Apr 22, 2009

This Week's Picks

The New Avengers #52 - Okay, bar none, this is the best title Marvel is publishing right now. Bendis' magical grasp of dialogue is put to great use in this title. The team is great, the fugitive angle they've been playing for the last year and a bit is still working, and the stories are top notch. If you aren't reading New Avengers, go grab the "Breakout" trade and get started. This is the title that's defining what's happening in the Marvel Universe.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl - Arkham Asylum #1 - In my new quest to give the Bat-titles a try I'm starting off with the specials surrounding the search for a new Batman. This one was the creepiest, but it was a nice little stroll down memory lane. Maybe it's time to read Morrison and McKean's "Arkham Asylum" again. That book is a trip. As for this special, the new (are they new?) villains are neat. I'm excited to see where the Bat-universe is going, especially with Morrison and Quitely doing their thing in the coming months.

Skrull Kill Krew #1 - Throwback to one of the few bits of Grant Morrison's ouvre that I would label "mediocre." I probably won't pick up the second issue of this one. But with a name like "Skrull Kill Krew," I had to pick up at least the first one.

Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis #1 - I will not be able to read this comic until I've tracked down 3 of the 20-some odd issues that preceded it. Thoroughly annoying.

The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft - When I last read a comic story about Lovecraft, it was the Necronauts. This one is somewhat different, and the story (of a young HPL haunted by dreams that seem to come true) hasn't quite grabbed me yet. However, Tony Salmons can draw a stunningly beautiful 20's flapper.

Pride & Prejudice #1 - I was so hopeful for this one. The cover by Sonny Liew is great. The source material is classic. Unfortunately, the contents don't measure up. Sure, it's a faithful adaptation, but the interior art reminds me of Grimm Fairy Tales from Zenescape. All the women are beautiful, but it's like they're wax dummies set in poses. There's no life to the art. Add to that the stilted language of the 19th century, and it spells failure. Shame.

Detective Comics #853 - Whenever Neil Gaiman ventures back into comics, it's a big deal. That said, I wasn't a big fan of "1602," and I never even looked at "The Eternals" (though I really should). So, when it was revealed that he was writing a 2-parter after the death of Batman, I had to pick it up. I just had to. It's Gaiman. And in this, I was not disappointed. I had a pretty good look at the first part here. The second part eschews the form of the Canterbury Tales, but tells a brilliant story about Batman and his death. If Gaiman came back to comics and wrote stories like this all the time, we'd have another Sandman on our hands. It's a shame he's left comics behind. We miss him.

That's it this week. One other item I have to point out is The Freedom Collective #1. I haven't read it yet, but I grabbed it last week. The premise is "What if Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were living in the Cold War-era U.S.S.R. when they decided to create The Avengers?" Inspired. I looked into Communist comics when I was researching Batman vs. Mighty Wing, but it turns out that comics were strictly forbidden under party rule. Which makes Freedom Collective that much more interesting.

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