It may be the night before Wednesday, but this week Tuesday night might as well be Monday night, seeing as how tomorrow isn’t New Comic Book Day after all. I hate when that happens…makes me wish I knew a time-traveling superhero who could take me back in time to vent my frustrations on the original cause of the new comic shipping delay.
Of course, if I could time-travel, I guess I could just skip ahead to Thursday and read my new comics…
Anyway, join me after the jump for a look at some of the books coming out this week…on Thursday, not Wednesday. (Assuming you live in the U.S. If not, I have no idea what’s going on where you are).
365 Samurai and a Few Bowls of Rice: This $17, 390-page black-and-white trade paperback by J. P. Kalonji tells the tale of an Edo-era swordsman in all full-page splash panels, and it is just gorgeous looking. Seriously, look at this preview. Wow, huh? God, I hope I have $17 in change under my couch cushions…
Beanworld Vol. 3: Remember Here When You Are There: More of Larry Marder’s incomprable Beanworld. This will cost you $20 for a 185-page black and white hardcover, complete with an introduction by Jeff Smith.
Blackest Night: The Flash #1: The Flash is an odd character to feature in a Blackest Night miniseries, particularly one launching the week after Blackest Night #5. He’s been pretty central to the story so far, so we know exactly what he’s been doing between #0 and #5, and #5 ended with a pretty strong cliffhanger in which the character is hovering between two very different fates. It’s a cliffhanger that will almost certainly have to be resolved in Blackest Night #6. This three-issue miniseries is written by Blackest Night/Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns though, so surely he’ll be able to deliver a Flash tie-in that makes sense in the context of the bigger story. Johns will be re-teaming with his former Flash artist Scotty Kolins (It’s kind of too bad this is launching before The Flash: Rebirth, which is set before Blackest Night even begins, concludes though). The other big Blackest Night tie-in this week is Blackest Night: Wonder Woman, which should be interesting given the state Wonder Woman was in on that last page of BN #5. It’s by former Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka and Secret Six artist Nicola Scott.
Black Widow and The Marvel Girls #1: Paul Tobin and Salvador Espin launch a miniseries that seems to be about the Black Widow Marvel Team-Up-ing with various female Marvels. In this issue, it’s Amora, The Enchantress. The cover implies that it’s actually just a comic book about boobs though.
Empowered One-Shot: Adam Warren’s serial graphic novel series Empowered is one of the very best superhero comics being produced today, and if you’ve yet to start reading it, Dark Horse has a nice sample available this week. This comic book format book is a $4, 32-page black-and-white book taste test almost certain to get you hooked, so if you’re hell-bent on avoiding Empowered, proceed with caution. Short preview here.
Fall of the Hulks Alpha: I’m not terribly interested in the latest Hulk goings on, since they will include a heavy dose of Jeph Loeb influence, but this early portion of the event/story is written by Jeff Parker (whose work I quite like), drawn by Paul Pelleteir (whose work I quite like) and will feature The Leader, M.O.D.O.K., Dr. Doom, The Mad Thinker, The Wizard and The Red Ghost (who are, like, most of my favorite Marvel villains). Marvel, I fear I will be unable to resist giving you $4 for this thing, no matter how hard I’ll try to resist.
Hulk: Winter Guard: The High Moon team of David Gallaher and Steve Ellis take on the Russian superhero team that appeared very early in Jeph Loeb’s Hulk series. I’m not sure how exactly this storyline will tie-in to current Hulk business..all I do know is that one member of the Winter Guard is a talking bear named Ursa Major. That’s usually enough for me, although this has kind of a weird format. It’s $4, but will also contain a reprint of an old 1992 Hulk story by Peter David and Dale Keown to help soften the blow.
Iron Man Vs. Whiplash #1: Marc Guggenheim, Phillipe Briones and Marko Djurdjevic pit Iron Man against Mickey Rourke.
Jonah Hex #50: Artist Darwyn Cooke returns to join regular writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray for an oversized (forty-some pages, $4 price tag) anniversarry issue.
JSA All-Stars #1: In one of those peculiar moves that make those of us who watch the company from the outside cock our heads, DC is launching a second JSA title just as the franchise is at its lowest point in years, and stocks the line-up with the least popular characters on the team. Writer Matthew Sturges and artist Freddie Williams II are the creators taking up the challenge of making this crazy thing work. The first issue is over-sized and priced at $4; future issues will have a back-up story. (Is there a primatologist in the house? What sort of monkey is that supposed to be on Cyclone’s shoulder? Did her old monkey just have a baby or something?)
Misery Obscura Photography of Eerie Von (1981-2006): Waitaminute, this isn’t a comic book…
MySpace Dark Horse Presents Vol. 4: Christ Dark Horse, settle down will you? Here’s another great release from the publisher this week. The latest paper version of their online anthology features work by Mike Mignola, Joss Whedon, Jo Chen, Farel Dalrymple, Guy Davis, Dough Wheatley, Eric Powell, Chris Onstad, Kate Beaton and others. It’s a $20, 165-page trade paperback, and if it’s like the first three volumes, there’s going to be at least a couple of really great stories in it.
One Model Nation: Artist Jim Rugg joins writer Courtney Taylor (of The Dandy Warhols) for original graphic novel about Das Model, a rock band that lead the youth of Germany in a “violent, well-dressed revolution” against their repressive state in an alternate history 1977. Guaranteed to look great, it’s an $18, 145-page book.
Popeye Vol 4: Plunder Island: Prior to Fantagraphics’ awesome collections of E.C. Segar’s awesome comic strip, this was the only storyline from Thimble Theater I’d ever read before…in The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics. Does that mean it’s some sort of classic? It should be; it’s fantastic. Anyway, the latest collection is $30 and 170 pages, and, like the first three volumes, it’s beautifully designed and so big and sturdy that it’s practically seaworthy. Look look look!