Hallo freunde! Hopefully you’ve all been keeping up with the Avengers vs X-Men event. I can honestly say that it’s one of the most enjoyable Marvel story-arcs of the past few years. On the DC front, the Before Watchmen miniseries has started and from what I’ve seen so far, it is being handled very well. The writers are doing an excellent job staying faithful to the classic source material while injecting their own style into each comic. On the indie comics front, Fables and Saga continue to have strong showings, and a new comic called Grim Leaper is quickly establishing itself as a dark comedy must-buy. To the pick-mobile!
List of releases for 6/27:
All-Star Western #10
American Vampire #28
Batman Incorporated #2
Batman The Dark Knight #10
Before Watchmen Nite Owl #1
Fury Of Firestorm The Nuclear Men #10
Green Lantern New Guardians #10
I Vampire #10
Justice League #10
Justice League Dark #10
New Deadwardians #4
Savage Hawkman #10
Superman Family Adventures #2
Teen Titans #10
Amazing Spider-Man #688
Captain America And Iron Man #633
Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz #8
Incredible Hulk #10
John Carter The Gods Of Mars #4
Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man #3
Marvel Zombies Destroy #4
Mighty Thor #16
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #12
Wolverine And The X-Men #12
X-Men Legacy #269
Batman Incorporated #2
Batman and Talia al-Ghul have a long and complicated history. Her father, Ras al-Ghul, is one of Batman’s most dangerous rogues. Not only was he intelligent enough to deduce that Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same person, he is also skilled enough to go toe-to-toe with Batman in a fight. This issue is a general recap of their history together, with some previously unseen moments in Talia’s childhood. This mix of known and unknown allows new readers to be brought up to speed while allowing longtime fans the ability to see familiar scenes from a different angle. The artwork enhances this sense of nostalgia. It seems to be drawn in a way that is reminiscent of old Saturday morning cartoons. A vial of poison has vapors coming out of it that take the shape of a skull and a bad guy has an amusing fox-like face with long ears and a pointy nose. The end of the issue hints to some interesting future storyarcs in this book and the return of a certain gangster alter-ego longtime fans will be excited to see.
Before Watchmen: Nite-Owl #1
Since Daniel Dreiberg technically is the second person to wear the Nite-Owl cowl, this miniseries will focus on his early years. He meets the first Nite-Owl as a young teen after hunting him down. What I always enjoyed about the world of Watchmen was that no matter how colorful the costumes of the heroes are, the men and women behind those masks have darkness within them. Case in point, the original Nite-Owl meets up with Daniel with a gun in hand ready to protect his identity with a bullet if necessary. This issue also explores the first meeting and teamup of Nite-Owl and Rorschach, who comes off as a (relatively) more laid back version of the hero portrayed in the original series and movie.
Grim Leaper #2
This indie comic has a disturbingly hilarious premise. Lou Collins was just your average loner, until one day… he died. Instead of going on to some sort of afterlife, he is brought back to life in a new body but with his original memories. Every time Lou dies, every gruesome detail is shown and looking at it, you can’t help but be amused at the circumstances of that death. For example, one body that he jumps into seems like a normal nerdy guy. Except for the revelation that he was a kidnapping serial killer with one potential victim in the basement that breaks free. Lou’s face is crushed in by a crowbar while the kidnapee stands over him yelling something about a Pulitzer. Through all this dying and resurrection, Lou meets Ella, another victim of the “curse” and they immediately hit it off. Now they struggle to stay alive long enough to get together and share a beer or ten. If you have a soft spot for dark comedies, give this short 4-issue series a try.
Justice League #10
Everyone knows the Justice League are heroes. But what about the people that they don’t save? What if one of them finds a way to get revenge on all of them? Those are the questions this issue poses. As has been the case for the past few issues, at the end of the main story, the side story of Shazam continues. Billy Batson has consistently been a douche, so it’s good to see that the writers are trying to steer him back towards likability. This issue also introduces Black Adam to the New 52 and he looks just as menacing as his name suggests.
This mini-series has me smitten. The little bits and pieces come together to make a great story. The art styles and font used differ depending on whether the action is taking place in the Ultimate or 616 universes. The interaction between Peter and Miles, the Ultimate Spider-Man, is just as fast paced and witty as you would expect when dealing with two heroes who have motormouths. In my opinion, the best interaction is between Peter and Ultimate Nick Fury, who has a sharp sense of humor and cracks jokes more often than 616 Fury. I can go on and on as to why I like this book but I would suggest you just go out and read it yourself. You won’t regret it.
Ultimate Comics Ultimates #12
The thing about the Ultimate universe that is most amazing to me is how things can get really shitty then stay there or even get worse. The good guys might win but there will be deaths, betrayals, and no-win situations before the end. Another interesting thing the writers have done in this universe is turn one of Marvel’s most recognizable and oldest heroes in the 616 universe and turn him into a hyper-intelligent megalomaniacal super-villain. Reed Richards has, almost instantaneously, become one of the most powerful and insane villains in either universe and I love it. While most villains have some sort of personal flaw that prevents their victory, Reed thinks hundreds of moves ahead of the world’s heroes. Go back to the first issue of this book and witness the development of an amazing bad guy.
X-Men Legacy #269
A few issues ago, Rogue picked a side and jumped into the AvX fight. Since then, the Phoenix has split and inhabited Cyclops, Magik, Emma Frost, Colossus, and Namor, they started improving the world, and the Avengers have become underground guerrilla fighters. Like the cover portrays, this issue deals with Rogue and Ms. Marvel. They have a long and sometimes antagonistic history and this issue is just another chapter in the long story. Not since the Civil War and Annihilation storylines have I felt so compelled to read every side issue in a crossover event. The little side stories help humanize and bring into focus the big worldwide or galactic events.
And now here’s a pick from a fellow staff member Josh Whitehurst! Enjoy:
Nancy in Hell on Earth #3
Nancy in Hell on Earth #3 is definitely one of the more bizarre comics I’ve picked up recently. It’s got everything one could want: Blood, nudity, foul language, and the ongoing battle between Heaven and Hell. The title character is joined by the lord of the underworld, Lucifer, in the ongoing struggle for the future of Earthrealm.
Without spoiling much of anything, the series is quickly reaching its climax and very stylistically, I might add. Panels are bright, colorful, and very brutal. Angels and demons are represented about how you would expect them to be, and characters are represented very well. There are some that are forgettable, but it’s hard to find a comic series where there people like that do not exist.
If you’re partial to naked angel ladies stabbing prison inmates in the head, mothers exploding with demonic vines, or chainsaw-wielding women trying to save what seems to already be doomed, Nancy in Hell on Earth #3 is a fantastic and very fan-servicing read.