Fewer and fewer leaves find themselves on the trees, the temperature is taking a nose dive every week (at least in Canada), and with the holiday season fast approaching most of us will try to enjoy our added time spent indoors. It’s only natural that with an increase in time spent in our cozy rooms comes an increase in time spent reading comics. The winter is a hot season…for graphic novels, and publishers will be releasing quite a few big titles in the week leading up to the holidays, so get out your pen and paper and start your wish list early! This week brings on the third issues of the acclaimed BATWOMAN and DEMON KNIGHTS as well as the long awaited RETURN TO PERDITION graphic novel.
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…
WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ILLUSTRATED BY: Victor Drujiniu
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse
The Low Down: “While harnessing his new powers as the Occultist, college student Rob Bailey must defend himself and those around him from a series of hired Hit mages with unique magical abilities and a serpentine demon known as the Swordbreaker, all determined to kill him and to possess the powerful spell book known as the Sword!”
The Feast: Tim Seeley has been uber busy with his always amazing Hack/Slash series, and it’s not often we see him venture elsewhere as a writer. Fortunately for us, Tim’s been working on this new mini-series continuing his usual horror/comedy tongue in cheek style that he does so well.
WRITTEN BY: W. Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III
ILLUSTRATED BY: J.H. Williams III
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “Batwoman faces the terrifying villain stalking Gotham City’s children. Can she defeat the gruesome monster in time to save the city’s most innocent victims? Kate Kane unearths a ghost she has tried hard to bury, even as the D.E.O. closes in on Batwoman. Can Kate outrun her past and Cameron Chase?”
The Feast: After the second issue of Batwoman I’ve come to the conclusion that this is without doubt my favorite Bat-book of the new batch. The page layouts are seriously baffling, Kate’s character is riveting, and the new villain is as mysterious as she is terrifying. I find no faults in this book. If your pull list is too full to add another book you need to drop one and pick this one up.
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ILLUSTRATED BY: Alberto Ponticelli
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos crash-land on the invading alien planetoid and all-out mayhem ensues, but nothing can prepare them for the coming of The Titans of Monster Planet! And just when they thought things couldn’t get worse, Father Time receives a troubling message from his past.”
The Feast: Fine, Mr. Lemire, take my money! Jeff Lemire is causing quite the stir over at DC with his work on Animal Man, Sweet Tooth, and Frankenstein. Every book is utterly different in tone and style yet they all work so well. Lemire’s Frankenstein is basically DC’s version of B.P.R.D., and the mix of sci-fi, comedy, and action is perfectly done.
WRITTEN BY: Shane Houghton
ILLUSTRATED BY: Chris Houghton
The Low Down: “Everyone’s favorite bear-riding cowboy gallops into his first collected edition! REED GUNTHER and his trusty grizzly bear steed bumble their way through the wild west fighting giant snakes, hoards of mole creatures, a resurrected John Henry zombie, freak show freaks, special government agents, and all sorts of wild monsters created by an ancient mysterious Idol! This colored collection of excitement, friendship, and adventure is fun for folks of all-ages!”
The Feast: I hate doing this, but to be completely honest, I haven’t read a single issue of Reed Gunther, but, from what I’ve heard, it’s quite the cowboy tale. It’s a book about a gunslinger riding a bear, fighting monsters, zombies, and all sorts crazy creatures. Why I haven’t read this, I don’t know, but I sure as hell will be picking it up this week and I suggest you do too.
WRITTEN BY: Brian Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and more
ILLUSTRATED BY: Ed McGuinness, Bryan Hitch, Terry Dodson, and more
The Low Down: “Here are SEVEN all -new stories that set the stage for everything coming your way in 2012 from the biggest names in the comics industry.You CANNOT miss this. Catch a tease of the biggest change to the Marvel Universe in over 35 years !”
The Feast: The DC reboot brought in a whole lot of new comic readers, offering an easy place for them to begin their foray into the world of graphic storytelling. This Marvel Point One issue is the perfect place for new readers to enter the Marvel U. Introducing readers not only to popular characters, but also to big name writers and artists, this book is an essential starting point if you plan on reading anything from Marvel in the coming year.
WRITTEN BY: Joe R. Lansdale
ILLUSTRATED BY: Peter Bergting and menton3
The Low Down: “The limits of sanity are stretched as the Horror continues! The monstrous Wilbur Whatley is determined to get his hands on the most nefarious book in history… the Necronomicon! As we get hints about Wilbur’s disturbing deformation we also learn of another terrifying threat… Wilbur’s brother who ‘looks more like his father!’ The definitive Lovecraft experience continues, courtesy of Joe Lansdale and company!”
The Feast: Lovecraft fanatics will either find this adaption enthralling or uninspired. Lansdale re-appropriates the Lovecraft tale into the modern day with a few other twists, but overall the first issue was well paced with a shocking ending. The best part of the first issue was the secondary story The Hound by Weinberg and menton3, that combines dark artwork with short but potent bursts of literature.
WRITTEN BY: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel
ILLUSTRATED BY: Stephane Perger
The Low Down: “Is he man or machine? Created by the evil Ultron, The Vision was meant to be a terrifying weapon of destruction. But when tasked with destroying The Avengers, he must decide whether to follow his programming…or defy his creator. Witness the origin of The Avengers’ most mysterious member in this exciting one-shot!”
The Feast: The Vision is one Marvel hero that never gets the attention he/it deserves. This one shot brings back memories of that Star Trek TNG episode where the Borg programmed Data to kill Picard, but replace Data with Vision and Picard with the entire Avengers team. Don’t skip on the chance to learn the past of one of the most intriguing Marvel heroes.
WRITTEN BY: Paul Cornell
ILLUSTRATED BY: Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “Under siege and under fire–quite literally–the hastily assembled Demon Knights find that the villagers they’re trying to protect are ready to turn on them and that they’re locked behind embattled walls with a demon whose very touch can kill!”
The Feast: If anything can be concluded so far from the DC relaunch it’s that their dark lineup of books have been the most impressive in the entire catalogue. It’s been a while since horror fans have had a consistently impressive list of horror books on the shelves and we have DC to thank for bringing horror back in a big way. Demon Knights is only further proof of the excellence of DC’s new horror lineup.
WRITTEN BY: Skottie Young
ILLUSTRATED BY: Clay Mann
The Low Down: “The X-Men are shaken when Magneto finally goes villain again. The Master of Magnetism is caught on video murdering members of an anti-mutant group. Why did he throw away everything he’s earned with the X-Men? Or is this just the only time he’s gotten caught? This new series by SKOTTIE YOUNG (WIZARD OF OZ) and CLAY MANN (X-MEN LEGACY) will change the way you look at the best X-Villain of all time!”
The Feast: I suppose it was only a matter of time before Magneto turned evil, once again. Magneto has not been the focus of an X-Event for a while; he’s been hiding quietly in the background while Logan and Scott fight over team members. Finally he’s had enough and he’s about to return to his old wreaking havoc self again.
WRITTEN BY: Max Allan Collins
ILLUSTRATED BY: Terry Beatty
The Low Down: “A new chapter in the acclaimed graphic novel series that inspired the Academy Award-winning movie! The setting is America in the early 1970s, and our third generation hero, Michael Satariano, Jr. is a Vietnam vet recently returned to the States. He doesn’t know that his father’s real name was Michael O’Sullivan, and is unaware of the conflict between his dad, his grandfather and John Looney – the criminal godfather of Rock Island, Illinois. But when he’s recruited by the mob as a hitman, he’s going to learn the hard way that you can never outrun (or outgun) your past.”
The Feast: Road to Perdition is perhaps the best film that is least likely to be known as a graphic novel adaptation. The original story was a compelling crime/noir story like no other, and now Collins is back with yet another installment in the influential Perdition series. Return to Perdition updates the typical noir timeline from the 1940s to 1970s America and examines the detrimental effects of the past. This is an essential book for any crime comic lover. Vertigo is also re-releasing Road to Perdition this week to accompany the new book. Mark these down on your wish lists.