Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers, Jake here from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bag and boarded professional. My passion (and business) is to read, write about and sell comics. In an alliance forged in the stars, The Hall of Comics will be dropping by Nerd Bastards weekly, to bring you the latest word and the weeks best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out what latest comic titles you should be reading.
Are there releases out this week not published by Marvel? Yes. But even the most strident Marvel hater would have to agree that between the marketing juggernaut that brought you Mickey Mouse and story lines that keep us curious, the publisher pretty much owns the first week of 2015. So let’s just cut to the chase and cover the books that most of you are most likely wondering about.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 is certainly not to my tastes, but this book fills a need in the market. It’s light and humorous without being silly. I hesitate to use the word “cute” because it has demeaning connotations, but it’s cute. I have a hard time imagining an audience for this book other than younger readers, but as a retailer I can tell you that we need more books like this. Even tho’ it’s not rated “All Ages”, I’d be comfortable recommending this for someone’s 12 year old daughter, and there still aren’t too many books like that in the superhero genre.
Fans of Wolverine and the Marvel Universe in general should try Wolverines. It spins out of all the “Death of Wolverine” titles, but don’t be put off if you haven’t been keeping up. The title page fills us in nicely, and it’s all action after that. (Altho’ recent developments with Sabertooth in Axis were oddly omitted.) The premise is a race to recover Logan’s adamantium-encased corpse, with several factions vying for the treasure. Nick Bradshaw’s simple lines are easy on the eyes and always make me think of Art Adams, but others might find him too much on the cartoony side for a story entitled “Wolverines.” The fact that it’s by the original Death of Wolverine scribe, Charles Soule, will bring me back to see where this goes.
Ant-Man #1 is by far the pick of this bunch. My read benefited from not knowing what to expect and simply being curious. I feel as tho we’re getting much the same material that will be in the movie, but in a style tailored for regular readers who are familiar with the MU. Nick Spencer’s writing is funny without being cute and has a lot of heart. Ramon Rosanas’s art suits the the Scott Lang character and doesn’t use a lot of flash-bang that a pedestrian capes-n-tights book would. I really enjoyed Spencer’s nod to typical comic book tropes as a way to tell us how this book won’t be like that. A home run in the first issue – hard to do.
Not much of a surprise to find Amazing Spider-Man #12 on here. It continues the very satisfying adventure that we’ve come to expect from Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse storyline. I wanted to mention it tho’ because of a couple of character introductions. One is simply a lot of fun and a great example of why this story has been so successful. It’s a big one visually, and happens early in the book. The other one is big in a different way and happens at the end. Stay off the interwebs, don’t talk to your friends about it, and don’t skip to the last page. Just put this one at the top of your reading pile. If it’s not a surprise for you, it might seem hokey – GAH, I’ve said too much already.
Operation S.I.N. #1 might be one of the few examples of Marvel’s marketing machine dropping the ball, because it should have been called “Agent Carter”. As it is, I expect a lot of people are going to overlook this pulpy, espionage adventure very much in the style of the Marvel films. In fact, if they’d done a movie featuring Carter and Howard Stark rather than a TV show, it’d be exactly like this. Kathryn Immonen gives us a great opening sequence and it helped me get over my misgivings about the premise. Rich Ellis’s art makes me think more of today’s indie books from Boom! and Oni rather than MU, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Believe me, I never intended my first post to leave you with the impression that I’m a Marvel zombie. I could just as easily have covered the intriguing Lady Killer by Dark Horse, or 2 of my favorite books on the stands today, Deadly Class and Men of Wrath. But I find that indie titles are becoming more of a sure thing, while it’s the big 2 who often produce a huge hit or a massive miss. It’ll be interesting to see if the buzz around the Ant-Man movie does anything for the book’s sales and how the book will influence what we think of the movie. Either way, there’s no denying that Marvel continues to hold our attention when it comes to the world of comics.
Alright kiddies, that’s it for me this week. Tune in next week for another addition of “Meanwhile at The Hall of Comics”. Wanna know what else is out this week? Check out the full list of releases at The Hall of Comics NEW RELEASE page HERE.
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