Batman: Arkham Knight #1
This is just a print collection of the unfolding Batman: Arkham Knight prequel comic released digitally. But, that said, it’s a pretty great Batman story, dealing with what happens when the Joker bites it and his post-death plans unfold. If you’re not following it on Fridays, it’s worth picking up the print version.
Batman: Detective Comics: Endgame
Honestly, out of context, this is little more than a generic action story about Anarky dealing with the Joker Plague. It’s interesting in light of the newly wrapped arc in Detective Comics, but little more than that.
Howard the Duck #1
Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones are unleashed on the avian trapped in a world he never made, and… well, things do not go well for poor Howard. The book itself, though, is a riot, packed with one-liners and taking a sharp, and hilarious, turn about halfway through. If you like ridiculousness in your comic books, this is highly recommended.
The Surface #1
It takes a lot of chutzpah to open your book with a giant stone vagina, and then have the second panel be a giant stone wang, pointing straight at it. But do we really expect anything less from Ales Kot at this point? I will say that The Surface, which draws rather heavily from Image’s beloved and gone-too-soon Nowhere Men in style and tone, doesn’t quite gel in this first issue. A bunch of hackers go camping and discover that the world is really a hologram, or some other hippie blather, and it leans somewhat too heavily on Langdon Foss’ trippy visuals to paper over the lack of forward motion in the plot. Which admittedly, are well-executed and beautifully tied together with visual themes that are subtly executed; Foss hides eye imagery in both obvious and subtle places.
I can’t quite bring myself to unequivocally recommend this, but if trippy art is your thing, it’s worth the cash just for said art.
Southern Cross #1
Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger team up for a gritty, grounded SF book about a screwup retrieving her sister’s body from Titan, currently being drained of oil. But, needless to say, there’s far more to her sister’s death than our heroine knows. Honestly, this book is a near-perfect first issue; the characterizations are sharp, the art is gorgeous (as fans of Kill Shakespeare well know), and the plot is riddled with hooks. Highly recommended.
Spawn: Resurrection #1
Hey, have you ever wondered what Spawn thought about the Ferguson situation? Paul Jenkins has you covered! In a way, Jenkins and Jonboy’s attempt to make Spawn relevant again and relaunch the book after its 250th issue is interesting in how overtly political it is, but I think Jenkins is being unsubtle and somewhat exploitative here, and I agree with his overall message.
The art is actually appropriately Bisley-esque for this character, although Jenkins cribs far, far too much from DC’s recent, superb, and weird run on The Phantom Stranger. Overall, the book is… different. “Good” isn’t the right word for it. But I suppose it deserves credit for trying.
Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return #1
Yes, Boom! is on a mission to revive every single movie from the ’80s that you loved in comic book form. So, Brian Lynch and art couple Jerry & Penelope Gaylord have big shoes to fill, not just from the movies, but due to underground comics legend Evan Dorkin handling what was technically the third part of the story. By and large… they pull it off, managing to keep the feel of the original movies without going too quirky. It’s still a book more for nostalgia’s sake than anything else, but if you’re a fan, it’s a book worth getting.