2000 AD, Al Ewing, All-New X-Men, Bodies, Brass Sun, Brian Hurtt, Brian K. Vaughan, Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Wood, Cullen Bunn, Curt Pires, Dan Slott, Dark Horse, David Aja, DC Comics, Dead Boy Detectives, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Evil Empire, Fiona Staples, Garry Brown, Geoff Johns, Greg Tocchini, I.N.J. Culbard, Ian Edginton, IDW, Image, Jason Copland, Jay Shaw, Jim Zub, John Romita Jr., Jonathan Hickman, Low, Mark Buckingham, Marvel, Matt Kindt, Max Bemis, Mike Allred, Mind MGMT, Nick Pitarra, Original Sin, Outcast, Paul Azaceta, Pop, Rick Remender, Robert Kirkman, Robert Venditti, Saga, Si Spencer, Silver Surfer, Stuart Immonen, Superman, The Last Fall, The Manhattan Projects, The Massive, The Sixth Gun, The Wake, Toby Litt, Tom Waltz, Vertigo, Wayward, X-O Manowar
This week isn’t defined so much by the number of books I’m getting as it’s defined by one particular book I’m getting. You’ll know which one when you get to it. So much for self control!
- The Massive #26 (Dark Horse): Winding down to the end. (I’m still in denial about it, mind you.) #25 was OK–tough to be the first issue after an arc that truly slakes the thirst like “Sahara”–but had that “setting up the wind down” feel to it. Silver lining: answers are on the horizon.
- Mind MGMT #25 (Dark Horse): Can’t type about #24 without first mentioning the gorgeous wraparound cover–which, by the way, was won at auction by some lucky fan for a smidgen over $5000: I got Lyme disease just looking at it! Inside, a bit of a retrospective, more a Rosetta Stone–all through the lens of Henry Lyme, who’s heart is so lovingly revealed–and it’s Merutiful!. Loved it. OK, so, the big question about this month’s issue: how much is this cover going to go for?
- Pop #1 (Dark Horse):This poppy premise is definitely Top 40: a prefabbed pop princess goes off the reservation! Will she auto-tune her way out of trouble? Or will she go full Milli Vanilli? Don’t know the creators, but when has that ever stopped me? Here’s hoping that Curt Pires and Jason Copland deliver a hit–and that they’re not one-hit wonders.
- Bodies #2 (DC/Vertigo): Loved, loved, loved the quilt that Si Spencer stitched together with his coterie of co-creators. We liked it so much that we’ve made it one of our Top 5 Books of July! (Write-up to come.)
- Dead Boy Detectives #8 (DC/Vertigo): Continues to be an engaging read a la The Books of Magic ongoing.
- Superman #34 (DC): Finally! A Superman book worth reading! It’s felt like forever since Morrison left and took his massive moments with him. Two issues into their arc, Johns and Romita, Jr. have proven that they are worthy successors–even if they are a bit more straightforward in terms of storytelling.
- The Last Fall #2 (IDW): Wasn’t knocked out by #1, but I’m going to try another. Why? Since you asked: I’m giving Tom Waltz my attention because of his terrific work on TMNT. I’m loyal like that.
- Low #2 (Image): Not high on this but not exactly low, either. Yes, #1 read like a Remender book; but Greg Tocchini’s art, which is pretty excellent, made me think but not mind that I was basically reading The Wake Part II #1. I’m going to go against my better judgement and buy this one. I don’t know–maybe this’ll be the book that finally turns me toward Remender. Then again, the writer’s own words from #1 haunt–and taunt–me; they are essentially telling me to lay off: “Being optimistic doesn’t mean you have to ignore the realities around you.” Preach, Reverend Rick. Preach.
- The Manhattan Projects #23 (Image): In #22, Hickman refers to a “line between the mundane and the divine.” Usually, TMP is firmly planted on the divine side; it’s as consistent a book as you’re going to find. However, much of #22 toes that ironically referenced line; in fact, it does a much-too-talky tip-toe dance for a goodly part of the book. But, in typical Hickman fashion, it ends elegantly on pointe. And blade. And spike.
- Outcast #3 (Image): The story is compelling enough, with its layers and all. Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta–whose art, as colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, reminds of David Aja’s–have done a fine job of developing a sense of dread–you know, the seventh sense–and authentic sympathy for Kyle.
- Saga #22 (Image): Honesty: #19 and #20 left me a bit wanting; yeah, hadn’t been feeling so gaga about Saga–until #21, that is. Oof, what a comeback. (Not so much for Mama Sun, though, eh?) Five big splashes from Fiona Staples help hammer home the love, the hate, the hurt–the brilliance—of Saga.
- Wayward #1 (Image): Marketed as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer for a new generation,” but gonna give it a try anyway. God knows I love a me a good “supernatural spectacle,” you know, like the supernaturally terrific Thomas Alsop (BOOM!).
- All-New X-Men #31 (Marvel): Still haven’t gotten a hold of #30. Figures that just as I came around to what Bendis is doing I can’t find the damn book on the shelf. My fault, I guess. I should’ve put it on my pull list as soon as things turned toward the positive for me.
- Original Sin #5.4 (Marvel): Once again, a crossover has come along and murdered momentum–in the case of Loki: Agent of Asgard, magical momentum. It’s been nice to look at; otherwise, I can’t wait for this nonsense to fall away so we can get back on the alluringly loqucious Lokimotive.
- Silver Surfer #5 (Marvel): We’ve celebrated each of the first three issues as a top book of the month. (See: March, April, and June.) #4 was great, too; but, because of all of the greater books that dropped in July, it missed being a Top 5 book. It was easily a Top 10 title, though. Despite a dignified drop in the I&N rankings, one thing’s been a constant: SS has been a perfect marriage of writer and artist: Slott’s writing the new adventures of Norrin Radd like it was his professional destiny, and Allred’s, well, Allred: he is the power cosmic complement who makes the book pop–for as long as they both shall live. Or at least until their hang-tenure is over.
- Brass Sun #4 (2000 A.D.): I’m digging Brass Sun. I like the possibilities offered up by the universe that Ian Edginton’s created, and I’ve really taken to artist I.N.J. Culbard’s approach and how carries the story without ever distracting from it. #3, with its twists and spurns, has kicked things up a notch. On to the next!
- Evil Empire #4 (BOOM!): Speaking of a #3 that delivered some twists! Glad I didn’t ditch after #2! Can’t look past the great covers by Jay Shaw, either. Then again, you have to, you know, if you want to read the book. Rest assured: it’s OK if you want to judge Evil Empire by this cover:
- The Sixth Gun #42 (Oni Press): Still a bit behind. This’ll sit on a short stack, which I will–i must–read before I go back to work.
- X-O Manowar #28 (Valiant): Generally, I don’t care for crossovers, but the Armor Hunters diversion works well here, for obvious reasons. Sure, Archer & Armstrong and Quantum and Woody deserve the accolades they’ve received. (Harvey noms are nothing to sneeze at.) Robert Venditti, however, deserves a lot of credit for playing a one-note character into a symphony of sympathy, which has lasted, now, for twenty-eight issues.
Avery’s Pick of the Week:
- Bee and Puppycat #3 (BOOM!): Avery just thinks that Bee and Puppycat is the dog’s meow.
What are you looking forward to this week?