BUY THESE BOOKS- 7/25/12 Edition

Another week, more great comics. This time out, a double dose of Kurtis Weibe (GRIM LEAPER, DEBRIS) and some big debuts (DEBRIS, NATIONAL COMICS, AXE COP)


Ray Goldfield/Editor:

GREEN LANTERN #11 (DC) – So far, the new run on Green Lantern has been pretty great. But this new arc, featuring the return of Blackest Night big bad Black Hand, promises to be the craziest one yet. We’ve gotten some insane teases as to what’s coming in Green Lantern, with a coming event and a new Green Lantern, and it all begins here. Thus far, Johns has yet to disappoint on this title, and this is one of the comics that has me most excited this week.

DEBRIS #1 (IMAGE) – In what’s becoming an incredible year for Kurtis Weibe, he and Riley Rossmo debut his third new series in the last six months. This one, a futuristic thriller involving a post-apocalyptic Earth, and a whole lot of giant monsters made out of sentient garbage. The preview art looks amazing, and the whole thing reminds me of Godzilla by way of the Toxic Avenger. One of the most exciting new launches out of Image this year.

GRIM LEAPER #3 (IMAGE) – I recommended this comic (also by Weibe) when it first debuted, based on the strength of the concept. And the main feature is flat-out amazing. One of the most creepy, fun stories I’ve seen out of Image in a while. But I also can’t recommend enough the backups, a series of twisted love stories that blur the lines between romance and horror. Overall, this comic is one of the best packages on the stands.

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (DC) – Anything Jeff Lemire does is worth checking out, and this done-in-one comic with Cully Hamner looks to be no exception. National Comics is a new anthology series debuting out-of-continuity variations on some of DC’s more obscure characters, starting with Kid Eternity. Now a medical examiner trying to solve mysteries with the use of his unique abilities, this new version of Eternity looks to be a very interesting character.

VENOM #21 (MARVEL)- Rick Remender and Cullen Bunn’s symbiote thriller is quietly defying every expectation you might have for a title like this. Flash Thompson has turned into a fantastic hero, and the writers have created a group of creepy, ruthless villains to surround him. The current arc, pitting him against his own version of the Sinister Six, just revealed the identity of the big bad last issue and it was a huge surprise. Remender is leaving the title soon, but Bunn seems to be a worthy successor.

Andrew Goletz/Publisher:

DEBRIS #1 (IMAGE)- Kurtis Weibe reteams with GREEN WAKE partner Riley Rossmo on a new project? Sold. Weibe is one of the most unique voices working in comics and Rossmo is one of the most innovative artists around and this take of a future where humanity is on the brink of destruction should be another home run.

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (DC)- National Comics is a new anthology/series of one shots that DC is doing to bring back some long dormant characters. In this issue Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner focus on Kid Eternity, who most people remember from Grant Morrison’s Vertigo series, in a twisted murder mystery.

Doug Hahner/Editor:

AXE COP: PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD #1 (DARK HORSE)- Axe Cop is just pure fun. If you like fun comics check out Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth. Looking forward to the new series

BATULA HC (IMAGE COMICS)- Written by Steven Seagle from the Man of Action team, a group of comic book creators who banded together to create the Ben 10 franchise for the Cartoon Network (the team, including Seagle, consists of Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Duncan Rouleau), this is an all ages adventure book. It stars a fruit bat who is bitten by a vampire, and turned into a vampire bat. Now, in the guise of Batula, the peaceful fruit bat becomes “an avenging creature of the night.”

HAWKEN #5 (IDW)- Anytime Tim Truman does full interiors on a book it is worth reading. His art is simply put: amazing. There are very few who can match his feel for Western tales, and this book written by Tim’s son, Benjamin, is a Western through and through. Sure there are horrific elements to the story, but the draw for me is the elder Truman’s Western art work.

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (DC)- Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner are two creators whose work I like a lot. Having the two of them work together on a book is pretty damn cool. Jeff knows how to write the weirder/darker side of the DC universe, and Cully’s design work (check out his Blue Beetle) is top notch. I hope this leads to future collaborations between the two.

SERGIO ARAGONES GROO THE WANDERER ARTIST EDITION (IDW)- I love IDW’s Artist Edition books. Now truth be told, they are too expensive for me, but I love looking at them. This is the first book that I’m willing to save up my pennies for. Sergio Aragones is a living legend, and being able to see his Groo in reproductions of his original art has me salivating. Did I err in picking this book? No, I don’t think so. Yes, not many people can afford to splurge on a book like this, but that’s what makes them special. The people who get these books cherish them

Marc Lombardi/Editor:

AXE COP: PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD #1 (DARK HORSE) – When the Axe Cop webcomic debuted in 2009, it didn’t even register a blip on my radar. But word of mouth eventually reached my ears and I found myself in possession of the TPB that collected the webseries. It was love at first read. The premise of a comic written by and eight-year-old and drawn by his older brother is fantastic, and the stories have paid off so well. Malachai and Ethan Nicolle have a brand-new, print-exclusive story and that means I’m buying it right up, and I’m bringing my Eggy Eggy with me!

DEBRIS #1 (IMAGE/SHADOWLINE) – Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo, the creative team behind last year’s critical smash Green Wake, pair up once more for this series that has been described by Wiebe as “something like Red Sonja fighting Transformers in a dystopian Miyazaki world.” That there, my friends, is music to my ears and the previews of this look as glorious as advertized.

GODZILLA #3 (IDW) – Want to know what’s better than giant monsters tearing up the globe? Giant monsters tearing up the globe and the only people who can stop them are a group of mecenaries and soldiers led by Jason Statham. OK, it’s really not Jason Statham, but Duane Swierczynski’s character named Boxer is a perfect double for the guy. Swierczy is one of the few people who can get me excited for a comic such as this and he’s certainly done just that. I never know what to expect other than adoring the larger than life characters — and that includes the big green scaly guy!

GRIM LEAPER #3 (IMAGE/SHADOWLINE) – It’s a two-for-two week for Kurtis Wiebe. He and Aluisio Santos have done a remarkable job with this mini-series so far, and have really breathed new life into the genre of romance comics with an interesting horror-comedy twist. You can’t help but sympatize with the main characters and Wiebe has really crafted a story that draws he reader in and keeps the interest going. The back-up stories have also been great and this issue contains yet another new short comic with a romantic twist.

I, VAMPIRE #11 (DC) – It’s funny to think that at this point a year ago when DC announced their new lineup for the company-wide reboot, I, Vampire was not anywhere on my list of comics to read. I instantly wrote it off as being a cheap teenie-bopper attempt to capitalize on the Twilight fandom and that it wouldn’t be something I’d like. But when I saw Joshua Fialkov was writing and samples of the artwork from Andrea Sorrentino started to surface I gave it a shot. And I’m so glad that I did because this has been one of DC’s best books. And while each month passes with me dropping yet another DC capes & tights comic, this title not only remains on my pull list but also continues to deliver true entertainment value month in and month out.

One day we will find a book that all of the staff will agree on as the most anticipated book. This week, DEBRIS and NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY lead with three picks each followed closely by AXE COP and GRIM LEAPER at two apiece.  But those are just our picks. Let us know what YOU think!

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