Ahh, the great moment of the year where you’re in post BBQ/Memorial Day celebration and just a day away from New Comics. As always, here’s the GrayHaven team with their picks for most anticipated books of the week.
AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #2/Image – With a dash of Rising Stars, a bit of Hunger Games, and a heaping helping of amazing Bryan Hitch art, it all adds up to one of the most exciting Image launches in years. Set in a world with thousands of superhero teens and an oppressive government using them as cannon fodder in yearly TV games for the right to be on teams, the first issue was a never-ending blast of action and thrills. Jonathan Ross is crafting one hell of a ride here.
ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1/DC – Jeff Lemire has been hitting it out of the park in the DCU, between Animal Man and last week’s fantastic debut on Justice League Dark. This annual sets the stage for the upcoming “Rotworld” crossover between Animal Man and Swamp Thing. Following in the footsteps of Grant Morrison, Lemire has reinvented Animal Man as a creepy horror book, and this upcoming annual looks to reveal the secret history of the Green, the Red, and the Rot.
BATMAN ANNUAL #1/DC – While Scott Snyder’s run on Batman has been amazing from the get-go, one thing I’ve always wanted to see him do is delve more into the classic Bat-rogues. Well, my wait is over, as Mr. Freeze takes the spotlight in this annual co-written by Snyder and his frequent collaborator James Tynion IV. Revealing Mr. Freeze’s secret relationship with the Court of Owls and tying into the current crossover, this looks like a must-read for any Batman fan.
GRIM LEAPER #1/Image – Kurtis J. Wiebe is having a hell of a year at Image, with Green Wake, Peter Panzerfaust, and now this promising new miniseries. A twisted romantic comedy about a man doomed to die endlessly and the one woman who may share his fate, this title is a perfect example of how strange, out-of-the-box concepts are being greenlit at Image – and usually turn out to be some of the most exciting comics on the stands. Give this one a try.
RAVAGERS #1/DC – Howard Mackie makes his return to comics with this new teen team spinning out of The Culling, with Ian Churchill on art duties. While we know relatively little about these characters so far, what we’ve seen indicates that this is going to be a very different, possibly darker team than Teen Titans. Featuring the DCnU versions of longtime Titans Beast Boy and Terra, this final launch of wave two is one to watch.
SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES #1/DC – While the kid-friendly team of Art Baltazar and Franco have always been good for laughs (and some awesome con sketches), this new series has an added appeal to it. For old-school Superman fans, this looks to be the last place to get Superman adventures based off the old DCU. With a more classic Superboy and Supergirl and a fun retro vibe, this looks like the perfect antidote when comics are getting too grim and gritty.
GRIM LEAPER #1/Image– Kurtis Wiebe, writer of Green Wake and Peter Panzerfaust would automatically get a ‘buy’ from me but the concept sounds terrific: The main character, Lou Collins is cursed with having to be reincarnated into bodies of individuals who are doomed to meet a violent death. He then falls for Ella, a woman cursed with the same fate and the two work together to stop the cycle.
RACHEL RISING #8/Abstract Studios– This is the latest issue of Rachel Rising, a horror comic. Rachel Rising is the newest ongoing series from the creator of Strangers in Paradise, Terry Moore. It is also the best comic on the market.
ROCKETEER ADVENTURES #3/IDW– One of my favorite comic decisions of the past year has been the resurrection of the Rocketeer over at IDW as an anthology featuring the best talents in comics. Anthologies tend to get the short stick in the market but this is a great series that shouldn’t be missed, particularly for those of you who loved the original, ever enjoyed the adventures of Indiana Jones or are reading the new pulp books from Dynamite.
WALKING DEAD #98/Image– My monthly tradition with Walking Dead is as follows. Buy book. Flip to the last two story pages. Recover from shock/surprise. Read on from page one to see how it got to that point. As the book heads towards a landmark 100th issue there’s the feeling that the craziest moments in stories past will need to be outdone and while I think it could be amusing to read a 100th issue spectacular where everyone just gets along and goes about their business I doubt it’s going to happen. And if things are going to get bad for these characters, that’s likely to start here.
X-MEN #29/Marvel– Victor Gischler brings his run on X-men to a close with what looks to be a great sendoff involving Spider-Man, the FF and Skrulls. I’ve never been the biggest X-Fan on the block but this newest series integrated the characters a lot more with the Marvel Universe as a whole and featured characters that didn’t always get the spotlight like those currently versing the Avengers. This book was always fun and one of the more entertaining corners of the Marvel U. Hope the unpredictable and wild ride continues with the new creative team.
BOMB QUEEN VII #4/Image – I really love that Jimmie Robinson has taken such a daring step with his character and moved her plot so far into the future. It reminds me of the freedom that Jim Valentino seemed to have had with his Guardians of the Galaxy series for Marvel back in the 80s. I love the reboot version of ShadowHawk in this and really can’t wait to see how this chapter ends. And will there be more Bomb Queen for us as readers? This issue will give us an idea…
GRIM LEAPER #1/Image – I’m really looking forward to this new mini from the mind of Kurtis Wiebe and the art stylings of Aluisio Santos. The idea of a romantic comedy in the guise of a twisted horror movie has me thinking of a cross between When Harry Met Sally and Final Destination. I’m sure the Rube Goldberg style machinations of death will be ramped up to 11 here, but I also think that there is going to be a surprise or two in store for readers. Where Wiebe is concerned, you come to expect the unexpected.
PETER PANZERFAUST #4/Image – The Kurtis Wiebe Week continues with another issue of this amazingly done series that blends Peter Pan lore with a real world WWII setting and so far it has worked with extraordinary success. The art from Tyler Jenkins fits the style here perfectly. In terms of the story this issue, with the numbers of the group growing in the last chapter I have a terrible feeling that we’re going to see a body count start here this month.
RACHEL RISING #8/Abstract Studios – Terry Moore is one of those creators who has really been dialed in to giving me comics that I love. First it was Echo, which led me to finally getting around to reading Strangers in Paradise. Now he has made me a HUGE fan of Rachel Rising. It’s arguably one of the best comics being published right now and it’s painful to me that so many people have not heard of it. Do yourself a favor and read it. You will love it.
WALKING DEAD #98/Image – Nothing to Fear continues. The last few issues have really hit their stride and there’s definitely something big building up here. If I know Kirkman, it’s not issue #100 that you have to worry about. It’s what happens AFTER issue #100, and with the expedited schedule leading up to that anniversary issue you just know that the pacing in this issue is going to be intense.
BATMAN ANNUAL #1/DC: Snyder’s run on Batman so far has all the makings of a modern classic and he hasn’t even used any of the Bat rogues apart from a very brief (but very creepy) appearance from the Joker in his Detective run. Now he tackles one of my all time favorite Bat villains in Mr. Freeze and I honestly can’t wait. This is a must read for any Batman fan and tying into the fantastic Night Of Owls only adds icing to the cake.
STAR TREK/DOCTOR WHO ASSIMILATION2 #1/IDW: Arguably the two greatest sci-fi TV shows of all time and certainty the two properties with the greatest legacies. Before Star Wars, before Stargate, before Battlestar Gallactica these two properties were breaking barriers. I am a bit apprehensive about how well it’ll work but I honestly can’t wait to see it happen. Also looking forward to many Cybermen/Borg arguments about who ripped off whom.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #39/Marvel: Spider-man and time travel together in one comic sounds like a winning combination to me. Likely this story will have little or no effect on the main story being crafted by Dan Slott in Amazing but it sounds like a good premise. Former Ms. Marvel writer Brian Reed is handling this one so I’m eager to see how he handles the property. What will a world without Peter Parker look like? Find out here!
BATMAN ANNUAL #1/DC – Scott Snyder’s excellent Batman run continues with the next part of the Bat-family crossover, Night of the Owls and introduces us to the New 52 version of Mr. Freeze. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Freeze over the years, but I’m interested to see what new touches Snyder brings to the mix. So far he’s done nothing but great things to Batman and even the history of Gotham. If he can bring half as much heart to the character of Freeze that Batman: The Animated Series managed, we’ll be in for a great comic.
AMERICAS GOT POWERS #2/Image – I’ll be honest, I was going to skip this initially. I used to be a huge fan of Bryan Hitch’s but recent years I’ve grown to dislike his art quite a bit. And not being a big fan of Jonathon Ross in his regular jobs in Britain, I had no desire to read a comic by him. Especially one about a reality tv show, being the hater of “reality” tv that I am. But I’m glad I jumped on this. Hitch’s art really shines and Ross has crafted a fairly impressive story about a reality tv show where the contestants all have superpowers.
GRIM LEAPER #1/Image – I haven’t heard too much about this story, but it sounds very much like a twisted version of Quantum Leap without the time travel. Considering it’s being solicited as a “gory romantic comedy”, I’m pretty interested to see what kind of messed up comic this ends up being. It’s already sounding pretty promising.
X-MEN #29/Marvel– I seem to have been one of the few people who enjoyed Victor Gischler’s X-Men immensely (most people I’ve seen have raved about some arcs, but condemned others like the first vampire arc), so I’m very sad to see this issue come along. Victor’s final issue of X-Men. Victor brought the X-Men a bit closer to the Marvel Universe than they’ve generally been in recent years, giving us guest appearances by everyone from Spider-Man and the Future Foundation to Blade and Ghost Rider, as well as injecting some new life into the character of Jubilee, who had been pretty much a non-character since being depowered after House of M. The run has been pretty much non-stop fun since it started. One of the runs I’d easily recommend to someone wanting a light, in continuity X-Men book.
RACHEL RISING #8/Abstract Studios – I never got into Strangers in Paradise or Echo when they came out (read some SiP but never got around to finishing it) but after some fairly impressive comments from people, I decided to check out Rachel Rising and I’m glad I did. This book couldn’t be higher on my recommendation list each month. Terry Moore is doing incredible, creepy work on this. It’s amazing to see someone manage to capture horror and creepiness without actually getting bloody and gory at the same time. The book is by no means something you’ll read and then want to sleep with a light on afterwards, but it definitely gives you a little bit of the creeps while you read it. And that’s something I think a lot of horror comics fail at. This series is going to be a great read when it’s all finished. And I’ll be eagerly awaiting each and every issue.
Well the group agrees on a lot this week. GRIM LEAPER leads the way with four mentions followed by RACHEL RISING #8 and BATMAN ANNUAL #1 with three mentions and X-MEN #29, AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #2 and WALKING DEAD #98 with two a piece. Great books on sale this week. Buy a few!
What are YOU getting this week?