Each and every week “Henchman24” MK2Fac3 and “Dr. McDavid” 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 December 14, 2011. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
The collective “HenchFac3” attempts to bring you the knowledge of the latest and greatest comic books that are being released each and every week. Now, unfortunately, the situation does not always play out in the manner in which we have anticipated. Sometimes, we pick absolute flops. Sometimes we pick books that don’t even ship that week. And sometimes, we pick the same comic every month. We’re not theoretical physicists, and as much as MK2Fac3 wants you to believe that he’s Batman, he’s totally not. He cannot prepare for any and all eventualities. But more often than not, we pick some really good books. And while our track record does not garner us a perfect score, I think that if you pick up this week’s books, you’ll be more than impressed with our choices. For we are “The HenchFac3,” and this, well this is The GoD List.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #4 (DC Comics – $2.99): Let’s go ahead get this out of the way, Jeff Lemire and Alberto Pontecelli have absolutely been killing it on this amazing comic which just so happens to be one of my favorite books out of DC’s recent relaunch. It’s been a whirlwind for Frankenstein and The Creature Commandos in these few issues as they’ve been fighting monsters and now they’re head to head with an entire planet. It doesn’t get as much praise, and it doesn’t feel like an indie darling like Animal Man, the other Lemire book from DC Comics, but it’s should. The art is almost psychotic in its appearance which plays perfectly well into the storyline going on. The story and situations are absolutely insane, and for that alone, I love it. It’s not the only thing I like about this book, but it’s primary appeal to me is the level of monstrous craziness that infects the book from cover to cover. I love and I suggest this comic to anyone that loves insane situations and supernatural action. This issue wraps the current storyline before the comic crosses over with Dan Didio and Keith Giffen’s OMAC, which, if you know anything about OMAC, then that should tell you something about this series. It’s oh so crazy, but oh so fun to read.
Locke and Key: Clockworks #3 (IDW Publishing – $3.99): I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say that Locke and Key is the best comic book being published today. I went back and purchased the first two hardcovers recently and read them in two sittings. One a piece. It’s an incredibly complex and beautiful story from Welcome To Lovecraft to the current mini series Clockworks. The writing is unquestionably fantastic, but how could you expect anything less than this level of quality from Joe Hill, author of Horns. And while you may come to the series for Hill, you’ll stay for the mind blowing art from Gabriel Rodriguez. The overall story is riddled with mysteries and page turning action, but with Clockworks, the veil is starting to be removed, and to put it simply, it’s exciting. In fact, I haven’t been this excited by entertainment since Lost was at its very best. If you have not spent the time to read Locke and Key, you’re missing out on the greatest comic book that’s currently being published.
The Shade #3 (of 12) (DC Comics – $2.99): So, DC Comics did this whole relaunch thing that showcased 52 books. The only problem with that is that DC Comics has the rights to far more that just 52 characters and their associated group affiliations. So, instead of making it “The New 100,” DC opted to have a host of mini-series come out starting in October. The Huntress, Penguin and many others were a part of this, but one of the most intriguing books was James Robinson and Cully Hamner’s The Shade. The Shade is a character that was heavily featured in Robinson’s Starman series, but this mini-series is a little bit different. Robinson is easily one of the best character writers in the business, and he truly shines when he takes on a character that is a bit of a playboy. Robinson’s Flashpoint: The Outsider was a perfect example of this, and The Shade is shaping up to fit in the same line. In fact, one of the coolest things about the series is how it feels. And it feels like a supernaturally powered James Bond. And if that doesn’t sound awesome to you, then I don’t know how to help you with this one.
The Red Wing TPB (Image Comics – $14.99): Jonthan Hickman is a fantastic writer, and while I don’t necessarily pay that much attention to his Marvel Comics work, he’s creator owned comics are some of the very best. And the dude is pretty much obsessed with science fiction and time travel. His scientific approach to his writing is handled with so much precision that you instantly start thinking about how all of the high concepts could conceivably be accurate, and then you start believing that it’s all possible. This story takes place in the near future and is all about declaring war on the past. I’m not going to go into details, but the when the comic starts describing how time travel works in the series, your mind is melted and your jaw is on the floor. But Hickman’s not the only reason to read this, however, because Nick Pitarra’s art is absolutely gorgeous and each panel is like painting your eyes in beauty. They make a great team, so if you weren’t picking this comic up in single issues, make sure that you pick up this trade because you just… you feel smarter after reading a Jonathan Hickman comic like this.
Atomic Robo and the Ghosts of Station X #4 (of 6) (Red 5 Comics – $3.50): I won’t make the mistake of not mentioning Atomic Robo this week. What do I need to do to convince you to buy Atomic Robo? I’ve talked at length about how Atomic Robo is most fun you will get from a comic this week. I’ve told you how great the art from Scot Wegener is and how it continues to get better with every issue. I may not have told you that Robo is currently trying to figure out who set him up and sent him on a wild goose hunt in space, but I have now, because that’s the plot of the current series. Even with this being the middle issue of the sixth mini-series, you can still pick this up and get a feel of what the series is like. Seriously, this is good old fashioned comic booking. This is a book from those heady days when people read comic books to have fun, and the books repaid with fun by the bowlful. Buy this book.
Demon Knights #4 (DC Comics – $2.99): Demon Knights remains one of the surprise books of the DC relaunch, blending characters old and new from across DC’s history and bringing them together for a tale of swords and sorcery in the dark ages. Writer Paul Cornell is at his best here, mixing The Demon, Madame Xanadu, Shining Knight, Vandal Savage and a few more to fight off an army of dragons and magical beasts. I have fallen in love with these characters and the wild situation Cornell has put them in and I’m always excited to see what will happen next. Add in some great art from Diogenes Neves (with fill-in art on this issue by Mike Choi) and you’ve got a book that can’t be missed.
Uncanny X-Force (Marvel Comics – $3.99): This is it, the end of the Dark Angel Saga, which has been going on for the better part of a year. Writer Rick Remender has crafted an X-Men story for the ages, bringing together years of history in a story that has been equal parts action packed and heart breaking. Remender has taken one of the X-Men’s longest running characters, Angel, and brought him to a place I never would have expected. The story has been a little delayed, so X-Men fans have a pretty good idea of how this is all going to end, but it’s still been a hell of a ride. X-Force has become one of Marvel’s best books and you owe it to yourself to read what I think will live on as a modern classic.
Moon Knight, Vol. 1 HC By Bendis And Maleev (Marvel Comics – $24.99): When this series came out I made the decision to wait for the trade on it. Brian Bendis has taken the Moon Knight, Marvel’s schizophrenic superhero and amped up the craziness to whole new levels. Bendis has taken the concept of a hero with multiple personalities and Moon Knight who sometimes thinks he’s Spider-Man. Or maybe he’s Wolverine. Or better yet, Captain America. Bendis took all that, threw MK into the lesser used West Coast of the Marvel universe, and let the character go wild. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the book, and I’m hoping for a return to the Bendis whose work I used to love. Joining him on art is Alex Maleev. Maleev’s realistic style hasn’t always been my favorite, but its work that I always appreciate. I love Moon Knight, and I love when people take him in a new direction, so I’m hoping this has everything I am looking for. It may not be what I’m used to, but it should still be a lot of fun.