Friday, July 16, 2010

Speed dating some great comics from the past two weeks...

Wow, there's been a LOT of really great comics out these past two weeks! There's been so many that I'm still getting caught up on reading all the ones I put aside and this week some great looking graphic novels (Revolver by Matt Kindt, Fractured Fables from Image, and The Playwright by Eddie Campbell) came out so they're in my reading que also.

I've already written about how excellent Scarlet by Bendis & Maleev and Batman Odyssey by Neal Adams are (in two separate blog entries last week) that came out last week, so I'm not going to cover them again (except I kinda just did - grin). All of the following comics are ones I've read and solidly endorse with the Alternate Reality Comics and Ich Liebe Comics! seal of approval. As I've mentioned, I've still got some comics to read from this week and last week, so I'm not going to talk about them here in this entry and there are also other comics that came out in the past two weeks that I either don't normally read, weren't very good (so I don't want to talk about them here, because I just want to give a shout out to what I thought were the best of what's come out), or are titles that I've overlooked in the plethora of releases.

I'm going to start off my speed dating / sound bite shout outs of great comics from the last two weeks with J. Michael Stracznski (JMS) and Eddy Barrows Superman #701, which is their first issue of Superman going on a walkabout across the U.S. to get in touch with his humanity. Superman #701 has Superman mingling amongst the people of Philadelphia, and this is some really great human interest writing (and yes, Superman does use his powers in this issue, he just doesn't fight any super villains) - great start and I'm happy to have a really good Superman title to read! Another great JMS title that he's been writing for a while now is The Brave and the Bold, with the new issue (#35) featuring The Inferior Five and The Legion of Substitute-Heroes. This was another great pairing of odd DC characters that had some smart writing, and was funny, with great art by Jesus Saiz.
The creative team of Young Avengers (Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung) reunites with Avengers Children's Crusade and this is an exceptionally good new Avengers title (well really the Young Avengers) and the focus of this title will deal with where the Scarlet Witch is. Another good new Avengers title is Avengers Academy by Christos Gage & Mike McKone (issue #2 came out this week) and this tile is really like Marvel's version of DC's Teen Titans, except it's really good. I'd say that Avengers Children's Crusade and Avengers Academy are two of the best of the too many new Avengers titles that are out there right now, but the other ones are pretty solid also, which makes choosing which ones to buy really difficult. Also in the category of over-exposure are the characters Spider-Man and Wolverine, but I really enjoyed the second issue of Jason Aaron (who writes the excellent Punishermax) & Adam Kubert's Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine , which is turning out to be a really good out of continuity story (I'm going to have to reread the first issue because I didn't remember liking that one as much so I may have been in a funky mood).

On the non super hero comic front the past two weeks there were also several delights. Chris Roberson & Muke Allred's third issue of i, Zombie is still fleshing out where this title is going, but it's a joy to look at and I still think that it'll be one of Vertigo's better title once it finds its groove. I'm sad that I didn't have time to do a special blog entry on this weeks Daytripper #8 (as I've done with every other issue), but this title is still gets put on the top of my reading list and hasn't disappointed yet (nor do I expect the last two issues to be any less great). Unwritten (of which #15 came out this week), like Daytripper, has yet to disappoint and anyone who liked what Mike Carey & Peter Gross did with their Lucifer title for Vertigo, will LOVE what they're doing on Unwritten! Two great single issue Vertigo comics that came out last week were Unknown Soldier #21 and Madame Xanadu #24, which can be read without a person having read those titles before and serve as great intros to those two consistently great titles.

Other great left-of-center titles that came out recently include the very odd, Bulletproof Coffin, by David Hine & Shaky Kane (there's two issues out so far) - I'm not even going to try to describe this comic, I'll just say that if you like Mike Allred's Madman and Paul Grist's Jack Staff, multiple what those comics are about by at least twenty and you've got Bulletproof Coffin! Garth Ennis & Oscar Jimenez continue the wacky adventures of the son of Satan in Chroncles of Wormwood The Last Battle #4 and a great new crime fiction comic set in New Orleans came out from Image this week called, Sweets, written and drawn by Kody Chamberlain. Terry Moore's Echo, about a woman whose skin gets grafted with a super strong alloy, had a new issue arrive and this series, like Jeff Smith's Rasl, just gets smarter and smarter.

The Fantastic Four comic has been the best that this title has been in a long time with writer Jonathan Hickman, but last week's Fantastic Four Annual #32 written by Joe Hearne and featuring some of Bryan Hitch's best art in some time, was also very, very great (it's a Johnny Storm / Human Torch centric story)! Brightest Day continues to entertain, even though it's not as all out as Blackest Night was, and the Brightest Day Atom Special that came out last week, written by Jeff Lemire (Essex County) was a really well done, smart (there's that word again) Atom story, of which there haven't been very many. The new Tom Strong mini series by Peter Hogan & Chris Sprouse (two issues out), easily ranks amongst the best Alan Moore Tom Strong comics and it's great to see these characters again. Mark Waid's Irredeemable, about a super hero gone villain, is on its 15th issue and still very much amonsgt Waid's best work (and he's written a good superhero comic or two in his day - grin). Jim Shooter and artist Dennis Callero come out with their version of a very good Dr. Manhattan (Watchmen) comic, with their Doctor Solar Man of the Atom reworking, totally examining what having powers on an almost infinite level would mean (first issue out this week from Dark Horse). Jane Weidlin (singer and cutie from the Go-Gos) and Bill Morrison's first issue of Lady Robotika colors the shelves this week and it's a lot of fun and I think will be one of the most overlooked titles on most comic book stores shelves (sadly). Lastly, for my dear Ich Liebe Comics! readers, I submit Comic Book Guy The Comic Book, by Ian Boothby & John Delaney, a very funny comic with lots of in-jokes for long time super hero comic readers, featuring The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, of course.

Now, I've got to finish my preparations for this Monday night's midnight release party at Alternate Reality Comics for the concluding volume of Scott Pilgrim (vol. 6), which will be Monday, July 19th from 10pm -1am (with Scott Pilgrim vol. 6 going on sale at 12:01am) - I'm gonna have a HUGE store-wide sale, vegan donuts, a raffle for some really cool swag, and an awesome print by my artist friend, Ron Horsley, featuring Scott Pilgrim teaming up with Eptein for the first time (and hopefully I'll be able to catch up on my other comic / graphic novel reading this weekend also)!

3 comments:

Dr. Comics said...

Hey Ralph! Jason here. I've added your blog to my own blogroll, and I want to thank you for your recommendations. It's just what I was looking for! I want to read some good comics on a limited budget, so this helps me decide. I still remember your promise: "If you don't like this, you have no business reading comics."

Andrea Walter said...

Hah. iZombie. lolololol

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