It’s that time of the week again! Welcome to the weekly previews for June 22nd, 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 such as CAPTAIN AMERICA, BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM, 68, HACK/SLASH, and more. Read on for the skinny…
Captain America #619
WRITTEN BY: Ed Brubaker
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Butch Guice and Chris Samnee
““The events of Fear Itself collide as our two stories reach their stunning conclusion. From his cold Russian prison cell, Bucky makes a decision that will change his life forever. And in the Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier back-up, the first repercussions of Bucky’s actions may destroy everything Steve has worked so hard for. It’s the stunning conclusion you won’t believe!”
Although there’s a lack of Marvel titles this week wearing the “Fear Itself Tie-in” label, there is no shortage of books intersecting with the event. This arc is easily one of the best we’ve seen in Brubaker’s Cap books. The action is fast-paced, crisp and rarely dull. Brubaker nicely sets up concurrent storylines, which will all tie in to each other in this conclusion. Bringing Cap full force into Fear Itself, this week you won’t want to miss it.
New Mutants #26
WRITTEN BY: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Leo Fernandez
“In the wake of the devastating events of ‘Age of X’, the New Mutants embark on a new chapter with a new M.O. and new line-up. Who’s on the team and who’s out? Find out with new writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning as they are joined by New artist extraordinaire, Leandro Fernandez. Did we mention, it’s all-NEW?!!”
X-Man has been my absolute favorite character in the Marvel Universe since the Age of Apocalypse, and it brings me incredible joy to see him back in New Mutants (yes, his name is a bit silly). Hopefully this means they have big plans for him in the near future. With Schism on the way it looks like we’re about to enter the dawn of a new mutant era. The X-Men will once again be separated into two fighting teams, this time Wolverine is leading one side and pretty-boy Cyclops will be manning the other. Which side will X-Man choose? Finally! The X-Men books are getting back on track and looking better than ever (well, at least better than they have in a while).
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #160
WRITTEN BY: Brian Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mark Bagley
“The culmination of DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN is here.”
This series has without a doubt (it kinda goes without saying) way better than Amazing Spider-Man has been for a long time. Bringing Spidey back to his youthful days, he’s facing his toughest challenge yet as he steps closer and closer to death each issue. What’s great about this series is that just when it looks like Spidey’s about to escape his fate, more villains slime their way in to kick him while he’s down (literally). Aunt May had to run to her beloved Peter just in time to save his neck in the last book. Bendis has done a great job of instilling hope in the Spider-Man franchise once again, and this “culmination” will leave ya on the edge of your seat.
WRITTEN BY: Jason Aaron
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Tim Bradstreet
“’Wolverine’s Revenge’ Part 2
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?”
I’m so darn happy that I decided to start reading this book a few weeks ago. It seems like out of nowhere all the X-titles decided to stop sucking over the past few weeks, and this book is one of the best. Jae Lee covers are to die for, and the storyline gets to the core of Wolverine’s character as a one-man-wolf-pack trying to survive (which would seem pretty easy given his regeneration ability…). Expect blood, violence, and battles in the second chapter of Wolverine’s Revenge.
Rage #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Arvid Nelson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Andrea Mutti and Pierluigi Baldassini
“The groundbreaking new game from the developers of Doom and Quake is almost here, but first Dark Horse presents an essential introduction to the world of Rage! The Earth has been devastated by collision with an asteroid, with a tiny fraction of the population surviving in life-sustaining arks, only to awaken in a wasteland controlled by a global military dictatorship called the Authority. But a rescued scientist learns that the Authority has lied to her and the other survivors about how this new world came to be.”
I was really tempted to make a ‘rage comic’ for this and only post that, but I decided against it…maybe next month. Though I’m often not a fan of video-game to comic adaptations, lately they’ve greatly exceeded my expectations. For those of you who haven’t check out the Rage trailer, the game looks like a more terrifying version of Fallout 3 mixed with Twisted Metal (a weird combo, I know, but looks pretty effin’ awesome). Hopefully this book will only be a prequel and not try to delve too far into the plot before the game comes out.
Action Comics #902
WRITTEN BY: Paul Cornell
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Kenneth Rocafort
“Reign of Doomsday” marches on! A deadly new foe has risen following the events of ACTION COMICS #900 – and he represents Superman’s worst fears personified. Even with Steel, Superboy, Supergirl and the Eradicator by his side, Superman is still in for the fight of his life – and considering his life, you know that’s gotta be some fight!”
I’ve got to admit that I really never read Action Comics, nor did I like Superman until recently. With the DCU reboot on it’s way it’s really hard not to buy all these high issue number books, because who knows when we’ll have something like this again. Whether you’ve been following the book since issue #1 or just started this arc, you won’t want to miss this, if not for the sentimental value alone.
Batman: Gates of Gotham #2 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Trevor McCarthy
“Murder, mayhem and the building of an empire! Issue #2 throttles up the action as Batman tries to find the source of the attacks before the killer can strike again. But with the reveal of the fourth family of Gotham City and an old case from the early days of the city, is Batman playing right into the villain’s hands?”
For those of you who’ve been following my weekly previews, you already know how much I love Snyder and his work on Batman (then again who doesn’t?). Gates of Gotham reaches back into the seedy past of Gotham and the founding families who made the city what it is. With a new (or old) villain in town, Batman and his gang are in trouble as they try to link the past and present to solve the mystery.
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for the Swamp Thing #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Vankin
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Marco Castiello
“Following the events of Brightest Day, the new protector of Earth has been chosen. But one reluctant hero making his return to the DCU is trying to convince Batman, Superman and the others heroes of the DC Universe that this may not be a good thing, because he can see that things are not right and mankind’s brightest days are indeed over.”
Despite how cliché it sounds, Alan Moore was (and is) one of the best and most creative minds in comics and without him we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s because of characters like Swamp Thing that Alan Moore is so praised. With a new ongoing series underway in the new DCU reboot, Swamp Thing is getting more attention, and what better way to re-introduce the character than to have him mingle with Batman and Superman. While this may have nothing to do with the new Swamp Thing ongoing, it’ll be a nice reminder and introduction to new readers.
Flashpoint: Reverse Flash (One-Shot)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Kolins
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Joel Gomez
“FLASH FACT! He’s more powerful than ever…”
Flashpoint is still such an enormous mystery, and hopefully Reverse Flash’s story will shed some light on the whole ordeal. Although this is only a one-shot issue, it should be a major tie-in given that Reverse Flash seems to be fully responsible to the Flashpoint timeline (what a jerk). This is one Flashpoint link you won’t want to miss.
Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost Starring Bart Allen #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Sterling Gates
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Oliver Nome
“FLASH FACT! Where is he? Or should we say when?”
This week marks the beginning of some more Flash stories for DC’s biggest event to date. Annoying as it is to have to buy so many of these books, the great majority of them are quality reads, and very few have absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Bart Allen hasn’t made his appearance yet in Flashpoint world so it will be interesting to see what twists and turns DC has for this quick dude.
Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Eddy Nunez
“FLASH FACT! She is ready to reveal the Amazons’ secret!”
With so many Flashpoint comics coming out week after week, and still so much unknown, it’s getting harder and harder to write about these books. Why would Lois Lane ever need her own series? Who knows, but I guess we’ll find out. I don’t expect too much action in this one, but hopefully some more information will be revealed about why Wonder Woman went crazy and started a war.
Infestation: Outbreak #1 (of 4)
WRITTEN BY: Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: David Messina
“Chris Ryall & Tom Waltz (w) David Messina (a) Messina, Davide Furno (c)
Spinning out of IDW’s acclaimed Infestation series! The zombie threat is over, but at great cost to CVO, who must pick up the pieces, rebuild the team, and figure out what lasting repercussions there are in a world where magic was forever changed. And a threat from beyond also brings in other familiar faces from across IDW’s developing universe!”
Although Marvel and DC are stealing the spotlight with Fear Itself and Flashpoint, IDW is another publisher at work with a major crossover event. It’s rare to see crossovers at other publishers that bring their canon of heroes together, especially one that does it well. Earlier this year, IDW brought us Infestation, a great zombie outbreak that united Transformers, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, and others. Now the dead are coming back…again! Infestation was a huge success (obviously, why else would they be continuing it?), and if Outbreak maintains the style and thrill of the original, it should be a wild ride.
Locke & Key: Clockworks #1 (of 6)
WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Gabriel Rodriguez
“Colonel Adam Crais’s minutemen are literally trapped between a rock and a hard place; in the first days of the Revolutionary War, they find themselves hiding beneath 120 feet of New England stone, with a full regiment of redcoats waiting for them in the daylight… and a door into hell in the cavern below.
The black door is open, and it’s up to a 16-year-old smith named Ben Locke to find a way to close it. The biggest mysteries of the Locke & Key series are resolved as Clockworks opens, not with a bang, but with the thunderous crash of English cannons.”
Locke & Key has consistently been one of the best horror comics on the stands. It perfectly combines mystery, suspense, and tons of bizarre events making one of the most original horror comics in a while. The series successfully mixes horror classics (by the likes of Lovecraft and Poe) with contemporary writers like Stephen King (probably because Joe Hill is actually Joseph King, none other than the son of Mr. King himself!). This marks the start of a new arc in the series, a perfect place for new readers to enter the world of Locke & Key.
WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Kyle Strahm and Jenny Frison
“Guest-artist KYLE STRAHM (We Will Bury You) steps in as the skull-faced mystery woman Fantomah comes to Cassie and Vlad for help. But, what could a super powerful goddess, known for her horrible (yet creative) methods of tormenting evil doers, need with a teenage girl and a mutant with a machete?”
This book is nothing other than an absolute horror fan’s dream. As someone who’s obsessed with comics and horror flicks, this book combines both in such a unique way it’s hard not to love. It captures the campiness of old slasher movies, while bringing in a certain je ne sais quoi from the comic aesthetic. If you like pretty pin-up style ladies battling for their lives against a slew of slashers, then this one’s right up your alley.
Vertigo Resurrected: Sandman Presents: Petrefax #1
WRITTEN BY: Mike Carey
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Steve Leialoha
“Petrefax, the young undertaker from THE SANDMAN: WORLDS’ END, strikes out from the Necropolis in search of work – only to find just staying alive is a full-time job! From the 4-issue miniseries written by Mike Carey (THE UNWRITTEN).”
This series was originally published in 2000 presenting one more spin-off from Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, Sandman. Much before The Unwritten, Mike Carey took his hand to telling the story of the undertaker, Petrefax, who comes looking for work in the “real world”. Although this book wasn’t extremely popular during it’s original release, something tells me it will be this time around. It’s a must for any Sandman fan (which should mean all of you). Collecting issues #1-4, at a $7.99, this book is well worth it.