Marvel and DC may be the big two, but, over this last year, they’ve lost some considerable ground to Image Comics. Largely that’s due to Image publishing The Walking Dead, but the publisher has also been gaining ground in “among of books published”. What’s most shocking is that, with this rise in titles, the quality of each book has not faltered from any where below excellent. Two of the books that have contributed to these two factors are coming out in trade paperback form this Wednesday. Allow me to introduce you.
Thief of Thieves is the best heist movie you’ve never seen. It also happens not to be a movie, but a comic. And it’s created by Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead). And it’s written by Nick Spencer (Morning Glories). Not surprisingly it is a quick-witted, snappy, twisty read that uses pacing and panel arrangement to the full effect of the medium. The first collection comes out this Wednesday and contains the first six issues.
Manhattan Projects is what everyone wishes history was like. An alternate retelling of the experimentation that lead to the creation of the atomic bomb, Manhattan Projects (written by Jonathon Hickman (Fantastic Four)) stars the likes of Albert Einstein, Joseph Oppenheimer, FDR, Harry Truman, and a bunch of other famous people you thought were scientists but are actually psychopaths. Plus, the atomic bomb isn’t all these geniuses are playing with; inter-dimensional gateways, robot samurai, aliens, and alternate realities all make an appearance. Each issue will have you picking your jaw off the floor repeatedly as shock after shock keeps the story moving.
Alan Moore has never had kind words for those who’ve adapted his work to film, but there was a time when he wrote his own movie. During 1985, only a year before Watchmen hit the shelves, Moore wrote a sprawling modernization of Beauty and the Beast, dubbed Fashion Beast, with the intention of it being produced as a movie. This never happened. But now, Avatar Press has acquired Moore’s approval and oversight to adapted his script into a ten issue comic series. So, if you want to read a fairy tale as only Alan Moore can tell it, you need to stop by Wednesday and grab yourself a copy of Fashion Beast.
The “he” in that sentence is, of course, Aquaman. There are few other characters in the DC universe (or Marvel, for that matter) who are ridiculed and satirized as much as Aquaman. Well, Geoff Johns is here to make anyone who’s ever made a “Hello, little fish” joke eat crow. This first collection of the New 52 Aquaman series brims with intelligent retooling of the character’s backstory, now focusing on character moments instead of broad strokes, as Aquaman and his wife Mera attempt to control an invasion of undersea creatures known as The Trench. These creatures are not simple fishies, they’re more like walking piranhas. If Johns is good at anything, he’s good at giving readers reasons to love his protagonists and fear his villains, traits that he brings to play in this exceptional first volume of everyone’s favorite punching bag, Aquaman.