COMICS TO FEAST ON: Week Of October 19th 2011

Welcome back to COMICS TO FEAST ON! As we venture further into the fall season it means two things. First, the conclusion to major events like, Fear Itself. Second, and perhaps more pertinent, is the approach of All Hallows Eve. With Halloween coming up in just a few weeks comic publishers see it as their duty to release whole bunch of new horror comics and graphic novels to bloody up the shelves this month. Be on the look out for these horror stories, many of the indie books look to be quite the fright fest.

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 cramming so many previews down your throat that you barely breathe, I’m going to give you my ten most anticipated books of the week. So feast your eyes on these! 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…

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HP Lovecraft the Dunwich Horror #1

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WRITTEN BY: Joe R. Lansdale
ILLUSTRATED BY: Peter Bergting and menton3
PUBLISHER: IDW
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “H.P. Lovecraft is known as one of the key founders of modern horror, cited as a major influence by many prominent authors, such as Stephen King. In collaboration with renowned Lovecraft historian and literary caretaker Robert Weinberg, IDW is bringing you the definitive Lovecraft comics updated for a 21st century audience. This unique series begins by adapting classic Lovecraft tale ‘The Dunwich Horror’ by fright-master Joe R. Lansdale (30 Days of Night: Night, Again) and Peter Bergting (D&D: Dark Sun). The second story brings ‘The Hound’ to life by Weinberg and menton3.”

The Feast: There is no author who screams Halloween horror quite like H.P. Lovecraft. Gracing the shelves this week is Joe Lansdale’s adaptation of The Duniwch Horror, one of Lovecraft’s most celebrated tales of terror. The previews have looked incredibly grotesque and if this adaptation is anywhere close to the original, it could be the perfect October mini-series.

Batman #2

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WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ILLUSTRATED BY: Greg Capullo
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Batman hunts a new and deadly killer in Gotham City–a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham’s oldest and most terrifying secrets?”

The Feast: To go along with the horror theme this month, Snyder promises that this new Batman will be one of the darkest and most twisted stories yet. Snyder is a man after ever horror fans’ heart, and boy does this guy know how to write a terrifying story (see Severed). There is no reason anyone should be missing this series regardless of where your loyalties lie.

Batman: Odyssey #1

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WRITTEN BY: Neal Adams
ILLUSTRATED BY: Neal Adams
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Batman must kill or be killed! The threat is real and can’t be stopped by man or hero. To combat it, Batman must bring time itself to a standstill so that he can embark on an odyssey of self-discovery to a place unknown to mankind!”

The Feast: The man who birthed modern superheroes, reinvented countless characters, and redefined comic book art returns to DC with another epic Bat-story. Okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration but Neal Adams is undeniably a father of modern superhero comics. Pretty much anything Neal Adams does is golden so if you’re new to comics I suggest you research what this man has done throughout his career.

DC Universe Presents #2

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WRITTEN BY: Paul Jenkins
ILLUSTRATED BY: Bernard Chang
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Ever since he died and became Deadman, Boston Brand has served the deity known as Rama Kushna, inhabiting bodies to complete missions that she dictates. But for the first time, Deadman may have a clue how to gain some control over his “life.” But the cost may be the souls of the bodies he inhabits!”

The Feast: When the DC Reboot began last month it was hard to know which heroes would be given new origins and which would remain the same. I couldn’t be happier that they didn’t fuck with Deadman’s origin. Naturally, a few things have changed but for the most part he’s still the same old white-faced ghost searching for a lost love, so eat your heart out Patrick Swayze.

Fear Itself #7

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WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ILLUSTRATED BY: Stuart Immonen
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PRICE: $3.99

The Low Down: “Tony Stark returns from the depths with a last-chance arsenal that will transform the Avengers from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes…into Earth’s Last Hope! It’s THOR’S DAY– the day that everything ends! Double sized Finale with a little something extra for keen eye. 56 PGS.”

The Feast: This is it ladies and gents, the culmination of all Marvel has been working towards over the past year. I’ll be the first to admit that the last few issues were slow as all hell and didn’t progress the plot much, and honestly I have no idea how a conclusion could possibly be reached in one issue. But, I guess that’s why it’s a whopping 56 pages. Expect many loose ends to remain untied as Fear Itself comes to an “end”.

Fear Itself: Fearless #1

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WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction and Christopher Yost
ILLUSTRATED BY: Mark Bagley
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PRICE: $3.99

The Low Down: “When Fear Itself is over, the hunt is on! Mystical hammers lay strewn across the entire Marvel Universe and it is Valkyrie’s mission to find them, no matter what the cost, and no matter who stands in her way…even if it’s Captain America & the Avengers!”

The Feast: Just kidding! Fear Itself isn’t really over. Marvel is wasting no time between the events of Fear Itself and the after math, kicking things off with a huge issue. Since the series is called Fear Itself: Fearless I expect not much will have been solved between the two events.

30 Days of Night #1

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WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ILLUSTRATED BY: Sam Kieth
PUBLISHER: IDW
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Fright-master Steve Niles returns to the creation that launched his career for an all-new 30 DAYS OF NIGHT ongoing series, with warped genius Sam Kieth (creator of THE MAXX) joining in the bloodletting! A letter from Barrow, Alaska, carries a cryptic warning to a young, curious woman, which leads her down the rabbit hole and face-to-face with her desire- and likely her demise. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, a vampire resurrection ignites, which could threaten the very way of life of all mankind. Features an all-new cast characters being introduced to the world of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT for the first time!”

The Feast: the 30 Days of Night franchise has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past years with nothing coming remotely close to the horror of the original series. Now Steve Niles returns to his lovechild once again for a brand new ongoing series. With a new castoff characters oblivious to the vampire race that lurks in the shadows, 30 Days of Night ongoing looks to scare you out of your underwear just in time for Halloween.

Justice League #2

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WRITTEN BY: Geoff Johns
ILLUSTRATED BY: Jim Lee
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “What happens when the World’s Greatest Detective takes on the world’s most powerful alien? Batman and Superman throw down for the first time! Batman will need all his intellect, cunning and physical prowess to take on The Man of Steel–arguably the most powerful superbeing on Earth.

The Feast: The book that started it all, the book that sold over 200,000 copies, returns for it’s long overdue second issue nearly 2 months later. Justice League, as with a few other New 52 books, takes place 5 years in the past offering a glimpse into the formation of the new world of heroes. The first issue built on the relationship between Green Lantern and Batman and it did so wonderfully. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are already a celebrated team, and I can’t wait to see where they take us. A great place for new readers to jump on the comic train!

68 #4

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WRITTEN BY: Mark Kidwell
ILLUSTRATED BY: Nat Jones and Jay Fotos
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “CONCLUSION! Captain Joe ‘Dunk’ Duncan, CIA agent Declan Rule, Doc Russo and a handful of hardened US troopers hold firebase Aries against hordes of Viet Cong, NVA regulars and the rotting risen dead. It’s ‘Custer’s Last Stand’ Vietnam-style in the action/horror filled conclusion to the series’ initial story arc.”

The Feast: The final issue of 68 has been delayed quite some time, but finally it lands this week. One of the most intriguing zombie stories this year, 68 brings the undead into the Vietnam War, a time that was already so full of death and disease. As the series reaches its climactic ending, the troops look to hold off the undead forces long enough to survive. If you missed this book, you’ll want to pick up the trade in a few weeks.

Xenoholics #1

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WRITTEN BY: Joshua Williamson
ILLUSTRATED BY: Seth Damoose
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $2.99

The Low Down: “Are you addicted to aliens? Late night Encounters? Abductions? Probes? The XenoHolics are here to help!

Because everyone thinks they’re a bunch of nutcases, a support group that claims aliens abducted them try to prove that aliens are real. But that’s much easier said than done and they find themselves caught up in not just ONE government conspiracy, but TWO. Oh, yeah and along the way they learn who is lying about being abducted? and who is telling the truth.

Presenting a twisted new series about aliens and the crazy people who believe in them, by creators JOSHUA WILLIAMSON (Superman/Batman, DEAR DRACULA), and SETH DAMOOSE (I HATE GALLANT GIRL) with covers by DAN DUNCAN (TMNT).”

The Feast: When I first hear about this series I was absolutely shocked and appalled by the fact that there really hasn’t been a good alien comic book…ever. Sure there was the Skrull invasion, Secret Invasion, and all that jazz but there has never been a good comic that focused solely on our friends from beyond. Xenoholics is reminiscent of the lauded alien story ‘Communion’ by Whitley Streiber, examining real life creepy alien encounters and survivor testimonies.