Each and (almost) every week “Mr. Fifth Di-WTF is he talking about-mension” MK2Fac3 and “Mr. I’m Too Pretty For Formatting” Henchman21 read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible… theoretically. They look forward to some more than others, I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of their pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of January 4, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Happy New Year, lads and lasses! In just a short amount of days, I’ll be sailing the seven seas, but let’s catch up for a moment. How did you spend your New Year’s Eve and Day? Did you eat your good luck charms? Did you spend the holidays drunk and hungover? That’s neat. I spent mine laying in bed with an illness that can only be described as velociraptor-esque. But I can tell you one thing, I cracked the code of the fifth dimension. It’s simple, you see. Because the fifth dimension is what determines our very existence. It’s all based on words. Words define our lives because without language and words, we would not be able to communicate. Well, maybe we could through art? Who knows, I was running a fever and hallucinating. Either way, though, comics consist of both art and words, so it’s the perfect medium! You know what I’m saying? GoD List. Baller cakes.
Action Comics #5 (DC Comics – $3.99): For months I was telling myself, you’ve just gotta give it time, it’ll pick up. And when it does, it will be mother loving glorious. And when I read Action Comics #4, my dreams were finally realized within the however many pages there were in that issue (you can’t seriously expect me to count them, can you?). The story started to feel a bit more cohesive while providing a threat to Metropolis and the world as a whole. The main players in the first act of Morrison’s story are all on the board and we’re about to see what happens next… in issue #7. Seriously, when I read that a giant hole was shot in my sailboat sails and I fell to the ground and cried to the skies asking, “Save me from this wait!” And then I heard a voice from above whisper, “No.” I quickly got up and hid in my closet for three hours. But anyway, it’s origin time! Wahoo! And your friend and mine Andy Kubert is taking the drawing board away from Rags Morales so he can have a go at one of DC Comics’ flagship characters in his inception. I know, I know, you might be saying “Bro, why we gotta have a mutha truckin’ origin, huh?” Well, it’s a new universe and Grant Morrison is totes awesome at the Superman origin, k dawg? Seriously, just chill your skillet and enjoy the issue. Morrison’s hitting his stride with Action, so if you fell off because it wasn’t holding your interest, pick this issue up and check out the origin of The Man of Steel. I’m pretty sure you’re gonna dig it, and if you don’t, don’t blame me. I’m just a faceless guy on a computer. You’re not even sure that I’m real, right? Words.
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #2 (Dynamite Entertainment – $3.99): I really enjoyed the first issue of this newly launched Dynamite title and that was pretty much all thanks to the brilliant precision of writer Eric Trautmann. For me, as a person who is relatively familiar with Flash Gordon, he hit all of the tentpoles that I needed him to. We got a sense for the style of story that we were going to experience while also being introduced to the major players in the series, while taking the time to explain the majority of the motivations for each of those characters. And even more than what I needed from a first issue, he managed to give me exactly what I wanted from this comic specifically. It’s a blend of the classic pulp style comics of the mid-20th century but adding a modern sensibility to it, which again, is exactly what I wanted from a character and book like Flash Gordon. If you didn’t pick up the first issue, do so. And then get this one, because it’s great and you should absolutely be reading it.
The Goon #37 (Dark Horse Comics – $3.50): If it’s a light week for you, which it is for the helpless punk beneath my shoe (Henchman21), then it’s a great time to pick up the new issue of The Goon! The Goon is always a blast to just pick up and read whenever you feel like it. I mean, you should always feel like, but I’m not here to judge you’re buying patterns, I’m here to suggest you try something new in addition to your 85 mainstream comics! And like I said, The Goon is a good way to go. Most of the time the book pokes fun at all aspects of pop culture while never forgetting to tell a kick ass one and done story that will keep the reader turning the page. It’s easily one of the most fun comics on stands that still caters primarily to adults and older teens. If you haven’t been picking up this series, then there’s seriously no better time than now. And the reason for that is because it’s always a good idea to give this book a try. You really should try this book out, I mean it. Like, what do I have to do? Show my face? I can’t because I’m a robot, but I can tell you I love you. I love you. Did that work? Now buy The Goon.
Seven Soldiers of Victory Vol. 1 TPB (DC Comics – $29.99): I’m not even entirely sure that this book is coming out this week, but I don’t really care because it’s awesome. In fact, it may have already come out and this is the reprint, but whatever. Seven Soldiers of Victory is like one of my two favorite comics of all time. Right up there with Batman: Year One. No lie. It’s the most exciting and intricate story that I have ever read, and I think about it every time I see a subway car or hear the word pirate. It takes place in New York City and features a handful of DC’s more obscure characters, re-imagines them and tells an awesome story of time travel, alternate existence and so very much more. It’s rich with creativity and if you let it, it will infect your mind in the most amazing and brilliant way. And if you’re reading and enjoying the “Dark” titles from DC’s newly relaunched line of comics and you haven’t read Seven Soldiers of Victory yet, you need to get your priorities in order and read this as quickly as you can. Seriously, just thinking about how great this book is makes me want to fall into a trance and dream of beautifully drawn imagery and higher realms while trying to stay away from the Sheeda. Also, it makes me want to read Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga so freaking hard. Unf.
I’ve only got two comics this week because it’s another boring week. Unless you still haven’t bought Justice League #1 or you’re a rabid collector, because now you can pick up the fifth printing of that issue. Or you can see if Uncanny X-Force 19.1 is a good jumping on point or if it’s the same 90% of the other Point One issues. At least we have new issues of the always amazing Swamp Thing and Animal Man to keep us entertained. And we also have these books…
Fatale #1 (Image Comics – $3.50): Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the team behind Criminal, Incognito, and Sleeper, are back again with their new series Fatale, and I couldn’t be happier. Okay, I could be a little happier if it was just another series of Criminal, but we’ll take what we can get, especially when it is these two creators working together. Brubaker and Phillips have become the preeminent writer/artist pairing in all of comics, giving readers mature, thoughtful, and most importantly, entertaining comics for more than a decade. I expect their streak to continue with Fatale, a story that mixes the crime elements of Criminal, with the pulp elements of Incognito, finished with some horror/super-natural elements for good measure. Fatale is about a reporter from the present day who stumbles upon a woman who has been on the run from a demonic gangster since 1935. Brubaker is at his best when writing his own characters, and Phillips art is sure to express the perfect tone for the story. I have no doubt this will be the best book on stands this week, and you owe it to yourself to check this out.
Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #4 (of 6 ) (IDW Publishing – $3.99): Talk about a fun comic book. Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes has been a blast so far, mixing and matching the two sets of characters into a dimension-hopping romp that has the teams joining forces to find a way back to their own worlds. The series has perfectly blended the two universes, with Star Trek and the Legion being, perhaps unsurprising, two great tastes that taste great together. Writer Chris Roberson has wisely kept the group of Legion members to a reasonable size, since the Legion tends to scare off certain readers. He has also wisely stuck with the original version of the Trek characters that so many know and love. I know there are a lot of comic readers who will not buy anything with the Legion name on it, but don’t let that scare you from picking this series up.
Annotated Sandman Hardcover Vol. 1 (DC/Vertigo – $49.99): Sandman fanatics unite! You have another reason to buy the series once again, this time in a beautiful hardcover. What really makes this edition special is the annotations from Leslie S. Klinger, who has previously overseen annotated versions of Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. The Annotated Sandman Vol. 1 takes the first twenty issues and examines the series panel by panel, offering commentary, historical and contemporary references, and other information that will shed some light on the story and is sure to reveal new information to even the most devoted of Sandman fans. I’ve read the series several times, and I am looking forward to reading it once again to see what new information I can glean from the story. Neil Gaiman’s work is so multi-layered that it deserves this kind of in-depth examination, making this the definitive version of the series.