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.
You’re wondering if you should pick up Secret Wars #1 and the short answer is Yes. It’s certainly not without its flaws, but at the end of the day, Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic deliver some pretty serious goods considering the lather that Marvel worked us all into over this event. Cons: plenty of pages that aren’t story (you’ll see what I mean), still a tad too much poetic mumbo-jumbo by Hickman, and a slight whiff of Convergence-itis (the build-up to a story that has over stayed its welcome and is running in place rather than progressing.) But I stress “slight.” There’s lots of action, and I mean stakes-have-never-been-this-high-for-our-heroes-before action. It picks up right where both of Hickman’s Avengers books ended, but most anyone should be able to step into this series. All you need to know is that nearly every version of Earth in the MU has been destroyed. All that’s left is Earth 616 and Earth 1610 of the Ultimate universe. Now one of them must be annihilated so that the other can survive. There’s a thrilling desperation to the story, much more so than in your typical end-of-the-universe comic book scenario. I’m glad we don’t have to wait long for the second issue because the ending is certainly a tease.
Nailbiter has one of those titles that tends to conjure up images for readers who aren’t following it which are most likely inaccurate. Those readers have probably come to their own conclusions about the quality of Nailbiter based on that impression – an impression that may not even resemble what the book is truly about. I say this because I know I do it myself when it comes to certain books that I just haven’t gotten around to reading. But the series is a consistently satisfying mystery/horror book that stands out among many others in that genre being done right now. You can expect at least one shocker and a few twists & turns in every issue. This month’s is no exception. It’s the beginning of some insight into the town of Buckaroo’s history as well as the addition of a new faction in the town that threatens our heroes. Good stuff.
I’ll be honest, Dynamite is one of those publishers that I tend to dismiss. Between the artistic style they seem to embrace, the genres and characters, it’s just not my bag. But if they’re going to give us an event as ambitious as to include EVERY female character they have the rights to, and written by Gail Simone no less – well, I’m not made of stone. Frankly, Simone is the key to Swords of Sorrow because it could have been a real mess. But she exercises her unique trait of taking matters seriously and treating each character with respect while at the same time laughing with us at how ludicrous the circumstances are. Granted, it’s only the first issue, but the plot appears a little thin – perhaps appropriately pulpy for a bunch of pulpy characters. Simone smartens it up though and keeps it interesting as characters like Red Sonja, Vampirella, Jennifer Blood, and Kato, just to name a few, are gradually drawn together to combat a growing evil.
I was hoping for a lot more from Valiant’s new 4-issue limited series, Dead Drop, by Alex Kot. The covers are stunning and well designed. And the idea to use very different Valiant characters in each issue to tell one cohesive story sounds intriguing. But there’s not enough of a hook in the first issue. It’s one big foot chase. (With parkour, no less.) There’s some kind of conspiracy hinted at, but not in a very interesting way. X-O Manowar must recover a stolen virus. And… that’s about it.
Ah, Convergence. Here we are at week #5. I thought we were due to check back in with DC’s current mega event, seeing as if you want to read a DC book these days you’re pretty much resigned to a Convergence-related title. As far as the main series goes, not much has changed. There is much teasing – what is Telos’s true identity? – but little progress. Our heroes haven’t gotten much further than where they were in issue #1. There’s plenty of fighting in this story, and with Andy Kubert on art chores, that means that much space is occupied by big panels of fisticuffs and less room for plot. I’m a fan of Kubert, but I don’t think his wild pencils are well served by inker Sandra Hope. It’s an interesting contrast now that Secret Wars has begun in earnest, to look at the big two’s two big events. The good guys & bad guys in Convergence seem one-dimensional and of a by-gone era in the face of Marvel’s take on a similar idea. Say what you will about Hickman’s over-scienced, circular dialogue, but it has the virtue of being nuanced and layered with conflicted characters.
Which topic will win out at your local comic shop this week? Will it be what everyone thought of Avengers 2 or will it be the verdict on the Suicide Squad cast-in-costume reveal? I’m guessing that honey of a Harley Quinn costume, good or bad, will draw the most bees. Nerd rage… engage!
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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