What’s I&N Store (9/28)

There’s no debate: these are the only books worth my vote this week:

  • Action Comics #964 (DC)
  • Astro City #39 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Deathstroke #3 (DC): I&N Demand

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  • Detective Comics #941 (DC)
  • Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #5 (DC)
  • Wonder Woman #7 (DC)
  • Saga #38 (Image)
  • Steve Rogers: Captain America #5 (Marvel): I&N Demand

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  • Civil War II: Kingpin #3 (Marvel): I&N Demand

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  • Captain Kid #2 (Aftershock)
  • Generation Zero #2 (Valiant)
  • Hillbilly #3 (Albatross): I&N Demand

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  • Kim & Kim #3 (Black Mask): I&N Demand

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  • The Paybacks #3 (Heavy Metal)
  • Sombra #3 (BOOM!)

Avery’s Picks of the Week:

  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #18 (DC)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #46 (IDW)
  • Strawberry Shortcake #6 (IDW)
  • Disney Princess #6 (Joe Books)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (9/21)

Here we go!

  • Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand

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  • Dept. H #6 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand

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  • Batman #7 (DC): I&N Demand

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  • Nightwing #5 (DC)
  • Superman #7 (DC)
  • Invisible Republic #11 (Image)
  • Seven to Eternity #1 (Image) Just I&N

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  • She-Wolf #4 (Image)
  • The Wicked + The Divine 1831 A.D. (Image)
  • The Astonishing Ant-Man #12 (Marvel)
  • Empress #6 (Marvel)
  • Karnak #5 (Marvel)
  • The Mighty Thor #11 (Marvel)
  • The Vision #11 (Marvel): I&N Demand

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  • Britannia #1 (Valiant)
  • Red Team: Double Tap #3 (Dynamite)
  • The Joyners #4 (BOOM!/Archaia): I&N Demand

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Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever #32 (IDW)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (9/14)

So.  Many.  Comics.

Reminder: I’ve boarded, bagged, and boxed myself into a maximum of five I&N Demand titles per week.  Wasn’t easy this time around.  But a nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do.

And once again, DC’s the big budget buster of the week.  Thing is, I&Nmates, they deserve it.

  • Briggs Land #2 (Dark Horse)
  • Harrow County #16 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand  Panel for panel, one of the best reads going.  Bunn’s a patient storyteller–and it’s terrifying, thanks, in part, to the intensity of Crook’s artwork.  Makes me want to scream–in fear and in joy.

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  • Lady Killer 2 #2 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand #1 was a bloody mess–and it was wonderful.  My eyebrows spent a bit more time than usual hanging out close to my hairline.  No doubt about it: Joëlle Jones is killing it–and everyone; and Michelle Madsen’s colors are to die for.

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  • Action Comics #963 (DC)
  • All-Star Batman #2 (DC)
  • Astro City #38 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Batgirl and The Birds of Prey #2 (DC)
  • Deathstroke #2 (DC)
  • Detective Comics #940 (DC): I&N Demand Tynion’s Bat-Team’s been a dream!  Reads well on a couple of levels: the writing’s sharp as a Batarang and the topic’s timely as…a…Bat…watch.

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  • Doom Patrol #1 (DC/Young Animal): Just I&N Never did read Doom Patrol; so no investment or expectations here.  Just gonna go for it and see what happens.

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  • The Flash #6 (DC)
  • Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #4 (DC)
  • New Superman #3 (DC): I&N Demand I didn’t love–or really like–#1; but I really loved #2–like really!

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  • Suicide Squad #2 (DC)
  • Superwoman #2 (DC)
  • Wonder Woman #6 (DC)
  • Black Monday Murders #2 (Image)
  • Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses #18 (Image)
  • Symmetry #7 (Image)
  • Black Panther #6 (Marvel): I&N Demand Glad I didn’t drop it after #4–after being battered and bruised, after being left Black Panther and blue, a result of the plodding exposition, which in retrospect, as seen through a swollen eye, was absolutely vital to Coates’ crafting his Wakanda, which was never one of my favorite Marvel U. destinations to begin with.  (Savage Land, anyone–ugh.)  Oh, yeah: glad: glad ’cause I lovedlovedlovedlovedlovedloved #5, which was a great singular experience, but was an even better result of meticulous world building.  I’m all in.

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  • Mockingbird #7 (Marvel)
  • Scarlet Witch #10 (Marvel)
  • Cinema Purgatorio #5 (Avatar)
  • The Forevers #1 (Black Mask): Just I&N  A Black Mask #1.  ‘Nuff said.  (Just wish they were as generous with their #2s and their #3s.  Just sayin’.

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Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • The Powerpuff Girls #3 (IDW)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (9/7)

What’s I&N Store–the Back-to-School Edition.

  • Rise of the Black Flame #1 (Dark Horse)
  • Batman #6 (DC): I&N Demand Hmm…  Did I like #5?  Did I really like it?  Check out my write up–I&N the Scottlight: Batman #5–and figure it out for yourself.
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Batman #6

  • Nightwing #4 (DC)
  • The Sheriff of Babylon #10 (DC/Vertigo): I&N Demand Re: #9: And along came a spider–with a suicide vest strapped to him!  King kills it yet again with his simmering brand of realism, characterized by his trademarked terseness.  Gerads is truly the perfect partner, selling the suspense with subtle shifts from panel to panel.  Team austerity= teeming tension.  The convo between Chris and Bob?  Man, I can’t wait for that bomb to go off!  It all comes down to this: I never want this book to end.
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The Sheriff of Babylon #10

  • Superman #6 (DC)
  • Unfollow #11 (DC/Vertigo): I&N Demand Re: #11: “<Oh, shit,>” indeed!  So many terrific moments.  Top 2:
    • #2: Story time with Akira: “<Narrative deathmatch commence!>”  A war of words–a series of salvos–a battle here, there–all of it presaged in the past.  Forever Jung…
    • #1: The page turn that culminates in @TheMaskNotRubenstein’s succinct “We are all hollow”and the corresponding image–a beast with one and two-thirds backs.

Love this goddamned book. Feels like I’m following Rob Williams to hell.

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Unfollow #11

  • Kill or Be Killed #2 (Image)
  • Nowhere Men #11 (Image)
  • Paper Girls #9 (Image)
  • Doctor Strange #11 (Marvel)
  • Alters #1 (Aftershock): Just I&N Most of the Aftershock books have been kinda blah–save for Dreaming Eagles, American Monster and the still-too-young-to-judge Captain Kid.  Plenty of promise here, however: Paul Jenkins rarely disappoints–and gives me an opportunity to type Deathmatch for a second time in this post!  Yeah, I know: an heroic transition.
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Alters #1

  • Cirque American: Girl Over Paris #3 (Jet City)
  • Crossed +100 #18 (Avatar): I&N Demand An uncomfortable read on multiple levels.  Genius.
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Crossed +100 #18

  • Giant Days #18 (BOOM!)
  • Kim & Kim #2 (Black Mask): I&N Demand #1 was pretty fun.  Damn straight I’m ready to transition into #2!
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Kim & Kim #1

  • Thin #1 (American Gothic)

Avery’s Pick of the Week:

  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #73 (DC)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

 

What’s I&N Store (8/24)

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The trend continues this week: DC is reborn–with a vengeance!

  • Dept. H #5 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand Re: #4: The Kindts guided us deeper and deeper still into the sea and into Mia’s psyche.  Let’s keep going.

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  • Action Comics #962 (DC)
  • Batgirl #2 (DC)
  • Clean Room #11 (DC/Vertigo): I&N Demand Re: #10: “Welcome to the Dark Room,” indeed!  Gail Simone pushes the peril pedal to the metal; and Jon Davis-Hunt keeps pace with some creepy-ass smiles and, umm, a pony man.  Felt really good to be appalled like that in that moment.  Clean Room–consistently engaging and legitimately horrifyingis one of my favorite reads.

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  • Deathstroke #1 (DC)
  • Detective Comics #939 (DC): I&N Demand Tynion’s delivering a solid story line that’s 100% Bat. Very different from King’s Batman in execution, but effective nevertheless.  What’s not to like?  Daddy issues, ethical dilemmas, geeky one-upmanship, plenty of action, Clayface–it’s all good.

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  • The Flash #5 (DC)
  • Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #3 (DC)
  • Lucifer #9 (DC/Vertigo)
  • The Omega Men TP (DC)
  • Wonder Woman #5 (DC)
  • Renato Jones: The One % #4 (Image): I&N Demand Crazy.  Gorgeous.  Kaare.  Effing. Andrews.

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  • She Wolf #3 (Image)
  • Steve Rogers: Captain America #4 (Marvel): I&N Demand Just as Tom King has saved Batman, Nick Spencer has saved Captain America.  See: I love the Hydra twist and certainly trust Spencer enough to see it through to a place that suits our beloved hero.  Re:#3: More twists and turns, betrayals and burns–and The Taskmaster.  Could’ve saved the twists and turns and the betrayals and burns for the later issues, actually.  I mean, The Taskmaster’s pretty much a Leatherman of comic book awesomeness.

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  • Generation Zero #1 (Valiant)
  • Sombra #2 (BOOM!)

Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #72 (DC)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

I&N the Scottlight: Batman #5

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Prepare to be spoiled.

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Wow.

I felt that.

Head.  Gut.  Heart.

A heaviness.

“Do what you can do.”

Tom King–with help from David Finch, a trio of inkers, and the ubiquitous Jordie Bellaire–did what he can do–did what he does better than anybody else: he crushed me under the weight of a twenty-two page comic book.

He’s got a knack for that, what with The Sheriff of Babylon and The Vision.  But this–this is Batman.  It’s different.  The expectations are different.  The investment is different.

Well, I got my two hundred and ninety-nine pennies worth with the first five pages, during which King delivers a dynamic duo of harrowing and hilarious as Alfred–in full Batman regalia–does what he can do to stall for time, to keep Gotham–the hero-come-Pirated villain who wants to destroy the  city that inspired his name–occupied until Batman can do what he can do to get to ground zero.  You know how Al rolls: he crashes the Batmobile into Gotham and then  confronts him like Sugar-Substitute Ray Leonard, and high-capes it outta there once Batman lets him know he’s arrived on scene.

Too effing much!

Important to the sequence as a whole is Alfred’s sentimental soliloquy, in which the brave-ass butler recalls promising Thomas Wayne that he’d care for Bruce if the need arose–and that it’d be “more a pleasure than a chore” because of how simple life would be for the boy.  Powerful stuff, Alfred’s fulfilling that promise in this instance: standing up for Bruce the man–the Batman.

Felt that.

Turned the page.

Felt the Batboot and soon the “BDDOOOM”; felt the plane and then the Justice Out-of-Their-League.

Felt the futility of it all.

Felt the fragility of Duke and Claire.  Felt the damsel’s distress as she pulled back the curtain to reveal Gotham as god with a short fuse; felt her find the courage to be the hero–the courage to do what she can do–knowing full well she’d lose for winning.

Felt funny as I tried to figure out whether or not Batman ordered Gotham’s murder–whether or not I wanted him to have ordered Gotham’s murder: “Fine.  Fine.  Do it, then.  Kill Gotham.”

Reread it over and over again.

Felt funnier each time.

Felt this before, for sure: a slice Of Mice and Men.

Sounded a hell of a lot like George’s “Gonna do it soon.”

Ended the same way.

Wow.

I felt that.

Head.  Gut.  Heart.

A heaviness.

That is what Tom King can do–and, man,  I can’t wait for him to do it again.

Feel me?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (8/17)

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Ugh.  I’m running out of vacation–and discretionary income.  Rebirth is partly to blame for both, thanks to bigger weekly bags and bills.  Also to blame: my love for the heroes of my childhood and my having the constitution of a totalitarian state.

DC and me!

Oh, there’s other stuff, too.

  • Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand Re: #1: Jeff Lemire nailed it: he delivered Essex County with superheroes. Finally.  A nice way to follow up Plutonia, which lived in that realm, for sure, but leaned more on the kids than on the capes.  Lemire lets loose here, trusting his instincts, as he fans the flames of familiarity, forging, with Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart’s beautiful balance between fantastic and rustic, something unflinchingly fresh.  I’ve been down on Lemire’s “doing what he does” to decidedly disappointing degrees (Descender/Sweet Tooth, Trillium/Hawkeye, Bloodshot: Reborn/Moon Knight); here, however, the antecedent doesn’t drown out the current–it enlivens it.

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  • Briggs Land #1 (Dark Horse): Just I&N Brian Wood’s as good as it gets.  His Black Road–also out this weekis a solid book: it has a Massive feel to it, and satisfies for that; but I’m hungry for more, you know, with the final course of the perfectly plated Starve having been served up far, far too soon.  Expectations are very high for this one.  Hey: This is a Briggs deal, I&Nmates!

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  • Batgirl and The Birds of Prey #1 (DC)
  • Batman #5 (DC): I&N Demand Re: #4: Fear has a new number: 27.  Through four issues, Tom King’s got Batman doing things by the numbers–in more ways than one; oh, add ’em up yourself–but this one’s let him down.  Aww, snap!  The personification of Gotham makes for many wrinkles that King’ll most assuredly irony out by arc’s end.  It might take a miracle, man, to put this kid down.  Does Batman have it in him?  I can’t wait to see how this rounds out!

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  • Nightwing #3 (DC)
  • Suicide Squad #3 (DC)
  • Superman #5 (DC)
  • Black Road #5 (Image)
  • The Wicked & The Divine #22 (Image): I&N Demand A monthly bright spot–not only because of Matthew Wilson’s way cray-cray colors.  OK, mostly because of Wilson’s way cray-cray colors.  Sure, Gillen’s greatness shines here, too; and McKelvie’s impeccable consistency is absolutely ambrosial.  Thing is, when I think WicDiv, I get most excited about the prospect of Wilson’s wielding his nonpareil palette in yet another innovative way.  (He’s also killing it over on Black Widow and hammering home The Mighty Thor, which are out this week, as well.  But if you’re a Wilson enthusiast, you already know that!)

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  • Black Widow #6 (Marvel)
  • The Mighty Thor #10 (Marvel)
  • Mockingbird #6 (Marvel): I&N Demand Re: #5: “There’s a gift store?”  Damn right, there is–and it’s well stocked with Mockingbird!  Thank you, Chelsea Cain for your quirky chaos, which is clearly a clever way to, at the same time, mask and amplify your obsessive control over the story you’re telling.  High praise: reminds of James Ausmus’s recent run on Quantum & Woody.  Concern: these big-event tie-ins more often than not murder momentum.  I’m gonna go into this one singing, “We will, we will Mock you!”  So good or bad, I’m covered!

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  • Backstagers #1 (BOOM!)
  • Red Team: Double Tap #2 (Dynamite)
  • The Joyners #3 (BOOM!)
  • Klaus #7 (BOOM!)

Avery’s Picks of the Week

  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever #31 (IDW)
  • Powerpuff Girls #2 (IDW)
  • Strawberry Shortcake #5 (IDW)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (8/10)

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Lots of good stuff this week.  Pretty hero heavy thanks to Rebirth–and my complete rejection of the tenet of temperance.

  • Harrow County #15 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand Re: #14: Emmy’s mother’s heart everything-melting backstory frames a frightful “family” reunion, facilitated by an Old Scratchy Levi, whose serpentine smile has me thinking that at any moment his jaw’s gonna drop open and he’s going to swallow sweet little Emmy whole–and me with her!  Oh, maybe I’m just being paranoid.  No need to be; see: Cullen Bunn’s devilish dandy assures us safe passage–  Oh, come on!  Of course he does; that’s what smiling devilish dandies do!  Any reader knows there’s nothing safe about him.  Hell, there’s nothing safe about this issue or about this series.  Thanks to Tyler Crook’s ghostly gouache, every effing panel’s a gamble–like playing hopscotch in a field littered with landmines–and the bodies of hopscotchers come before.  That’s right, I&Nmates: welcome to Harrow effing County.

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  • Action Comics #961 (DC)
  • All-Star Batman #1 (DC)
  • Deathstroke: Rebirth #1 (DC)
  • Detective Comics #938 (DC)
  • The Flash #4 (DC)
  • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #3 (DC)
  • New Superman #2 (DC)
  • Superwoman #1 (DC)
  • Wonder Woman #4 (DC)
  • Black Monday Murders #1 (Image): Just I&N Class warfare à la Jonathan Hickman.  It’s arrived just in time!  Here’s a promise: a big world that reads small thanks to writing that’s tighter than a fat cat’s money belt.

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  • Symmetry #6 (Image)
  • Black Panther #5 (Marvel)
  • Empress #5 (Marvel)
  • Scarlet Witch #9 (Marvel): I&N Demand I’m happy to report that James Robinson’s tucked his junk away for his intriguing turn on Scarlet Witch.  This book’s been monthly magic!  OK, so we celebrated Robinson’s The Shade (DC)–feels like forever ago–and celehated just about everything else since then save for his full-of-hot Airboy, which was a balls-out blast to the past that sold me on Robinson’s page-bound prickish self, particularly as he hit some notes that recalled David Duchovny’s cock(un)sure Hank Moody in the hilariously depressing Californication.  What a Wanda-full world he’s created here–with the help a different artist for each effort in order to create an interconnected series of singular experiences, which reminds of Ales Kot’s groundbreaking-and-then-standing-over-the-broken-pieces-and-gloating Zero (Image).  Issue #8 found artist Tula Lotay delivering an appropriately hypnotic performance–one that helped to sell the all-important intimacy and to deliver the Ringmasterful twist.  This month: Joëlle Jones assumes art duties.  Something tells me the lady’s gonna kill it.

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  • The Vision #10 (Marvel): I&N Demand Later, this very reader, on this very blog, would write a review of The Vision and its creators that no one has written before–and it’d go viral, leaving dancing grooms and blustery moguls dancing and blustering in the datadust.  A blurb would be bounced about the Twitterverse enough to convince some eager editor to snatch it and put it in print somewhere Marvelous.  Then and only then would the world come to realize how integral Tom King’s vision and his voice have been to the evolution of the medium during this Vibranium Age for comics.  For now: on the strength of #9, and King and Walta’s playing us like a Wakandian piano, before diving into #10, don’t forget your flak jacket, your helmet, and, for obvious reasons, your safety glasses.  This could get ugly very quickly.

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  • Black Eyed Kids #5 (Aftershock)
  • Cirque American: Girl Over Paris #2 (Jet City Comics)
  • Johnny Red #8 (Titan)
  • Providence #10 (Avatar): I&N Demand Word wizard Alan Moore’s painstakingly finger-banging my brain.  I offer it up to him again.  There’s nothing like it on the shelf.  There can’t be anything like it on the shelf.

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  • War Stories #19 (Marvel): I&N Demand More war from Garth Ennis!  Goody, goody bomb drops!

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Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • Disney Princesses #5 (Joe Books)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (8/3)

The “It Feels Good to Be Back” edition:

  • Lady Killer 2 #1 (Dark Horse) I&N Demand Of course it’s I&N Demand!  The first go-round was a rip-roaring retro romp with enough blood to satisfy even the most finicky phlebotomist.  Let me further express my excitement for this Joëlle Jones joint by murdering some classic Styx lyrics: “Lady Killer, [cheesy bell] when you’re on my pull list I’m smiling/Give me wa-wa-wall your love–for your family and for killin’ folks!”

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  • Batman #4 (DC) I&N Demand Tom King is delivering the Gotham City goods, particularly by crafting a meticulous and curt Caped Crusader–one who acts and sounds like the Bat that’s been beating about my belfry for the better part of three decades.  No surprise really: in The Vision and The Sheriff of Babylon, Mr. King has wisely knighted concision and has mastered merciless moods–all of it perfect practice for this, the grandest stage of all: the rooftops of Gotham.

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  • Justice League #2 (DC)
  • Nightwing #2 (DC)
  • The Sheriff of Babylon #9 (DC/Vertigo) I&N Demand Re: #8: “Pow!  Pow!  Pow!”  Indeed.  How much can one man take?  King and Gerads tore my heart out and placed it right next to Nassir’s, where, bodiless,  they beat in time for twenty-two pages of pain.  I still can’t get over the juxtaposition of Nassir and his wife: the former–in a fateful flashback–floating in the water while at the beach with his family; and the latter’s dead body being washed by her husband before being buried in an empty swimming pool.  Promises, mistakes, apologies–like eating and shitting and flushing.  Truth, period: as sad as this book makes me on a monthly basis, I always look forward to the next one.

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  • Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (DC)
  • Superman #4 (DC)
  • Unfollow #10 (DC/Vertigo) I&N Demand Tweet about twists, eh?  Should’ve seen that coming: a bald-faced–hmm, more so bald-headed, s’pose–set up, masked by grisly distractions as the number ticks down.  Brutal and totally believable: Unfollow is Williams’ big F.U. to, well, everything–everything that makes us us.

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  • Kill or Be Killed #1 (Image) Just I&N On the heels of the glowingly dismal The Fade Out, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips offer up another sullen joyride–this time, through the twisted streets of vigilantism.  My knuckles are already white–a dingy white, no doubt.

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  • Low #15 (Image)
  • Paper Girls #8 (Image)
  • Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #17 (Image)
  • Tokyo Ghost #9 (Image)
  • Civil War II: Kingpin #2 (Marvel) I&N Demand Matthew Rosenberg’s the new Tom King–wait for it–pin!  We Can Never Go Home was the wake up call; 4 Kids Walk into a Bank is the clarion call.  Marvel heeded–and it’s just what they needed: a bright new talent who’s ready to rule the roster.  Just hope this doesn’t mean that he’s going to remove the Black Mask.  It fits him so very well.

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  • Doctor Strange #10 (Marvel)
  • 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 (Valiant)
  • Animosity #1 (Aftershock)
  • Cinema Purgatorio #4 (Avatar)
  • Giant Days #17 (BOOM!)
  • Hillbilly #2 (Albatross)

 

Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • Marvel’s Tsum Tsum #1 (Marvel)

 

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (7/27)

Hi!  I’m Scott.  I’m here to help.

  • Action Comics #960 (DC)
  • Batgirl #1 (DC)
  • Detective Comics #937 (DC) I&N Demand
  • Flash #3 (DC)
  • Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC)
  • Nightwing #1 (DC)
  • Suiciders: Kings of HelL.A. #5 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Wonder Woman #3 (DC)
  • Rom #1 (IDW)
  • East of West #28 (Image)
  • Mechanism #1 (Image)
  • Black Panther #4 (Marvel)
  • Steve Rogers: Captain America #3 (Marvel) I&N Demand
  • The Mighty Thor #9 (Marvel)
  • Mockingbird #5 (Marvel) I&N Demand
  • American Monster #4 (Aftershock)
  • Black-Eyed Kids #4 (Aftershock)
  • Crossed+100 #17 (Avatar) I&N Demand
  • Divinity II #4 (Valiant) I&N Demand
  • Killbox #4 (American Gothic)

Avery’s Picks of the Week

  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #17 (DC)
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #44 (IDW)
  • Frozen #1 (Joe Books): If I don’t bring this one home, I’ll be relegated to full-time Hans duty during Princess Playtime.
  • Grumpy Cat & Pokey #6 (Dynamite)
  • Strawberry Shortcake #4 (IDW)
  • Over the Garden Wall #4 (BOOM!)

Turning pages,

Scott