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. Read on for the skinny…
Alpha Flight #1 (of 7)
WRITTEN BY: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Dale Eaglesham
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN A FEAR ITSELF maxi-series spinoff! Do you fear…your country turning on you? Alpha Flight has long been the protector of an entire nation…but what happens when that nation needs to be protected from itself? New York Times best-selling authors Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, along with red-hot artist Dale Eaglesham, bring back the team you demanded-the original Alpha Flight! Sasquatch, Snowbird, Northstar and Aurora have been joined by their revived allies Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, and Marrina as the paragons and protectors of an entire nation. But as FEAR ITSELF takes over, their own country turns on the Flight and brands them traitors for the shocking actions of one of their closest allies. As the borders close and an entire nation hunts them down, will the newly reunited Alpha Flight survive?”
The point one issue was phenomenal, and no, I’m not just saying that because I’m Canadian! It perfectly re-introduced the team into the Marvel Universe in the midst of the Fear Itself chaos. This Alpha Flight series looks to be smart, political, and above all extremely entertaining for both new and old fans of the squad. It’s rare to find a comic that so well balances character development, political commentary, action, and great art, but I think this new Alpha Flight could be one of those. Although it’s labeled as a Fear Itself tie-in series, it’s more of a new starting point for our Canadian heroes.
Amazing Spider-Man #664
WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Giuseppe Camuncoli
“’Death Won’t Stop Me’
THE WRAITH stands unmasked and all of her secrets are revealed. What will this mean for SPIDER-MAN? And how will this effect the growing gang war in Chinatown? And if ANTI-VENOM wants to get his hands on MR. NEGATIVE, he’ll have to get past HAMMERHEAD and THE SPOT first! Of all the days for Aunt May to return to the F.E.A.S.T. Center…”
Spider-Man! Spider-Man! (You know the rest). While we may not be at Spider-Island yet, we’re getting pretty damn close. Slott is back in the captain’s chair for this arc, right before the big Spidey event, and it looks like we’re done with all the pointless crossovers (for now). Although the FF books are keeping my Spidey-thirst quenched, it’s a relief to have Slott back on board, knowing we can expect some quality writing and storylines. Countdown: Just two more issues until Spider-Island, which kicks of at issue #666!
WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BYL Chris Bachalo
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN As the Avengers are stretched to the breaking point by the events of FEAR ITSELF, prepare for a SURPRISE EVENT too SHOCKING to be revealed here–presaging a change in the ranks! And we can guarantee you the biggest shake-up in the Avengers roster since AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED!’
I’ll be the first to admit that the last Avengers issue was weird, confusing, and had me lost at some points. It took me a while to understand what Bendis was going for with all the close-ups and multi-panel pages. Once I understood that the Avengers were re-capping the events of Fear Itself, it made more sense, and I actually enjoyed it after a second read-through. But, Thankfully, this approach will not continue this issues, and you can expect more action as the Avengers take on the Worthy. If you’re following Fear Itself, you won’t want to miss this one. If you’re not following Fear Itself, what the hell’s wrong with you?
Invincible Iron Man #505
WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Salvador Larroca
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN! As the Iron Man cast reels from last issue’s stunning events, the Golden Avenger himself begins to unravel at the seams! But when fear begins to wrap its icy fingers around the globe and the people need Iron Man more than ever, will Tony Stark be able to answer the call?”
Given that Matt Fraction has done an incredible job with Iron Man in the past, and with the Fear Itself main title, it’s a bit of a shock that the recent Iron Man books have seen a plunge in quality. I’m not sure if it’s because Fraction is spending his time concentrating on Fear Itself or what, but he just hasn’t been living up to expectations. Hopefully this week he’ll turn it around as things are getting more tense than ever for Tony Stark while he continues to battle for his life in Fear Itself this week.
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paco Medina and Dalibor Talijic
“’FIRST TO LAST’
Who are the Evolutionaries and why doesn’t anyone remember when they fought Xavier and his original five X-Men? Cyclops and his crew on Utopia better figure out quick or the Evolutionaries are going to wipe out every human on the planet. That’s right, every HUMAN. Two issues of this huge story this month both showing X-Men/Evolutionary action in the past and in the present. And it’s all thanks to Christopher Yost (X-FORCE), amazing regular artist Paco Medina and the always classic Dalibor Talijic (HITMONKEY)!”
There are so goddamn many X-titles on the shelves it’s really hard to know which one’s to follow, especially if you’re new to the game. Marvel is trying to make that easier with some of their newer books like X-Men, offering some classic characters and costumes mixed with some current X-men trends. This book is one of the hottest X-books out there and it deserves some attention. If you’re new to comics and you’re looking for an X-Men book to get started on monthly, this could be your ticket.
WRITTEN BY: Tony Daniel
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Steve Scott and Ryan Winn
“Batman acts on his suspicions of a newly elected political figure in Gotham City and finds himself in deep water. With piranhas. Meanwhile, Two-Face fights his way back from the brink of death to find an unlikely ally who will show him that there are two sides to every story.”
Why even bother reading these books when they won’t mean anything in a few months! Okay, sorry for whining, that’s just my bitterness coming out for the fact that Dick will no longer be Batman in the DCU reboot. I guess we should be enjoying these while they last. These next few issues mark the end of one of the best books of all time (at least in some ways), and it would be a shame to miss out on one the last Batman books in the issue #700s for a long time.
Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: J.T. Krul
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mikel Janin
“FLASH FACT! For their last performance – an escape act!”
Deadman has recently taken a soft spot in my heart after Geoff Johns brought him back into popularity in Brightest Day. Deadman is a perfect mix of grim storytelling, romance, and somberness. There’s always been something strangely beautiful to me about a dead guy wandering around taking over peoples’ minds and bodies for his own biding. The Flashpoint version of our favorite white-faced ghoul (other than Ghost Face) brings him back into his natural environment, the circus. What? Wait a second, why is Dick Grayson with him?!
Flashpoint: Legion of Doom Starring Heatwave #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Adam Glass
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Rodney Buchemi and Jose Marzan, Jr.
““FLASH FACT! They have to kill the president!”
Some more Flashpoint for ya! Not sure exactly what to expect from this tie-in series, but the tagline makes it sound interesting, for lack of a better word, not that we know who the president is the Flashpoint timeline. This is another one of those tie-ins that I’m not sure how much it will affect the actual events of the series, but may be worth a gander.
Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Dan Abnett
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Scott Clark and David Beaty
“FLASH FACT! If she can’t have the world – no one will!”
Until the last issue of Flashpoint, I was never the biggest fan of Wonder Woman and her Amazons. The new Wonder Woman, her particularly epic helmet, and her scorn for Aquaman has given her just the new tinge she needed. DC recently announced that she’s going to have her own ongoing series in the new DC Universe, I hope they continue to give her the modern twist and bitterness she needs. While I can’t deny that I love her old unitard, the new Wonder Woman doesn’t seem to give a shit who she’s dealing with, nothing will get in her way of destroying Aquaman.
28 Days Later #24
WRITTEN BY: Michael Alan Nelson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alejandro Aragon
“Last Issue! This is it, people. Selena and Clint’s long journey is coming to an end – and you know endings in the 28 Days Later universe do not usually end well. With London burning, Selena and Clint are caught in the middle of the most menacing threat yet. Will this be Selena and Clint’s finest hour – or their last? Cover by Sean Phillips.”
As Selena would say, “the end is extremely fucking nigh!” You can expect a lot of references to 28 Weeks Later in this one, as the events come closer and closer to the film sequel. As the summary above hints, I wouldn’t expect things to end so, shall we say, nicely for Selena and Clint in the final issue. If you’re a fan of the movie and you haven’t been reading the comic, I strongly suggest you revise your decision. Sadly, it’s all got to come to an end some time, but this has been a great series.
The Cape #0 (One-Shot) Legacy Edition
WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Zach Howard
“This special ‘Legacy Edition’ reprint of the acclaimed, sold-out one-shot also contains the original prose story from which this was adapted, by writer Joe Hill, and marked up with writer Jason Ciaramella’s notes. And it leads directly into next month’s all-new The Cape miniseries!”
There hasn’t been that much hype around this story, or even very much promotion given that it has a “Legacy Edition”, that said, it’s always exciting to see a special edition filled with real prose, sketches, and creator commentary. With a monthly series on the way, this is one that you shouldn’t miss.
WRITTEN BY: David Gallaher
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Steve Ellis
“BASED ON THE GAME DEADLANDS FROM PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT! Image Comics, Visionary Comics and Pinnacle Entertainment present the first of four one-shot by industry superstars, bringing the weird Western world of DEADLANDS to comics! In this issue: The Harvey Award-winning HIGH MOON team of DAVID GALLAHER & STEVE ELLIS tell the story of inventor Copernicus Blackburne, who risks even his immortal soul in his Faustian quest to build ‘The Devil’s Six-Gun!’
I love westerns and I love comics but they don’t always make the best match. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good western comics out there (Dark Tower, Jonah Hex). Whether it’s because the genre doesn’t fit the comic style, or whether it’s because not enough writers have tried to dirty their hands with a western, I’m not sure. Although this is only a one-shot issue based on the Deadlands game, it’s hard to pass up a supernatural western from Image. With the Cowboys and Aliens film due out this summer, expect to see a lot more of this sub-genre in the near future; hopefully some of them will be good.
Graveyard of Empires #1 (of 4)
WRITTEN BY: Mark Sable
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paul Azaceta
Afghanistan. Marines face a never-ending onslaught of Taliban. But even hell can get worse. The dead are coming back to life in The Graveyard of Empires, and only together can both sides of the today’s conflict survive tomorrow’s undead assault. Writer MARK SABLE (Unthinkable, Two-Face Year One) reunites with his GROUNDED co-creator, PAUL AZACETA (Amazing Spider-Man) to tell this controversial tale of terror. 32 FULL PAGES OF STORY!
Isn’t this just 68 but in Afghanistan? Hmm, it’s hard not to judge something prematurely when it looks like a rip-off of another book still on the stands. While the zombie/wartime metaphor has really only just begun, and I expect to see a lot more of it, it seems it’s already become an unfortunate cliché. On the other hand, what the hell do I know, judging by the cover this looks like it could be a great series.
Undying Love #3
WRITTEN BY: Tomm Coker
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Daniel Freedman
“’UNDYING LOVE,’ Part Three. After saving himself from the vampire curse, John Sargent races to rescue Mei. But there are others after the girl and they will stop at nothing to capture her.”
This is one of the freshest and oddest new books from Image, which is saying a lot. It’s dark, gritty, and doesn’t seem to give a crap about what other books are doing. The whole vampire storyline has been done so many times, but the last two issues make it feel like I haven’t read anything about vamps for years. If this book stays as good as it it’s last two issues, there’s no telling what John Sargent will do for love.
The Walking Dead Vol. 14: No Way Out (Trade Paperback)
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Charlie Adlard
“As the Eisner Award winning series continues, no one in The Community is safe from what happens within its walls. Collects THE WALKING DEAD #79-84 “
It’s The Walking Dead. I’m not even going to bother saying anything else.
WRITTEN BY: Peter Milligan
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Gael Bertrand
“When John Constantine gets a call from his niece Gemma telling him she’s summoned a demon, he hurries to her aid. But Gemma is nursing a grudge against her uncle, believing him responsible for an assault. The truth is, Gemma Masters has always felt like a Constantine – and now she plans to kill off that Constantine part of her for good.”
It’s hard to believe that Hellblazer is already at issue #280. Constantine is the same old, no-holds-barred, cigarette smoking, demon-hunting, antihero we’ve known for years. Although Keanu may have tainted the name a bit, our favorite Vertigo Sage, Peter Milligan, has brought him back into popularity. If you want to know more about Hellblazer I strongly recommend picking up a few of his early adventures (some of the best writers have tackled Johnny boy in the past).
Northlanders #41 (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Wood
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Marian Churchland
“Set in the desolate Hebridean islands, a young woman, newly orphaned, steps into her late father’s rather large and intimidating shoes. In her teens and in command of the largest army in the region, will she fail to lead – or will she live up to the title “Thor’s Daughter”? Featuring gorgeous artwork by Marian Churchland (Beast, Elephantmen, HOUSE OF MYSTERY).”
It doesn’t really get more epic than Northlanders. It seems that Vertigo is leaving the title as stand-alone issues, at least for the time being, and these are some of the best fantasy stories out there. If you’re one for a little D&D, Vikings, Game of Thrones, or enjoy a little WoW every once in a while, this book will have you whizzing your little panties. Seriously though lads, Northlanders is one of the best books out there, and one of the only true fantasy comics on the shelves today.