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[Editor’s Note: In nerdbastards team-up with female nerd community site Nerds in Babeland Stephanie Wooten, NIB comic expert will be coming into the nerdbastards fray. She’ll be stopping by every Wednesday to give you bastards the word on the week in comics. Not only will she tell ya what are the good grabs for the week, but she’ll also keep you a float of all the good stuff going around the comic-book water cooler (Industry news, major story lines, etc.) She has boobs and reads comics. What more do you need to know? -Luke]

The big news for the week (besides Green Hornet’s box office take) is Image Comic’s expansion to include Top Cow Publications.  Image Comics is responsible for The Walking Dead series, in addition to Invincible, Hack/Slash, and Spawn, while Top Cow publishes Witchblade, The Darkness, and the recent smash-hit Echoes.  You can read the full press release at Comic Book Resources.

In similar news, Image’s Spawn #200 sold out in one day, with the second printing due out in February, and Top Cow announced their team-up with Heroes & Villains Entertainment.  Top Cow & Heroes and Villains Entertainment will release Netherworld, a new five issue miniseries, in April 2011.  Netherworld is a supernatural noir that focuses on Ray, a former cop turned private eye (and junkie) who is on a mission to find a missing girl, Madeline.  You can check out the teaser trailer and 5 preview pages at Nerds in Babeland.

In the world of the Big Two, Marvel released “Captain America: A Little Help” for free via the Marvel Comics App and in print within I Am An Avenger #5, which was released last week.  This issue is Marvel’s effort at helping with suicide prevention and deals with a young man who is on the verge of suicide until he encounters Captain America and finds that the Avengers need his help.  The issue provides contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  I think this is an amazing idea and would love to see more comic book publishers reach out to help with national crisis in this manner.  Granted, I know it costs money to make these free issues so I think it’s even more awesome that a company that can afford to easily put out an issue like this goes through the effort to do so.  Check it out and support this great effort.

Now onto the pulls for the week.  Last week was definitely dominated by DC in my personal pull list.  This week? It’s all about Marvel.

DC/Vertigo

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Part of the reason my DC/Vertigo list can be short at times is because I often wait for Vertigo books to be released as TPB before I buy them.  Vertigo is releasing Vol #5 in TPB for House of Mystery but I still haven’t caught up on that series, but that will be a pull for me sometime in the future.  My big DC pull for the week is Batman #706 writing & art done by Tony Daniel.  The preview pages for this book look awesome and I love the father/daughter pairings with Lucius & Tamara Fox and The Riddler & Enigma.  This issue continues the “Eye of the Beholder” storyline with Batman assisting Peacock & I-Ching secure “The Beholder” & rescue Luki.  It’s been interesting so far and, like I said, kind of excited to see The Riddler & his daughter.

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The other big DC pull of the week is Young Justice #0, written by Greg Weisman and Kevin Hopps with art by Mike Norton.  This comic is based on the upcoming animated series that will debut on Cartoon Network.  It stars Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Aqualad, and while it doesn’t necessarily seem like my cup o’ tea, it definitely seems like a great book to kids to pick up.  This way, instead of them just sitting in front of the TV to check out these awesome superheroes, they can also pick up a book and do some reading too.  Plus the cover shows some badass female superheroes in the squad also so it definitely looks promising!

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My last DC pull of the week is a little shameful for me to admit.  Not because I’m embarrassed that I’m pulling it, but rather that I haven’t been reading it all along.  Batman: Streets of Gotham #19, written by Paul Dini with art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs, comes out this week and I finally have a light enough week that I can afford to pull it.  I absolutely love Paul Dini’s past work with Batman and I know I’ll love this series.  I’ve just been too poor to pick it up yet.  It happens!  It’s OK though.  I’ll support them by buying the TPB when they come out.

Other DC Pulls:

Brightest Day #18 Written by Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi with art from Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark & Joe Prado.  (Phew. What a list.)
Green Lantern Corps #56 – Written by Tony Bedard; Art and cover by Tyler Kirkham & Batt
Justice League of America #53 – Written by James Robinson; Art by Mark Bagley, Rob Hunter & Norm Rapmund.  Final chapter of JLA Omega!
Power Girl #20 – Written by Judd Winick; Art and cover by Sami Basri
Supergirl #60 – Written by Nick Spencer; Art by Bernard Chang

Marvel

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The big Marvel pull of the week is Invincible Iron Man #500.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love what Matt Fraction is doing at Marvel in general, but especially with Iron Man.  On top of that, the art by Salvador Larroca Martinez is amazing.  This issue has Spider-Man helping Iron Man fill in the gaps of his memory, while three generations of Starks work together to battle their ultimate nemesis in the future.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t been reading Fraction’s run on Iron Man, you should really think about picking up the TPB when it comes out.  So good.

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Also out this week is Amazing Spider-Man #652, written by Dan Slott with art from Stefano Caselli.  This issue kicks off the ‘Revenge of the Spider-Slayer’ story-arc, where we will get the return of Alistair Smythe.  I’m a huge fan of Caselli’s comic art style and the preview pages look great so far.  Plus, you know, big things are coming for Spider-Man this year and all that good stuff.  Scarlet #4, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art from Alex Maleev, comes out this week.  I haven’t been reading this yet because somehow I let it slip through my pull radar, but I love Bendis so I’m excited to check out this book.

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Finally, X-Factor #214, by Peter David, Emanuela Lupacchino, David Yardin, comes out this week and looks to have a similar purpose as the Captain America: A Little Help comic.  The basic premise is that the team is hired to find out the bullies that lead a high school student to commit suicide.  It’s possible this might be a bit too topical and/or preachy but I have complete faith in Peter David and am looking forward to seeing where they take this.  We also get to see a bit more of Darwin’s journey away from the team.

Other Marvel Pulls:

Avengers Academy #8 – By: Christos Gage, Mike McKone
Superior #4 (of 6) – By: Mark Millar, Lenil Francis Yu
Thor #619 – Written & illustrated by Tim Bradstreet
Wolverine & Jubilee #1 (of 4) – Written by Kathryn Immonen; Art by Phil Noto

X-Men: Legacy #244 – Written by Mike Carey; Pencils by Harvey Tolibao

Independents

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My biggest pull of the week is Dark Horse’s Buffy #40, the ‘season finale’ if you will of Season 8.  Written by Joss Whedon with pencils by Georges Jeanty, this book wraps up the ‘Last Gleaming’ storyline from the last five issues of the season. While I’m super excited to find out how this storyline wraps up, I’m even more excited about the fact that this issue is being released in conjunction with Buffy’s 30th Birthday.  In case you are not a huge Buffy fan (yet) you should come and join one of the official Dark Horse parties that are taking place in comic book shops across the country, or one of the three parties being thrown by GeekGirlCon, one in San Francisco, Los Angeles, & Seattle.  If nothing else, free birthday cake/cupcakes!

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The other book I’m super excited about this week is Archaia’s Cyclops #2, written by Matz with art by Luc Jacamon.  I’m loving this book so far.  It’s a great premise (a future world where the UN hires independent ‘security’ firms to provide soldiers for their wars and ‘peacekeeping missions’) and so far I love the way they are executing it (no pun intended).  With a premise that is so relevant to modern day issues the book runs the risk of being preachy but it really isn’t.  It’s interesting and fun and I’m really excited to see where they go with it.

Other Indy Pulls:
The Boys #50 (Dynamite) – Written by Garth Ennis; Penciller/Inker by Russ Braun
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #4 (of 6) (IDW)
Witchblade #141 (Top Cow) – By: Ron Marz, Stjepan Sejic
Fraggle Rock Vol. 2 #1 (of 3) (Archaia) – Written by Grace Randolph, Jake Forbes, Joe LeFavi; Art by Chris Lie, Mark Simmons, Ross Campbell, Katie Cook
Secret History Book 14 (Archaia) – By: Jean-Pierre Pecau, Igor Kordey, “Manchu, Olivier Vatine”

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My graphic novel pull of the week is an old one but I’m just now picking it up so it technically counts as my “pull of the week.”  I just bought The Sword Vol. 1: Fire which comes from Image comics and is written by the Luna Brothers.  I will have a more detailed review of it later in the week on Geeky Pleasures, but for now I’ll just say that I’m enjoying it.  The story followers Dara Brighton, a paraplegic young art student, and her life after her entire family is killed by three strangers that are looking for a sword.  The sword is more than just an average sword (at the very least it seems to have healing powers), and once Dara finds it she intends to do everything in her power to avenge her family’s death.  I like the art and I’m definitely engaged in the character of Dara and her story.  I haven’t finished the book yet but I’m definitely hooked.

Category: Comics, Featured

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