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.

Jan 122013
 

Before the whole brain-swapping shenanigans of Amazing Spider-Man #698-700, there was a character named Alpha.  A young, pompous teen granted exceptional powers (ringing any bells) decides to use his powers not to help people, but to gain stardom.  Peter Parker (RIP) eventually managed to reverse the accident that gave Alpha his abilities, leaving him disgraced and embarrassed.  Alpha Big Time picks up where that storyline left off, with Alpha attending high school far from New York.  Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov (Doctor Who), this series deals with what happens when your fifteen minutes of fame are up and all you’re left with is a gasping desire to reclaim it.

Don’t you hate it when, after a hard night of drinking, you wake up in the savage land only to be attacked by a velociraptor?

Wolverine does.

Frank Cho’s Savage Wolverine #1 launches this week and features his talents on both writing and art duties.  As alluded to, the first story arc is going to revolve around Logan finding himself in the Savage Land, surrounded at every turn by enemies, and with no clue how he got there or why everyone is so angry.  Luckily, he has Shanna the She-Devil (come on, did you think Cho wasn’t going to stick a bikini-clad hottie into the book?) on his side for support.  Or, in simpler terms, it’s Wolverine versus dinosaurs.  The word you’re looking for is SNIKT!

Once more into the breach, dear friends.

Such is DC‘s thinking with their newest space anthology series, Threshold #1, launching this Wednesday.  Starring mostly Green Lantern universe characters, the series will span the galaxy of the DC universe, telling rip-roaring sci-fi pulp adventures with some of your favorite cosmic characters.  Each issue will also feature a backup story with everyone’s favorite greedy lantern, Larfleeze, who must find a way to reclaim all of his beloved stuff after it has been stolen from him.  A new addition to the Green Lantern CORPS is also introduced in the series, one who’s been disgracefully stripped of his ring and sent to compete in a game show where you have to run for your life.  And if that isn’t enough, Threshold will be the venue in which the former Captain Karrot is reborn as a gritty space pirating bunny called Captain K’Rot.

And finally, your moment of Deadpool statue for the night.

Enjoy.

Aug 042012
 

Anyone who grew up watching the nineties X-Men animated series probably found themselves dropping Creole phrases like “mon ami” and “hey, cherie” into daily conversation for one reason: Gambit is cool. Sadly, the Cajun conman has been forgotten about over the last few years, often being given the short shrift in X-Men books. Well, up-and-coming writer James Asmus is fixing that omission this Wednesday with the new Gambit ongoing series. After laxing on his no-thieving policy for one night, Gambit falls into an underworld of trouble in the first arc of Asmus’ story. After proving himself to be a legit talent on books like Captain America & Bucky, Generation Hope, and the Escape from the Negative Zone storyline from last year, Asmus is going to unload some slick, heist movie cool on this new series.

Two months ago, the store received an email from one Ian Ally-Seals asking us to consider a comic he had coming out soon called Doctor Atlantis. Ian even sent along a PDF of the graphic novel’s first two chapters so we could get an idea of what the book was about. Smart move on his part, because we loved it! A blend of Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burrows, Mysterious the Unfathomable, and good ole fashion swash buckling action, Doctor Atlantis is carefully paced, smartly drawn, and filled with some interesting surprises. A buddy actioneer, Doctor Atlantis‘ characters reveal themselves over the course of the story through their actions, leading to some unexpected reveals. Also, Ian has told us that any person to pick up the book can take a picture with it at Pulp Fiction, then email it to Ian@RareEarthComics.com for a sweet personalized art print. Support a young creative duo trying to break into the industry and pick up a copy!

Sticking with the small publisher theme, 12 Gauge Comics releases the first issue of Anti this Wednesday for only $1. Following in the footsteps of the Constantine film and other apocalyptic action books and movies, Anti contains ton’sa demon ‘sploding action thanks to an atheist and his gun totting, evangelical protector. But are the people they’re shooting demons in human disguishes or actual humans? Oh, and did I mention the first issue is only a dollar?!

Doing what ever a Spider-Man can, the first Scarlet Spider collection ships this Wednesday. Following one of Peter Parker’s numerous clones (these guys should form a band or something), Kaine, down to Houston, Texas, this series has an edge the main Spider-Man books do not. Kaine, unlike Peter, is willing to get violent with his enemies, but he’s working to be a better man, too. Also, given the book’s unique Southern setting and road tripping mentality, the scenery is different from the common New York environment seen in most Marvel books. As many know, it’s the C-list, rarely spotlighted characters who create the most interesting stories, which is certainly the case here.

Feb 252012
 

In your never ending quest for diamond, the Foam Minecraft Pick Axe is your best friend, but don’t let it distract you from the hissing sound of the Creeper running up behind you. For that, you’ll need the Foam Minecraft Sword. With both of these necessary life tools in tow, you’ll find yourself building towers of glass and combating all the mobs of the nether.

You’re sitting on your couch, reading this post, and you’re thinking, “I’ve read all the interesting Punisher stories. They can’t do anything new or inventive with him.” And you would be wrong. That’s because Greg Rucka can do no wrong. This first hardcover volume of the recently restarted Punisher series collects the first six gritty issues, each better than the last. Painting Frank Castle as a silent, stalking serial killer, Rucka enlivens the book while balancing it with a riviting police drama following the cops hot on his tail. Taking the best parts of Garth Ennis’ run on PunisherMAX and blending them with his procedural work on Gotham Central, Rucka weaves a Punisher tale with the best of them.

It’s already been presented here in a many number of forms, but the trade paperback collection of Key of Z is certainly the ultimate version. Collecting all four issues of the alternative zombie/revenge miniseries, this softcover volume stands next to any Walking Dead tpb out there. Centered in a zombie infested New York, Key of Z chronicles the struggle for control between three rival “houses” of survivors. Sadly, not everyone makes it out alive which starts Nick Ewing on a quest for vengeance against those who let his wife and child perish. Lucky he has a special harmonica that controls the undead. Written by prog rock god, Claudio Sanchez (Coheed & Cambria), this zombie yarn is bound to become a cult classic.

Finally, if you’ve been keeping up with Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain’s Carnage USA series and loving the painterly artwork and dark writing, you need to pick up the first volume, Carnage: Family Feud. Returning from the great beyond, Carnage unleashes a murderous rampage upon New York, forcing Iron Man and Spider-Man to come to the rescue. Wells has a knack for crafting Spider-Man tales as he’s currently writing Avenging Spider-Man and previously wrote for Amazing Spider-Man during Brand New Day, so he’s quite familiar with this neck of the Marvel Universe.

Feb 182012
 

This ain’t Kansas anymore, folks.

Image Comics new series, No Place Like Home, is a reworking of the classic Wizard of Oz story, with a bent toward the darker side of life. Dorthy has become Dee for this story, returning home after her parents are killed in a tornado. Where Judy Garland used to have spunk, Dee has punk, and so does the series as writer Angelo Tirotto pens dark elements of a murder mystery into Baum’s classic structure. Trust me, this series may take you somewhere over the rainbow, but it ain’t going to be any singing or dancing where it lands you.

One hefty brick of 90′s X-Men sweetness, the Age of Apocalypse Omnibus comes fully stocked with all the alternate reality sheenanigans you could want. If you’re not familiar with the now cult classic story, the basic premise is that Charles Xavier’s murder leads to a screwed up alternate future where the X-Men are on the run from Apocalypse in a world he controls. Wolverine’s missing a hand, Cyclops is working for the bad guy, and Magneto’s macking on Rogue! Of the alternate reality X-Men stories, Age of Apocalypse ranks right up there with Days of Future Past, so if you’re a fan, pick the whole series up in one fell swoop.

Wish you had superpowers?

So did Simon Pooni and that wish came true. One of Mark Millar’s (Kick-Ass) numerous Marvel Icon imprint books, Superior is about a young wheelchair-bound boy who is granted the ability to become a Superman-like hero named Superior. However, this wish may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Drawn by superstar artist Leinil Yu (Secret Invasion), this book wreaks of the same dark humor and violence Millar’s other Icon series (Nemesis, Kick-Ass 2) emanate. And there’s a killer twist.  Pick up the Superior Hardcover collection and find out.

Finally, you like drawings of zombies that look really cool? You like Claudio Sanchez? You like Declan Shalvey’s artwork? Good, because the New York Comic Con variant cover for Key of Z #1 is coming! And it looks brutal.

Also, if you haven’t gotten a chance to read the best zombie book since Walking Dead, you should pick up all four issues, currently available at Pulp Fiction.