I'm probably going to be rather brief this month. It's vacation season and I bought more than usual in June. A lot of interesting new titles out, and that doesn't even include Miniature Jesus where I missed the second issue and am holding off on mentioning issue 3 until I get 2. Off and running.
1. American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell 1 - I'll freely admit that this probably isn't the best title of the month. It's just that I've not had an American Vampire fix in a few months since the book went on hiatus. This one shot set in 1959 doesn't even have Skinner or Pearl in its pages. No Felicia, either. Mostly it's about a young couple who wind up turned into vampires but who try not to eat anyone who doesn't deserve it. They find a lonely young boy in an orphanage who can tell who deserves to be lunch, but the boy isn't what he seems.
2. Invincible 103 - Anstrom Levy's back! Angstrom Levy's back! Hot
damn. Somewhat disappointingly, though not entirely surprisingly, so's a Mauler Twin, who's given up on the whole twin business and claims to be the original, non-clone incarnation. Now, I always found the Mauler Twins highly amusing and entertaining but when Oliver killed them it was a major story point. Bringing them back, or at least one, is undermining that story. Sure, the constant cloning always allowed for that back door, and it's in keeping with the superhero core of the Big Two, but this is Kirkman, not the Big Two.
3. The Walking Dead 111 - Well, the cover alone is reason for this to by high on the list. Inside Negan shows himself to be far more perceptive than the Governor ever was, despite his appearance of being far more insane than the Governor. I have to say I was far happier with how Kirkman decided to resolve the attempted betrayal of Rick than I was in seeing the Mauler Twin back, and this book would have been over Invincible but for Anstrom Levy. Kirkman is showing Negan to be a much more complicated character than the cut out villain he first appeared. The Governor will have real competition in TWD lore when Kirkman finishes this story line.
4. Dia de los Muertos 3 - Riley Rossmo's cultural celebration in anthology
form is almost epic. The variety of stories by various writers is engaging everytime, but Rossmo really anchors it with his art in every single one of them. That's a lot of art. As I've mentioned previously, he alters his style with each story to suit the nature of the story. I particularly liked the Kirby-esque "Day of the Dead 3000" in this issue.
5. Fables 130 - "Junebug" is another in the long line of Fables tradition of one issue stories that serve as important points in future tales. Young Junebug is under foot for her parents moving into the newly restored Fabletown, post Mister Dark, and is sent off to explore on her own in the large building. No one believes her story of creatures in the basement plotting something nefarious until her parents find scratches on her back...
6. Brother Lono 1 - I was late to the 100 Bullets train but read the entire
series in trades. No way I'm waiting around for Lono's new story to be collected. We're in Mexico now and Lono is a Brother. Hard to believe, but then again we have the sexiest nun (named June) since "Two Mules for Sister Sara". Of course dead bodies are cropping up and fingers are coming off live ones. It is the 100 Bullets mileu after all.
7. Atomic Robo: The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur 1 - Come on. It's a Dr Dinosaur story arc. What's not to like? A nice bit of Mole Man reference to start things, too.
8. Sex 4 - The least of the title activity so far. The story's moving along
with some nice developments but not much action this round. The stark cover is appropriate.
9. Wonder Woman 21 - First Born fighting has led to the death of Lennox. Well, probably not. No one ever dies in Big Two world, and it's not explicit that he's supposed to have died here.
More interestingly, we end up on Orion's home world, bowing before Highfather. For once I'm looking forward to a story involving these characters.
10. Thor: God of Thunder 9 - "Then it rained hammers. And Thors." Not
looking so good for the Thors Three. This is one of those books where you know what has to happen in the end, because nothing every actually changes in Marvel (or DC), but it's a fun ride pretending that something might actually happen. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Jason Aaron telling the story. Even his letters column responses are fun.
11. Unwritten 50 - A larger than usual issue for the landmark numbering and the start of a cross over into the Fables realm. I'm not a big crossover fan, and the last time there was one involving Fables and Jack of Fables I was sorely disappointed. This one is taking the tactic of having Tom's appearance alter how things went with the fight against Mister Dark. In this version surviving Fables are on the run, hiding from Dark and his minions, which includes all Mundy's who are still alive. So far it's a better start than the Jack of Fables one, and I think it helps that there's no portion of the story occurring in the Fables title. If you just want to read Unwritten, that's all you need to do.
12. Fairest 16 - The India adventure continues with Charming. Kind of drawn out this issue with Charming and Nala chasing the dhole to try to beat them to her village. Not sure who the guy is working with the dhole.
13. Mouse Guard: Legend of the Gaurd (vol 2) 1 - Another 4 issue set of guest creators in Mr Petersen's world. Lots of nice little tales here by Stan Sakai, Nick Tapalansky, Alex Eckman, and Ben Caldwell.
14. Bodie Troll 2 - Still a lot of fun in the all ages realm. Plenty of dirty roots to go around.
15. The Wake 2 - Merpeople are fishy. So are the survace people. Snyder and Murphy will tie this altogether, I'm sure, but it was a little bit standard set up this issue.
16. Dark Horse Presents 25 - Lots of good stories but if you go into this expecting a Buffy story, and the cover on some issues showing her fighting vamps, you're going to be disappointed. The Buffy story is of some tertiary fighter I don't know from the TV show. Looks like Slayers include gay males now, not just females. Wonder how they wrote that into the mythos.
17. The Black Beetle 4 - This was a really good, fun noir superhero series. It's very much in the spirit of the old pulp stories, rather than a superhero, really. Good work by Francavilla.
18. Ten Grand 2 - A lot of good books this month, obviously, for this to be down this far on the List. The question of who's actually seen an afterlife and whether the manipulators behind the mission are who they say they are is already smacking our hero in the face.
19. The Massive 13 - The Kapital traveled a long way between issues. When we finished 12 we were trapped in ice in Alaska. Now we're in flooded NYC. An aircraft carrier group is making things interesting.
20. Batwoman 21 - This was an all Killer Croc episode. I've seen so many versions of his origin I'm hardly paying attention to what it's supposed to be this time.
21. Mara 5 - Mara seems to be reaching Superman levels. Killing her brother probably wasn't a good idea.
22. Lazarus 1 - I'm generally a big Rucka fan but I can't make the economics of his near future world work. Maybe I'll be able to ignore it in future issues or it'll become clearer. Discussiong for another day.
23. The Bounce 2 - Having a stoner as your lead character, and following things in a somewhat disjointed fashion, makes some sense but can be hard to follow. Bouncing is certainly what we're doing so far.
24. Jupiter's Legacy 2 - It sure is pretty but the story of disaffected superpowered second generation and a jealous brother aren't exactly new. A couple more issues and if something more interesting hasn't happened, I'll have to move on.
25. Uncanny 1 - This was a last minute impulse buy. I like the powers the hero has and the art by Campbell is very good. Lee thought it failed for ending at a point that completed a story so a reader could just jump off. I think there's more than enough plot dangling to come back.
26. Damsels: Mermaids 2 - Much as I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue, I felt like there was too much reference in this issue to events that had gone on elsewhere.