Alan Moore, Avatar, Caliban, Clone, Cullen Bunn, David Schulner, Declan Shalvey, East of West, Ed Brisson, Extinction Parade War, Garth Ennis, Goran Parlov, Greg Rucka, Howard Chaykin, Image, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, J. Michael Straczynski, James Asmus, Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, Juan Jose Ryp, Kaare Andrews, Kieron Gillen, Lazarus, Magneto, Marvel, Matt Fraction, Max Brooks, Michael Lark, Miracleman, Moon Knight, Nick Dragotta, Quantum and Woody, Rocket Raccoon, Satellite Sam, Scottie Young, Sheltered, Sidekick, Southern Bastards, The Twilight Zone, Tom Mandrake, Uber, Valiant, Wade McIntyre, Warren Ellis, Wilfredo Torres
As you know, our sign off is “Turning pages.” As of today, for the foreseeable future, I’ll also be “turning Paige’s” whatever it is she wants me to turn or needs me to turn. That’s right: my second daughter was born this afternoon–and still I’m making sure to get this list out on time! So here it is: What’s I&N Store: The Hospital Edition:
- Clone #18 (Image): Clone is humming along, as solid as ever, with ethical dilemmas driving the plot–toward a collision between the clones and the coalition. Will Luke kill the father and son? Will Laura kidnap Luke’s son? Gosh, I hope so.
- East of West #13 (Image): Re: #12: the entire issue is a meeting amongst the nations. Just a meeting, you ask? Oh, no, not just a meeting: it’s the best damned meeting, like, ever! Xiaolian Mao makes the case for war; and Hickman and Dragotta use some superior panel work to take us around a very tense table, giving all in attendance the opportunity to explode with rage–or with something else, you know, like, in the case of Mr. Graves, a bomb. East of West has been very good of late, with this issue standing as one of the strongest of the series thus far.
- Lazarus #9 (Image): #8 was one of our top books of April. Check out why here.
- Satellite Sam #9 (Image): Did you get your Tijuana Bible straight away? Or did you have to ask for the insert? Did you kinda cringe after opening it and then shove it inside Sam and place it all together on your finished pile? Dirty distraction aside, #8 was very good. Almost earned Top Five honors for May. Sure, Fraction’s earning raves for the wildly overrated Sex Criminals, which I’ve dumped as of #6 after having realized that I could have this conversation with my friends for free; but his best work is right here.
- Sheltered #10 (Image): A fist-pumping “Yes!” moment was enough to sell me on another issue. Yeah, I’m talking about Curt’s gettin’ his comeuppance and about taking Sheltered one issue at a time.
- Sidekick #7 (Image): I ended up liking the first arc a lot. Definitely my favorite of the Joe’s Comics offerings. Clearly my favorite, considering the fact that it’s the only one I’ve stuck with. Oh, and I haven’t been turned off by Straczynski’s borrowing from himself (see the first arc of The Twilight Zone); after the initial surprise, it was just something worth remarking.
- Southern Bastards #3 (Image): We loved #1 and celebrated it as a Top 5 book of April. #2, while a decent single issue, suffered in comparison to such a strong opening statement. Here’s another strong statement: I’m hoping that Aaron and Latour rebound here; otherwise, I may consider pulling the Bastards from my pull list.
- Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #4 (Marvel): #3 was a particularly strong issue. Hasn’t taken long for writer/artist Kaare Andrews to assume complete control over Danny Rand/Iron Fist. He’s balanced the past and present like yin and yang, and, artistically, has injected just the right amount of fantasy into this kick-ass Kung-fu tragedy.
- Magneto #6 (Marvel): Bunn’s Magneto–and his approach to piecing the vengeful mutant’s story together–has been attractive on a very singular level. Who needs layers, right? Not Bunn; not here. And his decision to keep it simple–employing steely page turns to great effect along the way–has been the key to his making Magneto a must read. #5, however, crashed into a cliche. Hope things return to normal here.
- Miracleman #8 (Marvel): Still sitting on 5-7. Derek’s been raving about them. I’ll get around to ’em eventually.
- Moon Knight #5 (Marvel): Thanks to Warren Ellis’s vision, Moon Knight‘s been weird and fun, smart and exciting. It’s also been a showcase for Declan Shalvey, as Ellis has allowed him to do some top-notch visual storytelling. #4 was particularly weird, and in its weirdness offered up some terrific transitions in the mindscape and ended emphatically on an abrupt note, one that reminds of Terry Moore’s sudden endings on Rachel Rising. Moon Knight is so much better than anything Dark Knight right now. I hope that the coming change in creative team doesn’t change that.
- Rocket Raccoon #1 (Marvel): I’m gonna give it a shot because Derek said he’s giving it a shot on the strength of Skottie Young.
- Caliban #4 (Avatar): I’ve enjoyed it enough for what it is: a Sci-Fi horror story with some grisly moments–see the end of #3–a la Avatar. Ennis’s writing keeps the story moving, even if it doesn’t necessarily help one differentiate among the characters; in that, his ensemble cast, so far, anyway, lacks star power. Not typical of Ennis.
- Extinction Parade: War #1 (Avatar): It’s been a while since the first arc ended. Might have to freshen up before going to war.
- Quantum and Woody #12 (Valiant): #10 earned a spot in our Top 5 for May because it came together on so many levels to create a terrific character study of the wild and wonderful Woody. #11 was a strong follow up with some real hot dogging by James Asmus, who has established himself as one of the best funny businessmen in comics. Hard to believe this book–at least this iteration–is coming to a close. Reason to be excited: the team-up with Archer and Armstrong. Van Lente and Asmus together on the same book? Readers may literally die from laughing so hard.
- The Twilight Zone #6 (Dynamite): #5 drew us into another part of the world Straczynski created during the first arc. A much less interesting part of the world. Look out for the heavy hand!
- Uber #15 (Avatar): I always look forward to reading Gillen’s Uber because it’s never a difficult read and because something remarkable always happens to force the story forward. What more can one ask for? Also of note: it’s very different stylistically from The Wicked & The Divine. That one read like a Hickman book. I know his latest offering is only one issue in, but as of now, I prefer what he’s doing with Uber.
What are you looking forward to this week?