volume of Fables...) stuck through his chest, learns the true story of his origins and how he relates to his black-haired look-a-like, Wicked John, and tells the story of how he stole the ice queen's powers and became Jack Frost. Good times.
MARVELS Premiere HC
Is this book still popular? It was a big deal when it first came out, back when Alex Ross was new on the scene, but do people still love it? Once I got around to reading it, I thought it was all right, but not exactly a masterpiece. I guess it's got the audience for a big, expensive ($25) reissue. Enjoy, man-children!
Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite TP
Hey, it's the collected version of one of the best comics of last year! This was some super-fun, kick-ass stuff, with beautiful art by Gabriel Ba, and some surprisingly good writing by that rock star guy from Fallout Boy or something like that. Read it, if you haven't already.
Apple Anthology Vol 1 GN
From UDON, it's a bunch of stories from Korean comics (manhwa?) creators. Looks nice, and it might be worth checking out.
Cat Eyed Boy Vol 2 GN
Ooh, the first (only?) two volumes of this Kazuo Umezu series came out together, and I can't wait to read them. I love Umezu, in all his demented glory, so this should be some wild and crazy stuff.
Dororo Vol 2 TP
And then there's more Osamu Tezuka awesomeness involving missing limbs and demons. I'm all over this book; it's really fucking awesome.
Gantz Vol 1 TP
And rounding out the manga for this week, Dark Horse puts out this bizarre, ultraviolent series about people trapped in some sort of war games involving aliens, weird technology, and plenty of dismemberment. I read some of it in scanlated form, and it's really crazy, with a slick art style reminiscent of MPD Psycho or some other modern manga. I'll try to buy it just to support Dark Horse's import of this sort of material.
And that's everything for this week that I can see. I'll have quite the pile waiting for me at the shop on Wednesday, so maybe I'll get to lots of reviews soon. I've got a few lined up for the rest of the week, so stay tuned.