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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 this week, besides all the trailers released during the Super Bowl, is that San Diego Comic Con tickets went on sale on Saturday and sold out…on Saturday.  I have never been happier about my decision to stand in a line than I am with regards to the fact that I bought my SDCC tickets last year at the convention.  The line wasn’t that bad when I waited in it (probably only 30 minutes long) and I was able to avoid all the pain and frustration that everyone went through this year when trying to buy their tickets online.  Sadly, I imagine the line to buy tickets at the convention is going to be disgusting this year so I’m just going to go there first thing and get it over with.  I’m sure I’ll be the only one to think of doing that…right?

This week we also got a couple of nifty preview covers for the “Fear Itself” event that will be going down in the Marvel Universe in April 2011.  First we saw the Steve McNiven cover for the first issue, featuring Wolvie, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America, and then this week we got a teaser for “Fear Itself: Book of the Skull“.  The cover image came with a little information on the event, while the teaser for “Book of the Skull”, came with nothing more than the tagline of “Find Out How It All Begins” (and of course the teaser image, which heavily features Red Skull).  From the teaser that came out with the Steve McNiven cover, we know that Fear Itself will involve a battle where the Avengers are forced to deal with a new Red Skull, Sin, and with their worst fears (hence, you know, the name).  The images look amazing so far and Matt Fraction is writing (with Ed Brubaker writing the “Book of Skull”) so I’m extremely excited about this Marvel event.  Yup, I’ve bought into the hype.  So sue me.

Finally, in some rather different news, Congressman John Lewis has signed on with Top Shelf Productions to co-author a graphic novel called March. This graphic novel will focus on Congressman Lewis’s experience during the Civil Rights Movement, everything from his time as Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to his experience leading over 600 protesters on the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, that ended in “Bloody Sunday” when they were be attacked by state troopers.  Congressman Lewis was instrumental to many moments throughout the Civil Rights Movement and he is eager to share his story via this graphic novel.  This graphic novel will also mark the first time a sitting Member of Congress has written a graphic novel.  I’m really excited about this book.  I believe graphic novels and comic books are a great, unique way to teach children not only how to read but also other important educational topics, such as historical moments, literary works, or even scientific concepts.

PULLS FOR THE WEEK

DC/Vertigo:

My big DC pull of the week is Birds of Prey #9, written by Gail Simone with art by Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes.  The Death of Oracle storyline continues with the outcome of Black Canary being touched by Mortis (and therefore being forced to confront every regret/bad decision she’s made in her life).  As I mentioned last month, I love this book and I love what Gail Simone is doing with it.  Plus, you know, she had Huntress call Mortis “emo” last week.  I don’t know why, but it never gets old…making fun of emo people that is.  We also get to see what happens with Dove being taken in to The Calculator and how Oracle is going to fix her plan now that it didn’t quite go the way she wanted it.

Another big DC pull is Superman #708, written by J. Michael Straczynski (more like, story by) & Chris Roberson with art by Eddy Barrows & J.P. Mayer.  This week Superman gets to meet the brand new Wonder Woman, and they have their hands full fighting Keres.

In the Vertigo side of the DC Universe, The Unwritten #22 comes out, written by Mike Carey with art from Peter Gross & Vince Locke.  I’m not caught up (because I read these via TPB), but the description of it from Comixology sounds awesome and it’s pretty amazing that a non-mainstream super hero book has almost 1000 pulls listed on Comixology.  Granted, The Walking Dead has that pretty regularly, but this just shows how popular (read: awesome) The Unwritten is.  In this issue, Tom “breaks” Moby Dick.  Heh.  I love it.  Also, the stairway to nowhere (or at least the one that seemed to never end) reappears in this issue.  I actually remember this because it’s in issue #2 so if you’re relatively new to The Unwritten (or just reading the TPB) then you’ll know what they’re talking about and should be as excited as I am.

Other Pulls

Adventure Comics #523 – Written by Paul Levitz; Art by Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning
Batgirl #18 – Written by Bryan Q. Miller; Art and Cover by Dustin Nguyen
Batman & Robin #20 – Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Patrick Gleason & Mark Irwin
The Flash #9 – Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Francis Manapul
Justice League: Generation Lost #19 – Written by Judd Winick; Art by Joe Bennett
Red Robin #20 – Written by Fabian Nicieza; Art and Cover by Marcus To & Ray McCarthy

Marvel:

The Marvel pull that I’m most excited about for this week is New Avengers #9, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art from Mike Deodato & Howard Chaykin.  It’s the same team that brought us Dark Avengers, and this time they’re bringing us the story of Nick Fury before S.H.I.E.L.D.  The preview pages look amazing (art and story wise), and Bendis rarely lets me down.  Plus, I’ve never followed Nick Fury’s story as closely as I probably should so this will be an fun change for me.

Also coming out this week from Marvel is Osborn #3, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, with art from Emma Maria Rios Maneiro.  First of all, I’m loving the art work in this series.  It’s that classic, sketch style that is typically hit-or-miss for me with a lot of books but I really love for this particular series.  I’ve also really enjoyed this mini-series because I generally love stories that focus on super villains (because, again, nice change of pace), but also because DeConnick has been rocking this series.  If you aren’t reading this series I understand not wanting to get into it now (because it’s almost over), but it is definitely worth checking out the TPB when it comes out.

And finally, it’s a big week for Wolverine, with both Wolverine #1000 & Wolverine #5.1 coming out.  Wolverine #1000 will be a super-sized issue written by Rick Spears, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Simmons, Vince Hernandez & Sarah Cross, with pencils by Tim Green, Rafa Garres, Mike Ryan, Luke Ross & Joao Lemos.  Yup, that is a lot of people.  I don’t actually read Wolverine regularly, but I want to get this issue (yet again proving I have no backbone and will easily buy into hype).  I love Palmiotti and Spears and I’m excited to see how all these artists/authors work together.  Wolverine #5.1, written by Jason Aaron with art from Jefte Palo, also comes out this week.  It follows the recent Marvel trend of .1 issues by providing a starting off point for people new to this comic.  This issue follows Wolverine’s birthday (which, shockingly, he’s not a big fan of celebrating) and a party planned by Wolverine’s new girlfriend with the X-Men & the Avengers.  It should be a fun issue, and if you’ve been interested in getting into Wolverine, this would be a great place to start.

Other Pulls

Amazing Spider-Man #654 – By: Dan Slott, Stefano Caselli
Black Panther: Man Without Fear #515 – By: David Liss, Francesco Francavilla, Simone Bianchi Casanova: Gula #2 (of 4) – By: Matt Fraction, Fabio Moon
Incredible Hulks #622 – Written by Greg Pak; Penciled by Paul Pelletier; Cover by Carlo Pagulayan
Secret Warriors #24 – Written by Jonathan Hickman; Penciled by Alessandro Vitti
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #153 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Pencils & Cover by Sara Pichelli & David Lafuente
X-Factor #215 – Written by Peter David; Penciled by Emanuela Lupacchino

Independents:

The big independent pull of the week is The Walking Dead #81, by Robert Kirkman, Adlard, Cliff Rathburn.  Again, I can’t say much about this because I’m not 100% caught up, but if you’re not reading this series yet, go pick up the compendium.  OR, even better, Image is being awesome and re-publishing each individual issue of this series over the course of 2011.  This week they’re re-printing The Walking Dead #6, but I imagine you can still find the first 5 if you want.  I don’t think I need to say much more about this series.  It is awesome. You should be reading it:

Other Indy Pulls

Green Hornet #13 (Dynamite)- By: Phil Hester, Jonathan Lau
Incognito: Bad Influences #3 (Icon) – Written by Ed Brubaker; Pencils by Sean Phillips
Twenty-Seven #3 (of 4) (Image) – By: Charles Soule, Renzo Podesta, W Scott Forbes
Hack/Slash Ongoing #1 (Image) – By: Tim Seeley, Dan Leister
The Secret History Omnibus Vol. 2 HC (Archaia) – Written by Jean-Pierre Pecau; Art by Igor Kordey

My graphic novel suggestion for the week is really kind of an open call to everyone to go pick up a Jonah Hex graphic novel.  I’m currently reading Counting Corpses (and will have my weekly graphic novel review up on Geeky Pleasures by the end of the week), but really you can pick up any Jonah Hex graphic novel.  It’s an awesome, classic Western series, and I’m a person that doesn’t even really like Westerns.  It is nothing like the movie, so if you don’t like the movie, please don’t hold that against the series.  Jonah Hex is a bounty hunter that has no problem shedding a lot of blood, and every issue pretty much involves him going after some bounty.  It’s just a lot of fun and really well-written.  Another reason to check out a Jonah Hex novel is the same thing that I’ve said many times in this series of posts, which is that almost all of the issues are standalone.  You can pick up almost any book and still figure out what is going on.  You don’t need to start with any particular graphic novel, and it is incredibly affordable.  Keep an eye out for a longer review later on this week, but for now, go check something Jonah Hex-related out.  Just…not the movie.

Category: Comics, Featured

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