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It is with an extremely heavy heart (and lots of sad faces) that I have to announce that this is my last column for Nerd Bastards.  Nerd Bastards have been awesome in letting me contribute to this site for the last few months but sadly a lot of personal life changes have come up recently that are going to prevent me from being able to continue writing this column.  I’ve loved writing for Nerd Bastards and they have been nothing but amazingly awesome.  I will still be around, posting reviews and the like on Nerds in Babeland, and I hope to continue contributing to comic book discussion on Nerd Bastards via the comments sections in future comic book posts.  Thank you Nerd Bastards for this wonderful opportunity!  I will miss it!

That little bit of sadness aside, let’s get into this week’s news/pulls!  I was not able to make it to WonderCon and therefore do not have any awesome first-hand news of the events.  I would recommend Comic Book Resources‘ awesome archive of articles on all things WonderCon 2011.

In other news, Marvel announced that Steve Rogers will return as Captain America in July.  Captain America #1 will be written by Ed Brubaker with art from Steve McNiven.  Going hand-in-hand with this is the announcement that the current Captain America book will become “Captain America & Bucky” with issue #620.  Brubaker and Marc Andreyko plan to explore more of Bucky’s past with these issues, from WWII to the present.  All of this, of course, is build up to the Captain America movie which is also set to come out this July.  It’s a good time to be a Captain America fan…or is it? What are your thoughts on everything going on in the Captain America world? I’m new to this character so I’m not sure what to think about the movie and everything going on in Captain America’s comic book world.

On an entirely different note, Titan Comics announced that they will be releasing a comic book based on the popular animated series, Family Guy, starting July 27.  You can follow @FamilyGuyComic on Twitter for more information as it comes out.  Also in independent comic book news, Top Cow & 2K Games announced that they will be releasing Darkness II: The Confession on Free Comic Book Day.  This book is meant to tie-in with the upcoming Darkness II video game being released in Fall 2011.  It will help introduce new fans to the character of Jackie Estacado, the bearer of The Darkness, and will be written by Filip Sablik, with art from Artifacts team Michael Broussard and Sunny Gho.

Now, the pulls!

DC/Vertigo

The biggest pull this week from DC is probably Brightest Day #23, written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi with art by Ivan Reis, Pat Gleason, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark and Joe Prado.  I will be honest and admit that I’m not reading this series because, well, I can’t follow everything, but this issue is supposedly approaching (or part of) the beginning of the end.  The summary provided by comiXology states that this issue will answer the mystery of the return of the heroes and the secrets of the white forest.  And Firestorm will fight Deadman.  Since I can’t follow everything, I’ll throw this pull back at you guys/gals, the readers.  Have you been following Brightest Day? What have you loved about it?

My personal big pull of the week is (shock!) Jonah Hex #66, written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti with art and cover by Fiona Staples.  One word: cannibalism!  I can’t wait to see Jonah’s attitude and general badassery interact with cannibals trying to eat him.  Addtionally, I’m loving the art from Fiona Staples (from the preview pages).  It is much more sketch-like with beautiful use of foreground and background in order to make the characters stand-out from the environment around them.  Yet again, I beg, if you love a good anti-hero and aren’t picking them up yet, check out Jonah Hex.  As I’ve mentioned many times, you can pretty much pick-up the story with any issue as they are almost all standalone stories.  Even better, if you find that you don’t have enough money to pick one up one month, you can probably pick it up the next month without missing a beat.

Okay, done preaching about how much I love Jonah Hex and onto praising Gail Simone.  My final DC pull of the week is Secret Six #32, written by Gail Simone with art from J. Calafiore.  This week the team has found out the not-so-pleasant conditions required to bring a loved one back from Hell.  The question remains of who has the card and who are they going to bring back.  Again, since this is my last post I figure I will put in one last plea for you to pick up Secret Six or, really, any book by Gail Simone.  Simone is not only an awesome writer but she is a female comic book writer. There aren’t nearly enough women writing books for the Big Two (DC, Marvel) so I feel it is my duty as a female comic book nerd to show some love to a fellow female comic book nerd who not only managed to break into an extremely tough business but also kicks ass at it. Whether it is Birds of Prey or Secret Six, just check something out from Simone.

Other Pulls

Batman Beyond #4 – Written by Adam Beechen; Art by Eduardo Pansica and Eber Ferreira
Freedom Fighters #8 – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray; Art by Travis Moore & Trevor Scott
House of Mystery #36 – Written by Matthew Sturges; Art by Luca Rossi & Jose Marzan, Jr. and Darwyn Cooke
Izombie #12 – Written by Chris Roberson; Art by Gilbert Hernandez
Superman/Batman Annual #5 – Written by James Robinson; Art and cover by Miguel Sepulveda
Sweet Tooth #20 – Written by Jeff Lemire; Art and cover by Jeff Lemire

Marvel

Probably the biggest pull this week for me in general is Fear Itself #1, written by Matt Fraction with pencils and cover from Stuart Immonen.  We’ve had our little prologue to this story from Brubaker in Fear Itself: Book of the Skull #1, but this week Fraction finally officially kicks off the big Marvel event of the year.  We didn’t learn that much about the actual Fear Itself event from Brubaker’s book, unfortunately, so I’m really excited to see what this book has to offer.  We know that we have a new Red Skull, Sin, and that Sin has some big plans.  Seriously though, at this point, I just want to know what is up with this event.  It’s the same tag line over and over again and I think it sounds awesome so I can’t wait to see what happens when Fear personified interacts with the Marvel Universe.  I’ve enjoyed Fraction’s work with Marvel so far and the event seems to tap into something incredibly relevant to our modern times.  I’m just ready to read it.

Another big pull from Marvel this week is Avengers: The Childrens Crusade #5 (of 9), written by Allan Heinberg with art and cover by Jim Cheung.  The war around the fate of the Scarlet Witch has begun! Magneto fights Doctor Doom while the Young Avengers take on the Avengers.  This is going to sound somewhat soap-operaish but, let’s face it, it kind of is.  Scarlet Witch is considered by many to be responsible for mutant genocide after her powers were responsible for the vast majority of the mutant population of the world to lose their powers (House of M).  In other words, she’s not that popular in the Marvel Universe.  Turns out, however, that she has lost her powers and memories and is about to marry Doctor Doom (see, sounds like a soap opera).  Wolverine tries to kill her but it doesn’t work so well and that’s where we left off last week on Avengers: The Childrens Crusade (heh).  All joking aside, the last time Scarlet Witch was seen in the Marvel Universe she did some serious damage so I’m actually really excited to see where this story ends.  I doubt it can end in quite as big of a way as it did last time but it should be interesting nevertheless.

Finally, we have yet another point one issue from Marvel.  This time it’s Uncanny X-Men #534.1, written by Kieron Gillen, with pencils & cover by Carlos Pacheco.  Since I’m an X-girl first-and-foremost, I have to promote the ‘jumping off’ point for newbies getting into the X-Men.  I will be one of the first to acknowledge that the X-Universe is probably one of the most difficult to get into for a new comic book reader.  There are so many characters that come and go, die and resurrect, go bad and go good.  It’s not an easy time-line to follow.  That’s why I’m excited about the prospect of an issue that will make things easier for new readers to get into the X-Men.  Slightly skeptical because it’s not as though they can erase all of the past or explain it all in one simple issue, but excited nonetheless.  This issue explores the fact that Magneto has joined the X-Men (again).  While Magneto could very well have good intentions, his evil past precedes him so this isn’t going to be an easy one for the average American to swallow.  Starting with a Magneto storyline is probably the best place for a new X-Men reader to start, so I would definitely recommend checking this book out if you have been considering jumping into this world for awhile but not knowing where to start.

Other Pulls

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38 – Written by John Layman; Penciled by Lee Garbett
Emma #2 (of 5) – Written by Nancy Butler; Art by Janet Lee
Fear Itself: Home Front #1 (of 7) – Written by Christos Gage, Peter Milligan & More! Penciled by Mike Mayhew, Elia Bonetti & More
Heroes for Hire #5 – Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning; Penciled by Robert Atkins
Ultimate Comics Captain America #4 (of 4) – Written by Jason Aaron; Pencils & Cover by Ron Garney

Independent

As I mentioned in a previous post, Image has a handful of new comics coming out that are really kicking ass, including The Intrepids.  Therefore this week’s indy pull of the week goes to The Intrepids #2, by Kurtis J Wiebe and Scott Kowalchuck. First of all, battling baboons.  Really, that should be reason enough to check out this new series.  If you need more, the art is fabulous and the writing is hilarious and solid.  The first issue set up a handful of great characters that set out to save the world from mad scientists and I can’t wait to see where Wiebe takes them.  If you are looking for a fun, new indy mini-series I would definitely recommend checking out The Intrepids.  It’s only 6 issues and, again, battling baboons (and the first issue had a cyber-gorilla!)

Other Pulls

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #2 (Dark Horse) – Writer: Malachai Nicolle; Artist: Ethan Nicolle
The Boys #53 (Dynamite) – By: Garth Ennis, John McCrea, Tony Avina, Darick Robertson
Charismagic #1 (Aspen) – Written by: Vince Hernandez; Art by Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez
Chew #18 (Image) – By: John Layman, Rob Guillory
Nonplayer #1 (of 6) (Image) – By: Nate Simpson
Orc Stain #6 (Image) – By: James Stokoe

My final graphic novel recommendation to you is something of a plea for everyone to read one of my favorite graphic novels of all time.  It didn’t recently get re-released and, honestly, most of you have probably already read it but since this is my last column I felt as though I should go out with one of my favs.  V for Vendetta is what made me fall in love with graphic novels.  I grew up reading the X-Men comics and The Sandman was what made me get back into comics (and also remains one of my favorite series of all time) but Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta made me swoon.  I don’t want to talk about the movie (even though I acknowledge that lots of people love it).  It isn’t horrible but it also isn’t for me. The book, on the other hand, explored issues of sexuality, gender, and identity in such a complex and gorgeous manner that it still haunts me to this day.  Every time I re-read it I get something new out of the text.  It didn’t hurt that I read it while I was knee-deep in applying to graduate school in popular culture/film/television studies and the book was a rich text full of ideas to dissect.  Putting that aside, however, the book is also a fun adventure ride with breathtaking art from David Lloyd. If you loved the movie but never read the book, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It’s a single standalone story and is worth every bit of the 20-some dollars that it will cost.  If you’ve never seen the movie or read the book, I’ll admit that I’m biased and think you should read the book first but to each his-or-her own.

There you have it.  My final recommendation to you.  I can go on forever about other graphic novels you should pick up (The Sandman series, The Invisibles, Lucifer, Arkham Asylum, Death: The High Cost of Living, etc) but I’m going to end it on V for Vendetta.  That seems fitting enough.  Just go pick up new comic books as often as you can.  Please?  kthxbye

 

Category: Comics, Featured

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