Each and every week “Madness” MK2Fac3 and “Henchamaniac” 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 April 11, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Henchamania’s runnin’ wild, brother! Everywhere I go, man, all the little Henchsters are askin’ me what The Hench is gonna pick this week! And I gotta look those little Henchsters right in the eye, dude, and I gotta tell them, man, that when The Hench picks his books, you’re gonna know about it, brother. So you gotta remember, Henchamaniacs! You gotta remember to say your prayers, and eat your vitamins, dude. And to all the doubters and non-believers, when The Hench raises the largest long box in the world and drops it down like an atom bomb to the ground, spraying comics from sea to shining sea, dude, you’ll know that The Hench has been reborn and he’s on a mission! Because it’s truth, justice and The Henchman way! So, what’cha gonna do, brother, when The GoD List and Henchamania run wild… on… you!?
Conan the Barbarian #3 (Dark Horse Comics – $3.50): When this comic started, I knew I was going to like it. No, not because I’m some sort of Conan mark, it’s because I think that Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are two of the top creators in their respective fields, and when you have to creators the caliber of these two working on the same book, it simply has to be good, especially considering their history together. I was a little disappointed in the first issue, which just means that I’m not super into the character, but when I picked up the second issue, I felt like I was starting to get the hang of things. Maybe Wood and Cloonan got their pacing down, or whatever, but it was an excellent issue. Needless to say, this made me want to check out the third issue even more, and considering that it comes out today, that means I don’t have to wait long! So, if you’re into Conan, barbarism, good art, good writing or simply good comics, be sure to pick this one up. If it’s as good or better than the last issue, I’ll be buying this entire run and I hope you do the same.
Saga #2 (Image Comics – $2.99): The first issue of this series was easily one of my favorite number one issues of all time, and it has me incredibly excited for the entire series. It’s hard to explain what exactly is going on in this comic and where it’s going to go, but that’s one of the things that makes me so excited about it. Saga has pretty much everything I feel like I’ve been missing from comics recently. And who better to give it to me than Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, really? Seriously, if you missed the first issue of this, try to pick it up in its second printing or digitally through Comixology, because you really don’t want to get left behind on this one. If there’s one comic that’s starting right now that will be a seriously amazing, long running comic that everyone will be talking about for years, it’s Saga. Don’t miss this.
The Shade #7 (DC Comics – $2.99): Oh The Shade, how much do I love you? I love you as much is allowed by state and federal law for a man to love a comic book. Seriously, I can’t begin to tell you what I like about this book because I like everything about it. It seems like James Robinson has managed to carve a nice little spot for himself in the DC Universe by completely abandoning any ideas that went into the DC relaunch. He’s got that late 80s Vertigo mentality going on while also providing some truly original concepts. In this recent story arc, he’s introduced us to a heroic vampire in La Sangre, who I say is the sensational character find of 2012, and he does this kind of thing with every few issues. With each new artist, Robinson introduces us to a handful of new characters that fit perfectly in this eccentric little nook that Robinson has brought us into. And I have to thank him for that. This comic is just simply good. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s working with some of the most talented artists in the business. I mean, this month it’s Javier Pulido, next month is Jill Thompson and after that, it’s Frazier Irving! Oh my brother, testify!
Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 Deluxe Edition (DC Comics – $29.99): It. Is. Finally. Here. This is the collection that starts off Batman’s worldwide team of Batmen. It’s the first part of the final chapter in Grant Morrison’s time on Batman, which is probably my favorite comic book run of all time. Morrison’s Batman is one of the only comics from recent memory that made me truly wonder where a comic was going with the next issue. Collecting Batman Incorporated #1-8 and Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes, this hardcover takes place before the events of Flashpoint and sets up some crazy stories to be taken when the new series kicks off in a few of weeks. Anyway, this book has some of my favorite stories from over the past couple of years including a story about the Native American Batman (Man of Bats) and the story of Stephanie Brown Batgirl in an awesome, crazy comic taking place in England as she infiltrates a school that trains girls to become assassins. The book is incredibly awesome and a great way to get caught up before Batman Incorporated, Vol. 2 comes out in singles. So pick this up because it’s totally, undeniably awesome.
Saucer Country #2 (Vertigo Comics – $2.99): Did you read issue #1? Shame on you if you didn’t, because it was awesome. The first issue set up the story of Arcadia Alvarado, the governor of New Mexico who plans to run for president. There’s just one hitch, she believes she has been abducted by aliens. Is she crazy? Is she right? Are aliens planning to take over the Earth and is she the only one who can stop them? I can’t wait to find out more in the second issue. With just one issue, writer Paul Cornell has introduced us to the core characters, set up the main thrust of the series, and set everything in motion. Cornell shows off his writing talents by presenting an interesting story that we have kind of seen before, but adding his own layer of whimsy on top. And the art by Ryan Kelly is some of his best yet. I’ve used this platform in the past to beg people to read books so they will keep going so that I can keep reading them, and I’m doing it again now. So please, pretty please, with sugar on top, buy this book.
Northlanders #50 (Vertigo Comics – $2.99): Last issue; NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah well, I guess all good things must come to an end, and Northlanders has certainly been a good thing. It’s still an impressive feat that a comic book featuring largely true to life stories about Vikings reached fifty issues in today’s market, but writer Brian Wood managed to do it, and should be applauded for his accomplishment. Northlanders never failed to amaze me with the different types of stories that were told throughout the run, as well as the amazing range of artists that he brought to the series. I’m going to miss Northlanders a lot, if only because it was consistently a breath of fresh air in a world of superhero comics books. Northlanders was proof that not all comics had to feature people fighting crime. The series may be over, but it will live on in my heart.
Scarlet Spider #4 (Marvel Comics – $2.99): With all that I just said about Northlanders, I do still enjoy a good superhero yarn, and Scarlet Spider has been a surprisingly fun new series. Scarlet Spider is about Kaine, one of Spider-Man’s clones from the 90’s who survived and has decided to strike out on his own. Kaine has moved to Houston, far away from all the other superheroes. However, trouble seems to follow Spider-Men of all varieties, and Kaine is no different. Kaine’s story and growth has been interesting so far, but the real star of the series has been the art of Ryan Stegman. Stegman is a fantastic artist who brings a great deal of excitement to every page. His style is tailor made for this kind of action heavy book. I always find myself having a lot of fun while reading this book, and I think you will too.
Severed Hardcover (Image Comics – $24.99): If it’s got Scott Snyder’s name on it, odds are I’ll give it a shot. Well, except for this series. At least when it coming out monthly. Now I have a chance to read the whole thing, and from everything I hear, I’m in for a good read. Snyder is one of the best writers working today, and he gets to stretch his horror muscles in Severed. Snyder and co-writer Scott Tuft tell the story of a monster haunting the back roads of Depression-era America. This is a horror comic, pure and simple, and we just don’t get enough of those these days. Snyder has shown that he has the ability to tell some really twisted tales, but his work has been tempered of late by the necessities of corporate mandates. Here, he is able to go whole hog. Everything I’ve heard tells me that I will love this book, and if you’re a fan of horror stories, make sure you pick this up.