The summer is in full bloom and that means loads of incredible books are upon us. This week brings on the first wave of DC’s “annual” issues with Lemire’s “Animal Man” and Scott Snyder’s “Batman”. On top of those, IDW begins the incredibly epic “Star Trek TNG/Dr. Who” crossover, Kirkman continues his road to “The Walking Dead” #100, plus a whole lot more.
With the ever-increasing number of books coming out between the tie-ins, the crossovers, and the new series, we’ve all got to limit our reading list somehow. We present you with our 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, we’re here to help you decide which books to pick up. If I’ve missed something you’re stoked about or if you’ve got any questions, list it in the comments.
The Low Down: “A stand alone tale detailing the history of the epic struggle between THE RED, THE GREEN and THE ROT! As seen in ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING, these forces will play a major role in the future of the DC Universe!”
The Feast: These Annual, one and done, issues are DC’s way to tell you what books are doing well. If it wasn’t evident already, “Animal Man” is one of DC’s finest reads at the moment. Jeff Lemire consistently weaves his magic one insane issue after another. If you haven’t been checking this book out, the annual issue is a great intro. Plus, it paves the way for the highly anticipated “Swamp Thing” crossover event, which begins in a few months.
The Low Down: “Investigating the chilling “Murder That Should Not Be,” Inspector Suttle is obliged to visit the East End of London’s notorious and dangerous Zone-B. It’s the last refuge of the living, where the poor, the free-thinking, the artistic, the liberal and the undoubtedly mortal live surrounded by the fenced-off restless horror. What secrets will Suttle learn there about the case and himself?”
The Feast: Despite all the zombie stories roaming about these days, it’s incredible how writers are still coming up with ways to keep the genre fresh. Abnett’s “The New Deadwardians” has been nothing short of phenomenal thus far, and this issue sees Inspector Suttle forced into the lower class lands of England, where the undead reside. “The New Deadwardians” is a shrewd take on zombies and vampires in the Victorian Era that cannot be missed. This is the kind of sophisticated storytelling that led to the creation of Vertigo Comics in the first place.
The Low Down: “MR. FREEZE is introduced to The New 52! What is Mr. Freeze’s relationship to the COURT OF OWLS? Is he an ally– or do they want him dead? “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!”
The Feast: Another one of DC’s Annual issues, Scott Snyder serves up another chapter in the Court Of Owls storyline. Mr. Freeze has not yet appeared in the New 52, and we’re hoping Snyder will offer a completely different take on the character, and hint at some future plotlines with the frozen man. Snyder gets a lot of praise all across the board, and he deserves every bit of it. Every decade there are only a few visionary creators, and we’re lucky enough to have Snyder as one of ours.
The Low Down: “In this new, original graphic novel from superstar writer/designer Chip Kidd and artist Dave Taylor, Gotham City is undergoing one of the most expansive construction booms in its history. The most prestigious architects from across the globe have buildings in various phases of completion all over town. As chairman of the Gotham Landmarks Commission, Bruce Wayne has been a key part of this boom, which signals a golden age of architectural ingenuity for the city. And then, the explosions begin.
All manner of design-related malfunctions– faulty crane calculations, sturdy materials suddenly collapsing, software glitches, walkways giving way and more– cause casualties across the city. This bizarre string of seemingly random catastrophes threatens to bring down the whole construction industry. Fingers are pointed as Batman must somehow solve the problem and find whoever is behind it all.”
The Feast: Throwing back to 1930’s black and white Hollywood films, Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor bring us down nostalgia road for what looks to be an incredibly inventive take on the Dark Knight. The mystery revolves around the architectural design in Gotham City, and that my friends is pretty damn cool. While Snyder has been doing a bang up job of exploring the past of Gotham, “Death By Design” takes a different approach. The artwork looks incredible from the preview pages, and this has potential to be one of the best Bat-books of the summer.
The Low Down: “The world is in in chaos. Monocyte makes his way to Azrael as the human slaves are freed! Series conclusion with art by menton3 (ZvR: Aventure, Silent Hill) and co-written by Kasra Ghanbari with an incentive cover by world-renowned fine artist Phil Hale and side stories by legendary fine artist/illustrator Barron Storey (Sandman: Endless Nights) and superstar horror writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre).”
The Feast: “Monocyte” is setting the bar for a new era of comic books. This books is completely original, daring, unabashed in its delivery, and intellectual in the utmost. It’s also incredibly unsettling. This marks the final issue of the mini-series, but I hope it’s not the last we’ll be seeing of the one eyed necromancer. If you didn’t get the chance to read this, have no fear, the deluxe hard cover edition is coming out soon and it is packed to the brim with extras. You can pre-order it right now on Amazon for a real cheap price.
The Low Down: “They said it would never happen! Nearly five decades and 1500 episodes in the making! The two greatest science-fiction properties of all time cross over for the first time in history, in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION2! When the Federation’s most terrifying enemy strikes an unholy alliance with one of the Doctor’s most hated antagonists, the result is devastation on a cosmic scale! Spanning the ends of space and time itself, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance! Written by Scott and David Tipton, the authors of the critically acclaimed Star Trek: Infestation, and featuring the beautiful painted artwork of J.K. Woodward (Fallen Angel), this is the adventure that both Trekkers and Whovians have waited for all their lives! Geronimo? Make it so!”
The Feast: I can’t think of any self respecting Sci-fi fan who would not want to see Captain Picard and Dr. Who solving a case together. This is the stuff geeks’ dreams are made of, and IDW is putting it to the page. There is so much potential for this crossover that it hurts to even think of it begin a bust. On the other hand, if it’s a great series, it will be a showcase of why the comics medium is so amazing.
The Low Down: “From the banned 1950s horror comics that Dr. Fredric Wertham, The U.S. Senate, and mothers didn’t want innocent children to devour comes a terrifying and timely anthology of comics of the undead…’Zombies’. These gruesome mini-masterpieces are hauntingly delineated by some of the Golden Age’s greatest artists at their very best. The nightmarish scripts of the unstoppable living dead will make your spine freeze over in terror! Edited and designed by Eisner winner Craig Yoe with an introduction by the host of the popular ‘The Horrors of It All’ vintage comics blog, Steve ‘Karswell’ Banes. ‘Zombies’ follows in the footsteps of ‘Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein’ and ‘Bob Powell’s Terror.’”
The Feast: From the team that created the Ghastly Award winning book “Bob Powell’s Terror”, comes another incredible archival horror book. This time, it’s all about zombies! While the undead are all the rage these days, they made their mark back in the 50s and this book collects the best classic zombie comics. If you want to see where this zombie business all got started, before Robert Kirkman was even born, you’d do well to check this out.
The Low Down: “A brand new series from the mind of critically acclaimed writer KURTIS J. WIEBE (GREEN WAKE, PETER PANZERFAUST), GRIM LEAPER is a gory romantic comedy. Lou Collins is caught in a cyclical curse of violent, gruesome deaths and new beginnings in the bodies of strangers. With no clue why, Lou desperately searches for a way to break the curse and cross over peacefully to the other side. Then equally doomed Ella comes along. It’s a love story to die for.”
The Feast: Kurtis Wiebe has our hearts here at BD, and this week his brand new horror romantic splatter comedy begins. It’s about a man who cannot stop dying, a man down in the dumps, a man who has nothing left to live for. That is, until he meets a woman with the same curse. Wiebe is a gifted storyteller and he’s been killing everything in the past year. Check out our interview with Kurtis on the series.
The Low Down: “TWO ISSUES IN ONE MONTH! ‘SOMETHING TO FEAR’ continues!”
The Feast: The road to issue #100 is closing in, which means big things for our favorite group of survivors. By this point, I shouldn’t even have to tell you to read this series, so I’ll spare you.
The Low Down: “Twenty-four years ago, Hellboy took mild-mannered Professor O’Donnell to the secret library of a recently dead necromancer. Since that day, O’Donnell has been the Bureau’s expert on the powerful ancient forces intent on ending the age of man. Find out what O’Donnell saw in this supernatural thrill ride.”
The Feast: Mignola announced earlier last week that he plans to explore vampires in a whole new way in the BPRD Universe. While we got a small taste in “The Pickens County Horror”, the vamps are really coming to the front in this one shot issue. Hopefully we’ll find out just how deep seeded the vampire history really is in Mignola’s world. As a treat, we get to see Hellboy in the book, who has been MIA for quite some time (it’s flashback versions of him, he’s not back yet!).