As many of you are no doubt already aware, vengeful snow gods focused their wrath on Diamond HQ this week, temporarily destroying them and making their webiste un-look-at-able. This coincided with the time I normally put this column together, so there’s an even higher likelihood than normal that mistakes have been made. Also, no cartoon this week as, um, my colored pencils were buried in an avalanche, maybe…?
Anyway, here are some of the books coming out this week–provided your local comic shop hasn’t been buried under one million feet of snow…
The Anchor Vol. 1: I’ve really enjoyed the first few single issues of Phil Hester and Brian Churilla’s lighthearted series about a mysterious monster-fighter who exists simultaneously on the earthly and infernal planes, and, if you haven’t sampled the series yet, this $10, 110-page trade paperback is a pretty perfect way to do so. If you’re already on board, the fifth, $4 issue of the series is also due in shops this week. So let’s see, $10 plus $4 equals…lemme get a piece of paper for this…$14! Just $14 and you’re all caught up!
Batman and Robin #8: It’s part two of Cameron Stewart’s (way too) brief run on Grant Morrison’s Batman title, in which we find out what happens after Batman Dick Grayson (“DickBats”) lets the corpse of Batman Bruce Wayne (“OB”) marinate in a Lazarus Pit. What’s weird about this storyline is the fact that there seems to be at least two sets of Batman’s remains, as Black Hand has been lugging Batman’s skull around throughout Blackest Night. If this story is set before Blackest Night, it’s possible that Dick re-buries Batman’s body in the unmarked grave that Black Hand dug it out of, which sort of spoils the resurrection aspect of this story, and then Black Hand also brings OB back to life temporarily. If it’s set after Blackest Night, then that means DickBats recovered Batman’s body and skull at the end of Blackest Night, put it in a vault, then decided to take it out of the vault and try to bring it back to life, after Black Hand temporarily restored OB to life. Either way, it seems a little silly that Batman has been brought back to life so often in so short a span of time. But who cares?! Cameron Stewart drawing DickBats, Batwoman and Knight and Squire fighting undead Batman! It looks like this.
The Brave and the Bold: Milestone: If last week’s Milestone Forever whet your appetite for more appearances by the Milestone characters, this collection of three issues of DC’s team-up title—featuring Black Lightning and Static, Blue Beetle and Hardware and The Spectre and Xombi—may be of interest. The $18, 160-page trade paperback is filled out by three issues of the Milestone characters’ original series.
The Choker #1: Artist Ben Templesmith and writer Ben McCool do noir. It’s a $4 comic, and you can see a ton of stuff about it here.
Chocolate Cheeks: The latest collection of Steven Weissman’s adorably dark—or perhaps darkly adorable—comics about some creepy kids and their interactions with one another is a $17, 110-page trade paperback, and you can get a good look at it here.
Colt Noble and the Megalords: This $6, 64-page one-shot brings Tim Seely and company’s webcomic to print. It has a funny name, and sounds like it might be fun, but it looks like it’s straddling the line between He-Man Parody and Basically Just He-Man.
Human Target #1: This is the launch of a six-part miniseries which, if I’m understanding the solicitation right, is actually based on the new TV series based on the comics, and not a continuation of the comics themselves. This only really matters in that the show and the comics have different premises; in the former, Christopher Chance disguises himself as a bodyguard to targets for assassination, in the latter he impersonates the actual target. Character co-creator Len Wein is joined by artist Bruno Redondo on the lead story, while TV show producer Peter Johnson and Chris Sprouse provide a back-up story. There’s a downloadable preview here.
Mesmo Delivery: If you missed out on AdHouse Books’ 2008 publication of Rafael Grampá’s Mesmo Delivery, then you missed out. But don’t worry, Dark Horse has got your back. They’re re-publishing it as a $10, 80-page trade paperback with some bonus features like a sketchbook section and pinups from the likes of Craig Thompson, Eduard Risso and Mike Allred. You can check out a 10-page preview here, and if you care what I thought of it when it first came out, here’s my review of the original edition.
Muppet King Arthur#1: It’s a big week for Muppet comics. In Paul Benjamin, Patrick Storck and Dave Alvarez‘s Muppet King Arthur, a lowly page/frog pulls a legendary sword from the stone, and, with a handful of allies, must try to unite Britain under his banner. Meanwhile, the next issue of Roger Langridge’s Muppet Show ongoing continues to follow the gang as they retool their show as a touring one, and, finally, Grace Randolph and Amy Mebberson‘s Muppet Peter Pan miniseries gets a $10, 110-page trade paperback release.
Nextwave Agents of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection: All 300 pages of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s entire Nextwave series, which, if you haven’t read it, is actually slightly better than you’ve heard, can be yours in trade paperback form for $35. Hey, what’s the difference between a perfect collection and an ultimate collection…?
Strange #4: This is the final issue of Mark Waid and Emma Rios’ miniseries about Doctor Stephen Strange’s post-Sorcerer Supreme life. It will be interesting to see if the current status quo remains the same for very long, or if things revert back to “normal” more quickly due to the cancellation of Doctor Voodoo, the book about Brother Voodoo as the new Sorcerer Supreme. Strange #4 is a $4 comic, and you can check out a preview here (Oh, and by the way, guys reading this book…is it good? Should I be looking forward to the trade? I’m not much of a Doc Strange fan, but I really adore Rios’ art).
Super Friends #24: Cover artist J. Bone joins writer Sholly Fisch inside this issue of Super Friends, for a story about a mad scientist conference on Oolong Island which looks like it will feature just about every mad scientist character in DC’s catalog.
Uncanny X-Men: First Class #8: Not only is Cameron Stewart drawing this week’s Batman and Robin, he also provides what has gotta be one of the best super-covers of the week:
Yes, that’s Banshee fighting leprechauns. Jeff Parker writes the story, and Fernando Blanco draws it. (UPDATE: As Jeff Parker himself mentioned in the comments, he did not actually write the script for this issue, as I said he did, and marvel.com continues to say he did. Now that I have the actual book in my hands, I see that it was written by Scott Gray, so Gray deserves all the genius points for an X-Men vs. leprechauns story).
Whatever Happened to the World’s Fastest Man?: Way to ruin the chances of DC ever publishing a Flash book similar to Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? or Neil Gaiman’s Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?.
X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back #1: Kathryn Immonen and Sara Pichelli kick-off a four-issue miniseries about some of the X-teens in high school and, in this issue, reveal which X-villain in Pixie’s father. This sounds like fun, and that’s a great creative team, but it is a $4 series so, um, I don’t know—I’ll wait for the trade I guess, but if you’ve got the money, let me know how it is, okay?