Apr 132013
 

The mind can be a prison.

That’s the premise of Marvel NOW‘s X-Men Legacy series.  Written by the psychedelic pen of Si Spurrier (Gutsville, X-Club), X-Men Legacy follows in the footsteps of other C-List character-centric books like Immortal Iron Fist, Hawkeye, and Fearless Defenders by focusing on Charles Xavier’s son, Legion.  Formerly a schizophrenic super-villain, Legion has now found his inner peace by entrapping his numerous vile personalities in a brain prison.  Yes, brain prison.  This out-of-the-ordinary series is one of the most unusual, pleasing reads at Marvel right now, primarily because Spurrier is unafraid to venture into the weird realms of the X-Men universe.  The volume one trade paperback features the first six issues as well as a mound of mental distress.

Science = bad.

That’s the prime equation for Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects.  If you picked up the first collection of this psychotic series, you’re well aware of Hickman’s brilliance and the utter depravity of the scientists involved therein.  If you didn’t, the basic premise is that the Manhattan Project was a mere cover for what was actually occurring, i.e. time travel, alien encounters, robots, cybernetics, and vast A.I. computer systems.  From there Hickman throws in a slew of mentally unstable geniuses like Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Fenyman, each of which are hiding a dark secret, and you’ve got the madhouse pot boiler that is this series.  Now, volume two is being unleashed upon the unsuspecting public, this time with more alien disemboweling, evil FDR, and Russian cosmonaut dogs with machine guns.  Science = bad, Manhattan Projects = good.

Think bigger.

That’s Jonathan Hickman’s mandate for his recent relaunch of The Avengers.  Not has crazy as Manhattan Projects, Hickman’s Avengers has been all about expansion.  Spinning out of the Marvel NOW relaunch, this first volume of Avengers collects issues one through six, wherein Captain America puts out the call for new members in order to fight back a godly force on Mars.  All of this is building up to figuring out the original recipe for the universe.  This version of the Avengers moves far, far away from the Bendis era, with grand, epic adventures and huge comic book imagery!  Given that Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force) lends his fluid pencils to the affair, this is THE Avengers book to read if you loved the movie!

While the Avengers are fighting baddies on Mars, they are not, in fact, fighting the aliens from Mars Attacks!  However, nearly everyone else is!

IDW continues its annual tradition of crossover miniseries where some evil force ventures into the various property universes the company owns.  Previously, its been zombies and Cthulhu fighting the likes of GI Joe, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Transformers (Infestion v.1-2; check’em out!), but this time around it’s the Mars Attacks! martians versus the IDW universe!  Mars Attacks IDW includes each of the one-shot volumes released, featuring KISS, Transformers, Ghostbusters, Zombies vs. Robots, and, the best of the bunch, Popeye!  Each issue is drawn and written in a style appropriate to the character so, for instance, the Popeye issue looks like a 40s era golden age book being invaded by twisted, murderous aliens.  And the only thing standing in their way is a can of spinach and one pissed off sailor!  If you never thought you’d see such insane crossovers, your mind will melt when you lay eyes on this trade paperback volume!

Sep 012012
 

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.

Let’s get one thing clear: He does not talk to fish!

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.