This September will be the death of me as this is another impossibly huge week of books. My Independent orders are catching up with me and I have to be harsher on cuts as time goes by and harsher on adds. Plus a lot of hard cover and trades have shown up the last couple of weeks, at least October is a five week month.
52 Volume 3 TP – I’m really looking forward to having the complete set of all 4 trades of this book and then reading it over the course of a week or so in order. 52 was a good series, but a trade is the best format for it.
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #56 – A beautiful cover by Jackson Guice, but not sure if I want to remind the fans of who used to do the interiors for this book. Shawn McManus style is so different that the juxtaposition of these two styles is hard to take. This issue we get more questions as to what is the origin of this new Aquaman. Looks like he is here to stay for awhile. It still would have been nice to have Tempest take up the role.
Batman/Lobo Deadly Serious #2 (of 2) – If you want pure undiluted cathartic comic book madness and fun, buy this book. It won’t matter if you missed issue #1 or not. Sam Keith pours pure energy and fun into this work, if a plot happens to develop, well no one is perfect.
Birds of Prey #110 – Apparently Tony Bedard is only pinch hitting on this book until Sean McKeever comes onto it. That is fine by me as Tony has proven himself to be a capable fill in, he maintains the integrity of the series, adds little character bits and tells a great story. This series seems to bring out the best in any writer.
Catwoman #71 – Will Pfeifer and David and Alvaro Lopez have made this one of the most consistent well done series at DC. Every issue moves the story forward and continues to bring you back for more. The official hype for this issue “Selina Kyle has to say goodbye to the most important person in her life! And when all that was caring in Selina is gone, Catwoman will be at her most unexpected, her most unpredictable and her most dangerous!”
Checkmate #18 – What you know has been coming if you follow this series starts in this issue. Amanda Waller is finally found out regarding her own black ops work. “The Fall of the Wall” starts here and if you have followed Amanda Waller at all, she won’t go down without a fight.
Countdown #32 – The Mary Marvel, Jimmy Olsen and Karate Kid stories continue to plow on and on. Really let’s get some end points into this book.
Countdown to Mystery #1 (of 8) – A new title featuring two characters. I like this concept, as it reminds me of times gone by when Iron Man and Captain America shared a title. This book features the return of Dr. Fate. I believe this will be the fourth or fifth person under the helmet since Kent Nelson first became Fate. I was disappointed when Dr. Fate got rolled into this book due to a scheduling problem, but still Dr. Fate as one feature and Eclipso as the other feature has me looking forward to this book.
Dr. Thirteen Architecture and Mortality – TP – Brian Azzraello and Cliff Chang crafted one of the best back up stories of all time with this series. From Tales of the Unexpected #1-#8 this series ran without much fanfare or hype, but it was the feature I wanted to read most every time. Dr. 13 tries to debunk the supernatural in a mad story that only gets stranger and strangers as it progress. Great read, great art.
Flash #232 – Continuing the reintroduction of Wally into the DCU as we learn about his kids and their powers. Waid has in one issue set the seeds for storylines that last at least a year or more. Daniel Acuna is not my first choice as artist for this book, but it was okay last issue. Looking forward to this book every month now.
Green Arrow / Black Canary Wedding Special – Since the JLA issue was numbered, shouldn’t this be numbered? I mean they could get divorced and remarried, anh who would ever do that. Still feels like a forced (i.e. editorially mandated ) wedding, but all of the material has been so well done, that in another year it may all seem just fine. The “hooker” wedding dress cracks me up.
JLA/Hitman #1 (of 2) – Garth Ennis and John McCrea back together on Hitman, is this a great country, or what. Seriously, Hitman was a great series and woefully underrated when it came out. I just hope DC decided to put the entire series out as trades now that they have okay this project. Can not wait to read this book.
Robin #166 – This appears to be Adam Beechen’s last issue on Robin and he will be missed as he has made this a solid series every month with Freddie Williams on art. I hope DC keeps Adam around for a long time. Still bringing Chuck Dixon back as writer cannot be a bad thing. Good writer is replaced by good writer, so it remains a steady book.
Shadowpact #17 – This will be a tough issue for me as I have come to identify Shadowpact as a Bill Willingham book and bringing on a new writer is a little jarring. Matt Sturges is listed as the writer for this and the next two issues, so we will see if he can maintain the unusual chemistry and dynamics that has made this such an enjoyable series for me.
Superman/Batman #40 – What has to be one of my all time, what the f**k were they thinking covers. It is just too funny to be real. Of course my biggest gripe is why those cut away outfits aren’t being worn by all the hot women everywhere. Anyway, this has been the best arc of this book since I have started reading it. Last issue Superman was taken over by the Darkseid and now Batman has to stop him.
Tales of the Sinestro Cors Present : Parallax – One of four one shots giving us some back story on the Sinestro Corps and some of their biggest players. Curious to see how this plays out as we know Kyle has joined up with Donna. Jason Todd and a Monitor to search for Ray Palmer. This feels like it will add something to “The Sinestro War” as opposed to be meaningless add on.
Hellblazer #236 – Andy Diggle has made this series a must read again. I love when a long term series gets new life and we did not have to do a re-launch of the book or anything so insane. Of course I’m still mystified as to why Vertigo has lower sales numbers, with an older crowd these books should be doing better.
Testament #20 – This has been a decent read, but I’m about ready to drop this book as it may read better as a trade. I have enjoyed this book, but also may have had enough of it. This issue will be a decision point for me.
Highwaymen #4 (of 5) – This has been a very cool action packed adventure, that has humor & drama mixed in. The official hype is “Now that The Highwaymen have unearthed the details of the dormant government program that turned Grace Anderson into a walking, talking WMD, they're ready to bring this deadly game to a close. But Jacob Sterne, Deputy Director of the government's National Clandestine Service, has a different, deadlier plan for Grace…” This book could have been published by anyone and it feels like a “BOOM” studios type of book. Should be good.
Programme #3 (of 12) – Last issue this book got a whole lot better. The story is coming together nicely now, but a few text panels saying that we are switching back and forth in time would not hurt this book.
Gutsville #2 (of 6) - I loved the first issue and can’t wait for the second. The concept of this group of people living for 150 years insides the guts of a giant whale like creature is just pure lunacy, but works in comic just fine. A big selling point is Frazer Irving on the art; a down point is issue #5 was solicited for September, so they are a little behind.
Dynamo 5 # 7 – So last issue Maggie had taken the Whiptail formula to save her life, another sibling is a bad guy who can impersonate Captain Dynamo and Dynamo 5 has no clue what the hell is going on. It sounds like a convoluted comic book tale and it is, but it is so well done and appealing that you should join in on the fun.
Ghosting #2 (of 4) – Okay I signed up after reading issue #1, but may drop it after reading issue #2. I decided to hang in on this book because it was slightly different and I like the writer, but my new harsher policy may cause me to cancel it before it ends as it wasn’t that good. Still let’s see how issue #2 develops.
Doktor Sleepless #2 – The first issue did not bowl me over and was Ellis’ weakest work in like forever, still no one can hit a home run every time out and this is an unlimited series at the moment, so I will give a few issue to find its rhythm.
Criminal Macarbe My Demon Bay #1 (of 4) – I had missed this series before and have decided to get into Cal’s story with this mini-series. The official hype “To say that Cal's been through hell and back would be a misstatement. He's been to hell, all right, and he seems to be stuck there for good. When we last checked in on Cal, he and Mo'Lock had just witnessed the vile, horrifying transformation of Cal's lovely ex, Sabrina Lynch, into a minion of the vampire Nosferatu. After that Cal disappeared for a bit, and at the start of our new series, Mo'Lock finds him just in time to lure him off the filthy couch in an abandoned house with an offer he can't refuse—either he gets up and takes a new case, or Mo'Lock will kill him before the drugs can. And what a case it is. Devil worshippers in sunny SoCal are doing their best to bring Satan into the world, and by the looks of things, Cal's already too late . What does one feed a bouncing baby Beezelbub, anyway?” That clears it all up for me. Steve Niles write and Nick Stakal art.
30 Days of Night Beyond Barrow #1 (of 3) – I believe it is one of three. With the movie coming out 30 Days mini-series have been cranking out like mad, but with Steve Niles and Bill Sienkiewicz as the creators this is a book to look forward to reading. Can’t wait for the movie.
30 Days of Night Red Snow #2 (of 3) – Ben Templesmith’s second part in his three aprt prequel to the 30 Days saga. Ben has grown as a writer and an artist over the last couple of years and he does a great job with the macabre element. Last issue was good and I look forward to another solid issue.
Bill Mauldins Up Front GN – Really looking forward to this, the classic cartoonist of WWII. The official hype “Throughout World War II, cartoonist Bill Mauldin documented the adventures and misadventures of dogfaces Willie and Joe, symbols of the hard-pressed infantry, the group which gives more and gets less than anybody else. In Up Front, Mauldin joins an absorbing narrative account of just how hellish combat is to a selection of those cartoons. Reading through this powerful book, one sees why Mauldin, in demythologizing the war, was often accused of undoing the efforts of the morale officers and politicians who assured the home front that our boys were having a fine time of it in Europe. No, Mauldin replied through Willie and Joe that our boys are being maimed and killed every day. 240 pages. (6x9)”
Wasteland #12 – This book is really moving again and I’m glad to see another issue arrive is a timely manner. This vision of what the world would be like after a major flood continues to draw me and I want to learn the secrets of how wasteland came to be.
Sheena #3 (of 5) – This is my guilty pleasure book. Cliché ridden writing with decent art, but it is a Jungle Girl and with so many of these floating around again, I decided to at least get one and this is it. At least it is a mini-series. Mindless fun and it is mildly entertaining.
Streets of Glory #1 (of 6) – Billed by Avatar as Garth Ennis remakes the American western, based on the covers it looks like Frank Castle goes back in time to kill the grandfathers of the criminals who killed his family. Going in with no real expectations, but always curious to see what Garth is doing.
Zero Killer #2 (of 6) – This is another post apocalyptic world setting, last issue was decent, but somewhat forgettable. I remember the art reminding me of Paul Gualcy and the Zero Killer being a semi-free agent in a world of bizarre gangs. This book feels like it would be better as a trade.
Annihilation Conquest Quasar #3 (of 4) – Christos Gage and Mike Lilly have crafted a good tale introducing the new Quasar. Her partner Moondragon turned into her namesake at the end of last issue and that is obviously a problem. I enjoy second and third generational heroes and notice Marvel only does it with lower tier characters.
Captain America #30 – I had read that this was originally only going to be a 5 issues story arc, that expanded into nine issues and then was slowed down to put out the worthless Fallen Son mini-series. I still do not believe that Captain America is dead, but that is unimportant as within the context of the story it is believable that the characters believe it and are reacting to it. Ed did a great job of keeping the main title unto itself and entertaining even with the main character being dragged into Civil War as a key player.
Captain America Omnibus Volume 1 – This collects the first 25 issues of Ed Brubaker’s run as well as the 65 Anniversary Special and the Winter Solider: Winter Kills one shot. A bargain price even at $75. Marvel does a nice job with their Omnibus format, but I would have preferred a 12 issue deluxe format treatment, but why quibble. DC has made their Omnibus format a joke with the low quality production they are doing (cheap paper).
Ant-Man #12 – The last issue of this series. This should be a fun issue as Kirkman knew going in it was the last issue, so why not go all out and have some fun. Glad to see this series come to an end, before I canceled it. The way it was set-up it could only go so far.
Marvel Comics Presents #1 – Usually I enjoy a book that has multiple features, but I have some hesitation with this book as it has Captain America, Spider-Man and Captain America on the cover. For these type of books I prefer second, third and fourth tier characters be given the spotlight. At least Hellcat (a D-Lister) is also on the cover.
Penance Relentless #1 (of 5) – Paul Jenkins and Paul Gulacy spotlight the train wreck known as Penance. The idea of taking alight hearted character and turning him into a S&M themed dark character was a bad idea in my book. My buying this book really is looking over at the wreck to see what happened. If they revive him into a decent character at the end of this I would be happy, but fans today seem to enjoy the darker the better characters.
Terror Inc. #2 (of 5) – I had no expectations going into this book and really enjoyed issue #1, regardless of the overused plot device of having the main character die at the end of issue #1. Still when you are a supernatural character with one of the most disgusting powers ever, his dieing was a way for the bad guys to capture him. Looking forward to issue #2.
World War Hulk #4 (of 5) – This series is degenerating into just silliness and makes a mockery of the characters I used to love. Dr. Strange turning himself into some creature to try and kick the Hulk’s a**, the Hulk delivering his ultimatum from a stone throne. How they end this and what happens next will make or break this series for me. We suspend our disbelief when we enter into comics, but we expect an internal logic and consistency. This series has taken me out of the internal logic and consistency as the brutality of the Hulk has been taken to new levels that we never saw before and the actions of Reed Richards and company have been totally out of character. Of course they could all be skrulls and that resolves all the issues.
That wraps up another monstrous week and if three books that I didn’t get last week show up it will be even bigger. I missed Bad Planet, Cthulu Tales and Spider-Man Fairy Tales. With my list growing to this level on my Best to Worst you will see more cuts then before.