As I add this back as normal weekly post I will continue to provide a link to the full list of books on the Cosmic Comics website. I encourage anyone who get their books via a subscription service to give these guys a try. I was a little worried getting my books by mail, but the handling of everything has been perfect. Back to the column, I continue to care less and less about much of the standard super hero fare, but find enjoyment in all sorts of books which still includes some standard material.
Starting out with Marvel, this has to be the most super hero laden company around that is almost solely dependent on that category for sales. This week I’m getting Avengers V X-Men (#5 of 6) (the fight book), Hulk #57 (red version), Uncanny X-Force #30 and Winter Soldier #9. The AvX book I have decide to get for no other real reason that a young man who is a fan of these fights. I read it and mail it on. For myself there is no true bang for the buck, but it is cool to know that it is still an exciting book for a younger fan. The Red Hulk book is fun and it has its moments. The one thing that keeps me on the book is Jeff Parker. He works on building a story line and expands on it all the time. Jeff also is willing to create some new villains and that helps to keep the book enjoyable. Uncanny X-Force has been Rick Remender’s claim to fame at Marvel. He took this group to darker places than anyone else. He crafts storylines that resolve at the same time continues to build a larger scope. The artwork has been hit or miss, but as far as I’m concerned I follow this book and could care less if the rest of the MU reflects what happens here or not. Last up from the house the Stan, Jack and Steve built is the Winter Soldier. The story of Bucky by Ed Brubaker has not been his strongest work and often Bucky needs to be bailed out almost as much as he did while he was Captain America. Ed is leaving the book soon and I will follow it for a little longer. It is trying to be the Bourne Identity of Marvel and is failing. The plus is that it is different and I’ll take that for now.
This is DC’s skip week, which means they drop in new mini-series and all sorts of other stuff. The DCU material I’m getting is Detective Comics Annual #1, Green Lantern Annual #1, Flash Annual #1, Phantom Lady #1 and National Comics Looker #1. National Comics is a series of one shots giving us the new spin on older characters. The new DCU is a total reset despite protests from DC to the contrary. Looker was last seen as a Vampire super hero, so she is in need of a reset button. Sadly with vampires being the hot thing it looks like she will still be a vampire. Phantom Lady was always intended to be more of a good girl character but this latest redesign seems to be trying to give us a fresh take on a very old character. I’m surprised she got the mini-series treatment. Detective Comics Annual was just a throw in as I want to get back into Detective Comics with John Layman (Mars Attacks, Chew) coming on as writer. This is a Tony Daniel production so I regret putting it on my list already. Flash Annual #1 is a check in book. Some series I like to try again once in a while to see if I have any interest in it now. Last is the Green Lantern Annual that promises to change everything and give us a new GL as the star of the book. What is the fate of Hal Jordan, who knows and I don’t really care. I find it amusing that after Dan Didio’s hue and cry about maintaining the iconic characters under the mask the first to be replaced is Hal Jordan who started the whole thing with GL Rebirth essentially doing away with the new generation of heroes. This story better be good or I’m off GL and GL Corps, which is the only Lantern books I get anymore.
The rest of the material I’m getting from DC is a mixed bag with the new Green Lantern Archives Volume 7, Showcase Tales of the Unexpected, American Vampire #30 and BW Minutemen #3 (of 6). Minutemen has been a great series and it does not hurt that I’m a diehard Darwyn Cooke fan. He is making this team book so much fun and filling in these characters so well that I hate to see the series end. American Vampire has now risen to be the number one Vertigo book and Scott Snyder continues to impress with this work. I love how we move forward often by a decade and I look forward to this series taking us into the future one day. I had sworn off the Showcase stuff and in fact sold a bunch of them. I keep some of the more off the wall stuff and starting reading Rip Hunter and realized that reading it little by little the material can be fun. Plus DC will never republish this stuff as a hard cover or Archive so it is the only way I will ever have a chance to read it. Speaking of Archives I get very few of them and DC publishes very few of them but the early GL stuff was very enjoyable and this stuff deserves a place in my collection.
The other category has its normal mixed bag and is also relative light with the list consisting of Debris #2 (of 4), Morning Glories #21 (which I think I may have to drop again), BPRD Hell on Earth Return of the Master #1 (of 5), Goon #41, Riven TP, Locke and Key Grindhouse One Shot, Smoke and Mirrors #5 (of 5) and X-O Manowar #4. Debris is a cool little tale of a post apocalyptic world with strange monsters running around. Basically I love Riley Rossmo’s art work and will follow most any book he draws. I’m just tired of Morning Glories and I can never remember the characters that well. Nick Spencer has played too many mystery games and has explained little. I have no sense of what the overriding purpose of the school is and perhaps I’m not reading it closely enough as my interest has waned. Locke and Key is giving us a one shot that is not tied to the main storyline but gives us some background as we gear up for the final arc. Locke and Key will go down as one of the better series done. It belongs with books like Echo and other great independent works that tell a complete story. Smoke and Mirrors ends and this is the first mini-series in what I sense is an idea for a series of mini-series, but I’m done with this story. It was only mildly interesting and the art was mediocre. BPRD is always an easy selection for me and I hear they are moving to regular numbering once the series has 100 issues under their belt. It should make for shorter titles, but the inside of the book always said what issue we are on, so I have no problem with how they have been numbering the books. BPRD has been one excellent story that follows the adventures of the BPRD where no character is ever guaranteed to make it out alive. The Riven TP has been a long time coming as I saw some of Bo Hampton’s artwork back almost a year ago for this book. It is a Werewolf horror story and the art is stellar. That leaves us with X-O Manowar #4 and the book is moving a little slowly, but all in all this book and the entire new Valiant lineup is a worthy successor to the original comics by Jim Shooter and company. I like that they are slowly rolling their universe out and keeping the number of books reasonable and the quality of the work high. I can see this company making an impact if the entire lineup remains as strong as they have started.
As promised click Comic Books for August 29 for a full listing of what is coming out.
Right now I’m actually enjoying this post as it causes me to at least think about why I get every book on my list and is helping me to drop some titles that I have lost interest in (Morning Glories).