It’s New Comic Book Day, now with 100% more Daredevil! Here’s a look at books from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, Boom! Studios, and Valiant.
Secret Origins #1
DC launches an anthology book tied to, well, superhero origins, with three stories about Superman, Robin, and Supergirl. These aren’t really “origins” so much as a loose theme to tie each story to, and honestly, it’s mostly solid but it’s nothing compelling, especially at five bucks. Worth a read if you’re a fan of the characters involved.
Mike Del Mundo, the best cover artist in the business, working on a book’s interiors? SOLD. That said, while this book is undeniably pretty as only Del Mundo can deliver, W. Haden Blackman writes a pretty good, blackly funny story to go along with the stabbing Greek. Highly recommended.
The Eltingville Club #1
Evan Dorkin calculates the angles, lines up carefully, takes a running start, and kicks comics fandom square in the crotch. To be honest, the book is so cramped and dense that it can be almost exhausting to read: This is Dorkin in full-on Milk and Cheese mode, unloading a truly staggering amount of frustration and rage to the worst of the absolute worst of comics fandom. It teeters on the edge of being too angry to be funny sometimes, and it feels like a knock-off of Our Valued Customers at others, but you can’t fault it for being dishonest, that’s for sure.
Conan The Avenger #1
Conan has just lost Belit, and his purpose in life. Which means, of course, drinking and eventually stabbing. Fred Van Lente is becoming an entertainingly bad-ass Conan writer as he mixes a story of depression with the fantasy version of a detective noir. Brian Ching’s art is dynamic and suits the book well, and generally, it’s a lot of fun and a good place to start if you’re interested in Conan. Highly recommended.
Danger Girl: Mayday #1
The Danger Girl organization finds its-oh, why am I wasting my time? You know exactly why people buy these books, and it isn’t their rich, complex world-building or plot. Andy Hartnell essentially continues the trend of these books being knocked together with spare parts from Bond movies, and John Royle’s artwork… well, let’s just say it will be mocked and taken apart for its focus on the male gaze over anatomy, and for excellent reason.
24: Underground #1
Jack Bauer returns in a comic that fills in what he was doing between his show going off the air and Fox reviving it for a miniseries out of desperation. Ed Brisson rather capably writes the Clancy-esque fantasy that is 24, but Michael Gaydos’s art isn’t quite up to speed; he’s clearly working from publicity stills for Bauer, and it shows in a few awkward places. Not helping matters is Josh Burcham’s colors often overwhelming the art. A comic for fans of the show and no one else.
The 7th Sword #1
Robots, samurai, alien planets, we’ve been here before. John Raffo’s script is a solid enough Mad Max knock-off, and Nelson Blake II delivers solid, clean art, if a bit lacking in detail. But this isn’t original or compelling enough to rate a “buy” recommendation just yet.
Herobear And The Kid: Saving Time #1
Mike Kunkel’s adorably funny all-ages book kicks off a new miniseries, its first in a decade, and it’s everything we’ve come to expect from the series: It’s sweet, funny, and clever in equal measure. Great all-ages reading, and a great continuation of a great little series.
Justice League United #0
The former Justice League Canada arrives with a zero issue. It mostly establishes the team, which is largely the New 52 JLA plus Adam Strange, but it has a few surprises beyond that, especially the promised fight between Hawkman and Fancy Rockabilly Lobo, which will hopefully end with Hawkman following through on his threat. A pretty solid team book, but we’ll want to see issue #1 before we make a call either way.
Original Sin #0
Right before he gets a cap busted in his massive dome, we learn a little bit more about the Watcher and why he does what he does. Mark Waid’s story is as much about Nova and what drives him as it is about the Watcher, and it ends on a happy moment, contrasted with a little melancholy. Even if you’re not reading the crossover, check this one-shot out: It’s a good example of well-written comics.