Monday, February 2, 2009

This week is ca-razy with the content

Hopefully it will be around these parts, as well as at comics shops.

But before I start looking at that stuff, I wanted to point out this amazing strip (story?  experience?) by Patrick McEown from Dave Cooper's 1999 comic Weasel #1 that Josiah Leighton posted.  Really cool stuff; I love seeing that sort of experimental thing where artists play with what can be done with the comics medium.

Okay, here's the rundown.  Lots to be excited about here.

New comics this week (Wednesday, 2/4/09):

Adventure Comics #0 

For anybody that cares, here's a reprint of the first appearance of the Legion of Superheroes.  From what people like Chris Sims report, Legion stories could be gloriously insane, but I don't know if this first story was any great shakes, other than introducing the concept of teenagers from the future.  Maybe worth checking out?  And is DC doing a revival of Adventure Comics?  Eh, whatever.

Age of Sentry #5

I guess people are still digging this, although I haven't been too impressed by the issue or two I've sampled.  Maybe I'm just not as into Silver Age wackiness as others, or maybe I hate the Sentry character too much to like him even when he's written by good writers like Jeff Parker, whom I usually like.  But I guess it's not terrible, so go for it, if it's your sort of thing.

Agents of Atlas #1

Speaking of Jeff Parker, here's the new ongoing series starring his revived pre-Silver Age characters.  The miniseries that he and Leonard Kirk did was quite enjoyable, so hopefully this will be good too, although since Kirk is busy with Captain Britain Fights Dracula On The Moon (by the way, I don't especially get why that's supposed to be such an awesome concept, but maybe it's just me), the artist is Carlo Pagulayan, who I believe illustrated some of Parker's Marvel Adventures stuff.  I'm a little hesitant at the annoying tie-in to the current Marvel Purple Reign (ha ha, I love that joke) story, but that doesn't automatically signify suckiness.  Let's hope it turns out good.  Don't let me down, Parker!  Hopefully, I should have a review of this up at Comics Bulletin tomorrow.

Astonishing Tales #1

I guess this is Marvel's latest anthology series, but they might be oversaturating the market here, since they've already got Marvel Comics Presents (unless that got cancelled when I wasn't paying attention (which is often)).  With one exception, this doesn't seem all that worthwhile, featuring "talents" like C.B. Cebulski writing Wolverine/Punisher/Iron Man dreck, but that exception is Jonathan Hickman, who writes and illustrates (along with Nick Pitarra) something about lower-tier X-Men and Mojoworld (a concept I never really understood, mostly for lack of trying).  That could be...interesting?

Bad Dog #1

A new Image series from writer Joe Kelly (along with illustrator Diego Greco) about two bounty hunters, a werewolf and a midget (is that a slur?  maybe "little person" would be better?).  Sounds wacky.  Here's an interview with some preview pages.  The art looks nice.

Bang Tango #1

Speaking of Joe Kelly, he's got another new series here, about an ex-gangster who tries to leave the life behind and become a dancer.  Sounds like the Robert Duvall movie Assassination Tango from a few years back.  This is published by DC, but I can't figure out if it's part of the Vertigo or Wildstorm imprints, or just a DC title that doesn't feature superheroes.  Weird.  Anyway, it might be decent.  Art by Adrian Sibar.

Boys #27

Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson continue their path of mayhem.  I'm ready for this arc to be collected so I can read it already.

Comic Book Comics #3

On a normal week, this would be the title I was most excited about, but see below for something that will eclipse it.  But I'm still ready to run to the comic shop and pick this up, because I really like the way Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey are relating comics history in the style of their awesome Action Philosophers.  And it dovetails nicely with David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent Plague, which I'm also reading right now.  Comics history fascinates me.

Crossed #3

More Garth Ennis, detailing the depths of zombie-ish depravity with artist Jacen Burrows.  I haven't been reading this series, but I might give it a try at some point.  Sometimes it's good to fill one's brain with nastiness.

Dead Irons #1

This new series from Dynamite by James Kuhoric and Jason Shawn Alexander has something to do with supernatural Old West bounty hunters.  Cool?  Sounds pretty crazy, and it features character designs by Jae Lee.  Could be worth a look.  Here's a Newsarama interview with Kuhoric that includes some preview art, and another one with Lee that has some concept sketches.

Eureka #1

From Boom! Studios, it's a tie-in with the Sci-Fi Channel TV show.  Show creators/producers/writers Andrew Cosby and Johanna Stokes do a lot of work for Boom!, so it makes sense that they would do a comics version.  It might even be decent reading.  This issue at least is written by Cosby and Brendan Hay, with art by Diego Barreto.

Franklin Richards Its Dark Reigning Cats & Dogs

I haven't been following these Franklin Richards specials like I used to, but I expect they're still pretty enjoyable.

Haunted Tank #3

More Vertigo war/race satire.  I should check this series out sometime.

Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1

From Radical, this is a new (mini-?)series by Warren Ellis and Steve Pugh (although Ellis only gets story credit, with Pugh actually writing the script as well as providing the art), about some sort of futuristic ghost detective.  Sounds interesting.  I received a preview PDF, so I might write something about it if I find it worthwhile.

House of Mystery #10

Vertigo again, with the end of the series' second storyline.  Maybe it'll be collected soon, and I can catch up.  This issue features Kyle Baker art on the backup story.  Cool.

I Am Legion #1

Hey, we might finally get to find out how this series ends!  DC published the first part several years ago, back when they had a deal with European publisher Humanoids, but the rest of the series never made it over here (I don't even know if it was finished by the time the partnership ended).  But now Devil's Due is putting out some of Humanoids' books, so it gets a second chance.  It's by Fabian Nury and John Cassaday, and it's a WWII story about a Nazi program to create unstoppable zombie soldiers.  I remember that first issue being pretty cool, so hopefully the continuation of the series won't disappoint.  One note: the DC version was in "prestige format", at 48 pages (I think).  Devil's Due is apparently splitting the original three volumes/albums into eight issues that will cost $3.50 apiece.  Hopefully that won't impair reading too much, but it will probably also be collected into one volume, so it might be better to wait for the trade.

Immortal Iron Fist #22

I've read a few issues of this series under its new creative team, and it hasn't been terrible, but it hasn't been as good as it was under Fraction, Brubaker, and company either.  But the last issue, about a future, interplanetary Iron Fist, was pretty cool.  Maybe it's getting better.  This issue starts a new storyline, so let's keep an eye on it, I guess.

Invincible Iron Man #10

Speaking of Matt Fraction, here's another installment of his increasingly-tedious Marvel output.  I'm glad I stopped buying this title; it hasn't gotten any better.  Maybe Fraction can turn it around, but I'm just not feeling it.  I hope he gets back to Casanova and that sort of thing soon, because his indentured servitude to the mainstream is killing a great talent.

Jersey Gods #1

A new Image series from writer Glen Brunswick (who didn't exactly wow me on Killing Girl) and artist Dan McDaid about a girl from New Jersey who marries a cosmic, Kirby-esque god of war.  Judging from this preview, the art looks nice and Kirby-esque, but who knows if it will be worth reading as well as looking at.  Also: a Mike Allred cover!

Madman Atomic Comics #13

And speaking of Allred, here's the latest issue of his signature series, which I should probably try to catch up on.  Maybe I'm better off leaving it alone and not being further disappointed by all the arbitrary plot turns and Mormon sermonizing.  But I just dig Allred too much, so I'm sure I'll get it.

Sandman Dream Hunters #4

I think this is the last issue of P. Craig Russell's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's original story.  It's another one that I'll probably try to read someday, but I don't feel the need to own it, since I'm fine with the original.  Still: probably very pretty.

Secret Warriors #1

I can't believe I'm talking about this much Marvel stuff this week.  I don't know whether this will be worth mentioning, but it's a new series about Nick Fury and his band of trainees that Brian Michael Bendis put together at some point during Secret Invasion.  I wouldn't normally care, but the series is being co-written (with Bendis) by Jonathan Hickman (with art by Chris Weston), which might mean some interesting plotting and/or dialogue, or something.  Let's hope Hickman doesn't go the Fraction route, turning to bland work-for-hire over more creative indie stuff.  I might have a review of this issue up tomorrow at Comics Bulletin.  We'll see.

Soul Kiss #1

Another new Image series, this time from Steven T. Seagle (with artist Marco Cinello), about a character who makes one of those bad deals with the devil where they have to collect souls or something.  Might be interesting, even though I'm not all that into Seagle's work.  Here's an interview/preview.

X-Men First Class Finals #1

Another Jeff Parker thing, apparently a sort of send-off for his well-regarded series about the early days of the X-Men.  What little I read of it was decent, if not incredible, but I like Parker, so if this was your sort of thing, read it.  Yeah, I'm all about the backhanded recommendations.

Bill Wards Torchy Vol 1 TP

This is a collection of Golden Age creator Bill Ward(Blackhawk)'s stories featuring a popular "good girl" character that he did for army newspapers.  Neat, although it might be a bit pricey at $25.  Still, it's always cool to have reprints of forgotten classics, especially when they feature the sexy dames.  Here's some more information about the book, if you're interested.

Captain America The Truth HC

Here's a reprint from Marvel's year or two of experimentation in the early oughts.  For anybody who doesn't know, it's a retcon of Captain America's history, revealing that before Steve Rogers became the famed super-soldier, the serum that made him that way was tested on African-American soldiers.  It's sort of a disjointed story, but it's an interesting one, and it features (kind of messy) art by Kyle Baker.  Worth a look, if you haven't read it before, but probably not worth the $25 for a hardcover binding.

Dr. Grave Vol 1 Unholy Twelve TP

I had never heard of this before, but apparently it was a miniseries by creator Ed Clayton that came out back in 2000-01 about an alcoholic, womanizing sorceror who fights Satan.  Sounds interesting and enjoyable.  This volume collects that series, in anticipation of a sequel that is coming out in the spring.  Here's one of those interview/previews.  I like the art.

Garth Ennis Streets Of Glory TP

Ennis again, this time doing a Western with Mike Wolfer for Avatar.  I've heard it wasn't all that good, but maybe I heard wrong.  Whaddya say, internet?  Should I check it out?

Kid Beowulf Vol 1 Kid Beowulf And The Blood-Bound Oath GN

I don't know about this.  It's some sort of cartoony, humorous version of the classic epic poem, but that's probably no sillier that the ridiculous movie.  If it sounds like your thing, here's your chance to buy it at a comic shop, even though it's already been available on Amazon for a while now.  Here's the official site, which has information about the characters and samples and whatnot.  Overall, I say "meh". Meh!  Actually, it doesn't look too shabby; it might be worth checking out.  As with everything I mention these days, maybe I'll read it someday.

Marvel 1985 Prem HC DM ED

Some people who I would consider to be pretty intelligent thought this was a good series, but I found it to be quite stupid.  Mark Millar keeps going back to the well of "what if superheroes were, like, in the real world, duuuude?", and it's not getting any more interesting with each repeated version.  This one sees villains from the Marvel Universe transported into the "real" world in the titular year, and a bunch of dumb shit happens, although it's all about a kid connecting with his dad.  Pointless, and a waste of time for all involved, if you ask me.  It looks pretty nice though; Tommy Lee Edwards really needs to work with Ed Brubaker on a crime series or something, and get away from the superheroics that don't fit his style very well at all.  So say I, Mr. Important Comics Guy!  Why doesn't the industry listen to me more often?

Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 TPB

Since we're all doing so well financially right now, why not drop a bunch of money on a fancy hardcover collecting early Spidey stories?  Actually, at $25, it's not that bad a deal, since it contains the first ten issues of the series, plus Amazing Fantasy #15 and some extras, like the original artwork for that origin story.  Not too shabby.  Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, early Marvel, what's not to like?  Of course, you could always spend even more money on an omnibus version...

Missing The Boat GN

An all-ages graphic novel from Image, about a fictional, lazy species of animal called the Churamane who don't make it onto Noah's ark.  Funny?  Looks cute enough; here's another one of those interview/previews.

Myspace Dark Horse Presents vol 2 TPB

Here's another collection of Dark Horse's webcomics, featuring stuff like a tie-in to Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible, an Umbrella Academy story, stories by Gilbert Hernandez, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, and Evan Dorkin, and other content which you can also read for free online.  But if you gots to have the dead trees and less money in your pockets, go for it.

Saga Of The Swamp Thing HC Book 1

Alan Moore's run on the series gets the hardcover treatment, and a selling point seems to be that this book includes his first issue, which wrapped up previous storylines before he went off and did his own thing.  Other collections have all started with issue #21, "The Anatomy Lesson".  Eh, whatever.  I've read "The Anatomy Lesson", but that's about all I've experienced of Moore's work with the character, so I should really give it a read sometime.  Not that I'm going to spend the dough on fancy hardcovers, but maybe it will spur me on to actually reading it.  Here's hoping.

Scott Pilgrim Vol 5 The Universe GN

And now we get to the big release of the week, which dwarfs everything else.  Woo!  Scott Pilgrim!  Bryan Lee O'Malley!  I can't wait to read it.  I expect I'll be rushing into the store to buy it, and then I'll enthuse about it here as soon as I've devoured the contents.  Awesome.

Super Teen Topia Invisible Touch TP

But other works still appear.  I don't know if this will be all that interesting, since I tire of the endless attempts to do wring new life out of superheroes, but here's another one.  This one is all about teenagers who want to fight crime, but they're confined by what resources are available to them, so they have to take the bus and stuff like that.  Somehow, I doubt it will be as fresh and new as the creators probably think it is; Stan Lee and Steve Ditko covered that material over 40 years ago.  But who knows, maybe it will be the next big thing.  Here's the official site, with previews and all that jazz.

Tiny Titans Vol 1 Welcome To The Treehouse TP

This series certainly looks cute, but it's rather narrowly-pitched, isn't it?  That is, from what I understand, it's all jokes based on the minutae of DC continuity; nobody outside of hardcore superhero fans is going to get any of it.  Sure, kids probably like the simple, funny drawings, but they usually need more than that to actually make something successful.  Still, people that I respect seem to like it, so maybe there's more there than I think.  Or maybe I just read too many comics-nerd-focused blogs.

Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Vol 5 HC

I feel like I should check this manga out sometime, since I really like the movie, but I've never gotten into it.  This omnibus version of the series looks like a good way to do so though, collecting three volumes at a time under one cover.  This one finishes off the series, so there's the whole thing all at once.  Maybe someday.

Happy Happy Clover Vol 1 TP

This is a new kid-targeted title from Viz, and it's apparently about a cute bunny and its cute friends and all sorts of other assorted cuteness.  I mean, just look at this thing (that's from the anime version, but I'm sure the manga is pretty much the same).  Wow, I've already got a toothache, and I'm used to this sort of thing, since I've got a baby daughter and all.  Handle with care, is my advice.

Legend Of Zelda Majoras Mask GN

Viz has this Zelda manga, assumedly as a follow-up to their Ocarina of Time series.  Dunno if it's any good, but it's worth mentioning, I figure.

Magic Touch Vol 1 TP

Ooh, it's the shojo massage series.  I read the first chapter when it was previewed in Shojo Beat, and it looks like fun.

Otomen Vol 1 GN

Another new shojo series, about a macho guy who is secretly really girly.  This one was previewed at the same time as The Magic Touch, so here's my take.  Looks like a fun series.

Ral Grad Vol 3 TP

Hey, it's more of the "monster boobs" series!  This one was kind of infamous around the blogosphere for a while, but nobody talks about it anymore.  Maybe people are trying to ignore it and hope it goes away.  Myself, I didn't mind it all that much, so I could see myself reading more.  But it's definitely not something that I would beg people to check out or anything.

Slam Dunk Vol 2 GN Viz Edition

And here's another big release for the week.  This Takehiko Inoue series is awesome, full of hilarious comedy and exciting sports action.  I really dug the first volume, and I should hopefully have a review of this one up sometime this week.  Great stuff; this is one that I would beg people to check out.

Whew!  That is a lot of comics.  I'm already behind on reading and writing, and more stuff keeps coming out.  Guess I better keep it grinding it out; blogging is all I care about, don'tcha know!  So keep reading, and I'll keep writing.  That's the deal.  Later.