Granted this is a five week month which means that some weeks will be lighter than others, but with the continuation of a theme that most of the cape stuff is sucking lately it also means my list is so light that I can take a flier on a book that normally I would skip.
The few books I getting from the DCU have to be something specific and maybe something a little off the beaten path. Azrael #12 is one such book that is benefiting from new writer David Hine. Hine’s work has always been good and I loved Strange Embrace, Son of “M” and other Marvel work he did. I think Hine fits better in the DCU and this character certainly needed something to make it an interesting book in and of itself. I’m not sure why we need Azrael back as a character, but Hine has immediately made this book a solid read as Azrael is battling not only foes but against his beliefs.
Next up is Birds of Prey #5, which is ostensibly part of Brightest Day, but for me I just enjoy Gail Simone’s work on this book and love Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, Zinda and Dove. There is something inherently sexy about a strong confident woman and these women all fill the bill. Also Gail is strong on group books that did not have to cater to playing into some other book or series. I find that books that the characters are allowed to grow and change are the most interesting.
Green Lantern Emerald Warrior #2 hits the stands this week. I believe all the GL books and Brightest Day are suffering from a slowness of pace. I enjoyed issue #1, but it was all set up and hints of mysteries with no reveals. Let’s get into the story and stop teasing us. Often the hints and build up are so huge the actual event itself, when it does happen, is anti-climatic.
Rounding out core DCU books is Brightest Day #10, Justice Society of America Special #1 and Zatanna #5. Brightest Day again needs to have the pedal hit the medal. This book is closing in on the halfway point and way too little has happened. I’m getting the JSA Special because I liked the JSA and it is a light week, but an easy book to miss and Zatanna so far is a nice easy reading title carving out its own little corner the DCU which is fine by me.
And that is it for the actual books with the DC symbol on the corner. I have been a die-hard DC guy for years and if they are losing me, well it is not a good thing.
Vertigo on the other hand is where I often find the book or books I’m looking forward to the most. I’ll include DV8 Gods and Monsters #6 (of 8) in this group because it is a Wildstorm book that reads like a Vertigo title. Heck with DMZ #57 and Northlanders #32 on my list it is Brian Woods week as he is the writer on all three books. Brain is doing some great work and I find it interesting that DC has not tried to recruit him for the core DCU books, but I’m guessing he would want no part of it as he has been an indie creator for a very long time and DV8 is as far as he has stuck his toe in the water so far. The other Vertigo titles are Joe the Barbarian #7 (of 8) which is still very good work by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy, but is suffering from not being a straight OGN in my opinion and Hellblazer #271. The Vertigo stuff almost equals the DCU core super hero material and is beating out what I’m getting from Marvel.
In fact if I look at my Marvel list it could easily have been one book, Thunderbolts #148 which after being a tie in to Avengers Academy is now crossing into Shadowland. This is starting to irk me as the new status quo under writer Jeff Parker has hardly had a chance to establish itself on its own. Otherwise I’m getting Marvel Universe vs the Punisher #4 (of 4) which I started on a whim and while it has been okay, it is nothing special. I also have Incredible Hulks #613 which is on tryout status and X-23 #1 as I decided to check out the new Wolverine status quo across his all three new books.
The four books in the “everything else” category all look to be good. Starting with Cowboy Ninja Viking #9, since I missed reading the last issue of the book on the week it came out and the book is on schedule, it feels almost like back to back issues for me. This book is energetic, crazy and out and out fun. This is truly a gem of a new series and sweeps away any malaise you have with comics. Another point, this is a book that only works as a comic, no movie or TV show could every catch the same vibe for this type of over the top concept. Next up is GI Joe Cobra #8. This is a good series, I just feel like the current arc is a little like treading water as we await the next arc with Chuckles. From BOOM is Farscape #11 and finally Morning Glories #2 from Image. The first issue of MG was decent but I thought slightly flawed in structure but the overall premise and execution made me look forward to the next issue. I’m hoping Morning Glories becomes another big hit for Image. This last year with Chew and CNV, Image has re-established themselves with some good ongoing titles besides books by Kirkman.
A small week for me and that means my wallet has a chance to not be emptied by my friendly comic book story.