What to Buy: June 3, 2010

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It’s the start of a new month, and new comics will come with it. Just remember that comics will be released Thursday this week thanks to Memorial Day. You’d think they could just ship a day earlier and still get the comic books to stores by Wednesday in spite of holidays, but that technology has apparently not been mastered yet. Perhaps it never will be.

While you’re waiting for new books to come out, check out one of the funniest comics-related links I’ve ever seen: a brutal critique of Rob Liefield from a site called Progressive Boink. If you dislike Liefield, this may make you cry with happiness. Even if you like him, you still might cry from laughter. I was fairly indifferent to him, accepting his exaggerated art style as a somewhat inevitable direction for the industry. But I couldn’t have loved this countdown of his 40 Worst Drawings (really, in no particular order) more, as it beautifully and hilariously expresses pretty much everything that was wrong with comics in the 1990s. Seriously, it’s a very funny must-read.

On to new stuff!

Essentials

Brightest Day #3

How do you follow  up one of the most successful crossovers in a decade? With fallout that’s nearly as badass as the preceding event.

Justice Society of America #39

Just as he did with Fables, Bill Willingham has turned JSA into one of the best books on the market. “Fatherland” has been an awesome dystopian timeline story, in the mold of Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse, and surely some non-X stories, too. Can’t wait to see where he goes with it.

Torch #8 (of 8 )

This mini lost some of its steam by switching to an every-other-month release schedule halfway through, but it’s still been an incredibly entertaining read, as Mike Carey, Alex Ross and company get ready to wrap up Jim Hammonds’ (short-lived?) return. If the conclusion is everything I’m expecting it will be, this will be a must-buy in trade. Shame it hasn’t gotten more buzz.

Should Buy

Red Robin #13

Brace yourself, bold proclamation coming: the best book of the past year was Red Robin, hands down. Christopher Yost’s 12-issue run was the most compelling storytelling I’ve read in a long time. The only reason this isn’t king of the Essentials is that after a year of brilliance, Yost already left the book with #12. But my hopes are still fairly high, as Fabian Nicieza now takes over as the new regular writer. Nicieza won me over with his awesome Thunderbolts run, which made my portion of our list of the best runs of the past decade. But he’s also been inconsistent on some other books in his career, and has struck out a few times. Now, he has some huge shoes to fill, but I’m optimistic.

The Thanos Imperative #1 (of 6)

Yeah, calling this a Should Buy when I’m totally out of Marvel’s cosmic loop is probably premature, but it does sound badass. I mean, name a bad comic you’ve read with Rocket Raccoon. You can’t do it, because such a book does not exist.

Others to Consider

JSA All-Stars #7

I’m behind here, but I really liked what Sturges had been doing. If Magog is gone for good by now, then the book should only be improving.

Avengers: Prime #1 (of 5)

I really have no desire to see a special mini for Bendis’ take on the Big Three (Thor, Iron Man, Steve Rogers) reuniting, but it’s worth noting for its art, with Alan Davis handling the pencils (and his long-time partner Mark Farmer inking). Davis’ art is always a treat, and I hope to see him regularly on something I buy.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird #1

I love Clint Barton and love seeing him back as Hawkeye. I kinda like Mockingbird, and am fine with seeing her alive. But can this married couple really support their own ongoing series for long? I kinda doubt it. I’d check it out with the right creative team, but this group didn’t ring a bell, so I’ll likely sit this out.

Hercules: Twilight of a God #1 (of 4)

I was a huge, huge fan of Greg Pak and Fred van Lente’s Hercules run, which is starting back up with the focus on Amadeus Cho. I also have a lot of respect for Bob Layton, who’s doing the story and art for this, and think he’s earned a great deal of esteem in the industry (and apparently he had the former gold standard in a Hercules run). But despite my love for Herc, I’m just not that interested in seeing him fight aliens in the future, or whatever this is even about (hard to tell). It’s kind of like I was with Black Panther: after seeing him written so awesomely by Christopher Priest, it took me a while to really want to read a different take on the character. Only now am I getting back into T’Challa via DoomWar. I think similarly, Pak and Van Lente have so defined Hercules for me that I’d probably be biased against anyone else’s stories of him.

X-Men Forever: Giant-Sized #1

I read one issue of this Claremont series and thought it was only so-so, but I can’t help but be intrigued by this. The solit touts the special as uniting Claremont with fellow industry legend Mike Grell, whose art really is the stuff of legends. Yet the listing on the website just has Grell doing the cover (and what a cover!) with some other guy doing the interior pencils, which, if true, makes me far less interested.

Red Hood: Lost Days #1 (of 6)

This is one of the most interesting books to maybe take a flier on this week. Red Hood: Lost Days will explore the death/resurrection of Jason Todd, the former Robin, and how he became evil. It’s written by Judd Winick, who brought Jason back in the first place — a decision I was against, but would like to understand. Maybe this mini can flesh out that backstory and make me a fan of having Jason back and a villain. I think I’ll try it.

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One Response to “What to Buy: June 3, 2010”

  1. Gokitalo Says:

    I might try Red Hood: Lost Days too. The preview pages ain’t bad, and my negative feelings towards Jason’s return were assuaged a little bit when I saw the way he was used in Batman and Robin (“Red Hood and Scarlet say..!”). I think Winick’s going to try to bring his A-Game to this one.

    Brightest Day #3 is indeed the big buy of the week! Another cool release, which I’d probably file in “others to consider” is Superman/Batman Annual#4, featuring the return of… Batman Beyond! Terry McGinnis and the Superman from his era (from the episode “The Call”) are teaming up for an adventure by former president of DC Comics Paul Levitz.

    Two pretty cool-looking trades out this week: one is Icon: Mothership Collection, which finally reprints Dwayne McDuffie’s first Icon issues he did for Milestone Comics. You’ve also got Jonah Hex: No Way Back, an ORIGINAL graphic novel by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and classic Jonah Hex artist Tony DeZuniga. Preview here:
    http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/
    Over at the Vertigo end, you’ve got Neil Young’s Greendale, which is by THE Neil Young himself… with help from writer Joshua Dysart and artists Cliff Chiang and Dave Stewart.

    Marvel-wise, you’ve also got Heralds, a story that brings together an all-female Marvel superteam to stop former Galactus herald Nova. Emma Frost, She-Hulk, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Monica Rambeau and S.WO.R.D.’s Abigail Brand… not a bad bunch, eh?

    Mmk, ramble over. Go buy comics!

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