Jun 012013
 

Kick-Ass 3 #1

1. The epic real-world superhero trilogy starts its bloody descent into finality!

2. After Kick-Ass 2 (which is being adapted into the Kick-Ass 2 film sequel in August), Hit-Girl has been arrested and hero vigilante’s are on the run from the law.  It’s up to Kick-Ass and his assembled team of street level heroes to storm the police station and break Mindy out!

3. Original series creators Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. (Avengers vs. X-Men) are back to put the final nail in this series, promising never to make any more Kick-Ass stories again!

4. To commemorate the debauched violence present in this first issue, issue #1 comes with six different, interlocking covers by the likes of Adam Hughes, Pasqual Ferry, Marc Silvestri, Cully Hamner, Adam Kubert, and John Romita, Jr.

Astro City #1

1. After years of delay and false-starts, Astro City is back!  And this time DC‘s adult Vertigo imprint is the publisher!

2. The entire team from the original, award-winning, legendary series is all back!  That’s Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross on covers!

3. Astro City is a landmark series in introducing personal, human, naturalistic stories into comic books.  Without it, you can forget about Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, Animal Man by Jeff Lemire, and Invincible by Robert Kirkman.

4. Tired of the same-old-same-old superhero book from the big two?  Enter into an entirely fresh world of original heroes in this ongoing series!

Doctor Atlantis volume 2

1. Few first comic ventures by young artists and writers show true promise.  Ian Alley-Seals and Carl Mefferd, the writer and artist of this series, do!

2. A pulpy adventure offspring of Treasure Island and Doc Savage, teams up a mad pirate doctor, Julius Fowler, and his native assistant, Chosot, against cannibals, the elements, and prehistoric sea creatures!

3. Alley-Seals and Mefferd work together like two veterans, balancing dialog and visuals for a minimalist tale that gets quite when it needs too.  The two also understand how to construct mysteries out of character, as the first volume kept its readers guessing at the sanity of its two leads.

4. Missed volume one?  Don’t worry, volume two will drop you into the story with all you need to know!

Green Lantern #21

1. Geoff Johns just ended his nearly decade-long run on Green Lanter, which means many people will react by dropping this series.  That would be the wrong choice!

2. Robert Vendetti, the new series writer, may not have the name that Johns does, but he’s proven himself a skilled, journeyman writer by dragging Demon Knights out of the dregs and creating the award-winning graphic novel, The Surrogates.

3. After ten years of continuous story, Green Lantern is at a fresh starting point, making it easier than ever for new readers to break into the rich cosmic corner of the DC Universe.

4. Expect the series to return to its space cop roots, meaning simpler story arcs, broader action, and a stricter focus on Hal Jordan!

Nov 032012
 

This week is Marvel‘s week.  Beezees.  Word up.

Marvel NOW! is in full effect, as two of the cornerstone titles hit shelves this Wednesday.

First up, Deadpool #1.  Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, two thinking man’s comedians, are writing the book (their first comic endeavor ever…that rhymed) while the legend himself, Tony Moore (Walking Dead), lends his beautifully twisted pencils to the Merc with the Mouth.  The premise for the first arc of this series is so unbelievable, I hesitate to tell you about it.

Okay, you’ve convinced me.  All the country’s deceased presidents are coming back to undead life and there’s only one man who’s jerk enough to re-kill them.  I think you know who it is.

That Tony Stark needs to learn how to hold onto his inventions.  Iron Man #1 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Land re-introduce Tony Stark to a whole new range of readers with this Marvel NOW! starting point issue, where Tony gets his Extremis technology stolen and must develop an entirely new suit of armor to get it back.  Gillen has been killing on the Uncanny X-Men AvX tie-ins, bringing the pathos and the action while Greg Land is just a beautiful, painterly artist who will make Tony’s armor look so polished you’ll think you can eat off it.  Anyone who loves the Iron Man films but has never read one of his comics NEEDS to check this series out.

If you missed this year’s epic Marvel brawl to end it all, Avengers vs. X-Men, all hope is not lost.  Coming out this Wednesday is the complete epic all in one hefty volume.  That’s twelve issues for the main series, folks, plus six issues of AvX: Versus, the all fights all the time miniseries that accompanied the main series, and (if that wasn’t enough) three AvX: Infinite issues, which have never been in print before.  The entire volume is a treasure trove of the greatest writers and artists working in comics today, featuring names like Jonathon Hickman, Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jeph Loeb, Kieron Gillen, Ed Brubaker, Andy Kubert, Oliver Coipel, John Romita, Jr., and many, many, many more.  And this thing’s so thick after you get done reading it, you can use it as a coffee table.

You’ve read the novel.  You’ve seen the Swedish movie.  You’ve seen the American movie.  But have you read the graphic novel?

No, obviously not, it’s not out until this Wednesday.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo makes its way to comic shelves this week with a Vertigo graphic novel adaptation by novelist Denise Mina and artists Leonard Manco and Andrea Mutti.  If you nabbed the free sample comic from a couple months back, you know that this version of the story plays with silence and ambiance in way the previous incarnations have not.  And, if you’ve lived under a rock for the last eight years or so, then you should check the book out anyway as it is one of the best mystery, suspense stories of the decade.

Jun 232012
 

The question is not “Who watches the Watchmen?”, but “Who reads the Before Watchmen?”.

The answer should be everyone, as, thus far, these miniseries have been phenomenal examples of masterful comic storytelling. If you’ve missed Minutemen, Silk Spectre, and Comedian, the beginnings of the first three miniseries, don’t worry, we’re getting a restock this Wednesday. Each series has been impressive due to their ability to explore different comic genres, golden age fisticuffs , romance, and espionage comics respectively, taking them out of the tonality of the original Watchmen story. With Nite Owl beginning this week, it’s a perfect time to pick up the first issues of the first four series.

Kick-Ass is easily one of the most violent, darkly humorous, twisted comics in recent memory and, no question, the character who sums that spirit up most completely is Hit-Girl. Taking place in between the events of Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, the new Hit-Girl miniseries explores the equation of Mindy + high school = offensive insanity. If you hadn’t notice, Mindy McCready isn’t quite like other girls her age, so surrounding her with scene kids and Bielibers results in awkwardness on an epic scale. With Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., the original creators of Kick-Ass, behind it, Hit-Girl is going to kick you balls in and smack your mother upside the head.

Dan Abbnett and Andy Lanning, the bearers of the cosmic-y goodness at Marvel, bring their space opera talent to Boom! Studios with The Hypernaturals. Similar to the Green Lantern Corps, the Hypernaturals are a galactic peace keeping force who’ve actually lived up to their mandate. At least until they all disappear from existence. With everything going to pot, a group of new recruits and retired veterans must team up to put things right. If you enjoyed any of the Annihilation or Guardians of the Galaxy series, then think of Hypernaturals as their first cousin.

Finally, tonight, lets end on a note of pure cuteness. Brimming with huggability, the Hulk, Captain America, and Spider-Man Footzeezs are all made of terrycloth and, I’m assuming, rainbows, sunshine, and unicorn laughter. You’ll probably want to buy them all to make your soul happy.

Jun 022012
 

Whether you love the idea or despise it with a passion, the first of the Before Watchmen prequel books launches this Wednesday.

I know there are haters out there, but in an attempt to counter the arguments against Before Watchmen, allow me to make a few points.

1. Alan Moore made his career off of working on other people’s characters: Swamp Thing, Superman, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen characters, and the Charlton characters (who the Watchmen were based off).

2. The line-up of creators assigned to these books is one of the most impressive creative bodies I’ve ever seen. Especially, with Minutemen, the first book, which is written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. Cooke does not release that much material, but when he does we get exceptional works like DC New Frontier and the Parker series of graphic novels.

3. Comics are all about re-interpretation. If creators weren’t allowed to work on characters invented by different authors we would never have the great body of Spider-Man, X-Men, Batman, Green Lantern, and so forth, stories we do today. Personally, I’m thrilled to see other, talented writers and artist offer their interpretations of Alan Moore’s creations.

So, I recommend sampling each of the miniseries. I know I will be.

There’s been a ton of alien invasion stories propagating various media over the last couple years, but not too many where they aliens actually win. And there are NONE where the only only surviving resistance against them are two super powered individuals, one a villain and one a hero. This is the premise of Boom Studios! new ongoing series, Extermination. Written by novelist and wackadoo comic writer Simon Spurrier (X-Club, Gutsville), Extermination is going to be a back-to-the-wall action-adventure book with some smartly written dialog and conflict. Plus, the first
issue is only a $1.

Speaking of cheap first issues, popular (and accurate) comic rumors and news website, Bleeding Cool, is launching Bleeding Cool Magazine this week for only $1.49. Filled to the brim with the same scoops, articles, analysis, and factual reporting you’ve come to respect. Unlike most comic news websites, Rich Johnson has inside industry connections, which makes causes most of his scoops to be accurate. If you’ve been missing Wizard Magazine, Bleeding Cool Magazine is a superior replacement.

For all of the Kevin Mellon followers out there (and I know the store has a bunch), his next project releases this Wednesday. As usual with Kevin, it is a unique experience unlike any other book on the shelves. Creator Owned Heroes is a new comic experiment, offering two individual stories bridged by interviews, pictures, sketches, and other extras, all for $3.99. Before Kevin’s story, there is Trigger Girl 6 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey (All-Star Western, Jonah Hex) and Phil Noto about a genetically engineered, hottie assassin. Filling out the issue is American Muscle, a wasteland, post-apocalyptic actioneer reminiscent of Road Warrior and Mellon’s freshman book, Gearhead. Topping that flambe of awesome off is an interview with Neil Gaiman as well as cosplay photos of Trigger Girl 6. That’s like a pound of comic-y goodness, folks.

Apr 142012
 

Kansas City is lucky enough to be home to many successful, talented, prominent comic writers and artists. Primary among them is Jason Aaron. As writer of Wolverine and the X-Men, Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Scalped, and Avengers Versus X-Men, Jason is easily one of the top writers at Marvel Comics and, because of that, we’re happy to have him come sign at Pulp this Wednesday. Jason will be signing not only the newest copies of Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and the X-Men, and Avengers vs. X-Men, but also all of his previous work. He’ll be at the store from 3 to 7, so make sure to come pick your books up around that time. Also, due to mass demand for the AvX series and the need to have copies for Jason to sign, that issue will go on sale at 3 when Jason arrives. Come out and make him feel welcome.

Stieg Larsson’s worldwide bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has been made into two films already, but neither of them will compare to the new Vertigo comic adaptation launching this year. But before the actually series comes out, you all will get a chance to sample it with this Wednesday’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo special sample issue. And remember, the first volume of graphic novels will be out this November.

Following in line with Dynamite‘s other recent pulp hero reworkings, such as Lord of the Jungle and Warlord of Mars, the new Shadow series is sure to be a good read. A large factor in that assumption is that Garth Ennis, author of such gruesome, disturbing series as The Boys and Crossed, will be penning the series. Each of the issues covers will also be drawn by some of the industry’s greatest artists, including John Cassady, Alex Ross, and Jae Lee. The Shadow knows…that you will buy a copy.

One of the quickest comic series of recent memory to rise to legendary status has to be The Ultimates by Mark Millar. Millar’s modern take on classic characters like Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and Hawkeye turned the book into a dynamic, drama-filled read offering versions of these characters like you’ve never read before. Many fans have read his first two volumes of that amazing series, but not as many realize he went on to write four other volumes of the book. Luckily, all four of these stories, featuring battles with vampires, Ghost Rider Vice Presidents, Australlian Hulks, and intense, city demolishing conflicts, are all collected in the new Ultimate Avengers by Mark Millar Omnibus. This oversized hardcover is the easiest way to catch up on these follow-up series, the last of which ties in with the Death of Spider-Man storyline of Ultimate Spider-Man. Grab a copy before Nick Fury redacts the entire thing.

Speaking of the Death of Spider-Man storyline, the trade paperback ships this Wednesday. Collecting the last issues of the series before the relaunch with Miles Morales, this volume details Peter’s final battle with the Green Goblin, resulting in his death. If you picked up the series and have been loving it, you owe it to yourself to pick up, not only, this volume, but the entire series.