Azzarello. Kirkman. Rucka. Vaughn. Who is putting out the book the GrayHaven team is most looking forward to this week?
BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1(DC) – Brian Azzarello is riding an amazing hot streak this past year, with a critically acclaimed run on Wonder Woman and one of the best Batman minis ever in Batman Knight of Vengeance. Now he’s turning that same gaze on the Watchmen’s resident violent psychopath. This is going to be one of the dicier minis, given how brutal the Comedian is and how loosely his character is sketched in the original. But if anyone’s up to the task, it’s Azzarello.
CAPTAIN ATOM #10 (DC) – Unfortunately, this series has been cancelled with September’s #0 issue, but that doesn’t mean you should check out now! This is one of the smartest, most unique titles DC is putting out, a trippy journey through time and space with a character whose powers are near unlimited. Currently, Atom finds himself in the future, trying to stop himself from destroying all reality. JT Krul and Freddie Williams are putting together a very clever comic, one that they say will have long-running repercussions for the DCU.
HULK #54 (Marvel) – It took me a long time to warm to Red Hulk, but since Jeff Parker took over the title, he’s actually surpassed classic Hulk as my favorite giant smashy brute at Marvel. General Ross is a hilarious curmudgeon who maintains a keen intelligence when Hulked out, and Parker never runs out of twisted monsters to pit him against. The current arc, Mayan Rule, is an action-packed horror story uniting Ross with most of the Hulks running around the Marvel Universe. Give this one a try!
PUNISHER #12 (Marvel) – Greg Rucka’s run on Punisher has been great so far, bringing Frank back to his roots as a street-level crime killer while still keeping him grounded in the Marvel Universe. This issue, with art by Mirko Colak, is a done-in-one as Castle faces off with his “protege” Rachel Cole. Rucka likes his strong female characters, so Cole’s addition to the title has been a breath of fresh air for a title that tends to not keep supporting characters long
WONDER WOMAN #10 (DC) – This is definitely a good week for Azzarello, as his popular revamp of one of DC’s most famous icons hits as well. Now, I can count on one hand the number of Wonder Woman runs I’ve enjoyed, because I never found Diana a particularly interesting character. But Azzarello’s violent, fantasy-driven adventure that lands Wonder Woman smack dab in the middle of an Olympus family feud is one of the ones that captures the appeal of the character most perfectly.
GODZILLA #2 (IDW) – I didn’t even pick up the first issue when it came out, but based on the recommendation of the other editors here (and on my love of basically everything Duane Swierczynski writes, I tracked it down a few weeks later. I’m hooked and have been waiting for this issue since I finished the last page of the last one.
GRIM LEAPER #2 (Image/Shadowline) – Considering that my first ever published comic was a romance comic, you’d think that it’s a topic that’s dear to my heart. That’s not the case. But this twisted take on Romance (with a great little twist) has me really eager to see what happens month in and month out. Kudos to Kurtis J. Wiebe and Aluisio Santos for making this a fun comic.
REBEL BLOOD #4 (Image/Shadowline) – My inside sources at Shadowline gave me the details on how this mini-series was going to play out from the very beginning and that STILL doesn’t prevent me from salivating to get this issue in my hands. I want to see on paper what I know is going to happen and that’s just testament to how awesome a job that Alex Link and Riley Rossmo have done with this comic.
SAGA #4 (Image) – Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples are quickly creating what is one of my favorite comic books in a LOOOOONG time. The story and the artwork are so fascinating that I never know what to expect. The end of the last issue was pretty shocking, so I’m very much looking forward to see what’s in store for our heroes this issue.
WALKING DEAD #99 (Image) – This is the guy behind the guy. The issue before the issue. Based on what happened only a few pages into issue #98 I have NO IDEA what to expect leading up to the monumental Walking Dead #100. All I know is that this issue is almost guaranteed to blow my mind. Walking Dead is a mainstay in my Top 5 issues every week when it comes out, so just get used to it.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1 (DC)- There is a lot of standout characters in Watchmen and one of
the strongest is Edward Blake aka the Comedian. However in his case unlike his fellow characters he’s quite unique. The Comedian only appears in the opening pages in the book and it is his death that causes a series of events that eventually brings about the destruction of New York. This is where his story ends. We learn about him through the memories of other characters and gain understanding of him through their experiences only. These experiences vary and you don’t quite get a complete picture of who this guy is. You make assumptions on the information given. I’m looking forward to this book because in some ways the Comedian is the most mysterious of all the Watchmen characters and I’m interested to find out what turned him into the character who killed children and nearly raped someone without batting an eye lid. It’s another great creative team and a lot of story to explore and I’m sure it’ll be one of the better Before Watchmen mini’s when we make way to the end.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #8 (Marvel)-It’s the epilogue to Ends Of The Earth (the last chapter I haven’t read yet as of this typing) but the titles been a blast so I’m sure it’ll be grand!
BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 (DC Comics) – Despite this being one of the only Before Watchmen books I’m least looking forward to as I despise the character of the Comedian, this is still on my list. The books so far have impressed me that much. And while I’m not the biggest Brian Azzarello fan on the planet, when he gets it right, he gets it pretty damned right.
That on top of the JG Jones artwork really helps the books case.
CATWOMAN #10 (DC Comics) – This has been one of the most consistently excellent DC comics since the New 52 started, despite some complaints in the first couple of issues drawing attention away from the story. I’ve never really managed to hold an interest in Catwoman unless she was guest starring in Batman books, so seeing the character’s supporting cast build and new villains popping up is keeping this high on my reading pile. And despite recent spine-breaking cover poses again drawing attention away from the story, I find Guillem March’s art gorgeous within the pages themselves.
TMNT MICRO SERIES #5 SPLINTER (IDW)– Amazingly enough I didn’t even know this was coming out. I didn’t know the TMNT micro-series were continuing past the initial four oneshots for the Turtles themselves. This series has been stellar since it relaunched at IDW and this story focusing completely on Splinter is a welcome sight.
WOLVERINE #308 (Marvel) – Cullen Bunn has managed the impossible. He’s followed Jason Aaron’s excellent Wolverine run and not only kept the quality level high, he’s used one of the only aspects from Aaron’s run I didn’t really enjoy and made it enjoyable. The arc introducing Dr. Rot was not amongst my favourites, but so far Bunn’s arc has made him a villain I really like. It’s nice to have a different type of villain for Wolverine once in a while. Paul Pelletier’s art definitely helps too. That man can make anything look incredible or downright creepy.
SECRET HISTORY OF DB COOPER #4 (Oni)– I very nearly didn’t read this but I saw it in a friend’s house and picked it up while I was alone for a bit. And I’m glad I did. This series has been pretty engaging since the start. A story about a CIA operative that can infiltrate the minds of enemies through their dreams, this is exactly the kind of story I love. And writer/ artist Brian Churilla captures the creepiness of the dreamscape pretty damn well, while keeping it surprisingly colourful. Not to mention the mysterious little red teddy bear that accompanies DB on his current mission. That alone is worth the price of admission. Who doesn’t love creepy teddy bears? I can’t recommend the series to anyone enough.
No real consensus this week other than a majority being very curious about BEFORE WATCHMEN: THE COMEDIAN, but a lot of great choices listed. What are your thoughts, dear reader?