Sep 142013
 

DC Villain’s Month: Week 3

-Lex Luthor:  Written by Charles Soule (Swamp Thing), this issue follows Luthor as he attempts to fight back against the Crime Syndicate.

-Ras al Ghul:  What happens when the world’s most threatening terrorist is forced to defend his citadel from the powers of Ultraman?

-Deathstroke:  Written by the creators of Assassin’s Creed and the upcoming Arkham City Origins, this issue gets personal as Slade has to defend his family while completing an assassination.

-Arcane:  Leading into the next storyline of Swamp Thing (the BEST book at DC right now!), this issue picks up with Anton Arcane, lost in limbo and fighting for a way out.

Batwoman v.3 HC – “World’s Finest”

-Tell DC you support J.H. Williams on Batwoman by picking up his last storyline as both writer and artist!

-Teaming up Wonder Woman and Kate Kane, this storyline is an absolute mythical battle across the world as these two heroes try to take down Medusa!

-J.H. Williams’ art for this storyline is beyond compare!  Some of the double page spreads deserve to be hung in a museum.

-Don’t worry about being lost if you haven’t read volumes one and two, but if you wish to catch up, the entire Batwoman story can be found on the shelves of Pulp Fiction.

Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot tpb

-Long out of print, but now reprinted in a beautiful updated edition!

-Frank Miller blends a love for fifties sci-fi films and giant robot fights (like Pacific Rim) into this unusual nineties comic gem.

-Geoff Darrow joins Miller, lending his ridiculously detailed pencils to the calamity and chaos of the series.  Seriously, if you’ve never read Hard Boiled or seen Darrow’s work on Shaolin Cowboy, you need to take a flip through this and have your eyes blown out of your head!

-The entire series in one hefty volume!

Five Ghosts:  The Haunting of Fabian Gray v.1 tpb

-The underdog Image hit of the year!

-Join Fabian Gray, an Indiana Jones-esque adventurer, as he travels the globe looking for a way to revive his deceased sister!

-Fret not!  Gray is joined by his best friend, and widowed husband of his sister, as he battles thieves, tribesmen, and evil monks!

-Oh, and did we mention that Gray possesses the powers of five literary ghosts (Sherlock Holmes, Yojimbo,  Merlin, Dracula, and Robin Hood) thanks to his connection with the Dreamstone!

Aug 242013
 

Masks v.1 tpb

-The Shadow + Zorro + The Spider + Green Hornet + Kato = Best.  Crossover.  Ever!

-Alex Ross not only lends his unmatched artistic talents to the first issue, he also delivers on multiple covers for the series, too, all of which are included in this collection.

-These pulp heroes must unite to fight off the corrupt government of 1938 New York!

-The entire eight issue series, plus extras, is included in this single, oversized volume!

Young Avengers v.1 tpb

-All the fan favorite Young Avenger characters are back and filled with more adolescent angst than ever!

-Kieron Gillen brings the same pop infused vibrancy that made Phonogram the cult hit that it was!  The Young Avengers are officially teenagers now, and they party, drink, quarrel, and sleep around like everyone at that age.

-Jamie McKelvie, formerly of Phonogram, X-Men Season One, and Secret Avengers, makes this book sing, as far as artwork goes, pulling out expressive “performances” from all the characters.

-Oh, and for that extra bit of dissent, the reason all the characters get back together is due to the machinations of Kid Loki!  Fans of Gillen Journey into Mystery take note!

Itty Bitty Hellboy #1

-The masters of cute behind Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures jump companies to make Hellboy more adorable than ever!

-Anyone familiar with Art Balthazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans should expect the same comic-strip style of storytelling, perfect for younger audiences!

-Any parent who hopes to get their kids into Hellboy, but may be hesitant about the main book’s content can use Itty Bitty as an entry point.

-Did I mention the cuteness?

Guardians of the Galaxy v.1 HC

-Meet the entire cast of next year’s Marvel hit film, including Starlord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot.

-Brian Michael Bendis (Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men) plays up the action and banter of the Guardians team with his witty writing style.

-Iron Man also joins the team early on, linking the Marvel interstellar universe with the main universe.

-Did I mention the raccoon with the nasty attitude and matching gigantic gun?

Mar 302013
 

Polarity may tell you that car accidents can cause superpowers, but, please, don’t believe it.

Do, however, enjoy the fictional psychedelically tale  that Say Anything frontman, Max Bemis, weaves in his Boom Studios miniseries.  Rule one of writing is to “write what you know”, and Bemis has taken that to heart in Polarity by focusing the story around a bipolar rocker who gets in a car wreck and finds his disorder is actually a special ability.  And if you’ve found you have superpowers and a rocker, you’re probably going to play your guitar with you mind and punch bad guys in their mugs.  You might also choose to include a special downloadable song with each issue.  

This next year brings with it a number of amazing looking video games, primary among them is The Last of Us.  Serving up some gorgeous post-apocalyptic New York landscapery, this game stars a teenage girl and a grizzled older man surviving against the elements and hordes of roving marauders.  Dark Horse‘s The Last of Us: American Dreams tells the tale of how the girl, Ellie, made it through the initial years of the apocalypse before she met her guardian.  Written by one of the creators behind the video game, this miniseries is an essential read before playing the game.

Sean Murphy produced the artwork for the surreal toyland adventure series Joe the Barbarian, showing the comic world how expressive, expansive comic storytelling is done.  Last year Murphy brought his scratchy style to Vertigo and the series Punk Rock Jesus.  Now, all six issues are out in a handy trade paperback presentation.  Religion and television are crammed together in the series as a cloned version of Jesus, named J2, becomes the star of a hit reality show.  How J2 affects those closest to him as well as the entire country, is what the series becomes interested in discussing.  Profanity, lewdness, vulgarity, and sacrilegious debauchery are the order of the day in Punk Rock Jesus, so pick it up if you dare.

Let’s be honest, everyone who saw The Avengers last summer loved it.  However, only about a third of those people understood who the purple-chinned dude was in the after credits scene.  No matter which person you are, you’re going to want to pick up Marvel‘s Thanos Rising miniseries.  Jason Aaron brings a hefty dose of the legendary epicness he’s been serving up in Thor God of Thunder to this soon-to-be-classic series detailing Thanos’ rise to power.  Brought to life not only by Aaron’s stellar words, but also Simone Bianchi’s tapestry-esque paneling; a painterly equivalent to Esad Ribic’s art on Thor.  Plus, this series will lead into the upcoming arcs of both Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova, two of the hottest Marvel NOW books on the shelves.

Mar 022013
 

Welcome to the bad old days.

The world is a pit of despair, Ultron is in charge, and there’s no hope for survival…except for a rag-tag bunch of heroes with a plan.  Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Invisible Woman, Taskmaster, Beast, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are the last ditch effort for the Marvel Universe to continue existing, but something tell’s me they may have a chance.  This dystopian future tale is THE EVENT for the Marvel Universe this year, with three issues coming out a month for the next three months.  And don’t worry about crossovers with other series, because they’ve been kept to a minimum and left as non-essential; read’em if you want, don’t if not.  With the mad puppeteer of Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Scarlet), having worked on establishing the implications of this tale over the last four years, Age of Ultron is going to leave its mark.  And for a series that epic in scope you need an artist that can match the tone.  Luckily, Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates, America’s Got Powers) was able to lend his deft talent at cinematic realism to the book!  Don’t get left behind like so many did with Avengers vs. X-Men, pick up issue one of Age of Ultron, or one of its many variants, this Wednesday!

Cullen Bunn has managed to blend sci-fi, horror, and western genres in the long lived Sixth Gun series with ease.  Now Bunn is applying the same strategy to a tale of viking carnage!  Helheim begins with a brutal siege on a tiny, seaside village by forces of evil.  But standing between them and the meaty townsfolk is Rikard and his horde of viking warriors.  Though you might think you know where this story goes from there, you’d be surprised.  This is only the beginning.  Bunn just rocked Marvel NOW! with his first issue of Fearless Defenders (you know we’ve been talking it up at the store!), an issue which also featured some viking fisticuffs, and aims to do the same to Oni Press with the start of this new ongoing series.  When you blend gothic horror, witchcraft, and zombies, you get Helheim!

Searching for images of Joe Casey’s Sex #1 resulted in some awkward moments at the store.  Yeah….

One of this month’s Image Comics releases, advertises itself as “a good reason to come into the comic store – to buy SEX!” Though it may be crass, it’s true.  Joe Casey has written everyone from Wolverine to Batman to The Avengers to Spider-Man, but he’s never written anything as chock full of debauchery.  A former superhero is forced to give up his vigilante lifestyle only to take to the streets for some much needed R&R.  However in a town like Saturn City, R&R can get rather S&M.  Follow Simon Cooke on his dark, dirty journey through the recesses of a town gone wrong in a post-modern superhero tale unlike any other in comics today.

And finally tonight, another twist on a classic tale.

No Place Like Home was one of my favorite miniseries from Image Comics last year thanks to its intelligent, inventive reworking of the classic L. Frank Baum fable, The Wizard of Oz.  Dee is a rocker from the city, but a rural kid at heart who must return home to Kansas after the grisly murder of her parents during a tornado.  After getting home and rekindling friendships with old acquaintances, Dee stumbles into a decades old mystery that ties together her parents, the two sheriff, a local drunk, and…a flying monkey?  Comic newcomers Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan dropkick Judy Garland and replace her with a twisted slasher film sprinkle with famous imagery and characters from the classic tale.  Oh, Tirotto claims this is only the beginning of an epic arc that’ll take Dee all the way over the rainbow.

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!