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 previews of some of your favorite books. Read on for the skinny…
Fear Itself: Deadpool #1
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Hastings
ILLUSTRATOINS BY: Bong Dazo
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN As the Marvel Universe is wracked with FEAR ITSELF, only Deadpool sees it for what it truly is…a way to make money. Has Deadpool really been chosen as one of the worthy, granted one of The Serpent’s Hammers? Or did he just take any old hammer and go to town with some rhinestones? Either way, when Deadpool hits the street with his shiny new mallet it’s-STOP! Hammer time. Don’t miss Deadpool playing whack-a-mole with the comic event of the season!”
Deadpool’s entering Fear Itself, but really what the hell could Deadpool be afraid of? Let’s face is, Deadpool is a pompous jerk, and he’ll probably lead to more problems than solutions for the planet. But wait, why is he holding a hammer? This could either be a brilliant comment on how silly major events tie-ins can be, or it could just be a really bad tie-in. Nonetheless, expect Deadpool to make some wisecracks about “The Worthy” this week, as things are heating up in Fear Itself.
Fear Itself: Spider-Man #2 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mike McKone
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN! The biggest event of the year continues as ‘Fear Itself’ tears New York City apart under the Serpent’s influence. Spider-Man’s right in the middle of it, protecting everyday people… from themselves. But two days in, there’s no sign of hope, no sign of salvation, and Spider-Man finds himself at the mercy of a foe even he fears…VERMIN.”
So much fear! While Marvel may not be planning a reboot any time soon, the event still has a lot of bearing for the future of the Marvel Universe. Spidey has always been a man of the people (for better or for worse), and it goes without saying that he’s going to be doing his best to save the world in this tie-in. Nearly every hero seems to be failing so far against “The Worthy”, surely somebody must be up to the test!
Ghost Rider #0.1
WRITTEN BY: Rob Williams
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Matthew Clark
“Special POINT ONE Issue. HELL’S OWN ANGEL RETURNS IN ALL NEW POINT ISSUE THAT LEADS STRAIGHT TO THE NEW GHOST RIDER ONGOING SERIES! With the events of FEAR ITSELF tearing the Earth apart a mysterious and powerful figure offers Blaze a faustian pact and a chance for peace. Can Blaze actually allow himself to ‘Give Up The Ghost’? And, if so, who will the Ghost Rider pass onto next? The souls of Johnny Blaze and everyone within the Marvel Universe depend on this decision. Vengeance rides in a new direction with Rob Williams (Throwbacks, Daken) and Matthew Clark (Superman, Doom Patrol). Grab your leather, metal and hellfire because it’s the end of an era for Ghost Rider and the beginning of a new life for Johnny Blaze. It’s gonna get loud! FIRE!”
Point one issues can often be point-less, however, lately Marvel point one issues have been on point (enough points for ya?). They function to introduce the character, their history, and give a little taste of what’s to come without diving head first into some crazy story arc. Ghost Rider has been out of the picture for a while now and it’s about time the hell rider came back to the shelf. But wait! Ghost Rider won’t be the same old dude; in fact it’s not a dude at all! That’s right, a chick now wields the flaming chain. Nicholas Cage’s nostrils couldn’t hold all the hype surrounding this book, let’s hope it lives up to it.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #159
WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mark Bagley
“Death of Spider-Man Spider-Man has been wounded and hangs to life by the thinnest of threads. And when the Sinister Six comes for him in his hometown, Spider-Man will truly be in for the fight of his life! Prepare for a rumble in Queens like you’ve never seen before.”
Somehow this little number slipped under my radar until about last week, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Bendis meets Spider-Man, and it’s that good. It’s rare to get an in depth look into Spidey’s mind, he’s usually too busy mouthing off or trying to patch things up with his gal pals. But, Bendis is in his true form here offering lots of interior dialogue that goes to reveal something under the surface of Peter Parker. The Death of Spider-Man continues this week, and who knows, maybe a hero will actually die, and stay dead.
WRITTEN BY: Jason Aaron
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Daniel Acuna
COVER: Jae Lee
“’Wolverine’s Revenge’ Part 1. First, Wolverine was sent to hell. Then he was forced to fight for control of his own mind against demonic invaders. All thanks to the machinations of a mysterious group called the Red Right Hand. Who are they and what is their grudge against Logan? And how do they hope to survive now that Wolverine has come looking for some revenge of his own?”
The last issue of Wolverine’s solo comic was hands down the best to date, both in terms of art and story. This issue kicks off a new arc in Wolvey’s life, as he attempts to figure out exactly what’s been going on. Hopefully last month’s work carries over. A great jump in point for new readers, and again the Jae Lee covers alone are enough to buy these books.
Batman and Robin #24
WRITTEN BY: Judd Winick
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Guillem March
“The Red Hood is out! But the bigger mystery is who broke him out of prison – and why? His liberators seem to have plans for him. Plans that Jason wants no part of. It’s a street brawl, and unlikely allies come together! Batman, Robin and The Red Hood must fight alongside one another in a knockdown, drag-out battle, taking on the people who sprung Jason Todd.”
This is one book I hope they don’t screw around with too much in the DCU reboot. So much has been done in the relationship of Dick and Damon, and I’d hate to see that go to waste. But, in the meantime there are still some good times to be had with the Dynamic Duo. Every arc of the series has been an absolute pleasure to read, I find myself wanting to go back to my youth, throwing on a cape (bath towel), and run around the yard.
Batman: Arkham City #2 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Paul Dini
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Carlos D’anda
“The Joker took over Arkham, and Gotham is still trying to get back to normal in this all-new, 5-issue miniseries bridging the gap between the hit videogame Batman: Arkham Asylum and the exciting, upcoming sequel, Batman: Arkham City! Amid the protests of both human rights groups and Bruce Wayne, a new Arkham rises. The Joker is scheduled to be its first inmate, but not if Harley Quinn has anything to say about it. Meanwhile, Batman’s suspicions lead him to investigate just who is really behind this new, more sprawling asylum and what their motivations might be. RATED T”
Another month closer the release of the video game, but in the mean time, the comic’s doing a pretty good job at keeping the gamers at bay. The first issue was nothing short of what you’d expect from the Batman innovator Paul Dini. The Joker is back, and Gotham is in trouble, while it may seem like the typical Bat-story, Dini has got some tricks up his sleeve here, with a new Arkahm under way!
Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Kolins
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Scott Kolins
“FLASH FACT! He loves someone he should not!”
Another week marks another load of Flashpoint tie-ins; I mean why not release as much as possible for what could be their last big event for a while. Citizen Cold could be a good guy with a not-so-icy-heart in this timeline, let’s see what he’s got in store for Flash.
Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Tony Bedard
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Adrian Syaf and Vincente Gifuentes
“FLASH FACT! He will drown the world – then rule it!”
What’s that, more Flashpoint you say? Here we get a little taste of how Aquaman looks in Flashpoint, and he doesn’t look pretty. In (Flash) fact, he looks pretty mean and he probably holds a grudge. All we really know is that in Flashpoint Aquaman at some point dated Wonder Woman (huh?), but now they hate each other’s guts so Aquaman wants to take over the world. You know what they say, “don’t piss off a man who lives in the ocean”.
Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Ibraim Roberson
“FLASH FACT! They can’t survive unless they find their maker!”
The combination of Lemire, gothic fiction, and a major DC event makes me wet my pants. Lemire isn’t known for his mainstream contributions, and rarely does he step foot in the DC Universe. However, Lemire is offering a very special treat as he comes together with Roberson to give us an alternate version of Frankenstein’s monster, who appears to be a wicked soldier with a soft heart (not too far off from the novel). While I don’t think this book will have any major bearing on the events of Flashpoint, with Lemire at the helm you won’t want to pass up this book.
Batwoman Vol. 1: Elegy TP
WRITTEN BY: Greg Rucka
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: J.H. Williams III
“Almost epic in scope. Fantastic.” – Ain’t It Cool News ”One of the most gorgeous, expertly crafted comic books I’ve encountered in years.” – IGN
“In these tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #854-860, now available in trade paperback, Batwoman battles a madwoman known only as Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable extras! Batwoman must stop Alice from unleashing a toxic death cloud over all of Gotham City – but Alice has more up her sleeve than just poison, and Batwoman’s life will never be the same again.”
Undoubtedly this is my favorite story of the last year, if not the last five years. Greg Rucka has an un-friggen-believable ability to tell dark, politically driven, mystery stories that redefine characters. Rucka totally turned around Batwoman’s character in Detective Comics, giving her a real sense of identity. Rucka doesn’t rely too much on past stories, but rather he focuses on making a memorable arc with a memorable female hero. On top of all this, J.H. Williams III’s art is nothing short of breathtaking at every turn of the page. Sometimes while reading through the books you’ll have to stop just because you’ll be so amazed at the brilliance of the team. I don’t care what you say about women in Bat suits, if you buy nothing else this week, buy this!
Star Wars: The Old Republic – The Lost Suns #1 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Alexander Freed
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: George Freeman, Dave Ross, and Mark McKenna
“The biggest Star Wars event of 2011-LucasArts and BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic online game-gets a fresh, new story set concurrent with the game, written by one of its senior writers! The Lost Suns stands alone as an accessible Star Wars adventure, introducing a new hero with a new mission! It also intertwines with the narrative of the game, revealing secrets players will find nowhere else! Theron Shan-descendant of the legendary bloodline that includes Jedi Bastila Shan and Satele Shan-is no Jedi he’s a Republic spy! His mission: to discover the blackest secret at the heart of the evil Sith Empire!”
While I have never been a huge fan of the Star Wars comics, I absolutely love the Knight of the Old Republic video games. If you are like myself, and you know you’re going to buy them game immediately when it comes out, giving up your entire social life (possibly meals), then check out this prequel comic.
Blue Estate #3
WRITTEN BY: Viktor Kalvachev and Andrew Osborne
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Viktor Kalvachev
“’KING OF THE JUNGLE’ It’s hard telling the predators from the prey in part three of this fast, funny 100% cool new series! Up-and-coming mobsters Alyosha the Lion and Tony Luciano think they’re kings of the jungle…but their reign may be cut short by forces on both sides of the law. Featuring art by VIKTOR KALVACHEV (PHERONE, DMZ, The Incredibles), NATHAN FOX (Invincible Iron Man, Pigeons From Hell), TOBY CYPRESS (Batman/Nightwing), ROBERT VALLEY (Gorillaz, Tron), written by Emmy Award winning screenwriter ANDREW OSBORNE.”
Blue Estate issue #1 was great, issue #2 wasn’t. When a series just begins and the first two books are so utterly different, it’s hard to know what the series will be like. Sometimes having such a creative team (really, look at what these guys have done!) can lead to issues and way too much pressure. Given that it was such a strong first issue, I’m hoping they will pull their socks up and get back into suspenseful mystery mood of the launch issue.
Green Wake #3
WRITTEN BY: Kurtis J Wiebe
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Riley Rossmo
“A deformed creature stalks the dark alleys of Green Wake in search of the murderer, its motivations unclear. With the lead suspect in danger of disappearing, Morley stumbles upon a resident who bestows upon him a powerful vision, unlocking a grisly glimpse into a series of events that could change his life forever.”
Can you say David Lynch? After reading some reviews for this book, it finally hit me; people will either love this comic or hate it, much like Lynch’s movies. Personally I love everything about this book reads and how bizarre it looks. Nothing really makes sense, yet there is something tying it together. The jest of story is that people just wake up in a strange and dark city, and nobody knows why, or how. With a serial killer on the loose, nobody is safe. Oh, and when people get older they seem to turn into frogs…
WRITTEN BY: Daniel Corey
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Anthony Diecidue
‘THE DARK CHAMBER,’ Part Two Professor Moriarty is on the run: He has been framed for two murders, his identity exposed. Moriarty makes an uneasy alliance with the Jade Serpent, and together they must delve further into the world of the Black Hand and the mysterious device that holds the secret of the Dark Chamber.”
Unfortunately I completely overlooked the first issue of Moriarty when it was released. For those of you who don’t know, Moriarty is (or rather was) Sherlock Holmes’ arch nemesis. However, in this comic Moriarty has decided to give up his guns, so to speak, and become a detective himself, using his knowledge of the criminal underworld to help him along the way. For myself, a huge fan of the classic mystery novels, this is a damn good comic book. Moriarty issue #1 fully captured the allure and charm of the original Holmes stories. If you can deal with exceedingly lengthy dialogue, and you’re willing to spend more than 15 minutes reading, Moriarty’s got your name on it.
Screamland Ongoing #1
WRITTEN BY: Harold Sipe and Christopher Sebela
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Lee Leslie
“’DEATH OF THE PARTY,’ Part One In a world where movie monsters are real, most of them are just looking for work in an industry dominated by 3D, CGI and other scary acronyms. Forced to hustle their past glory on the convention circuit, Wolfman Carl London and ‘Space Path’ star Travis Walters put their scheduled appearances aside to stop the screening of a legendary monster porn film that threatens to ruin the careers of feature creatures everywhere.”
A few weeks ago, our very own Johnny_Trouble Interviewed the creators of Screamland, giving us and inside look at the series. The plotline is simple, yet appealing to anyone who loves horror and the film industry. The series works to satirize the increasingly popularized (and Hollywoodized) horror genre, by showcasing a bunch of washed up (albeit real) movie monsters and their struggles in the horror world. Screamland writers pick on everyone, from fanboys to filmbuffs, and if you’re a real horror fan, you’ll want to check this bad boy out.
Netherworld #2 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Tony Shasteen and Dave McCaig
“We ARE all lost! Ray rescued Madeline from the clutches of the City’s criminal underworld, but nothing is what it seems. Where in the hell did those demonic thugs come from? And, what do they want from Madeline? As the veil peels revealing the true face of the City, Ray will be confronted with the ultimate decision: Save himself or save everyone? But, when everything you’ve known is suddenly a lie, where do you find the truth?”
When it comes down to noir fiction, the beginning of the story is extremely important. Every time (and I mean every single time) the end comes full circle back to the beginning to tie up all the loose ends. Issue #1 got the series off to a strong start, offering a great mix of supernatural and neo-noir storytelling. I’ve gotta admit, I am a sucker for film noir and crime fiction of this sort, but this is shaping up to be one of the best new books out there. Not to mention the fantastic art, which will no doubt have you coming back for more!
American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #1 (of 5) (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Sean Murphy
“From the pages of the red-hot Vertigo series comes a five-issue spinoff miniseries!
It’s World War II in Nazi-occupied Romania as vampire hunters Felicia Book and Cash McCogan (last seen in the critically acclaimed AMERICAN VAMPIRE story “Devil in the Sand”) go behind enemy lines with the secret organization known as the Vassals of the Morningstar in search of a rumored vampire cure. But their haunted, twisted past with Skinner Sweet makes the mission more difficult than they imagined.
Superstar artist Sean Murphy (JOE THE BARBARIAN) joins Scott Snyder to tell a story of horror and history, expanding the American Vampire mythology in a way that changes this story forever.”
When it comes to vampires in modern times, nobody (and really nobody) is doing anything like Snyder with American Vampire. Screw sparkling vampires, screw sticking strictly to the folklore of old, and let us see what contemporary vampires would be like. American Vampire is doing for bloodsuckers what 28 Days Later did for zombies; it offers an alternative version that doesn’t suck. If you haven’t been reading Snyder’s work, you better pick up this book.