Each and every week “I’m on a Boat” MK2Fac3 and “Like a Boss” 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 11, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Ahoy, there mateys. Are you ready, kids? I can’t hear you. Okay, now I can here you. This week, Captain MK2Fac3 is too busy skippering the USS Rough Service, but he sent me a message in a bottle with his picks for the week. Meanwhile, I’m stuck on a deserted island, and I have figured out why the Professor had such a problem fixing the boat when the only materials at hand were coconuts, palm fronds, and a collection of hicks, bimbos, non-functional alcoholics, and a crew that got their license from the Nebraska School of Oceanography. I was going to send this week’s list in by Aldis lamp, but it turns out blinking lights do not translate well to the internet and my lawyers told me there was a risk of seizures, so I strapped myself to a couple of sea turtles and found my way back to the mainland. Anyway, enough talk of that cruel mistress of the sea; let’s get to the books.
Hi, my name is MK2Fac3 and I like Marvel comics. Also, I’m on a boat. No really I do and I am. Don’t listen to what the Hench says about me being a Batman fan. I hate those pointy ears and stupid cape. Nope, I am a Marvel junkie like no one’s business, especially Marvel comics of the X-Men variety. Books like these:
Wolverine #300 (Marvel Comics – $4.99) Ah Marvel, we love it when you renumber books for no good reason. Don’t be fooled, this is just the next issue in Jason Aaron’s stellar run. It is, unfortunately, the beginning of the end of Aaron’s run on the title, and it will be sad when he leaves the book, but he’s going out with a bang. And Ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas. Probably lots and lots of DEAD ninjas. And it is never a bad thing when Wolverine goes to town on a horde of ninja. It’s also never a bad thing when Adam Kubert draws a book, as he does here, along with Ron Garney and Steven Sanders. Wolverine could kick the crap out of Batman any day of the week and twice on Sunday. And that is a fact.
Question: is it just me or is this boat really starting to rock? I don’t know if this is normal.
Wolverine and the X-Men #4 (Marvel Comics – $3.99) See above, replace Kubert, Garney, and Sanders with Nick Bradshaw on art duties, and drop the ninjas and you’ve got another great book. Jason Aaron also handles the writing on this series which has already gotten off to a fantastic start. Bradshaw fills in for regular artist Chris Bachalo on this issue, and that should be fine. Bradshaw has a different style than Bachalo, but then again who doesn’t? It’ll make for a nice change of pace.
Oh yeah. There is definitely some motion in this ocean.
X-Factor #230 (Marvel Comics – $2.99) Marvel. X-Men Universe. Peter David. Secretly one of the best books Marvel releases. Good jumping on point. Buy it.
These are all the words I have left as the motion of the sea is making me queasy. I better make a trip to the poop deck and hope that it lives up to its name.
Blue Estate, Vol. 2 (Image Comics – $12.99) Okay, I’m better now but I think they need to come up with a different name for the poop deck because there was not a toilet to be seen. A lot of angry crew men though. Anyway, here is a book to get excited about. Blue Estate is one fine mystery book in the spirit of Ed Brubaker’s Criminal. Viktor Kalvachev and Andrew Osborne’s story of seedy detectives, dames that are up to no good, and other miscreants has been one of my favorite books since it first came out. If you missed out on the issues, you are missing out on a fantastic mystery that keeps getting better as it goes along. The series features a great collection of artists, and has a lot of humor to go with its twisting plot. It is constantly surprising and so much fun. Check out the first volume and I’m sure you’ll be hooked.
PunisherMax #21 (Marvel Comics – $3.99) Nothing makes me sadder than when a series I love comes to an end, so the release of this issue has me lower than a june bug in Aunt Millie’s outhouse. Jason Aaron’s run on PunisherMax has consistently been one of the best series of the last few years. His take on Frank Castle has illuminated the character in a way few others have been able to. The Punisher can be a one note character, but in the hands of the right creator he can be a fantastic character, and that is exactly what Aaron has done. Aaron has dug into the characters mind, while never skimping on the over the top action that is a hallmark of The Punisher. Joining him on the book is comics master Steve Dillon, who has turned in some of the best work of his career. I don’t know what Dillon will be working on next, but I’m sure I’ll be reading it. He is one of the best artists ever when it comes to expressing emotions through his characters faces, and has been the perfect match for Aaron’s story. I can’t recommend the collections of this series highly enough, so go out there and track them down.
Strange Talent of Luther Strode #4 (of 6) (Image Comics – $2.99) Each issue of The Strange Talent of Luther Strode has impressed me, particularly the art of Tradd Moore, whose visceral and detailed style is the perfect fit for this story. Luther Strode is about a teenager who is sick of getting bullied around, so he takes a self help course that works maybe a little too well. Writer Justin Jordan has taken a story that we have seen before, but fills it with enough interesting characters and fresh details to make the story unique. The stand out here is Moore’s art. This is a name who you will want to pay attention to as he is going to be a big name in a few years. There’s still plenty of time to find the first few issues or just wait for the trade on this one, but definitely give it a shot one way or the other.
Cobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra Commander (IDW Publishing – $7.99) Long time readers of the GoD list will know that I love IDW’s GI Joe line, so it should come as no surprise that I want to talk about this issue. This issue offers the Origin of the new Cobra Commander, Krake. He is a new character to the Joe continuity, so there is plenty of background information to share about the character. Since he’s going to be the main villain of the series for a while, it’s important that we get a good idea of just what kind of threat he is to our heroes, otherwise what’s the point? Writer Chuck Dixon has to make sure that we learn who this guy is in only a short amount of time, so he’s got his work cut out for him. This is an important issue in terms of the next year of Joe stories, so if you were looking to jump on board, this should be a pretty good spot (high price point aside).
Preacher Vol. 6 (DC/Vertigo – $39.99) I talked about the work of Steve Dillon above in regards to PunisherMax, but here is the final hardcover collection of the series where most readers came to recognize his name. Preacher, quite simply is great. If you’ve followed comics for the last 20 years or so, you probably already know why, but I will elaborate for those who may have never heard of this series before. Preacher is the story of a man who is looking for answers to the big questions of life. Why are we here? What do we do now that we’re here? Who do we treat others? It is also a slice of pure Americana as seen through the eyes of Irish guy. It’s also a story of true love conquering all. It is dirty, violent, bawdy, over the top, blasphemous, rude, and about a million other descriptive terms. It’s all these things and more. What writer Garth Ennis was able to tap into over the course of the series is simply a look at the human spirit, and what people will do to find answers to questions that have no answer. For all the dark moments in the series, there is always a positive tone. People can be redeem and are worth fighting for. And you will come to believe that a man can cry. As I said, Preacher is great, and is one of the high watermarks for comics over the last quarter century, and should be read by everyone who enjoys a good story.