Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5: I suppose it is only fitting that a comic book whose hero is lost in time suffer from some shipping delays. Artist Ryan Sook joins writer Grant Morrison for the penultimate issue of the series, in which Bruce Wayne lands in some sort of old-timey gangster era of Gotham. (You can check out a preview here). There’s still one more issue to go, but I suppose the two-month delay before this issue messed up the scheduling of the Bat-books enough that they couldn’t wait until #6 ships before they started releasing the one-shots in which a returned Bruce Wayne starts checking in with his squadron of sidekicks. This week sees the release of four of the eight planned specials, including (deep breath) Bruce Wayne—The Road Home: Batgirl #1, Bruce Wayne— The Road Home: Batman & Robin #1, Bruce Wayne—The Road Home: Outsiders #1, and Bruce Wayne—The Road Home: Red Robin #1. That’s an awful lot of Batman in one week—five comics and $16 worth, all of it important. Or at least “important.” In terms of keeping up with Batman. And not, like, life in general.
Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers: This $15, 95-page trade paperback collects the four-issue miniseries from earlier this year about Captain America, Black Panther Sr., and Nick Fury fighting Nazis during World War II. Reginald Hudlin wrote it, Deny Cowan penciled it and I trade-waited it…did any of you guys read the mini? What’s the verdict? Great? Good? Bad?
Dawn Land: Artist Will Davis adapts, maybe even transforms, Jospeh Bruchac’s 1993 prose novel of the same name into an impressive $20, 320-page graphic novel. I’ll pound out a formal review sometime soon, but in the mean time, please accept my reccomendation. Here’s a short preview.
Dick Breifer’s Frankenstein: Editor/introducer Craig Yoe and IDW’s latest team-up is a $22, 150-page hardcover collection of Breifer’s unique take take on the horror hero. Breifer did his Frankenstein’s monster both scary and funny, and this book will apparently feature the two takes. What else is Frankenstein’s monster up to this weekend? Fighting Buffy Summers’ ex-boyfriend Angel in 1920s New York in Angel Vs. Frankenstein II by John Byrne.
Image Firsts: Madman #1: If, for some reason, you’ve yet to sample Mike Allred’s signature series, I can think of no better way to spend a buck at a comic shop this week than this special reprint which, if the cover is any indication, features the first issue of Dark Horse’s 1994 Madman series.
Inu Yasha Vol. 53: Good God. Fifty-three volumes?! Wow. Let’s see, I am now officially…fifty-one volumes behind on this series.
John Constantine: Hellblazer—City of Demons #1: Writer Si Spencer and really good drawer Sean Murphy launch a five-issue Hellblazer miniseries in which our anti-hero gets run over by a truck, and London pretty much literally goes to hell.
Knight and Squire #1: Writer Paul Cornell and artist Jimmy Broxton tackle the UK’s version of Batman and Robin, one-time Silver Age oddity’s given new life by apparent fan Grant Morrison’s somewhat regular usage of the characters. This is a six-issue miniseries, and you can get a good look at it here.
Make Me A Woman: This handsome nine-by-twelve-inch hardcover collection of select Vanessa Davis autobio strips, portrait-y prints, and short, sketchy diary comics from over the course of six years or so deserves a lot more critical attention than I can give it in passing here, but suffice it to say that I recently read a copy of it, and it’s pretty great. It’s $25 for 175-pages, and you can download a preview of it here.
Scary Godmother: I can’t tell for sure from the solicitation if this new $25, 190-page hardcover collecting features just writer/artist/letterer Jill Thompson’s children’s books featuring her Scary Godmother characters, or some of the comics as well, but in either case I’d suggest picking it up and flipping through it if you see it in a shop this week. I like the comics more than the kids books, but both feature fantastic art by Thompson. Preview here.
Strange Tales II #1: Keate Beaton! Jeffrey Brown! Rafael Grampa! Nicholas Gurewitch! Kevin Huizenga! Jeffrey Lemire! Frank Santoro! Dash Shaw! Jillian Tamaki! Johonen Vasquez! Shannon Wheeler! Gene Luen Yang! And, I don’t know, maybe some of Marvel’s superhero characters too. I would assume so. Anyway, how do you pass up a line-up a like that? The first issue of this three-part $5-for-48-pages series features a cover by Grampa, which should be hard to miss, on account of its awesomeness.
Superior #1: Whoever wrote the solicitation for Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu’s six-issue miniseries claims that it “is sure to bethe most talked-about new series of 2010!” I’m sure it will be the most talked–about new series of 2010…by Millar, if no one else. The title character looks a bit like an analogue of Superman and has a name similar to another analogue of Superman, but the solicitation makes him sound like maybe he will have more in common with Captain Marvel Jr., a spin-off of another analogue of Superman. But I’m just guessing there. I know it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover and solicitation copy, but then, doing so is what this column’s all about.
Tiny Titans/Little Archie #1: The Tiny Titans creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco adorablize Little Archie and his little running crew for the first of a three-issue tiny titanic crossover. The cover is so cute I can barely stand it, and, mindbogglingly enough, it looks like the second issue will be even cuter.
Turok, Son of Stone #1: Will comic books about Native Americans fighting dinosaurs in the recent-ish past ever get old? No, no they will not. Writer Jim Shooter and artist Eduardo Francisco seek to prove that with the latest relaunch of the classic dinosaur-fighting Native American character, this time from Dark Horse and apparently involving Aztecs as well. In addition to the Shooter/Francisco story, the special 40-page first issue will also feature a reprint of the very first Turok story, from way back in 1954, when dinosaurs still roamed the hidden valleys of the American west.
Vampire Boy: Dark Horse translates and republishes this Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso comic about a 5,000-year-old vampire stuck in an imoortal little boy’s body. It’s a $25, 480-page, black and white, digest-sized trade.
Victorian Undead Special #1: This $5, 40-page special by Ian Edginton and Horacio Domingues follows Sherlock Holmes’ recent battle with the undead with a match-up against another famous literary character. Or is that characters? Anyway, Sherlock Holmes vs. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Victorian Undead-iverse.