Welcome to the weekly previews for August 3rd, 2011 here at Graphic Content! Let me preface this week by saying that there are A LOT of good comics coming out this week. Though every week has it’s highlights, I believe this is the best of the summer with several books by Snyder, the start of Spider Island, and the second to last Flashpoint issue! Get ready for some time indoors this week because there are way too many books for you spend you days running around outside in the sun like a loser.
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 ”AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”, “GATES OF GOTHAM”, and “SWEET TOOTH”. Read on for the skinny…
Amazing Spider-Man #667
WRITTEN BY: Dan Slott
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Humerto Ramos
”THE SPIDER-MAN EVENT OF THE DECADE BEGINS! Start Webbing The News! New York City’s Infestation is complete and eight million people are plagued! As someone near to Peter Parker’s life reveals their spider-abilities, the brilliantly fearsome Jackal rises from the past and begins organizing an army of Spider-powered soldiers. Spider-Man isn’t the only hero affected as the threat goon grows bigger than any one Fantastically Friendly Neighborhood Avenger can handle. Best-selling Spidey creators Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos spin a Spider-epic that turns Peter Parker’s BIG TIME into a BIG MESS. Bad romance, death-defying violence and one man facing his FINAL fearsome destiny… this one’s got it all! Simply put, pal….YOU NEED THIS!”
Calling this the “event of the decade” seems a little bit conceited, but who knows, maybe this really will be the best spider comic of the 2000s. One thing I know for sure is that this has been hyped to no end, and I’m so excited for it to finally start that it better live up to its potential. I believe in Dan Slott, I believe in Peter Parker, so let the battle begin.
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – The Battle of Tull #3 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Peter David
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Humerto Ramos
”Roland Deschain has been mistaken for the Antichrist! In the cursed town of Tull, the gunslinger enters the church presided over by the huge, imposing minister named Syliva Pittson.And once he enters, she shrieks that Roland is the Crimson King himself as the town then descends on him in a murderous frenzy! And, if the hunted gunslinger survives, he must learn the dark secret of the enormous woman who sought his death. It’s a shocker!”
Since the initial issue was released a few years ago, the Dark Tower comics have been on the top of my list. Perfectly combining post-apocalyptic imagery, the badass western cowboy, and the mysticism of horror. This is one comic nobody should miss. This week Roland, the last gunslinger, defends himself against a crazy town, but given what he’s lived through in the past, he should have no problem shooting ‘em full of holes.
Moon Knight #4
WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alex Maleev
”With the aid of his Avengers allies, Marc Spector is one step closer to finding out who the kingpin of the super-powered LA underworld is, but the kingpin is one step closer to finding out all of Moon Knight’s secrets. From the Eisner award-winning team that brought you Daredevil, Spider-Woman and Halo is another gorgeous chapter in the brand-new mythos of Moon Knight.”
Well, we’ve seen Marc Spector go batshit crazy in the last few issues, and I don’t see things calming down in his psycho mind any time soon. The new Moon Knight is probably the coolest idea for a mainstream superhero book in a while. Who wouldn’t want to read about some nutcase who thinks he’s Spider-Man and Wolverine (at the same time) run around and try to fight crime? Seriously what a wacko.
The Punisher #1
WRITTEN BY: Greg Rucka
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Marco Checchetto
”TIME TO GET BACK TO WORK. For Frank Castle death comes easy…life is where things gets complicated. Fully loaded with the Eisner winning writer Greg Rucka (Batwoman, Queen and Country, WOLVERINE) and neo-superstar artist Marco Checchetto (Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil), the BIGGEST GUN of all returns with blood on his hands and vengeance in his eyes. As New York City’s body counts continue to rise, the city’s streets are teeming with more methodical criminals than ever and a police force doing it’s best to keep its head above water. The Punisher has returned to serve his own brand of justice with everything’s he’s got… but can he survive the darkness stored in his own arsenal? Plus bonus pages exploring some of the new personalities in Frank’s life…and how closely intertwined living is with dying.”
When it comes to crime stories in comics, nobody does them better than Greg Rucka. Until his short run on Detective Comics I knew nothing about his work, but after I read his take on Batwoman I ran around New York from comic shop to comic shop trying to buy everything he wrote. It’s about damn time The Punisher had a true crime story. On top of Rucka’s phenomenal ability to write crime stories, he’s also got a knack for deep character development, which The Punisher sometimes lacks.
Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 (of 6)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, and Nick Spencer
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Salvador Larroca, Billy Tan, and Clayton Crain
”Witness the fallout of DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN and the birth of the new ULTIMATE COMCIS UNIVERSE.”
Fallout issues are coming out so fast I don’t even know what to say. They seem to have strayed from Spidey (which is okay because he’s dead) and now focus on the X-Men (like they needed more attention?!). Let’s see what Bendis has in store for the Ultimate universe.
Batman: Arkham City #4 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Paul Dini
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Carlos D’anda
”The miniseries that leads into the video game continues under the guidance of game writer Paul Dini. The gates swing shut on Arkham City, trapping small-time criminals and deadly Super-Villains behind its walls. As the prisoners.struggle for survival, a rogue unit of Mayor Sharp’s security force hunts down rival gang bosses The Joker and Two-Face. Not only must Batman save the lives of his greatest foes, he’s got to fight his way through an army to do it!”
I’ve praised this book each week it’s been out, but now I really just want the video game. This is a great book, but if you’re not going to play the game it’s not really worth reading. Chances are there will be a huge cliffhanger that will only be resolved in the game.
Batman: Gates of Gotham #4 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Trevor McCarthy
”Batman, Red Robin, Robin and Black Bat are all thrown into a race against time as The Architect’s true plan is revealed! But what does that mean for Oswald Cobblepot and Tommy Elliot? And just how does the first Super Villain of Gotham City factor into The Architect’s plot to destroy the city’s first families? Be here for the exciting penultimate issue!”
Scott Snyder’s current mini series, Gates of Gotham is probably the most original bat-story this year, if not in the past ten years. Most Batman writers play things reasonably safe by bringing in common villains they know fans will eat up. Not Snyder. Here he offers a formidable new villain, and instead of trying to be so innovative by taking Batman into the future, he takes him to the past.
DC Retroactive: Batman – the 80s #1
WRITTEN BY: Mike W. Barr
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Jerry Bingham
“Someone using the name, appearance and methodology of The Reaper is killing off the mobsters of Gotham City…but both of the men who previously masqueraded as The Reaper are dead! Meanwhile, Batman must shepherd an untried Robin – Jason Todd. A reprinted Reaper tale from the 1980s rounds out this special edition.”
These Retroactive books are extremely hit or miss. Some are absolute trash; seriously, Wonder Woman was so bad I almost threw it out my window (I decided to burn it instead). But on the other hand, the Retroactive books that are good really feel like a classic comic tale. Hopefully Batman will be one of the latter.
Flashpoint #4 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Geoff Johns
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
”FLASH FACT: The war between the Amazons and the Atlantians has arrived. The battle between Diana of Themyscira and Emperor Aquaman will tear this world apart unless The Flash can fix it!”
Fanboys and critics have been shitting all over Flashpoint recently, and to be honest I don’t really know why. I don’t know what people expected because as far as I can tell, this is a great series and an epic event. I agree that there are too many tie-ins and some of them are not very good, but if this atmosphere is going to be continued in the reboot, count me in. This week the war wages onward, and Flash continues his attempts to revert the crisis. So eat your hearts out fanboys, get used to the new wave of comics from DCU
Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #3 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Azzarello
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Eduardo Risso
”FLASH FACT: The Joker is revealed, and Thomas Wayne will have to figure out whether he can pull the trigger on his lifelong nemesis.”
Thomas Wayne is Batman, he’s a hardass, and he’s bitter because he lost his son, Bruce, to a random thief in an alley. Flashpoint Batman is on his last thread, he has no hope in humanity, and now the joker has yanked that thread. The question everyone wants to know is, how different is this Batman? Will he kill the Joker once and for all?
Secret Six #36
WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: J. Calafiore
”Bane’s ambitious plans turn darker and deadlier than anyone imagined, putting The Secret Six in the most perilous position of their nasty little lives! No one escapes unscathed in this one — and the Six won’t ever be the same!”
The focus on Bane in Secret Six has been incredibly well done. It’s the best Bane we’ve seen since he broke Batman’s back. Speaking of Bane, did you see the new costume from The Dark Knight Rises? Nice coat, bud.
68 (Sixty-Eight) #3 (of 4) Cover A – Nat Jones & Jay Fotos
WRITTEN BY: Mark Kidwell
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Nat Jones
“Visions of home-brewed hell take center stage as an anti-war protest on a California college campus turns into a cannibalistic massacre at the clawing hands of the hungry undead. Two lost soldiers fight their way across a jungle wasteland teeming with rot. And in Vietnam, Agent Declan Rule reveals his true reasons for being in country.”
Zombie, zombie, zombeh eh eh. If you haven’t been reading this, I can only assume that it’s because you aren’t into the whole zombie craze that’s been going on for far too long. Don’t get me wrong, I love zombies, but they are all over every fucking possible media. I want them back how they were. Thank god there are books like 68 to keep the zombie world fresh.
Green Wake #5 (of 5) (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Kurtis J. Wiebe
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Riley Rossmo
”The deadly finale brings all the exposed threads together and Green Wake’s secrets are revealed. Morley must face his own demons to find Babylon, and vile monsters stalk his every step to keep him from his final destination: Home.”
I can’t express how much I love this series, and how sad I am that this is the final installment. Many people have chastised Green Wake for being far too confusing and muddled up in too many genres. I see where you’re coming from but those are the exact reasons why I love this book. Green Wake is so bizarre, so out there, so unlike anything else on the market today that I’ll no doubt be reading it for years to come. If you’re into David Lynch, Philip K. Dick, or crime fiction, you’ll want to pick this up when the trade comes out.
Severed #1 (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Attila Futaki
story SCOTT SNYDER & SCOTT TUFT art / cover ATTILA FUTAKI
‘NOTHING WASTED,’ Part One 1916. A man haunts the roads; a man with sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh. When 12-year-old Jack Garron runs away from home, he’ll see how quickly the American Dream becomes a nightmare. Be there at the beginning of the series that everyone will be talking about! From Eisner-nominated writer SCOTT SNYDER (American Vampire, Detective Comics), SCOTT TUFT and ATTILA FUTAKI (NYT Best-Selling-Artist: Percy Jackson) comes the most terrifying horror series of 2011–SEVERED.
Snyder’s been a very busy man at DC with Batman and American Vampire, but now he switches over for a gothic era horror story. This has the potential to be one the greatest horror story every told…okay well probably not, but it should be scary, innovative, and staggeringly good. Knowing Snyder, this series won’t be your typical horror story.
House of Mystery #40 (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Matthew Sturges
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Luca Rossi and Jose Marzan
”This is it: the big confrontation between Fig and the Conception, between Fig and Lotus Blossom, between Lotus Blossom and the Magical Physicians, between Fig and Lotus Blossom and Harry, between — okay, between everyone and everyone else, and it’s been building since issue #1. What will become of the House of Mystery? There’s only one way to find out…”
Let me start by saying that I am not so pleased with DC for canceling this series. They have no reason to do so especially with a devoted fan base and a talented writing crew. But, instead of being so bitter I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts and hope that somewhere down the line they decide to do a House of Mystery mini-series. This is a very confusing comic so you probably don’t want to pick it up this far in. But if you think you would enjoy a weird story about a strange haunted house with plotlines that twist all around, then give issue #1 a go.
Izombie #16 (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Michael Allred
”Gwen, Spot, and Horatio are trapped underground with a horde of zombies — and unlike Gwen, these are the shambling, feast-on-the-flesh-of-the-living kind! Meanwhile, Gramps the Chimp sets out to find his lost grandson, Amon and Ellie make a startling discovery, and when The Dead Presidents arrive, things get very complicated for everyone’s favorite zombie girl detective.”
The mood and atmosphere of Izombie is not like any other comic book available today (probably why Vertigo publishes it). It’s so hard to describe it to someone unless they’ve read the book themselves. Although it’s a zombie horror book, it’s not really about hordes of undead, it’s more of a teenage 70s dramedy in which the main characters so happen to be ghosts, zombies and werewolves.
Sweet Tooth #24 (MR)
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Jeff Lemire
””Endangered Species” concludes! As Gus lies dying, he has a new and terrible vision that will test the group’s faith. Meanwhile, Lucy and Jepperd’s relationship crumbles, and Walter Fish is left to pick up the pieces.”
The end of the innocence comes this week in Sweet Tooth as Gus has just been shot, and lies in a pool of his own blood on the floor. Although I highly doubt he’s going to die, it changes things from this moment forth. With so much tension between characters, and so few people you can trust, things are bound to get sticky in the conclusion of the arc this week. If a friend asked me what was the one comic they should read to prove that comics are a legitimate art form, I’d probably tell them to go F*ck themselves, but then maybe I would tell them, “Sweet Tooth”.