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.
Maybe it was the entire bag of vegan chocolate chips I scarfed down while reading, but this week’s picks were particularly stimulating. I do loves me some Mark Millar so let’s begin with Jupiter’s Circle. “Ugh, is that the prequel to Jupiter’s Children, the book that was late all the time? So now he can put out another book that’ll be late, too? Great.” Hey, Debbie Downer – take your mediocre twice-a-month titles and go sit in the corner. Now that I’ve expertly rebuffed concerns about Mr Millar’s schedule deadlines, let’s the address the book’s actual merits. Deconstructing the superhero genre and depicting people in capes as dealing with real world issues isn’t as groundbreaking as it was when Watchmen or Animal Man came out, but nobody does it better than Millar. It’s what made his KickAss and Ultimates the fan-favorites that they are. He successfully does it again with Jupiter’s Circle, this time during Herbert Hoover’s era of the Red Scare and homophobia. You don’t need to have read Jupiter’s Children to pick this up – the first issue makes a fresh start and drew me in immediately. There are definitely some Watchmen overtones here, but that’s a point in the book’s favor. There’s a lot to like here, including Wilfedo Torres’s art. Originally, I was disappointed that Frank Quitely wasn’t returning, but Torres quickly made me a fan of his solid, crisp shapes that perfectly suit the era. A little bit Chris Spouse, a little bit Mike Allred, but with enough realism to carry the drama. I enjoyed the book so much that if #2 is late, I don’t mind waiting.
Pretend that Ant-Man #4 doesn’t have the coolest cover of the week. Pretend that I haven’t already lauded this book here already. Just start reading Ant-Man if you like good things. Nick Spencer knows how to write a smart, funny story that feels familiar while still being original. Fans of The Venture Brothers (and everyone else) will enjoy Spencer’s approach to D-list super villains. One of Daredevil’s old heavies, Machinesmith, joins the book with hilarious effect. Spencer’s ability to milk a joke for all its worth is demonstrated when we learn the down-and-out bad guy is working children’s birthday parties. Scott Lang’s personal trials and tragedies get buried in this issue, but that’s okay. The failed husband and father aspect needs a rest once in a while, lest its belabored rather than striking a sincere tone the way Spencer has done so far. Along with Thor, Ant-Man continues to be one of my very favorite Marvel titles.
As a child of the eighties, I was the target audience for Todd McFarlane’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and Spawn. But I was never a particular fan of either. So when I say that I was impressed with Savior, his new series from Image, you’ll know it’s not out of nostalgia. In fact, Savior doesn’t especially bear any sign of McFarlane’s previous written work. I was impressed with the heavy subject matter – faith, the role of the media today – and the ambitious way that he weaves them together. It’s too early to tell if the attempt is successful, but I’m hard pressed to think of many other comic books in recent memory that include such weighty issues in an exciting, mysterious story. Our protagonist is not the title character, but a female journalist who’s returned to her home town for a public appearance. She’s just in time for a catastrophic event that will reveal a mysterious figure who may or may not be someone who appears in the Bible. Brian Holguin’s art is really quite beautiful – I loved his soft, painterly style with muted colors. Looking back on the story, tho’, I wonder if someone with a less-dreamlike quality might have better suited the book’s drama.
I don’t know if I’ve ever recommended a book based solely on the art, but I will in the case of The Legacy of Luther Strode. I first became aware of Tradd Moore through his work on Marvel’s All New Ghost Rider. But he’d already collaborated with writer Justin Jordan on the first two Luther Strode series. If I’d read those, I might see more in the story, feel more about the characters. There isn’t a whole lot of interest or take-away for me in the plot of this book. But that didn’t bother me. Almost all of this issue is one big chase scene. And Moore’s art makes it unlike anything I expect you’ve seen in comics before. “Kinetic” doesn’t quite describe the effect that he achieves. Moore’s lines have lines. And the lines that describe motion are given the same importance as the lines that describe solid objects. Aside from that style, his storytelling and composition are singular in that he often depicts the moment slightly after the zenith of an action. It’s a subtle touch that I didn’t notice right away, but wholly appreciated once I did. The result is that events happen faster for the reader and heighten the sense of motion. I highly recommend picking up this book, if only to see an example of why comics are unlike any other medium. This is an example of a book that couldn’t be authentically translated into a movie or television show.
Hey, remember how Convergence #0 came out last week? Well, now the much-hyped DC event really begins with Convergence #1. Additionally, the first batch of the 40 different, character-driven two issue series are on the shelf. In the core series, we see heroes from Injustice Gods Among Us and Earth 2 subject to Telos, the sentient world whose enormous experiment is the basis for the series. He announces to every reality we’ve ever seen in DC Comics that each of their respective heroes must now battle for their worlds’ survival. It’s an exciting idea for the fan boy in me and I can’t wait for all these different characters to meet. I said, I can’t wait for all these different characters to meet. Seriously, once Convergence is done beginning, I’m gonna be excited for it. I’m a big DC fan from way back and I’m eager to see a lot of the promised characters revisited. Now we just need to get to it. (Did I say how much chocolate I’ve had?) At the risk of being snarky to Messrs King & Lobdell, I can’t help but wonder if the Convergence event would’ve been better served by putting DC history savant, Geoff Johns at the helm.
This week’s Deadpool is supposedly the character’s 250th comic (I’ll let you Deadheads do the math.), and very special death-of, final issue. So anyone who’s interested is gonna buy it regardless of what I say. But have ya seen the photos from the set of the Deadpool movie?! As weird as it sounds, I’ve never read a solo Deadpool story. But I’m getting excited for this movie, if for no other reason than the fact that Hollywood finally deemed a superhero costume fit for film without muting the colors or making it entirely out of black leather. From what we can see of the wardrobe and Ryan Reynolds makeup, this could be a trend toward comic book movies being even truer to the source material. Whattaya think?
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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