We’ve got apocalypse, we’ve got superheroes, and we’ve got annoying teenagers getting eaten by coyotes. It’s a great week in comics. But which is the comic you should pick up first?
As always, we’re ranking these on accessibility, quality, and your critic’s personal preference; thus, a low ranking doesn’t necessarily mean a book is bad, just that there were others this week I preferred. On that note, what’s the best book of the week?
1. Broken World #1
An asteroid is coming to destroy the Earth. Nothing can stop it. Humanity is fleeing to the stars. Well… the humanity the government likes. As you might guess… that’s not working out so hot! Frank Barbiere has a set of clever ideas, here, that he grounds in one character, Elena Marlowe. Christopher Peterson’s art is clean and simple, and overall the book clicks quite effectively. Worth a shot, especially as a four-issue mini.
2. Superman #41
The boring invincible hero gets cut down to size a bit in Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder’s new direction. Superman is depowered, thanks to various events, Lois has outed his secret identity, he’s getting sued, he’s broke…and he’s having the time of his life. That said, not everybody is a Superfan, and things get dark surprisingly quickly. Still, it’s the freshest, the smartest, the most engaging Superman story I’ve read in years, and definitely worth reading.
3. Arcadia #2
This book follows a strong debut issue with one that starts exploring, in-depth, what happens when most of humanity is loaded onto a computer and just a rind of “The Meat” is left to keep it running. Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer have a killer book going here, and you should be reading it.
4. Dead Drop #2
Ales Kot and Adam Gorham continue their chase story with Archer, who has no pants and a serious problem as he sprints across New York after a virus. It’s the most kinetic and fun book you’ll read this week; if you need an action book, this will be perfect.
5. Big Man Plans #3
Eric Powell’s book about a little person out for revenge gets gory. Well, gorier. Well, even gorier. The ridiculous, over-the-top nature of this book is balanced by Powell’s superb, and often disturbing, art here. Suffice to say this isn’t a book for the weak of stomach, but definitely a book unlike anything else on the stands.
6. Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1
Ricardo Delgado’s experimental series featuring dinosaurs silently fighting it out to survive starts a new arc. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love dinosaurs, this will be your book.
7. No Mercy #3
Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil continue their superb thriller about a bunch of entitled teenagers trapped in the Central American jungle. What’s amazing about this issue is that de Campi and McNeil actually dial it back from the last two issues, but still keep up the relentless plot thrust; a lot happens in this issue to keep the story moving, and it’s incredibly tense. Pick up the previous two issues if you haven’t already and give this a read.
8. Bizarro #1
Jimmy Olsen is on a road trip with the title character, and all he wants to do is get a good story and keep Colin the Chupacabra (it’s that kind of book) out of his face. Needless to say, easier said than done. Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte actually have a pretty good time with this, and it’s infectious. Definitely worth a read.
9. Imperium #5
Toyo Harada is out to steal a cold fusion reactor. From a submarine. With an angry robot and a spiteful alien. Yeah, that won’t go well, but it manages to go even further off the rails than you might expect. Joshua Dysart actually gets a bit lighter, here, from the last four issues, but it’s still pretty hard-edged, and worth picking up.
10. The Witcher: Fox Children #3
Things go from bad to worse with Geralt as he’s lost in a swamp with a vulpess who can generate illusions on his heels. Oh, and he’s also got a crew of idiots to deal with, but they tend to take care of themselves. Paul Tobin and Joe Querio deliver, as usual, an atmospheric, moody book you should be reading.
11. Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1
I have to admit, being more of a DC kid than a Marvel one growing up, Marvel’s version of Convergence isn’t necessarily doing much for me. That said, seeing Dan Slott undo the awful One More Day and tell the story of Peter Parker, loving father, is a great damn read. It’s not really for anybody other than Spider-fans, but if you count yourself among them, pick this up.
12. The Omega Men #1
DC’s swashbuckling freedom fighters have become… substantially grittier, in this new take. From the cover down to the fact that most of the book is without context, this is a darker, grittier take on what are admittedly some of DC’s goofier characters. Truthfully, though, it clicks; the idea of the Omega Men as morally grey semi-terrorists is a fascinating one, and definitely worth a read.
13. Airboy #1
To give you an idea of what you’re in for with this book, the first splash panel is James Robinson, the guy writing the book, sitting on the toilet, arguing with the publisher of Image over whether or not they should reboot the Golden Age hero Airboy. It’s not bad, per se, but it feels a bit well-tread for the concept; this is essentially Adaptation, but with Golden Age superheroes and Greg Hinkle on art. Interesting, but perhaps a bit obvious.
14. Batman Beyond #1
Essentially, what happens when you send Batman… well, Tim Drake, at least, into a post-apocalyptic, Terminator-esque future, this book doesn’t try to reinvent any wheels, but it’s a fun, dynamic action read from Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang. If you want a futuristic superhero action book? This is the book to get.
15. Secret Wars #3
This book comes into a bit more focus, as we finally find out who managed to survive this Crisis on Infinite Earths. And yes, I am going to keep making DC reboot jokes until every Marvel zombie admits this is a reboot, so buckle in. Anyway, it’s a solid issue and we’ve got a little more plot momentum here, but Hickman needs to get on with it. Okay, we’ve got some Marvel heroes who aren’t weird alternate reality versions of themselves, now let’s get with the punching.
16. Captain Canuck #1
I admit it, I got this entirely due to the title, and it’s an interesting mix of action book and alternative history. Admittedly, the title stands out more than the book, but it’s quite a fun read, either way.
17. Midnighter #1
Well, you can’t accuse Steve Orlando or Aco of trying to tone Midnighter down. In the space of one issue he brutally murders some terrorists, hooks up with a hot guy on Grindr (yes, we see his hilariously honest profile), beats up some more terrorists, and crashes a pool game played by senior citizens. It’s all a bit excessive, but, to be fair, being over-the-top was always the point of this particular character, and Aco in particular runs with it, using elaborate layouts that almost veer into being difficult to read but just barely hold back. I’m not sure how I feel about this book, ultimately… but I’m glad it’s on the stands.
18. Green Arrow #41
To be honest, this attempt to reinvent Green Arrow as a semi-mystical street vigilante is a bit uneven. Patrick Zircher’s art nails the mood, but the script just feels a bit out of cadence with its ideas. Not a bad read, though, and if nothing else an interesting idea.
19. Green Lantern #41
Green Lantern gets… a little ’90s with this one. Hal’s now got long flowing locks, a Green Lantern glove instead of a ring, and he’s now a renegade. Despite all this, it’s a fun read… I’m just not sure how long it’ll be before Hal gets a haircut and gets a real job.
20. Bat-Mite #1
Dan Jurgens and Corin Howell unleash Batman’s own immortal and somewhat obnoxious wannabe sidekick onto the DCU, and it’s essentially DC’s Animaniacs, albeit slightly less frantic. Jurgens has good comedic timing, but it’s Howell’s sharp, cartoony style that carries the book. Not exactly new turf for DC, but it has an entertaining edge to it that makes it worth a look.
21. Groot #1
Jeff Loveness and Brian Kesinger are… a bit unfocused in their book starring Groot. It’s less a comic with a plot, until the last few pages, and more three sketches starring the talking tree and his raccoon friends. It’s a lighthearted time, especially with Kesinger’s art, but a little more focus would have helped.
22. Lobo #7
Setting aside the fact that this isn’t the bastitch we know and love, I find myself struggling to figure out where this book fits in for DC. It’s just so painfully generic, especially compared with the newly launched Midnighter and Omega Men. Even with Cliff Richards’ imaginative and detailed art, this book just leaves no taste in my mouth.
The Full Retail List, Courtesy of ComicList
Crypt Of Horror Volume 25 TP, $29.95
ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
Gronk A Monster’s Story Volume 3 GN, $9.99
Stray #4, $3.99
Vamplets Nightmare Nursery Volume 3 HC, $15.99
Oven HC (not verified by Diamond), $12.95
Caterer #1 (One Shot)(not verified by Diamond), $4.95
Island Of Memory Volume 1 GN (not verified by Diamond), $11.95
Doc Savage The New Adventures Volume 9 The Ice Genius SC, $24.95
AMERICAN GOTHIC PRESS
Famous Monsters Presents Gunsuits #1 (Of 4)(Cover A P. J. Holden), $3.99
Famous Monsters Presents Gunsuits #1 (Of 4)(Cover B Darick Robertson), $3.99
Last Zombie Zomnibus TP (Brian Keene Signed Edition), $49.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Betty Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Jughead Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Kevin Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Reggie Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Regular Cover), $3.99
Archie #666 (Dan Parent Veronica Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie Comics Double Digest #261, $4.99
Sonic Boom #8 (Ben Bates Epic Connecting Poster Part 2 Variant Cover), $3.99
Sonic Boom #8 (Patrick Spaziante Regular Cover), $3.99
Sonic Boom #8 (Ryan Jampole Happy Fun Time Crossover Variant Cover), $3.99