It’s that time of the week again! Welcome to the weekly previews for May 25th, 2011 here at Bloody-Disgusting.com! The truth is everyone would read all the books if they had the time and money, but in reality most of us don’t. Here you will find a little taste of some major comics being released each week, my take on them, and, as always, feels free to discuss below. Whether you have been into comics since you were a little one, or are new to the game, I’m here to help you decide which books are for you. I’ve picked out some comics I feel will stand out in the coming week and listed them under their respective publisher, with over a dozen previews of some of your favorite books including “THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”, “FEAR ITSELF”, “FLASHPOINT: KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE”, “WITCHFINDER: LOST AND GONE FOREVER”, and MORE! Read on for the skinny…
Amazing Spider-Man #663
WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Guiseppe Camunocoli
“’The Ghost of Jean DeWolff’ ANTI-VENOM returns to help SPIDER-MAN wage war against MISTER NEGATIVE and his criminal empire… whether Spidey wants him to or not. And when an all-new WRAITH enters the fray, will she prove to be a friend or foe? Plus: From the pages of SECRET AVENGERS, a special guest appearance by SHANG-CHI, The Master of Kung Fu! PLUS: ‘Infested’ continues in…the lead-in to SPIDER-ISLAND.”
After two weeks of semi-useless Spidey stories, finally we’re on our way to Spider-Island, one of Marvel’s most anticipated storylines for the coming year. This arc looks to be much better than what we’ve seen in Spider-Man recently, and I’m excited to see our web slinger back in action. Spider-Island is this years version of The Gauntlet, and from the looks of it, it should be just as testing for Spidey and the gang.
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – The Battle of Tull #1 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Peter David
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Michael Lark and Tim Bradstreet
“In a saloon in the town of Tull, the last gunslinger is approached by a bizarre figure that has a message for him. The message is terrifying. What’s worse, it is delivered by a dead man named Nort whose corpse was animated to serve this very purpose. And that is only the beginning of the horrors awaiting the gunslinger in this strange place deep within Mid-World. We continue Roland Deschain’s quest for the Man in Black that has become his obsession. Featuring the artistic talents of Michael Lark, whose fine pencils have graced the pages of Daredevil and Spider-Man.”
Since the Dark Tower comics started as a prequel to the novels, I’ve been in love with Peter David’s writing. I’m a huge sucker for westerns and anything King related. Once Jae Lee left I had my doubts, but Peter David’s writing proved to be the driving force of the series. The narration is deep, thoughtful, and perfectly captures the mood of a post-apocalyptic western; you can almost hear the narrator speaking to you in his raspy voice as you read the books. In my eyes, the entire series is required reading.
Fear Itself #3 (of 7)
WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Stuart Immonen
“The blockbuster Marvel event of the year continues! Sin leads the most audacious attack on American soil the world has ever seen as global panic sets in and we fall sway to the power of fear itself. On Asgard, Loki hatches the scheme to end all schemes. And everywhere, the Serpent’s presence is felt…never moreso than when a major Marvel hero falls at his hands. The shock ending to end all shock endings…as the cycle of evil stretching millennia is at last completed.”
So far, Fear Itself is off to a great start, and things just keep getting grimmer for our heroes at Marvel. This is said to be the biggest challenge Earth is yet to face, and the heroes are struggling to keep it under control. Bring it on evil gods, let’s see what you’ve got!
Moon Knight #2
WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alex Maleev
“Moon Knight’s startling true nature as a one-man Avengers team stands revealed! Now, in the guises and identities of Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America, Marc Spector wages war against organized crime in Los Angeles. But who is the Kingpin of crime in L.A. and how does Moon Knight plan to bring him down?”
If you’ve been following this column, you’ll already know the respect I have for Bendis over at Marvel. Combine Bendis with one of my longtime favorite heroes in the Marvel canon and you’ve sold me. Moon Knight, AKA Marc Spector, takes on various superhero personalities, and he’s one crazy dude. This revamping of Moon Knight is definitely exciting, not surprising given that it’s coming from one of the most creative teams at Marvel. This issue should be more violent, and slightly less focused on introducing Marc Spector’s nutty personality.
Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Adam Schlagman
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Felipe Massafera
“FLASH FACT! He survived the crash!”
FLASH FACT! This month kicks off the beginning of the absurd amount of Flashpoint tie-ins (and trust me, it’s only the beginning). So little is known about these tie-ins and what the characters will be like that it’s difficult to even write about them. Just expect everything to be flipped upside-down because shock value seems to be what DC is going for in this one.
Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Azzerello
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Eduardo Risso
“FLASH FACT! He spends his days running Wayne Casinos!”
As far as I can tell from the little we saw of Flashpoint Batman, he’s darker, grittier, and meaner than ever. His “no killing” rule seems to have gone down in the gutter along with the rest of Gotham, and he has very few friends in the superhero community. With Azzerello at the wheel of this tie-in, it gives bat-fans a chance to see what they’ve always wanted, the darkest Batman imaginable.
Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Rex Ogle
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paula Siquiera
“FLASH FACT! Everything you know changed in a flash, but how?”
The synopsis pretty much says all there is to say, everything is going to change. The amount of teasing that DC has done combined with the secrecy of the Flashpoint tie-ins is getting so frustrating that I may have to buy all friggin’ 15 tie-in series (bye, bye wallet). All we can do is wait and see exactly how the world has changed, for better or for worse.
Secret Six #34
WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: J. Calafiore
“He’s been a man of honor seeking his righteous path. But now, Bane has looked into the abyss and seen only the futility of his quest. His one lifeline has been Scandal Savage, but will she be enough to stop his descent – or has the obsession taken over Bane again?”
The previous Secret Six arc was the most popular in the history of its publication, and I don’t know how it could be followed up. Seeing as Bane is regaining popularity because of Dark Knight Rises, he seems to be a good character for Simone to be focusing on (Have you seen the teaser photo of Tom Hardy as Bane!?). It seems that big bad Bane is going to have some sort of existential crisis, and it won’t be pretty for anyone.
B.P.R.D.: The Dead Remembered #3 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Karl Moline and Andy Owens
““Liz Sherman relives the fate of an accused woman who was tortured three hundred years ago, but she has to rein in her own fire power, or an entire New England town will be forced to relive the day when Liz burned her own family to death. Liz’s first mission comes to a horrifying end, presenting the details of her parents’ death for the first time!”
Mignola always finds a way to portray the beauty in the horrible and grotesque parts of life, and The Dead Remembered mini-series is no exception to this. It follows the story of a young girl who has just been sent to join the B.R.P.D., and the troubles she goes through dealing with her overwhelming powers. If you’ve read the first two issues, there’s really no need for me to tell you why you should read the concluding book.
Hellboy: The Fury #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola
ILLUSTRATIONS BY Duncan Fegredo and Dave Stewart
“War ensues between the forces of good and evil as Hellboy finally confronts the Queen of Blood one on one, setting the stage for a new chapter in Hellboy’s life!”
Hellboy is everyone’s favorite loveable demon. For those who don’t read Hellboy, he’s one tough son-of-a-gun who deals with a bunch of supernatural creatures and spooky shit. Although the series focuses on the occult, the characters run much deeper and have a rich history together. This storyline is a great jump on board point for anyone who wants to read about the tough, red, softy.
Solomon Kane: Red Shadows #3 (of 4)
WRITTEN BY: Bruce Jones
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Rahsan Ekedal, Dan Jackson, and Dave Stewart (C)
“Hitting the dangerous shores of Africa, a furiously obsessed Solomon Kane continues to search for his nemesis-the infamous marauder Le Loup! Comic-book legend Bruce Jones (The Incredible Hulk) continues his adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s most popular Kane story. In this issue, Kane finds one powerful ally, plenty of foes, and lurking supernatural horrors in Africa’s jungles, and feuding voodoo.”
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Solomon Kane is a bad ass, more so now than ever before. This issue continues the story mini-series as Kane tries to avenge the innocent with pistol and sword in hand. Although the film didn’t really attract new readers (considering how few people saw the movie) the comic’s as strong as ever and definitely deserves some attention.
30 Days of Night: Night, Again #2 (of 4)
Written by: Joe Lansdale
Art by: Sam Kieth
“After a strange party of half-starved wanderers make their way to the weather-changing station, it is soon learned they they’ve created their own bloody swath across the icy wastelands of the Antarctic while being pursued by rabid vampires. Meanwhile, what secret does the WWII torpedo discovered in the ice hide, and why is there something knocking on the inside of it?”
Now this is one hyped up series, but I don’t think anybody was ready for the first issue to be as awesome as it was. 30 Days of Night: Night, Again is shaping up to be the best in the series since the original, with unbelievably crisp dialogue and some intense gore. These vampire are ruthless, daunting forces who you don’t want to #&^* with. If you call yourself a horror fan and you didn’t pick up the first issue, get off your ass and go get it.
That Hellbound Train #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Robert Bloch, Joe and John Lansdale
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Dave Wachter and Menton Matthews III
“Take a trip back in time on Robert Bloch’s That Hellbound Train! Join Martin, an out-of-luck orphan, as he struggles to fulfill the American dream. As Martin comes of age, fate conspires against him at every turn. On the verge of giving up hope, our young protagonist is visited by a monstrous train, one whose conductor might just have a ticket to fame and riches… if Martin is willing to pay the price! Scribes Joe and John Lansdale (30 Days of Night: Night, Again) and artist Dave Wachter bring this unique tale of American folklore to life!”
More often than not short stories being adapted to comic book form fail miserable in comparison to the original text. However, given the success of Joe and John Lansdale on their current 30 Days of Night: Night, Again series, they have proven they have what it takes. John Lansdale knows horror literature, and knows it well; I think that if anyone is capable of adapting Robert Bloch’s, Hugo Award wining, That Hellbound Train, it’s this team.
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Greg Capullo and Todd McFarlane
“It’s the end for Haunt. The Apparition has won.”
I’m not going to lie, sadly I haven’t got this far yet in the Haunt series. What I have read isn’t as good as The Walking Dead, but it’s a way better than Super Dinosaur. That said, I don’t think it’s always fair to compare all of Kirkman’s work to the masterpiece that is The Walking Dead. The dialogue is well written, and the idea of Haunt is pretty wicked, he’s a fusion of Venom, Spawn, and Constantine.
The Walking Dead Survivors’ Guide #3 (of 4)
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman and Tim Daniel
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn
“Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the cast of The Walking Dead. The Survivor’s Guide is a handy checklist of all the characters who have appeared in the series thus far, alive or dead. This series is a can’t-miss supplement to the hit comic book series that is now a hit TV series on AMC!”
This is only for fans of the series, and don’t expect to learn how to survive like Rick in an apocalypse after reading this. The guide simply serves as a companion to the series, listing all the characters, their stories, and whether or not they are dead yet. If you are reading the series in novel format then these guides can be pretty handy when you forget about some characters over the months.
House of Mystery #38
WRITTEN BY: Matthew Sturges
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Luca Rossi, Jose Marzan Jr. and Aaron Campbell
“Byzantium Mack’s granddaughter, Lotus Blossom, is a violent and cunning would-be conjuror. Now, she’s taken over the House of Mystery and turned it into something…strange. But not everyone is taking this lying down. And why is Harry sleeping with – well, we can’t say who.”
This is by far the strangest start to any arc in the already bizarre House of Mystery series. It’s been extremely episodic, and I’m not really sure how things are going to be tied together, but then again that’s why it’s called the House of Mystery…Lotus is taking over the house, and god knows what Fig is up to. Despite the eccentricity of this arc, it’s still a great read.
I, Zombie #14
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Michael Allred
“Part two of “5 Brains, 5 Months” In part two of “5 Brains, 5 Months,” enter a world that’s strange even to a zombie girl detective: the world of competitive skeeball! While Gwen is busy with the unfinished business of the latest brain she’s eaten, Ellie tests her new ghost powers, while Spot continues going underground. And in the “Dead Presidents” backup, we visit the headquarters of V.E.I.L. and meet the mysterious head of the team.”
You knew there had to be at least one zombie book this week, right? Well sort of, I wouldn’t say this is a typical zombie book. This is a weird book to say the least, and I love it for that. Roberson is a great writer, and knows how to revert tropes common to the zombie genre. As I said last month, this arc is a perfect jumping in point for new readers.
Sweet Tooth #22
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Jeff Lemire
“Endangered Species” continues as Gus and Jepperd discover the dam and the amazing secrets it holds. But when Jepperd and Walter Fish butt heads, it threatens to tear the group apart. Meanwhile, Singh and Johnny come face to face with the foot soldiers of the mysterious “Haggarty,” and new secrets of “Project Evergreen” begin to surface.”
Sweet Tooth has without a doubt been my favorite Vertigo title for the past while. There’s something about that little kid with antlers on his head that just gets me. Now, Gus and company are more in danger than ever before. Lemire’s minimalist writing style and sketchy illustrations hook you in, and always leave you wanting more. Again, if you haven’t read Lemire’s novel Essex County (finalist for CBC’s Best Canadian Read), you’ve gotta pick up a copy as soon as you can!