BUY THESE BOOKS: 5/16/12 Edition

Each Tuesday the staff of GrayHaven Comics takes a look at the new comics we can’t wait to read this week. Here we go:



DANGER CLUB #2/Image – Landry Walker and Eric Jones, the creative team behind popular kids’ comic “Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade”, deliver a much darker take on kids with superpowers in this compelling new series that asks “What if the most powerful people left on Earth were all teenagers?”. In the aftermath of a crisis that took the Earth’s heroes out of commission, the teenage sidekicks find themselves with a world to protect in this post-apocalyptic superhero take on Lord of the Flies.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #9/DC – Jim Lee returns to the DCU’s new flagship book, and he brings with him the promise of a major new adversary for the league and an expanded roster, including Flashpoint fan favorite Element Woman and returning-from-limbo Atom Ryan Choi. The first arc by Johns and Lee was blockbuster superhero action of the best sort, pitting the just-formed Big Seven League against Darkseid. It would make a pretty good template for a JL movie, and I’m hoping this second arc follows in that direction.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #3/Image – Easily the strangest concept for any major comic on the stands right now, and also one of the best reads, this post-WW2 sci-fi thriller is Jonathan Hickman in his element. Fusing real-world scientific legends like Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer with a world-spanning conspiracy thriller and some truly out-there sci-fi action, Hickman and his frequent collaborator Nick Pitarra are delivering something truly unique.

THE SHADE #8/DC – Jill Thompson joins James Robinson for this special “Times Past” issue of the Shade, as Richard Swift delves deep into his family history. This has been one of the biggest surprises of the new DCU, as Robinson has been delivering a deep, involved saga spanning generations with some great new characters and art by some of the best people in the field. This is a book that has struggled to find an audience in singles, but any fans of Starman or The Golden Age owe it to themselves to jump on board and catch up with Robinson’s latest magnum opus.

THE SHADOW #2/Dynamite – Dynamite has been having something of a renaissance recently, with very strong pulp debuts from David Liss on the Spider, and Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell on Pulp legend The Shadow. As one might expect from Ennis, he doesn’t sanitize the character at all, bringing him back to his violent pre-WW2 roots. The book is tense, creepy, and maybe a bit politically incorrect at points. And all together, it adds up to one of the best crime books on the stands so far.


THE ACTIVITY #6/Image– Nathan Edmondson and Marc Laming offer up a flashback issue detailing what life was like for one of the team before they became involved. This book has been absolutely stellar. Fans of games like Modern Warfare would enjoy this take on the evolution of global warfare

CATWOMAN #9/DC– The book was met with controversy in its first issue for showing the sexuality of the title character who’s used sexuality to help achieve her goals for ages in comics, tv and film. Those critics missed the point and fans that passed on this title have been missing out on DC’s best book not written by Scott Snyder…a crime/heist/super hero hybrid that also happens to feature a strong independent female lead. This issue also ties into the big ‘Night of the Owls’ story.

DANCER #1/Image– The second Nathan Edmondson title to chart for me this week. Illustrated by Nic Klein, Dancer tells the story of a ‘retired’ assassin and his ballerina companion who are stalked by a sniper through the streets of Milan. Edmondson knows mystery and intrigue and this book is sure to please.

DANGER CLUB #2/Image– What if all the super heroes in the world suddenly disappeared after leaving the Earth to battle some great threat. Now only their young sidekicks remain. Violent, intense super-heroics presented in a way that I haven’t seen before.  By Landry Walker and Eric Jones

JUSTICE LEAGUE #9/DC– How do you tell an exciting super hero team comic that will sell boatloads? Put the most popular and classic members of the team and have two of the most popular creators work on the book. Jim Lee returns to art duties this issue that also expands the team roster. This is how you tell ‘big budget’ super hero comic stories.



BIRDS OF PREY #9/DC – I love that Duane Swierczynski has not only taken characters I normally wouldn’t have cared about and created with them one of my favorite comics, but he has also created a character (Starling) who is probably my favorite in the DCU. Yes, more than Superman. I KNOW!!!! This one is a Night of the Owls tie-in and we’re also going to learn more about the secret man in Black Canary’s past. Travel Foreman on art is a fantastic pairing.

DANCER #1/Image – Anything that Nathan Edmondson writes is an automatic read for me. The premise behind this series is that of a retired assassin and his ballerina counterpart trying to escape from a ruthless sniper, and it has “full of win” written all over it. With art by Nic Klein (VIKING), this is a spy thriller that is going to have me loving every moment. Between this series and The Activity (and what he was doing with Grifter), Edmondson is going to be the next really big name to come out of Image.

MONDO #2/Image – The legendary Ted McKeever is an acquired taste for some, both with this writing and his art. I missed out on so much of his stuff in the late 80s/early 90s but have loved virtually everything of his that I’ve come across (Eddy Current, Metropol, Meta 4) and Mondo is no different. Well, let me rephrase that because it certainly IS different. Following the exploits of a man named “Chicken$#it” who falls victim to the same mutagentic process that turned regular old chickens into what could be food for an army, the first issue gave us the origin of MONDO, a yellow hulking beast. This second issue of a three-issue oversized-format mini-series is a bundle of anticipated entertainment.

SAGA #3/Image – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are building a world that is part Firefly, part Star Wars and part Alice in Wonderland. The first two issues not only met but far exceeded my already sky-high expectations. The gorgeous art (especially the vivid color pallate) and the snappy dialogue have so far made this series so damn fun and visually spectacular that I can’t imagine being let down by a single issue. This issue finds our heroes amidst a village of mutant ghost teens who may or may not hold the key to helping Marko survive his wounds from the previous issue.

WONDER WOMAN #9/DC – The fact that this new version of Wonder Woman is so deeply rooted in Mythology is the most appealing thing to me about this series. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are doing a masterful job of weaving a horror story in the guise of a superhero tale. With Wonder Woman in Hades (and seemingly dead as of last issue), I have no idea what to expect with this one. I almost wish that this and Birds of Prey came out in different weeks because it’s too much awesome to handle in one week.



AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: ENDS OF THE EARTH/Marvel– How is Doc Ock’s master plan affecting the rest of the world? Find out here! I kind of bought this on a whim thinking it wouldn’t really factor into the main story too much but it had a great set up in the previous issue of Amazing so I’m sure it won’t disappoint. I’m curious to see a little international flair to the Marvel universe and what the heck Kangeroo is doing amongst it all.


JUSTICE LEAGUE #9/DC– Jim Lee returns to the flagship title and he’s bringing a brand new villain with him. In this new arc the Justice League face off against a new foe who we’ve seen mentioned since (I believe without checking) issue 3 or 4 in the ‘back up’ segments of Justice League. I’ll be interested to see where this is all going and what exactly writer Geoff Johns is building up to here. Been enjoying this book a lot, just pure fun on a big epic scale and to me that’s exactly what a Justice League title should be.


DANCER #1/Image – Nathan Edmundson has been doing some great work recently, between his other creator-owned comic, The Activity (also at Image) and his now finished run on DC’s Grifter. So his new series about a retired assassin and his ballerina companion sounds like something I just don’t want to miss.

DAREDEVIL #13/Marvel – Daredevil is going to pop up on my list a lot. To the point where even on the weeks it’s not out I’ll like start each choice with “BUY DAREDEVIL!”. But it’s a comic that’s worth annoying people about. Mark Waid is crafting the most fun run Daredevil has had in, god, I don’t even know how long, without ignoring recent runs and also without caving to the belief that to make Daredevil a readable comic, Matt Murdock must be miserable 24/7.

FANTASTIC FOUR #605.1/Marvel – I’m not a fan of the .1 comics. I think most of them have missed the point of what they’re supposed to (and can) accomplish more often than not, been horribly placed between issues of story arcs and in general just been really bad issues of otherwise brilliant comic runs. But even saying that, Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four is a series that makes me excited for a comic I’d otherwise be worried about reading. I don’t think he’s written a bad Fantastic Four (or FF) comic yet. I don’t see him starting now.

SHADOW #2/Dynamite – I’m not too familiar with the original run of The Shadow, having only ever seen the character in the 90‘s movie, but even I thought Garth Ennis would be an odd fit for this considering his tendency to get a little weird and violent with anything superhero related. Surprisingly though the first issue of this new series was a lot of fun and from what I can gather, very much in line with what the character should be like.

WINTER SOLDIER #5/Marvel – When Captain America was taken over by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting in 2005, Cap went from a character I could only stand in secondary roles to being the comic I awaited most each month. Now, while I still love Bru’s current Cap, it’s former sidekick Bucky’s series that gets me most excited. Bru has made Bucky one of the most exciting characters to come out of Marvel in a long time, and made him and Black Widow one of the most enjoyable couples in superhero comics. Also, Monkeys with big guns! MONKEYS WITH BIG GUNS!!!


And that’ll do it for another week. Looks like JUSTICE LEAGUE #9 and DANCER #1 are the books the team agrees on the most with SHADOW #2 and DANGER CLUB #2 also getting multiple mentions. Enjoy your comic day, let us know what you think in the comments section and see you next week.

3 Responses to BUY THESE BOOKS: 5/16/12 Edition

  1. Fred May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Ahhh, so you guys do read more than Batman and Daredevil. Good to know and good to see some indies up there.

  2. Arion May 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Marc: The legendary Tim McKeever? It’s Ted.
    James: Something tells me that Image is not publishing Daredevil as of right now.

    Other that that, great list. I’ve read Saga, The Shadow and the first issue of Winter Soldier. So it’s nice to see we have similar tastes.

  3. Andrew May 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm #


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