Week #3 in a four week month. This week brings us the last issue of this incarnation of the Flash. Kudos to DC for keeping something like this a secret for so long. Another light week for the independents that I get, which is disappointing as I have a lot of independents on my list and the erratic publishing schedule for those books makes it a crap shoot as to what comes out when. Still I continue to go for making at least 1/3 of my list being independents.
Aquaman #53 – I can’t believe this book has much longer left. Undersea heroes are a hard sell at almost anytime and then add a radical stylistic change in art and story telling and you lose some of the audience you have on a book and I’m betting few new people tried it. This was such a shift in the way the book was being done; a new #1 may have been the best bet. Still I’m hanging in there to see what Tad Williams (writer) has up his sleeve.
Brave & Bold #4 – I already love this book. Mark Waid and George Perez are producing what I find to be a thoroughly enjoyable book. This issue features Supergirl and Lobo, and while I’m not a huge Lobo fan I’m still looking forward to this book.
Catwoman #68 – An issue that promises to have an impact across the DCU and is Countdown related. This book has been one of the better DC series and has been self contained. I loved seeing a new Catwoman, but the return of Selina to the role felt very organic and was done well. Between the first series and this series Catwoman has had her own title for over 150 issues.
Checkmate #15 – Part 5 of Checkout continues. Winick and Rucka by co-writing the Outsiders/Checkmate cross over have done a great job of honing an very tightly written story that has been a solid read.
Countdown #45 – Well the cover says it all for me. You have to understand that the first incarnation of the Legion has become one of my most loved series ever. The ten year run by Paul Levitz on that book stands up as one of the best long term runs on any comic. Recently I re-read most of that run and the end run after Giffen took over and did a five year later thing (which when read together holds up better then it did when it was coming out), and it just cemented my love for the characters even more. So seeing Karate Kid on the cover makes me happy. Plus the series itself feels like what I think it should be, a slow building to a major event (like the Orioles winning a ball game).
Flash #13 – Final issue for this run (pun intended). If Bart is dead I’m going to be sad. I have been avoiding reading too much about what Waid’s plans are, because I want to see it for myself. I get what DC is doing to a degree, but it is a shame in some ways because this series had started to become one of my favorites. This will be the first book I read this week, then Countdown.
Justice League of America #10 – The final chapter of “The Lightning Saga”. This will be the third book I read as it concluded the JSA/JLA/LOSH cross-over. I’m guessing the lighting part of the saga involves the Flash and not Lightning Lad.
Robin #163 – Robin celebrates his first Father’s day as Bruce’s adopted son. Of course when you are the protégé of Batman, these things never work out the way you hoped. Still if anyone should understand a villain takes precedence, it should be Batman. This is a good series.
Shadowpact #14 – The official hype “Disgusted with his new demonic status and the fact that he's made it look "cool" and desirable to the world at large, Blue Devil tries to quit Shadowpact!” I enjoy this series a lot and its odd grouping of characters is very appealing to me. Also Bill Willingham is the writer and as a writer he can almost do no wrong lately.
Spirit #7 – A trio of Spirit tales brought to us by various creators. The Spirit is a one and done book every issue so far, so a “fill-in” issue to help keep the book monthly is easier. Now I’m a huge Darwyn Cooke fan, but the talent they have on this book for these issue is solid: Written by Kyle Baker, Jimmy Palmiotti and Walter Simonson; Art by Kyle Baker, Jordi Bernet, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story.
Army @ Love #4 – I’m ready to drop this book and this issue will most likely be my last one. I have enjoyed it from some perspectives and if the series last I may try it out as a trade. It is just not clicking for me on some indefinable level. The satire is there, it is just too large a cast and a feeling I’m missing what Vietch is trying to say.
Hellblazer #233 – Now this series since Diggle took over as writer has become an absolutely great frelling series. This is John as I think he hasn’t been in many, many years. Cocky, arrogant, a bastard and a hard man to take down. If you have read Hellblazer and left the book over the years, get back on it now.
Highwaymen #1 (of 5) – I don’t’ know the writers (Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman), I have no clue who the artist is (Lee Garbett), but the premise sold me. The official hype “Two men. One drives, the other shoots. In their prime, they were the Highwaymen; a special breed of couriers capable of ferrying anything, anywhere, anytime. But that was long ago. Now Able "Speed" Monroe and Alistair McQueen are a little worse for wear, almost obsolete...until they are called out of retirement and must cross the river of bad blood between them to deliver some very dangerous cargo for a dead President. If only they knew what is was — and why everyone else wants to kill them for it.” Sounds very cool.
Amazing Spider-Man #541 – Continuing Spider-Man tracking down the man who gave the order to kill him and instead has critically injured Aunt May. I have enjoyed this story, but three things are working to turn this into a joke. One the Kingpin is behind this and we know this occurs before Daredevil made him move to Europe. Two the slowness in producing these issues, whomever is to blame a series like this needs to be coming out on time. Three the hype for Marvel from conventions has pictures of issues coming out three or four months from now with Aunt May still in critical condition and apparently dying in the hospital. The possibility that Spider-Man would cross the line and take a life for a life is gone, the immediacy is gone and the possibility that Aunt May dies is gone, i.e. the story line has no real consequence.
Annihilation Conquest Prologue #1 – The last Annihilation stuff I only got the actual series and Nova and skipped all of the rest, With the how much I like Giffen’s Annihilation series and Nova’s new book and the creative teams they are putting on the three mini-series attached to Annihilation Conquest, Marvel has done a good job of selling me on trying out the whole dang thing.
Captain America #27 – This is a really good series and Ed Brubaker is one of my favorite writers at Marvel (except for that Uncanny X-Men trash). Captain America is as good as any run on this book. I’m really enjoying the ride (and I really believe he is not dead).
Civil War – Fallen Son #4 – Spider-Man – Why I’m buying this waste of paper is beyond me, nothing has happened that made this a series to buy. Of course my comic store has been selling many, many copies of the book and he is happy from a financial standpoint.
Heroes for Hire #11 – Zeb Wells is fast becoming a writer whose name I hope to see in the credits. This book is tied-into World War Hulk, so it is a good test to see if they can make this a good story and still make it a real tie-in. I really enjoy that Humbug has been turned into something better then a pathetic dweeb.
Incredible Hulk #107 – Focusing on Amadeus Cho’s recruitment of heroes willing to side with the Hulk. One thing I will give WW Hulk is that both sides are wrong and both are right on some level. Major bonus with this book is Gary Frank on the artwork.
Iron Man #19 – Another WW Hulk tie-in. Normally I would hate this book as a usually tie-in, especially since the normal creative team is off the book. Plus I hate that the whole Mandarin story is being delayed or possible just set-up as a long term story, BUT Christos Gage is the writer and Butch Guice is the artist and that is a good set of creators. Someone needs to sign Gage to an exclusive.
Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #3 (of 4) – I’m enjoying this light hearted story by Jeff Parker and Mike Wieringo, but even though I don’t read Marvel Adventure books, this feels like it could be a younger reader book. Still a nice book for a pleasant change of pace from all the angst in most comics.
Ultimate Spider-Man #110 – Ending the “Ultimate Knights” storyline and ending the Bendis/Bagley run of 110 issues together. This is another book that is a little lighter in tone and is just a bastardization of all Marvel history being redone, but the book is still a decent read and the only Bendis book that I read and consistently enjoy.
X-Men Endangered Species Special – The first book in the lead up to the big X-event coming up in a few months (yawn). I can only hope that we will soon be left with only 10-20 X-Men and a decent book can be produced staring them. X-Factor – which is not a true X-Book in my mind and X-Men First Class – a modernization and retelling of the early years of the X-Men; are the only readable books in all of the X-World. Still they had a hell of a run carrying all of Marvel and Marvel has translated that into the Avengers stuff and made that the company centerpiece and still dominates the market.
Conan #41 – Finally starting Tim Truman and Cary Nord’s adaption of “Rogues in the House”. This is a great story by Robert E. Howard and other adaptions have been well done, but a remake well done is always appreciated.
Grendel Archives #1 – A very small archive, but if it is the start of a series, great. This is reprinting Grendel #1-#3 by Matt Wagner and features Hunter Rose. Great to see Grendel coming back and getting some quality reprints. Only a $15 hard cover.
EC Archives Tales from the Crypt Volume #2 – The continuation of some of the best reprints being done. Each issue that I have just breezed through to see how the book looks and feels have been excellent jobs and well worth the money.
Gamekeeper #3 – This has been an okay series, but I very iffy on it. It is an action/adventure and tough guy mercenary adventure, but so far it is not making it a must read. I’ll give it a couple more issues to draw me in.
Alien Pig Farm #3 (of 4) – Yee haw! The bestest comic in the whole wide word of Appalachia is coming out yet again. Cousin Cindy looks to be losing her shirt and one day I may actually see her eyes, but if she loses her shirt it won't be soon. Monster alien invasion meets Dukes of Hazard and hilarity ensures. Fun story, great characters, ass-on dialogue and great art make this a book you should be reading.
Madam Mirage #1 – Okay I made fun of the cover of this book before, now let’s see if there is anything worth reading in the actual comic itself. Paul Dini is a good story teller so I have some hopes.
Garth Ennis Chronicles of Wormwood #4 (of 6) – This tongue in cheek story of the Antichrist who decided to not end the world has been a very enjoyable read with solid artwork. Not for anyone with religious sensibilities, but not a bad book at all.
Wasteland #10 – If you read my blog at all you know I really enjoy this series. Go out and but the first trade and then buy the comic.
Weapon #1 (of 4) – This looks a little blah and too much of yet another martial arts thing, but Fred Van Lente is the writer and since I love his work on Action Philosophers I’m going to try out this comic also.
As an extra bonus I have started sending my Walking Dead trade paper backs to my daughter Jamie and have ordered the first two hard cover copies of Walking Dead for myself and they are due to show up this week. So my plan to find a reason to buy the hard covers of this series has worked out. Looks to be a very good week.