Hello there, fellow comic readers, and welcome back to sector 52-616!! I hope you all are anticipating as much as I am the books that are coming out this wednesday. With tittles like Earth 2, Word's Finest, Avenging Spider-Man, and AvX just to name a few, I can see everyone spending endless hours and countless dollars in their local comic shops manyana. However I've compiled here a humble short list of books that I think everyone should check out. Truth be told, everyone has different tastes, but take a look and tell me what you think. I'm sure there's some that I missed, and there's a few that I like personally that I didn't put here to be somewhat impartial, but please let me know what you think. Here goes:
With all due respect to DCs trinity of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Supes...Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and company pretty much has had Detective's Comic's best book for the better part of the past five years. It proves to be no different in the new 52 thus far, as Geoff Johns is starting yet another riveting arc that picks up where the epic Blackest Night left off, and involves Hal and Sinestro (yes, his old, pre-52 arch Nemesis Sinestro) unraveling a cosmic plot set forth by none other than the Guardians of the Universe themselves. That's all I'm going to say about it, since I'm not one to be a rat and reveal spoilers. Honorable mention goes out to GL Corps, which is a great look into the cosmic side of the DCU.
Why it's good: Aside from outside-of-the-box, once-in-a-while-lazy, but overall-refreshingly-good-art from Doug Manke, this post-Flashpoint GL storyline takes it back a bit retro harkening to the pre-52 old Emerald Dawn storyline. For those that may not remember or don't know that arc somewhat re-established Sinestro as somewhat of a mentor to the then-rookie ring slinger Hal Jordan. This current storline does just that, with a major emphasis on the complex relationship between the two former adversaries. Johns, true to his outstanding storytelling form, does a great job of giving insight as to how and what makes Sinestro tick, and furthermore does what no previous GL writer has done before: he acknowledges the respect that the Korugarian has for his Earthling rival, and more importantly vice-versa. We all can assume that Sinestro is gonna turn heel and be a bad guy again, but we don't know how or when, nor do we know what role he'll play in the Guardians' plan for the third army. Whatever it is, Johns has already made Sinestro somewhat a tragic character who is pitied by Jordan, and that alone makes for great writing when their previous history is considered.
Avengers Vs X-Men
siiiiiiigh. Sometimes, I just don't know what to say about this book. I love Bendis as much as anyone, but I'm still kinda mad at him for Civil War (I'm still in therapy), and there's times where this book is straight rockstar (issues 1-5, parts of 6) and times when I feel he mailed it in (parts of 6, ALL of 7, the end of 8). Comic mega-star Adam Kubert is doing all that he can with some rock-star covers, and the variants? Well with Stegman and Opena on the job, they're some of the best I've seen in a while, IF you can find 'em (and afford 'em). Usually I'm not a fan of ongoing-epic-saga-type books changing writers during their runs, as it makes for a bit of a muckwork. This one kind of proved to be the same as the first few books were great...then we got #7 which artistically and choreographically was by far the worst of the series. I must say that as far as epic-universe-changing stories go, I'm not super excited or disappointed...merely just 'whelmed', but then again...this IS Marvel. They're known for having an epic Summer event that starts off AWESOME and ends with a whimper (see World War Hulk)and then that's basically undone and irrelevant just a few months later. However with all that seeminly negative press from yours truly, there is some light at the end of the tunnel....I hope. Honorable mention goes out to Spider Men...because it's probably the best Spidey Story since 'the other' (which was ok, honestly).
Why it's Good:
Inconsistant art, overlapping writing, and as of yet, no jaw-dropping deaths aside...this has probably been Marvel's best and if nothing else most ambitious arc since the Classic and iconic Secret Wars back in the day (man, those were the days). Furthermore, if you're like me and read the big M back in your youth, left for a spell around the time Logan had his skeleton pulled out by Magneto, came back for that supremely disappointing Civil War, and were left wondering why Hulk was Red (WTF?), how Professor X is alive again, how Wolvie is now an Avenger, and how Colossus is now rockin' the Juggernaut armor...then this is your chance to jump back on. Basically Marvel is promising a quassi-reboot with its 'Marvel-Now' initiative, and quite frankly-with over a jillion years of writings which are STILL relevant (technically...Reed Richards was a WW2 vet....cmon, dog), they were LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG overdue to hit that reset button.
Folks...siiigh...I just can't drool enough over this book. It's flat out the most refreshing and dare I say BEST book available for image NOT tittled the walking dead, and DARE i say it may even be the best monthly tittle out there right now. Yup...I said it. Brian K. Vaughn is certainly getting his Gene Roddenbury on (God rest him) by creating a vivid, palpable science-fiction universe where two lovers from warring worlds fall in love, and have the first 'mixed' baby of their kind. As the two go AWOL from their respective armies, this book documents their exploits as they escape varying militias, free lance assasins, and befriend a hillariously sarcastic dead-chick-all while protecting their special little newborn.
Why its Good:
Did you NOT see what I wrote earlier?? Gang, If I pontificate over this book any more, I may have to clean up my laptop. I mean even the damned Lying Cat has one line in EVERY issue...but it's so well timed along with his facial expressions... Seriously though, all kidding and fanboying aside, the art by Fiona Staples in every panel is absolutely jaw-dropping yet gritty, as the emotions of every character is captured...even those of the faceless TV people. And speaking of characters? True to image's pattern, the characterization is top-notch. The relationship between Alana and Marko is constantly evolving before our eyes, yet so familiar. Plus we're only five books in and you already know the personality of every character, what they would and wouldn't do, would and wouldn't say, and have come to care about all of them in some way shape or form. Hell, even the 'bad guys' have personality as through Vaughn's storytelling you get to know a little about what makes each tick and their frustrations (ie the Prince's having a baby and has some serious daddy issues, and The Will's being a killer with a heart of gold). One villain we only got to know for an issue and a half, and only through her inferred previous relationship with another villain do we really kinda go 'oh shit' when this villian seemingly buys it at the end of issue five. And I say all that as I wipe the drool from my mouth and try to not spoil anything as I wait for issue six.
Honorable mention to Walking Dead, which is of course, it's usual, excellence-pissing, Flagship-being self. However...not to spoil it for anyone (though if you don't know by now, then...well...it's time to come out and see the sun) I'm not too happy with who they killed in issue 100. Yeah, I appreciate the audacity and the 'didn't see that coming' value of it...but this ain't Marvel or DC...and my man is definitely NOT coming back. Daaaaaayuuuuuum!!!