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COMICS TO FEAST ON: Week Of September 14th 2011

This week marks the second coming of DC’s New 52! Last week the anticipation finally ended and we can rest assured knowing that there are great comics coming out of the initially mixed-emotion reboot. Highlights from last week’s crop were Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Detective Comics, Action Comics, and Batwing. These bad boys are already selling out all over the world, even showing up on ebay going for more than a strand of Alex Trebek’s long lost moustache. It couldn’t be a better time to be a comic enthusiast.

Obviously there are loads of other comics coming out this week from other publishers, but in honor of such a milestone event, most of the books in this week’s COMICS TO FEAST ON are from DC’s New 52 lineup. Now I know you won’t be buying all 52 new series so let us know which books you can’t wait for!

With the ever-increasing number of books coming out between the tie-ins, the crossovers, and the new series, we’ve got to limit our list of comics for the week somehow. Rather than focus on every major comic hitting the shelves I’ll narrow it down to ten books that stand out from the rest. Whether you’ve been into comics since you were a young’un, or you’re new to the game, I’m here to help you decide which books to read. Read on for the skinny…

Deathstroke #1

WRITTEN BY: Kyle Higgins
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Joe Bennett and Art Thibert
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Slade Wilson is the best mercenary in the DCU, and he’s been doing this a long time. Some might say too long. But they’ll learn: never turn your back on Deathstroke the Terminator. He won’t quit, no matter how high the stakes.”

The Feast: It’s no secret that we’ve got a crush on Kyle Higgins here at Graphic Content. Since his work on Batman last year he’s been on everyone’s radar and now he’s finally got his own ongoing series as part of the DC you-know-what. The interesting part about this series is that Deathstroke is largely a villain in the DC universe and there aren’t many anti-hero books spreading out of this reboot. Deathrstroke was originally named “Terminator” so that should give you some idea of what he does. Higgins is new to the industry so we know he’ll be making these with his blood, sweat, and tears.

Severed #2

WRITTEN BY: Scott Tuft and Scott Snyder
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “’NEW SKIN’ Jack learns the road is full of swindlers. And in Chicago, the most devious one awaits him: a travelling-salesman with shark-like-teeth who craves the flesh of the innocent. SCOTT SNYDER (American Vampire, Detective Comics), SCOTT TUFT and ATTILA FUTAKI (Percy Jackson) are back with 2011’s most terrifying horror series. SEVERED.”

The Feast: I honestly don’t think we’ve gone a single week in the last month without mentioning Scott Snyder…busy man. In case you couldn’t tell we absolutely love this dude, but then again everyone in the comics’ world loves this man right now. Snyder has his roots in horror literature, and issue #1 of Severed proved that American Vampire isn’t the only horror trick he’s got up his sleeve. Severed is more of your classic horror story, going back into American history to pry open some dark secrets. The art is stellar, full of off-axis shots, looming darkness in the background, and expressive facial features. The story revolves around the terror of cannibalism so far as we can tell.

Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #1

WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alberto Ponticelli
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Frankenstein is part of a network of strange beings that work for an even stranger government organization. But can he protect the world from threats even more horrifying than himself? And since he’s vilified for who and what he is, will he even want to take on this mission?”

The Feast: Last week, Lemire’s Animal Man was widely praised as the cream of the crop. Though the two series are tough to compare, Lemire’s DCnU debut has proven that he can run with non-creator owned books. Furthermore, his Flashpoint Frankenstein mini-series was one of the better tie-ins offering a look at where he’s going to take the big green assassin. A slight gothic Victorian era tinge muddled up with all sorts of fun paranormal happenings is a winning combo in my books. “You are my creator, but I am your master—obey!”

Fear Itself #6 (of 7)

WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
PRICE: $3.99

The Low Down: “Marvel Architects Variant also available Marvel Architects Sketch Variant also available The penultimate chapter of the apocalypse is here! Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man scramble to make Earth’s last stand against the relentless Serpent and his army of world-shattering avatars–all while amongst unbelievable chaos and destruction, Spider-Man makes the choice of a lifetime! Dark Asgard has risen and all of Earth’s forces converge on the World Tree as the globe shudders in the shadow of FEAR ITSELF!”

The Feast: Now, DC can’t be getting all of the attention, can they? Truthfully, Marvel’s big event of the year, Fear Itself, has been much more satisfying and much more all-inclusive than DC’s Flash Point. The Earth’s mightiest heroes are now on the cusp of complete annihilation in the face of Serpent and her/his Worthy few. This is the final showdown of good vs. evil (at least for this year) and big battles are going to happen in this climax issue. If you’ve been reading this epic event, you don’t need to be told why you should read this.

Batman and Robin #1

WRITTEN BY: Peter J. Tomasi
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Pat Gleason and Mick Gray
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together! As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne’s past–one not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil.”

The Feast: This is one book that didn’t really need to be part of the reboot. The series started only a few years ago with Grant Morrison’s highly praised launching arc. The book really brought together Dick and Damian as a team. I suppose now that Brucey is back for the good fight there needs to be a change in pace and style. It will be very intriguing to see how Bruce deals with Robin not only because he’s so young but also because it’s his son. Batman has been very overprotective of Robin in the past and this time around there will definitely be some head butting. Damian may calm down and mature into the Robin we all know he can be now that he’s got his good ol’ dad back.

Batwoman #1

WRITTEN BY: William H. Blackman and J.H. Williams III
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Batwoman faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City’s underworld–and new trials in her life as Kate Kane. Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane, as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her?”

The Feast: My suspicions for the DC reboot began when Batwoman was continually pushed back month after month. I was so excited for this to begin after J.H. Williams III and Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics run that I knew something had to be up at DC. Thank the gods (or should I say GD) that this is finally starting up. For those who are not familiar with Rucka’s remodeling of Batwoman or J.H. Williams III’s artwork, let me break it down for you. Rucka made Batwoman a character we can actually care about. She’s a modern day Simone de Beauvoir, who was kicked out of her military academy for having homosexual relations with another student. The artwork is some of the most experimental and beautiful in recent comics. Williams III has a way of making the pages flow so perfectly that it will leave you breathless.

Hellraiser #5

WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette
PRICE: $3.99

The Low Down: “BRAND NEW ARC! Great jumping-on point for new readers. One of the greatest horror franchises of all time returns, now under the control of its original creator! Clive Barker has touched HELLRAISER only twice: once to write THE HELLBOUND HEART, and once more to write and direct the original HELLRAISER film. Now witness Barker’s long-awaited return to tell a new chapter in the series’ official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites…and Pinhead! Kirsty Cotton faces her greatest foes…both new and old. And Pinhead is her greatest fear! But what could he have planned for her?”

The Feast: This is perhaps the most under-the-radar comic of the past year that’s been shockingly good every issue. For fans of horror and Clive Barker alike, there is not much else you could ask for. It’s his first return to the series since the original story The Hellbound Heart, and finally Hellraiser fans are not only getting a great story but one of the best horror comics this year. Even if you’ve never seen the movie or read the original story this is a horror comic you can’t miss, seriously, it’s one of the best out there and this issue starts a new arc making it a perfect spot to jump into the fray with Pinhead and he gang.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9: Freefall #1

WRITTEN BY: Joss Whedon and Andrew Chambliss
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Season 8 ended with a bang when Buffy cut the world off from the hell dimensions and all supernatural influence. Great, right? Except Buffy has left her best friend, Willow, powerless, and ended the long line of vampire slayers, leaving her hated by the hundreds of girls who recently stood behind her. Newly relocated to San Francisco, Buffy can count on a fresh start, and focus on what she’s good at-slaying.”

The Feast: It was brought to my attention recently that Buffy was the Twilight of my generation. Thankfully, Buffy doesn’t suck. Buffy has become such a key character in vampire pop-culture that I’m glad I had the good fortune to grow up with her instead of Bella. If you followed the TV series, or even if you fell head over heals in love with the original film, you’ll dig the comics. The wonderful thing about Joss Whedon is that once he starts a project he sees it through to the very end (except when FOX doesn’t let him, yes I’m still bitter about Firefly). He’s been working on Buffy for fourteen years now and he’s still doing as good a job as ever.

Green Lantern #1

WRITTEN BY: Geoff Johns
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “The red-hot GREEN LANTERN team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke introduce an unexpected new Lantern.”

The Feast: It’s Geoff Johns writing Green Lantern, and this is where he does his best work. Some people may have been offed by Johns’ work on Flashpoint, but now he returns to his pride and glory.

Amazing Spider-Man #669

PRICE: $3.99

The Low Down: “SPIDER-ISLAND PART THREE How can the heroes of NYC hope to contain millions of spider-powered New Yorkers??Also, a dangerous new role for Venom. And… is that a Six-armed Shocker?! All this plus: one of Spider-Island’s biggest mysteries revealed!?”

The Feast: To be totally honest I’ve hated every moment of Spider-Island so far, but other people seem to like it. The cover of ASM #668 looked like Ramos spent a total of ten minutes drawing it while sitting on the toilet. The humor is equivalent to an eight-year-old boy’s who just watched Animal House for the first time. If you’ve been enjoying this series, please tell me what I’m missing.



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