Sunday, April 26, 2015

Previews Highlights: June 2015

I've scoured Previews Catalogue for the best of what the upcoming month has in store for comic shops.  Here's what's happening in June...

Five Hidden Gems


1. Cursed Pirate Girl Annual #1 - Jeremy Bastian's fantastic fantasy is back in a new annual, and full of the mind-blowing art with intricate detail that makes this book so special.


2. Dr. Fate #1 - Anything drawn by Sonny Liew deserves notice, so this new DC series is definitely of note.


3. Blubber #1 - This one-shot from Gilbert Hernandez features six stories that are mostly wordless.


4. 8House: Arclight #1 - Brandon Graham writes this new fantasy series featuring eye-popping art from Marian Churchland.


5. 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 - How perfect is this?  Angela, created by Neil Gaiman, in a world, Marvel 1602, created by Neil Gaiman.  And the two fit together like a glove.

Four Collected Editions


1. Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 5): Refine HC - A new volume of Thomas Siddell's excellent fantasy title arrives, featuring more adventures for Antimony Carver.


2. Ant-Man/Giant-Man Epic Collection: The Man In the Ant Hill TP - #1 in the Ant-Man/Giant-Man Epic Collection sereies, and just in time for the movie!  Also debuting this month is the Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Old Republic, bringing Star Wars to the Epic line, and Iron Fist Eric Collection: The Fury of Iron Fist.


3. Werewolf by Night Omnibus HC - Collecting the original 43 issues of the 1972 series, and a bunch of other appearances. 


4. Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus (Volume 1) HC - The first two years of George Perez's 1980's run.

Three Can't Miss Books


1. Archie #1 - Mark Waid and Fiona Staples give the icon a modern makeover, and Riverdale will never be the same.


2. Justice League of America #1 - Bryan Hitch brings DC's biggest icons together under one cover in the latest relaunch of the flagship title.


3. Marvel Zombies #1 - Elsa Bloodstone versus Marvel's zombie hordes?  Uh, hell yes.  And if you love monsters, don't miss Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos #1, where Shiklah commands Marvel's monsters in Monster Metropolis below Manhattan.  Her commandos include Werewolf by Night, Frankenstein's Monster, the Living Mummy, Man-Thing and Marcus the Centaur.

Two Under the Radar


1. Runaways #1 - Brian K. Vaughan may not be back to the fantastic title he created, but after a too-long hiatus, the Runaways are back, in the capable hands of Noelle Stevenson (of Lumberjanes fame) and Sanford Greene.  And you can see another great team book in X-Men '92 #1, where you can relive your childhood.


2. Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 - The two love birds together in their own comic...except that this is the awesome version of Kitty Pryde from Age of Apocalypse.  Also, check out Kate Pryde in Years of Future Past #1.  Just keep the Kitty Pryde titles coming, Marvel!!

One Random Item of the Month


1. Gentle Giant: Zombie Kingpin Mini-Bust - Well, he was a great character in the Daredevil Netflix series...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Week in YES - 4/21

The Song To Listen To


"Begin Again" by Purity Ring

The YA Book To Read


"The Remedy" by Suzanne Young
The third book in the "Program Series"

The Comic To Enjoy


"Uncle Scrooge #1" by Jonathan Gray, Rodolfo Cimino, Romano Scarpa and Giorgio Cavazzano

The Movie To See


"The Age of Adaline"
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Starring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford and Michiel Huisman

The Trailer To Watch


"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Teaser Trailer #2

More To Say Yes To

This announcement


"Marvel's Daredevil" is renewed for a second season for 2016 release.

This news



Adrianna Palicki (Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird) and Nick Blood (Lance Hunter) cast as leads for planned spin-off of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

This announcement


Lucas Till reprises role of Havok in "X-Men: Apocalypse."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Week in YES - 4/14

The Song To Listen To


"Burning Doves" by Mikky Ekko

The YA Book To Read


"Fury of the Seventh Son" by Joseph Delaney
The thirteenth, and final, book in the "Last Apprentice" series.

The Comic To Enjoy


"Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 1): Orientation TP by Thomas Siddell
One of the best comic book fantasies - finally in paperback!

The Movie To See


"Child 44"
Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman

The Trailer To Watch

 
"Ant-Man"

More To Say Yes To

This Blu-Ray release


"The Babadook"

This news


Marvel is developing a spin-off of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Week in YES - 4/7

The Song To Listen To


"Sparks" by Hilary Duff

The YA Book To Read


"Miss Mayhem" by Rachel Hawkins
The second book in the "Rebel Belle" series.

The Comic To Enjoy


"Kaijumax #1" by Zander Cannon

The Movie To See


"Ex Machina"
Directed by Alex Garland
Starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac

The Trailer To Watch


"The Gift"

More To Say Yes To

This television series premiere


Marvel's Daredevil.  April 10th.  Netflix.

This comic event


"Convergence" begins in the DC Universe.

This casting news


Ben Hardy to play Angel in "X-Men: Apocalypse."

And this casting news


Ciara Renee to play Hawkgirl in "Arrow"/"Flash" spin-off series.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Manga Monday: JoJo

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Part One: Phantom Blood (Volume 1)
Hirohiko Araki

Bizarre is right. 

Jonathan Joestar comes from a life of privilege, and is generally loved by everyone.  That is, until his new adopted brother moves in.  Dio's father has recently died, and Jonathan's father thinks that he owes the man, and so takes Dio in as his own son.  Dio has a grudge against Jonathan and derives sadistic pleasure from torturing him in any way he can, usually by implicating Jonathan as guilty of terrible things and making him look bad in front of his father.

This book is twisted.  Everything is over-the-top, from the characters to the circumstances.  It's very fast-paced and frantically heightened, which gives it a weird vibe.  This manga is from the eighties, so it does have a retro art style, but it holds up well.  That being said, I can't quite put my finger on why this was such a wildly popular manga in its day.  It is aggressively manly and pretty violent, so maybe that was enough to drive a frenzy around the book.  I, for one, just couldn't really get into it.  It was just too unbelievable how people believed Dio so quickly and absolutely, and it just kind of annoyed me throughout the entire book.  I also think it's lame that there is only one female character in this book, a love interest for Jonathan, and she is utterly pathetic.  Dio easily drives her away, and it's for an absurd reason.

Sure, there are a few things that are really cool about this book.  I love the blood-thirsty mask.  The rivalry between the two "brothers" is palpable and deliciously insane.  But Dio is just too evil.  He's one dimensional and one note, so he's not very interesting.  Oddly enough, Jonathan is even less interesting.  He has no personality except that he's "good."  Dio is evil enough that you root for Jonathan to overcome his trials, but do I care for Jonathan Joestar?  Not at all.  He is utterly dull, and is merely defined in this book by what Dio does to him.  We only really get to know him through how he reacts to Dio's evil deeds.  Overall, there's just not enough here to hold my interest.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

In the Know: Elektra

With Marvel's Daredevil beginning in less than a week, it's a good time to brush up on the character that most people are excited to see in Daredevil's life: his one-time lover, the assassin Elektra.


Essential Reading

Daredevil #173-182 (Frank Miller and Klaus Janson) - This includes the height of Daredevil's relationship with Elektra, as well as that famous battle between Elektra and Bullseye.  You can get this in "Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller (Volume 2)."

Elektra: Assassin (Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz) - The insanely beautiful (and just plain insane) story that sees Elektra as a force of nature, clever and invincible.  It also delves into some messed-up things from her childhood.  One of the best superhero stories period.






Recommended Reading

Elektra: Everything Old is New Again (Greg Rucka and Joe Bennett) - The best portrayal of Elektra since Frank Miller's original run on the character, this storyline sees Elektra grapple with a conflict of conscience.

Daredevil #190-191 (Frank Miller and Klaus Janson) - The "resurrection" of Elektra, by The Hand.  This is collected in "Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller (Volume 3)."

Further Reading

Elektra Lives Again (Frank Miller and Lynn Varley) - Matt Murdoch sees a ghost - Elektra.  But is it really her?  Another beautifully rendered story that sees the two former lovers come face to face.

Dark Reign: Elektra (Zeb Wells and Clay Mann) - Following the events of Secret Invasion, in which Elektra was replaced by a skrull (she was, in fact, the first character to be revealed as having been replaced by a shape-shifting alien during this crossover event), Elektra is kidnapped at her weakest, but takes it upon herself to be her own savior during this difficult time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Week in YES - 4/1

The Song To Listen To


"Up" by Olly Murs, featuring Demi Lovato

The YA Book To Read


"The Wicked Will Rise" by Danielle Paige
The second book in the "Dorothy Must Die" series.

The Comic To Enjoy


"Lumberjanes (Volume 1)" by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen

The Movie To See


"It Follows"
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist and Olivia Luccardi

The Trailer To Watch


"Spectre"

More To Say Yes To

This casting news


Lana Condor to play Jubilee in "X-Men: Apocalypse."

This tease


Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.

This Blu-Ray Release


"Interstellar"

And this Blu-Ray Release


"The Imitation Game"

This magazine cover


Justin Bieber on the cover of Men's Health. He was also roasted on Comedy Central.