It’s that time again, time for the greatest day of the week, New Comic Wednesday!
As we have previously reported, DC Comic’s New 52 is still dominating the sales numbers. Will Didio and crew be able to maintain this? Probably not. The hype is slowly dying down and pull lists will be trimmed, however so far there doesn’t seem to be any books on the verge of cancellation. It’s anyones guess when the axe will start to drop over at DC. One thing that is happening is most of the creative teams are ending their 6 month runs and its turning into a game of musical chairs.
Over on the Marvel side, their recent round of layoffs of editorial and production staff and shows that there is some serious belt tightening going on and its starting to hurt some books. Punisher Max is getting the axe, as Alpha Flight and one book we review this week. To boots some sales, the house of M has also decided to double ship some of the bigger books: Uncanny X-Force, Amazing Spider-Man, FF, etc. An interesting strategy. Rather than putting out more books worth reading, make readers double on on the few they buy?
Personally I think both companies are dancing with the devil. Let’s face it, comic book sales are just now starting to pick up again after a few years of slowly dropping. If they play the wrong card, it could crash again.
Anyway, enough of that lets move on to this weeks picks. The new Batman (that is, slightly younger but still all Batman) hits issue three and really starts to pick up. I inadvertently picked up a Marvel book they decided to cancel today, purely because I thought the cover reminded me of a nice childhood memory. We also check to really unique independents, and one of them is free!
Let’s get to the fast and dirty reviews!
|BATMAN #3||DC COMICS: Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art by GREG CAPULLO and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by GREG CAPULLO
The first two issues were fantastic, and Batman #3 keeps that going easily. I will do my best to not just rave about this one and blow smoke up Snyder and Capullo’s asses, but wow am I enjoying this one.
The basic arc is a recent stint of ‘owl murders’ have been happening, with this issue picking up right after a failed attempt on Bruce Waynes life by the mysterious Court of Owls, dramatically set high atop Wayne Tower. The plot is moving at a break neck speed, but you easily get swept up in it.
A artistic high point in the issue is a fast paced brawl with the Whisper Gang, Capullo’s style really shines here. You feel the impacts from frame to frame. Art so well done you can almost hear the wet smacking sound of fist hitting flesh.
Not to be out done, Snyder is writing exactly what a Batman book should be. His owl garbed antagonists, rich with details and a sense of history, are obviously well plotted out. The story stretches out over more than a century and is filled with murder and mystery. Damn it, this is good Batman.
Bat’s internal monologue serves as fantastic narration as he slowly starts to unravel who and what the Court of Owls is and what their plan is. The word ‘superstition’ is used a lot, and I know, if someone says they are going to write a Batman story with ‘superstition’ as a theme you’d call in hack and basic. Hell, Batman’s origin is based on it, but this story builds on and it and makes you feel it.
Damn this is well done and I am so very hooked.
VERDICT: Do I really have to say? Go. Buy this book. Read it. Now.
|X-23 #17||MARVEL COMICS: Story by Marjorie Liu
Art by Sana Takeda
Letters by Cory Petit
Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky
I will fully admit I bought this one purely because the cover is an homage to the movie Adventures in Babysitting and I am a sucker for things like that. I enjoyed the cover, and also what was on the inside.
X-23 is mostly a mystery to me, the character is from a time that I had mostly turned my back on comics and the very nature of the character is a turn off to me. Female clone of Wolverine, worlds deadliest blah blah blah. Any writer that can make a character based on such a cheap ploy interesting deserves their pay cheque. Very well done Marjorie Liu, well done indeed.
Here is the solicit: ‘An offer to join Wolverine collides with an offer from the FF and X-23 is forced to decide if she wants to continue her life as an assassin or take a break and see what it’s like to be a regular teenager.’ – If it sounds like a filler issue, yea I am guessing it kind of us. However I have always loved a good story about the in between times of all superheroics.
X-23 flips the bird to joining up with either of the X-Men teams and takes up a babysitting gig. Simple enough, except its for the kids of Reed and Sue Richards, and let’s say they are a little precocious (and obsessed with time travel).
Sana Takeda’s art is amazing and fluid in this book. I found the faces and body language very expressive and the whole feel of the book was warm and cool at the same time, the art for sure gets an A plus.
As for the writing? Like I said, I really enjoyed what Liu has done here, in fact I would not be opposed to picking up another issue or two (the ending has the kids getting carried off by some sort of transdimensional dragon, now that’s a cliff hanger kids) It is ironic that by the time I had read book and sat down to write this I saw that Marvel Comics had canceled the book and with that no longer have any regular monthly books written by women, which is a different discussion for a different day.
|VERDICT: Well, it was a great pick up issue, that’s for sure and now that the book is on its way out, I might even grab the last few.|
|ATOMIC ROBO AND THE GHOST OF STATION X #3||RED 5 COMICS: Written by Brian Clevinger, Art by Scott Wegener, Colors by Ronda Pattison, Letters by Jeff Powell|
Oh this is why I love new comics Wednesdays, the out of the blue find that makes me remember why I love comics so dearly. As with a lot of independents, its hard to find them on the shelves and when you do they might be weeks or months delayed from issue to issue so its hard to get on with one and stay on. At least for me.
Atomic Robo, I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth to continue to read this book. (or I will just go to the their website)
Here’s the basics, he is a a robot who’s also a scientist. He fights monsters, Nazis, a mobile pyramid once, the planet Mars kinda, and also Stephen Hawking (though that was more of a metaphorical battle). His arch enemies include a brain in a jar, a time traveling dinosaur who probably isn’t, and the spirit of Thomas Edison. That my friends is an awesome comic right there.
Issue #3 picks up after a daring mission to save some astronauts ended with a mid-space collision with a satellite that destroyed his craft, 30 hours of intense robo-surgery later he finds out the mission was a double cross, a set up meant to kill him.
Scott Wegener’s unique art has a great flow to it, crisp lines and a cartoony charm. The action moves nicely, the characters are very expressive and there is a nice hint of visual humor. Writing wise, Brian Clevinger has a great sense of humor, that is not just funny but knowing when are where to be. Case in point, between the pictures and the words, the lament of a robots inability to use a iPhone like touch screen gave me a wonderful little chuckle.
|VERDICT: I am fully on board with the adventures of Atomic Robo and his action scientists. Trust me, read this book, you can thank me later.|
|KNIGHTS OF THE LIVING DEAD #1||SLG PUBLISHING: Written by Ron Wolfe, Art By Dustin Higgins|
Closing off this weeks AotNCW is Knights of the Living Dead, as suggested by one of you. If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s zombies vs knights, Arthurian knights no less.
As far as independants go, this is damn independent. The first issue is available, for free, in digital form here. I will admit, I am officially getting to the point where ‘zombies vs_______’ makes my eyes roll back into my head and I make a slight gurgling sound as all desire to continue leaves my body. However, I have to say, this looks like the start of something good.
The story takes place in the court of King Arthur, just after most of the events covered in a million and one different ways. The mournful king has sentenced the adulterous Queen Guinievere to burn for her infidelity. This is really just for show because he fully expects her lover, Sir Lancealot to sweep in and rescue her. It all seems very fitting with classic Arthurian tales, I can dig it.
Merlin protests, calls for Arthur to close the gate to Camelot and stop the charade Not only is he risking actually burning Guinievere alive, but a plague known as the walking starvation approaches. After a brief history lesson about the disease (wonderfully rendered in a Bayeux Tapestry-esque style), well, it looks like Sir Lancelot shows up, and he just might be leading a big ass zombie army. Cliffhanger. yep, that’s what you get for free folks, but like I said before – While we are all trying to slowly dig ourselves out of the massive pile of zombie related media that’s been dumped on us this year, The Knights of the Living Dead has just a unique twist on it to stand out.
VERDICT: If you haven’t downloaded the book yet, do so now. For one, how many times do you get to download a comic book off the internet for free legally? For two, its a new twist on a couple of very well covered stories, give it a look and support some independants!
That’s it for this week on Attack of the New Comics Wednesday, don’t forget I’d love to hear what your reading and loving (and hating) fire off in the comments below and we’ll see you next week!