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 092013
 

The best team is the one that doesn’t know it’s a team.

That’s the premise of Nick Spencer’s (Morning Glories, Thunder Agents, Thief of Thieves) new run on Secret Avengers.  Joining the Marvel NOW! line, Secret Avengers #1 builds the extremely covert team of Hawkeye, Hulk, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Winter Soldier to send them on their mission.  And it does it with only one word.  Basically, every member of the team becomes activated by a single word, completes their mission, is told the word again, and walks off into the sunset blissfully ignorant of everything they just did.  It’s covert ops at it’s most covert.  And when it’s drawn by a master of the dark and gritty like Luke Ross, it’s practically so covert it’s not even there.  Or if you want a little more boisterous version, maybe the Skottie Young variant cover will suit you.

As Magneto said, villains it is then.

Uncanny X-Men #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo is all about the baddies.  Serving as the companion book to Bendis’ other X-Men title, All-New X-Men, Uncanny stars Cyclops, Magneto, Emma Frost, and a bunch of other good-for-nothings.  Unlike any other X-Men book before it, this time around it’s the Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants in the limelight.  Now that Cyclops has assembled his team he’s on a mission to enact his vision of mutant dominance, one which he’s willing to carry out by whatever means necessary.

Since tonight’s list seems all about murdery murder, it seems only fair to let a female master assassin in on the mix.  Katana #1, spinning out of the soon-to-be-released Justice League of America, stars the widowed sword-wielding hired killer of the same name.  With her family’s souls residing in the very sword she uses to slay her enemies, the Soultaker, Katana has to be careful not to let its power and conscience forestall her mission.  Anyone reading Birds of Prey should be familiar with Katana‘s character and mission, as well as fans of the classic Outsiders series.  

Finally, for those who have been hanging on the edge of their seat since the release of the first New 52 Batman hardcover, the wait is over!  Batman: Night of the Owls continues the onslaught of The Court as they descend on Gotham in an effort to purge it of the social elite.  But Nightwing, Batgirl, Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Bat-Family may have something to say about that.  This thick hardcover edition comes packed with the entire Court of the Owls crossover, which includes Batman #8-9, the Batman Annual, Detective Comics #9, Dark Knight #9, Batwing #9, Batman and Robin #9, Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, Birds of Prey #9, Batgirl #9, Nightwing #8-9, and All-Star Western #9.  That’s a lot of Batman punching Talon action for a minimal price.

Jul 212012
 

The Justice League New 52 Batman action figure brought the darkest night a few months ago, but now it’s time for the brightest day as the Green Lantern figure from this series ships this Wednesday. Sculpted off of Hal Jordan‘s new costume, the figure presents all of Jim Lee’s detailed pencil work in one stunning figure. If you’re planning to collect the entire team, this is a must grab!

What do you get when you cross Serenity, Doctor Who, Astonishing X-Men, and Greg Pak? Actually, it’s an unfair question because the comic I’m talking about doesn’t come out until Wednesday, but if you’re up on your X-Men news, you’ll know the answer is X-Treme X-Men. This new ongoing series by Planet Hulk writer Greg Pak follows a trio of alternate reality versions of Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Nightcrawler. So, come join Captain Howlett, Emmeline Frost, and Kid Nightcrawler as they jump from dimension to dimension tracking down lost X-Men and trouble as they go. Oh, and for those collectors out there, we will be getting the limited Salvador Larroca variant cover, which you can admire to your right.

Finishing out the night we’ve got two new works from up-and-coming comic superstar Jeff Lemire. Lemire is garnering much deserved acclaim for his work on DC‘s Animal Man and Frankenstein series as well as his post-apocalyptic road story, Sweet Tooth, so when he’s got a new one-shot story for DC coming out this Wednesday, you should take notice. National Comics Kid Eternity is the launching point for a new stand-alone series set to re-introduce forgotten DC characters. This first issue, drawn by Cully Hamner (RED), introduces Kid Eternity, a medical examiner who has to solve a murder mystery in twenty-four hours. A great story in a one-and-done package, folks.

Lemire’s newest graphic novel also drops this week. The Underwater Welder follows in the footsteps of Lemire’s other meditative graphic novel work (The Nobody, Lost Dogs) as it follows a professional diver and expecting father who is coming to terms with the burgeoning pressures of becoming a father. The further he drifts downward to the ocean floor the more he forgets his wife and future son…until something supernatural occurs. Written and drawn by Lemire in his recognizable concise, sketchy style, The Underwater Welder is receive buzz as one of the best pieces of comic art this year.

Oct 292011
 

Blair Butler.  Kevin Mellon.  MMA.

Heart.

Here’s why you should pay attention to these words.  Blair Butler, of the popular nerd news program Attack of the Show, is the writer of this book.  This is her first foray into comics and, by certain accounts, she’s already keeping pace with the industry’s top talent.  Speaking of top talent brings me to the next word on the list:  Kevin Mellon.  Kevin’s been a supporter of Pulp Fiction since our inception (and a collaborator with Dennis Hopeless), so we’ve been able to see, firsthand, how his work has progressed, now coming to a point of expert draftsmanship and storytelling excellence.  This book appears to be the pinnacle of his recent superb work.  Not only is the talent on the book exceptional, but the content is not the standard comic fare.  Revolving around mixed martial arts fighting and the desire these athletes have to rise to the top, the book should peak the interest of any regular UFC viewer.  That’s Heart, folks.

You’ve read Watchmen.  You’ve read V for Vendetta.  You’ve read From Hell.  Where do you go next for your Alan Moore fix?  League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be the correct answer.  Thankfully, DC has been generous enough to make it nice and easy for you by releasing a new omnibus edition of the first two volumes of LoEG.  That means you just have to pick up one beautifully bound hardcover edition as opposed to two.  How gentlemanly of them, right?  What are these two volumes about, though?  The general premise is that the British government is assembling a team of some of the literary world’s most famous characters (Alan Quartermaine, Mina Harker, Dr. Jekyll, Captain Nemo, you’ve seen the movie) to combat a sinister evil.  And if you have seen the movie (I’m sorry), don’t be scared off.  The book is so beyond comparison it’s rather embarrassing.

Christmas comes only once a November.  Or, at least, that’s the case this year, thanks to Lee Bermejo‘s original graphic novel, Batman:  Noel.  Following the plot structure of A Christmas Carol, Noel takes Batman through a tour of his past, present, and future on a cold winter night.  Most of you probably know Bermejo because of the Joker GN from a few years back.  You probably also know that the guy draws Batman and his world with a style and design that no one can match, which makes him the perfect guy to write and draw a story about the character.  And if you really want a sample of the book, check out the preview pages here

Last week Wolverine got his time at the pulpit, so now it’s Cyclop‘s turn.  The other key X-Men book in the relaunch, Uncanny X-Men, drops this Wednesday with Kieron Gillen at the helm and Carlos Pacheco in the artist seat.  As Wolverine‘s book follows his team in New York, Uncanny X-Men sticks with Summers and his group of mutants (Magneto, Emma Frost, Colossus) on Utopia island in San Francisco.  Gillen has been on this book since Matt Fraction left and has kept pace with the quality level he established.  In fact, his tie-in arc to Fear Itself, where the team had to stall Juggernaut at San Fran’s borders, was one of the best tie-in books.  Oh, and he’s writing a little book called Journey Into Mystery, which is one of the best reads at Marvel right now.

Dec 312010
 

The first week of January is officially dubbed the ONSLAUGHT OF STATUES!!!  Imagine some epic music accompanying that, if you would.

First things first, continuing the restock from last week, we are getting a hefty number of the Eaglemoss magazine mini-statues back in.  This week sees a restock from Marvel on Wolverine, Captain America, War Machine, Union Jack, Phoenix Jean Grey, Daredevil, Human Torch, Ghost Rider, Cyclops, and She-Hulk.  Joker and Hawkman return from DC.

Now to the big daddy statues.  Bishoujo drops two new femme fatale statues, one from each company.  Marvel offers up a curvaceous Emma Frost White Queen statue, while DC shines the bat-statue-signal on Batgirl.  Personally, I like the choice of metallic paint on Batgirl’s cape, boots, and belt; it really makes her uniform pop visually.

On the mini cute statue front, DC continues to catch up with Marvel’s Mighty Mugg statues by releasing its second set of Pop Heroes.  These stubby guys are vinyl figures molded as cartoony versions of the heroes they are portraying.  This set features Wonder Woman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern.

Since DC seems to be the topic of discussion, lets continue with the new DC Online Statues.  Heralding the release of the DC Online game (finally!), the first two releases in the set are easily some of the best examples of Jim Lee’s artistic prowess.  Those examples would be Batman and Catwoman.  If you loved the Hush storyline or All-Star Batman and Robin, these statues are the perfect summation of Lee’s work in those series.

Bit of a side note, we are also going to be getting a restock on the DC Dynamic Green Lantern statue.  If you can’t remember which one that is, it was displayed in the case at the front of the store and has the sweet translucent green base.

Batman continues to be popular this week with one more statue-esque release.  This figure is actually more of an action figure, but to define it more exactly it is a fully articulated, 1:6 figure with cloth cape and costume.  The design is based off of Alex Ross’ Justice mini-series.

After all the DC offerings I feel the need for a Marvel selection.  Luckily, they oblige with a two freakin’ sweet Thor mini-busts.  One comes in his classic costume and one in his newer Oliver Coipel-designed costume.

To end on a different note, Adam Hughes gets the royalty treatment this coming week with coffee table-sized hardcover book that focuses on his cover work for DC.  If you enjoy slick, realistic artwork, similar to Alex Ross or Greg Horn, then Adam Hughes’ work is going to float your boat.