What a surprise this week turned out to be. The grand total number of books is only 27 and no trades and no hard covers. It is like a holiday week for me. This is the impact of the culling I did of my list and my refusal to sign up for a bunch of newer mini-series from DC and Marvel. The erratic publishing schedule for many independent companies is the finally piece of that puzzle. In fact you can tell when a publisher is really starting to turn a corner when they can start to actually hit many of their publication dates. IDW, BOOM, Red 5 all seem to have their act together and manage to have their books show up when they are suppose to and I think that helps in their success. Arachaia Studios Press has a very erratic publishing schedule and I think that created a lot of problems for fans to remember their books. The market report for this week is DC 41% (11 items), Independents 33% (9 items) and Marvel 26% (7 items), a pretty even split.
Bat Lash #6 (of 6) – This has been a classic western series. It doesn’t matter if a story has familiar elements and themes that is part of the genre, it just needs to be done well and this series is being done extremely well. I’m tempted to pick up a hard cover version of this series if it goes that way. This is a series that was produced with the book store market in mind (in my opinion), but it was done well and in a timely manner, so that as the monthly comic fan being asked to help underwrite the trade, it’s okay.
Batman #676 – Part 1 of RIP. I’m really looking forward to this series. My guess is that we are going to see Batman stripped down to his bare essence and then see if Batman can survive. I do not believe that we have ever seen anyone strip away Batman liked Daredevil has been taken down before. If this is done well it could be a great all time Batman arc.
Batman Confidential #17 – This arc is Catwoman and the Barbara Gordon Batgirl. I love Babs and always enjoy seeing a story set back in time with her as Batgirl. In many ways she is a more important as Oracle and I love her as that character, but still fun to see a past times story line. I noticed Superman Confidential did not even last a year and BC is at least going to make it to issue #19.
Booster Gold #9 – The Blue and Gold story line continues. I can not see how this ends well. It just seems to me that the inevitable solution is for Booster Gold to let Ted be killed. Of course I believe it will be Ted who makes that decision. No matter what it has been fun to see Blue and Gold together again.
Gotham Underground #8 (of 9) – A rock solid mini-series about the crooks that have taken over Gotham now that many of them were shunted off to the Prison Planet. Tobias Whale and the Penguin have joined forces to keep intergang from taking over the rackets and we should get a spotlight on Spoiler this issue.
Green Arrow Black Canary #8 – The duo is still looking for who is behind Connor being shot and kidnapped. It appears the League of Assassins is behind it and that actually makes some sense. Connor was labeled as one of the best martial artist in the DCU, so mind wiping him and then making him an assassin would make sense.
Green Lantern Corps #24 – Last issue was great as Arisa and Sodom Yat were captured by Mongul and being subjected to the Black Mercy flowers. Tomasi as a writer has really scored some big points with me in making GL Corps better then ever and doing a fantastic job on Nightwing.
Simon Dark #8 – Last issue was a great one and the series is really kicking into high gear. The war of the two cults is not really going crazy and somehow Simon maybe the only one who can stop it. Steve Niles and Scott Hampton have crafted a unique series with a very unique look.
Superman #676 – I’m starting to thing I should stop buying series and just pick up the issues when they mean something as this book is a one and done that was scheduled for Superman Confidential, I cancelled that series and yet I will still pick it up because it is a “light” week in my world. Still I feel like I have been gotten. Next issue James Robinson starts as the new writer.
Titans #2 – I liked issue #1 that was all set-up to pull the group back together. I also felt Winick pulled off a great reason for this group top come back together by having Trigon return. Now we have to see how they start to deal with the danger and what impact coming back together will have for the members. All of their lives have taken paths that have changed them, so will they work as a group.
Wonder Woman #20 – A friend said recently that Wonder Woman works better as a character that people react too, better then being the character herself. I keep wondering if anyone will really be able to make Wonder Woman into a strong series. Gail Simone has done highly entertaining work on every series I have read by her and so far this series has struggled. Still I love Gail’s work enough that I will hang in for awhile longer.
Screamland #3 (of 5) – This issue features the Werewolf and what he has been up to since the glory days of monster films. I have found this series to be a very amusing one that at once pays homage to the old monster films and has fun with the concept that they are real people and not actors in costumes.
Transhuman #2 (of 4) – I have two reason to love this book. First Jonathan Hickman is once again pointing out the inherent flaws in the way mega-corporations conduct themselves. Second the artwork of JM Ringuet, whom we have an interview with scheduled to be posted soon (as he is the artist on Sparks also).
Walking Dead #49 – You have to love this series if you read comics. Kirkman has totally changed what this series is about as last issue he blew up the safe area of the refugee group and killed almost everyone. Now I can’t wait to see where this story goes from here. Rick has to be wasted after losing so much, but now he has to find his strength again to help his boy survive.
BPRD #5 (of 5) – This is the conclusion of the sort of origin story of the BPRD. I have been enjoying this mini-series a lot and just continued to be impressed by the vastness of Mignola’s vision for all of this material. I just hope we see the BPRD material be included in the Hellboy library being produced.
Goon #24 – Eric Powell has been crafting his first long form story for Goon and has backed it up with a comic that has had a regular publishing schedule. Goon started off as more of a comedy that was a send up of monster story and Zombies and has morphed into more of a straighter edge drama, but still manages to keep its funny bone.
Cthulhu Tales #2 – I want to give a round of applause to BOOM Studios for having the guts to try and produce an ongoing anthology book in this market place. From my view point BOOM is such a producer of high quality stories that I will try out almost any comic they want to produce.
Locke and Key #4 – This is a terrific series that has already been about so many things, from loss of a parent, to coming of age, to a pure horror story. I look forward to ever issue from this series and can’t wait to see how the escape of the one killer will impact this family. Locke & Key is probably the best series you are not reading.
North Wind #5 (of 5) – This is another product from BOOM Studios. I have enjoyed this series and I’m curios to see how it ends. It definitively has the feel like it should be a series of mini-series as it would be a shame to waste this post apocalyptic setting.
Stranded #4 – I very iffy on this series as it just does not really stick with me from issue to issue, but the artwork has been strong and it is an interesting science-fiction type premise. I think this maybe the make or break it issue with me. I have noticed that Virgin comics have had a few series that the premise and talent made me want to try it out, but the execution has made me leave.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – One of the great successes that Marvel has had in the last few years in my opinion is the revitalization of their space faring heroes. Taking the old group name of Guardians of the Galaxy and populating the group with Star Lord, Adam Warlock, Rocket Raccoon and others is a great idea. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have been a very successful writing duo, so I’m looking forward to this book.
Iron Man Legacy of Doom #2 (of 4) – This is an old school book with a lot of old school talent. Last issue we saw Doctor Doom has sold out Iron Man to the devil. This may explain Tony’s subsequent behavior in Civil War (just kidding). An entertaining back that also brings back fond memories of a different era in comics.
Newuniversal Shockfront #1 (of 6) – Okay I was enjoying this series until it’s abrupt end about six months ago or longer, now I’m not so sure. So many stories and ideas have languished from Marvel, DC and Independents and those delays take a lot of the buzz off those titles. We will see if the magic of this series can be recaptured.
Thunderbolts #120 – This is another book that delays in the main story line have caused me to lose interest in what is happening in this title. In fact I have lost so much interest that I’m looking forward to Christos Gage taking over from Ellis, so maybe the book will come out monthly.
Twelve #5 (of 12) – This is a great series so far and such a great examination of how the world has changed in just 60 years. JMS has managed to capture what is might be like to suddenly find yourself in an almost alien world that is still your home.
Wolverine #65 – This is the end of the story arc that got me to but Wolverine again for four issues. With the departure of Jason Aaron and Ron Garney I’m also leaving this series again. The next arc sounds interesting, but if it is good I will get it as a trade.
X-Men Legacy #211 – So Professor X walks off into the sunset to try and find the rest of his memories and I guess rebuild his life. This has been a different kind of series and seems to be an examination of what Professor X’s role is in the X-Men anymore.
So that wraps up what is a light week for me. The biggest book is Batman as the RIP storyline starts and I have to say that I’m disappointed to see that the checklist for this series included 6 issues of Batman, 5 issues of Detective, 4 of Nightwing, 3 of Batman and the Outsiders and 2 with Robin. That is not very self contained. Hopefully the other titles are more ancillary information and not essential to the story, but if you have to get them all that is 20 books. For myself I get those series anyway, but I liked it better when I thought it was all in Batman only. I’m not judging the story I’m judging the marketing. I know that it always works to sell more books, but I still dislike it.