Okay, I have decided to do something radically different this week. As I have said each week dictates how the review is going to go. This week I got a massive amount of books and there were a lot of really good books. I thought it would be fun to do a top ten list. So each one of the top ten books I will count down from #10 to #1. This post will have a note on each of the other books that I read. Then the next ten posts will be a lot shorter as I will do a review/commentary on each book. That means we are spacing this out for three days. It is a little different but gives each book it's own spotlight.
Before we jump into the books the clean list for this Wednesday’s new books is here and the detailed listing is here. It is another monster week with the new Judge Dredd book being a highlight along with Frankenstein Alive, Alive; Harbinger, Goon, Hawkeye, Captain America Now and Wonder Woman to name a few. Not as strong of a week as this week but many independents are coming out. Now let’s go back to last week and some brief commentary on the books that did not make the top ten.
Walking Dead #104 – This book almost made the top ten. Carl sneaks onto the vehicle that Negan is taking back to his place and Carl comes out shooting. It does not end well and while some claim the book has jumped the shark, I’m enjoying the book. The showdown between Rick and Negan promises to be a monumental one. Another high note is that Season 3 of the TV series is in high gear and also very entertaining.
Bloodshot #5 – This book was also a top ten candidate. Bloodshot is tracing his origins looking for answers and for revenge. It will be interesting to see what the series becomes after Bloodshot takes down his makers. What will be his reason to get mixed up into adventures once he succeeds in destroying or at least neutering those who made him?
Punk Rock Jesus #5 (of 6) – This was probably #11and was a lot of set-up to get us to the conclusion of the series. Sean Murphy packs more story and spreading of his gospel in one issue then three issues of other books. Hands down one of 2012 best series.
The Massive #6 – This is such a unique post apocalyptic world book as the set-up is it has just recently happened. Brian Wood has a lot of thought going into this book and is giving us an action/adventure book that is also filled with his world view. Highly entertaining, smart and bold in it is nothing like any other book on the shelf.
Thief of Thieves #10 – I’m enjoying the book, but man it is not so much about the great thief as it is about the f**k up son who keeps dragging the old man back into performing jobs that are not about stealing in your normal sense of the word.
Archer & Armstrong #4 ends the first arc and leads us into the return of the Eternal Warrior. Of all the Valiant series this is my least favorite. It is enjoyable at times, but the art is not as strong as some books and I’m just not that enamored with the buddy book. I like supporting start up type ventures when that have a high quality product and this book is well done, but it is borderline if I keep getting it or not.
Where is Jake Ellis #1 (of 5) – The follow up series to “Who is Jake Ellis”. I need to get that trade to recall the entire series. Nathan Edmondson’s writing can be a little obtuse at times and the jump cuts make it a little hard to follow. In addition I was trying to remember the whole premise of the book. By the end I just know Jon Moore is on the run again and Jake is back in his head. What makes this book so cool and so enjoyable is the art by Tonci Zonic. Nathan has a good story, but the art is just beautiful.
The Once and Future Tarzan – A one shot reprinting some work in Dark Horse Presents, what a confused morass of a story, but great art.
Frankenstein Agent of Shade #14 is just a great monster fight book and currently he is trying to defend against Rotworld. Of course I like seeing Matt Kindt writing a book and that is a big draw. I believe DC has this book on the chopping block.
Point of Impact #2 (of 4) was a strong issue and the murder mystery plot took plenty of steps forward. The art, which I raved about last time, has fallen off. I believe this artist has the potential to be great one day, but I also feel like his work is already getting rushed. It feels amateurish at times, but still is an easy read.
Team Seven #2 suffers from way too much information trying to be crammed into this book. DC is using this to fill in some blanks on the past history of the new Universe but I’m getting a little lost. This series has a ton of characters and a ton of information being spewed as they try to tell a story.
Batman and Robin #14 was another great issue. Peter Tomasi is telling a fantastic story about Bruce and Damian learning to be Batman and Robin and more importantly, father and son. The artwork is being split right now but Gleason and Giorello styles are not compatible and the page by page difference is an uneasy transition.
Red She Hulk #59 labels itself a Marvel Now book to try and garner more sales. I’m sold because I’m a Jeff Parker fan and enjoy watching his ideas unfold. It will be hard pressed to be a top ten book, but it is entertaining.
Ex Sanquine #2 was very entertaining as our killer and vampire have one heck of a date mixing a little murder and sex into a fun date.
Epic Kill #6 is the continuation of a series that I thought was going to be over. This issue we see how our hot Asian girl assassin is being brought back to life as the battle in her mind sort of reflects what is happening as her Uncle is trying to get her out of the country.
Invincible #97 was insane. Robert Kirkman went off the deep end with having his Invincible stand in end up being involved with killing his own parents. It even manages to work in commentary by Kirkman on why he did what he did. The big news is Mark Grayson’s powers are back and we are ramping up to #100.
Phantom Stranger #2 has me questioning my judgment. I know it has a bunch of background junk that will be “important” in the DCU as next year is moving to a big cross over, but Didio is just making a mockery of a character I truly loved. All set to cancel this book when they add Jim Corrigan into the book so now I have to see if DC will bring back the Spectre and old favorite of mine.
The Creep #3 is a continuation of a great PI book. John Arcudi is truly a very good writer and this book has been very enjoyable. The next issue concludes the story.
Batgirl #14 was part of Death of the Family. I thought it was a little paint by the numbers until the reveal that is was James Gordon Jr. who was leading Batgirl to a confrontation with the Joker. This cross-over passed the test and is a good add-on to the main story.
Green Lantern Corps #14 was another well done book by writer Peter Tomasi. Too often Peter is playing second chair to DC’s big guns Johns and Snyder, the man needs his own corner of the DCU to rule. The third army storyline continues to build and Guy Gardner is forced to resign from the GL corps.
Suicide Squad #14 get the die cut cover to make sure you know it was part of Death of the Family. It suffered from being part of “Death in the Family” and part continuing its own story line. I think in this case Harley could have been given a two or three issue mini-series to tie in “Death of the Family” and it would have worked better. All in all it was enjoyable but felt like it struggled here and there trying to serve two masters at once.
Amazing Spider-Man #697 concluded the Hobgoblins story line as we work up the highly promoted issue #700 and the re-launch of the book as a Marvel Now title. The story was fast paced, well written and enjoyable.
New Avengers #33 is moving toward the conclusion as Brian Bendis wraps up his storylines. The addition of Michael Avon Oeming as artist was jarring and did not work at all. Stylistically his work was all wrong for the book
Victories #4 (of 5) by Michael Avon Oeming as writer and artist worked much better as the book has always been in his style. A fun little series but it is not great by any means. I will reserve final judgment until the series concludes.
And the last one book for everything else is X-Men Legacy #1, a Marvel Now book featuring Legion. As he is the son of Professor X, the title actually makes some sense. Weak art and a story that gets way too involved in trying to set things up. I’ll give it another issue of two, but the hundreds of personalities that can take him over and the constant mind warfare will be a hard premise to make into an unlimited series.
Check back soon for part 2 and the number 10 book for the week.