Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pick of the Week 4/25

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops tomorrow...

Folly: Consequences of Indiscretion GN - This is a collection of material that was originally self-published by the creator, Hans Rickheit, who topped my best-of-the-year list a few years back with The Squirrel Machine.  There should be some beautiful, and probably grotesquely beautiful, stuff in here.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Avengers vs. X-Men: VS #1 (of 6)
Black Orchid HC
Chew (Volume 5): Major League Chew TP
Darkhawk Classic (Volume 1) TP
Frazetta: Funny Stuff HC
I'm Not a Plastic Bag HC
Jerusalem: Chronicles From the Holy City HC
Michael Turner's Soulfire Definitive Edition (Volume 1) TP
Popeye (Volume 6): Me Lil Swee Pea HC
Popeye #1 (of 4)
Pterodactyl Hunters In the Gilded City One-Shot
Showcase Presents: The Spectre (Volume 1) TP
Stormwatch (Volume 1) HC
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Archie 100 Page Spectacular

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Comics-and-More Podcast: Jack Kirby

In the first of what will most likely be several Jack Kirby podcasts, Patrick Markfort and I discuss Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's work on Fantastic Four and Thor.

Fantastic Four #44-51
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Thor #129-135
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

For further reading:
Fantastic Four Omnibus (Volume 1) HC
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Fantastic Four Omnibus (Volume 2) HC
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

The Mighty Thor Omnibus (Volume 1) HC
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Essential Thor (Volume 2) TP
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pick of the Week 4/18

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic book stores tomorrow...

Harvey Pekar's Cleveland HC - Autobiographical sketches and glimpses of the city he lived in for most of his life, haunt this graphic novel from the late great Harvey Pekar

Other Noteworthy Releases
3 Story: Secret Files of the Giant Man
Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus (Volume 2) HC
Archie Archives (Volume 5) HC
Avengers: The Serpent Crown HC
Cinderella: Fables Are Forever TP
Hellcyon TP
Katsuya Terada's The Monkey King (Volume 2) TP
Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924: At Last My Drim of Love Has Come True TP
New Teen Titans Omnibus (Volume 2) HC
Reset #1 (of 4)
The Shadow #1
The Shark King GN
Showcase Presents: All Star Squadron (Volume 1) TP
Strangeways: The Thirsty TP
The Survivalist
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series: Leonardo
Ultimate Comics: Avengers by Mark Millar Omnibus HC
Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron (Volume 1) HC

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Avengers vs. X-Men #1

Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Jr. & Various

Marvel's big crossover event of 2012 started with a bang last week when Avengers vs. X-Men #1 hit the stands, pitting the two big teams of the Marvel Universe against one another, promising battles between characters that fans will love to see.  The first act of this twelve issue mini-series was written by Bendis, but the overall story, which carries through various Avengers and X-Men titles, was laid out by Bendis, Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman and Matt Fraction collectively.  There will also be a Vs. book that features some of the big fights that won't be seen in the main mini-series.

So how was the first issue?  Really solid, I'd say.  I usually look forward to these events warily, and am usually disappointed by the first issue, while the crossover as a whole drags down the quality of a ton of titles in the Marvel U that are attached to it, but this is a pretty basic premise that can easily carry throughout other titles without feeling forced.  And one of the big issues I have with previous events is that they cram a lot of stuff into the story so you don't really get those great character moments or really care about what's occurring, but with this event, the spill-over into the Vs. mini-series and various mini-battles speckled throughout other books takes off that pressure to make this main series have so much in it, so it can breathe a bit and just be a well-crafted story in its own right.  I like the thought that's gone into this, which shows not only in the technical roll out of the event over several titles, but in the story itself.  Using the phoenix entity as the rift between the teams was a smart idea, and it doesn't seem forced, like a lot of the things that spark these events do.  It's a disagreement where I can understand the position of both sides of the issue here.  The Avengers have seen the devastation and destruction that the cosmic entity known as the phoenix has caused before, and wish to avert it at all costs.  They want to take the mutant Hope, the phoenix's potential host, into custody to ensure that the phoenix does not get the chance to cause more tragedy.  The X-Men, on the other hand, see Hope as a messiah.  And while the phoenix force has been a destructive force in the past, it also represents resurrection and rebirth.  The mutant population, since Wanda made the mutant race an endangered one years ago, has been hanging on by a thread, with any number of factions trying to take advantage of their small numbers to wipe them out completely.  The phoenix could represent the one chance they have of regaining a foothold in the world, to not become extinct, and they are desperate for it.

The first shot was fired by Cyclops as Captain America came to Utopia to collect Hope, and while the main story is a strong one in its own right, this entire event has the potential for some awesome battles, and I'm excited to see what it will produce.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pick of the Week 4/11

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops tomorrow...

Courtney Crumrin #1 - A new full-color Courtney Crumrin series is certainly cause for celebration! Creator Ted Naifeh returns to his beloved character, writing and illustrating this new series.  Also available this week, Courtney Crumrin (Volume 1): The Night Things Special Edition HC, a newly remastered, full-color edition of the first book in Ted Naifeh's fan-favorite series

Other Noteworthy Releases
Alabaster: Wolves #1 (of 5)
America's Got Powers #1 (of 6)
Avalon Chronicles (Volume 1) HC
Batman Incorporated (Volume 1) HC
Daredevil: Season One HC
Dollhouse: Epitaphs TP
Genetiks TM (Volume 1) HC
Kitchen Sink Press: The First 25 Years
Oz Treasury Edition
Pete and Miriam GN
Secret #1
Secret Service #1 (of 7)
Severed HC
Showcase Presents: The Losers (Volume 1) TP
Stan Lee's Stripperella GN
Unterzakhn GN
Untold Tales of Spider-Man Omnibus HC

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Pick of the Week 4/4

Here is the book you should be paying attention to, in comic shops tomorrow...

Supreme #63 - Erik Larsen and Cory Hamscher adapt Alan Moore's final script of a never-before-seen Supreme comic, as a launching point for a regular series which Larsen will continue.

Other Noteworthy Releases
The Celestial Bibendum HC
Cold War (Volume 1) TP
Danger Club #1
The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath & Other Stories HC
Flash Omnibus by Geoff Johns (Volume 2) HC
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery HC
The Girl Who Owned a City GN
Jeremiah Omnibus (Volume 1) HC
Lou (Volume 1): Secret Diary GN
Miss Annie (Book 1): Freedom!
Shenzhen: A Travelogue From China SC
Voltron: Year One #1