Each and every week “Yes! Yes! Yes!” MK2Fac3 and “What’s Wrong With MK2Factor3?” 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 May 30, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that this week is the fifth week of the month, and it’s the Wednesday after a holiday here in the United States. These factoids typically add up to the fact that there just aren’t going to be that many comics in your local stores this week. And while there won’t be too many single issues, there are some high profile issues, as well as plenty of great new collections coming out this week. Now, if you haven’t been following this list for the last couple of decades, we’ll also be having a section of this week’s The GoD List that also shines a nice light on some comics that you can check out that you may have missed… since, you know, the light week and all. With all of this information, please continue as we provide you with all the information that you need to be armed with when you step inside your local comic book shop (or online retailer).
America’s Got Powers #2 (of 6) (Image Comics – $2.99): America’s Got Powers was a surprise to me. I kind of figured that it would be based partially on a game show format like America’s Got Talent or America’s Next Top Dance Crew Idols, only with super powers. When I started reading the comic and met the star of the mini-series who is powerless in a world full of powers, I also assumed that by the end of the first comic, he’d be one of the most powerful of them all. So, yes, it’s a tad on the predictable, but you know what? So what!? The formula is there, but what I couldn’t see coming was how great the writing is. I picked the first issue up on a whim and, as you can tell, absolutely loved it. If you’re not reading it currently, you need to get your hands on the first issue and pick this up this week. It’s easily one of the best comics that you’re not reading.
Animal Man Annual #1 (DC Comics – $4.99): I have not looked at the solicitation for this issue, but it’s the Animal Man Annual, or is it Animal Mannual? Who knows? Either way, it’s Jeff Lemire adding another chapter into the Animal Man mythology, and that’s plenty of reason to check this comic out. Normally, annuals are usually a good way to start a comic without reading the previous issues. Considering the storyline going on right now, it might not be the safest bet, but if you’re not currently reading Animal Man, then you should at least give this issue a shot, you’ll most likely enjoy yourself. Also, if you do enjoy yourself, you can pick up the first trade paperback of Animal Man, which I absolutely think you should.
Batman Annual #1 (DC Comics – $4.99): Hey look, it’s another DC Comics Annual! But this time, sirs and madams, it’s the Batmannual! Yes, it’s Scott Snyder, so that’s enough reason, but it’s also the debut of Mr. Freeze in the New 52! So, if you like yourself some Batman villains, pick this up. And if you like good comics, pick this up! Seriously, Snyder is one of the best Batman writers that I’ve read, so it’s going to be great. So, get your act together and pick up the comic! Also, just like Animal Man, this will be a good place to start, and then you can pick up the first hardcover, which I also loved!
Now it’s time for some trades! (Chris doesn’t say this, but you should buy Channel Zero, for sure.)
Oh my glory, but there are a plethora of excellent collections out this week. I mean, if you can’t find something interesting to buy this week, you’re just not reading comics. And if you’re not reading comics, why are you reading this? Wait, I’m confused now. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, comics! Particularly, collections of comics. And how many great ones are out this week. So, in that vein, I’m skipping the single issues this week and presenting you with four collections to sink your teeth into. Except you probably shouldn’t eat them. Comics are to be read. So, here we go.
Cow Boy Hardcover (Archaia Entertainment – $19.95): There’s something special going on over at Archaia Entertainment. They have been putting out a lot of very high quality books for a long time, but they have really stepped up their game of late. Cow Boy is another book they can be proud of. Cow Boy tells the tale of Boyd, a 10-year-old bounty hunter who is trying to track down a pack of outlaws across the wild west. He’s only got a few things in this world: his horse, his gun, and his honor. What starts as a jokey premise quickly evolves into a story with a great deal of emotion. Writer Nate Cosby has crafted a tale that is charming and entertaining on a number of levels. Cow Boy can look like a childish story, but so much about it is smarter and more mature than what is on the surface that it would be a shame if it was written off as a kid’s book. It is a true all ages book, by which I mean it is excellent reading for everyone. The art by Chris Eliopoulos is, in a word, amazing. You may look at it and focus on how much it looks like a standard comic strip, but Eliopoulos is a true master, and he has been working in comics for a long time. Eliopoulos knows how to tell a story, and his mastery is on display here. Yes, there is humor in Cow Boy. Yes, the main character has a gun that looks like a hobby horse. Don’t be thrown off by that though. There is a serious book here with some serious talent.
Baltimore: The Curse Bells Hardcover (Dark Horse Comics – $24.99): Beware on this one as Dark Horse has it listed as coming out in a couple weeks. However, my DCBS order says it’s coming this week, which is a good thing, because I have been looking forward to this since I read the first volume of Baltimore. Baltimore is about a vampire hunter who travels Europe searching for the monsters that destroyed his life. The Curse Bells is the second story from writers Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, well, third if you count the original novel that spawned this series. It’s dark and moody like Mignola’s other works, but mixes in a fair bit of alternate history, which I guess is kind of there in Hellboy. Instead of World War II, this is one has an alternate World War I. But, there are monsters and there are guys fighting them and that is what I’m looking for. If you like Hellboy or BPRD or just plain old fashioned horror, this is the book for you.
Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Blood (DC Comics – $22.99): I knew that Wonder Woman was going to be one of the better books of DC’s New 52 when it was first announced. I mean, it had Brian Azzarello writing with Cliff Chiang on art, and those are two top talents in the comics business. However, I’ve never been a Wonder Woman fan, and I decided to hedge my bets and wait for the trade. Well, now it’s time for me to read it, and I have no doubt that it will live up to everything I’ve heard about it. From what I hear, Azzarello has changed a bit about WW’s origin, but then again, I don’t have any connection to the past, so what do I care? There’s stuff about Wonder Woman’s true parentage, there’s family fighting, and lots and lots of gods. I clearly wasn’t interested in previous incarnations of the character, so there’s only room for improvement. Everything I have heard says that this book will live up to the expectations I have of it, especially in regards to Chiang’s art. I really hope this book changes my opinion about Wonder Woman, and that it goes on for a nice long run that brings the character back to prominence.
Empowered, Volume 7 (Dark Horse Comics – #16.99): It has been a while since the last volume of Adam Warren’s Empowered was released, and I’m glad to see it back. Now, this is a book that definitely isn’t going to be for everyone. Empowered is about a would-be super-heroine and her daily struggles being a c-list hero that everyone makes fun of. The big gag here is that Empowered (that’s the main characters name by the way) is constantly being captured and tied up by villains, with other heroes having to come to her rescue. There’s a lot of cheesecake art on display, and Warren’s art is very much in the manga style. But don’t let that dissuade you, as what you get is a book that has a lot of charm and humor with some very stylish black and white art. Warren has created a whole host of memorable characters that those who have followed the series have come to love. The series is a lot of fun and pokes fun at the whole superhero genre in a way that I find very enjoyable. Few comics put a smile on my face more than Empowered, and I can’t wait to get that smile back on my face.