Shaft comes to comics this week, in a smart, well-done book. We review that, plus a look at some of this week’s notable comics.
Secret Six #1
Gail Simone brings back her beloved team of supervillains, and it’s… not what you might expect. They’re six very, very different people, ranging from the relatively stable Catman and Big Shot to Strix and the Ventriloquist, but they’re all in the same boat and one way or the other, will have to work together. It’s a bit slow-paced in some ways, but a heck of a lot of fun, and definitely worth a read.
Wolf Moon #1
Cullen Bunn goes after the werewolf myth with this book. It’s more or less the story of a virus; the werewolf hops between hosts, unleashing chaos and then departing the host, leaving them struggling to put their lives back together. If they’re lucky, that is. The first issue is interesting but a bit lacking in focus, but the idea is definitely promising.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1
Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Stephanie Hans, and Phil Jimenez have all been thrown at Angela in an attempt to make her interesting, and it’s… pretty standard stuff, really. One of the problems is that Angela is very much the dull ’90s antihero, and she’s just not that interesting as a character. Pretty off-putting, actually! The art’s quite good; Jimenez and Hans work well together, handling different parts of the book. But overall, it’s just a basic, middle-of-the-road Marvel fantasy comic.
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #1
Hellboy’s first mission is the focus of this new miniseries. It’s mostly setting up the plot this issue, but that just gives us ample room to enjoy Alex Maleev’s art, which is actually some of the best stuff he’s put down in a while. Highly recommended, especially if you want to get into Hellboy.
Escape From New York #1
And here you heard this franchise was dead. Chris Sebela and Diego Barreto have a tall order tackling this classic cult movie, and they do a solid job of it. Barreto’s art is a little clean and precise for what should be a scuzzy, nasty book, but he does a decent job with the action, and Sebela’s script, while less than subtle, fits the movie quite well. In all, a good read for fans.
Valiant-Sized Quantum And Woody #1
Quantum and Woody are brought in to save the planet. That goes almost as well as you’d expect, in this Christmas-themed one-shot. It’s pretty funny, and there’s one running joke in particular that’s pretty gutsy for any comics publisher, so if you’re a fan of this duo, this is well worth the money.
Taking on a character that looms as large as Shaft must be as intimidating as hell. But from David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely’s quiet, smart take, you’d think it was a breeze. Picking up before Shaft became the hardass private eye we all know and love, it lays out a lot about the character and his moral choices, giving him a depth that goes beyond being an action star, while Evely’s art has a nice ’70s Marvel feel to it while also being distinct and subtly refining the mood. It’s both a great tribute to the character and a strong book that can stand on its own, and definitely worth a look.
The Ghost Fleet #2
Donny Cates’ pulpy story of an ancient conspiracy and the trucking line it runs has become a complete, over-the-top, hoot. Considering Cates’ introspective and clever use of superpowers as a metaphor for drugs and addiction in Buzzkill, this is about the last thing I expected out of him as a followup. But it’s a welcome one, and a crackerjack action book.
Eternal Warrior: Days Of Steel #2
Gilead has to save the Franks… but he may be learning the hard way that kicking ass only goes so far. Suffice to say, it’s clear where this book is going, but it promises to be a fun ride for three issues.
As a generic action book, this is OK, if weirdly paced. This issue tries to pick up in medias res and instead just feels like a bunch of pages are missing. But it’s still not Lobo, and that still hurts this book.
Gotham Academy #3
If I had to put my finger on what really bugs me about this book, it’s that it starts with assuming that we care, a lot, about the cast, and thus skips over all that pesky character development. Three issues in, I can tell you Olive Sliverlock doesn’t like Batman and had some sort of run-in with him over the summer. Oh, and she’s shutting out her boyfriend over it. That’s it. It’s a shame because the book is actually pretty interesting as a concept, but it needs something more than teenage tropes to be the book it wants to be.
Axis: Revolutions #3
Ever wonder why Kitty Pryde doesn’t just knock over a bank? Well, the brakes are off, so Ray Fawkes finds out. It’s a great story, and Frank Barbiere’s Sandman followup is just as entertaining. In all some great comics riffing well on their characters.
Aliens Vs. Predator: Fire And Stone #3
While I love Ariel Olivetti’s art on this book, a disturbing mixture of a very clean, detailed, painterly European comics style and some profoundly, gleefully grotesque design, the plot’s getting really, really dumb. Oh well, at least the book is pretty and there are freaky monsters. That’s always a good time.
Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain start their second arc with their cyberpunk hero. Essentially, New Japan, the massive floating city this story is set, is about to fall apart, and Rai has to somehow keep it together while keeping Father, his creator, from figuring out he’s rebelling. This book started out a bit abstract but has slowly gotten compelling, and this new arc is a good jumping-on point.
The Full Retail List
I.C.E. Volume 1 TP (New Printing), $14.99
ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT
F1rst Hero #4 (Of 4), $3.99
Fight Like A Girl #1 (Of 4), $3.99
Jack Hammer Usurper #2 (Of 2), $3.99
Planet Gigantic #2 (Of 4), $3.99
Shinobi Ninja Princess #4 (Of 6), $3.99
Magic Whistle #15, $4.99
Cavewoman Rising (One Shot)(Cover A Rob Durham), $3.99
Cavewoman Rising (One Shot)(Cover B Rob Durham), AR
Cavewoman Rising (One Shot)(Cover D Budd Root), AR
Cavewoman Roam (One Shot)(Cover A Devon Massey), $3.99
Cavewoman Roam (One Shot)(Cover B Devon Massey), AR
Cavewoman Roam (One Shot)(Cover D Budd Root), AR
Cavewoman Roam (One Shot)(Cover F Art Adams), AR
AND ACTION ENTERTAINMENT
Legend Of The Mantamaji Volume 2 GN, $14.99
Soppy A Love Story GN, $14.99
Gold Digger #216, $3.99
Gold Digger Annual #18, $3.99
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
Archie #662 (Genevieve F.T. Chestnuts Roasting Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie #662 (Dan Parent Regular Cover), $3.99
Archie Comics Annual Digest #256, $5.99
Sonic Boom #2 (Patrick Spaziante Regular Cover), $3.99
Sonic Boom #2 (T.Rex Variant Cover), $3.99
Seven To Die Prose Novel SC, $7.99
Crossed Badlands #67 (German Erramouspe Torture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #67 (Jacen Burrows Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Badlands #67 (Jacen Burrows Regular Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #67 (Michael DiPascale Fatal Fantasy Cover), $3.99
Crossed Badlands #67 (Michael DiPascale Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade American History X Wrap Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade Crossed Culture Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade Design Sketch Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade Future Tense Cover), $3.99
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade New World Order Wraparound Bagged Cover), $5.99
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade Red Crossed Incentive Cover), AR
Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Gabriel Andrade Regular Cover), $3.99
Dark Gods #2 (Christian Zanier Nightmare Incentive Cover), AR
Dark Gods #2 (Christian Zanier Siren Cover), $3.99
Dark Gods #2 (German Erramouspe Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Dark Gods #2 (Michael DiPascale Deity Cover), $3.99
Dark Gods #2 (Michael DiPascale Regular Cover), $3.99
Extinction Parade War #5 (Raulo Caceres Bloodwashed Incentive Cover), AR
Extinction Parade War #5 (Raulo Caceres End Of Species Cover), $4.99
Extinction Parade War #5 (Raulo Caceres Pure Art Incentive Cover), AR
Extinction Parade War #5 (Raulo Caceres Regular Cover), $4.99
Extinction Parade War #5 (Raulo Caceres Wraparound Cover), $4.99
Uber #20 (Caanan White Blitzkrieg Incentive Cover), AR
Uber #20 (Caanan White Regular Cover), $3.99
Uber #20 (Caanan White War Crimes Cover), $3.99
Uber #20 (Caanan White Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Uber #20 (Michael DiPascale Propaganda Poster Cover), $3.99
War Stories #3 (Matt Martin Battle Damage Incentive Cover), AR
War Stories #3 (Matt Martin Good Girl Nose Art Cover), $3.99
War Stories #3 (Matt Martin Regular Cover), $3.99
War Stories #3 (Matt Martin Wraparound Cover), $3.99
Warhammer 40K Salamanders Rebirth HC, $24.99
Warhammer Bane Of Malekith SC, $14.00
Simpsons Illustrated #14, $3.99
Adventure Time #34 (Cover A Stu Livingston), $3.99
Adventure Time #34 (Cover B Claudia Aguirre), $3.99
Adventure Time #34 (Cover C Ru Xu), AR
Cloaks #4 (Of 4)(Cover A W. Scott Forbes), $3.99
Escape From New York #1 (Cover A Declan Shalvey), $3.99
Escape From New York #1 (Cover B Tim Bradstreet), $3.99
Escape From New York #1 (Cover C Riley Rossmo), AR
Escape From New York #1 (Cover D Jay Shaw), AR
Escape From New York #1 (Cover E Alice X. Zhang), AR
Evil Empire #8 (Cover A Jay Shaw), $3.99
Fairy Quest Outcasts #2 (Of 2)(Cover A Humberto Ramos), $3.99
Fairy Quest Outcasts #2 (Of 2)(Cover B Humberto Ramos), AR
Fiction Squad #3 (Of 6)(Cover A Ramon Bachs), $3.99
Garfield #32 (Cover A Andy Hirsch), $3.99
Robocop #6 (Cover A Goni Montes), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #3 (Cover A Alexis Ziritt), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #3 (Cover B Corey Fuller), $3.99
Uncle Grandpa #3 (Cover C Brandon Reese), AR
Woods #8 (Cover A Michael Dialynas), $3.99
Shaolin Cowboy TP, $19.99
Star Wars Costumes volume 1 The Original Trilogy HC (not verified by Diamond), $60.00
COMIC SHOP NEWS
Comic Shop News #1433, AR
Dry Spell #4, $3.99
DARK HORSE COMICS
Alien Vs Predator Fire And Stone #3 (Of 4), $3.50
Angel And Faith Season 10 #9 (Scott Fischer Regular Cover), $3.50
Angel And Faith Season 10 #9 (Will Conrad Variant Cover), $3.50
Essential Kurtzman Volume 1 Harvey Kurtzman’s Jungle Book HC, $24.99
Ghost #10, $2.99
Ghost Fleet #2, $3.99
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #1 (Of 5)(Alex Maleev Regular Cover), $3.50
Hellboy And The B.P.R.D. #1 (Of 5)(Mike Mignola Variant Cover), AR
Mighty TP, $19.99
New Lone Wolf And Cub Volume 3 TP, $13.99
Tiger Lung HC, $15.99