You Read These With Your Eyes | February 22nd, 2012

If it's good enough for Elvis, it's good enough for you, dammit.

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.

ARCHIE #630: ARCHIE MEETS KISS PART 4 (Archie Comics)

It was a crossover that no one saw coming. Literally. After all, I think it’s quite safe to say that no one outside of, let’s say Gene Simmons and a handful of people at Archie ever thought this project would see print. After all, the two brands don’t naturally go together. But then Archie has always been great at subverting what’s expected of them, and giving the world something awesome. After all, this is the company that co-published Archie Meets the Punisher, which is arguably even more out there than the Archie Meets KISS concept. But I digress.

The twin talents of Alex Segura and Dan Parent have made this a must read book. The plot is suitably crazy, and yet undeniably Riverdale, and features amazing pulpy rock and roll covers from Franchesco Fracavilla – which is again, both strange and awesome. If you haven’t been able to get your hands on this series, fear not! A collection is on it’s way – in the form of both a reasonably priced softcover, and a slightly more decadent hardcover with certain bonuses.

(Yes, I’ll be buying the hardcover.)

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #6 (Marvel Comics)

Wolverine is the best at what he does. Unfortunately, what he does has never included running a school. Which is why, in this issue, he’s off to an intergalactic casino to win some fast money with douche-canoe hipster Quentin Quire in tow. See, the school is short on cash, because Wolverine has made a handful of super rich kids angry – which was also why he spent the school’s opening day fighting frankenstein monsters with flame-throwers (amoung other crazy things).

Anyway, this book is a whole lot of fun. It’s fast paced, and hilarious, taking itself just seriously enough for you to feel what all of the characters have at stake. One of the best X-books on the market (and that’s saying something).

TORSO GN (Icon/Marvel Comics)

Brian Michael Bendis continues to reformat his older creator owned offerings with a new collection of Torso, the true crime book he did alongside Marc Andryko about Elliot Ness and America’s first serial killer. Fun for the whole family!

This comes for the era of Bendis long past when he was drawing his comics, as well as writing them – so you’ll get to see a lot more of his artistic background in this book. It’s very interesting to see, and definitely something very different from the stories you’re getting from Bendis now, what with his growth as a writer and his “not drawing his own comics” thing happening.

MORNING GLORIES #16 (Image Comics)

Um, holy hell that last issue!

Clearly I can’t tell you much without spoiling the book, but let’s just say things have been happening in Morning Glories – and the further we all go down the rabbit hole, the more twisted everything seems to get.

For the past three issues, Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma have been handing in around 30 pages of content for your $2.99, and if the trend continues here, it’s going to be the best deal for comics you’re going to find anywhere. And if it doesn’t, well, even with just 20 pages, you’ll end up getting some of the best comics you can find for your money. Always highly recommended.

SPIDER-MAN FIGHTS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TP (Marvel Comics)

Ooooooh, I’ve been waiting for this one for quite some time.

When this was originally announced, this collection was called Spider-Man PSAs, and included a whole lot more of Spidey’s PSA style comics – but with the name change came a more narrow focus, and a chopping of half the book’s contents. Which is a shame, because the original collection was going to be pretty insane – and what is coming out will merely be mildly insane. Regardless, if you’re in the mood for a bit of a laugh (seriously, the PSA comics are amazingly funny sometimes) then you could do worse than grabbing this book.

(Also, I really want this book to be about Spider-Man trying to kick his heavy drug habit. But, you know, that will never happen…)

These are 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.

Women in Comics Who Rock, Part 1

Last week, a lot of people were not pleased, to put it incredibly lightly, with the new Catwoman and Red Hood and The Outlaws #1 issues as part of The New 52.  In her excellent article over at ComicsAlliance, Laura Hudson outlined exactly what she feels is the frequent disrespect superhero comics have for its female characters and readers.  And we don’t disagree.  However, here at Comics! The Blog, we’re dedicated to talking about the best in comics, as completely subjectively decided by us, and so an article like Laura’s isn’t exactly in the cards.

Plus, did you see how good that article is?  We’re not going to do as well, no sir.  Or as good as a seven year-old Starfire fan’s response.  Or as David Willis’ Shortpacked comic about it.

Instead, we decided that, as always, our voice was best spent talking about comics we like, ones that have wonderful female characters that we think people can get behind without having to feel like half the population is being somehow disrespected by what’s on the page.  Some of the series below are superhero comics.  Others are about spies or detectives or vampire murderers.  One of them is about a wonderful little girl.  Each one is one of our absolute favourites.

These aren’t the only series out there that feature wonderful female characters that are beautifully drawn.  We don’t even get to Marvel, let alone exhausting it, DC, the smaller publishers or the wonderful world that is the internet.  Just like the response to the articles above has shown that there are people who support a change in the current face of comics, there’s a lot of existing strength to build on.  Comics, not even superhero ones, are not all like the ones at the source of the controversy.  There’s stuff to love and hold dear to us as we make things better.

This is just the beginning.

——–

Are you scared? You probably should be.Queen and Country (Oni Press)
by Greg Rucka and various super-talented artists

One of Rucka’s best works, featuring one of his finest creations. In this series, we follow the life of Tara Chase, an operative of the Special Operations Section in Britain as she and her various cohorts deal with external threats and internal politics in order to make the world a better place.

Unlike most spy stories, there’s a slow building tension here. In the place of explosions are small, calculated moves, designed to go unnoticed. You know, like a real spy might do. There’s no gadgets, no flying cars, just good old fashioned talent and know-how – and at the center of it all, Tara Chase. She’s not the stereotypical spy story sex pot. She does not fall in bed with men because they can smile and wink. She’s a fully realized character, one with all the flaws you might find in the make-up of the male lead in a noir detective series, transposed onto a far more capable character. She has highs and lows, she drowns her sorrows, agonizes over victories. She’s amazing, and sadly, an anomaly. But that said, she still exists. There are four volumes of Queen and Country available, as well as three prose novels to be read. We suggest you get on that. (B)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Faith (Dark Horse Comics)
By Joss Whedon and a fantastic rotating cast of writers.  Buffy art largely by Georges Jeanty, Angel art by Rebekah Isaacs

At this point, you probably know who Joss Whedon is and what his most famous franchise is because hey, you know what this site is and I have literally no idea how someone could know about this site and not Buffy the Flippin’ Vampire Slayer.  You probably even know about the Buffy comics, too, but might still be wondering: are they any good?  The answer is yes!

Starting with Season Eight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer took all the wide-open possibility that the TV series’ finale raised – a world full of slayers instead of just one – and ran with it.  Buffy runs a worldwide paramilitary organization, but then vampires become cool and all of a sudden she’s running from the army or something.  It is pretty exciting!  It definitely works with the bigger palette that comics affords than TV, because there is no network telling you that exploding George Clooney is too expensive.  Then, the end of the “season” blows things up (both figuratively and, I recall, literally).  As Season Nine and the new series Angel and Faith are picking up, the series is dealing with the fallout of Season Eight, with a closer look at some great characters.  And dang, how great they are!  There is a reason this show enthralled me as a twelve year-old and has never, ever stopped: the incredible characters.  The flawed, funny, incredibly human and immeasurably strong characters.  I have been following these people for over half my life and I am not going to stop any time soon, they practically defined “strong female characters” for a generation. (J)

Manhunter (DC Comics)
by Marc Andreyko and various artists

Emerging almost out of nowhere, somewhat randomly without a big event or crossover to boost it, was Manhunter. Borrowing it’s title (and character name) from the various other Manhunters withing the DC universe, this one was different. Kate Spencer is a prosecutor in the DC Universe who is sick and tired of seeing these psychos sluffing off murder charges – and so she takes matters into her own hands. Stealing bits and pieces of costuming and weapons from an evidence locker, she becomes the Manhunter, a superhero who picks up where so-called Law and Order drops off.

Through the series, Kate handles herself wonderfully, even in the face of all the trouble coming her way. In addition to her real job as a prosecutor, she’s a mother to her son Ramsey, the product of a marriage that fell apart because… well, Kate works and she carries that work with her all the time. The relationship between Kate and her ex is portrayed as cordial, albeit strained. Clearly, there’s pain that exists there, but the characters are often times bigger than it, only sometimes succumbing to pettiness when the day has ground them down.

And then, of course, Kate is a superhero, who tries to take care of the bad guys. I say tries because as a new superhero, this doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, like all of us, she needs a little help from her friends – who in this case are a former henchman named Dylon, whom provides her with all her tech, and super crime spy Cameron Chase who is in many ways Kate’s confidant in the crazy world of superheroes. The book is brilliant, simultaneously building up a new character while bringing in aspects of the larger DC universe in such a way that doesn’t confuse or alienate readers who might not know or care about it. It’s a fine read that I would suggest to pretty much anyone. There are five volumes of this title, alongside a bit of uncollected work from the back pages of Streets of Gotham – and are well worth seeking out. (B)

Suck it, gravity.Batgirl (Bryan Q. Miller version) (DC Comics)
Written by Bryan Q. Miller, art by some swank-ass dudes

This is a book that I think you could be pretty safe giving to almost anybody who thinks that superheroes are stupid and all the same, primarily because Stephanie Brown spends a lot of her time as Batgirl complaining about how stupid things are.  She is also wickedly funny, incredibly smart and despite another life as the costumed hero Spoiler, still so amazed at all the insanity that happens in her life.  She likes boys.  She also likes punching motherfuckers.  You see a lot more of the latter.  Heck, in one issue, she and Supergirl have a “sleep-over” that basically turns into them fighting two dozen draculas, which is something you absolutely should read.

Bryan Q. Miller’s work with the character isn’t all draculas and motherfuckers, though.  At its core, it’s about the relationship Stephanie has with the people in her life and her fight against the ones who have been telling her for years that she isn’t good enough.  It’s about her learning to believe that she deserves the suit and showing other people that she does and if not, fuck them and fuck the grappling hook launcher they rode in on.  It’s about her relationships with Barbara Gordon (Oracle) and Babs’ other protégé, Proxy.  It’s about growing up into the kind of person who you want to be.

Okay, and it’s about teaching a young sociopath about being a kid using a moon bounce.

Yes, you should buy all of this. (J)

Courtney Crumrin (Oni Press)
by Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumrin is a girl with a strange life. After her parents move in with her old Uncle Aloysius, she is forced to be a part of a new school – which is fine until, you know, some kids start getting eaten. After a light tussle with some night things, she discovers a fondness for magic and manages to get mixed up in a lot of different, wild adventures. Dangerous ones, where there’s a tangible sense of death skirting the edges of the story. The series is absolutely fantastic and if you’re looking for a book with a good role model, maybe one that plays into a love of Harry Potter, this book will definitely hit the spot. (B)

Birds of Prey (DC Comics)
Previously written by Gail Simone, currently written by Duane  Swierczynski, art by various artists

At its most iconic, the series was about Barbara Gordon in her role as Oracle bringing together a team of badass female superheroes to fix the stuff the rest of the capes ‘n’ tights community couldn’t.  It was also about the friendship between these fantastic women who would gladly die for one another, who held each other up when they needed it and got drunk and caroused when they’d earned it.  With the exception of Barbara Gordon, who I’ve loved since I first saw Yvonne Craig swing across the screen in a beach house on the set of the 1960s Batman TV series, I didn’t really care who any of these characters of Black Canary, Huntress or Zinda Blake were until I read this book.  To be honest, I thought of them as Batman’s supporting players.  Then I started reading, and I was delighted to find that they were so much more.  They were exciting!  They were amazing!  They were heroes.  Now, they loom large in my imagination.

In its newest incarnation, just one issue in, Babs is less involved but Starling drives a car through a church to save a fellow, which is pretty okay by my books!  It’s not the same as the old book, but it looks like it will keep the tradition of amazing women doing astonishing things. (J)

That's what I'M talkin' 'bout.Amelia Rules!
by Jimmy Gownley

This one is one of my absolute favourite series. It features a girl named Amelia McBride, who has just moved to a new school after her parents get a divorce. What follows aren’t so much fantastic adventures, but small ones. The kinds that real kids have as they try to navigate a world filled with ideas and problems bigger than their minds can hold. In between bouts of pretending to be superheroes and fighting ninjas, the kids in this book deal with things like love, friendship, cancer, and parents going off to war. It does this without preaching any kind of mindset, but instead looking at the problems from where they stand. Sure, there are reasons for a person to go off to war, but forget all the politics for a little bit, and say its happening. Someone’s father is leaving, and hey, there stands a chance that he might not return. How do kids deal with that? What coping mechanisms can they use?

Everything about the book is fantastic, and what’s more, it starts a tweenage girl. Honestly, of the books that I have in the store, these ones always sell the fastest. Faster than Amulet (which is another series we should talk about one day), faster than Bone, and faster than the heaps of Archie graphic novels we have. They are amazing and delightful and perfect for all ages. (B)

Stumptown (Oni Press)
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Matthew Southworth

Dex Parios is maybe my favourite comic book character I have come across in my whole life that isn’t Spider-Man and Batman, and considering I wasn’t playing with a Dex toy while watching a Dex cartoon when I was six years old, I think that speaks volumes about her.  Do you know what else I watched, though?  Every single detective or crime show that A&E showed, from Banacek to The Rockford Files, and it’s the tradition of James Garner’s Jim Rockford that Dex follows in the pages of Stumptown.

She’s a PI who scrapes by the skin of her teeth, dragged down by her inability to learn from a Kenny Rogers song.  When the owner of the casino offers to wipe out Dex’s debts if she finds the woman’s missing granddaughter, what choice does she have but to accept?  Put into this position against her will, Dex nonetheless attacks the case with slyness that belies her ferocity.  She takes a lot of punches – hell, the first time we meet her she’s getting shot – but she keeps pushing on, both for what’s right and because if she doesn’t, she won’t be able to take care of her little brother.  She’s an incorrigible wiseass who survives in spite of that as much as she does because of it.  She’s equally tough as hide and gentle when the situation calls for it.  It’s like she stepped right out of the imagination of my youth.  She’s the best there is at what she does, which often means getting beaten up.  She’s just the best. (J)

C!TB's Best of the Week | August 29th, 2011

Ta-daaaahhh

So hey special friends. Do you know what we did for this weekend? We watched us some Doctor Who, in which The Doctor dressed up in a swank ass suit and rocked out some time lord awesomeness. And it. Was. Awesome.

Anyway, now it’s time for comics once more. So let’s get to doing that.

Take that, Daytime Emmys!ALL THE COMICS, IN ONE CONVENIENT PACKAGE

I wasn’t around for the first volume of Dark Horse Presents. I think. I may have had a file at the local comic shop by the time it all came to an end, but as much as I loved that store, it wasn’t built to carry a lot of indie books. If you ever wanted to see a lot of that stuff, you had to pre-order or else you’d end up awash in a sea of spandex – and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just, sometimes a person needs a little variety in their diet.

Anyway, when Dark Horse announced the second volume of Dark Horse Presents, I have to admit, I got pretty excited – mostly because they were loading the deck with a lot of fine creators. I mean, what other book would you see contributions from Frank Miller, Fabio Moon, Dave Gibbons, Carla Speed McNeil, Paul Chadwick, Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Brian Wood, Even Dorkin, Jill Thompson, Eric Powell, Geof Darrow, Jim Steanko and more? There isn’t any other regular book that can boast that heavy weight slate. And man, it’s pretty amazing. Each issue features impeccable design, offers done-in-one shorts and serialized stories, and gives the readers a sample of all kinds of tastes. I mean, do you know how many copies of Finder I started selling because of this series? So freaking many! And Concrete. And soon, Beasts of Burden. And I also heard a rumour that Hellboy will be making an appearance soon. And dammit, that’s great.

Also, each issue is spined with the comic title and issue number… which means that I can pretty much keep these babies in stock as long as they are in print, as I can put them up in the trade section for people to buy long after the shelf date has “expired”. Dark Horse has done a great thing bringing this book back. And now? It’s monthly, so we’ll be getting greatness even more often. And that’s not something to sneeze at. Thus, I give the Death Rides a Pale Horse, Radness Rides a Dark Horse Award for just… being awesome. (B)

Then they share a malt. A sexy malt.BUCK UP, SON

If I needed to describe just why it is that Ed Brubaker has made me a fan of Captain America, despite my lifelong ambivalance towards the character (1993’s Captain America Annual #12, first appearance of the Battling Bantam, aside – never doubt the power of a Puerto Rican boxer with augmented strength dressed like a chicken), it would be Captain America and Bucky.  Don’t get me wrong, his other work with the character has been undeniably fantastic, but what he’s doing together with Marc Andreyko and Chris Samnee?  It’s filling a hole in my comic book past that I hadn’t realized was there.

A giant part of this is Samnee‘s art, because the man is easily one of the best artists in the industry today.  Sure, he can choreograph a great fight scene.  Sure, his characters look so fluid they could actually be moving.  But lord, it’s the faces he does that capture me and have me reaching to my wallet to buy some of the inked sketch art he regularly posts on his website.  Nobody draws faces like him, with that style that feels like it stepped out suspended animation and the subtle emotions of a life that’s suddenly changed forever.  That look on Bucky’s face in the aftermath of his actions?  His eyes?  That’s why I’ll follow this man anywhere.  Captain America and Bucky #621 feels like it could be anybody’s first Captain America comic, in any time period.  For capturing time in a bottle and making me feel like a kid again, I give the comic and its creators C!TB‘s first Jim Croce Award. (J)

Better than alllll the rest

Dammit, why is this never easy? As always, there were tons of strong contenders for the title of “Best” this week – Greg Rucka’s Punisher was a thing of beauty, FF was stellar as always, and Gates of Gotham brought the sound and the noise… but in the end, I had to go with something a little bit off the beaten path…

Mystery Men has been a fantastic mini-series from Marvel. At first blush, the book might appear to be more of the same superhero stock, the series is really much, much more than that. Set in the 1930s and using old pulps as inspiration, David Liss and Patrick Zircher have introduced a set of new heroes that are slightly different than what you’d find running across the Marvel U today. With a light touch of period appropriate abilities and technological limitations, these superheroes aren’t so heroic, borrowing more from the pulp school of story telling – in that while they might all do heroic things, their methods are a lot more… vicious? No, um… primitive. Almost. I mean, one of the heroes goes around spouting off medical jargon as he plunges needles filled with death into the necks of those who deserve it. For justice. And that’s just one of the heroes.

This series has been brilliant – a turns a rollicking adventure and dark mystery, it’s something absolutely fresh and delightfully familiar. And it’s the best. Buy it now in singles (if your store still has them) or wait for the great collection that will be on the stands later this year.

This is Comics! The Blog. We now commence our broadcast week.

You Read These With Your Eyes! – August 24th, 2011

Can you hand me that cheese?

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.

BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM #5 (DC Comics)

Scott Snyder has been one of the greatest discoveries of the last year for me.  First, he had me hooked with his run on Detective Comics, which is absolutely one of the best Batman stories ever.  After that, it was no tough decision to pick up Gates of Gotham - wrapping up its final issue this week – a story that manages to succeed both as a Bat Family event and as a story about a previously unseen part of Gotham City history.  Plus, things explode!  I don’t know how you don’t approve of that.  I mean, what are you, a communist?  But I digress.

Batman: Gates of Gotham has been a strong story from a couple of great writers with a lot of great character moments.  As we head off into the wide blue yonder next week when DC relaunches, I’m glad I got to read this fun little nugget.

Bite me, Flynn.BATMAN INCORPORATED #8 (DC Comics)

As the other Bat-series have settled into their own stories and consistent worlds since Batman R.I.P., it’s nice to have a place to dump all the Grant Morrison-brand crazy and give it a big stir.  The kind of things that have been happening in this title are like no other.  Don’t believe me?  How about this: the story for Batman Incorporated #8 was teased in the last issue of the series by Oracle telling Batman that “there’s trouble in Internet 3.o!” – which is a new Internet that Bruce just had Barbara Gordon create – and Batman just straight up puts on a VR suit and heads in to get his Wachowski on.  Is there any other series where something like this could happen?  To one of the most popular characters in the world?  I doubt it.  Grant Morrison‘s Batman is a very unique kind of insanity.

Unfortunately, this will be the last issue of Batman Incorporated for the time being; issues #9 and #10, one of which was to feature Stephanie Brown infiltrating a British prep school to fight evil (a million times, yes!), have officially been canceled and will be a one-shot in between this issue and its 2012 relaunch, sometime in the future.  Despite its brilliance, Batman Incorporated was plagued by delays from the start and it’s taking an early intermission for the time being.  It’s not exactly the BANG!  POW!  WHAMMO! I was hoping for, but it’s one I’ll gladly take.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #621 (Marvel Comics)

The fact that Chris Samnee is the artist on a high profile series is something that makes me grin and run to the comic book store on Wednesdays even faster than I normally do.  When Thor: The Mighty Avenger took its premature bow, I was worried that we wouldn’t see much of him for a while, which made me very, very sad, because that man is an absolute genius.  Luckily, my worries were completely overblown, because now he’s drawing the escapades of James “Bucky” Barnes right from the start of things and I couldn’t be happier, especially with Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko writing.  Last month’s issue #621 featured some incredible art, whether it was a scene of a teenager fighting off a bunch of trained experts or just the facial expression of a kid and his dad, and the fact that this week I get more just blows me away.

This is a series that’s easy to jump onto and, only two issues into its retitling and new direction, it couldn’t be easier.  Check it out.  You will be glad you did, I swear.  I’ll warn you though, you might lose a lot of time to those pretty pictures.

The skull stands for kittens.  Wait...THE PUNISHER #2 (Marvel Comics)

I shouldn’t like this comic.  I generally hate the character of Frank Castle.  I get it, he murders people.  When will Spider-Man show up?  Then again, between Moon Knight, Daredevil and The Punisher, this has been the Summer of Marvel Proving that the Right Creative Team Will Get Me to Buy Anything.

It’s unwieldy, I know.  I’m thinking of workshopping it.

It’s true, though.  I knew I was sunk as soon as they announced that Greg Rucka would be writing the book.  I mean, have you read any of his other stuff?  If you have, you’re probably reading this series already.  Rucka is just that good.  He has a way of finding a compelling story in even a straightforward character like Frank Castle, and with Marco Checchetto on art, it’s great-looking, too.  Part One of this story saw a baffling and violent crime as well as the beginning of the Punisher’s investigation into who he’ll visit and then, you know… murder.  Somehow, in all the sadness and violence, the book’s creative team found a certain beauty.  I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but now I think I need to find out.  You should too.

ULTIMATES #1 (Marvel Comics)

I came into the world of the Ultimates with Ultimatum.  I’d been reading Ultimate Spider-Man for quite a while and, with a new status quo at the time, I figured the fallout from the Ultimate Universe’s last big event was a great place to jump on overall.  So I did and, to be honest, I was kind of underwhelmed by both The New Ultimates and Ultimate Avengers.  Luckily, with another big (and better) Ultimate event – The Death of Spider-Man – down and a new beginning for that universe’s biggest super-team, I’m excited to try jumping on again.

Why, you ask?  Easy.  Jonathan Hickman.  Marvel is bringing in hot(tt) new talents like him and Nick Spencer to bring a new perspective to the imprint, and with the rampant success and blatant genius of Hickman‘s books like Fantastic Four/FF, S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Red Wing, I’d be crazy not to think that he can suck me in where other writers haven’t been able to.  If you had a similar reaction post-Ultimatum, I encourage you to try jumping on again here.  Something tells me we won’t be sorry.

These are just 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.

You Read These With Your Eyes – July 27th, 2011

Can you hand me that cheese?

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.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #666 (Marvel Comics)

It’s here!  Spider Island is finally here!  And it’s about damn time!  Listen, I love Dan Slott‘s run on the series, I don’t think that’s any secret.  But it’s been two and a half damn months since the Spider Island-teasing Free Comic Book Day issue of the series whetted my appetite, and all those Infested teasers that have been running ever since have only made things worse.  At this point, I want my giant Spider-Man event, and I want it now!  Do you hear me, world?  I’m mad as hell and I’ll only take it for so much longer.  If that’s okay.  I’ll sit down.  I’m sorry.

But yeah, if Spider-Man is your thing, you could do worse than checking this out.  Peter’s been doing pretty well without his spider sense, especially with some kung fu kung pao magic – I’m sorry guys, I didn’t eat dinner – from Shang-Chi.  But what if an untold number of New Yorkers got all of Pete’s powers and didn’t necessarily have the same moral compunctions?  How bad would things get?

We’re about to find out.

Aw, they're gonna hug!ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE (HARDCOVER COLLECTION) (Marvel Comics)

Did you miss this fantastic miniseries while it was coming out?  Don’t worry, I was a big fan of it and I still missed the final issue, which I’m not sure if I should blame on myself or Brandon.  Let’s say Brandon, since he’s not here right now.

Isn’t unjustifiably blaming one of your best friends (and writing partner) for something fun?  You really should try it.

Oh wow, I can totally turn that into a segue!  Basically, much like Brandon and I are apparently bros with issues (in that I don’t have a certain one), so are Logan and Peter.  Then they start tripping through time because of some magical diamonds and thugs with magical diamond-encrusted baseball bats, and at one point Doctor Doom is a planet and gets shot with a bullet that’s the Phoenix Force.  And that’s just the middle!

Basically, if you enjoy fun, there is no reason not to read this series.  It’s funny, it’s poignant, and there’s some Bosom Buddies-eque (time) hijinks to be had, which is a thing that I can never get enough of.  Can you?  Stop lying, no you can’t.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #620 (Marvel Comics)

Co-written by Ed Brubaker and Marc Andreyko.  The untold stories of Captain America and Bucky’s first years together, told from the latter’s point of view.  Yeah, that’s amazing.  That’s probably reason enough to buy this issue.  But do you know what’s absolutely the reason to?  The reason that, as soon as I tell you, you’re going to start camping out at your local comic book store just to make sure you get a copy?

Chris Samnee on art.  Pa-zow!

Sure, your wallet hates you.  This is worth it.(Image taken, obviously, from Comic Book Resources)

Yeah.  Pa-zow is goddamn right.

If you read Thor: The Mighty Avenger, the backups in the last few issues of Captain America, or Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale, you know and love Samnee‘s art.  You’re not alone.  Let’s buy the shit out of this book, guys.

Ruh-roh.CRIMINAL: THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT #2 (Icon Comics)

I’m actually a new convert to the wonder that is Criminal – I know, I know – despite it being the exact kind of book that I would like.  I actually took a class on crime pulp and noir stories in university, in which Criminal came up in discussion, and yet I never picked up an issue until the first issue of the latest story arc.  Of course, I was immediately blown away by the sheer genius of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and as soon as I closed the book, I wanted more.

The Last of the Innocent is the story about Riley Richards, a pretty regular kid who got himself into a messed up marriage and a bunch of gambling debt.  Visiting his hometown after his father passes away, he sees another path his life could have taken if he’d made different choices as a teen, and he comes to a conclusion about the only way he can get things back the way they should: he has to kill his wife.

This should… go well?  Either way, I’m in.  Hot damn, I’m in.

DUCK TALES #3 (Kaboom! Studios)

Life is like a hurricane here in Duckburg

You’re damn right, italicized lyrics of the theme song to a beloved cartoon from my childhood.  You’re damn right.  A few issues into the latest series in Kaboom!‘s plan to kill me with sheer happiness, I can’t believe my luck.  So far, the issues have felt exactly like it felt watching the Duck Tales cartoon on Saturday afternoons when I was a kid.  Between all of them, Warren Spector and his art team have absolutely nailed this series, from the crazy locales and plots to the relationship between Scrooge McDuck and his family.  If you’re not reading this, you really should be; it’s a great all ages book and an example of a licensed property done absolutely right.  It’s fun.  It’s exciting.  It’s the Duck Tales I remember, and I can’t believe my eyes.

These are just five of the many great books being released this week!  And how fantastic a week is it?  I didn’t even get to the two Scott Snyder comics comic out.  Or Jonathan Hickman‘s two series, including the finale of Secret Warriors!  Hell, I didn’t even get past the letter D!  Aren’t we spoiled?  Yes, we are.  Aw yeah, comics!

You can find the full list of comics being released here. If you have any other recommendations, let us know in the comments below.