I feel somewhat conflicted by Blog@’s image-importing ability being felled by e-goblins for weeks now (For the record, we can still put up images, but not in a way that would do any favors for my already questionable drawings; controlling the sizes is a dicey proposition). On the one hand, I like having cartoons at the top of these columns to differentiate them from all the other columns about new releases each week and because it spared me writing any kind of introduction and because it gave me a legitimate reason to Google Image search, say, Godzilla or Jack Kirby Thor drawings for an hour and then scribble on index cards for an afternoon.
On the other hand, just writing a column and not illustrating it as well is so goddam easy, and it leaves me with plenty of free time to pursue my hobbies—like Google Image searching Godzilla and Jack Kirby Thor drawings and then scribbling away an afternoon.
Anyway! Here are some things that you should be able to find at your comic shop this week, things that look like they might be good, or might be bad or that I might just want to talk about…
Action Comics #900: To celebrate the 900th issue of the longest-running serial comic book, DC comics has called in…a bunch of dudes from outside of comics? Okay, I’m just being a jerk—television and prose writer Paul Cornell, director Richard Donner, TV producer Damon Lindelof and screenwriter David Goyer all have comics work on their resumes, ranging from Donner’s co-scripting of a few Superman arcs with Geoff Johns and Lindelof’s single miniseries Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk to Cornell’s current run on Action and Goyer’s run on JSA.
They’re all among the many creators contributing to this $6, just shy of 100-pages anniverarys issue. The main event is Cornell and artist Pete Woods’ conclusion to their Lex Luthor-starring story arc that’s been running through the book while Superman’s been…unavailable, a story also containing art by Dan Jurgens, Rags Morales, Ardian Syaf, Jamal Igle and Gary Frank. The book will also feature work from Ryan Sook, Miguel Sepulveda, RB Silva, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini and Brian Stelfreeze. Regardless of the source, that’s a lot of talent for a single purchase.
Brightest Day #24: It’s a big week for big DC books. This double-sized, $5 issue is the conclusion of the biweekly, year-long series that spun out of Blackest Night. As someone who read the first 23 issues with interest, I’m hoping we get a satisfying conclusion, but the existence of a miniseries titled Brightest Day Aftermath and concerning itself with a major plot point not introduced until the twenty-third issue doesn’t give me a lot of hope. The publisher’s other biweekly, year-long series Justice League: Generation Lost, which shipped on the weeks Brightest Day didn’t, also sees release this week (wait, how did that happen?), in another 48-page, $5 special.
Bulletproof Coffin: I haven’t heard a single bad thing about David Hine and Shaky Kane’s miniseries from anyone who’s read it and talked about it yet, so I’m assuming it’s pretty good. Trade-waiters like myself can find out this week, when the $18, 200-page collection arrives in comics shops.
Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth: Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell’s eagerly-awaited image-filled, $50, 330-page hardcover biography of the highly influential and greatly admired artist will focus on Toth’s life through the early 1960s, while a second volume will pick up from there. This is no dobut going to be at the top of a lot of comics fans’ shopping lists this week.
Image Firsts: Elephantmen #1 and Image Firsts: Walking Dead #1: Two special, $1 reprints of the first issues of two of Image’s acclaimed ongoings. You can’t beat that price.
Justice Society of America #50: But wait, there’s one more over-sized DC comic this week! The latest volume of the JSA’s book reaches its 50th issue, which calls for a a 56-page, $5 issue, featuring work from regular writer Marc Guggenheim and art from Howard Chaykin and “a roster of artists you won’t want to miss!”
The Mighty Thor #1: I’m sure relaunching the main Thor comic with a new number one, after just recently reverting to the old numbering, after having started over with a new number one just a few years ago, is frustrating to long-time Thor comics fans. Relaunching with a new number one a few week’s before the movie opens, however, makes sense, as does having Matt Fraction—the dude who wrote the new-reader friendly Invinicible Iron Man when it launched with a #1 around the time of an Iron Man movie—write it. Oliver Coipel is on art chores, and it’s a $4 book. Hey, it’s cheaper than a movie ticket!
Page By Paige: Laura Lee Gulledge’s young adult-targeted graphic novel tells the story of Paige Turner, a young woman who’s family have just moved to New York City and is having some trouble adjusting. Working out her anxieties pages of her sketchbook ease the young artist’s transition. The 190-page comic is available in either a $10 trade paperback or a $19 hardcover format. Unfortunate coincidence: There’s totally a porn actress with the same name as the title character.
Planet of the Apes #1: Well, you can’t beat the timing—just days after a trailer for the awkwardly titled but kinda cool looking Rise of the Planet of the Apes is released, Boom launches their latest licensed comic. This new ongoing will take place in the continuity of the first five films, but occurs before the first one. Prose novelist Daryl Gregory is writing, while Carlos Magno handles the art. I’ve just flipped through a preview copy so far, but from what I can see, Magno does a pretty good job of capturing and selling the creepy person-wearing-an-ape-mask look of the apes. It’s a $4 book.
Remake Special: This is a sequel of sorts to Lamar Abrams’ amazing 2009 book, Remake, which was about a robot boy with a gun that can turn things into other things. It was really funny. I imagine this will be too. It’s a $10, 110-page book, and you can download a preview here.
Secret Avengers #12 and Secret Avengers #12.1: I didn’t think it was possible for anything more hilariously silly than a Ghost Rider #.1 issue being produced for the new series, which would then be followed by Ghost Rider #1, but I was wrong—Marel’s shipping both the regular issue and the special “Point One” issue of Secret Avengers on the exact same week. Watch that decimal point, kids!
Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne Vol. 1: You’ll find the first eight issues of Byrne’s late-eighties, humor-infused Shulkie series, as well as some other material, in this 200-page, $25 trade collection.
Tomb of Dracula Presents: Throne of Blood #1: Apparent Dracula fan Victor Gischler returns to the character again, this time in a special $4 one-shot that will both cahange “everything you thought you knew about vampires in the Marvel Universe” and tie in to Fear Itself. Goran Parlov handles the art, and you can see a preiew here.