Healthcare reform still seems to be the “big” topic of the day. I’m against the hodgepodge bull sh*t bills that are floating around now, but I’m not against healthcare reform. I mean the whole system we have does not make sense, from having a profit driven medical care system, to medical malpractice causing doctors to perform defensive medicine, to way too many Americans having to file bankruptcy due to medical bills. Allowing private health insurance carriers to run the system is done in other countries, but everyone is required to carry health insurance and providers cannot drop you or not accept you for previous conditions and other things. Plus payments are sometimes mandated to be made within a certain number of business days. The overhaul of our healthcare system is desperately needed and can be done in a way that will make it work, but we have to erase lobbyist from the equitation and tackle Medicare/Medicaid (do away with it), tort reform and outlaw for profit insurance companies. It is an enormous task and cannot be accomplish with one bill no one understands and cannot be shoved down our throats, but we need to do it and get it right this time. If we can ever mange to get this done, maybe we can start to reform the entitlement system in this country starting with the Charles Ponzi Memorial Organization, a.k.a. the Social Security System.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Agents of Atlas #10 – A bunch of books this week that I have listed as the most anticipated can be linked together by one term, fun. Comics should be a fun read, they can be every other type of adjective also, but the fun books are usually my favorites as they can brighten a bad day. Agents of Atlas has always been that type of book, with some great offbeat characters, strong scripts, tying into the MU continuity, but ultimately fun. The hype “There's no enemy quite like a former lover, is there? The gloves are all the way off as Jade Claw and her forces begin assaulting Atlas on every front! The Agents throw everything they've got at the Great Wall, but to no avail. Gorilla-Man is convinced only ONE member of the team can possibly stop the rain of pain...”
Chew #4 – Again, this book is flat out fun. Bizarre powered people, a crazy world where chicken is illegal and the FDA is into crime busting, wonderful characters and some great stylized artwork. On the menu for this issue “A senator with bloodstream full of drugs and a belly full of chicken is stone dead in the morgue, and the trail leads back all the way the Arctic, to a joint U.S./Russian space observatory that has been singularly focused on a single, distant, Earth-like planet. Tony Chu and his partner are about to discover whatever secret this planet holds does not compare to those being kept by the astronomers. Yeah, that weird stuff just got weirder, in a spacey story from Image's deliciously twisted new series about cops, crooks, cooks, cannibals and clairvoyants!”
DC Library JLA by George Perez HC Volume 1 – George Perez is almost all it has to say and I willing to buy it, but in addition these were some great JLA stories. DC really needs to do some collections with Curt Swan artwork. This volume contains “Written by Gerry Conway; The first half of artist George Pérez's 1980s run on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA is collected in this new hardcover featuring issues #184-186, 192-194 plus Pérez's very rare JLA postcard set! Don't miss the team's battles with Darkseid and The Secret Society of Super-Villains, as envisioned by the artist of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS!”
Ghost Riders Heaven’s on Fire #2 (of 6) – I have enjoyed Jason Aaron’s run on Ghost Rider and hate to see it end and I hate being charged $4 a pop for the last arc, but it is a great read and has been an over the top madcap book. The word from on high “The quest to save the Anti-Christ continues, as Johnny Blaze, the Son of Satan, occult terrorist Jaine Cutter and the all-new Caretaker team up to battle the minions of the evil angel Zadkiel in the streets and corporate towers of New York City. And just what sort of dark dealings does Danny Ketch have in mind? And who's this guy with demons for arms? And is that a steam shovel with eyes on it?”
Immortal Weapons #2 (of 5) – Different creative teams tackling different weapons means each book is a mystery as to how good it will be. Since all the weapons are pretty cool I’m hoping for the best as we get the back stories on them. The great Buddha says “Her heart pumps the coldest blood imaginable…and she is host to horrors inconceivable to mortal men. The Bride of Nine Spiders is perhaps the most enigmatic of the Immortal Weapons. Yet men would risk life and sanity to plumb the mysteries of this porcelain beauty and the alien land from which she comes. When a disturbing relic surfaces at a most exclusive auction house, the Bride’s secrets are revealed in a tragic tale fusing martial arts mayhem and gothic terror!”
Irredeemable #6 – Mark needs to pick up the pace on revealing what is going on with why the Plutonian flipped out and went bad, but this is one of the top series on the stands, not a fun book. Tony says “The Plutonian's rampage continues as the Paradigm's dwindling members regroup and prepare to go on the offensive. Even with new information about the Plutonian's past, will it be enough to tip the scales against a mad god?”
Jersey Gods #7 – This is back to the fun standard. It really is Jack Kirby’s New Gods Comics meets Young Romance Comics and hilarity ensures. The pure passion and joy of these creators spills out on every page. Zoe says this issue is about “If you thought Barock had it tough on the battlefields of Neboron - just wait until you see him battling it out on the runways of Paris during fashion week. Zoe is in Heaven when Delia offers Barock his first modeling gig. But the dark and mysterious Hecticus has the lovers plainly in his sights - and now he's moving in for the kill!”
The Mighty #8 – Another Superman archetype is not what he seems story line that is not as overt as Irredeemable and makes him all the creepier because of the way he does it. Alpha One tells us “Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Keith Champagne; Art by Chris Samnee; Cover by Dave Johnson. Gabriel Cole's family has fallen apart, and Alpha One has a nuclear bomb! But Alpha's pride could be his undoing when Cole finds himself alone in the "hero's" headquarters…and his rage begins to lead him down a terrifying road!”
Strange Tales #1 (of 3) - Huge hit and miss book as Marvel lets the “indy” creators play with the toys in their house. Should be interesting and I’m expecting some great things and some things that I will probably despise. The company line “Written and Drawn by PAUL POPE, PETER BAGGE, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, JOHN LEAVITT, JUNKO MIZUNO, DASH SHAW, JAMES KOCHALKA, JOHNNY RYAN, MICHAEL KUPPERMAN, NICK BERTOZZI, NICHOLAS GUREWICH & JASONCover by PAUL POPE. At long last, the wait is over!! Marvel is proud to present the debut of this hotly anticipated three issue anthology showcasing Marvel's greatest characters re-imagined by the best and brightest talents working in independent comics today. Don't miss what's sure to be one of the most exciting collections of comics short stories ever produced!!! Every issue stars a stunning array of the best, most exciting cartoonists on the planet--showcasing the Marvel Heroes as you've never seen them before! Featuring the long-awaited Peter Bagge "Incorrigible Hulk" serialized over all three issues!”
The rest of the list:
The Authority #14 – Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Art by Simon Coleby and Cliff Rathburn and Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder; Cover by Simon Coleby. Kaizen Gamorra's assault on the Carrier catches the team unawares – and completely unprepared! Can they hold off his overwhelming forces without a key member? Looks like they'll have to since the Midnighter left the team in an attempt to find a cure for Apollo...and his journey will have massive ramifications for World's End!
Batman #690 – Written by Judd Winick ; Art by Mark Bagley and Rob Hunter ; Cover by Tony Daniel. Penguin ups the ante in his bid to become Gotham's top crook and enlists a few of Arkham's finest to keep Batman busy. Meanwhile a mysterious presence enters the scene to aid the Penguin – or is there another motive at play? And Two-Face takes a massive leap forward in uncovering one of Batman's greatest secrets.
Batman Confidential #33 – Written by Peter Milligan ; Art by Andy Clarke ; Cover by Jock. Batman learns that appearances can be deceiving in Moscow in part 3 of this 5-part story! Every mobster in Russia seems too terrified of the Tsar and his Bear to talk about the crime kingpin. But is Bear having doubts about his mission and his boss? Who can Batman trust in this unfamiliar city where nothing is as it seems?
Daring Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special - Marvel continues its historic anniversary celebration – as the Phantom Reporter leaps from the pages of THE TWELVE into his own solo adventure! By day, cub reporter…by night, relentless scourge of the underworld! But what could drive All-American collegiate champ Dick Jones to become a masked vigilante? Why does this high-society dilettante fight for the underprivileged? And what is the blood-soaked mystery that will take gun-toting terror from the swankiest Park Ave penthouse to the shadowed mean streets on the hunt for justice? Find out as Edgar Award-winning historical thriller novelist David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper,) makes his comics writing debut and teams with artist Jason Armstrong (Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus) to tell the never-before-revealed origin of the Phantom Reporter! Plus: A classic reprint from DARING MYSTERY COMICS #3!
Dead Run #4 (of 4) - America has become a wasteland, leaving the few cities that remain transformed into impenetrable fortresses. Nick Masters is a driver. If you need something picked-up, delivered, or disposed of, Nick's your man. But when he fails to deliver, all hell breaks loose. The finale to the epic saga that redefines the science fiction action genre.
Final Crisis Aftermath Run #5 (of 6) – Written by Matthew Sturges; Art by Freddie E. Williams II; Cover by KAKO. Science is not your friend! The Human Flame is about to learn this the hard way as he accidentally unlocks the terror behind the doors of the most secret facility at S.T.A.R. Labs. Mike's on the cusp of becoming one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe! Or he may just be on the cusp of being horribly murdered! It's hard to tell with cusps sometimes.
Grimjack Manx Cat #2 (of 5) – The Manx Cat adventure continues as GrimJack John Gaunt hunts for Darlin' Lil, running into celebrated old 'friends' like Blackjac Mac and Feetus along the way. As he begins to unravel the mystery of The Manx Cat, he finds himself held hostage by Darlin' Lil's astonishing origin and a lot of unhappy Cat lovers.
I am Legion #5 (of 6) – Fabien Nury's World War II epic explodes with more intrigue and drama. With stellar art by John Cassady (Astonishing X-Men), the final arc of I Am Legion begins here!
Incognito #6 - THE HARD-HITTING CONCLUSION TO THE MOST TWISTED SUPER-VILLAIN STORY EVER! It all ends here. All of Zack Overkill's planning and scheming has brought him face-to-face with his own past, and now he's the one man left who can save the world...but does he care enough to even try?
Invincible Iron Man #17 - What happens when the world's smartest man starts making sloppy mistakes? With the finish line in sight, Tony blows it for everybody and now his whole insane scheme to destroy his own mind, evade Norman Osborn, and save the lives of all his friends who have tried so desperately to help him goes wildly off the rails. Nothing gold can stay, Pony-Boy.
Jonah Hex #47 – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art and cover by Cristiano Cucina. "Six Gun War" part 4 of 6! Hex, Bat Lash and Tallulah Black are off to find and kill Quentin Turnbull, but on the way, they run afoul of a dangerous band of banditos. And if that wasn't bad enough, Hex meets up with an old friend – but can he be trusted? Or is betrayal on his mind?
Justice League Cry for Justice #3 (of 7) – Written by James Robinson; Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli. The team welcomes two new members as Supergirl and Shazam join the roster! And it's just in time, too, because when Prometheus is finally caught and his evil machinations are revealed, the League finds out they may be unable to stop him.
The Last Resort #2 (of 5) – The madness continues as things go from bad to worse on Loramer Island! The survivors slowly realize that burning to death in a plane crash might be a welcome alternative to what waits for them on the island. Warning: this issue contains excessive violence, fiery death, rampaging zombies, and a boat of topless women! See? It ain't all bad.
Marvel Masterworks Black Knight / Yellow Claw Volume #123 - Written by STAN LEE, AL FELDSTEIN & VARIOUS Penciled by JOE MANEELY, JACK KIRBY, JOHN SEVERIN,FRED KIDA & VARIOUS Cover by JOE MANEELY. From the heroic times of King Arthur to the dangers of the Cold War, the Atlas Era brings you the greatest adventure stories from the 1950s. Presenting the original series of two legendary characters that have bridged the decades - all the way from the Atlas Era to the Avengers and Agents of Atlas - Black Knight and Yellow Claw are must-haves for every Marvel maniac! Sir Percy of Scandia may appear to be a foppish weakling, too timid to fight and the scorn of Camelot, but only Merlin knows the truth: Sir Percy is the gallant Black Knight! Come to drive Modred de Monfort from King Arthur's court, he wields the ebony blade against Norman invaders, dragons, imposters and usurpers to the throne. With the pencil of Atlas great, Joe Maneely, delineating the action,Black Knight is a sure-fire classic! Then comes Cold War tales of mystery, espionage and world domination from the pages of Yellow Claw! Illustrated by the incomparable trio of Joe Maneely, John Severin and --in a rare mid-50s Atlas appearance-- Jack Kirby, F.B.I. Agent Jimmy Woo's mission to capture the century-old mystic from the root of the Himalayas is packed with gritty crime and unimaginable adversaries, from mind-bending mutants and UFO the Lightning Man to Temujai the Golden Goliath and the Living Shadows! Collecting BLACK KNIGHT #1-5 & YELLOW CLAW #1-4. 256 PGS
Mystic Comics 70th Anniversary Special - “I am the destroyer of evil,” the haunting stranger intoned; “I’ve crossed the great cold into your world!” So speaks the original Vision! From a dimension beyond, comes an otherworldly force of retribution. His steely touch turns killers to ice, shattering them. His staggering gaze drives the guilty mad with terror. His unstoppable power never fails to punish the wicked! It is said only those approaching death can see him in his true form as…the Vision!
Northlanders #20 – Written by Brian Wood; Art by Davide Gianfelice; Cover by Massimo Carnevale. When we last saw Sven at the end of NORTHLANDERS Vol. 1, he was in exile on a remote island with a brand-new family and questioning if he truly managed to escape the dangers of the mainland. "Don't worry," his wife Enna had said. "There's no one coming." Well, after several decades pass, the epic story of "Sven, The Returned" is on the lips of poets across the land. And now a few mercenaries have decided to look him up...
Proof #23 - 'JULIA,' Conclusion The Julia arc concludes with a cold-blooded murder. Queen Victoria would have censored this issue.
Strange Adventures #7 (of 8) – Written by Jim Starlin; Art by Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom and Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens; Cover by Jim Starlin and Rob Hunter. Comet versus the original Captain Comet! The old Captain wants to build a dangerous new utopia for the universe, and it looks like his younger counterpart is the only one who can stop him!
Supergirl Annual #1 – Written by Sterling Gates; Art by Fernando Dagnino and Raúl Fernandez; Cover by Renato Guedes. In SUPERGIRL #34, Supergirl took the new secret identity of Linda Lang. But how long until someone finds out her secret? Now, for the first time ever, witness Supergirl's initial attempt to live her double life in "Linda Lang: Day One"! Plus! The secret origin of Superwoman revealed! What drove Lucy Lane to become the superpowered threat known as Superwoman? How did she transform from Lois Lane's little sister into Project 7734's secret weapon? Find out here!
Sweet Tooth #1 – Written by Jeff Lemire; Art and cover by Jeff Lemire. From out of the deep woods and the mind of acclaimed indie cartoonist Jeff Lemire (THE NOBODY, The Essex County Trilogy) comes a new Vertigo monthly ongoing series like no other! After being raised in total isolation, Gus – a boy born with deer-like antlers – is left to survive in an American landscape devastated a decade earlier by an inexplicable pandemic. Even more remarkable is that Gus is part of a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children who have emerged in its wake, all apparently immune to the infection.Enter Jepperd, a violent, hulking drifter who soon takes in Gus and promises to lead him to "The Preserve," a fabled safe-haven for hybrid children. Along the way they'll have to contend with science militias, deadly scavengers, rival bounty hunters, and hybrid worshipping cultists as they fight to make it to safety and solve the mysteries of this deadly new frontier. This bizarre and haunting new series is boldly written and illustrated by Eisner-nominated creator Jeff Lemire and elegantly colored by fellow Eisner nominee Jose Villarubia. A little boy with antlers, a big man with guns, a world without hope.
Wednesday Comics #9 (of 12) - Various Writers and Artists. WEDNESDAY COMICS, DC's new, 12-issue weekly series, reaches its incredible conclusion in September. Here are just some of the highlights of this third and final month: • In BATMAN, WEDNESDAY COMICS' weekly cover feature, Bruce Wayne digs further into a steamy murder mystery. It's a classic noir tale by the Eisner Award-winning 100 BULLETS team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso.
A two hard cover week again, I really need to address my hard cover addiction. While I ‘want” many of them the companies are all producing so many I have to now start to really decided when I hit a saturation point on and then stop with that material. Marvel Masterworks are getting easy and easier to skip and DC’s archive series has done a few now that I had zero interest in, but then other companies produce stuff like Eerie and Creepy collections. It’s like trading one drug for another, like I quit smoking and started to sniff glue. It is actually making me want to cut further back on new comics more then anything else.