Ok, so last week I promised a little about myself so that you might know where these reviews were coming from, and today you suffer through that. I am a native of Cleveland and have lived here for the most of my life. It has been said of me that if you cut me I bleed Browns’ orange (fine, it has been said by me, but still…). I have been reading comic books for 43 years and collecting them for 41. I discovered direct market sales at age 11 and began shopping at the predecessor to the predecessor to this store at that point. Excluding a short break from comic books during the tail end of college and another from Cleveland for law school that store remained my store. After almost two decades of practicing law my store literally became my store. So there is the basic timeline on my comic book buying and selling. Next week, part 2, where I’ll talk about my comic book reading.
This week I am still only presenting the top 25 comic books of the week, but I am adding graphic novel selections for your consideration.
- DJANGO UNCHAINED #6: I normally dislike comic book adaptations of movies. That is because they rarely take the time and effort to fully draw out the full essence and feel of the original movie. That is not the case here. Where usually a cb movie adaptation has no conceivable or justifiable existence outside of the source movie, this adaptation is a very rare exception. The source material is good, thought provoking story telling. So is this adaptation. Enjoy the Denys Cowan art. WARNING: Language, language, language! [DC/VERTIGO]
- SAGA #13: You’ll just have to take my word on this one. Top notch. (You may have to pick up earlier issues to get a working grasp of the story.) Mature audiences. [Image]
- AVENGERS ARENA #13: I love “Battle Royale” type stories. Wow, that’s a pretty cool sounding term. Someone should like, write a book or graphic novel with that as a title. Maybe make a movie or something. I digress. AA has been good and respectful example of the genre. The storytelling is tight. The characters and their circumstances are well fleshed out. Good one liners and action. Thoroughly enjoyable. This particular issue is a break from the main story, answering plausibility questions accruing through the previous focused pace. [Marvel]
- STAR WARS #8: Star Wars! Brian Wood! Dark Horse! Fourth best book of the week. [Dark Horse]
- GREAT PACIFIC #9: There exits in reality a massive agglomeration of garbage floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In this short-shot science fiction political thriller that patch o’ crap has been claimed and set upon the path to nationhood. An unlikely premise, but it works. Joe Harris has written plenty I haven’t liked, but with this he hit a homerun. [Image]
- DEATHMATCH #8: See note #3, above. This title deals with the difficult task of setting a super hero universe full with history, placing them in a captive gladiator milieu and playing it out deftly. My only complaint is that the scheduled series length seems to me to forcing a bit of accelerated story telling. Regardless, this book is published by Boom!, but selling like Marvel at our story as just about everyone who took me up on my suggestion to give it a try has continued with it. [Boom!]
- ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #12: As discussed last week, I was supportive of the Valiant re-launch upon hearing of it and have enjoyed it. A & A was one of my favorite from the first line as it is now. This week’s Toilet Tipper (laughs that’ll knock you off your toilet (you got a better place to read comic books? (Or books for that matter. (your author loves parentheticals within parentheticals. This example is 4 deep, his record is 7.)))) [Valiant]
- THE WALKING DEAD #113: This book has been victim to agenda (or ends) driven storytelling for some time now. It has fallen of its previous #1lock since vengeance frenzied Carl failed to immediately brain Negen up finding himself holding Lucille and up ground of the graciously offered exposed back of Negen’s skull. (Only to ferally proclaiming, at the first opportunity presented, that he would be killing him (Negen). In this issue we have the continuation of the uncharacteristic spur of the moment surprise attack Rick decided upon. All that said it is the 8th best book of the week. Mature Audiences[Image]
- ASTRO CITY #3: Astro City has been the ongoing pinnacle of super hero comic books for quite some time now. Either go check out the many trade paperback collections or be aware that this series is now being published by Vertigo and you should be reading it. Or both. [DC/Vertigo]
- BUCK ROGERS #1: BUCK ROGERS!, done by Howard Chaykin!! I love all the old Science- Fantasy/Opera strips like Buck, Flash, Valiant, Tarzan etc. Chaykin may have very well be doing a strip better than the original here. I say this as his take on presenting the mind of a time displaced man is phenomenal. The concepts being worked on here are of an elevated level and some of the language can be shocking. I hope upcoming issues follow through on the promise of this debut. [Hermes]
- GHOSTED #2: Ocean’s Eleven meets Ghost Hunters. Another of the many Image books you should be checking out and are the worse for not . [Image]
- HALF PAST DANGER #4: Secret Agents, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Nazis, Train Fights—Pulp pulp pulp!! Me like. [IDW]
- EAST OF WEST #5: Well extrapolated political science fiction. Another of the many Image books you should be checking out and are the worse for not . [Image]
- T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1: This title has had many incarnations. I’ve never loved it but I’ve never hated it. This book was more on the love side and holds great promise. [IDW]
- WATSON AND HOLMES #2: You will probably be hearing buzz about this book. It is well deserved. Urban Sherlock Holmes. If you like SH and/or street smart stories this is up your alley. [NEW PARADIGM STUDIOS]
- DEJAH THORIS AND THE GREEN MEN OF MARS #5: As you will recall from last week, I love ERB in just about any form. This one is not as good as the “Warlord” titled books Dynamite is putting out, but still a good read. If you like sci-fi opera you will have fun with this. [Dynamite]
- INFINITY #1: If you read Marvel comics this is pretty much required reading and so it must be recommended on that distinction. [Marvel]
- JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7: I have been so-so on the Trinity War crossover and its concept. That said, Jeff Lemire’s involvement puts just about any book up a notch. Perfectly enjoyable. [DC]
- RESIDENT ALIEN: THE SUICIDE BLONDE #0: This is a collected reprint from Dark Horse Presents. RA is kinda like Northern Exposure if Fleishman were Standard Grey alien. Very funny, quirky and engrossing. Would have ranked much higher if it were original material, which the next issue will be. [Dark Horse]
- BREATH OF BONES: A TALE OF THE GOLEM #3: Steve Niles is a deft horror writer and master of the short self-contained story. Great black and white artwork. The end to this one was a tad abrupt, but the three issue mini is well worth the read. [Dark Horse]
- UNCANNY X-MEN #10: Another Bendis book. Maybe I have just grown comfortable with his writing, but it just lends itself to easy reading. If you have read Bendis and not liked it then by all means, stay away. If you haven’t experienced this then it is safe to read X-Men again. [Marvel]
- FEARLESS DEFENDERS #8: The first of Marvel’s new all-girl super hero teams. Centered by Valkyrie and tied to the original Defenders by her. I did not like the first issue of this series but have grown progressively fonder of it with each issue. Oh and the covers are EXCELLENT, although this particular cover is not the best example. [Marvel]
- DOOMSDAY.1 #4: John Byrne. If you are familiar with his work then you know whether you want to pick this up or not. If you are not then you should become familiar. This may not be the best first look, but it is not a bad look. This is the last chapter of the first arc. It was well rendered overall and holds promise. [IDW]
- SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP #2: Clean, smooth super hero team up fair. Unless you are on a Dr. Spiderpus boycott it’s worth a look. [Marvel]
- X #4: A (much) harder, noirier (Ahh, the joy of blatantly making up a word) Batman. This story is progressing nicely. [Dark Horse]
1. March (Book 1): United States House of Representatives’ John Lewis teams with new writer Andrew Aydin and renowned artist Nate Powell to tell the tale of Congressman Lewis’ life, the civil rights movement, his involvement with it and its application to today. A must read, and the Best Offering of the Week.
2. Battlepug Volume 2: Basically, Conan the Barbarian astride his Giant Pug Steed. See what I’m saying? This romping spoof jabs and feints on so many levels that there are layers and layers of enjoyment therein. Hold on to your throne while you read.