My weekly haul: is it getting better?
I say: #1 love/#1 life/When it’s #1 need in the night/It’s #1 love.
I hope they don’t disappoint me/or leave a bad taste in [my] mouth.
The way to make sure that doesn’t happen: follow my advice to my youngest: we read comics, we don’t eat comics. That girl–my youngest–is a serial cover ripper; she’s Paige the Ripper. Yeah, it’s name destiny.
- Harrow County #3 (Dark Horse): Suffering from witch hangover? Wait. Slightly different, but better: Suffering from witchdrawal? Of course you are. So what if Bunn’s a bit late to the black mass? Here’s the skinny: his brew’s bubbling over with enough interesting notes–some familiar, some familial–to draw me in for another evil–and, thanks to Tyler Crook, beautiful–ladle-full. On one warted hand: it ain’t Sabrina, that’s for damn sure. On the other: it ain’t Wytches–thank Satan. My one fear: it’s going to drag on for no good reason.
- Rebels #4 (Dark Horse): Have Mercy! Re: #3: Wood slowed things down–a lot–in order to deliver a backwoods backstory, in order to develop further–and, ultimately, sell–Seth, whose narration is equal parts addition and subtraction. Wood generally uses narration to great effect–as seen in the recently-put-to-rest The Massive; but here, it’s a bit uneven, perhaps a result of the temporal trip, which, plays as one step back and one step forward, leaving us, in the end, kind of where we started. That’s not what I signed up for, but I’m marching on.
- Negative Space #1 (Dark Horse): Ryan Lindsay and Owen Gieni had me with “writer’s block [getting] in the way of [a] suicide note.” That brand of pathetic is my morning sun! The simplicity of the idea–despite its dour note–inspires. The rest of the premise (uncovering conspiracies, blah, blah–a potential Duh Vinci Code facsimile) could be a conveyor belt of clouds with cruel designs on my otherwise perfect day of unspoiled pessimism. It could turn Colder; it could play a bit like Neverboy; hey, it could also grow into its own thing. That’s why we read ’em, folks.
- The Tomorrows #1 (Dark Horse): Curt Pires is killing it on Black Mask’s Mayday; as a result, he’s earned Must Try status. Throw in a Zero-tolerance approach to the art duties–a different artist on each issue–and I’m ready to throw it in my bag without looking. Regarding the premise, Previews hands down the following sentence: “The future: Art is illegal.” Reminds of the most recent issue of Low, which was ridiculously good–a highpoint for the series, no doubt. More of a turn on than a turn off.
- Injection #3 (Image): #1 was a whole lot of What? Plenty was drawn up; but in the end, Ellis and Shalvey’s singular thumb was poised smugly on the plunger with no clear sign that it was ready to push. #2, however, brought the Injection for which I was hoping: it hit like an issue of Moon Knight. Considering how great their short run was–how special their storytelling was–it would’ve been a shame if they didn’t hit some of the same narrative notes.
- Saga #30 (Image): Throwing death around like the book’s in its death throes. Unfortunately, the great Saga hasn’t been great of late. The big page turns aren’t as big as they used to be; the irreverent moments don’t support the emotional bombs like they used to. Yeah, the surprise is gone, the excitement gone; it’s missionary, once a month.
- Starve #2 (Image): I&N Demand I love the desperation, the arrogance of Wood’s first course. I love that Chef Cruikshank’s not so different in spirit from Callum Israel and that Zezelj’s art is a massive leap from–yet reminds of–his work on The Massive, which I miss so much. I love the Heart of Darkness-ish riff on hunger and Wood’s fileting of foodies and chef celebs. So, yeah, I guess I liked #1 enough to try another. Cut me off another piece, man–I’m starving!
- Archie #1 (Archie): Just I&N Seems like an obvious choice for our Just I&N pick of the week, doesn’t it? Think about it: there’s really no other choice. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples have paired up to remake Riverdale! Sure, Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina have already altered the Archieverse in unexpected ways; but–using DC’s Multiverse as a frame of reference–they’re set in Riverdale-2. This is the Riverdale; this is classic Archie–the Archie–getting a modern makeover. This is a huge undertaking, you know, with a world–one born in 1941–in the balance. This, folks, is exciting.
- Bloodshot: Reborn #4 (Valiant): Speaking of exciting: this one ain’t. Therapist couch revelation: Bloodsquirt makes me want to hurt myself. Ugh! Just thinking about him makes my blood boil! I may have to pass, if only to protect myself. I hate typing it: it’s further proof that Jeff Lemire has trouble connecting with his characters and with his audience outside of his creator-owned work.
- Death Sentence: London #2 (Titan): Re: #1: Montynero’s energy is infectious, and Martin Simmonds’ art harnesses it well. Together, they’ve delivered a solid extension of the original series.
- Providence #2 (Avatar): I&N Demand Re: #1: Patient and precise storytelling from Alan Moore. It’s exposition at its finest. You get the sense that Mr. Moore is in complete control, and it feels frighteningly good: his dialogue delivers what it needs to, just enough to feed curiosity; his transitions are sharp as a ritual dagger; but the most powerful proof: the four-panel bookends that are page one and page twenty-six.
- The Sadhu: Birth of the Warrior #1 (Graphic India): Why the hell not? The premise has me thinking Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” gone mystical. Chuck Dixon’s doing the wordy work, so I’m on board.
- Strange Fruit #1 (BOOM!): The water and the tension are rising in this period piece from Mark Waid and J.G. Jones. I wonder if Waid’s wading in the racist river of 1920s Mississippi in response to the roiling race relations that have been plaguing us of late or if this has been in the works for a while. Even though Waid’s social-issue-of-the-month approach to Daredevil hurt Ol’ Horn Head more than a brawl with Bullseye, I’m willing to give this one a go because I know what I’m getting into–and it’s probably going to be pretty good.
- Transference #1 (Black Mask): Yeah: grab it before you can’t. Why? Not because of Michael Moreci (I haven’t loved his stuff). Certainly not because it’s a time-travel comic (that’s right, time-travel fans, it’s another time-travel comic!). Here’s the big because: it’s a Black Mask book! Count ’em, kids: #1: We Can’t Go Home. #2: Mayday. #3: The Disciples. #4: Space Riders. Really good stuff. It’d be foolish not to try this one.
Avery’s Pick of the Week
- Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? #59 (DC): Avery loves Shaggy. Perhaps I should start worrying now.
What are you looking forward to this week?