Batgirl moves to Not-Williamsburg, the Predator returns to Dark Horse, and Matt Fraction really wants to show you a woman getting a train pulled on her by medical interns. All this and more in our roundup of notable comic books on the stands this week!
Earth 2: World’s End
Mostly this book is useful to introduce yourself to Earth 2; it recaps the series and sets up the next run. It’s a fun read, and a good jumping on point if you’d like to pick up DC’s alternate continuity.
Ann Nocenti and Trevor McCarthy deliver… well, I’m not quite sure what to call it. It’s a pretty abstract book, and Nocenti doesn’t start us off with any touchstones to figure out what’s going on. Klarion is a runaway in a big city full of magic and… there’s some sort of techno/necromancer? Luring in magical teenagers? It’s a bit muddled, as a story, although McCarthy has a blast with the mix-and-match setting. Interesting, but needs focus.
Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1
Basically this is a big, old-school superheroes-vs.-giant-villain fight. It ain’t subtle, but let’s face it: It wouldn’t be any fun if it was.
Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #1
Despite the name, Gerry Duggan has written a buddy comedy starring, well, guess, and it’s actually pretty funny. Really, if you like either or both characters, just get this: You’ll be happy you did.
We’ve all read stories about children sucked into magical worlds and having great adventures… but what happens to the families that lost somebody they love? And what happens when the kid, after years of adventuring and fighting… comes back? That’s the thrust of Joshua Williamson, Andre Bresson and Adriano Lucas’ new series, and it’s got some pretty fascinating ideas. Highly recommended.
Punks The Comic #1
The art from Kody Chamberlain and Rob Guillory is a clever and unique idea in comics, but Joshua Hale Fialkov proves that absurdist humor is reeeeeeeeally not his strong suit with this one. The opening story in particular is a wincingly stale collection of HERP DERP A GIRL jokes better suited to an ’80s sitcom, and filling in plot gaps with randomness just leads to a disjointed comic. I am aware this was a beloved underground comic, but most of those stay underground for excellent reason, and this probably should have done the same.
Scott Snyder and Jock get back to what they do best, scaring the ever-loving hell out of you. The book revolves around Sail and her family, who’ve moved to New Hampshire for a new start. Moving to New England is generally bad news in a horror story, and sure enough, things get nasty, fast. It’s a nice creepy little book, anchored by sharp characterization from Snyder and Jock’s ability to switch from semi-realistic to straight-up disturbing in a flash.
Aliens Vs. Predator: Fire And Stone #1
Dark Horse comes back to one of its beloved series with a bit too much gore to be fully effective, really. Also, Ariel Olivetti is an odd choice of artist for this franchise, to some degree, although everything looks great. It’s just a little too brightly lit, really. Still, an interesting read, albeit one you might want to wait for the rest of the books to come out for.
Dead Squad #1
Go ahead, read the title, look at the cover, and then guess what the gimmick of this book is. Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia have a movie script to sell, and clearly they’re hoping to use making it into a comic to sell it. And boy, does that ever show.
Honestly, that would be fine if Michael Montenat weren’t clearly just not that good of an inker, and yet, he’s stuck doing the job. Really not helping matters is the sheer unmitigated cheese of the whole enterprise: There’s lots of military jargon and shooting, but no characterization. If you want to see this concept done right, just watch Dead Heat instead.
The October Faction #1
Steve Niles and Damien Worm deliver, well, essentially the Addams Family, but darker. Worm’s in a different mode as an artist, less cartoony and more realistic, and frankly it suits him better. Niles, though, is writing for the trade here, so very little actually happens in this first issue, which is a shame. But it’s got some promise, at least.
Afterlife with Archie was such a success, Archie decided to take Sabrina in a horror direction to see how it works. And with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the wheel and Robert Hack on art, it works far better than you’d expect. It’s a lot funnier than the cover might suggest, and Hack smartly evokes Warren’s horror output while sticking to a pre-Internet period; the book takes place in the early ’60s, another off-kilter choice, but also one that works. Unique, highly interesting, and thus highly recommended.
Fraggle Rock: Journey To The Everspring #1
Kate Leth and Jake Myler tackle a beloved children’s show, and they evoke it pretty much perfectly. Which is a lot harder than it seems; turning an elaborate puppet show into a comic book without losing the show’s magic is staggeringly hard, and Leth and Myler pull it off with alacrity. It’s aimed squarely at kids, of course, but it’s an ideal book for them, especially fans of the Fraggles.
War Stories #1
Garth Ennis revives the tradition of war comics with Matt Martin on art. Truth be told, this issue’s a little slow; Ennis is more interested in his main character than blowing things up. But it’s still a good read, and it’s nice to see Ennis with some restraint.