Every week, Comics! The Blog goes through the list of new releases and we tell you which comics to plug into your mind hole. Your mileage may vary.
Brandon: What up crackers! This week, I’ll be doing things a little bit differently for ridiculously selfish reasons. In addition to the regular picks we hand out in this weekly showcase, I’m also going to mark THINGS that the comic book industry has seen fit to get me as birthday presents. Seriously, this week of books seems to be tailored to make me happy.
PICK: ANIMAL MAN #12 & SWAMP THING #12 (DC Comics)
After circling each other since the launch of the New 52, Animal Man and Swamp Thing finally team up to stop a common enemy from taking over! Will they succeed? Whelp, considering these issues lead us into the big Rotworld storyline that kicks off in October… probably not. But we do know these books will be awesome. Jeff Lemire has been knocking it out of the park on Animal Man and Scott Snyder has done a similarly stellar job re-inventing Swamp Thing. Having both those dudes working together on something this big can only mean good things! It also means I need to catch up on Swamp Thing – I managed to fall a couple issues back in the midst of all the amazing books out there right now. Seriously, there’s an embarrassment of riches out there right now. Speaking of which…
PICK & PRESENT: HAWKEYE #1 & DEFENDERS #9 (Marvel Comics)
In what I can only assume was a move coordinated to give me the happiest of birthdays, Marvel is releasing Hawkeye #1 and Defenders #9 tomorrow! Which means that not only will I get a brand new instalment of the craziest Marvel book on the stands, but I’ll get my first taste of Hawkeye, which I’ve been waiting for with baited breath ever since the teaser that told us all about the re-teaming of Matt Fraction and David Aja on a brand new ongoing. If you’re not familiar with the Fraction/Aja team, that’s perfectly okay. They worked together at Marvel fairly early on in Fraction’s tenure at the company alongside Ed Brubaker, re-inventing Iron Fist for a new generation. That book was rad as hell and took Danny Rand’s quite convoluted history and boiled it down to the core of what makes him awesome: he’s a kung fu billionaire and he has rad, pulpy adventures. (Side note: if you have yet to experience the pure joy that is The Immortal Iron Fist, head out now and procure yourself copies. Do this. For your health.)
Fraction and Aja are looking to rejuvenate Hawkeye in a similar fashion, casting the character in a Rockford Files type show within the Marvel universe. The stories presented will be a mix of done-in-ones and short arcs that build on top of each other, giving readers quite a bang for their buck with each outing – and with Aja drawing, it’ll look slick as hell. Whether you like Hawkeye, or hate him, check the series out.
And Defenders… well, come on. You have Fraction telling a tale that rivals Kirby’s craziest, with Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton destroying the art. I’ve just paged through this issue, and oh my god you guys, just you wait until you see how shatteringly good everything in this issue is. I’m pretty sure taken in a concentrated dose, you will be able to impregnate dudes with just a touch. But only dudes.
PICK: HIGHER EARTH #3 (Boom! Studios)
The SHUMPHRIES comes back to Higher Earth right where he left off – with our erstwhile heroes facing down a big fucking dinosaur! Because that’s just how this planet hopping books works. Just when you think things can’t get crazier, they do, in astonishing style.
With each issue, we become more and more aware of the revenge plan at the core of the book… and in this issue, we catch a glimpse at just what is facing our heroes, and holy wow, is it a twist. As always, a great read that more need to be reading. I need this to go until Sam decides it’s time to stop, not truncated before its time. Please make this happen. Thank you.
PRESENT: TMNT ULTIMATE COLLECTION HC Vol 3 (IDW) & ARCHIE ARCHIVES VOL. 6 (Dark Horse/Archie Comics)
Two beautiful archive books feature two sets of my favourite characters. Both run $50 American, but WHAT OF IT. The Archie books are particularly gorgeous, and when you slide the slip cover off, the actual hardcover itself is styled like an old Riverdale High yearbook. So cool.
PICK: AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #10 (Marvel Comics)
Kelly Sue DeConnick returns to the stands this week (again!) with the second part of her Captain Marvel/Spider-Man team-up tale! There’s airplanes! Quips! Jet packs! The Dodsons! Missiles! Giant robots! Awesomeness! Everything you could possibly want in a comic and more! And hey, what’s this we heard about you not picking up a copy of Captain Marvel when it came out a few weeks ago? Don’t you realize how disappointed we all are with you? We’re all prreeeeeeeetty disappointed. Get on that, please.
PICK & PRESENT: BEASTS OF BURDEN – NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH (Dark Horse Comics)
New Beasts of Burden comics come once every never, and to have it happen on my birthday? Again, it’s like Dark Horse knows. You guys are grand.
Anyway, for those out of the loop, Beasts of Burden is the kind of book that will make you weep from inadequacy. You’ll read the words, look at the painted art, drink in the story, and you’ll swiftly realize that there is no way you’d be able to pull of anything this spectacular. The series is about a group of animals on Burden Hill, who solve paranormal mysteries… and generally keep us safe from some terrifying Hellboy style monsters. It’s a book that’s equal parts sweet and horrifying, and it. Looks. Beautiful. Try this one shot out and then head back to your store for the hardcover collection of the gang’s previous adventures. You’ll be glad you did.
PRESENT (BACK ORDERS): PINOCCHIO – VAMPIRE SLAYER VOL. 3 & SONG OF ROLAND (Slave Labor Graphics & Conundrum Press)
And finally, two very different projects to round out my week. These ones are back orders, as I gave up my copies to those in need… but that doesn’t mean I’m not champing at the bit to finally read them! The first is the third installment of the far-better-than-it-should-be Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer series, featuring everyone’s favourite wooden puppet in adventures that would make Buffy proud – both in terms of killing vamps, and in terms of tone. The series is quite Whedon-y and deserving of your love.
On the other end, there’s the Song of Roland, the english translation of Michel Rabagliati’s latest Paul book. The series features Rabagliati’s alter ego Paul, chronicling different periods of his life, this book focusing on the life and death of his (and the character’s) father-in-law. As I have done before, I fully expect to be in tears at least once during the course of reading this book, from either laughter, or sadness.
(BONUS POINTS: If you’re looking for something else that’s far-better-than-it-should-be, then you need to check out Helen Killer – the untold story of Helen Keller’s secret life as an assassin/bodyguard after she’s given a machine by Alexander Graham Bell. I know it was on Comixology… maybe it still is? Go look!)
five way more than five of the many great books being released this week! You can find the full list of comics being released here. If you have any other recommendations, let us know in the comments below.