Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blackest Night & other great comics...

This week is an obscene week for great comic books and graphic novels. Leading the pack as most anticipated comic in some time is Blackest Night by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Basically this Green Lantern event series (that looks like it's going to be an actual event that delivers on all fronts) deals with a kind of super hero zombie invasion of the DC universe. The first issue of Blackest Night is really strong out of the gate and people who get it will definitely be eagerly awaiting the next issue. This week's Blackest Night Tales of the Corps, a three issue weekly mini series featuring short stories pertaining to all things Green Lantern (two of the stories in the first issue are by Geoff Johns) and is also a good supplement to the Blackest Night experience. I also want to give a HUGE shoutout to last week's Green Lantern #43, which is new series artist Doug Manhke's first issue and as good as Blackest Night artist Reis is, I think Manhke sets the bar. Green Lantern #43 is also a great stand alone story featuring the origin of villain Black Hand and for my money Johns' writing is at his best when he's doing villain origins (see his four year run on The Flash).

The cover of this week's Captain America #601 is billed as "A Very Special Issue Of" and while at first I got to thinking about how television shows tout an episode of their show as such and how they're usually lame (jumping the shark), but this issue of Captain America is very special as it is entirely drawn by the legendary Gene Colan, who has been drawing comics for sixty years (Tomb of Dracula, Howard The Duck, Night Force, Batman, Daredevil, Iron Man, too many more...)! This issue of Captain America, written by regular Cap writer Ed Brubaker, is a great stand alone issue that focuses on Cap and Bucky in WWII and features vampires which wonderfully plays to Gene Colan's many artistic strengths.

Creepy was originally published by Warren Publications as a comic magazine throughout the 1970's, but this week it returns as a quarterly published fat-packed comic-sized horror anthology. Eric Powell (writer, artist, creator of the excellent funny zombie hillbilly comic The Goon) does the cover and the contributors within all serve up stories that do the Creepy name proud (there's also a classic Alex Toth story reprinted within).

This week's Walking Dead #63 is one of the strongest issues yet of this just about always great zombie series. Other notables this week (which I haven't read yet) look to be the comic adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? from /boom! Studios, X Factor, DC Comics' second issue of their new weekly top of the line creative teams Wednesday Comics, and Sherlock Holmes written by Leah Moore and John Reppion, published by Dynamite Entertainment. And let's not forget the newest issue of Brubaker and Phillips' great crime noir super villain title Incognito and my wife's favorite comic Artesia, which returns after being gone for way too long.

The top of the graphic novels heap that arrived this week (besides Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter) go to a new more affordable edition of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's artistic pornographic romp Lost Girls and Gaiman and Kubert's hardcover collection of their excellent Batman Whatever Happened to The Cape Crusader? (which also collects other Gaiman Batman stories) and is a great companion to the hardcover that came out last week of Alan Moore's even more excellent Superman Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine did a great version of the old British sci-fi character Dan Dare, which also gets the trade paperback treatment this week. Also worth checking out for those of you who haven't been reading the Madame Xanadu Vertigo monthly series by Matt Wagner and artist Amy Reeder Hadley, is the first collection of that title.

I'm sure that I've forgotten a few other titles, but the above is certainly more than enough to get discriminating comic readers to have to make tough pocketbook choices this week!


kilmoonie said...

I'm surprised there was no mention of the fabulous new hardback that came out for PREACHER. I was stoked!


Ralph Mathieu said...

I knew I'd forget a great book that came out yesterday!