I&N Store 9/12

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Sorry if I don’t hit all of the notes you’ve come to expect.

Bachelor in Paradise–final two episodes of the season–

And I just can’t.

I mean, come on: Kendall and fucking Grocery Store Joe!  I was like Nooooooooooo

And Kevin and Astrid. Goddamn it, Kevin, ya big, dumb dope!  80% this plus 20% that equals 100% stupid.

Am I right?

  • Cemetery Beach #1 (Image): I&N Demand Warren Ellis and another out-of-this-world premise–a sci-fi twist on Papillon, perhaps?–that’s good enough for me.  Plus: any time I see a title that’s Fill-in-the-blank Beach, I’m taken back to Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” and I’m filled with a kind of curdled joy, which is burdensome, sure, but is satisfying, too.  The “generations of lunatics,” a phrase borrowed from the Cemetery Beach preview on PreviewsWorld.com reminds–loosely yet lovingly–of the “ignorant armies clash[ing] by night” in Arnold’s lovely yet melancholy lyric poem–an invitation, a commentary, a warning–from 1867.  So, yeah: looking forward to this one–even if “Warren Ellis” is, ultimately, the only legit reason for my forward looking.

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  • Mage: The Hero Denied #12 (Image): I&N Demand Well, look at that: I referenced in my write-up for Batman #54 the glorious green bubbles that caught my eye thirty or so years ago–that drew me to Mage: The Hero Discovered and the adventures of Kevin Matchstick–without having seen the cover to this issue.  Now that’s magic.

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  • The New World #3 (Image): I&N Demand #2 was fun, fun, fun!  Aleš Kot kicked the conflict into high gear; he pushed the peril to the metal: struck by something undefinable while in the midst of a televised takedown, Stella decides to take a risk, trading a seemingly cushy future for, well, a seemingly mushy fugitive.  Isn’t that how all great love stories begin?  Shifting: Now, I’m not an artist, still I find Tradd Moore’s art humbling.  (Heather Moore’s colors are there to rub it in, ain’t they though?  They force the eyes wider, and, along with the mister’s living, breathing lines, create an immersive experience that is absolutely exhilarating!)  See: each page turn is bigger than the next; and there I am, bearing the weight of the lines and the colors, which support gloriously Kot’s big ideas, and I’m just like Wow.  That’s some spinning-in-your-bed while spinning-some-Floyd-vinyl shit going on.  “Legendary,” indeed.  You know what I need?  I need to see this as a cartoon.  A big-screen motherfucking cartoon movie.  Please make this into a cartoon movie.  Thank you.  Next up: a little surgery.  Goin’ to the scalpel of love…

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  • Oblivion Song #7 (Image)
  • The Wicked + The Divine #39 (Image)
  • the seeds #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books): I&N Demand Loyal readers might remember: I celebrated #1 with a 22 I&N 22; and looking back at the post–proud of that one, for sure!–and at the issue, I’m reminded of the perfection–as seen in the hive, in the perfect-every-time hexagon of the humble honeybee–of the initial offering.  Ann Nocenti’s writing is stinger sharp, piercing the part of us that reads and feels and thinks and looks to connect with another afflicted soul–one driven deeper into the comforting yet conflicting chasm of conspiracy, colored, unfailingly by David Aja, a loud khaki green. Fuck.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

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  • She Could Fly #3 (Dark Horse/Berger Books): I&N Demand She Could Fly #2 moves– it flies at a pace that reflects well Luna’s undeterred descent into madness, her succumbing to the stressors that surround her, including family, mystery, and–ceiling the deal–gravity.  But she’s not the only one falling: oh no: see, everyone around her–and a significant one who was above her–has fallen or is falling in some way, be it morally, mentally, physically, interpersonally.  Yup: lots of falling.   Any surprise that the issue wraps up in a basement?  Christopher Cantwell’s driving home the point–and is driving it down, down, which will make the rise–there’ll be a rise eventually, right?–that much more satisfying, I’m sure.  Add to the mix the discomfort drawn into the narrative by Martin Morazzo’s hectic panel work, and the result is a trap that, even in the freedom of chaos, feels increasingly claustrophobic.  Bill and Luna might “need to talk,” but, damn it, I need to read.  Gimme #3!

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  • Catwoman #3 (DC)
  • Detective Comics #988 (DC)
  • Superman #3 (DC)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #5 (Marvel)
  • Daredevil #608 (Marvel)
  • Fantastic Four #2 (Marvel)
  • Crossed +100: Mimic #5 (Avatar)
  • Hot Lunch Special #2 (AfterShock): I&N Demand Well, wasn’t Hot Lunch Special #1 just the biggest surprise?  Hell yeah, it was!  I ate that shit up and loved every crumb.  I was moved to write an inspired 22 I&N 22, and I hope pray expect that Eliot Rahal and Jorge Fornés will move me in much the same manner with this second helping of sandwiches and sumbitches, trucks and ho-lee fucks!

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  • Moth & Whisper #1 (AfterShock)
  • Volition #2 (AfterShock)

What are you looking forward to this week?

If you were looking forward to Kendall and Grocery Store Joe getting back together–and, why not, while you’re at it, to Astrid and Kevin getting back together–well, then, fellow citizen of Bachelor Nation, you got your wish.

Turning pages,

Scott

22 I&N 22: Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #38

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Here’s my 22 I&N 22* for Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #38 (Image) by David Lapham:

 

Stray, stray, gang’s all here–in sub-space! Ay mi! Mother of a race to the top, learning: to get ahead, let (e)go.

 

Let us know what you think–about Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #38 and about 22 I&N 22!

Turning pages,

Scott

*22 I&N 22 is a 22-word review of a comic book–which is typically 22 pages long–done up I&N style, naturally.

I&N Store 9/5

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I&N Store–The Back to Work edition.  You know what that means: the list may be long, but time is short.  To it.

  • Dead Hand #6 (Image): I&N Demand In #5, Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles ratchet up the tension by framing a highly-anticipated and well-crafted backstory with, despite the fanciful stakes, uncomfortably real family conflict.  See: the stubbornly curious Harriet has been hooked up with the sitch regarding Roger, which seems reasonable–right?–especially as Renae and Carter sense the increasingly-urgent need for a contingency plan, which goes to shit–should’ve seen it coming–with a semi-automatic surprise ending.  Reflection: Should.  Expect.  Surprises.  Bookkeeping: there have been some shocking moments so far in Dead Hand.  But those moments–they’re far from dead hands themselves; if anything, they’re living feet kicking me to the comic store to get my eager hands on the next issue.

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  • Leviathan #2 (Image)
  • Paper Girls #24 (Image)
  • Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #38 (Image): I&N Demand What.  A.  Trip!  In #37, David Lapham revs-up a racing narrative that reflects Beth and Orson’s sex-drugs-and rock-n-roll road trip stumble like a shattered rear-view mirror.  “This is fucking gold,” indeed.  But as we all know from Frost–and as evidenced by the final splash crash page–“Nothing gold can stay.”  Oh, I’m on pins and cactus needles waiting to crack open this one!

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  • Unnatural #4 (Image)
  • Batman #54 (DC): I&N Demand After the spectacularly-presented spiritual crisis of the finale of “Cold Days,” Tom King and guest artist Matt Wagner–of the magical Mage (God, those beautiful green bubbles drew a bubbly boy to his LCS–the original Amazing Comics–and to the rack in the back way back in the day to discover the hero, who’s still swinging, there’s no denying!)–give us something to believe in.

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  • Border Town #1 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Cover #1 (DC/Jinxworld): I&N Demand David Mack interiors–sold!  Bendis ain’t so bad, either; though, then, this: he’s better when he’s Mackin’, yo!  And can’t cover Cover completely without this Cover cover; so here it is, you soon-to-be Cover lover, you:

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  • The Dreaming #1 (DC/Vertigo)
  • The United States vs. Murder Inc. #1 (DC/Jinxworld)
  • Captain America #3 (Marvel)
  • The Immortal Hulk #5 (Marvel)
  • Thanos: Legacy #1 (Marvel)
  • Breathless #4 (Black Mask)
  • Clankillers #3 (AfterShock)
  • Come Into Me #3 (Black Mask)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

 

 

I&N Store 8/29

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Things are heating up around these parts!  The unbearably hot and humid end of August means that work’s a week away.  However, before I buckle under the oppressive temps of routine and responsibility, I’ve got to give this week’s I&N Demand books their requisite once over.  So, here we go:

  • The New World #2 (Image): I&N Demand The New World is built upon a familiar foundation–it’s “a whole new world,” with “a new fantastic point of view”–with Aleš Kot’s singular perspective, itself an eclectic amalgam of vibrant and vital voices from across ages, genres and mediums.  He’s the real deal; and I, for one, am, as always, excited to have the opportunity to turn the pages of his inimitable imagination–in this case, as brought to the page by Tradd and Heather Moore.  The former’s lines are truly miracles of the medium: they flow and flow and flow, creating a sense of motion, which pushes the narrative pace; the latter’s colors complement perfectly the lines, adding significant depth to Tradd’s artwork and creating a new world worthy of exploration on each page, in each panel.  Very much looking forward to learning how Kot’s kick-ass Stella–a Juliet by another name–deals with the way-chill Kirby, her “only love sprung by her only” having to hunt him the fuck down.  Reality star-crossed lovers, indeed!

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  • Scarlet #1 (DC)
  • Web of Venom: Ve’Nam #1 (Marvel)
  • Bone Parish #2 (BOOM!): I&N Demand Finally: the follow-up to the #1 hit from Bone Drugs-N-Harmony!  (Hmm.  Sounded better in my head.   I mean, I 22 I&N 22-ed the thing to death and was waiting to drop this one-liner and–  Know what?  I blame those guys.  Bunn and Scharf and Guimarães.  Fuckers.  Coming together to create this…this…addictive nightmare!  Been fiending for this for, what, like a month.  Feels like forever.  Twisting.  Haven’t been right in the head since.  Turning.  Gotta get to my dealer.  Gotta go.  Gotta get there.  But.  But what if he’s out?  Fuck.  What if he runs out?  Goddamn it.  I gotta run.  I gotta

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  • Hillbilly: Red-Eyed Witchery from Beyond #1 (Albatross): I&N Demand I loved Hillbilly #12!  Loved.  It.  The final episode in Rondel’s epic journey was huge in scope, but Eric Powell crafted it in such a perfectly compact manner–delivering Hurrah!-worthy Homerian moments (“the last of [his] kind,” indeed!) and taking a wrench to Rondel’s heart–and to mine!–and twisting oh-so-cruelly.  As much as it hurt in the end, we–Rondel and I–have got to cleave that all behind and move on–to more haggish mayhem!

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  • A Walk Through Hell #4 (AfterShock): I&N Demand Garth Ennis is building something truly frightening here–and–in #3, in particular–he’s doing so through dialogue–the masterfully-crafted dialogue for which he is known.  Few comic book writers can keep the tension up while ratcheting up the word count; but Ennis does it effortlessly.   Goran Sudzuka’s subdued art–with taciturn gray and brown tones from colorist Ive Svorcina–allows the aforementioned tension to build; and by laying out every page differently, Sudzuka subtly emphasizes the complex nature of the plot as it continues to develop.  I’m very much looking forward to getting to the bottom of this mystery–though I don’t mind the walk one bit–and can’t wait to get wrapped up in more of Ennis’s demonically-deliberate diealogue.

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  • X-O Manowar #18 (Valiant)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

22 I&N 22: Days of Hate #7

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Here’s my 22 I&N 22* for Days of Hate #7 (Image) by Aleš Kot (Writer), Danijel Žeželj (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Aditya Bidikar (Letterer), & Tom Muller (Design):

 

Oh, say: days of hate–closer: days of fate (characters’, ours) intertwined: ironic blocks of voyeurs, pulling curtains, turning pages. Must. Watch.

 

Let us know what you think–about Days of Hate #7 and about 22 I&N 22!

Turning pages,

Scott

*22 I&N 22 is a 22-word review of a comic book–which is typically 22 pages long–done up I&N style, naturally.

22 I&N 22: Hot Lunch Special #1

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Here’s my 22 I&N 22* for Hot Lunch Special #1 (Aftershock) by Eliot Rahal (Writer), Jorge Fornés (Artist), and Taylor Esposito (Letterer):

 

Perfectly packaged! These fellas mean business. Here’s the deal: Keep servin’ ‘em up like that, I’ll be a regular—sure as shootin’.

 

Let us know what you think–about Hot Lunch Special #1 and about 22 I&N 22!

Turning pages,

Scott

*22 I&N 22 is a 22-word review of a comic book–which is typically 22 pages long–done up I&N style, naturally.

 

I&N Store 8/22

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My wife and I have gone to a few concerts over the past few months, including Vertical Horizon/Tonic/Gin Blossoms, the always brilliant Richard Thompson (with G. E. Smith), and The Pixies & Weezer.  If you’re reading this on Wednesday: tonight, we’re headed out to see Counting Crows & Live (honesty: looking forward to the latter); and on Labor Day weekend–right before I return to work (a sorta cross between a fist pump and a “foiled again”)–we’ve got Judas Priest & Deep Purple (it’s all about the former for me!).  And, (big secret: don’t tell) for our anniversary, I’ve scored another go-round with Richard Thompson in November!  (Quick math: that’ll be our eighth time with RT!  Yeah: we’re fans.)  Before we head out to the Live show (see what I did there: shooed away the Crows), hoping against the forecast that lightning, in fact, doesn’t crash, I’ve got to go pick up my comics.  Here’s the big list:

  • Cold Spots #1 (Image): I&N Demand Goddamned Bone Parish was dead-ass intoxicating.  Now, even before that hellishly hot piece of horror’s been bagged and boarded, here’s Cold Spots, which will, if history counts for anything, set the shelves alight.  See: when it comes to horror comics, Cullen Bunn’s kinda cornered the graveyard, hasn’t he?  Fuck yeah, he has.  So this one’s a no-brainer.  And a no-body-er.  You know, cuz of the ghosts.

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  • Days of Hate #7 (Image): I&N Demand Remembering #6: Man, when Aleš Kot gets all poetic and shit, he emerges all politic and shit, and the world spins a bit differently–it slows down to let the images take shape and, as they do, they reshape us.  Kot reshapes us.  He -isms all over us.  The son of a bitch owns us from front to back–even if our politics are polar enemies.  Yes: he’s that good–he’s more, wielding like a poet Danijel Žeželj’s beautifully brooding artwork (those blacks, tho) and Jordie Bellaire’s typically bold palette; and the layouts–the fucking layouts, like visual meth, moving, moving apace–particularly the oh-so-familiar nine-panel pages that are manipulated to such a colorful end, and, wouldn’t you know, encourage us willing voyeurs, cleverly, to watch women as Kot develops at once several crucial relationships (including the one between him and us), and does so organically, oh-so poetically.  Yeah, there’s so much to love about Days of Hate–because there’s so much love in Days of Hate.

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  • Die! Die! Die! #2 (Image)
  • Redneck #14 (Image): I&N Demand Redneck, Redneck, oh, how I offered my throat– twelve times, true!–only to be left wanting, even on the odd but teased to plump carotids; however, it took till thirteen, didn’t it, to break the skin–for Redneck to claim me as its very own, with a neck as red as a good ol’ vampire’s wet dream.  (I just slid said chapter from its bag,  to revisit, and, damn, got a rush–memories of the first time rhythmically kicking my carotids–boom, boom, boom…)  I loved that issue so much, that I celebrated it with a 22 I&N 22.  (Love how that one turned out!)  What I’m trying to say, if it isn’t clear, is that I’m very much looking forward to fourteen–and am hoping that Cates, Estherren, and Cunniffe kill it–and me–again.

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  • Royal City #14 (Image)
  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom #4 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand Jeff Lemire is on fire (pronounced fi-ear, obviously)–again; and this particular inferno–spread to other books I&N Store this week–has at its source the Eisner-award winning accelerant that is Black Hammer, now four issues into the Age of Doom, which has been just as beautiful (thanks to the passively moody pairing of Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart) and engaging–thanks to the gloriously nostalgic nods (many in the knowingly-named “Land of Nod,” for God’s sake!) to which I–like you, I’m sure–look forward.  #3 was a terrific trip with some subplots taking odd turns, throwing characters off, throwing us readers off–and Lemire puts words–“Wait. What?” or for the saltier of us an incredulous “What the fuck just happened […]?”–in the mouths of those bound to the pages and of those who hover just above them.  In the end, a weird “Uh oh” pretty well sets the stage for all hell to break Lucy–or for Lucy to take her fucking hammer and smash it all to embers.  Now, that’s hot.

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  • Action Comics #1002 (DC)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #4 (Marvel): I&N Demand I can’t believe I typed it.  The Amazing Effing Spider-Man–I&N Demand.  I can’t believe I typed it again!  What can I say: it took til #3, but see: Nick Spencer’s caught me in his web of radioactively witty dialogue, which reminded me of being happily trapped by Ant-Man and The Astonishing Ant-Man; and Ryan Ottley’s style is well-spun fun that pops perfectly–thanks to Cliff Rathburn’s sharp inks and Laura Martin’s crisp colors.   I’m sure I’m not a clone in this: I’m buying  Spencer’s Split Spider angle–I sense a comPeteition coming on!–and the poisonous potential of mixing power and irresponsibility.  Come on: that is pretty amazing–and, doubtless, deserves the coveted I&N Demand designation.

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  • Daredevil #607 (Marvel)
  • The Sentry #3 (Marvel)
  • Venom #5 (Marvel)
  • Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #2 (Valiant)
  • Oblivi8n #1 (Scout)
  • Twelve Devils Dancing #2 (Action Lab/Danger Zone)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

Listening: Live–“Secret Samadhi”

Drinking: Blue Point Prop Stopper Seaweed IPA

22 I&N 22: Skyward #5

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Here’s my 22 I&N 22* for Skyward #5 (Image) by Joe Henderson (Writer), Lee Garbett (Artist), Antonio Fabela (Colorist), and Simon Bowland (Letterer):

Hold your breath: under the gun, Willa and her dad have a shot–we, shock! The gravity of no gravity: tears rise.

 Let us know what you think–about Skyward #5 and about 22 I&N 22!

Turning pages,

Scott

*22 I&N 22 is a 22-word review of a comic book–which is typically 22 pages long–done up I&N style, naturally.

And, yes: this issue of Skyward is 23 pages long; but I can’t go mucking about with the branding of the feature, now can I?

I&N Store 8/15

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I know, I know: you want to know which comics are worth your time and money this week.  I mean, that is why you’re here, right?  Don’t worry–I’ve got you covered.  Without further ado, uh, don’t read too quickly–or you’ll miss the good stuff.  I mean, that’s why you’re here.  Right?

  • Evolution #9 (Image)
  • Gideon Falls #6 (Image): I&N Demand Five Five Five Five Five–what a fucking ride.  Jeff Lemire plants more and more seeds, revealing further the investment the characters have in the still-burgeoning mystery of the Black Barn; and, in the end, he opens the door to those characters’–and to our–greatest fears; and those fears, friends, are red.  Blood.  Red.  And the pace, the pulse, the arrhythmic beat that drives the blood, is set by the heart of the book: Andrea Sorrentino’s stunningly disorienting layouts, which, along with Dave Stewart’s palpitating palette, bring the reader into that psychotic space–into the madness, the anxiety, and, yes, into the aforementioned fear–not unlike how, in Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad exploits his overwrought prose to take his reader on a necessarily arduous journey of self-reflection; and, as we hold #6, we’ll be holding hands with the creators, with the characters–and together, we’ll head into the red. 

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  • The Gravediggers Union #9 (Image)
  • Ice Cream Man #6 (Image)
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #11 (Image)
  • Skyward #5 (Image): I&N Demand Look!  Up in the sky!  It’s a girl–and she can fly!  While another comic’s she could fly, this one can, kinda, thanks to the gravity fail that befell the planet.  Four issues in  Joe Henderson’s shown a propensity for using the requisite twenty-two in a measured manner, keeping himself grounded in his high-sky “Low-G” world.  It’s a smart approach, his pushing Willa forward, staying tethered to Willa; doing so sustains the relationship we have with her and amplifies the issue-focused–and issue-to-issue–tension, as, in this case, she continues to navigate her relationship with her father–not unlike her making her way through the city like some angelic aerialist–in the face of her accidentally selling him out.  Lee Garbett’s artwork–with colors by Antonio Fabela–sells well the weightlessness of the characters yet doesn’t undermine the gravity of the situation.  The best evidence: the dangerous yet beautiful double-page spread and the final page turn.  Enough to take your breath away.

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  • The Weatherman #3 (Image)
  • The Wicked & The Divine #38 (Image)
  • Ether: The Copper Golems #4 (Dark Horse): I&N Demand I can’t get enough of what Matt Kindt and David Rubín are doing with Ether: The Copper Golems.  It’s a gift is what it is: it’s Kindt coaxing the very best out of a game Rubín in order to emphatically express his confidence in humanity.   Every page–the meticulous and magical arrangement of joyful words and vibrant colors–exudes love; each issue is a clarion call to us readers–us lucky readers–to aspire to be more because inherently we are more.  There’s a legacy–it’s literary, it’s artistic, it’s philosophical, it’s spiritual–that is our burden and our destiny.  I see it: it’s “sweetness and light”–and it’s beautiful.  I certainly loved #3 enough to make it the subject of my inaugural 22 I&N 22.  Something–wait, no, it’s someone–more: someones–certainly Kindt and Rubín, their story resonating still–are telling me that I’m going to love this one, too.

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  • Batman #53 (DC): I&N Demand At this point, there’s very little to say as to why Batman is I&N Demand.  “Tom King’s at the top of his game.”  “Tom King is in complete control of blah blah blah.”  “Tom is the King of yada yada.”  It’s all been said.  For the love of all that’s holy, he’s got nothing left to prove.  Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, has something to prove–he said as much at the end of #52; and I can’t wait to hear it.  (To be fair, I’ll reserve my judgment until after reading; but I am inclined to believe whatever he says.  I’ve been conditioned.)  I can’t wait to see it, either: Lee Weeks’ work is stunning–with Elizabeth Breitweiser’s colors, it’s iceconic–with intricate panel work–that Bat vs. Freeze through the various Ice Ages is fire; and Bat’s ground and pound is bloody cold, man, reminiscent of Mark “The Hammer” Coleman–and massive splashes, each a frozen tableau that takes the temperature down, down, down, deep into the cold black of Bruce’s guilt.  (Oh, those blacks tho.)  So, as I initially insisted: it’s just another week in King’s run–I&N Demand, in perpetuity.

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  • Pearl #1 (DC)
  • The Wild Storm #16 (DC)
  • Babyteeth #12 (Aftershock): I&N Demand Raining blood.  Raining.  Goddamned.  Blood.  That’s so fucking metal!  But right in the middle of that shit, Sadie and Clark, under an “umbrella-ella-ella ay ay ay.”  Pop!  Yup: that was a vessel in my brain bursting from the strain of having to reconcile this blasphemous–and pretty fucking funny–genrerational mash-up!  Great, great Garry Brown cover.  It shows that a mother will protect her child from the nastiest weather; and Sadie, well, she wants her baby back, baby back, baby back–and she’ll go through hell to get him.  Donny Cates continues to craft Babyteeth as a fiery epic that flashes its horns and stealthily smirks at the true believers who flash ’em back in a sign of Satanic solidarity.  I am “awaiting the hour of reprisal” with my horns held high.  Babyteeth “shall [no doubt] reign in blood.” 

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  • Volition #1 (Aftershock)

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

I&N Store 8/8

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I was on a frame vacation–which is a vacation within a vacation, of course–and didn’t have time to flesh out my previews for 8/8’s books.  So, for you Images and Nerds completists out there, here’s a quick rundown.  This go-round, said rundown will be more re- and less pre- as I’ve read all of our I&N Demand books.

Thanks for your understanding.

  • The Dead Hand #5 (Image): I&N Demand I’m loving this series.  Haven’t heard much buzz about it, but it’s really good.  Kyle Higgins is doing great work here, playing with paranoia, with isolation, with existentialism and with an external existential threat, which, at this point, has found its way into Mountain View, a community essentially built upon a cleverly conceived existential threat of its own–one that wears the face of and, more important, particularly as it pertains to the development of the pervasive danger in the book, exhibits the mental and emotional capacity of a child.  (Parents: hits pretty close to home, no?  Ha!  Another fine twist!)  Stephen Mooney’s artwork, accentuated by Jordie Bellaire’s colors, helps to stretch the tension from panel to panel, page to page, issue to issue.  Sure, the Cold War might be over, but there are bombs still waiting to go off–and a shit ton of them are planted in the pages of The Dead Hand.

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  • Eternal Empire #10 (Image)
  • Farmhand #2 (Image)
  • Oblivion Song #6 (Image)
  • Unnatural #2 (Image)
  • She Could Fly #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books): I&N Demand The first issue was a promise; and with #2, Christopher Cantwell, Martin Morazzo, and Miroslav Mrva delivered on it.  For one, the book moves at a decapitating pace; yeah, the narrative threads–see, they’re piano wire, and the quick cuts’ll leave your head in your hands.  (The cover’s got that covered, yo.)  The madness that fuels the frenzy is manifested meticulously, which may seem contradictory in reflection, but instead makes sense–which, considering the nature of the creator-reader relationship, in the end, makes all the sense in this mad, mad, mad, mad world.  Cool touch: Luna’s barrettes look like devil horns.  You know, once I noticed that, I couldn’t not see it and was like Wow, cool touch.  I even showed my wife.  She said, “Oh, yeah” and then went back to her phone–on Pinterest or Etsy or Instagram or Match or whatever the hell it is she spends so much time on.  She could swipe, that one.  But She Could Fly, if it keeps up this level of storytelling, will touch the fucking sun.

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  • Catwoman #2 (DC): I&N Demand Joëlle Jones has brought her sexy lines and lots of leather together to give us the solo Catwoman we knew we needed and have desperately wanted, especially since the Tom King proposed the whole Bat-Cat thing.  #1 hit a lot of great notes writing-wise and art-wise.  Some of those notes were echoes of Jones’ terrific Lady Killer, which was, in retrospect, the perfect audition for Catwoman.  This second issue didn’t scratch the same spots as the first, but Jones whipped up a solid issue nevertheless–particularly in the portrayal of Cat’s angst over the big Bat break up and the development of the mystery surrounding Lady Creel’s plan for Selina; and, again, with the lines and the leather–and the Laura Allred’s luscious colors–all of it justification for my objectification of the femme feline–it’s damn easy on the eyes.

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  • Sandman Universe #1 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Superman #2 (DC)
  • Amazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel)
  • Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel): I&N Demand The First Family is back!  Well, they’re almost back–and that, kids, is your hook.  But could their return be Doom-ed from the start?  Can’t wait to see what Dan Slott’s got in store for comicdom’s most indispensable four.

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  • Black Badge #1 (BOOM!): I&N Demand I’m kind of a Kindt junkie, and, logically, following with more figurative language, Black Badge is my next fix–oh, and how satisfying #1 was.  Exploiting the same chemical formula that worked so well in the intoxicatingly agitative Grass Kings–Kindt+Jenkins^2=masterfully mature storytelling and a well-deserved Eisner nom–Black Badge bursts onto the scene like a nostalgia bomb with a perfectly-paced adventure that calls to mind the ubiquitous kidventure movies of the ’80s (Stand by Me and The Explorers were two of my faves) and mirrors those games my friends and I used to play on the farm, as we’d battle imaginary Nazis or Russians a la Where Eagles Dare or Red Dawn.  These kids, however, aren’t playing a game–and neither is the creative team: this is some dark stuff; and like good little scouts, we best be prepared for more.  See: “Nobody can do what [they] can do.  No one can go where [they] can go.”  (Hey! you say?  “They”? Doubled for your pleasure, fair reader!  OK, you got me: mostly for mine.)  For the week, Black Badge #1 is #1 with a bullet drone strike.

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  • Clankillers #2 (Aftershock)
  • Hot Lunch Special #1 (Aftershock)
  • Strangers in Paradise XXV #5 (Abstract Studio): I&N Demand Terry Moore’s return to Paradise has been exhilarating, with familiar faces and events unfolding, particularly around Katchoo, at a breakneck pace.  #5 slows things down a bit a lot to offer a history lesson, which is meant to make the mystery lessen a lot a bit, which it does–though not before Moore uses Katchoo–and her big ol’ yawn–to let us know that it’s OK that we got a bit–yeah, a bit–beaten up by Tambi’s walking like an Egyptian through her explanation of the situation that plagues them both.  In the end, however, Katchoo faces defeat her feet and realizes that she’s got to change her attitude–and her longitude–if she’s going to get to the truth.  Another black and white beauty from Mr. Moore.

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Thanks for reading!

Turning pages,

Scott