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.
Full disclosure time, folks. Due to the snowpocalypse of 2015, I have not read any of this week’s new releases. Now, I know I’ve only been on this column a few weeks, but I think we’re all good friends enough that I can ask you to trust my judgement. Here’re the titles that I’m most anticipating, based on their track record, or in the case of new books, their pedigree.
Let’s start with an easy one, Batman #38. After a luke warm response to his previous story arc, Zero Year, writer Scott Snyder got his mojo back and has been hitting it out of the park with each installment of Endgame, the current Joker tale. If last issue was any indication, this fourth installment promises to be further proof that everyone’s favorite agent of chaos is the most terrifying, brilliant, and unpredictable villain in comics today. There’ve already been sneak peeks online of the Commish wielding an axe as he attacks Batman, overcome by Joker’s toxin. In characteristic fashion, Greg Capullo’s pencils render these scenes frightening and elegant at the same time. Even if you don’t like DC, even if you don’t like Batman, treat yourself to a superhero book unlike anything else that the big two are doing right now – track down a copy #35 (as good a jumping on point as any) and start reading Endgame.
Downshifting a bit to a brand new book from Image, Dying and the Dead. They describe it as “high adventure meets end-of-life care. It’s Indiana Jones for Old People. There are no fedoras, only bedpans.” If that tagline’s not enough to pique your interest, maybe this will: It’s written by Jonathan Hickman who’s given us East of West, Manhattan Projects, an epic run on Fantastic Four, and the magnum opus that the Avengers titles have been over the past few years. He’s also the architect of the much-hyped Secret Wars event for Marvel. So I’m excited to see what he’ll do on another of his creator-owned projects that sounds like it’s on a smaller scale and maybe more character driven. Heads-up, the first issue is $4.50 but you get a whopping 60 pages. So there’s that.
The new Thor series (yes, the one with “lady Thor”, but it sounds like everyone has gone back to saying simply “Thor”) has impressed me greatly with each of its three issues so far. This week’s #4 will should be no exception considering that it’s being touted as the face-off between classic Thor and new Thor when the Odinson makes his return. Jason Aaron can do no wrong, whether he’s writing the Cormac McCarthy-esque Men of Wrath or something more fantastical, like Original Sin. We still have no clue as to the new Thor’s identity, but we stopped caring about that as soon as Aaron turned this book up to 11. She’s got a kick-ass attitude, the villains are spectacular, Russell Dauterman’s art fits the story like a glove, and I feel as tho’ I’ve actually gotten my money’s worth at the end of each issue. (Alright, so I don’t have to actually pay for these ’cause I own my own store, but you know what I mean.)
Life After is just strange enough to have held my attention through the first 5 issues, so I’ll be getting #6 this week. (A great week to jump on this series, btw – the first volume also comes out for only $9.99.) Imagine a purgatory for all the people who’ve died by suicide, but it’s run by bureaucrats and demons governed by strict rules. Our everyman-protagonist winds up there in the first issue after ending his life and quickly partners with Ernest Hemingway who becomes his tour guide. Partly an adventure, it’s a love story of sorts, as well. The hero is in search of a woman, a fellow suicide, whose fate he believes himself responsible for. The book is funny in a subtle, dark, Terry Gilliam-kind of way and Gabo’s art, full of bizarre imaginations, completes that analogy.
Some other titles that might be hit-or-miss, but that I’m also too curious about to pass up, are:
• The Multiversity Guidebook – $8, but it’s a staggering 80 pages of Grant Morrison’s ramblings about everything there is to know about DC’s multiversity. It could be a big, steaming mess, but it could also be bat-s*** crazy brilliant. Remember, this is Morrison’s same project that gave us one of last year’s single greatest issues, Pax Americana.
• Deathstroke #4 – Easily DC’s most violent book, it’s Deadpool without the humor. There’s a little too much navel gazing by the world’s most dangerous mercenary for my tastes, but hopefully the guest appearance of Harley Quinn in this issue will shake things up a bit. That pairing alone ought to make you check this issue out.
• Uncanny Avengers #1 – I was a big fan of the first Uncanny Avengers series – Rick Remender’s writing and Daniel Acuna’s art were like jelly on toast. And the team had an interesting, usually tense dynamic. Other than the roster change, not sure why there’s a reboot – the creative team is the same. Anyway, it’s an otherwise logical progression. Remender gets to address the fallout from AXIS which he also wrote. And seeing as how Havok was one of the team’s founding members and was then left changed by the events in AXIS, there’s logical continuity here – something that’s getting harder & harder to find in Marvel & DC.
That list ought to motivate you to dig yourself out of the snow and make tracks to the nearest comic dealer. If you didn’t get any snow, then your life is pretty safe and boring and you’ll definitely want some new comics to spice things up.
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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