December is a great month for many reasons, not the least is that we get Christmas. Of course I get Christmas almost every week with the presents that the comic companies bring to us. This week the Thanksgiving holiday has pushed comic book day to Thursday, but that just means only six days to wait until next weeks books arrive.
This week we have two series coming out that are easily top ten series for 2009. Now I’m in the midst of writing a multi-post summary of 2009 and I’m avoiding a true ranking, but I’m mentioning what I think are the best of the best and Scalped and Echo make the cut. Scalped #33 from Vertigo is out this week and while the publishing schedule has been a little slower then normal, this arc is where it all hits the fan. Hard core, raw and uncut emotions and violence spill out from this book. Echo #17 is simply the best science fiction novel I have read in a while and also happens to be a graphic novel. It is also a great book about relationships and how those relationships can change over even a short time. This is Terry Moore’s magnum opus in the making. Also we are getting Sweet Tooth #4 from Vertigo which is fighting its way into a best series type category.
On the flip side of the coin there are also a few series that I’m wondering about continuing. Not hard core make it or break it issues, just series that need to up the wow factor for me. In that group we have Authority #17 out from Wildstorm, The Great Ten #2 (of 10) from DC, Thor #604 from Marvel and Strange #2 (of 4) from Marvel. Nothing is really wrong with these books per say, just that the each book has to do something a little extra to keep me handing on.
This is a surprising light Batman family week with only Batman Confidential #38 and Batman The Unseen #5 (of 5) hitting the stands. I liked that The Unseen was released every other week as it really kept the pace of the story up. Doug Moench on Unseen shows that he can still write a great comic and with so many creators from years back showing up, Doug is one who I’d be happy to see on a full time basis.
Blackest Night is well represented this week with Blackest NightThe Flash #1 (of 3) and Blackest Night Wonder Woman #1 (of 3). DC has made this the best event to be done in comics in a very, very long time. I usually get tired of all of the events and mini-events, but when done right they can be a lot of fun and garner some excitement. Blackest Night has been the rare event to do that for me.
Marvel has some heavy hitters coming out this week also, with Siege The Cabal One Shot being the biggest. I hope this signals the end of Norman and Dark Reign. It is apparent that the original Thor, Captain America and Iron Man are all coming together after each one experienced a death and rebirth of sorts and they will form the core that wins back the day. I just hoe this is done by April. I think you have to count Marvel Projects #4 (of 8) as another big book, but that has sort of been a quite mini-series. Finally Dark Avengers Annual #1 has to be considered a major piece of the Dark Reign / Seige turning point and could be very interesting.
I’m bouncing all over the place this week so to round out Marvel is Nova #32, part of the Realm of Kings and Spider-Man Noir Eyes without a Face #1 (of 4). The last Spider-Man noir series was my favorite, so I will try out part one of the sequel.
The indys have some good books coming out this week. Absolution #4 (of 6) from Avatar continues Chris Gage’s examination of how far will a hero go to stop the bad guys. From Image we have Atom Eve and Rex Splode #2 (of 3) the excellent back story of Atom Eve continues. Image also serves up Sword #20; the concluding arc is this saga of power and revenge. Rounding out the indy side of the triangle is Supergod #2 (of 5), Ellis view of what would happen if nations could create their own super heroes and Grimjack Manx Cat #5 (of 6) from IDW, which is printing the web comic of Grimjack and giving me a chance to read another John Ostrander and Tim Truman production. Finally we have Existence 3.0 #1 (of 4) a follow up to Existence 2.0.
Vertigo has two other books coming out this week with House of Mystery #20 and Cinderella From Fabletown with Love #2 (of 6). The first issue of Cindy was good and I’m looking forward to more of the same and House of Mystery is a good book, it just never hits any home runs for me. It’s is funny with HOM, because I don’t want to drop it, it is just never highly anticipated.
To wrap up the week DC is giving us Jonah Hex #50, JSA All Stars #1, The Mighty #11 and Superman World of New Krypton #10 (of 12). JSA All Stars should be a good book. The JSA is a favorite group of mine and I think the team needs space to give us more about the different members. By splitting them into two groups and having a writing team (Willingham and Sturges) each guide one book it should be easy to keep the books working with each other.
That’s it for what I’m getting this Thursday, come back next Monday we will do this again next week.