Each and every week, I, “Super Bowl Champ” Henchman21 and “Kitten Bowl Champ“ Empress Eve read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible… theoretically. Naturally, we look forward to some more than others. I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of our pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of February 5, 2014. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.
I hope you all enjoyed your Super Bowl Sundays, with your pizzas, and your chicken wings, and your yelling obscenities at a screen in the hopes of getting the attention of people who can’t hear you. Of course, the best part of the game was the trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which looks sweeeeeet. But enough about that, let’s talk about comics. This week’s picks are dominated by a couple of must-own hardcovers, four exciting new series from Marvel, and a few other odds and ends. So, let’s skip past the coin toss, avoid the boring post-game reactions, and run right into The GoD List!
DMZ Deluxe Hardcover Book 01 (DC/Vertigo Comics – $29.99) I like a lot of writer Brian Wood’s work and DMZ is one of my favorites. In DMZ, Wood presents a United States that has gone to war against itself again and set up Manhattan as a demilitarized zone. Into this zone comes young reporter Matty Roth, who looks to tell the stories of those left in the city. Even though I’ve read the whole series before, I’m excited to jump back in and read it again from the beginning. This deluxe hardcover collects the first 12 issues, and if you’ve never read the series before, you’re in for an interesting alternate future that still feels all too possible. Wood fills the book with interesting characters, and the story he tells is full of surprises. I’m hoping that a whole new group of readers picks this up and gets excited about the series once again. You can get the hardcover through Amazon and also for the Kindle next week.
Locke & Key HC Vol. 06: Alpha & Omega (IDW Publishing – $29.99) I put this on there for the Locke & Key trade waiters, or the completists like me. Locke & Key is hands down one of the best comics of the last decade, and IDW has always done a great job with their hardcovers. I will take this chance to pull out the other volumes and read the series again and bask in the story of the Locke family and the magic world they live in. (This volume is out in hardcover, but will be available for the Kindle in March.)
Dial H Vol. 2 (DC Comics – $16.99) This is the second and sadly final volume of one of DC’s more recent oddball titles that I like, but I know won’t last. Writer China Mieville brought his penchant for weird stories to one of DC’s weirder concepts, an old style phone dial that gives users a random super-power. It was the perfect use of Mieville’s sensibilities, but sadly the series did not connect with readers. If you’re looking for a superhero story that’s a little different, check out the first volume and see if you’re picking up what they’re laying down. (You can get this now at TFAW or pre-order it from Amazon for a discounted price; it will also be available for the Kindle next week.)
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 (Dynamite Entertainment – $3.99) Everything old is new again as Dynamite Entertainment starts bringing back a bunch of characters originally published by Gold Key Comics before passing hands a couple of times. The first series they are bringing back is Turok: Dinosaur Hunter by Greg Pak and Mirko Colak. This isn’t a character I have a lot of affinity to beyond vague awareness of him from his old video games, but I’m willing to give this a shot on the strength of Greg Pak who has done great work for Marvel in the past and is doing some good work for DC at the moment. I’m not saying this is going to be for everyone, but it could be worth flipping through.
Lobster Johnson: Get Lobster #1 (of 5) (Dark Horse Comics – $3.99) This is here more for me more than anyone else because I really need to read more of the Lobster Johnson stories that Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have put out over the years. I know it all ties in somewhat to the Hellboy universe, but it has more of a pulp adventure angle to it. Maybe I’ll just jump in and give this a shot rather than trying to catch up on however many trades are out.
Ms. Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics – $2.99) Marvel has a bunch of new series out this week, and what is sure to be the most exciting for some is their new version of Ms. Marvel. This series should not be confused with Captain Marvel, who is still Carol Danvers and who is still running and gets her own series back next month. No, this is an all-new hero named Kamala Khan, who is just an ordinary Jersey girl until she gets superpowers. Now, Marvel is making kind of a big deal about the character being a Muslim-American, but I want to know that this is an interesting book with interesting characters beyond any headline grab. Writer G. Willow Wilson, being Muslim herself, certainly has a good perspective for the book and if you’re going to get someone to launch this character, she is the ideal writer for it. But in the end, I want to be entertained, and so long as the characters are strong, and the situations they are put into are interesting, I’m down for this, and I hope others will at least take a look at it.
Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 (Marvel Comics – $2.99) Now we get a book that is a bit of an easier sell, but still could have a hard time finding an audience is Al Ewing and Lee Garbett’s Loki: Agent of Asgard. This series spins out of the recently finished Young Avengers, and features an older but still fairly young-ish Loki as he goes around doing random tasks for the All-Mother in service of Asgard. The tough sell on this is making Loki a character that readers care about. There’s a fine line between roguish and just a jerk, and in many ways this sounds a lot like the recently ended Gambit series. Now, I had fun with that series, and I think I’ll have fun with this new series, but I’m not sure if I am in the majority of readers. If Marvel can get people to jump over from Young Avengers, this could survive. Otherwise, this will just have to be good enough to get readers to jump on board.
Punisher #1 (Marvel Comics – $3.99) Nathan Edmonson has already taken his skills writing military stories and put them to use on Marvel’s Black Widow, and now he gets the chance to use those same skills with another reboot of The Punisher. Edmonson is an ideal writer for The Punisher. He should be able to show Frank Castle as the bad-ass black ops operative he is. Edmonson has moved the traditionally New York-based Punisher to the West Coast as he takes down drug dealers, gun runners, rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, and a hit squad out to take Frank down once and for all. If you want a real action movie of a comic book, this is for you.
Wolverine #1 (Marvel Comics – $3.99) And finally, there’s a new Wolverine series launching this week, because it’s been two weeks so it’s time to launch another Wolverine title. This is just a continuation of Paul Cornell’s Wolverine run, so if you were reading that, read this. The big change is adding Ryan Stegman onto the art. Stegman is a rising star at Marvel, jumping from Scarlet Spider to Superior Spider-Man and now moving onto Wolverine. He has an exciting, dynamic superhero style that works perfectly for Marvel’s characters. I don’t always pick up the Wolverine solo series, but I’m getting this one on the strength of Stegman’s pencils.
Baltimore: Chapel of Bones #2 (Dark Horse Comics – $3.50) Lord Baltimore has been on an exhaustive quest to find the vampire who killed his family. In this issue, he finally finds him! But apparently, his nemesis has been waiting for him. What will happen when the two finally meet up? I love the Baltimore character, created by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, who write this second issue of the Baltimore: Chapel of Bones arc, so I definitely want to see what happens next.