Mar 072014
 

Secret Avengers #1

-The best spy book currently being written is Ales Kot’s Zero from Image, which makes him the absolutely perfect author to take the reins on Marvel’s premier spy book, Secret Avengers.

-Features a team of Marvel movie characters, like Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Hawkeye, and Black Widow, plus the newly added Spider-Woman!

-How will this team of secret agents stop defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. satellites from falling to the Earth?

-Kot excels at weird, weird storytelling alongside concise action and startling cliffhangers.  Expect to be surprised by the end of issue one.

Captain Marvel #1 (of 6)

-If you, like me, missed the boat on this cult favorite series, now’s your second chance.

-This series is still written by the woman that made Captain Marvel what she is today, Kelly Sue DeConnick!

-Carol Danvers heads off into space during the first arc, facing the implosion of galactic war!

-Support female characters and writers in comics by picking up issue one!

Stray Bullets: The Killers #1

-One of the most acclaimed crime serials in all of comics returns from Image Comics!

-David Lapham (whose name you HAVE heard), writer of Crossed, Young Liars, Age of Apocalypse, and tons more, returns to the series he created!

-Noir to the bone, Stray Bullets features single issue stories that link together over the course of many issues (think 100 Bullets).

-In issue one, a father and son commit a hit-and-run only to find out a stranger witnessed the crime.  To what twisted lengths will they go to avoid being caught?

Avengers Undercover #1

-Dennis Hopeless returns to the characters of Avengers Arena for, in television terms, a second season!

-Basically, 21 Jump Street in the Marvel Universe.

-Those who survived the arena want revenge against the man that put them there, Arcade, but he’s gone underground in the safety of a supervillain city.  Now these heroes have to pretend to be villains in order to catch him.  Will some slip a little too far?  And what happens when they catch up?

-With Planet Con coming up next weekend and the fact that Dennis will be attending, you should totally pick up the super rare variant cover for this issue and get it signed by him!

Apr 062013
 

Regular-sized Batman is cool and all, but Li’l Batman is where it’s really at!

Dustin Nguyen, artist extraordinaire known for his covers and interiors on Batgirl and Batman: Streets of Gotham, brings his painterly pencils and ability to cute the reader out of existence to the Batman universe.  Batman:  Li’l Gotham #1 is the beginning of a new ongoing series featuring short stories packed to the brim with tiny versions of every famous Gotham resident.  Think Charlie Brown noir.  The first issue is a cavalcade of holiday tales featuring Batman, Robin, The Penguin, and more.  If you’re kids having been begging for some Batman, but you’ve kept them away from Scott Snyder’s recent run for obvious reasons, Li’l Gotham is the answer.

Zombies.  Robots.  Aliens.

Generally, a combination of the above three creatures would be a bad thing.  In the case of IDW‘s The Colonized miniseries, it is actually a very good thing.  Written by Chris Ryall, the creator of Zombies vs. Robots, and graced with covers by the reclusive Dave Sim (Cerebus), The Colonized blends horror and sci-fi by dropping aliens into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.  A surviving member of a zombie resistance camp has his hands full when a spacecraft lands in the middle of town and a government agent begins pulling tricks in order to nab the compounds gun stash.  What follows is when there’s no leader for the martians to be take too.

Your mind is not your own.

Matt Kindt, the ingenious comic creator behind Revolver, 3 Story, and the Justice League of America back-up stories, has been writing one of the most unusual, inventive comics being published for the last year and few have noticed.  Now, that may be because one of the agents from the books has been blocking your interest to hide its secrets or it may be because it’s far outside the norm of mainstream comics.  Basically, Kindt has constructed an intricate world of espionage based around the Mind MGMT agency, a secret organization that uses mental powers to control the ebb and flow of history.  They can wipe your mind, insert memories, make you hate your lover, stop you (or themselves) from feeling pain, or plant subconscious suggestions in the media, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Kindt uses every last inch of the comic page to tell his story, even writing secret code in the margins and on the back cover of each issue.  This first hardcover collection includes the first six issues of the series…or maybe that’s just what it wants you to think?

The Fantastic Four have always been my least favorite Marvel team.

That is, until Matt Fraction took over the series with Marvel NOW!  For the last six issues, Fantastic Four has proven to be one of the best Marvel series on the stands right now.  And if you’ve missed these first issues, don’t fret because Fantastic Four v.1:  New Departure, New Arrivals comes out Wednesday.  Not only does this volume contain the first three issues of the  main Fantastic Four series, but also the first two issues of FF, the companion series.  This first arc involves the departure of Marvel‘s first family, as  Reed and Sue take their kids on a cosmic field trip, and their replacement by four stand-in Fantastics.  Fraction balances classic Marvel storytelling in Fantastic Four and post-modern wackiness in FF beautifully, offering two entirely different reads in one great package.

Jul 282012
 

When you step outside these days you may assume we’ve made a deal with Hell to lease out some reality, but, all signs aside, that’s not actually the case. However, in Absalom: Ghosts of London, it is. Pulled from the ever-present 2000 AD Magazine (one of the longest running comics in history), Absalom is a supernatural cop book that blends the likes of Hellboy, Hellblazer, and Captain Britain in a world where London has signed a peace treaty with the underworld.

However, Absalom, an immortal, elderly cop doesn’t make friends with demons easily.

If you’re anything like me, you read Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist four years ago and then sobbed tears of sarrow when it was put on hiatus. Sadly, that “hiatus” turned into a cancellation, while Fraction and Aja moved onto other projects. Well, it may not be Iron Fist, but the new Hawkeye series is as close as can be. With a slick, seventies espionage vibe and inventive visuals, this Hawkeye book will be perfect for long-time fans of the character as well as those who found out about him from the Avengers movie.

Here’s a little secret: the best books being published right now are coming from Image comics.  With series like Prophet, Saga, Manhattan Projects, and Revival, there’s no doubt the publisher has some quality works under their belt. And, this Wednesday, their adding a couple of other great reads to their repertoire.

Think Tank is up first. Brain power is on display in this new series about a genius, mass murder doctor, David Loren, who’s trying to out think the government agency who’s employed him as a weapons builder for years. Can he do it? Will he be killled? Will he cause a ton of destruction? Yes.

Organs. Not the musical kind, but the you-need-them-to-live kind are the key to the other new Image book, Harvest. This five issue miniseries is a race against time for Dr. Ben Dane as he tries to reclaim organs already put into people in order to escape his own death. Beautiful artwork from newcomer Colin Lorimer tells the tale in the most gruesome, yet gorgeous manner.

Mar 172012
 

New comic March continues this week with another onslaught of inventive Indy fair. Here’s the rundown:

-Dominique Laveau Voodoo Child: New Orleans, voodoo, and ghosts come together for this new Vertigo ongoing. Dominique, a young grad student, finds that she’s wanted by the magic community of New Orleans…for murdering their Voodoo Queen.

-Hoax Hunters: A take off of popular Ghost Hunting shows, this miniseries revolves around a team of reality TV personalities who hunt and explain mysterious creatures around the globe. Issue #0 focuses on a long lost Russian astronaut ghost. Creeeeepy.

-Ragemoor: In line with classic Gothic tales from Poe and Lovecraft, this new horror miniseries from legendary Heavy Metal artist Richard Corben focuses on a living mansion with an insane owner and an unholy secret.

-Rebel Blood: Riley Rossmo, artist of Cowboy, Ninja, Viking, lends his writing and illustrative talents to this Image Comics horror series where demonic, zombie creatures, both human and animal, are roaming the Southern landscape, chewing on the living.

-Rocketeer Adventures 2: Following in the same style as the first series, each issue of this miniseries contains short Rocketeer stories from the industry’s best writers and artists. With guys like Darwyn Cooke, Peter David, Art Adams, and Bill Sienkiewicz, creating new pulpy stories how can you go wrong?

-Smoke & Mirrors: Akin to the recent IDW series Memorial, this fantasy miniseries incorporates actual slight of hand and stage magic tricks into its tale of a lost soul in a world where magic has advanced past technology.

-Supercrooks: Mark Millar, the sensational author behind Kick-Ass, Nemesis, and The Ultimates, offers this new take on the supervillain. When a villain team from America feels the heat, they relocate to Spain for a little overseas badness.

Oh my Thanos! So, many comics!

And how ’bout some more?

Nick Spencer is a man of many talents. He can write zany, wordy alternate world hopping tales like Infinite Vacation while also being able to manage subtle, minimal spy books like Thunder Agents. And he can write political cape and cowl fair like a mofo! The new collection of Ultimate Comics X-Men will prove this to you. If you haven’t kept up with the Ultimate universe, one, this is a good book to get in on and, two, how about a little backstory? The X-Men are in tatters after most of the team has died (that’s Xavier, Wolverine, Cyclops, and others, folks) and the government is out for mutant blood. That leaves the ragtag team of Kitty Pryde, Wolverine’s son, Johnny Storm, Iceman, and Rogue to face off against William Stryker, the country’s most recent religious zealot who’s murdering mutants indiscriminately. Unlike any other X-Men book you’ve ever read.

Finally, let’s end the night with one of Vincent Van Gogh’s classic paintings: TARDIS Mid-Explosion. And if that doesn’t suit your refined tastes, maybe a Weeping Angel t-shirt will.

Nov 122011
 

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?  Pretty positive I did whenever I was a kid, but I can bet they weren’t as cool as Jake Ellis.  Who is Jake Ellis, you ask?  Maybe you should read Who Is Jake Ellis? to find out.

One of the many critically acclaimed Image miniseries from this past year, Who Is Jake Ellis? brought Nathan Edmondson (currently writing Grifter for DC) to the forefront of the comics community.  Putting a wonky sci-fi spin on the classic spy book premise, Edmondson crafts a tale about Jon Moore, a well-traveled secret agent, who gets most of his Intel from an imaginary friend, Jake Ellis, who only he can see.  When the poo hits the fan, though, Jake is the only person who can save Moore.  If you’ve been keeping up with Grifter, you’ll know that Edmondson’s writing style keeps you on your toes, always questioning where the story’s going, and if you like that sort of thing in your comics, I’d recommend the Who Is Jake Ellis? TPB.

[If you are Brian Michael Bendis, ignore the next couple of sentences as you, more than likely, already have ten copies of this statue.]

A secret agent in her own right, Jessica Drew has returned to prominence in the Marvel universe over the last decade, due mostly to her constant inclusion in Brian Bendis’ Avengers.  And, if you’ll allow me the wordplay, this Spider-Woman Statue deserves inclusion into your statue collection so that you may display it with prominence.

And they say Bendis has a way with words.

I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo
I can feel your halo halo halo
I can see your halo halo halo

Unknown to most, Beyonce is actually singing about the new Halo Series 3 Minimates whenever she belts out the above lyrics.

What she failed to include was any details about which soldier variations and baddies come in the set.  Allow me to correct this:  CQB with Khaki Armor, Jackal Sniper, Elite Combat Armor in gold, and a Rogue Cobalt.

All fairness to Beyonce, those are some hard words to rhyme.

A little past Halloween, but the Headless Horseman (popular WoW Hallow’s End Nemesis) receives the action figure treatment in the fourth series of World of Warcraft Premium Action Figures.  As you might notice in the picture below, he comes with a well-rendered base featuring his stead rising from the ground as it does in the game.  Oh, and he has company in pumpkin minions.  Ole Headless with be joined in the set by Wildmoon Moonkin.