Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers. Jake here, from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bagged 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 week’s best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out the latest comic book titles you should be reading.
As I read Plutona, I thought it was quite wonderful. I thought to myself that Jeff Lemire never fails to write a story that is interesting and singular to itself. Yet I can’t point to one specific thing, one specific element in this first issue that helps to demonstrate that. We’ve seen this subject matter in other works. In Plutona, superheroes are real and very much a part of day-to-day life – they fill the news and social media feeds. Four misfit high school students suddenly encounter one in their own back yard. It’s a post modern approach to the capes & tights genre that people like Kurt Busiek (Astro City, Marvels), Brian Michael Bendis (Powers), and others have thought of. But Lemire’s work is so personal and has the spark of life that always makes it uniquely his. Emi Lenox’s art couldn’t be more perfectly suited to the story. I’m not often drawn to books with a style like her’s, but it allows for such expressive faces and the figures are flush with personality. I can’t wait to read more about these characters. This one’s going to be popular.
I’m not sure how to review Deadpool vs Thanos. It’s Deadpool. The character is so ubiquitous that even those of us who aren’t fans know what to expect from a Deadpool comic, right? Make no mistake, the name “Thanos” may be in the title, but this story might as well be right out of a monthly Deadpool series. He and Thanos both have a crush on the living embodiment of Death. Someone has kidnapped her. They decide to find out who. It’s a fun read and Tim Seeley has the Wade Wilson patter down to a science. It’s definitely got a wacky vibe, but it seems like there’s plenty of runway for this 4 issue series to get even crazier when you consider the combination of Deadpool’s world and the reality that Thanos typically inhabits. I’d be inclined to keep reading if I knew that Seeley wasn’t going to keep the story too grounded.
It’s hard to imagine anyone who read Dying and the Dead one & two not coming back for number three. But just in case you needed any convincing this is one of the coolest titles currently being done, this issue’s the cincher. (And yes, we all know it’s had serious delays – those are explained & addressed at the back of this issue.) Jonathan Hickman takes a break from the main storyline of his epic adventure to give us a history lesson about just what everyone is fighting over. We get to meet Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito in a most unusual setting. From there, a lot is made clear about what all the hubbub has been about, which is always a good thing in a Hickman story. I loves me some Ryan Bodenheim art, big time! Seeing him depict actual, historic figures is a hoot. When this story’s finally done, it’ll be an indie classic.
Fans of Bobbi Chase ought to be pleased with this Mockingbird one-shot. It’s written by New York Times bestselling author Chelsea Cain, and it certainly shows. There’s not much visual element – although that doesn’t stop Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer) from filling it with interesting and lovely-to-look-at panels. It’s much more a straight-up murder mystery that Bobbi has to sniff out using an array of different skills. Not being of the comic book industry but understanding it (she wrote Does this Cape Make Me Look Fat? Pop-Psychology for Superheroes), Cain’s writing style is different from what we’re used to. I’d be curious to see her take on a regular series. There’s a second, back-up story that introduces a new character, Red Widow. ‘Got nothing to do with Mockingbird, but kind of a neat debut on its own.
That’s right, I said “neat.”
I don’t pretend to know all the mechanics that go into creating a comic book, but if Brian K Vaughan had any say in choosing Steve Skroce to do the art for We Stand on Guard, it’s just further proof of his genius. They’re simpatico when it comes to the of level imagination this story generates and Skroce executes Vaughan’s vision expertly. We’re treated to a torture scene that isn’t particularly grisly or graphic, and yet one of the most terrifying and soul-wrenching I can think of. Things look dire for our Canadian militia and I can’t imagine how this series will end in just five issues. Here’s hoping that gets modified. What can I say – make sure you’re reading this book.
Need some more? Here’re a few titles that either A) I haven’t harped on enough and you really need to be hit over the head with ’em, or B) I’ve been lazy/slacking/forgetful and haven’t mentioned…
• Wolf – The second issue was the often-hard-to-find proof that a series is worth following. A paranormal investigator with as yet unexplained powers of his own must navigate the seedy, supernatural side of southern California. This book envelopes you.
• Dark Corridor – Number two comes out today from Image and I can’t wait to read it. A Sin City sort of story about criminals at the bottom of the food chain with a Cohen Bros/Tarantino flair. A series of vignettes that all intertwine and take place in the same neighborhood.
• Marvel Zombies – This is not a zombie story. Overlooked and underrated because of the awful title, this has been a thoroughly enjoyable Secret Wars series. It’s all about badass zombie hunter, Elsa Bloodstone. Her dialogue by Simon Spurrier is whip smart and wickedly funny. If you like British humor and great female leads, you ought to be reading this.
• Lazarus – I fail to see why this title isn’t on everyone’s lips. Amazing drama/adventure set in a near future that’s a blend of Game of Thrones and Mad Max. Corporate families rule the world with the aid of their Lazari – bio-engineered warriors who are sworn to defend the family’s interests. But Forever of the family Carlyle begins to doubt her own loyalty as warfare erupts between the Carlyles and a rival family.
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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