Amber Atoms #1: A new ongoing sci-fi series from Image Comics by writer/artist Kelly Yates, featuring “a modern day ‘Flash Gordon.’” Here’s a five-page preview.
Birds of Prey #127, Robin #183: Two more Batman family titles ship their final issue and join Nightwing in cancelled-for-now limbo, making room on the schedule for the half-dozen or so new Bat-titles launching out of Batman’s “death” event and the upcoming Battle For the Cowl series.
It’s sort of interesting that all three of these are going down at roughly the same time, in conjunction with a new event story, as they also all launched out of the various Bat-events of the ‘90s, and have managed to survive ever since, with sales that were never dynamite yet nevertheless never dropped into cancellation territory (Although Birds sure seemed awfully close of late; here’s a preview of its last issue).
They’re not the only series reaching the end of respectably long roads this week. Sabrina The Teenage Witch #100 brings to a close the long-running “manga-style” iteration of the title by Tania Del Rio, and Ultimate Fantastic Four #60 is the last issue of the Ultimatized version of the superhero team that essentially launched Marvel Comics.
Garth Ennis’ Battlefields Vol. 1: Night Witches: Hey everyone who trade-waited Ennis’ three-issue war comic (like me) the wait is over! Now, why is this more expensive than it would have been to just buy the three single issues…?
Grendel: Devil’s Reign: Matt Wagner and Tim Sale? That’s a combo to pay attention to. This $19.95, 185-page trade is written by the former and drawn by the latter, and is set in the far-flung future. This is “Tim Sale’s first major series in comics, collected for the very first time,” the solicit says, so it should be well worth a look from fans. Here’s a few pages worth of preview.
Marvel Adventures Avengers #33: This is the one where The Avengers help teach Ka-Zar to drive, so he can get his driver’s license. I’d say this is writer Paul Tobin’s best premise yet, but he did just do a comic book where the Avengers have to collect back taxes from deadbeat supervillains on behalf of the IRS, and another where Klaw, Master of Sound forms a country and western band. Paul Tobin is like the best thing to happen to Marvel Comics since Jack Kirby, isn’t he?
Johnny Boo Vol. 2: Twinkle Power: James Kochalka’s previous Johnny Boo book, a hardcover comic book that looks like and is ready to be shelved as a children’s picture book, was a pretty perfect synthesis of Kochalka’s experimentation with kids books and his comics work. It was as bright and as cute as anything he’s ever done, with a simple, silly story that is perfect for kids or adults. That first volume was about a little ghost named Johnny Boo and his “pet” ghost Squiggle as they tried to determine what was better, Boo Power or Squiggle Power. It looks like this new volume will introduce a new kind of power. It’s 40 pages for $9.95 and, if the first volume was any indication, worth every penny.
Johnny Monster #1: This unimaginatively titled new miniseries from Image is about a world-famous monster hunter with a secret regarding his true relationship with the sorts of monsters he hunts. Joshua Williamson writes and J.C. Grande draw what Image is saying “mixes Tom Strong with Godzilla movies by way of Tarzan and the Phantom.” Five-page preview here.
Pluto Urasawa X Tezuka Vol. 1: Naoki Urasawa follows in the footsteps of Osamu Tezuka, tackling the world created in Tezuka’s signature work, Astro Boy. Matthew J. Brady, Ed Sizemore and Heidi MacDonald all liked it a lot.
Secret Invasion Trade-a-palooza: Hey, they sure did publish a lot of Secret Invasion tie-ins, didn’t they? Five collections rounding up various arcs that tied into Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Yu and Mark Morales’ Skrulls-invade-Earth series will reach shelves this week.
Secret Invasion: Frontline collects Brian Reed and Marco Castiello’s five-issue “ground-level” look at the invasion, Punisher War Journal Volume 5: Secret Invasion collects three-issues of PWJ and an annual by Matt Fraction, Rick Remender, Simon Spurrier, Howard Chaykin and Werther Dell’Edera in a $19.95 hardcover, Secret Invasion: Thunderbolts collects four issues of Thunderbolts and three one-shot specials (all written by Christos N. Gage) into a $19.99 trade, Secret Invasion: Incredible Hercules collects the five-issue arc in which Herc leads the gods of the Marvel Universe to kill the Skrull gods (and destroy their bible), and Captain Britain an MI13 Vol. 1: Secret Invasion collects the first four issue of Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk’s quirky British superhero team book.
I’ve only read the stories in the last two books, and liked them both a lot, so those are the only ones I can personally vouch for—both did a good job of making Secret Invasion part of the story of the characters, rather than letting the crossover hijack the narratives, and also helped add some much needed scope to the overall SI plot which, if you only read the main series, seemed more about the invasion of New York City than the world. Anyone care to recommend/warn readers against the other three…?