BUY THESE BOOKS- 6/6/12 Edition

We’re all crazy about BEFORE WATCHMEN but there are a lot of great books hitting stores this week so let’s get started.
Ray Goldfield/Editor:

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (DC) – Was there any doubt? Not only is it one of the most anticipated comic book events of all time, but it’s the biggest project written and drawn by the incomparable Darwyn Cooke since The New Frontier. This is one of the most exciting chapters of Before Watchmen, because it’s delving into a history that we only saw small glimpses of in the original. What was the golden age of Heroism like in the Watchmen universe? I can’t wait to find out.

EARTH-2 #2 (DC) – Coming off the incredibly first issue which ended the lives of several heroes and begun the story of others, this is easily the biggest book coming out from DC’s New 52 this week. The new, younger JSA has been slowly making their debut, and of course it’s impossible to avoid the hype about Alan Scott. But media attention or not, the first issue was one of May’s best books. Here’s hoping #2 lives up to that.

MUDMAN #4 (Image) – Paul Grist’s offbeat, inventive teen superhero adventure has been another one of Image’s hidden gems in recent month. Grist is both writer and artist, something that seems more and more common recently. It adds a certain fluidity and natural feel to the story and art, helping to make this one of Image’s most entertaining books.

SECRET #2 (Image) – Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim’s new Image title may not be as out-there as Hickman’s other projects, but it’s a tense, taut conspiracy thriller involving high-level private security services with a unique way of ensuring good business flow. Hickman excels at writing complex antiheroes, and Bodenheim’s art is perfectly suited to the story.

WINTER SOLDIER #6 (Marvel) – In my opinion, Bucky Barnes is the best “new” character to come out of Marvel in the last decade, and Ed Brubaker’s newest ongoing series is perfectly suited to the kind of stories I want to see him in. Now joined by Michael Lark on art and Steve Epting on covers, Brubaker begins this title’s second arc, one that promises to give the Winter Soldier a new, personal archnemesis. One of Marvel’s best titles.


Andrew Goletz/Publisher:

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (DC)- Admit it, you can’t wait for this book, either. There are the fans who’ve waited years to see more of these characters and those so opposed to the idea that they can’t wait to see what it’s all about for themselves. Put aside your feelings on Alan Moore, corporate comics and realize that comic great Darwyn Cooke is going get to expand this world only touched upon years ago. And you know what? Odds are this is going to be a damn good comic.

CREATOR OWNED HEROES #1 (Image)- It’s a comic. No, it’s a magazine. No it’s two comics in one magazine along with interviews, cosplay and comic con photos all for just 4 bucks. Oh and did I mention that the comic creators in this one are Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon (American Muscle) and Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Phil Noto (Trigger Girl). You aren’t going to find a better deal than this.


EARTH-2 #2 (DC)- The first issue of this series through me for a loop and went in a direction I wasn’t expecting at all and left me craving more. The Alan Scott story is getting all the attention in the media but gimmick or no, this comic stands on its own as simply a great story with fantastic art from Nicola Scott. Earth-2 is taking full advantage of the DC revampboot and James Robinson has created some wonderful new interpretations of familiar characters.

HARBINGER #1 (Valiant)- Judging from the previews, Valiant is about to go 2 for 2 with their big re-launch. Harbinger tells the story of Peter Stanchek, a man who has the ability to hear people’s thoughts and command their actions. He also happens to have spent most of his life in a mental hospital. Harbinger was one of the best-selling titles in comics years ago. I’m wondering if lightening will strike twice. The talent on the book and unusual concept certainly give it a chance.

MUDMAN #4 (Image)-  Paul Grist has done it again and the creator of Kane and Jack Staff has created his most entertaining and compelling comic yet. With few exceptions (Irredeemable) I don’t tend to go away from the Big Two if I’m looking to whet my super hero fix but Mudman is probably the most interesting new super hero concept in years and he’s created a silver age style book with modern sensibilities. Don’t let this one pass you by.


Marc Lombardi/Editor:

CREATOR OWNED HEROES #1 (Image) – Two great sounding stories from two fantastic creative teams. Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon bring us a post-apocalyptic tale in “American Muscle,” then Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Phil Noto serve up a sci-fi thriller called “Triggergirl 6.” I love that Image has come up with a creator-owned anthology for fans of such formats…kind of like what we’re doing here at GrayHaven!

FAIREST #4 (DC/Vertigo) – I loved Fables for the longest time but in the past year and a half it has fallen off from the level when I was most deeply a fan. The few Cinderella mini-series that came out helped me to remember what I loved most about the flagship title and not this new series, Fairest, has really harkened back to what I loved most about Fables. With positively gorgeous artwork and a story that is equally amusing and exciting, this is a book that has gotten better with each issue.

HACK SLASH#16 (Image) – What happens when you take one of my favorite comics (Hack/Slash) and get one of my favorite new writers in the past year (Justin Jordan of “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode” fame) to guest-write the book? Why, you end up with a comic that I’ve been excited about since it was announced!

MORNING GLORIES #19 (Shadowline/Image)- Let’s face it…Morning Glories is always going to have a spot on my top five when it comes out. We finally get to find out what happens to Hunter after he saw what he saw a few issues ago. What had really done it for me with this comic in recent months is Joe Eisma’s criminally underrated art. This guy deserves so much more attention than he gets.

SECRET #2 (Image) – Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim have me absolutely riveted with this new comic. I’m really pleased with Bodenheim’s art style and how well it fits with this genre. And, as usual, Hickman’s sense of design is allowing for some really unique tricks in storytelling. The colors in this comic are also one of the unsung heroes. With snappy dialogue, a twisty-turny plot and eye-popping art, this one’s a keeper


Glenn Matchett/Editor:

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (DC)- I don’t remember there being so much controversy and differing opinions than there has been over Before Watchmen. I have many feelings on the subject but I can simplify them like this, I like and even love some of these characters. I want to see more of them and this is me getting more and by some of the best talent in comics. It’s that simple for me. This first mini gives us some background on the Minutemen and is written and drawn by modern legend Darwyn Cooke. This book good or bad will undoubtedly look fantastic and I’m sure will be one of the best-selling comics this month if not the whole year.

SWAMP THING #10 (DC)- Having dropped one of the titles I have been reading for years I sought out a replacement. I was recommended this book. I don’t know much about the character but I’ve been loving Snyder on Batman and this sounds like it might be just as good. I’m intrigued and eager to try something new and eager to let you guys know what I think.


James O’Callaghan/Editor:

BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1 (DC Comics) – DC’s controversial new series depicting the histories of the Watchmen characters begins here with Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen series. I’m one of the few people on the planet that couldn’t stand the original comics, however I always thought the characters and backstories were pretty interesting and wanted to know more. So for someone like me, this series promises to be a perfect story giving a glimpse into the glory days of the Minutemen as a full blown team. I’m on board for the entire line, but this series is the one I was most excited about so I’m glad to see it coming out first to kick things off.

FAIREST #4 (DC/ Vertigo) – For too long Fables was a comic that I’d gone from eagerly awaiting the next issue of to just not caring anymore. Between the main book, and this spinoff, things seem to be coming back on track. This arc, dealing with the reintroduction of the Snow Queen, has been surprisingly good despite starring mostly new characters (one of which should be annoying as hell, but is actually coming across fairly funny). Fables’ last spin-off, Jack of Fables, went from promising to a trainwreck in a farily short space of time so I’m hoping this is more in line with the recent, and awesome, Cinderella spin-off’s.

SECRET #2 (Image Comics) – Of Jonathon Hickman’s two current Image series, this one is easily the least difficult to jump into. Whereas Manhattan Projects is just insane sci-fi technobabble with a cast that features several people that existed in real life, Secret is a fairly intriguing espionage story. Considering how steeped in futuristic sci-fi Hickman’s works usually are, it’s a nice change of pace to see him taking this route for this ongoing series. The first issue was a thoroughly enjoyable read so I can’t recommend this enough.

FURY MAX #3 (Marvel/ MAX) – It’s a light week outside of Big Two books for me and from Marvel, while it made one of my most recent lists already, this book is high on my list again. It’s had two really strong issues so far, and thankfully Ennis seems to be playing down his more annoying “gross for no reason” tendencies that he went all out on in his last Fury MAX comic. So far he’s crafting a fairly brilliant story about a guy who has lived through pretty much every war since World War 2 and is not the most pleasant of company at the best of times. As an unofficial companion piece to Ennis’s Punisher MAX, this is doing a great job so far.

HARBINGER #1 (Valiant) – Valiant’s first series relaunch was fairly enjoyable, if a little unusual, so I’m definitely looking forward to this first issue of their next series. Again, like X-O Manowar, I don’t actually know anything from Harbinger except that it exists. But considering I enjoyed their first relaunch, I’m willing to jump into this blind and hope for the best. Especially considering it’s a fairly light non-Big Two week.


BEFORE WATCHMEN takes the week with 4 votes while SECRET comes in a strong second but we also have multiple picks for EARTH-2, MUDMAN, FAIREST and COMIC BOOK HEROES. Now tell us what YOU are getting this week and what we may have missed.

4 Responses to BUY THESE BOOKS- 6/6/12 Edition

  1. Roger June 5, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    I’m on the fence about Before Watchmen. Creator Owned Heroes sounds really interesting thought. Thanks for posting these.

  2. Aidan June 5, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Hickman’s Image books have been ridiculously good. He’s been the best writer on FF since Byrne but his indie work blows his work for hire stuff out of the water. I’ve been really happy with the amount of creators moving over to Image and the quality of the work they’re putting out and I think Morrison and Millar’s forthcoming books are going to kill. As for the Before Watchmen hype, I don’t think the property should be continuted, I think Moore and Gibbons should have gotten the rights back but I’ll be buying these books because of the creators involved.

  3. William Levert June 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    I’ll definitely be picking up Before Watchmen, but I’m most excited about Harbinger. It was my favorite Valiant book, and Valiant was my favorite Comic Book company for most of my Adolescent comic years. I used to mow lawns, clean out garages, attics, and basements, wash cars all over my neighborhood just so I could go down to my favorite Comic Shop and pick up everything they had on the stands. My inner fanboy is starting to peak out again.

  4. Gregory June 6, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    William, I have fond memories of those Valiant books too and have been very excited about this relaunch. Seems to be a lot of great comics out this week. And yeah, I guess count me in for Before Watchmen as well. Good comics are good comics

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