Feb 022013

Andy Diggle and Jock, the superstar creative team behind Green Arrow Year One and The Losers (which is a thousand times better than the film, by the way), lend their talents to a new creator owned series from Image Comics this Wednesday.  Blending political thrillers, Clerks, and gritty noir storytelling, Snapshot is a four issue miniseries bound to thrill you more than once.  When an lifelong nerd employee of a comic store (this is sounding familiar…) finds a cellphone full of grisly images of someone’s murder, he has no other option than to run as fast and as far as he can.  But it’s never that easy is it?  If you’ve been enjoying the sketchy, moody artwork of Jock in the Batman back-up stories or in Scott Snyder’s previous Detective Comics run, The Black Mirror, then Snapshot is your cup of tea.

Sorcery receives a modern update in Top Cow‘s Son of Merlin miniseries.

Building off of the classic Arthurian figures of myth, Son of Merlin picks up when a respected professor of science finds out he’s actually the descendant of the famous wizard, Merlin.  And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but science and magic don’t exactly see eye-to-eye.  However, before the good doctor can think through his new predicament, he’s being hounded by the immortal Morgan le Fay.  But there’s a whole secret underground society of ancient magic users that might just be willing to come to his aid.  Drawn in the gorgeous, expressive tradition of the famous Top Cow books to come before it like Fathom, Charismagic, and Witchblade, Son of Merlin will cast its spell over you.

I say, my dear Watson, the zombie is a foot!

Though not strictly a Sherlock Holmes versus zombies story, The New Deadwardians is about the closest to it you’ll ever get.  Written by cult favorite author and comic legend Dan Abnett, this post-Victorian England horror/mystery yarn takes places in an alternate reality where, after a zombie infection spread throughout the population, the majority of the remaining English citizens had to submit to becoming vampires in order to fight them off.  Now, it’s the vampires who’ve becoming the upper-class aristocracy while the zombie population are cordoned off on the outskirts of town.  Chief Inspector Suttle, a forever young himself, is tasked with solving a grisly crime, the first in nearly a decade, during a growing zombie uprising.  It’s all elementary from there.

Love is in air for the DC Universe this Wednesday.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early, DC releases its most romantic anthology yet, the Young Romance DC New 52 Special.  Containing six unique stories of famous DC couples like Aquaman and Mera, Midnighter and Apollo, and Catwoman and Batman spending their special day together in the only way superpowered crime fighters can, as well as stories of Wonder Woman, Dick Grayson, and others coming to terms with the relationships they’ve entered into.  Each of the stories is written and drawn by a talented creator, like Andy Diggle, Gene Ha, Ann Nocenti, Kyle Higgins, Becky Cloonan, and Peter Milligan.  And for those old school romantics, the issue comes with usable Valentine’s Day cards.  Oh, amore!

Feb 042011

This week starts with the grim and gritty and ends with the squeaky clean.

Daredevil finally gets the prestigious “event” treatment in the new Shadowland Hardcover.  Last year was a time of major shake-ups in the Daredevil universe.  He took control of his long time enemies The Hand (lotsa ninjas) and slowly went mad.  Or was that really Matt Murdock?  Condensed in this volume is the main five issue mini-series event that pitted Daredevil (yeah, he was the baddie) against an army of other superheroes (Spider-Man, Punisher, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, etc.).  If you have read any of Bendis, Smith, Brubaker, or Diggle’s runs on Daredevil, you know how interesting the character can be and this mini-series was no different.  If you’re a Daredevil fan, or just someone who loves big superhero brawls, you need to check this one out.

Deus Ex, not to be confused with Deus Ex Machina, is the new tie-inmini-series for the Deus Ex:  Human Revolution video game.  Starring the lead character of the game, Adam Jensen, this storyline is actually a prequel to the original Deus Ex game; both of which are cyber-punk, futuristic adventures.  The comic is written by Robbie Morrison and drawn by Trevor Hairsine.

The newest in the line of DC Comics audio CDs is Final Crisis.  Based on the epic, world altering mini-series by  Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones, this CD, like the ones before it, is a reenactment of the comic storyline (with minor alterations) in a radio play format.  If you haven’t actually read the comic version, this is the story where Batman bites the big one.  Oh, and there’s also that world destroying battle between Darksied and the rest of the DC universe.  On the page, Final Crisis is a trippy, deep, action-packed deconstruction of the comic medium, so I can only imagine how fascinating the audio version is going to be.

From the DC Universe Online game comes the next in the series of freakin’ sweet Jim Lee designed statues:  Superman.  A full body statue that stands seven inches, this, like the Batman and Catwoman statues before it, is a perfect piece of high quality comic memorabilia to purchase if you don’t want to break the bank (in relation to other statues).  If you want a quality fine art statue to display on your desk or bookshelf that doesn’t tower over everything else on there (and doesn’t put you in debt buying) this statue, and the others in this series, are perfect.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve been in need of an Iron Fist fix.  If you were one of the privileged few to have read the Matt Fraction/Ed Brubaker series from a few years ago (and if you weren’t, it’s okay, we have the trades), then, like me, I’m sure you’ve been crying into your pillow every night since its disappearance.  But cry no longer!  A new five issue mini-series hits shelves this week titled Power Man and Iron Fist.  Written by the talented Fred Van Lente, this new mini builds off of his previous Power Man mini from the aforementioned Shadowland event.  But what’s important here is that it also stars Danny Rand, the Iron Fist.  Kung-fu action and mayhem should follow as these two try to come to terms with each other and bash bad guys at the same time.

As I said at the beginning, today we end with a squeaky clean offering for the little ones (or anyone who still acts like one).  Spongebob Comics #1 leaves its pineapple under the sea and takes up residence on the comic racks this Wednesday.  Much like the Simpsons or Futurama comics that many of you pick up, this issue and futures ones will be comprised of a collection of short stories written and illustrated by various writers and artists.  This first issue includes the works of Hilary Barta and James Kochalka.  Great for kids, great for parents that are still kids, Spongebob Comics joins with the other numerous family-friendly books out there.

Jan 142011

I’d say a 500th birthday is kind of a big thing, wouldn’t you?

Well, this coming week, ole Tony Stark hits the big #500.  As Marvel is apt to do, the numbering on the Invincible Iron Man book has reverted to its original count with this issue; basically, if you were to count up every issue of the main Iron Man series to every be published it would reach 500.

Understandably not everyone has been with the book that long or even since Matt Fraction has been writing it.  But I’m here to tell you that this is the perfect jumping on point for a number of reasons.  One, Matt Fraction.  The guy has been writing his heart out on this book, bringing Tony back to prominence then tearing him down and doing it again.  Great, inventive stuff.  Two, the book just finished a big arc and, with this issue, will be starting a new one, which is always a good place to start.  And three, you get to see Tony die.  Whaaaaattt?

From an 500th issue to a zero issue.  Stemming off of the new Cartoon Network series Young Justice (I don’t care if you’re an adult or a child, if you like DC comics you gotta check this show out!) comes Young Justice #0.  Set in a slightly different version of the regular DC universe, this book focuses on the newly formed Young Justice team of Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Aqualad (the Brightest Day version), and Superboy.  Having been treated like kids by their adult counterparts in the Justice League, these “sidekicks” join forces to take down evil on their own terms and prove themselves to the League.  The creators of the show write the book and Mike Norton of the Crankcast and Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam fame draws the pictures.

Sticking with DC, but moving far, far away from the kid-friendly fare is Vertigo Crime’s newest release, Rat Catcher.  If you got some mob snitches or underworld double dealers, you call a rat catcher to euthanize them.  This graphic novel follows one such individual as he attempts to allude a embittered FBI agent who wants him brought in.  A mystery-laden cat-and-rat chase, this book, written by the talented Andy Diggle of The Losers fame, should be one of the best offerings from the Vertigo Crime line so far.  If you’re looking for a tense, complete story wrapped in a professional hardcover package, Rat Catcher or, frankly, any of the other Crime releases are what you want.

Okay, for the next book I should just have to say the two words that make up its title.

Time.  Lincoln.

Oh, yeah.

This sequel to the original issue of Time Lincoln from a couple of months back has the time traveling president fighting Void Stalin’s evil forces in the 1920′s.  He’s not fighting them alone, though, no sir, Amelia Earhart and Lucky Lindy lend a hand.  Or is it a fist?  Come on folks, it’s a book Abraham Lincoln using H.G. Wells’ time machine to fight evil.  And its subtitle is Apocalypse Mao.  What more could you want?

If anyone ever tried to convince me there is a thing as too much Batman, I would slap them across the face.  It’s just an impossibility.  To prove my point, the new Batman Dark Crusader mini-statue arrives next Wednesday.  Based on Alex Ross’ Justice artwork, this miniaturization of the previously released larger sculpt just packs all the awesomeness of the original into a smaller, cheaper package.  If you’ve been searching for that statue that is the most perfect rendition of Batman, then Alex Ross brings it to you.