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.

Dec 012012
 

The Avengers are dead.  Long live The Avengers!

After Brian Michael Bendis’ lengthy run on, basically, ever Avengers comic for the last ten years, it’s out with the old blood and in with the new as Johnathon Hickman takes over.  Riding a wave of success off of his acclaimed Fantastic Four run and current run on Manhattan Projects for Image, Hickman claims to be having the time of his life writing this new Avengers series.  If the writer’s having fun, that usually bodes pretty well for the book.  Plus, Hickman’s not leaving anything on the drawing room floor as he’s jam-packed his Avengers team with nearly twenty members, including Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, to name a few.  If you’re going to pick up any Marvel NOW! book to get a taste of the reboot, this is it.

Read the next book with extreme prejudice.  Thunderbolts #1 is an assemblage of the lean,  mean, and extreme combining the toughest customers the Marvel Universe has to offer.  That includes Venom, Elektra, Red Hulk, The Punisher, and Deadpool.  The Red Hulk leads the team, but only as much as you can lead nutjobs like Frank Castle and Wade Wilson.  Written by Daniel Way, who’s been running the Deadpool book for the last four years, this series is certain to be spilling over with blood, guts, and guffaws.  Steve Dillon, artist on Garth Ennis’ legendary run on The Punisher series, lends his pencils to the book, which means both creators have ties to characters on the team and that makes for a good read.

The future is not a happy place in Image Comics‘ new post-apocalyptic series, Blackacre.  From the new creative team of Duffy Boudreau and Wendell Cavalcanti, the series focuses a lone, retired soldier, Hull, who must venture forth from behind the protective barrier of his home city, Blackacre.  Beyond the walls lie creatures and cults beyond recognition, all of which are ready to eat him alive.  Readers of Prophet and Planetoid will find a similar narrative of survival here, as Hull has to outlast and outlive the terrain and terrors of the wasteland.  

Mike Mignola returns to the character that made his career, Hellboy, this next Wednesday.  Not only is Mignola writing the series, but he’s also drawing the character for the first time in ten years.  Of course, if he’s going to return to the series, there has to be an amazing reason.  Hellboy in Hell #1 begins a new miniseries where Hellboy has died and returned home, along with the entirety of Great Britain.  And if you don’t know, Hellboy, as the son of the devil, has a throne waiting for him in the underworld, one that he’s not too keen to take back.  Like Halley’s comet, Hellboy comics don’t come around too often, especially not by its creator, so be sure to grab a copy and get your Big Baby fix.

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.