Quite a few number ones this week, from a variety of publishers. A look at what’s new in comics from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, Boom! Studios, Valiant, and Dynamite.
The New 52: Future’s End #1
DC brings Terry McGinnis into the current continuity in this weekly title. Yes, they’re putting out another weekly title to complement Batman Eternal. Following on from the zero issue on Free Comic Book Day, Terry is in the modern day, and the book begins assembling its cast. We see Grifter and Firestorm at work, and it ends with a death that we somehow suspect won’t stick. Solid enough, but so far we’re not sure there’s enough to support a weekly title.
Original Sin #1
Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato kick off Marvel’s next major crossover. And it’s actually quite an arresting idea: The Watcher is dead, and Nick Fury is on the case. Most of the fun comes in the… unlikely pairings that the book coughs up, that we won’t ruin here. Suffice to say there’s some promise, here. Worth picking up.
Amazing Spider-Man #1.1
Dan Slott and Ramon Perez return to Spidey’s origin, back in the early days when he was still a stunt performer instead of a superhero. It’s an interesting return, if a bit clunky for Slott, and useful in its true intent: Namely, to get new readers up on Spidey’s origins. If you’re new to the web-slinger, this is a good place to start.
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1
Miles Morales struggles with the questions of any teenage superhero, while, well, everything else goes wrong at once. You know, Spidey as usual. Bendis, as usual, is a bit too talky, but the book does have a good feel to it in terms of pacing; this isn’t a slow burn. David Marquez delivers solid art as well. One just hopes that the final twist in this issue isn’t a hint that the clock is ticking on Miles; Ultimate Spider-Man is a great idea that deserves to stand apart.
When most people struggle with their future, they take a vacation. Scott Summers goes space-pirating with his dad. Greg Rucka and Russell Dauterman deliver a solid first issue, albeit one that doesn’t quite soar to the heights of some previous Marvel launches. Still worth a shot if you like high space fantasy or just Cyclops as a character.
Buckaroo, OR, is the home of no fewer than sixteen serial killers, from the Book Burner to the Nailbiter. But why? That’s what a disgraced Army Intelligence officer is trying to find out after his friend disappears. And needless to say it’s a little more complicated than you might think. Joshua Williamson does a good job making this book both disturbing and intriguing, albeit Mike Henderson’s art creates a lot of atmosphere. If you’re looking for a horror book, this’ll be a good option.
Burn The Orphanage: Reign Of Terror #1
Daniel Freedman and Sina Grace continue their offbeat tribute to the 16-bit fighting games of yore with a visit to a repressive, SF future. Which, you know, of course. But as goofy as it sounds, and it is goofy, Grace’s flowing artwork and Freedman’s skill with dialogue make it a fun read. Recommended.
Madame Frankenstein #1
Essentially, the movie, except the monster is female. That is, admittedly, an unfair summary of the book; the Dr. Frankenstein in this particular story is more than a little off his rocker… yes, beyond what it takes to revive corpses. But Jamie S. Rich doesn’t do much with the story, here, and Megan Levens’ art, while clean and quite vivid in black and white, is also sparse and a bit less than creative with the layouts. So, interesting, but so far, more for fans of the cover than those looking for something from the book itself.
The Woods #1
It’s just a normal day at a Wisconsin high school… that suddenly gets dumped on an alien moon full of monsters. James Tynion IV does a solid job of keeping the accelerator to the floor; within the first issue, we’ve already got a setup, a plot cooking, and multiple characters revealed with dry humor. It’s helped by Michael Dialynas’ artwork; in particular, he’s enjoying the hell out of drawing freaky alien monsters. A promising book with a clever premise: Highly recommended.
Yep, the cheesy ’90s boob-comics publisher returns, with a team-up book Dynamite has thrown a lot of talent at. Tim Seeley struggles mightily to make it work, but the Chaos! stable was more about pinups than creativity, and the lack of characterization hinders his work. Similarly, Mirka Andolfo doesn’t really get to cut loose, limited by the character designs that came before. A noble effort, but ultimately for those who fondly remember the publisher and no one else.
Angel And Faith Season 10 #2
Honestly, the split focus of this book, between Faith as a corporate bodyguard and Angel as London’s vampiric Batman, does it no favors, but it’s a solid, entertaining read that fits in well with the franchise. It’d just be nice to see this book be a little more than just more of the same.
Black Dynamite #2
After a somewhat uneven first issue, this book hits its stride with the silly, over-the-top action that made the movie so amusing. Black Dynamite has an enemy, a woman, and a haircut, and really, that’s all he needs. If you’re looking for a goofy book, this will do the job, especially with Marcelo Ferreira and Sal Buscema’s amusingly dynamic art.
Dead Letters #2
A private detective in Purgatory is a fairly standard idea, but this book makes it work partially because it knows that, and instead builds up the character of Sam, who doesn’t quite know who he is but isn’t shy about getting in over his head. It’s still looking for the hook that will launch it further, but it’s a solid book so far.
Teen Titans Annual #3
The first run of Teen Titans gets wrapped up just in time for the relaunch coming soon. Honestly, the payoff here is largely for those that have been following the book right from the start, and it’s hard to get too invested if you haven’t been reading the book religiously. Still, at least the plotline gets a wrap-up.
Moon Knight #3
This book continues to be one of the most oddball, and well-done, books Marvel puts out. Warren Ellis keeps up the “one-and-done” theme of showing off different aspects of Moon Knight’s personality with a ghost story about punk gangs, and how Moon Knight can fight ghosts. It ends on a creepy and poetic note that’s completely unexpected but suits the book. Highly recommended.
Magneto stumbles across the last villain he’d expect, with the last motivations he’d expect, in this third issue. Mostly, Cullen Bunn is out to establish that Magneto is, at best, an anti-hero; he’s violent even by his standards in this issue. But it also makes it clear what he will and won’t tolerate as a person, making this book fascinating, if disturbing.
Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula start paying off the last two issues in spades. We learn a bit more about Veil and where she comes from… and it’s not good news. If you haven’t been reading this, pick up the last two issues and this one: It’s a great horror book and Fejzula is a brilliant choice artistically. Recommended.
This is a bit of a low-key point in the run, which brings out a bit that this is designed somewhat to be collected as a trade. But although it’s talky, Charles Soule and Javier Pulido make up for it by making the book really, really funny. The Laterviair airline design alone is worth the money this book costs, but it’s also a rather touching rumination on what it means to be a lawyer when you’re required to be a zealous advocate for your clients. Highly recommended.
Batman Eternal #5
It’s unintentionally funny that Vicki Vale gripes about how there are no reporters anymore, just Buzzfeed writers, and then promptly does something no reporter would ever do. Aside from that, this book is starting to come into focus a bit as it shifts to the Bat-cast. If DC’s plan is to feature characters that sometimes can’t carry a series, that might be an excellent idea. Still, I’m on the fence about this one, and I can’t imagine I’m alone in that.
Bad Blood #5
This inventive, clever miniseries ends on a rather… abrupt note, partially due to far too much exposition. But it’s a good one for Jonathan Maberry and Tyler Crook to go out on, and while this series has its bumps, the sheer inventiveness and clever ideas carry it a long way.
Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight #8
Alex DeCampi and Gary Erskine wrap up their goofy mix of camp sex comedy and Satanism. The mix of genres is a bit uneven, albeit DeCampi has some nice twists, and the book is a fast, funny read. Worth picking up for fans of well-done trash.
The Victories #11
Michael Avon Oeming’s book just gets weirder and more over the top. It’s a fairly interesting take on what would happen if Illuminati-style conspiracies ran up against superheroes, but even though this is a new arc, you might want to start from the beginning.
Suicide Risk #13
Boy, this series got grandiose, fast. Not that that’s a bad thing; watching Leo Winters and Requiem square off, and learning why people have superpowers in this book, is a lot of fun. This is some enjoyable superheroics, and worth catching up if you haven’t been reading.
Archer and Armstrong #20
This new arc, picking up after a crossover, has the titular duo looking for Archer’s parents. And at first this book seems up to its usual wacky hijinks: Mocking Scientology, bringing Elvis back from the dead, and so on. But it starts to get darker and more disturbing as it goes on. It’s still absurdly funny, but also a bit grittier around the edges than you might expect. Highly recommended, especially as this new arc is a good jumping-on point.
Detective Comics #31
Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are taking the title of this book quite literally, and that’s a great thing. But while the focus is on Bruce’s investigative skills, that doesn’t mean the book skimps on the action, and there’s a brutal fight with Sumo that makes it clear Batman may be a genius investigator, but he’s also your worst nightmare. Highly recommended.