Each and every week “The King of Trades” Henchman21 and “The King of Smarks” MK2Fac3 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 October 26, 2011. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
This is The GoD List and it’s a place for you to show up and check out what it is that we (The HenchFac3 of Doom!) are most excited for this week in comics! That’s right, each and every Wednesday you can come to this website and see what we want to read. We’re taking bets now for next week, so if you want to leave a comment below on what you think we’ll be reading, you just might not win a very special prize! If you did want to bet, however, the safest thing you can do is look and see what Batman and X-Men books are coming out. Shot! Anyway, this week Hunter gets diverse, while Chris writes a love letter to Jason Aaron! Will they both survive!? Probably not! But the only way to find out is to keep your eyes scrolling down this page.
No lunch! No gangrene lunch!
Daredevil #5 (Marvel Comics – $2.99): Who would have ever thought I would love a Daredevil comic? Well, I’m sure there were a lot that did, but that’s not the point. It doesn’t even matter that I thought that I would if I would give it a real chance. But the honest to God truth was that I really wasn’t that interested in giving the series a shot. I mean, a super dark hero that fights street level crimes in a dark and brooding city? Yeah, I already love Batman. So, what’s so special about this Matt Murdock guy from Hell’s Kitchen? He’s visually impaired, he has heightened senses? So what? I really just didn’t care, but when I by chance read the first issue of Mark Waid’s run it showed me a Daredevil that was more like a hybrid between the best parts of Spider-Man and certain elements of Batman (every element of Batman is the best element of Batman). The most important thing about this comic is that it’s a good story and the comic’s not being weighed down by so much continuity that you can’t see things clearly. Waid is making it incredibly accessible while also not dumbing down any of the elements of the book. If he hadn’t made this a good starting point, I wouldn’t have continued. And if I thought for one second that his writing was talking down to me that would have been it. But he doesn’t. Waid takes the history of Daredevil and molds it into something that can be easily followed while not giving up on a strong plot and interesting characters. And one of the most interesting things about this book is Waid interpretation of Daredevil. We’re seeing a much lighter take on the, in recent years, pitch black hero. And I for one welcome that with open arms. The industry is turning darker and darker as each week passes with dead children, dead cats, demonic possession, drug addiction and literally mindless/emotionless sex from major publishing companies, so it was a breath of fresh air when Waid took over the title and brought Murdock out of the shadows. And although it is much brighter than previous outings with the title character, there is always a looming darkness that casts a shadow of Daredevil’s dark past. I’ve loved the series so far, and am looking forward to seeing the rest of the series unfold.
Justice League Dark #2 (DC Comics – $2.99): I didn’t like a lot of what happened with the DC Relaunch. I was absolutely fine with the company revitalizing its books, and I understand that as a result of that, stories I love and books I enjoyed were going to vanish. And I want to reiterate, I was perfectly fine with that. Unfortunately, the end product of this revitalization was sub standard comic books. Sure, you’ve got your Animal Mans, Swamp Things, Batmans, and Demon Knight, but at the end of the day, in my not-so-humble opinion, approximately 75% [completely made up number based on no actual mathematical calculation] of the new DC books have fallen flat. And that disappoints me, it really does. At the top of this feature, it says we read a lot of comics. That’s not a joke. I want to read even more comics because I love the medium, but I want to read comics that I enjoy. And one of the handful of new DC Comics that I am thoroughly enjoying is Justice League Dark. It’s my Justice League. It’s the Justice League of the less than normal heroes of the DC Universe. The outcasted heroes. The deranged ones. To me, it’s the spiritual follow-up to Grant Morrison’s 7 Soldiers of Victory, in that aspect. Even Peter Milligan’s style of tapping into his Vertigo centric roots screams that kind of mentality. It’s dark, horror elements in a superhero book. That is exactly want I want to read every day of my life. And the haunting digital art of Mikel Janin works perfectly in this series. It sets the tone, looks good, and sells the series to any doubters that may not know what to expect. At this point, with one issue, it’s exactly what I want from comics, and I fully expect it to stay that way. Also, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, and Animal Man need to join this team as soon as possible to maximize the awesomeness.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (IDW Publishing – $3.99): People, there are three things I know in my life to be true: 1.) Batman is awesome. B.) Coca Cola is the best soft drink, and iii.) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are pretty much what I grew up on. Well, TMNT, Batman, and Coke. And anyone that knows me personally know that I pretty much never grew up. Sure, I “matured,” but three things I love most in life are Batman, Coke, and mutated turtles that are ninjas. Because while this new comic book series from IDW darkens, it still keeps a lot of the fun that can only be had by this comic. It’s nostalgic while not getting stuck in the past. The new origin and story going on in the comic is in line with the rest of the comic book world and as it doesn’t feel like it’s resurrecting a series to make an extra dollar. All of the creators on this book are doing an excellent job with their primary focus being good story telling. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten the world of TMNT that came before them, of course not! There are plenty of nods that make old as Hell guys like me giggle when they read a t shirt with the word “cowabunga” on it. I respect what they’re doing with this book. It’s not spitting on the past, and it’s not depending on it, either. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should be required reading for anyone that plans on revitalizing an old franchise.
Honorable Mentions: I, Vampire #2, All Star Western #2, Red Wing #4
G.I. Joe Omnibus Vol. 1 TP (IDW Publishing – $24.99): I don’t remember reading a single comic book from the main series of G.I. Joe. I know a lot of people who have, and through those people, I’ve gathered an intense energy to get started with the book. And every time I ask where to start, I get the same answer. When Chuck Dixon starts. So, it’s with this, the G.I. Joe Omnibus Vol. 1 by Chuck Dixon and a bunch of other people that I will jump into this universe. And I swear to God, Chris McDavid, if this sucks, I’m punching you in the mouth. But, overall I trust you. And I’m really excited to check this stuff out. I liked what I’ve read from Dixon in the past, and I’m kinda in the mood to get started with some war comics with a bit of a spy flavor to them. And apparently, that’s exactly what this comic is. I have to assume that it’s not just a continuation of the animated series, although I loved that when I was younger, because if it was, it probably wouldn’t still be around. But like I said previously, people are saying that G.I. Joe on IDW is one of the most consistently awesome comics each month. F it, let’s do this! Go Joe!
And with that, I give you The McDavid…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jason Aaron is the best writer working in comics today. And today goes down as one of his biggest days ever. He has not one, but two first issues out this week, as well as a new issue of Scalped, his long0running series from Vertigo. He’s even got a hardcover coming out today, so you have no excuse not to try one of his books. He’s in the driver’s seat for my part of today’s GoD list, so we better put the pedal to the metal and get to it.
Wolverine and the X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics – $3.99): In the lead off spot, we have the first issue of Wolverine & the X-Men, the new X-Men book coming out of the Schism event. Wolverine has split off and returned to the X-Men’s old haunt of Westchester, NY. He’s put together his own team of mutants and students and he’s looking to forge his own destiny. This is the start of what Marvel is calling the Regenesis, and as a long time X-Men fan, I’m looking forward to where the creative teams take the books. Aaron has been knocking it out of the park on the main Wolverine book, and I’m willing to bet he will continue the streak here. Art on the issue is by Chris Bachalo who has been stepping up to the plate recently and belting them out. I’ve been trying to convince The Fac3 that this is a great jumping on point if you’ve been looking to get into the X-Men. If you’re looking to do that too, pick this issue up.
Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics – $3.99): Next out of the blocks is Incredible Hulk, another new book launching today. This time we have Aaron paired up with Marc Silvestri, to tell…well some kind of story. Marvel has been a little mum on the details, but we did learn a bit last week in Fear Itself #7. After the events of the crossover, the Hulk and Bruce Banner have parted ways, somehow. It wasn’t explained very well and I’m hoping for a bit more explanation. I’ve never been the biggest follower of the Hulk, and I’m hoping that Aaron can get me interested. I’ll be honest, with Silvestri on the art details, I can’t guarantee that this book will stay on a regular shipping schedule, and there’s already a fill-in artist for the fourth issue. You may end up better off waiting for the trade on this one, but hopefully we’ll still get a great series.
Scalped #53 (DC/Vertigo Comics – $2.99): Okay, I actually read Scalped in trades, so I’m behind on the story and don’t know exactly what’s going on in this issue, but Scalped is awesome and I have no doubt that this issue will be another great one. I’m really just adding this to complete a Jason Aaron hat-trick. Scalped is Aaron’s book about life in a modern Native American reservation, and is month in and month out one of the greatest books out there. It is gritty, real, heartbreaking, and exhilarating at all times. The book is wrapping up soon, but you should do yourself a favor and pick up the first trade. This is a mature readers book in the best sense of the word. It lights my lamp every time a new trade comes out.
Spaceman #1 (DC/Vertigo – $1.00): If you’re looking for a Vertigo book that hasn’t been going for years, check out the new series from the 100 Bullets team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, Spaceman. No, this is not a biography of everyone’s favorite wacky doctor from 30 Rock. This is a hard boiled sci-fi story. The draw here (pun intended) is the art by Risso. Risso is a master, and he drives hard to the hoop in this issue. His art in this issue does not disappoint and is everything I would hope it would be. Plus, it’s only a dollar. So why would you not give this a shot?
Wolverine: Wolverine’s Revenge Hardcover (Marvel Comics – $24.99): Aaron takes a victory lap with the collection of the most recently finished story arc from Wolverine. The issues collected here feature the final showdown between Logan and the Red Right Hand, a group that had previously sent Wolverine to Hell. That was only their first act though, as they have much more fiendish plans in store. This arc kind of wrapped up Aaron’s first year on the series, and it ended with a bang. The arc wraps together a lot of elements from Aaron’s entire run on Wolverine, and if you’ve read the whole thing, and know anything about Wolverine, you will be impressed by how Aaron brings everything to an end. This is just another piece of evidence of Aaron’s skill, and is a great showcase of what makes him such a great writer.
Blade of the Immortal Vol. 24 (Dark Horse Comics – $19.99): One final suggestion comes from the next volume of one of my favorite manga series. I’m a little behind on the series, but I’m going to make every effort to get caught up. If you’ve never read Blade of the Immortal before, it is the story of Manji, a wandering former samurai who is both blessed and cursed with immortality. He has started a quest ti help a young girl get revenge for the killing of her family, and although the story has gone through many twists and turns, what has never changed is the breath-taking art by creator Hiroaki Samura. Samura’s style is unique even among manga artists. There is nothing like reading a fight sequence rendered in Samura’s heavy inks and thick lines. I know this is a late volume in a long running series, but if you’re a manga fan and you’ve never checked out Blade, this is one you should take a look at.