Each and every week “Easy Peasy” MK2Fac3 and “Livin’ Greasy” 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 18, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Man, comics are pretty expensive, huh? I’m sitting here looking at my pull list this week, and I’m not seeing a lot of books that fall under the price of three dollars. See, while comics for the most part are less than a gallon of gasoline in some regions, others are more, which is just flat out insane. So, when we’re stuck in an economy such as this, with an unemployment rate as high as it, we need an escape. And if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’re escape is the same as ours, comic books. Comic books get a lot of flack for a lot of different reasons, but there’s something about even the super hero books that everyone complains about that offer something that no other form of entertainment offers. So, it’s with this idea that we present The GoD List, a list full of comics that we are looking forward to that should help you, if not solve these real-life situation, then at least provide away to temporarily relieve them by letting you know what’s worth your time and why.
Avengers vs. X-Men #2 (DC Comics – $3.99): Normally, I’m not one for event comics. Big, pointless stories with a lot of internal conflict and beating people up, which usually ends with the death of some really popular character is just not my cup of tea. I’m not a fan of over-the-top violence when it doesn’t serve a purpose, or when its only purpose is for the sake of whetting the reader’s thirst for blood. No, but this year, I need to escape. I need a big, somewhat dumb event to give me a way to caught up in a completely different universe that having me turn each page for more action. Avengers vs. X-Men is that comic. Lining up perfectly with the release of The Avengers, Marvel is providing an event that anyone can get into with, at this point, only a passing knowledge of the big players in Marvel’s universe. Right place, right time aside, I’m enjoying this so far from a creative standpoint, as well. This comic will feature some of the best and the brightest in comics with Bendis and Coipel already contributing and we’ll continue to see more contributions from some of the top names in the industry. This week features a script from Jason Aaron, who my partner on this article has repeatedly stated is “the best writer in comics,” and an installment of interiors from Jimmy Cheung. Every once in a while, we just need to sit back, relax and completely escape, and there’s nothing better to do that with right now than Avengers vs. X-Men.
Batman: Odyssey #7 (of 7) (DC Comics – $3.99): Like I said above, sometimes you just a comic with a lot of action, a simple plot, and some ridiculously good art. Well, other times you just need to let loose in a comic book with something that’s just plain ridiculous. Batman: Odyssey can provide the need for ridiculousness in your life, as it has with mine. A lot of people are curious as to why I genuinely love this book, and it’s that simple. So many comics take themselves so seriously with either allegories of a government trying to impose its will on the citizens or murder mysterious that make you try to think that it’s real life. Heck, even one of my favorite comics coming out with the same lead character as this book is pretty much about flat out destroying the mind and life of the hero. Don’t get me wrong, I love Snyder’s Batman, but man, can’t we just relax for a little bit and not worry about the world exploding and everyone trying to ruin the characters’ lives? What’s wrong with super heroics? What happened to saving people? Anyway, Batman: Odyssey doesn’t really provide those things, but it does gives us a look at a book that does not take itself seriously, at all. I know I keep going back to this, but you guys, Batman rode a freaking dinosaur and a freaking giant bat in this comic while he was searching for Sensei in the middle of the Earth. That’s so insane that I could not help but fall in love with this comic. It’s rare when a comic book is not concerned with being dark or doing something to push the boundaries of what comics could or should do, that it’s nice to see a crazy book that you can just have fun with. I will never not love Neal Adams for this.
Manhattan Projects #2 (Image Comics – $3.50): And now we get to where things get serious. As I pointed out above in the previous entries, a lot comics are serious business and we should love and cherish those that don’t look at themselves that way. That said, we should also take a look at some comics that are doing some truly amazing, mind blowing things that do take themselves seriously. While I’ve not read much of Jonathan Hickman’s superhero work, the books that he’s put out through Image Comics easily fit the mold of that kind of comic. Reuniting with his The Red Wing partner Nick Pitarra, Hickman applies the thoughts and high science of today to the time of the second World War and how these unheard of ideas hypothetically affected the outcome. If you’ve ever read a creator owned comic from Jonathan Hickman, I shouldn’t really need to tell you to buy this, but if you haven’t I highly suggest Manhattan Projects to anyone that’s interested in science, alternate realities or murder mysteries in your comics presented to you in a unique and inventive wave. I know I do.
Archie Archives, Vol. 5 HC (Archie/Dark Horse Comics – $49.99): We’re all over the place with comics today, aren’t we? I’m all over the place in every bit of my reality, so that’s not change for me, really, but I digress. Who doesn’t love Archie Comics? I mean, it’s about a fictional city where everything is perfect and nothing goes wrong. Don’t we all need a little bit of that in our lives? Some may ignore the wonder of these comics, but you shouldn’t. You should appreciate them for what they are and how good they can make you feel. There’s nothing wrong with that, and anyone who would go so far as to criticize that seems to be missing the point of these comics, completely. Nonetheless, people either like Archie or they don’t, but one thing is absolutely undeniable and that’s the presentation and fantastic nature of the Archie Archive editions from Dark Horse Comics. These are masterfully crafted, presented like Riverdale High year books (annuals or facebooks depending on your geography), and they’re simply something that will look beautiful on your shelf. Even if you don’t love Archie like you should, everyone needs a little Archie in their lives and these are a nice way to do that.
Dark Horse Presents #11 (Dark Horse Comics – $7.99): Both MK and I are super-duper excited for this issue because of two words. Those two words? Francisco Francavilla. Dark Horse Presents #11 gives us the start of Francavilla’s Black Beetle, his take on pulp heroes of the 30’s. If you’ve seen Francavilla’s art blog before you’ll know how much of a fan of the pulps he is. Francavilla’s art is dark and moody and perfectly suited for this story. And then there’s the rest of the issue, featuring stories by Evan Dorkin, Geof Darrow and Steve Niles. As excited I am for Black Beetle, I’m just as excited for the Criminal Macabre story. Steve Niles urban monster story has been on a hot streak lately. DHP has plenty of great stories in each issue and this one is no different. It may be hard to recommend a comic that cost eight bucks, but really it’s not, because Dark Horse Presents is awesome and is totally worth the money.
The Shadow #1 (Dynmite Publishing – $3.99): Dynamite loves taking old properties and breathing new life into them, and they’re back at it again this week with the relaunch of The Shadow. The Shadow is in actuality Lamont Cranston, wealthy playboy and man about town. By night, Cranston takes on the form of The Shadow, for he knows what evil lurks in the heart of men. The Shadow is the original super hero, and is the basis for most of the comics you read today, and it’s about time someone else gave the character a shot. The Shadow is written by Garth Ennis, who seems very comfortable at Dynamite these days. Ennis is at his best when he can write heroes who are not your standard fare, and this feels like it will be right up his alley. My biggest problem with these Dynamite books is that they tend to drag out the origin stories, and I hope they don’t do that with this series. Remember, the fruit of crime bears bitter fruit, so don’t commit the crime of passing this book up. The Shadow will know if you do. Hahahahahahahah!!!!!
The Sixth Gun #21 (Oni Press – $3.99): And now we come to one of my favorite series, The Sixth Gun. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt have created one of the most thrilling adventure comics out there and each issue adds to the excitement. The Sixth Gun mixes the western genre with the supernatural and creates something totally unique. The last few issues have seen our heroine, Becky Montcrief, learning more about the mysterious gun she possesses. She’s also on the path of her companion, Drake Sinclair, who has been captured and tortured. This issue finds Becky coming to Drakes rescue, which is sure to involve plenty of gun play and dead bodies. I love the rich story that Bunn has given us, but what I enjoy even more is the rich art of Brian Hurtt. His art is bright and expressive and he can handle any situation thrown at him. Hurtt is an amazing artist, The Sixth Gun is an amazing series, and everyone should be reading it.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Vol. 4: Death of Spider-Man (Marvel Comics – $19.99): It is a good week for collections this week, with the first hardcover of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men, a new volume for the New Mutants, the final volume of Fear Agent and Cinderella: Fables are Forever, so you have choices, but the one I’m looking forward to most is the trade paperback collection of The Death of Spider-Man. Sure it’s been out for a while, but this is the format I’m choosing to read the series in. This is the storyline that shook up the Ultimate line. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that the “Death” title was writing checks the story couldn’t cash, but writer Brian Bendis went through with it and changed the title in a way that no one saw coming. The story also reunited Bendis with long-time collaborator Mark Bagley, who was the original artist for the series and was the only artist who could bring this era to an end. If you haven’t read this story yet, here’s the cheapest way to read it yet. And check out all the other trades I mentioned as well. Because I assume you all have tons of cash sitting around.