Happy Fourth of July! What a treat, Independence Day and new comic book day (If you’re American). Take the time to kick back, relax, think about your country, and read some kick ass comics. This week sees issue #2 of Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT, the release of Steve Niles’ all new graphic novel Freak Of The Heartland, Marvel brings back Infernal Man-Thing, and, as always, a bunch 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: “Matt Kindt’s cutting-edge spy-fi series continues! Young journalist Meru’s investigation into MIND MGMT, an espionage unit of psychic spies, and the rogue field agent whose defection nearly destroyed the entire operation becomes even more complicated when the CIA takes an interest! But whose side are they on? As the story takes her from Mexico to Zanzibar, Meru discovers more clues about MIND MGMT’s history and encounters some of its victims, all while pursued by tireless Immortals!”
The Feast: “Mind MGMT” perfectly captures what creator owned projects are all about. It’s imaginative, experimental, and it gives you the feeling that Matt Kindt absolutely loves making it. This book is already grabbing the attention of critics and readers alike, and if it continues its current path, it’s going to be a strong contender for one of the year’s best.
The Low Down: “ Trevor’s monstrous little brother lives in the barn behind the house. The boy’s only six years old, but he towers over his older brother, and possesses incredible strength. For years, Trevor has looked after his baby brother, keeping him from the light, but now that’s all about to change. His family’s secret is about to be revealed, uncovering the horrible truth of the small Midwestern town the boys have grown up in.”
The Feast: “Freaks of the Heartland” reminds me of Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft’s “Severed”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are not enough horror comics around these days that take place in the past, exploring the fears of a different era. Steve Niles, who always has some ghastly tale up his sleeve, dives into the past to follow a freakish six-year-old boy and the mysteries that surround his town.
The Low Down: “Following legendary scribe Steve Gerber’s death, fans mourned the reality that the writer would no longer be able to return to the character for one last story — until now. See the final Steve Gerber Man-Thing tale here, in a previously-unknown story.”
The Feast: I doubt anyone thought they would be seeing “Man-Thing” around any time soon, especially after the death of Steve Gerber. This is akin to the “previously unreleased tracks” trick in the music industry, but I think it would be hard for any fan to pass on an unreleased story from Gerber himself. Gerber’s run on “Man-Thing” was nothing but astonishing, and it’s great to be able to read a new story from him one last time.
The Low Down: “Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar is now available in the Omnibus format! The first and complete arc (made up of the first 12 issues) from Starlin’s epic saga is collected in one place! The pages in this new edition have been produced by digitally scanning from the original film! Also featuring the original covers and character art! Dreadstar features the adventures of Vanth Dreadstar and his crew! Dreadstar, the last survivor of the destroyed Milky Way Galaxy, found himself transported to the Empirical Galaxy! There, recruited by the sorcerer Syzygy Darklock, Dreadstar helped bring an end to a two-hundred-year-old war between the corrupt Monarchy and the fanatical Instrumentality. Containing close to 400 pages of story, art and more!”
The Feast: Back when Marvel still had their Epic imprint, Jim Starlin was writing a vast sci-fi story about the sole survivor of the Milky Way galaxy. This may not be a book you hear of like Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World”, or Stan Lee’s “Fantastic Four”, but this series paved the way for so many current sci-fi books. It’s an expansive must-read, especially at 30 bucks for 400 pages.
The Low Down: “’THE GOOD SON,’ Part One Guest writer, JUSTIN JORDAN (THE STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE) continues his epic tale of blood and blood relations as Vlad faces off against his mutant family on the streets of Chicago.”
The Feast: We’re treated to another guest writer on Hack/Slash this week as Justin Jordan of “Luther Strode” takes his turn in the driver’s seat. We’ve become accustomed to Tim Seeley’s version of Cassie, but it’s always a blast to see another writer’s take on the character.
The Low Down: “The new era that began in the pages of SPAWN’s hallmark 220th issue continues! Featuring a classic TODD McFARLANE cover re-imagined by the legendary artist as Image Comics and Todd McFarlane Productions continue SPAWN’s 20th Anniversary celebration. Jim Downing is a man possessed by a hellish power he cannot control, by a heavenly secret he doesn’t understand, and by an unstoppable drive to piece together the mystery that is his lost past. Balancing the deadly realities of his secret life as the world’s newest Hellspawn with the worldwide media frenzy as a new messiah for the Digital Age, Jim begins to embrace his abilities like never before. This all leads to a showdown with a classic Spawn adversary… TREMOR RETURNS!!!”
The Feast: Many people claim that we are in a 90s revival period, and nothing speaks more truly to that than Todd McFarlane’s return to “Spawn”. Although it is being deemed as a “new era” for Spawn, you can expect it to be the same overly badass greatness that McFarlane started in the 90s. If you’ve never read “Spawn” before, there’s no better spot to start.
The Low Down: “Season 8 ended with a bang that cut the world off from magic-culminating in another set of world-ending problems. Buffy has left her best friend, Willow, powerless, and brought an end to a millennia-long tradition of superpowered girls. By day, Buffy is a twenty-something waitress with no real direction, and even though magic is gone, she’s still a vampire Slayer by night. Bigger problem? Vampires are becoming an epidemic . . . of zompires!”
The Feast: I’ll be the first to admit that “Season 9” is ridiculous in every way and takes Buffy to a whole new level of WTF. But I love it for that. Whedon and Chambliss prove that even a decade after the show vegan, they can still keep it fresh. If you miss Buffy and the gang in your life, the comics provide ample space to further explore the Buffy-verse.
The Low Down: “’I have goals to achieve. Dreams to make come true.’ Plus, a new CRIMSON CORSAIR backup feature from writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!”
The Feast: What drove Ozymandias to his morally ambiguity? Who was he before he was a comic book villain? How did he get along with the other heroes? These are all questions that we hope are answered in Len Wein and Jae Lee’s “Before Watchmen” run. If you’re reading any of the series, this is well worth picking up just for Lee’s artwork.
The Low Down: “From GEOFF JOHNS and GARY FRANK, the acclaimed team behind SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN and the SHAZAM! stories in JUSTICE LEAGUE! In the tradition of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, this spectacular original graphic novel gives new insight into BRUCE WAYNE’S transformation into BATMAN and his first year as THE DARK KNIGHT. In this all new take on the Batman mythos, Bruce Wayne is on the hunt for his parents’ killer. His target? The Mayor of Gotham City! Plus, who is Alfred Pennyworth– and why is he so determined to put an end to the Batman?”
The Feast: I doubt there’s a comic book writer out there who doesn’t want a chance to write a “Batman” origin story. I also doubt there’s a fan out there who doesn’t already know it. Geoff Johns will have to step up his game to bring something new to the birth of the Caped Crusader, but I have a feeling if anyone is up to the task, it’s him.
The Low Down: “Morbius the Living Vampire is on the loose and no one at Horizon Labs is safe — including a recently cured Curt Connors. But if Curt Connors is cured, who or what is that new Lizard creature? It’s definitely someone Spider-Man knows…”
The Feast: Leave it to Dan Slott to bring back Spidey’s vampire foe, Morbius! Slott’s work on “Spider-Man” so far has been defining for both him and Peter Parker, and we’re hoping for a fresh take on the whole vampire villain thing.
Any thoughts? Books you’re excited about? Sound off in the comments or let me know on twitter!