Welcome to the weekly previews for July 6th , 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 “FEAR ITSELF”, “FLASHPOINT”, “GREEN WAKE”, and “HOUSE OF MYSTERY”. Read on for the skinny…
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – The Battle of Tull #2 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Peter David
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Michael Lark
“In the desert town called Tull, gunslinger Roland Deschain finally encounters one of the men present at the years-ago death of his first love Susan Delgado. But he may have little time for revenge as his strange quarry, the Man in Black has also come to Tull. He has come to perform wonders-dark and deadly wonders. The first of which is the horrifying resurrection of town drunk Nort through a mystic ritual not meant for human eyes. Why the resurrection of this man and why now is a burning question whose answer could mean certain doom for Roland, last member of the House of Eld.”
There’s really no other book out there like the Dark Tower series (the same can be said about King’s novels). Since the very first arc of the series it’s been one of my obsessions. The combination of western, fantasy, and horror, is something you won’t find anywhere else and David’s writing puts you directly in the story. The narration is so perfectly done that you’ll wish you reached the end of the world to sling some guns around a deserted town full of mutants and witch covens.
Fear Itself #4 (of 7)
WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Stuart Immonen
“The blockbuster Marvel event of the year continues! AFTERMATH: the heroes reel in the wake of last issue’s shocking finale. Thor finds himself unwelcome in two homes. Steve Rogers makes the decision of a lifetime. And Iron Man prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice. Every move the heroes make just serves to make The Serpent stronger– and the feat he accomplishes in this issue will rock the Avengers.”
Fear Itself is now fully underway, and this week marks the halfway point of the big Marvel event. So far “The Worthy” have been a bit too much trouble for our favorite heroes at Marvel, and even at half way, it doesn’t look like they’ll pull through without losing a few members. Thor, Iron Man, and Cap all find themselves at a crossroads and nobody knows where this will take them. How long can they stand in the face of fear before they lose it all? Well I guess only a few more issues.
Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Rob Williams
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Simone Bianchi
“FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN As armageddon hits the Marvel world in the events of FEAR ITSELF, terror grips the planet. An extreme faction of the mutant hate group The Purifiers believes that the end of the world has come, that the devil is here for humanity and it is up to them to ‘save’ as many human souls as they can before he strikes. Can X-Force stop their drive for worldwide suicide? And what, exactly, is a mutant kill crew afraid of?”
Finally, an X-team enters the fray of things in Fear Itself! So many X-titles are going around these days that seem to focus on their own little universe, but now they enter into the fray of things along with Marvel’s finest. Rob Williams has been doing wonderful work the X-Force, and I expect him to bring them into Fear Itself in a big way.
Moon Knight #3
WRITTEN BY: Brian Micahel Bendis
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alex Maleev
“You’ve seen what insanity the new Moon Knight can do, but how is he doing it? Find out here! Plus, who is the kingpin of L.A.? And why do all the other criminals cower at his feet? And just how far is Moon Knight willing to take his new blood feud? (Hint: pretty damn far!) From the Eisner award-winning team that brought you Daredevil, Halo, and Avengers.”
Moon Knight is one crazy son-of-a-gun, and things don’t seem to be looking up for him. Perhaps it’s not the best idea to try to fight crime when you think you’re four superheroes when you’re actually only one crazy dude, but it makes a hell of a good comic book. Bendis’ descriptive dialogue works extremely well with Moon Knight as he talks to himself and you really feel his craziness coming out of the page. This is shaping up to be another award winning series from Bendis, and it’s hands down one of the best new books Marvel has put out.
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paco Medina and Dalibor Talijic
“’FIRST TO LAST’-The battle fought in two time-periods comes to a climactic conclusion! The X-Men are the only thing that stand between the Evolutionaries and the complete annihilation of the human race. On top of that, learn secrets of Emma Frost’s past and what she had to do with the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.”
This issue signifies the end of the First to Last arc as the mutants battle against the Evolutionaries. So far Yost has done a fantastic job of reincorporating the X-Men into the Marvel Universe, and this concluding issue should bring out some long hidden dark secrets. I really hope that this quality continues in X-Men after this arc because this has been the book that got me reading X-Men titles again. Though the Evolutionaries may seem a bit goofy, the concept behind them is great and it ties in well with all the drama going down on Utopia.
Batman and Robin #25
WRITTEN BY: Judd Winick
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Greg Tocchini
”The most unlikely team-up ever comes to an end. It’s the crashing finish to the brief alliance of Batman, Robin and Jason Todd, a.k.a. The Red Hood, against a common foe. After all, the three “sons of Wayne” can put their differences aside for just so long. And when one fight ends, another will begin…”
Unfortunately for Batman and Robin fans, this last arc hasn’t really been up to par with the rest of the series. It’s a real shame because with it coming to a close after summer, it would be nice to see it finish as strongly as it started. The relationship between Dick and Damian is almost non-existent in this arc, and it makes you wonder why it’s even called Batman and Robin. Jason Todd is interesting to add to the mix, so hopefully this issue will make up for the past few.
Flashpoint #3 (of 6)
WRITTEN BY: Geoff Johns
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
“FLASH QUESTION: Will Flash and his new allies be able to fix the world?”
The change to “Flash Questions” this week only adds to the mystery of Flashpoint. Much like the counterpart Marvel event, this marks the halfway point for Flash and his pals as he tries to figure out what the heck is going on the this alternate timeline. Flashpoint has been an incredible story so far, and I’d expect nothing less than this from scribe, Geoff Johns. This is one for the age’s boys and girls.
Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Adam Schlagman
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Felipe Massafera
“FLASH QUESTION: Will Sinestro side with Abin Sur against the Guardians of Oa, or is all hope lost?”
Some more “Flash Questions” coming your way this week as we find out what would happened if Abin Sur survived, and Hal Jordan never got his ring. Really, it seems as if Flashpoint is just one giant “what if” series, and I love it. Before the reboot why not have some fun with the characters and see how they could have been in another life. It’s kind of like the movie Sliding Doors…but better, so suck it Gwyneth Paltrow.
Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Brian Azzarello
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Eduardo Risso
“FLASH QUESTION: Who is The Joker? And what is his dark connection to the Wayne family?”
The hardest, angriest, and most tenacious Batman ever, Azzarello is really hitting the nail on the head with this Flashpoint tie-in. Understandably, if I was Thomas Wayne and my son died, I’d be pretty pissed too. Okay, maybe not enough to run around the streets scaring the shit out of people in a giant bat cape, but still. I hope I don’t stand alone when I say I’ve always wanted to see Batman a little angrier, a little more bitter, and willing to kill those who deserve it, and finally he’s arrived.
Secret Six #35
WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: J. Calafiore
“This issue marks a major turning point in the life of the Secret Six’s most tortured member, the dangerously brilliant and ambitious Bane. Will even his few remaining friends on the team become casualties in his renewed war on Gotham City?”
Female writers always impress me with their comic writing ability, and Simone is the best of the best. She knows exactly where to go with each arc of the Secret Six series, and which characters to focus on. Bane is obviously one of the hottest villains in comics now with Tom Hardy cast to play him in The Dark Knight Rises, and Simone brings him back to Gotham in a big way in this issue.
Elric: The Balance Lost #1
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson (Afterword by Neil Gaiman)
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Francesco Biagini
“For 40 years comic fandom has thrilled to the exploits of Elric since his introduction in Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian in the early 1970s. Neil Gaiman called Elric’s creator Michael Moorcock ‘my model for what a writer was’ while Warren Ellis said he is one of the ‘eight core sites in my creative genome.’ Now the godfather of the Multiverse teams up with hot New York Times bestseller Chris Roberson (Superman, iZombie, Stan Lee’s Starborn) for an ongoing series that sees a crisis break out across multiple worlds with Moorcock’s other two most famous fantasy franchise characters, Corum of the Scarlet Robe and Dorian Hawkmoon! The workings of Fate are being tampered across the Multiverse, upsetting the Cosmic Balance. Elric is on a quest to restore The Balance and save the Multiverse from ruin! Elric, Corum, and Hawkmoon are forced into action far and wide, but will they fight on the side of Law… or… Chaos?”
To be totally honest I had no friggen’ idea who Elric was until about a month ago when I heard about this new ongoing from BOOM! And I haven’t been this excited about a book like this since Northlanders. If Neil Gaiman is praising the original series as a big influence of his, and doing the afterword for this issue, you can bet your ass I’m going to be reading this series. Not to mention Chris Roberson’s extremely innovative writing for everything he puts his pen to.
Hellboy: The Fury #2 (of 3)
WRITTEN BY: Mike Mignola
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Duncan Fegredo
“While Hellboy makes one last stand against the Queen of Blood the war between the forces of good and evil rages on the battlefield with heaps of dead monsters and knights!”
It’s everyone’s favorite bashful, red, softhearted demon! Hellboy returns this week in his newest adventures to battle the Queen of Blood (epic name). This is really not much different than any other Helloboy book, and that’s not a bad thing.
Solomon Kane: Red Shadows #4 (of 4)
WRITTEN BY: Bruce Jones
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Rahsan Ekedal
“Solomon Kane faces two of his greatest foes in Africa, as Bruce Jones (Conan, The Incredible Hulk) brings his thrilling ‘Red Shadows’ adaptation to a close! Seeking to avenge the horrible murder of a young girl, Solomon Kane chases the feared swordsman Le Loup across the globe, where he finds the villain in league with Songa, the powerful leader of a deceived jungle tribe. Kane finds an ally in the frail, ancient form of magic man N’Longa-but will the old, deposed witch doctor really be able to challenge Songa and save Solomon’s life? Rising stars Rahsan Ekedal (Creepy, The Cleaners) and Dan Jackson (Kull, Star Wars) illustrate this thrilling adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s classic tale!”
This has been a phenomenal Solomon Kane arc, and I’m sad to see it come to a close. Ekedal has capture the essence and harshness of Solomon Kane better than any other artist to date (in my humble opinion). Though the first two issues were better than the third, I expect it to come to a strong close this week, and a badass final showdown. This arc has been fun, action packed, and beautifully illustrated; it’s hard to ask for anything else.
Blue Estate #4
WRITTEN BY: Viktor Kalvachev and Andrew Osborne
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Viktor Kalvachev and Toby Cypress
“’BAD BUSINESS’ Who’s play-acting and who’s getting played? Nothing’s what it seems in part four of this fast, funny, 100% cool new series, where vicious criminals act like respectable businessmen, a Hollywood starlet feigns weakness to gain power and a has-been action hero plays the role of loving husband while plotting to murder his wife!”
I honestly don’t know where they went wrong with this book. It had SO much potential to be one great new series, and then it all went down the toilet with a big steamy pile of crap. Okay, well maybe it’s not THAT bad, but it’s definitely not living up to the hype surrounding the creative team. Then again it’s only three issues deep and there is still hope that they can salvage the series and turn it around into something respectable.
Green Wake #4 (of 5)
WRITTEN BY: Kurtis J. Wiebe
ILLUSTRATIONS BYL: Riley Rossmo
“The revelation of Green Wake’s next murder victim sends Morley on a frantic mission against time. All the events in Green Wake begin to converge, combining together to reveal the darkest of its mysteries. But for Morley, there is more than time working against him, and allies aren’t always what they seem.”
Some people hate this series, and others love it. I enjoy the company of the latter. Green Wake is exactly what I look for in a comic book, and I find myself reading through each issue wishing it were I who wrote it. Although many complain that the series is confusing because of the sketchy artwork and staggered storytelling, I feel like it all fits perfectly within the strange world of Green Wake. I strongly recommend reading at least the first issue if you haven’t read it.
WRITTEN BY: Daniel Corey
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Anthony Diecidue
‘THE DARK CHAMBER,’ Part Three With time running out and his mission far from complete, Moriarty faces a dark night of the soul. With Dr. Watson hot on his trail, Moriarty must match wits with an old foe and hatch a scheme that could lead him to a final showdown with Tartarus.
This series came as a big surprise to me. I was expecting it to be dull, poorly written, and an utter disgrace to the Sherlock Holmes canon of literature. But, I was wrong, very wrong. Not only does this series capture the style of literature that it attempts to mirror extremely well, it gives a true ere of mystery that is hard to find in comics. Moriarty is a straight up mystery. Though the dialogue is quite long-winded at times (and definitely not for everyone), if you can sit through it, it’s a more than worthwhile read.
I, Zombie #15
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Michael Allred
“The quiet town of Eugene has suddenly gotten very loud. Gwen and her friends have their hands full when a whole mess of zombies roams the streets, but these aren’t nice and cuddly zombies like Gwen. And when the Dead Presidents get to town, things get really complicated. Meanwhile, just what has Galatea been making from all of those dead bodies she’s been stitching together down in her secret lab?”
Chris Roberson has been doing a wonderful job with this series, and proven himself as a worthy Vertigo writer. Izombie has taken an interesting turn following Gwen, a nice little zombie who eats brains (obviously) and then holds the memory of those who she devours. But not all zombies are like her in this world; most are your standard brain-hungry ghouls wandering around aimlessly. Having such a unique zombie story in a time of zombie-mania is rare, and Roberson delivers the goods week after week.
House of Mystery #39
WRITTEN BY: Matthew Sturges
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Luca Rossi, Peter Snejbjerg, and Jose Marzan
“What’s Fig been doing all this time? And how did Lotus Blossom pull off her reality-bending stunt? Fig’s world and Lotus Blossom’s world begin to collide as the Magical Physicians try to force a reconciliation. All these mysteries begin to be answered in part four of ‘Desolation,’ including the origin of Gigi the Golden Girl, illustrated by Peter Snejbjerg (STARMAN)!”
The above summary pretty much describes how I feel about this arc, where the hell has Fig been? House of Mystery can be a little tough to “get into” because, even though it’s only 39 issues deep, the history of it is so rich it’s confusing as hell. Then again, part of the grand allure is the fact that you don’t really know what’s going on until the concluding book.
Sweet Tooth #23
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Jeff Lemire
“With the amazing discovery of Walter Fish’s home, Gus and the gang finally feel like they’ve found a sanctuary, a place where they could live in peace for the rest of their lives. But one bullet will shatter it all in an instant. ‘Endangered Species’ concludes in dramatic fashion, and the world of SWEET TOOTH will never be the same.”
By this point I shouldn’t need to say anything other than Jeff Lemire’s name for you to know you should be reading this. This issue will undoubtedly shock fans of Sweet Tooth, and I can’t wait to see what goes down with Gus and the gang. Regardless of what happens, I think it’s safe to say that Jepperd will not be a happy camper.