This week had a much higher average than usual of really good comics. Following are some of my favorites (I'll number the images here because some of them don't have titles): 1. Suburban Glamour 2. X Factor 3. New Avengers: Illumiati 4. Tor 5. Batman: Death Mask
The Suburban Glamour trade that came out this week collects the excellent mini series by Jaime McKelvie and it starts off as a good regular people story that morphs into a Fables type scenario without missing a beat. The X Factor comic that came out this week is a great one shot called The Quick and the Dead written by Peter David and drawn by Pablo Raimondi. It focuses on Quicksilver and I like where the character is by the end of this issue. New Avengers: Illuminati collects the five issue mini series written by Bendis and Reed and drawn by Jim Cheung. I think Jim Cheung is one of the best current super hero artists, it's really too bad that he's really slow (not that I want to rush quality, but I wish he was able to do a title on a semi regular basis). This trade definitely sets the stage for Secret Invasion. Joe Kubert returns to writing and drawing Tor, a caveman type charater he did years ago (but you don't have to have read previous Tor to get into this new mini series). Joe Kubert is at least in his 70's and he's still writing and drawing circles around almost everyone. This will make an especially nice collection, but I think it's worth picking up in singles. Batman: Death Mask is a four part black and white manga series by Yoshinori Natsume (Togari) and is a story about Bruce Wayne's early training in Japan. This, like most manga will really make for a nice bigger volume book when it's finished.
Another great issue of Madman came out this week and has two short stories, both of which I think could serve as good introductions to the character for new readers. This week also saw the much DELAYED conclusion of The Last Son storyline in Action Comics written by Johns and Donner, with art by Adam Kubert (he's the one who has delayed this whole storyline). I thought it was a solid conclusion and I think this will make a great collection (I'd say wait for the softcover because as good as it is it's not hardcover good as DC will do a hardcover first). It's a shame that both Kubert brothers got even slower when they signed up with DC last year because I actually liked their DC work better than their Marvel work, but I'm thinking they didn't care as much about the DC characters.
Jack Staff, by writer / artist Paul Grist, also came out this week and it continues to be a fun left of center British super hero title. It's now coming out monthly after a really long time of coming out very irregularly. I think that if Jack Staff had come out on a semi regular basis when Paul Grist first brought his character over to Image it would have a bigger audience thn it does - there are several nice trades that a person could get to catch up with though and I'd say that any issue of Jack Staff would give the reader a sense of what Grist is doing. Another issue of Omega the Unknown came out this week, which is a re-working of Steve Gerber's character from the 1970's. I'd say this will be a much richer reading experience when it comes out in collected form.
This week's Mighty Avengers was a good Secret Invasion tie-in (that I liked better than the main Secret Invasion title and is drawn by Alex Maleev. The first issue of the Avengers / Invaders twelve part series gets off to a good start. Crossing Midnight is coming to an end and this week we get the penultimate (that's one of my favorite words!) issue. For me Crossing Midnight isn't what it was when it debuted and I think that this title is also designed to be read in a big chunk (meaning in collected form). Another penultimate chapter in a series also arrived yesterday, Countdown To Mystery, of which I've only been reading the Steve Gerber Dr. Fate part of the comic. This issue is scripted by Adam Beechen from Gerber's plot as Steve Gerber wasn't able to finsh this story before he died. The last issue will have four different endings written by writers that have been influenced in their writing by Gerber's work over the years. I think this Dr. Fate story is a good ode to Steve Gerber's wonderfully demented way at looking at the world and people.
Two superhero trade paperback releases of note this week are World War Hulk, which is just a fun Hulk smash storyline with great art by John Romita Jr., and Aztec The Ultimate Man, which collects one of writer's Mark Millar and Grant Morrison's earlier collaborations.
My apologizes for this post being little more than a listing of titles, but I just wanted to give an extra shout out for some of the books that may get overlooked and or that I think will warrant re-readings.
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