It’s the first real New Comic Book Day of the year… and there are plenty of number ones and cool books to get it started. Here’s a look at this week’s notable comics.
Mortal Kombat X #1
Yes, Mortal Kombat gets its very own comic book, and it’s pretty much the game in comic book form; pulpy, over-the-top, and ridiculously gory. Dexter Soy’s manga-esque are is more or less perfect, and Shawn Kittelsen captures what makes the games such campy fun. Definitely worth a read, especially for Kombatants.
Every character tied to Wolverine and a few new ones are thrown into a bunch in this new series rising from the death of Logan and… well, honestly, it’s a fairly generic team book, a bit of a disappointment coming from Charles Soule. Similarly, the art team’s work is detailed, if overly enamored of two-page spreads, something one suspects is due to Soule stretching out the script a bit to cover the bases on a weekly book. But despite the accomplishment, it tends to feel a little flat; there’s not quite enough definition in the inking and coloring to give it depth. It’ll be a fun read for X-Men fans, but for anybody else, it might be one to trade-wait.
Scott Lang is back, no longer dead, and… unemployed and dealing with his ex-wife and child custody issues. Nick Spencer, fresh off the dearly departed Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, actually does a really good job of crystallizing what makes Scott different from Marvel’s other heroes, and gives the book a tart, idiosyncratic voice. Ramon Rosanas also pairs well with the script, giving the art some style while feeling a bit grounded. In all, it’s a smart, offbeat, fun book, and thus highly recommended.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
Squirrel Girl finally stops crashing at the Avengers Mansion and goes to college. Of course, being a superheroine who’s kicked pretty much everybody’s ass, she has no problems whatsoever. Just kidding, Ryan North and Erica Henderson throw Kraven The Hunter at her, among other things. To be honest, the book does feel a bit like it’s trying too hard to be quirky. But Henderson’s art is a lot of fun, and if North can dial back the forced quirkiness a bit, this might be a low-key gem of a book.
Operation S.I.N. #1
Yeesh, her first two episodes aren’t even on Hulu yet and already Peggy Carter has her own comic series. In the hands of Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis, it’s a fluid and somewhat lighthearted book. Ellis’ art is a little loose in places, but it’s good where it counts, and overall, worth picking up for more from Peggy Carter.
Lady Killer #1
The main problem with this book is that it’s half a concept. “Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if a ’60s housewife was also an assassin?” Sure, great, but the idea of an assassin with a secret life has been done to death in comics. What’s the angle beyond that? So far, Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich seem mostly interested in using the decor and style of the era instead of putting any new spin on the concept. Granted, Jones’ stretchy, kinectic art lends itself well to action scenes, but so far, there’s no reason to keep reading.
Jorge Corona delivers a story about a young boy covered in feathers who is more or less a superhero. Corona’s book is a little shaky; the opening has some utterly unnecessary narration and he has a little more exposition than is entirely necessary. But when the book finds its footing, it’s a rather frothy little all-ages book with a lovely sense of adventure. Buy it for any kids you know who want to read comics.
Wolf Moon #2
Cullen Bunn and Jeremy Haun’s story of a werewolf that jumps hosts comes into focus a bit more with this issue, and it’s actually a fairly smart thriller. It’s focused squarely on our screwed-up werewolf hunters, who quickly discover there’s more than one of their number, and said hunter may not have all his marbles. A clever idea, well-executed, and recommended.
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #2
Hellboy’s first mission, back in 1952, goes… well, it goes as well as any other BPRD mission. Still, it’s nice to see Hellboy back in action, with Mike Mignola on the script and Alex Maleev delivering some tight, well-conceived art. Highly recommended for thriller and action fans.
Escape From New York #2
Snake Plissken has just entered the seceded state of Florida, which is far worse than current Florida, in that it’s run by some teenagers instead of Voldemort. It does not go well! Honestly, Chris Sebela packs a lot into this issue; most comics would spend an issue in each location Snake gets dragged to. It’s a breathtaking pace, but it feels a bit like this book is burning through ideas because it doesn’t know what to do with them. Similarly, Snake doesn’t really get a lot of characterization, here, and he desperately needs it to come off like anything other than a dick with an eyepatch. Still, it’s an interesting read, and Diego Barreto’s art is pretty, so if you’re a fan of the movie, this is worth a look.
David Walker and Bilquis Everly get really gritty with Shaft in this issue, and it’s great. This book has been careful to neither be too reverent nor too irreverent, and in the process, the team has made Shaft their own. If you like crime comics, this is a must-read.
The Ghost Fleet #3
This over-the-top action book keeps getting more entertaining and more bizarre. Themed around what amounts to a super-secret smuggling ring, it’s weaving a fairly interesting story of broken friendships, secrecy and crashing a truck with a bow and arrow. Highly recommended for action fans.
Eternal Warrior: Days Of Steel #3
Peter Milligan and Cary Nord wrap up what might be best called a fable about how the battle is not the war, and winning even the war doesn’t win hearts and minds. It’s a bit padded at three issues, but it’s a smart take on a character who could have been just a Conan knock-off, and it’s a smart message.
Earth 2: World’s End #14
I have to admit, I always did wonder how those flying discs the New Gods rode around on worked. This book not only answers that trivia question, but makes it a plot point. Still, beyond that, there isn’t much to this book, and one hopes there’s a bit more to this than fan gags. A solid read, as always, but you wish there was a bit more to it.
The New 52: Future’s End #36
This book enjoys abusing Constantine entirely too much. But, hey, that’s part of the fun. Honestly, though, this late in the story this book could use a little more focus, and it feels like running three weeklies at once is draining DC’s focus a bit. Still, a fun read for fans.
The Full Retail List
SIP Kids #2, $4.99
ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
Shinobi Ninja Princess #5 (Of 6), $3.99
UR GN, $14.95
Steam Tales #1, $3.99
Very Zombie Christmas Regifted TP, $14.99
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
Archie #663 (Dan Parent Regular Cover), $3.99
Archie #663 (Ron Salas Knievel Poster Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie 1000-Page Comics Mega Digest TP, $14.99
Archie Comics Digest #257, $4.99
Betty And Veronica #274 (Dan Parent Regular Cover), $3.99
Betty And Veronica #274 (Fernando Ruiz Little Betty & Veronica Variant Cover), $3.99
Sonic Boom #3 (SEGA Team Sonic Variant Cover), $3.99
Sonic Boom #3 (Tracy Yardley Regular Cover), $3.99
Sonic Super Special Magazine #13, $9.99
Sonic The Hedgehog Select Volume 10 TP, $11.99
Hi-Fructose Magazine Quarterly #34 (not verified by Diamond), $7.95
Crossed Badlands #69 (Christian Zanier Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #69 (Fernando Heinz Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Badlands #69 (Fernando Heinz Regular Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #69 (Fernando Heinz Torture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #69 (Michael DiPascale Fatal Fantasy Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #26 (Facundo Percio Iconic Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #26 (Gardenio Lima Enchanting Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #26 (German Nobile Carnage Wraparound Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #26 (Jacen Burrows End Of Days Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #26 (Jacen Burrows Gilded Incentive Cover), AR
God Is Dead #26 (Jacen Burrows Regular Cover), $3.99
War Stories #4 (Matt Martin Battle Damage Incentive Art Cover), AR
War Stories #4 (Matt Martin Good Girl Nose Art Cover), $3.99
War Stories #4 (Tomas Aria Regular Cover), $3.99
War Stories #4 (Tomas Aria Wraparound Cover), $3.99
BIG PLANET/RETROFIT COMICS
Fungus The Unbearable Rot Of Being GN, $12.00
Warhammer 40K Pandorax TP, $16.00
BLACK SQUIRREL BOOKS
Strike Four The Crankshaft Baseball Book TP, $24.95
BLISS ON TAP
I Play The Bad Guy #2 (Of 6), $3.99
Marvel 75 Years The Characters And Their Universe HC, $24.95
Curse TP, $14.99
Escape From New York #2 (Cover A Declan Shalvey), $3.99
Escape From New York #2 (Cover B Riley Rossmo), $3.99
Escape From New York #2 (Cover C Dan Panosian), AR
Feathers #1 (Of 6)(Cover A Jorge Corona), $3.99
Feathers #1 (Of 6)(Cover B Ramon K. Perez), AR
Feathers #1 (Of 6)(Cover C Ken Niimura), AR
Fiction Squad #4 (Of 6)(Cover A Ramon Backs), $3.99
Garfield #33 (Cover A Andy Hirsch), $3.99
Garfield #33 (Cover B K. Lynn Smith), AR
Robocop #7 (Cover A Goni Montes), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #4 (Cover A Ze Burnay), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #4 (Cover B Cory Fuller), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #4 (Cover C Christine Larsen), AR
Woods #9 (Cover A Michael Dialynas), $3.99
Storyville The Prostitute Murders GN, $19.99
CARLTON PUBLISHING GROUP
Poster Pack The Manga Art Of Osamu Tezuka Volume 1 HC, $17.95
Cinefex #140 (January 2015), $12.50
COMIC SHOP NEWS
Comic Shop News #1438, AR
DARK HORSE COMICS
Angel And Faith Season 10 #10 (Cover A Scott Fischer), $3.50
Angel And Faith Season 10 #10 (Cover B Will Conrad), $3.50
Drug And Drop Volume 1 TP, $10.99
Ghost #11, $2.99
Ghost Fleet #3, $3.99
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. 1952 #2 (Of 5), $3.50
Lady Killer #1 (Of 5), $3.50
Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus Volume 7 TP, $19.99
Pariah Volume 3 TP, $14.99
Usagi Yojimbo Senso #6 (Of 6), $3.99