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Wednesday’s forecast for the weather outside of my local comic shop is pretty much the same as its been: as cold as can be.  (I guess someone’s gone and ticked off Elsa again.)  The forecast for inside, however, is hot hot hot!  (That’s right: the way to thaw a frozen heart is with an act of true love–in this case, a perfectly pulled bag of comics!)  Speaking of hot books: our Top Ten Books of 2014 is well represented this week.  Take a peek:

  • BPRD: Hell on Earth #128 (Dark Horse): Has been good–not great.  Definitely glad I jumped on board, though.
  • Dark Horse Presents #7 (Dark Horse): DHP has been great–especially at the new price point.  This month’s edition offers up a little Matt Kindt–and Mignola, Van Lente, Aragonés, and more!  Talk about bang for your buck!
  • Batman and Robin #39 (DC): The Action-packed cover’s very clever:
Batman and Robin #39

Batman and Robin #39

I know better, though: B&R‘s been a huge disappointment for months now.  In fact, I finally got around to dropping it from my pull list last month.  No longer under any obligation, I should leave it on the shelf and fill the void with something new.  God knows there will be plenty of players for the spot.  Image alone has a thousand new titles coming out in the next few months, so…

  • The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 (DC) Just I&N Morrison’s Multiversity has been a metafiction metahuman masterwork!  And now, Mastermen–with every-panel’s-a-pinup Jim Lee on art duties.
Multiversity: Mastermen #1

Multiversity: Mastermen #1

  • Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #4 (Image): I can’t be the only one who’s noticed: the current arc of Astro City‘s been a bit blah; but this has been really, really good.  Coincidence?
  • Bitch Planet #3 (Image): I enjoyed #1 for all sorts of reasons (exploiting exploitation, lots of Tarantino, hints of Fraction, etc.).  Hey: borrowing works well when it works well.  Oh, but when it doesn’t…  #2 lost me from the get-go–especially as I was taken immediately to a low budget modern-day exploitation flick that I caught one night on one of the Showtime or HBO channels: Raze, starring Tarantino darling Zoë Bell.  Coincidence?
Raze (2013)

Raze (2013)

I’ll try this one and see where it takes me.

  • Lazarus #15 (Image) I&N Demand Our #2 book of 2014!  It’s what we’ve been waiting for for like, well, forever: Forever in a Trial by Combat against another Lazarus!
Lazarus #15

Lazarus #15

  • Secret Identities #1 (Image): Jay Faerber’s earned Must Try status with Copperhead.
  • All-New Captain America #4 (Marvel): I know, I know.  But it hasn’t been terrible.  And this time out, Remender’s dusting off the Armadillo!  Gotta wonder, though, what effect Secret Wars is going to have on this little experiment–and if it’s worth following a dead title shelf-sitting.
  • Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #9 (Marvel): I love what Kaare Andrews is doing with Danny Rand.  In fact, Iron Fist was my #16 book of 2014–and my third-favorite superhero monthly after Silver Surfer and Moon Knight.  High praise, indeed!
  • Magneto #15 (Marvel): Bunn’s done a nice job of telling stories from issue to issue.  He’s delivered some nice twists along the way, too.  #14 ended with Magneto’s giving himself up to S.H.I.E.L.D.  Wonder what his endgame is…
  • Moon Knight #12 (Marvel) I&N Demand Our #8 book of 2014!  #11 ended on a bit of a down note–you know, with Marc Spector falling out of a flying detention facility and all.  (Wood and Smallwood must’ve watched–and liked–Stallone’s waterlogged–yet undeniably watchable–prison break bingo, Escape Plan, as they delivered quite an homage with Spector in Stallone’s role and Khonshu in Schwarzenegger’s.)  Not looking forward to saying goodbye to Wood and Smallwood, but I am looking forward to seeing how they end their arc–and how they leave things for Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins.  Maybe they’ll reach back to Bullet to the Head.  Or Avenging Angelo
Moon Knight #12

Moon Knight #12

  • Silver Surfer #9 (Marvel) I&N Demand Our #4 book of 2014!  Well orchestrated fun from Dan Slott and Michael Allred!  The biggest–and best–superhero monthly around–and this issue promises to be HUGE!
Silver Surfer #9

Silver Surfer #9

  • Uncanny X-Men #31 (Marvel): Bendis is on his way out.  That promises some real havoc in the X-Universe.  No, really–look:
Uncanny X-Men #31

Uncanny X-Men #31

  • Burning Fields #2 (BOOM!): Kinda like a cross between The Killing and Homeland.  Not a bad thing.
  • Cap Stone #3 (Titan): Some real high points: the conversation between Charlie and her mom; the wild shifts in Sharp’s artwork.  Some low points, too: the conversation between Charlie and her mom; the wild shifts in Sharp’s artwork.  I loved #1.  #2, however, exposed a serious flaw: inconsistency.  Still intriguing enough, though.
  • Mono #3 (Titan): Another book from Liam Sharp that took a step back after a very promising premier.  What spoiled the sophomore offering: the conversation–coincidence?–between Heinrich and Isabella, which acts as a dragline on the storyline.  Also seems waaaaaay too serious for a book about an ape-man secret agent and assassin for the Queen, doesn’t it?  It’s so goddamned dour!  I do like the layered approach that Sharp’s taking to create the Mono myth, however.
  • The Valiant #3 (Valiant) I&N Demand I liked #1 enough–but I absolutely loved #2!  I was particularly struck by the artistic collaboration between Lemire and Kindt on the storybook section.  Sure, many of the notes that are struck remind of Lemire’s run on Animal Man; but what the hell–they work well here, so all the better!
The Valiant #3

The Valiant #3

  • The Twilight Zone #12 (Dynamite) I&N Demand Our #10 book of 2014!  This issue ends an extremely powerful arc and Straczynski and Vilanova’s superior run.  So sad to see this go.  Hmm.  Maybe–just maybe–I could travel back in time and kill another series–Dream Police, for instance–in its place…
The Twilight Zone #12

The Twilight Zone #12

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

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