I am so excited about Batman Unseen by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, the second issue of which is due tomorrow (Preview here). The first issue magically transported me to a Wednesday afternoon in 1998 or so, and made me want to re-read Morrison, Porter and Dell’s JLA and Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s Hitman. Is this that feeling of nostalgia people are always talking about? Have I just never read a superhero comic book geared specifically toward my own personal nostalgia spot before?
Are any of this week’s books targeted at your personal nostalgia spot? Join me after jump to find out.
Angel Vs. Frankenstein: Fighting Frankenstein is a right of passage that all comic book characters must go through at some point, right? It looks like Buffy’s ex-boyfriend Angel will be joining the Have Fought Frankenstein Club this week, with this $3.99 comic from IDW. For more IDW-published, Frankenstein-inspired comics, see also Mark Wheatley’s Frankenstein Mobster Vol. 1: Made Man, a 265-page, $20 trade paperback.
Archie #602: I do not care for the looks Archie and Veronica are giving each other on this cover. I do not care for it at all. I didn’t think anyone in Riverdale even had genitals, let alone ever gave much thought to using them before.
Azrael #1: A new Azrael ongoing? In 2009? Fabian Nicieza and Ramon Bachs have the unenviable task of making the case. You can read a short preview of the issue here; I’m disappointed to see that the new Azrael isn’t actually wearing the MC Hammer pants he’s wearing on the cover throughout the interior pages.
The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My: I wonder if this $16.95, 20-page hardcover picture book from Drawn and Quarterly is any good? Let’s ask Michael C. Lorah.
Cowboy Ninja Viking #1: This new Image Comic about Wolverine by AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo looks like it might be pretty fun.
DCU Halloween Special 2009 #1: DC’s website is playing it close to the vest with the contents and contributors of this $6, 80-page giant anthology. Guy Gardner, Tim Drake and Bizarro star in three of the 13 short stories, writers include “Joe Harris, Billy Tucci, Jake Black, Franco, Adam Schlagman, Mandy McMurray and others” and art comes courtesy of “Rags Morales, Joe Prado and others.” So, maybe good? Maybe not?
Dread and Superficiality: Woody Allen as Comic Strip: Here’s one I think I’m going to have to see in person before I believe that a) There was ever a Woody Allen comic strip starring the Woody Allen character and b) That it is being collected and released for mass consumption. The strip was the work of Stuart Hemple, not Allen himself, and it was apparently syndicated by King Features, running from 1976 to 1984 (although not in my hometown paper, I guess). This hardcover collection features 220 of the best strips on 240 pages, and will run you $35.
Five Fists of Science: Before he started writing like one-fifth of all Marvel Comics, Matt Fraction was already writing awesome comics. For example, this one, in which Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla team-up to end all war forever, but, before they can do so, they must of course fight. Their opponents? The unspeakably evil Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan, and their henchman Guglielmo Marconi. If you’re thinking, “Hey, that sounds pretty awesome,” then I like the way you think. Steven Sanders draws this new printing of the $13, 115-page graphic novel. Which is, I believe I already stated, pretty awesome.
Garth Ennis’ Battlefields Vol. 1: Blast! I waited for the trades…but I shoulda waited for this! It’s a big 270-page, $30 hardcover collecting Ennis’ firsth three Battlefields miniseries for Dynamite Entertainment, Night Witches, Dear Billy and The Tankies. Each standalone story is by a different great artist—Russ Braun, Peter Snejbjerg and Carlos Esquerra—and, like all of Ennis’ war comics, each of them are pretty good. Dear Billy in particular is a stand out one, as it’s a rare work from Ennis in which the narrator is a female character. If you haven’t read these in floppies or trade, this format looks like a particularly good value.
Incredible Hulk #603: I believe this is precisely the sort of story which Marvel used to put “It had to happen!” on the cover of. The Hulk and his son versus Wolverine and his son! It’s a $4 book, but contains a She-Hulk back-up as well.
Justice League of America #38: After suffering from a pretty unstable creative roster and meandering lack of direction for—let’s see—thirty-seven issues so far, the JLoA title gets a new, hopefully lont-term creative team. Writer James Robinson and Mark Bagley’s run begins here, but it looks like they’ll be easing readers into their new line-up, as it won’t appear until January (according to the publisher’s most recent solicitations). Of course, given that Robinson’s Justice League miniseries Cry For Justice, which is set before this (and, um, Blackest Night too, come to think of it), that makes a certain amount of sense. DC’s Source blog has a preview of the issue up today, and it looks like Robinson will begin his launch with the traditional ritual slaughter of a fictional character. I do hope Robinson is planning on creating enough new, original characters to replace the ones he’s been offing all year.
Lockjaw and The Pet Avengers: Okay look, I thought Chris Eliopoulos and Ig Guara’s miniseries about various Marvel pets hunting down the Infinity Gems and crossing paths with Devil Dinosaur, Giganto, First Dog Bo and Thanos was a lot of fun, and God knows it was gorgeously drawn, but I can’t imagine anyone paying $25 for a hardcover version of it. Marvel’s adding some content, including the pet-focused handbook, which will stretch it out to 175-pages.
Noir: Dark Horse assembles an impressive line up consisting of Brian Azzarello , Ed Brubaker, David Lapham, Rick Geary, Paul Grist, Dean Motter, Sean Phillips, Eduardo Barreto, Jeff Lemire, M. K. Perker and Alex de Campi for a $13, 120-page trade paperback anthology of crime stories. With that much talent involved, I can’t imagine this being anything but excellent. You can check out a brief preview here.
Rin-Ne Vol. 1: Rumiko Takahashi’s latest, being released simultaneously in Japan and America. It’s from Viz, it’s 200-pages, it’s ten bucks and it’s about…Oh, who am I kidding? I had you at “Rumiko Takahashi,” didn’t I?
Skrull Kill Krew #5: I really like this cover. Good job Mario Alberti!
Sugarshock: Originally presented online and then collected in MySpace Dark Horse Presents Vol. 1, Joss Whedon and Fábio Moon’s story about an intergalactic battle of the bands is now being printed as a standalone comic book. I think this may just be the very best thing Whedon’s ever written. It’s certainly his best comic book work, at least. You can still read it online for free, but what’s the fun in that?
Talking Lines: This 270-page, $30 hardcover is the first comprehensive collection of short stories of R. O. Blechman, who publisher Drawn adn Quarterly calls “one of the most prolific and influential visual artists of the twentieth century.” That sounds like a pretty strong recommendation.