Each and every week “Team Shawn” MK2Fac3 and “Team Sam Covington” 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 November 23, 2011. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
It’s that time of year, boys and girls! It’s Thanksgiving! A time when pumpkins are on porches, there’s a nip in the air, and witches are on broomsticks! No wait, that’s not it. It’s the time of year when psychotic bunny rabbits rise from the dead to hide plastic eggs in your yard with chocolate in a basket or your doorsteps! No, that’s not it, either. It’s the time of year when you get Christmas presents and make snow angels! Crap, why can’t I get this right!? One last shot, it’s that time of year when you get your significant other a box of chocolates! CURSE WORD! Screw it, it’s Wednesday and comics are out, and this is what we’re freaking looking forward to, bros. And we gotta tell ya, there’s a large amount of super collections, so get on it, and take your wallet. You might even need to sell a kidney because that’s what I’m doing. I’m typing this from a bathtub full of ice! Somebody please send a doctor. I’m scared.
No, I’m serious. Please send a doctor.
Batgirl, Vol. 3: The Lesson TP (DC Comics – $19.99): So, one of the biggest casualties of the DC Relaunch was Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. It was one of my favorite runs in comics history of all time, without a single, minuscule doubt. It was the story of a young girl that had been all but cast out of the small band of Gotham heroes and how she refused to take “no” for an answer. She was determined, headstrong, and what she lacked in experience she made up with in bravery. And it wasn’t just about the character, it was about the writing. The art. The story. The everything. Bryan Q. Miller and company put together a thrilling, hilarious take on the Batman universe and did it with style. This last collection of the run, and it collects some of the best comics of the series. It collects the debut of Dustin Nguyen to the story as well as Ramon Bachs on two issues, and the cap off of the series with the breakout artist of the last few issues, Pere Perez. I love this book with all my heart, and I cannot stand that it’s not still in existence, or continuity or whatever. It also features me as a Gotham City Policeman. And if that’s not awesome to you, you don’t what awesome is. It’s a nice paperback that collects issues #15-24 with the low low price of $19.99, so if you passed on this series, I strongly suggest you reconsider your decision. Pick this up, you won’t regret it.
Batman: The Black Mirror HC (DC Comics – $29.99): Okay, so those last few months of DC Comics prior to the relaunch featured a whole lot of awesome comics that were coincidentally some of my favorite comics that were ever published. Batgirl, Batman Incorporated, something else, and even another thing! Okay, so I can’t remember everything, but you know what was definitely one of the stand outs? Detective effing Comics, you sons of b-words. I’m telling you that right now. Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francesco Francavilla made one of the most compelling, gorgeous and just plain old interesting comics of all time. It was the final story of Dick Grayson as Batman that counted, and if anyone was reading that and wasn’t convinced by the final pages that Dick Grayson was Batman was sorely mistaken. It was Dick Grayson’s last villain of his own as Batman and it was someone that was near and dear to his heart. It’s amazing, and this 12-issue story arc collected in a beautiful hardcover is a must read and must own for anyone that loves comics, Batman, good stories or beautiful art. It’s seriously fantastic and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collection HC (IDW Publishing – IDW Publishing): Dude, I don’t want to spend too much time talking about how awesome the Ninja Turtles are because you should already know that, but what you may not know or remember if you’re my age (not Henchman21’s age) is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren’t originally the color-coded, fun-loving rapscallions that lived underneath the streets and ate a bunch of pizza. Heck no! Well, there was some of that, but really the majority of those comics from Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were dark, gritty, and violent. It was sort of a re-imagining of Daredevil’s origins and fell more in line with the style of at-the-time genius Frank Miller. Miller’s style was bleeding all over the comics industry and one of those books inspired by it was TMNT. I didn’t do a lot of reading of these when they came out because I was really young and my parents knew about their gritty nature, but I did sneak a couple of peaks out in the Star Store in Jackson, Miss. In fact, I even got a couple of issues here and there, and if my memory serves me correctly (nostalgia does come with a nice pair of rose colored glasses, btw) these comics were awesome. Will the actual thing hold up to what I remember? Only time will tell. And by time, I mean a month because I totally am trying to get this for Christmas. It looks like a spectacular hardcover and should be experienced by any fan of the newly reinvigorated TMNT comics from IDW.
Locke and Key: Guide To The Know Keys (IDW Publishing – $3.99): This is rad, okay? I promise it is. In fact, anything that has the name “Locke and Key” in the title is something that is absolutely worth picking up. I’ve been singing the comic’s praises for years now, and it pleases me to no end that more and more people are getting into the book. But if you are not one of those people (even if you are), this comic should be perfect for you. It has an exclusive-to-the-one-shot story that goes further in depth with the family of the Lockes as well as a mapped out guide to the keys that are in existence. I’m super psyched to pick this issue up, and you should be, too. Because while it’s not a continuation of the current Clockworks mini series, it might just serve as a bit of a catch up or clarification tool for those that might not pick up or remember every detail. I’m under the assumption that this issue is for the consumption of all creatures capable of reading that have or have not read the book, so if you haven’t been reading, the series is about to wrap up and end for good, so this issue is the time to start reading. Good luck and godspeed.
And oh yeah, one more thing Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Get drunk on cranberry sauce vodka or something!
Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad Hardcover (Dark Horse Comics – $19.99): I don’t know how I’m going to read this, but I know I’m going to have fun. If you’ve never heard of Milk and Cheese, it is Evan Dorkin’s independent comic strip lampooning every aspect of modern culture. Well, modern 1990’s culture. This is some of Dorkin’s earliest work, and there is a fire and passion about it that can only come from youth. Milk and Cheese, as the title of this collection testifies, are dairy products gone bad. They hate everything you hate, and they hate you. Each strip (I can’t really call them stories) is at most a few pages long and features the main characters getting drunk, finding a reason to beat people up, and then beating people up. I’m worried that reading too much in a row will get repetitive, but if I space it out, I should be okay. Milk and Cheese is one of the funniest comics from the 90’s, and this is going to be a blast to read.
Uncanny X-Force: Dark Angel Saga Book 1 (Marvel Comics – $24.99): Have I told you before how good Uncanny X-Force is? What’s that? I have. Oh, then why haven’t you checked it out yet? I’ve been saying for a while that Uncanny X-Force is the best X-Men book coming out these days, and the Dark Angel saga is the greatest storyline in the series. It’s also the most massive, it hasn’t even finished being published in monthly form. Even with it not being finished, I can tell you that it is an amazing story. Archangel is one of the original X-Men, but he has had a rough life, at one point becoming the Horseman of Death for the villain Apocalypse. Archangel spent the first part of the series dealing with some of his internal monsters, and they all come home to roost, leading him to take on Apocalypse’s role as master of the fittest. Writer Rick Remender has crafted a unique team, and delves into the mind of each one to craft a fascinating and always exciting story. Remender has built a story that relies heavily on X-Men history, but I think that you can still follow what is going on if you haven’t read a ton of background before. It doesn’t hurt that the art by Mark Brooks and Jerome Opena is fantastic, and the colors by Dean White keep the look of the book consistent. Seriously, this is a great book, and one of the best that Marvel is putting out these days.
Jesus Hates Zombies: Jurassic Kinda Life Vol. 2 (215 Ink – $5.99): Jesus Hates Zombies may not be a book you’ve heard too much about, but it is a lot of fun, and is just the kind of book I look forward to. The plot is what you would expect from a book called Jesus Hates Zombies. It’s Jesus, fighting zombies. Oh, and he’s got his buddy former President Abraham Lincoln with him. And in this volume, Jesus and Lincoln have been sent back in time and have to fight dinosaurs. And Ben Franklin may or may not have built a working time machine. And the whole group needs Elvis’ help to get the damn thing working. See what I mean? Lots of crazy ideas, so much so that you never know what’s coming next. JHZ is a great little book that keeps me laughing and always has me coming back for more.
Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Martini Edition (IDW Publishing – $75.00): The only thing that could make this better is if it came with an actual martini. This massive volume collects the first two volumes of Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker novels (that would be The Hunter and The Outfit). Even if you already have these two books, you’re going to want this new edition for several reasons. First, there are a whole host of extras, including an extended art gallery. Second, there’s a brand new, never before seen 8-page story that’s exclusive to this volume. Third, it’s huuuuuuge! Measuring in at 9”x13” and over 334 pages, the art will never look better as it’s presented here. Even though I’ve read this before, I can’t wait to dive back in. Plus, this is going to look great on my bookshelf. Now, if only this book could make me a drink, I’d be all set.
Fantastic Four #600 (Marvel Comics – $7.99): After a year of Jonathan Hickman taking the story of Marvel’s first family into the pages of FF (or Future Foundation), Hickman is bringing the book back, just in time for a big honkin’ anniversary issue. Hickman is in the middle of what is sure to go down as one of the classic FF runs, and this issue is going to be the start of the next big part of the story. I can’t speculate whether this will be a good place to jump into the story, as Hickman’s run has been one big story. The best place to start is at the beginning (well, duh), but hopefully this will be at least a halfway decent jumping on point. Not too sure about the story, although I think it has something to do with Annihilus, which means this may be the start of the road to the return of Johnny Storm. All I know is that this is going to be a blowout party of an issue.