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.
Cyborg #1 picks up where a free 8-page digital sneak peek left off. In it, Victor Stone and the Justice League are ambushed by a squad of aliens called the Tekbreakers. They demand that Cyborg return something he’s stolen. To the horror of his teammates, the aliens dismember Cyborg and leave with his heart. Thinking him dead, the JL watch as his cybernetic body repairs itself and replaces his missing body parts. Much of this first issue is spent at S.T.A.R. Labs, as Vic & company try to figure out his new body and its technology. DC fans already know how good artist Ivan Reis is on big name books like Aquaman. There’s not quite enough for him to do in this first issue, as there’s a fair amount of soul-searching by Vic in regards to the relationship with his father. That should change soon enough, as we find out that the Tekbreakers had enemies who are coming for the same tech.
I wish that Weirdworld was an ongoing series beyond Secret Wars. In this second issue, Jason Aaron delivers on expectations he fostered in #1, using odd, nearly forgotten fantasy characters from Marvel’s long history. Mike Del Mundo’s art is clearly a good match, with its dreamlike quality and fluid layers. High praise to Marco D’Alfonso as well, who worked with Del Mundo to achieve the spectacular colors we don’t normally see, even in today’s sophisticated comics. Saying anything about this issue’s plot would give away the re-introduction of an old character, but if you liked the first Weirdworld, rest assured that you won’t be disappointed.
In a week without much happening in the indie department, Wolf is a pleasant surprise. It’s $4.99, but there are no ads and it’s oversize – to the point where I felt as if I’d read an entire limited series when I was done. It’s got some tropes that we’ve seen before – a paranormal investigator who himself is a paranormal, supernatural entities like vampires existing in everyday society as if it’s totally normal – but done very well. The writing and the art are both sparse. I often found myself re-reading passages to find the subtleties that writer Ales Kot was getting at. It could be described as the supernatural version of “The Big Lebowski” or “The Long Goodbye”, as investigator Antoine Wolfe navigates the seedy neighborhoods of LA.
There’s nothing about the new DC animated movie, Justice League: Gods & Monsters, that interests me. So I wasn’t sure what to think of the first comic book prequel, the Batman one-shot. As a Batman fan, I thought it would hook me into this new narrative developed by Bruce Timm. It’s a dark book without a lot of hope – perhaps best described as a monster or horror book. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the old EC comics. There’s no Bruce Wayne and no superheroes. Instead, it’s Kirk Langstrom who becomes a vampire rather than a Man-Bat and then preys on the underworld. If you’re not a fan of vampires, don’t worry – that aspect is downplayed. The tone is set perfectly with art by Matthew Dow Smith, which reminded me of work by Alex Maleev and Michael Gaydos – moody with heavy, stylish inks. The book intrigued me enough that I’ll definitely check out the other upcoming comic prequels for Gods & Monsters.
Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #1 is an odd book – -which should no longer be a surprise when it comes to any of the Secret Wars series. It’s part Casablanca, part Guardians of the Galaxy, told as a Disney cartoon. Unlike most characters we’ve seen reborn on Battleworld, Peter Quill is aware of what’s happened. Remember: he escaped the destruction of the Marvel Universe in a life raft that Reed Richards constructed. Now he’s trying to fit into his new reality as a lounge act singing Disney tunes every night to impressed crowds of young ladies. Kitty Pryde, however, knows only her reality as an ambassador for Valeria Von Doom and can’t imagine why this stranger is suddenly kissing her. This could get very interesting if one of Doom’s court decides to further investigate a witness of how Battleworld truly came to be.
It’s a small week for new releases, so here’re a few titles you may have overlooked that I recommend adding to your reading list…
• We Stand on Guard – A five issue series from Image and the writer of Saga. It revolves around a future conflict between Canada and the US wherein America is the aggressor and a small group of Canadians must retaliate with guerrilla warfare tactics.
• Strange Fruit – Boom Studios gives us this unusual tale of the Mississippi flood in 1926 during the Jim Crow era. And then an alien lands. A big, black alien.
• Justice League of America – Free yourself from years-long continuity and hyperbolic crossovers. This is a comic book adventure with the classic team in their classic iterations. Batman is written particularly well. Great superhero team book.
• Postal – You know I love this book. Issue five just came out last week and it makes a good jumping on point. But you can catch up from the beginning with the first TPB. If you don’t know what it’s about yet, you need to read this column more often.
• Squadron Sinister – There are a lot of good Secret Wars series that people are overlooking. I think this is my fave of the ones not on your radar. It’s a fun/mean read (parental advisory). Get ready to root for the bad guys. PLUS, looks like these guys are sticking around after Secret Wars is over.
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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