Once again, it’s all words and no pictures! Here’s what jumped out at me from Diamond’s shipping list as looking either really good, really bad or somehow worth mentioning. Feel free to tell us in the comments section what looks really good, really bad or somehow worth mentioning to you. And/or to call me mean names.
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Vol. 1: Night Powers: Chris Hastings and Les McClaine’s web-comic about a doctor who is also a ninja gets a paper collection thanks to Dark Horse Comics. The hard copy is a $20, 230-page trade, featuring an original story by Benito Cereno and McClaine. You can read a short preview here and a giant one here.
Batman: Gates of Gotham #1: Given the number of Batman monthlies being published at the moment, a new Batman miniseries hardly seems like something noteworthy, but this one’s from the acclaimed Detective Comics writer Scott Snyder, and has the advantage of a different scope (guest-starring a mess of DCU detectives) and focus, on the history of Gotham City and its founding families. Snyder is co-writing with Kyle Higgins, while Trevor McCarthy is handling the art. It’s a five-issue series.
Booster Gold #44: This week’s only Flashpoint tie-in features DC’s only time-traveling superhero with his own title. Writer/artist Dan Jurgens and artist Norm Rapmund return to the book after a fun, funny run by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Chris Batista. Marvel’s big summer crossover, Fear Itself, is a little further underway, which likely explains all the tie-ins available this week: Herc #3, Avengers #13 and Invincible Iron Man #504 (The first is a $3 book, the other two are $4 ones).
DC Comics: Batman—Dark Knight, Dark City: This $8, 90-page kinda-trade collects the 1990 three-issue Batman story arc by writer Peter Milligan and artist Kieron Dwyer (with covers by Mike Mignola), in which The Riddler returns from retirment to dabble in late-‘80s darkness and Satanism. To fill up the page count, there’s a neat little one-issue story from Milligan’s too-short 1991 run on TEC, featuring pencil art by Tom Mandrake. I’d highly recommend this if you’ve any interest in Batman and missed these the first time around.
Eye of the Majestic Creature: This $19, 130-page trade from Fantagraphics is a collection of artists Leslie Stein’s kinda sorta autobiographical fantasy stories featuring the young woman Larrybear and her talking guitar. Fanta has their usual super-thorough preview here. This is probably the release I’m most excited to see this week. Well, this or that new Rocketeer anthology…
If ‘n Oof: This gorgeous-looking, $30, 800-page trade from artist Brian Chippendale and Picturebox was one of the most exciting and strange comics I read last year–so strange, in fact, that I was afraid to review it. I would recommend it, though. Althought it’s certainly not for everyone. I’m…not entirely sure who its for, come to think of it. Although it does feature a linear narrative and individual characters and a lot of recognizable stuff occurs. It’s…well, hell, give it a flip-through if you see it at the shopw this week, okay?
Image Firsts: Jack Staff #1: For just one American dollar you can sample Paul Grist’s unusual uperhero comic. Or the first issue of James Stokoe’s virtuoso fantasy epic or the or something about scantily clad fighting nuns or whatever, as Image Firsts: Orc Stain #1 and Image Firsts: Magdalena #1 are also due out this week. Please note I have no idea what Magdelana is about. You can get all three for less than the cost of IDW’s Snake Eyes Ongoing #1 or Marvel’s Ultimate Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #4!
Rocketeer #1: Speaking of $1 comics and IDW, the publisher’s “100 Penny Press” program is reprinting Dave Stevens’ first issue of The Rocketeer, in its eye-popping recolored by Laura Martin edition. As far as quality of work to cost goes, this is your best bet this week. Why is IDW reprinting this particular comic at this particular time? Well, this week also sees the launch of Rocketeer Adventures, a new anthology series featuring comics greats tackling Steven’s beloved character. The first issue features a story by John Cassaday, another by Mike Allred and another by Kurt Busiek and Michael Kaluta, with pin-ups by Mike Mignola and Jim Silke. You’re going to want to get that.
Shadoweyes Vol. 2: Shadoweyes in Love: The next slice of Ross Campbell’s superhero fantasy is a 160-pages thick and will cost you $13. It’s Ross Campebll, so it’s worth every penny.
Trouble: One of the least likely Marvel Comics to get collected into a hardcover is now collected into a hardcover! (Seriously, I see five of each issue in every $1 bin I flip through). Upon it’s initial 2003 publication on the then-returned Epic imprint, Trouble was kinda sorta sold as a teen romance comic, complete with photos of teen girls in bikinis on the covers, but it turned out to actually be about the premarital sex-adventures of Aunt May, Uncle Ben and Spider-Man’s parents…or should I say the people you thought were Spider-Man’s parents?! It’s by Mark Millar though, which is good for sales in the trade market. The $20, 120-page hardcover is illustrated by Terry and Rachel Dodson. For more Millar comics, ones where he’s working well within his comfort zone, Marvel is also releasing Marvel’s Greatest Comics: Wolverine: Enemy of The State #1, a $1 reprint of the first issue of Millar and John Romita Jr’s run on the Wolverine monthly (I think this first issue is the one where he fights a shark with his claws underwater), and the previously-mentioned Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #4, in which the Ultimate Avengers, who were called the Ultimates but are now called the New Ultimates, battle a team called The Avengers. That’s a $4 book, and features art by Leinil Yu.