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‘Princess Leia’ And Other Comics of Note, March 4th

All-New Hawkeye #1

Following up on Matt Fraction and David Aja’s superb run is a tall order, and damn if Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez don’t pull it off. Perez in particular deserves a rave because he mixes beautiful, abstract watercolors with a hard-inked tribute to Aja’s art that’s probably the most gorgeous book on the stands, and works Lemire’s flashback structure like a charm. In short, it’s a great followup to a hard act to follow, and highly recommended.

Princess Leia #1

It’s easy to forget that amid all the space battles and sword fights, an entire planet and its culture was wiped out by the Empire in A New Hope. How do you pick up those pieces, when your planet is gone in an eyeblink? It’s an interesting theme Mark Waid touches on in this debut issue, with a little help from Terry Dodson on art. Dodson shows a particular taste for space battles here that I hope he gets to follow up on. All in all, an excellent debut and highly recommended.

Big Man Plans #1

Eric Powell and Tim Wiesch deliver a story, complete with Powell’s gorgeous art, about a little person who, after years doing black bag operations in Vietnam, is dumped stateside bitter, angry, and ready to kick the ass of anybody who gets in his way. As in, the opening has him blow up a bar that mistreats him while, in the foreground, he punches out an 8-year-old.

It’s dark even by Powell’s standards, but it never feels cheap: Yeah, this is a book that features our hero with his wang out beating a man senseless with a tire iron, but it actually makes sense and doesn’t feel forced, and it’s equal parts sad and funny. Highly recommended.

Descender #1

Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen launch a story about the last robot boy in the galaxy… who is already in trouble up to his neck. Lemire’s setup is brisk, full of questions while not letting them overwhelm the plot and building character by letting Nguyen fill in the details. Nguyen, meanwhile, delivers some absolutely gorgeous artwork that has enough restraint to feel real while being fantastic enough to suit the setting. This book has been getting raves for weeks and it’s not hard to see why. Highly recommended.

Neverboy #1

Shaun Simon and Tyler Jenkins turn the typical story of imaginary friends on its head; our hero is an imaginary friend who takes drugs to stay real, and if the drugs run out… well, it’s bad news. It’s an interesting concept, but the execution of the script borrows a little too much from Sandman and its ilk to feel quite as fresh as it should. That said, Jenkins does a good job of mixing the grounded with the surreal, and if you want a slightly whimsical fantasy book, this will do the job.

HaloGen #1

Josh Tierney’s script is far too wordy, and Afu Chan’s art, while at least interesting, feels a bit too loose despite its detail to really fit the idea. What really kills this book, though, is that it’s so in love with its own concept it can’t be bothered to clue in the reader as to what’s going on in the plot. It’s an okay book, but only that, and it needs a bit more focus and tweaking to deliver on its concept.

The Big Con Job #1

It’s a fairly standard premise: The cast of an old SF show finds themselves facing dwindling returns and fans. Their careers are in the toilet and there’s not much change on the horizon. So, they’re going to rob a comic convention, and not just any comic convention: San Diego Comic-Con. The main problem is that the tone of this book is all over the map; Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady mix the same jokes about douchebag fans in with some depressing plot beats. Dominike “Domo” Stanton’s art is a little too cartoony to really sell the dark moments, and it doesn’t quite click with the comedy bits, admittedly not helped by Paul Little’s rather bland coloring. Still, it’s a hell of a gimmick, and potentially one worth following.

Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1

Warren Ellis scales back Dynamite’s attempt to revive Golden Age (and public domain) superheroes to a small town, Blackcross, where… well, safe to say it’s more Twin Peaks than Mayberry. It’s a vague series, to some degree, and aside from a truly dramatic opening, it’s largely setting up what’s coming. Still, Colton Worley’s art is vivid, to say the least, and what little plot we do see is compelling stuff. Definitely worth a read if you’re an Ellis fan.

Nameless #2

John Constanti-ah, heh, excuse me, Nameless, does not get on well in space, as Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s staggering mashup of hard SF and fringe Christian mysticism continues. This book is completely nuts, but in the best way possible, and Morrison never lets his ideas, which are admittedly worth just sitting there and contemplating, get in the way of the fast-moving plot. Burnham, meanwhile, is having a ridiculous amount of fun drawing everything from insane homicidal scientists to mystical spacesuits, and it shows. If you’re not reading this book, start doing so now: Highly recommended.

Cluster #2

Forcibly drafted convicts find themselves stranded on an alien planet, full of creatures out to kill them. Oh, and also, they’re technically off the reservation, so they’ve got a bomb counting down in their vital organs they need to defuse, pronto. Ed Brisson layers on a lot of complications in this second issue, and manages to keep all the balls in the air. Similarly, Damian Couceiro does a great job with the aliens and SF tone, supported well by Michael Garland’s coloring work. It’s not, perhaps, the best SF book on the stands, but it’s a zippy action book and a fun read.

Imperium #2

The best kind of villain is the one who thinks he’s saving the world, a writing maxim Imperium takes to a logical extreme by exploring the people behind Toyo Harada, a man who wants to fix the world by ruling it. Joshua Dysart walks a tightrope here: Harada can’t be remotely sympathetic, because, well, he’s a megalomaniac. But he can’t be entirely wrong, either. It’s a cleverly written book, and Doug Braithwaite’s art really enhances the action and the gritty tone. It’s a tough, thoughtful book and highly recommended.

Wolf Moon #4

This take on the werewolf myth keeps up the momentum, this time with an enormous fight across a mall and the potential unraveling of our anti-hero, Dylan, as he faces down the werewolf and only manages to escape by luck. It’s a pretty thrilling read, and it sets up what promises to be an interesting finale.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #4

Really, it was only a matter of time before you came across a few old enemies in this book, and Hellboy indeed runs into one in this issue. I won’t spoil it except to say the ending won’t be what you expect. Definitely worth a read, especially if you want something a bit pulpier.

X-O Manowar #34

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Robert Venditti’s space opera gets a little more hardcore, as hard as that might be to believe, with the new arc Dead Hand. Turns out, the Armor Hunters, a bunch of zealots attempting to defeat the plague that is our hero’s armor, had a backup weapon… and it can destroy entire solar systems. It’s a bit over-the-top, but it has a pleasing Cosmic Marvel feel to it that makes it a lot of fun.

Detective Comics #40

Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul deliver a great conclusion to their fresh take on Anarky. Detective has been DC’s secret weapon of the Batbooks, and this reinforces why. Definitely worth a read, especially the full arc.

The Full Retail List

ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
Herald Lovecraft And Tesla #3 (Of 3), $3.99
Hero Cats #4, $3.99
Planet Gigantic New World Home TP, $14.99
Stray #2 (Cover A Sean Izaakse), $3.99
Stray #2 (Cover B Shawn McGuan), $4.99

ANTARCTIC PRESS
Gold Digger #219, $3.99
Littlest Zombie Summer Dead Special #1 (One Shot), $3.99

AVATAR PRESS
Crossed Badlands #73 (Christian Zanier Torture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #73 (Fernando Heinz Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Badlands #73 (Fernando Heinz Regular Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #73 (Fernando Heinz Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #73 (Michael DiPascale Fatal Fantasy Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade American History X Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade Crossed Culture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade Design Sketch Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade Future Tense Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade New World Order Wraparound Bagged Cover), $5.99
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Plus 100 #3 (Gabriel Andrade Regular Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #30 (Facundo Percio Enchanting Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #30 (German Nobile Carnage Wraparound Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #30 (Jacen Burrows End Of Days Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #30 (Jacen Burrows Gilded Incentive Cover), AR
God Is Dead #30 (Jacen Burrows Iconic Cover), $3.99
God Is Dead #30 (Jacen Burrows Regular Cover), $3.99
Uber #23 (Caanan White War Crimes Cover), $3.99
Uber #23 (Daniel Gete Blitzkrieg Incentive Cover), AR
Uber #23 (Daniel Gete Regular Cover), $3.99
Uber #23 (Daniel Gete Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Uber #23 (Michael DiPascale Propaganda Poster Cover), $3.99

BBC BOOKS
Doctor Who Time Trips The Collection HC, $29.99

BEARMANOR MEDIA
Bright Lights Lonely Nights The Memories Of Serena Porn Star Pioneer Of The 1970s SC, $32.95
Superhero Confidential Volume 1 SC, $19.95

BLACK WATCH COMICS
Credence Volume 1 GN (not verified by Diamond), $19.99

BLISS ON TAP
I Play The Bad Guy #3 (Of 6), $3.99

BOOM! STUDIOS
Adventure Time Volume 6 TP, $14.99
Amazing World Of Gumball #8 (Cover A Missy Pena), $3.99
Amazing World Of Gumball #8 (Cover B Zackary Giallongo), $3.99
Amazing World Of Gumball #8 (Cover C Ashley Davis), AR
Burning Fields #1 (Colin Lorimer 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Cluster #2 (Cover A Damian Couceiro), $3.99
Cluster #2 (Cover B Declan Shalvey), AR
Day Men #6 (Cover A Brian Stelfreeze), $3.99
Feathers #3 (Of 6)(Cover A Jorge Corona), $3.99
Fiction Squad #6 (Of 6)(Cover A Ramon Backs), $3.99
Garfield #35 (Cover A Andy Hirsch), $3.99
Garfield #35 (Cover B Andy Hirsch), AR
HaloGen #1 (Of 4)(Cover A Afu Chan), $3.99
HaloGen #1 (Of 4)(Cover B Ramon K. Perez), AR
HaloGen #1 (Of 4)(Cover C Giannis Milonogiannis), AR
Palmiotti And Brady’s The Big Con Job #1 (Of 4)(Cover A Amanda Conner), $3.99
Palmiotti And Brady’s The Big Con Job #1 (Of 4)(Cover B Jay Shaw), $3.99
Palmiotti And Brady’s The Big Con Job #1 (Of 4)(Cover C Trevor Hairsine), AR
Palmiotti And Brady’s The Big Con Job #1 (Of 4)(Cover D Dan McDaid), AR
Robocop #9 (Cover A Carlos Magno), $3.99
Steven Universe #8 (Cover A Amber Rogers), $3.99
Steven Universe #8 (Cover B Melanie Herring), $3.99
Steven Universe #8 (Cover C Helen Yoon), AR
Woods #11 (Cover A Michael Dialynas), $3.99

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