Each and every week “Firework Fred” MK2Fac3 and “Firecracker Frank” 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 July 4, 2012. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
Um, yeah, sorry about the delay, folks! We were just sitting over here drinking non-alcoholic beverages in celebration of freedom and such, so we got a little too distracted by the holiday to get this up in time. You forgive us, right? Sure you do. I mean, I’m sure that you might have gotten distracted by all the booms and crackering of fireworks too and missed picking up new comics, right? That’s what I thought. Well, there’s a decent amount of stuff that came out this week, but a lot of it is more new issues than new comics, you know what I mean? Not a lot of fresh pickings. Nonetheless, you should read on because there are new comics to love and behold. Which ones? Like I said, you’ll need to read on for The GoD List.
Look guys, I’m going to be completely honest with you, with the exception of a couple of books, there’s not a lot of comics that I’m super interested in this week that THE HENCH didn’t already submit his opinion about. BUT we’re going to soldier on, and I’ll tell you about a couple of things, one of which I didn’t think I was going to enjoy, but I totally did. You ready? Let’s do this!
The Cape: 1969 #1 (IDW Publishing – $3.99): (SPOILERS) Yeah, that’s right. This is the one that I absolutely thought that I wouldn’t enjoy. I absolutely loved the one-shot that came out last year (or was it the year before? Who can remember.), but as it became a mini-series I found myself less and less interested with the comic as it started to feel like a “how can we shock the reader?” book. And if you know anything about my tastes, I absolutely despise those kinds of comics. I want my comics to be good, not necessarily “surprising,” and hardly ever, “shocking.” So, when I actually got the chance to read this comic, I was surprised, but I was surprised as at how much I liked it as opposed to how the events were surprising. This story takes place in the heart of the Vietnam War or “opposition” or whatever false synonym for war that our countries used, and it stars a group of American/British/whatever “good guys” that are usually the heroes of stories like this. They’re medics sent in to help out some soldiers, but unfortunately for them they get taken down and abducted by “the enemy,” and as one member of the crew after another start to meet their makers, we’re down to only one, and the situation looks dire. This issue is more war comic than super-powered cloth tale, but I’m sure the elements of why this ties into The Cape will become evident in future issues sooner, rather than later. Honestly though, I kinda wish it would stay on this course, because I like this a whole lot more than what happened in the final issues of The Cape mini-series.
Creator Owned Heroes #2 (Image Comics – $3.99): I really like what’s going on in Creator Owned Heroes. In this book, we get two near full-sized comics about awesome things with middle-matter consisting of interviews, features, and all sorts of other goodies. It’s a lot of fun in the content aspect, but let’s talk about the meat of the content, the comics. Seriously guys, I don’t know if you’re reading this book, but it’s really good. First up, we get American Muscle, a post-apocalyptic horror story with a nice dose of auto-enthusiast attached. From the first issue, we see fast cars, a cool group of friends, and a disastrous bunch of toxic zombie freaks, which, you know, is awesome. This story is written by Steve Niles (who I love) and features art from Kevin Mellon (who I love), whose artwork is colored (which I love to see). But this comic doesn’t end with American Muscle, because we also have the absolutely stellar team of Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Phil Noto creating one of the coolest comics of recent memory, Trigger Girl 6. Trigger Girl 6 is about a female assassin who was engineered to become a killing machine by… I don’t know, a shadowy group who make ladies into assassins. It may sound like it’s been done before in a 60s/70s “bad ass chick flick,” and it might have, but that’s never a bad thing, and I don’t recall it being done like this. The comic is just cool. It’s that simple. Make sure not to overlook Creator Owned Heroes this week, it’s bound to be one of the best purchases you could make.
Dial H #3 (DC Comics – $2.99): Dude, I like my entertainment super weird for the most part, and you know what’s delivering on the super weird factor? Dial H. This comic is so inventive and bizarre, and while the concept isn’t original (this is a re-imagining of a comic from quite a while ago), it does have a nice, fresh take. This comic takes the concept, realizes how off beat and weird that is, and embraces it. The hero of this story is a dumpy, chain-smoking regular guy, and he just wants to protect his friend. He does this by going into a phone booth and dials HERO and becomes a completely bizarre rendition of what a person on bath salts might picture as a super hero. It’s weird, it’s clever, it’s Dial H and it’s a must buy.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Alan Scott becomes Green Lantern this week in Earth 2, Bryan Q. Miller and Pere Perez continue to kill it in Smallville #3, Superman does his Superman thing care of Grant Morrison in Action Comics #11, Animal Man is awesome in Animal Man #11, Swamp Thing #11 doesn’t show up this week, things get real in AvX #7, and finally there’s Morning Glories #20, which THE HENCH discusses soon.
Eh… Eh? Eh…
Batman: Earth One HC (DC Comics – $22.99): Look, I don’t really want you to get this. I understand that you probably will, regardless of what I say. Hell, I bought it and I’m sure wanting to actually read it. I mean, at its very core, this comic is completely pointless. The idea of the Earth One line from DC Comics was to re-invent some of their most popular characters in a new, ongoing universe that was designed for a modern audience’s interpretation. Then, DC Comics went and relaunched their whole entire line of comics in an ongoing universe that was designed for a modern audience’s interpretation of their stories. That’s a thing that actually happen. This voids the unnecessary necessity for a separate universe. Just do it in the main universe! It’s incredibly frustrating to me as a thinking person to forgive and forget in this matter. Also, I’m not a fan of new Geoff Johns, and whenever the dude has written Batman I’ve been instantly annoyed with his “unique” take on the character. As a reader, it seems that in Johns’ mind, Batman is and should be written like Frank Miller writes him, and while how Frank Miller writes Batman is fine for Frank Miller, I’m not so sure I like it when Geoff Johns does it. Also, Gary Frank can either be great or terrible depending on the reader and mood of the reader. While his art is perfectly good, there’s a sense of weird soullessness that comes across in his characters faces, which quite honestly makes me uncomfortable for about 50% of the time when I’m reading his comics. All of this negativity aside, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are incredibly talented guys and I’m actually interested in seeing how it all plays out. It should be noted also that there are very good reviews of this book out there, but the ones that I’ve seen are from the guys that get exclusives and junk who almost always have good reviews of DC books. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, don’t believe the hype. If you want to check this out, check it out. I mean, I’m going to check it out, but proceed with caution. Thank you. Good-bye and have a great day.
Amazing Spider-Man #689 (Marvel Comics – $3.99): It’s time for a check in on everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Hey, did you hear there’s another Spider-Man movie coming out? And that it features the Lizard as a villain? Marvel is going for what we like to call corporate synergy with this issue, as we see the return of the Lizard and find out what he’s up to now. The Lizard has seen a lot of changes over the last few years and has become one of Spidey’s more interesting villains. The Lizard now returns to take the spotlight, and he’s bringing Morbius, the Living Vampire, with him. The last time we saw the Lizard was in the ‘Shed’ storyline, which remains one of the best Spider-Man stories of the last few years. Amazing Spider-Man has been on a hot streak lately under the writing of Dan Slott. Slott is writing Spidey the way he should be, with plenty of drama and action mixed in equal parts. With a major story just ending, this is a good spot to jump on.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 (DC Comics – $2.99): I know too many people who would beat me mercilessly if I didn’t mention the relaunch of the Masters of the Universe in comic form. Now, I am a big fan of plenty of 80’s cartoon properties, but for whatever reason, Masters of the Universe was one that passed me by. That doesn’t mean I can’t find interest in this new series, mostly thanks to the writing of James Robinson. Robinson is a top name writer and I’m curious to see what he does with these characters. It’s still a little odd to me that he’s working on this book and he lends a certain, shall we say, legitimacy to what might be an otherwise standard licensed book. I know there are a lot of fans who are excited to see the Masters back on comic stands, and I hope this all they expect of it and more.
Morning Glories #20 (Image Comics – $2.99): Did you read the last issue of Morning Glories? Because wow, I did not see that coming. That’s pretty much all I have to say in regards to Morning Glories, but it feels like I say that for every issue. There is no book on the stands that has as many twists and turns as Morning Glories. Each issue finds a new way to show us the history of the characters and then advances the larger story in a way that the reader probably didn’t expect. The great thing is that if you’ve been interested in checking out the series, the third collection came out just last week, and this is the first issue of the fourth arc, so there is no better time to start.
Batman: Earth One HC (DC Comics – $22.99): This is easily the biggest release of the week. How could it not be when you combine one of DC’s biggest writers with one of their best artists on their most popular character? Writer Geoff Johns finally gets his chance to write Batman in this all new origin story, and I know we’re all interested to see what he does. As with Superman: Earth One, this graphic novel looks to update the character for a new generation and to give casual fans a self-contained story that can be sold to anyone. The big question is whether the world needs a new origin for Batman, and what Johns can bring to the table to set this apart from the thousand Batman origin stories that we’ve already seen. I’m a little leery to say that anything truly interesting can be done, but I’m willing to give it a shot and see what we get. Even if the story fails, I have faith in the art of Gary Frank who’s work I have always loved in the past. I have the feeling that this is going to fall flat with many longtime fans of Batman, but I think this will be a big hit with many others who don’t want to get bogged down in the regular series. I don’t expect this to be a modern classic, but I’m expecting a decent story and some great art and maybe an interesting new perspective on a long time character. We’ll see what we actually get.