This week I decided to read the DC reprint of OMAC by Jack Kirby. First I have to say that I had great trepidation when it came to this format as the paper was so light and cheap, but it does reproduce the feel of old comics and once I started reading it I was fine with it. That’s a good thing as I have five other Kirby DC volumes with the same format. Second this is some wild stuff. I remember Kirby’s books not reading all that well and after following him from Marvel realizing that Stan Lee really help smooth things out for Jack, but the man’s mind is like a four color explosion gone wild. Re-reading this stuff it is easy to see that just mining his ideas and expanding on them you can have an entire career in comics, he truly was a King. The thing that stopped me in my tracks was the introduction, Kirby’s contract with DC called for 15 pages written, penciled and edited a week. Are you kidding me, 15 PAGES A WEEK. No one, no one can ever match the output of the man. It also explains why so much of what he did with DC just seemed to be rushed and almost manic, because it was. How many hours did he work a week? The more I know about Kirby, the more I am amazed.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
The Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark TP – This issue contains the final adventure in Grant Bond’s madcap Looney Tunes meets Slasher Film epic. Bond’s characters and great drawing carry the day and this is a book I would love to see as a hard cover one day. Inside “"BULLETS, BOOZE AND BEELZEBUB" Once the toast of Tinsel Town, faded movie star Archibald Aardvark has been slowly going insane trying to solve the brutal murder of his brother. But despite the hard drinking, womanizing and hallucinations, he's managed to follow the trail from the dangerous streets of Little China, all the way to the boardroom of Neptune Studios...and finally reveal the TRUE identity of the killer! FEATURING A BRAND NEW 22-PAGE STORY COMPLETING THE ARCHIBALD SAGA! NOT FOR KIDS!!”
Batman and Robin #3 – The slightly delayed, but eagerly anticipated third chapter of Grant’s take on the new Dynamic Duo. I love this stuff and while I will miss Frank’s work, I’m glad the next arc has a different artist to keep the book coming out monthly. The word “Written by Grant Morrison; Art and cover by Frank Quitely. "Batman Reborn" concludes the explosive reteaming of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men)! Witness Batman and Robin's final showdown against Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange! The future looks bright for the new Dynamic Duo as they prove themselves in battle, but lurking in the shadows is a mysterious red-hooded vigilante. Also, the origin of Scarlet!”
Fantastic Four #570 – It is a minor miracle that I’m willing to try the FF again. I tried it once when JMS wrote it and was unimpressed and was bored with Millar’s take, but Hickman seem to hit the right note with his Dark Reign mini-series of the FF and now he is the regular scribe, so here I am again. The hype “Brand new creative team - Brave new comics experience! Be there as Marvel's newest exciting creator, Jonathan Hickman, teams up with superstar artist, Dale Eaglesham, to give you the Fantastic Four experience you've been waiting for! It's adventure, it's family, it's tough questions in dark times...See what happens when Reed Richards tries to SOLVE EVERYTHING.”
Flash Rebirth #4 (of 6) - This series has a slow pace and apparently a slower publishing schedule, which makes no sense for the fastest man alive. Even with all the negatives I have with this series I still look forward to each issue. DC says “Written by Geoff Johns; Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver. Barry Allen left a legacy that thrived after his death. Now his return threatens it all. What secrets does Barry hold inside him about the fate of the Flash Family? What destiny awaits Wally and his twins? What murderous force targets Bart Allen? And what does it truly mean to be a speedster?”
Green Lantern #45 - Blackest Night has been terrific so far and all the ancillary books have been great. Finally an event that I’m enjoying and almost wish we were getting more. The marketing pitch “Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy. BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The Black Lanterns descend on all the Corps throughout the universe! Sinestro's assault on the Star Sapphires' homeworld of Zamaron is interrupted by another Sinestro Corps – one made up of those who died during the Sinestro Corps War! And while the War of Light flickers, deep in the darkness of space, John Stewart comes face-to-face with his deceased wife – and longtime Green Lantern – Katma Tui.”
Incredible Hulk #601 – This is old friend week for me and Marvel. Since Greg Pak is back on a Hulk book, so am I. Between the covers “Gamma fans rejoice -- the rumors are true! The INCREDIBLE HULK book returns as an ongoing series written by acclaimed PLANET HULK and WORLD WAR HULK scribe Greg Pak! Get ready for Bruce Banner as you've never seen him, the Son of Hulk in a whole new world of smash, and an insane new adventure that changes everything for everyone's favorite Green Goliath! With art by Ariel Olivetti (CABLE) and introducing a new, regular bonus backup SAVAGE SHE-HULK story written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Michael Ryan!”
Justice Society of America #30 – The second issue by Willingham, Sturges and Merino. I heard mixed reviews, but I think this book is in good hands and these guys will only get better over time. Inside the brownstone “Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham; Art and cover by Jesus Merino. "Bad Seed" part 2 of 5! The JSA feels the strain when battling a monstrous collection of villains who've mounted an all-out war on the team to collect a bounty placed on the head of everyone in the group except Stargirl! Tensions flare, and the group is forced to make a compromise in order to chase their fleeing enemies or return to the mansion to find out why Mister Terrific's communications have suddenly stopped! And Dr. Fate returns to the team in this second issue from the new creative team.”
Last Days of Animal Man #4 (of 6) – We last left Buddy down hearted and depressed and about to resolve his mid-life crisis by sleeping with Starfire. Alien chicks don’t count as cheating, so I’m sure this is okay! Buddy’s wife will kill him. Under the cover “Written by Gerry Conway; Art by Chris Batista and Dave Meikis; Cover by Brian Bolland. Regrets…he's had a few! Buddy Baker can't bear to live with the regret that comes of his infidelity with Starfire…but Prismatik and Bloodrage will be happy to take the burden of life off his hands! They've launched a full-on assault against the League of Titans' headquarters, and Buddy and Starfire are the only heroes who stand in their way!”
Madame Xandu #14 – This book is an automatic pick every time it is published. Wagner is crafting great stories and Amy (the regular artist) is stunning and we get Kaluta to be the other artist. This book is an embarrassment of riches. The cards reveal this issue is about “Written by Matt Wagner; Art and cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta. Nominated for 4 Eisner Awards! With the awards season in full tilt, Vertigo's biggest buzz book continues with "Sins of the Fathers," by comic book legends Matt Wagner and Michael Wm. Kaluta. Trapped in a secret that straddles two different centuries, time is running out for the beautiful mystic. And out of this land of nightmares steps a surprise player in the mystery theater!”
The Red Circle The Shield #1 – JMS wraps up what I believe has been a great introduction for these heroes. I hope the writers who are following stay true to his concepts. Archie says “Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens; Cover by Jesus Saiz. J. Michael Straczynski dives into the DC Universe at last – and he's bringing four of the finest heroes of the Golden and Silver Ages with him! Completely reimagined for the modern world from their original appearances in Archie/MLJ publications, these four heroes will show you a side of the DC Universe you've never seen before! Lieutenant Joe Higgins was dying in the dirt of a battlefield in Afghanistan when they whisked him away to a top-secret facility and saved his life with nanotechnology so experimental they couldn't dare to use it on a living man. Now Higgins has been enlisted to a whole new mission – to be the public face of the American fighting man as the patriotic Shield! But today's grueling military battles test the limits of patriotism and the limits of the technology that keeps him alive. And the shocking secret behind that technology may be too much for his bullet-riddled heart to bear.”
Scalped #31 – Just the best gosh darn series being published today. If this book has a definitive ending and ends with the next couple of arcs it will take its place alongside Sandman, Starman, Planetary, All Star Superman and others as what has to be considered one of the best series ever done. Inside “Written by Jason Aaron; Art by RM Guera; Cover by Jock. FBI Agent Nitz finally has what he's dreamed about for years: an eyewitness who can put Chief Red Crow away for murder. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in his way just happens to be his own undercover agent, Dash Bad Horse. Part two of the pivotal new arc "The Gnawing" offers more surprises and plenty more bloodshed.”
The rest of the list:
Blackest Night Titans #1 (of 3) - Written by J.T. Krul; Art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. Black Lantern Titans are descending together onto Titans Island! Will the Titans be prepared to fight off their deceased allies? And how can Beast Boy not lose his heart to Black Lantern Terra?
Dark Avengers #8 - Norman's X-Men, as led by Emma and Namor, are the face of mutant law and order! The X-Men look played out of position as Osborn's dark reign falls over California-- but Scott Summers isn't done yet. The X-Men strike at Norman, at H.A.M.M.E.R., at his fraud X-Men and his sham Avengers all at once! This is the book where, at long last, the Marvel Universe starts to fight back-- and it sets the stage for next month’s unbelievable conclusion in UNCANNY X-MEN/DARK AVENGERS -EXODUS!
Dark Reign Elektra #5 (of 5) - Elektra finds her answers! As her quest for survival races toward its conclusion, the world’s most dangerous assassin discovers why every other killer in the world is gunning for her. Who put the 82-million-dollar price tag on her head? What was her impostor responsible for while Elektra was held captive? What will Elektra do about it?! By Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Clay Mann (DAREDEVIL)!
Detective Comics #856 - Written by Greg Rucka; Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner; Cover by JH Williams III. "Elegy" part 3 of 4! Batwoman unites with an unlikely ally to momentarily defeat the fairytale villain known as Alice. But when Kate is forced to attend a high society event, she soon learns that her worlds are colliding as Alice's plans for Gotham's elite put Kate's father directly in harm's way.Plus, in the next part of The Question co-feature, writer Greg Rucka and artist Cully Hamner bring Renee's search for a missing girl to new depths when The Question is trapped inside a sinking car. Will her life and her leads end up at the bottom of the river?
Dynamo 5 #24 - Why does Father Gideon hate Dynamo 5, and what is his shocking connection to the team? Find out this issue, as he and Synergy launch their attack. This is the story that changes everything!
Final Crisis Aftermath Ink #4 (of 6) - Written by Eric Wallace; Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino; Cover by Brian Stelfreeze. In the past few days the Tattooed Man has lost control of his powers, made enemies out of a group of corrupt cops and been attacked by Super-Villains. Now he's going to get even – but how far can he go while still remaining true to his vow to remain Liberty Hill's protector?
Gotham City Sirens #3 - Written by Paul Dini; Art and cover by Guillem March. With their uneasy alliance in place, the sirens encounter trouble in the form of the mysteriously returned Bruce Wayne. He's dazzling, he's dangerous and he's got his sights set on Harley Quinn! Has romance sparked between these two long-time enemies – or is Wayne playing a more sinister game?
Guardians of the Galaxy #17 - A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! In order to save the universe, Adam Warlock takes desperate action and seeks the help of allies you won't believe! This must-read issue will have profound effects not only for the Guardians of Galaxy, but for the very Marvel cosmos itself!
Incredible Hercules #133 - Beginning a storyarc so earth-shattering, so momentous, so, well, incredible, we just had to give it to you TWICE A MONTH! (Well, for the three months, anyway). When terrible threats rise in Svartalfheim, the land of the Dark Elves, only Mighty Thor, Son of Asgard, can hope to triumph! But what happens if the Odinson is temporarily...unavailable? It's Hammer Time for Hercules as the Lion of Olympus gets his thunder on! Meanwhile, in Incredible Hercules 133, the Secret Origin of AMADEUS CHO begins! Who really killed Amadeus' family? What is his true relation to Hercules? And, most importantly, what is the connection between him and The Twelve's MASTER MIND EXCELLO? Everyone's favorite irascible boy genius is after the answers himself -- but to get them he's going to have to go through his arch-nemesis, PYTHAGORAS DUPREE, the sixth-smartest man on Earth!
Ms Marvel #44 - Hope is crushed and the battle is nearly lost as the Dark Reign event continues in WAR OF THE MARVELS Part 3! As Karla Sofen faces an unbeatable threat, the legacy of Ms. Marvel hangs in the balance.
New Avengers #56 - Oh man, it is not a good day for the New Avengers. Someone has invented a power disrupter and unleashed it in New York City. The heroes have fallen. Some are hurt bad, others near death. Who will rise to the challenge and save the day? A very important DARK REIGN issue. Something big happens. Not going to tell you what it is but it happens on page 17, panel 4.
Nova #28 - A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! It’s the final showdown between Nova with the surviving members of the Nova Corps against the most ruthless members of the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard! Can Rich survive and can he save the life of his brother, Robbie, who finds himself caught between the ruthless Ravenous and murderous Strontian?
Secret Warriors #7 - Baron Strucker and Norman Osborn team up to drive out the Marvel Universe's ultimate covert superteam. It's wall-to-wall insanity as the Dark Avengers and the Thunderbolts go after the Secret Warriors. It's time for Ares to get his son back! GOD OF FEAR. GOD OF WAR. Part one of four!
Sherlock Holmes #4 (of 5) - The penultimate issue in Dynamite's acclaimed Sherlock Holmes comic book event! After Watson appeals to Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock himself arrives at the scene end of last issue, can the world's greatest detective unravel his greatest mystery?
Showcase Presents Eclipso TP - Written by Bob Haney; Art by Lee Elias, Alex Toth, Jack Sparling and Bernard Baily; Cover by Bernard Baily. One of the strangest comics villains ever stars in this volume collecting HOUSE OF SECRETS #61-80! On an expedition in the South Pacific, scientist Bruce Gordon's dark side is unleashed after being exposed to a black diamond. Transformed into the powerful Eclipso, he embarked on an evil rampage as his good side attempted to reassert control.
Superman #691 - Written by James Robinson; Art by Renato Guedes and José Wilson Magalhães; Cover by Fernando Dagnino and Raúl Fernandez. It's a slam-bang, knockdown epic fight in the sewers of Metropolis in this fourth and final chapter of "Codename: Patriot"! What are the stakes, and who are the players? Everything and everyone, Superfans! Except one key player is missing – Superman! He has to stop the shooter from taking yet another course of action that would cause the situation between Earth and New Krypton to grow exponentially worse. Which, of course, is just what General Lane wants…
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Special #2 - Written by James Robinson; Art by Bernard Chang; Cover by Pere Pérez. Jimmy Olsen has put all the pieces together regarding the mysterious Project 7734, and it's worse than he imagined. With The Man of Steel temporarily out of the picture, though, it's all up to Superman's Pal to take action. Thankfully he has the help of Mon-El and Steel's niece Natasha Irons – but will they be enough to defeat Codename: Assassin?
Teen Titans #74 – Written by Bryan Q. Miller; co-feature written by Sean McKeever; Art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar and Júlio Ferreira; Cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. The assault against the Teen Titans continues this issue as the team struggles to even the odds. Will they be defeated by a foe with superior leadership?And in the co-feature, Ravager is attacked in her arctic hideaway. Who wants her dead? That's what she wants to know…
The Unknown #4 (of 4) - She has solved every mystery known to man. But there is one mystery that remains unknown! Find out the answer in the epic conclusion to the critically acclaimed mini-series from Mark Waid and Excalibur's Minck Oosterveer.
Wednesday Comics #8 (of 12) - Words and Art by Various. WEDNESDAY COMICS, DC's spectacular 12-issue weekly series, continues to offer a comics experience unlike any other this August. In its second month, don't miss the action in these continuing features.
Wildcats #14 - Written by Christos Gage; Art by Shawn Moll and Drew Geraci; Cover by Ryan Sook. The team-up event of World's End continues as Team Seven and the Wildcats hunt Tao! But will they be ready for the fight when they find him? He's been preparing for this moment for quite some time...and when the gloves come off, it'll be a battle to the death!
Wonder Woman #35 - Written by Gail Simone; Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan; Cover by Aaron Lopresti. "Birds of Paradise" part 2 of 2! A gaggle of super-powered cage fighters find themselves in the worst possible place to be – on the bad side of Wonder Woman and Black Canary! Also, find out the final resolution between Diana and Nemesis along with much, much more!
Whew, after the hard cover catch-up from the last few weeks it’s nice to be getting mainly comics and just two trades. I love my hard cover books, but when they keep hitting week after week after week it gets a tad more expensive then I like my addiction to be. As it is a last week of the month, it is a fairly decent size week with lots of good looking books hitting the stands. This week should be a winner.