Each and every week “I don’t read love stories” MK2Fac3 and “All I read are love stories” 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 February 15, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
HOOOOORAAAYY!!! It’s The Henchman’s birthday!! So, in honor of his birthday, he’ll be going first as we list off all of the comics that we are looking forward to this week. Spoiler alert! MK2Fac3 isn’t happy about any new comic books this week, so he’ll be telling you about comics that you need to be reading or getting caught up on. So, sit back, slick your hair, fix yourself a drink and read our thoughts on comics and stuff! After that, go find The Hench’s Amazon wish list and buy him stuff, he likes free stuff. Anyway, here’s The GoD List!
Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 (Marvel Comics – $2.99): It’s time to give a Point One issue another shot, not that I need to be convinced to pick up Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve been reading it rain or snow or sun or sleet or fog or mist or frogs or locusts or monsoon or volcano or moloid attack since Brand New Day, and I’m not stopping now. Amazing Spider-Man #679.1 brings us the return of Morbius, every one’s favorite French comic artist. Wait, that’s Moebius. Morbius is everyone’s favorite living vampire. He actually showed up a few months back at the end of Spider Island as one of the mysterious geniuses at Peter Parker’s workplace, and this issue is due to shed some light on what he’s doing. Marvel promises this to be a good jumping on point, and I hope it is, especially if you’ve fallen off of Spider-Man the last few months. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it. Writer Dan Slott has been telling some fantastic Spidey stories with great action and tons of sub-plots. Pricing this at $2.99 is a good move by marvel, and hopefully will entice people to check this issue out.
Road Rage #1 (IDW Publishing – $3.99): Okay, so this is billed as being written by Stephen King and Joe Hill, but it’s actually being written by Chris Ryall, who has done a fair bit of writing for IDW as well as working as their Chief Creative Officer. I say this just so you know what you’re getting into, which is not to say I still don’t want to read this. Road Rage is an adaptation of a short story that King and Hill collaborated on called Throttle. It’s about a motorcycle club called The Tribe who run afoul of a trucker with the desire to run them all down. It sounds like a pretty fun exploitation comic. I’m not expecting a ton from it, but I’m looking to be pleasantly surprised.
Prophet #21 (Image Comics – $2.99, Second Printing): If you’re like me, you probably skipped over this issue when it first came out a couple weeks, but from what I’ve been hearing, that was a big mistake. What Image and Rob Leifeld have done is take one of their older books (they’ve actually done this with a bunch of older Abstract Studios books from the ’90s and 2000s) and give it to new creators to do whatever they want with it. The confusing part comes in with the decision to keep the old numbering of the original series. So while this says issue 21, it’s basically an all new first issue. The plot of the book deals with a man named John prophet who wakes up from cryosleep into a world he scarcely recognizes. From what people are saying, it is an interesting, unique book that is more in line with Image’s indie sensibilities of today than it is with their more mainstream books of the ’90s. Don’t let the numbering through you off, as this could be the next big Image book.
Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 4 hardcover (DC/Vertigo Comics – $29.99): We are lousy with good trades to pick up this week, whether it be a new volume of 20th Century Boys, new Hellblazer, a new X-Factor hardcover, among many others. However, the one I’m most excited for is the fourth deluxe hardcover collection of Bill Willingham’s Fables. This volume collects issues 28-33, as well as the stories from 1001 Nights of Snowfall. The artists involved in these issues include regular artist Mark Buckingham, as well as Charles Vess, Jill Thompson, James Jean, Brian Bolland and many more. This is an artist showcase book, with some of the best in the business turning in a whole lot of fantastic work. In terms of the overall Fables story, this volume represents the calm before the storm that will become the Fables war against the Adversary (trust me, this all makes sense if you’ve read the series). Snow gives birth, Bigby Wolf tells the story of his adventures in World War II, and we get background on a whole host of characters. This period of the book is when it the book was firing on all cylinders and this volume collects some of the best issues of the entire series. The Deluxe hardcovers are a great presentation of the series, and a great for new and old readers. I can’t wait to read these issues again.
I’ve searched through each and every comic listed for this week on Comixology’s Pull List site, and I’ve gotta tell ya, nothing’s really catching my fancy. Sure, the go to hits are there like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman, Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz’s Birds of Prey and Mark Waid’s amazing run on Daredevil. There’s even an interesting new series that Henchman talked about above (Road Rage), but as each week passes, I get less and less interested in DC Comics and mainstream comics, in general. Maybe it’s all the recent legal garbage, or maybe it’s just really low quality in books recently, but the big two are absolutely losing me. Granted, there are some great comics coming out from both publishers, but they’re not the majority, and they’re not coming out this week. So, I’m going to break down a list of comics that you should either get caught up on or read on your own since they’ve completed their runs. I’ve recently read some collections, so first I want to let you know about some of those.
Criminal (Icon – Brubaker/Phillips): Criminal has solidified itself in my eyes as one of the best comics of all time, let alone crime comics. I read the majority of the series in single issues, but I’ve recently been going back and reading each mini-series in trade paperback format, and I’m in love with that way of reading Criminal. To me, it reads so much better that way as the series is always a page turner. But it’s not just the format that makes this comic so good. Brubaker’s scripts are always intriguing and layered, while Phillips’ art is simply perfect. Yeah, it’s pretty much a perfect comic, so if you enjoy crime comics and you’re not reading Criminal, you’re doing it wrong. Way wrong.
Echoes (Fialkov/Ekedel): Okay, so I got this at the beginning of the year and I just started it and now I’m in the middle of the story. Holy effing ess, you guys. This comics is seriously messed up. Image an episode of crime drama X, but strip away the limitations that television presents and remove all bits of formulaic lack of creativity. That’s what Echoes is. It’s the story a man who has inherited mental illness from his father, who just so happens to be a murderer of young children. Like I said, I haven’t finished it yet, but the way the Fialkov’s story and Rahsan Ekedal’s haunting art work together makes your skin crawl, but you can’t help yourself from turning the page. It’s disturbing, but it’s so, so good. Read it.
Also, I’d highly suggest you go on a Morrison trip if you haven’t yet. The books I’d suggest more than any others are Doom Patrol, The Invisibles (if you can find the collections), Animal Man and Seven Soldiers of Victory. Honestly, if you haven’t read a lot of Morrison, this would be the week to start. Especially with the increasingly weak fifth week of comics coming up in the next couple of weeks. But trades aren’t the only thing that you can pick up this week, there are also some great single issue series that haven’t been collected that you really should be checking out right now as well, so catch up on these great comics.
Fatale (Image Comics – Brubaker/Phillips): Now, most of the books I have listed in this section are comics that I’m not caught up on, but I really need to. Most of these are just situations where Diamond Distribution did not ship enough copies of comics to the store which I patron. And, such is my situation, the whole area where I live. And that took a long time for me to say that I missed issue two. Anyway, the first issue of Fatale was completely killer and it’s the one new comic this year that I’m 100 percent enthusiastic about.
Batwoman (DC Comics – Blackman/Williams III/Reeder): Look, this comic is all about the visuals, Williams III is easily one of the most mind-blowing artists in comics right now and his work on Batwoman has pretty much been his best work, also. Now, Amy Reeder has stepped in on the art, and I’ve got to tell you, she’s filling Williams’ shoes quite nicely. So, make sure to get caught up on this book if you want to see some of the best art currently being published.
Birds of Prey (DC Comics – Swierczynski/Saiz): Birds of Prey has been the only comic from the DC Relaunch that I thought I would have a completely negative attitude towards, but it’s changed by perspective by 180 degrees. I didn’t know what to expect from this creative team as they were taking control of one of my favorite properties in the DC Universe, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with each issue. The new issue comes out today, so pick up the past issues this week in your shop, or on Comixology. In fact, you can find all of these comics online!
I, Vampire (DC Comics – Fialkov/Sorrentino): Again, I’m not caught up on this either, but based on Fialkov’s previous work and the outstanding first issue of the series, I have no doubt that this comic packs an amazing punch. Sure it’s about vampires, but so are 30 Days of Night and American Vampire, and those comics are amazing. So, get the prejudice out of your head and start reading I, Vampire. I sincerely doubt that you’ll regret it. The creative team is amazing and the subject matter isn’t inherently bad, so seriously, buy the comic, it needs sales.
Skullkickers (Image Comics – Zub/Huang/Coates): This comic isn’t currently being published because the creators are taking a break (read Makeshift Miracle, really… do it), but what better time than now to get caught up on the entire series? Seriously, it’s a blast to read. Make sure to get read this book and be ready for when new issues start coming out!
Locke & Key (IDW Publishing – Hill/Rodriguez): Best. Comic. In. The. World.