We may be skidding headlong toward Comic-Con, but publishers aren’t holding back on their releases.
This week sees the debut of DC’s much anticipated summer event Blackest Night, hefty collections of Preacher, Dan Dare, Captain Britain and IDW’s first decade, plus the debuts of the Doctor Who monthly, The Last Resort and the adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
On top of that, we get a few relaunches in the form of Peter David’s Fallen Angel, Alex Sheikman’s Robotika and the horror anthology Creepy.
Whew. How’s anyone supposed to have money left for San Diego?
To see what titles Chris Mautner, JK Parkin and I think deserve a second look, just keep reading. And, as always, be sure to leave your picks on the comments below.
Kevin Melrose’s pick of the week: Robotika: For A Few Rubles More Double-Sized #1 and #2
With Archaia seemingly back on its feet, the publisher relaunches Alex Sheikman’s second Robotika miniseries with a double-sized issue that pairs the previously released Issue 1 with the brand-new second issue.
The “steampunk sushi samurai Western” employs, as Sheikman’s label suggests, an eclectic mix of genre elements, from gunfighters to swordsmen to mechas in setting where … well, of those things exists side by side with nobody blinking an eye. With For A Few Rubles More, Sheikman brings in David Moran as a co-writer, and includes a backup story by Moran, Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd. You can see a preview here.
Chris Mautner’s pick of the week: Swallowing the Earth
Osamu “God of Manga” Tezuka was, much like Jack Kirby, never one to stay in any particular genre or niche for very long. Hence this 1968 series “for adults” about a beautiful temptress who, with her female cohorts, plots to overthrow the patriarchy. The one man who is seemingly immune to her charms and must thwart her evil plans. Really at this point Tezuka can do no wrong for me. If this book is half as loopy as Apollo’s Song, I’m sold.
JK Parkin’s pick of the week: The Walking Dead #63
While I’m not making this my pick of the week purely for economic reasons – I do enjoy The Walking Dead – it’s the fact that they’re throwing in Chew #1 for free that really sold me. If you haven’t checked out Chew, either when it first came out or when the reprint was issued, the third time is the charm. (It is in black and white, though, just like the main story).
Anyway, it’s $2.99 for 48 pages, which you really can’t beat nowadays. Check out a preview of The Walking Dead story here.
Creepy Comics #1
Kevin: Dark Horse resurrects Warren Publishing’s Creepy brand with this 48-page black-and-white anthology featuring contributions by Bernie Wrightson, Angelo Torres, Jason Shawn Alexander, Neil Kleid, Brian Churilla and others. You can check out a preview here.
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? hardcover
Chris: I thought the first half of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s big, sopping mash note to Batman was all right enough but, man, it went downhill fast with that second issue. Even Margaret Wise Brown is shaking her head somewhere wondering what they were thinking. Anyway, if you didn’t get to read those two issues and want to pay a heck of a lot more money, here’s the collected edition. The book also collects Gaiman stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1 and Batman: Black and White #2, so it’s not a total loss. I remember that one Riddler story being pretty good.
Blackest Night #1 ( of 8 )
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1 (of 3)
JK: And after months, nay, years of build-up, Blackest Night is here. Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert officially kick off DC’s big crossover, in which countless dead heroes return to cause havoc in the lives of the denizens of the DC Universe. Tales of the Corps, meanwhile, is a collection of stories about the various shades of Lanterns, by Johns and Peter Tomasi.
But if you’re into Green Lantern, you probably already knew all this and are just counting the hours until your store opens on Wednesday, right?
Madame Xanadu, Vol. 1: Disenchanted
JK: The first 10 issues of this Eisner-nominated series by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley and Richard Friend are collected for a nice price. It’s fairly fast-paced for a Vertigo series, features all sorts of guest stars and references that you might not expect, and just looks beautiful thanks to Hadley and Friend. Definitely worth a look, especially for $12.99.
Preacher, Book One hardcover
Chris: Who at this point hasn’t read Preacher yet? Well, actually I haven’t. Perhaps this new hardcover collection will induce me to examine this seminal Vertigo blood-and-blasphemy masterpiece. Comes with an all-new introduction by writer Garth Ennis.
Captain America #601
Kevin: Legendary artist Gene Colan joins writer Ed Brubaker for this double-sized issue recounting a “lost tale” of Captain America and Bucky from World War II. Sure, it screams “filler” — the real action is going on in the Reborn miniseries — but, hey, it’s Gene Colan.
Captain Britain By Alan Moore & Alan Davis Omnibus hardcover
Kevin: Marvel collects classic Captain Britain tales by Alan Moore and Alan Davis in a hefty $100 hardcover.
Chris: I’m trade-waiting on this thing (horrible I know, but blame the economy), but I understand it’s gotten quite good. Here’s the latest issue.
Kevin: The solicitation focuses on Siryn, Jamie, Layla and Ruby, but you know a good number of people will pick up this issue to see the aftermath of the kiss between Rictor and Shatterstar.
Dan Dare Omnibus, Vol. 1
Kevin: Dynamite Entertainment rolls out a paperback collection of the Dan Dare series that Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine created for the late Virgin Comics. You can see a preview here.
Dilbert: Freedom Is Just Another Word
Get Fuzzy: Ignorance, Thy Name Is Bucky
Mutts Treasury: Stop and Smell the Roses
Chris: Comic strip time. Three of the most popular daily newspaper strips unload their latest book collections. If you were asking me which one to pick — and I realize you’re not — I’d probably go with Dilbert. Mutts is beautiful to look at but a bit too saccharine for my tastes. Get Fuzzy is cute but repetitive. Dilbert, meanwhile, is just plain hilarious. Seriously.
Doctor Who Ongoing #1
Kevin: After a handful of one-shots and miniseries, IDW Publishing decides it’s time for a monthly Doctor Who series. In this debut issue — the first of a two-part story — the Doctor travels to 1920s Hollywood where he meets Charlie Chaplin and uncovers an alien plot.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1 (of 24)
JK: BOOM! kicks off what isn’t an adaptation, per se, of the classic Phillip K. Dick story that was turned into the movie Blade Runner. It’s an actual word-for-word reinterpretation, which captures all the text, with art, of course, in a 24-issue series. It’ll feature essays by various creators throughout; this issue has one by Warren Ellis.
The Dreamer, Vol. 1: The Consequences of Nathan Hale
Kevin: IDW collects Lora Innes’ Revolutionary War romance/adventure miniseries, which in turn is an adaptation of her webcomic.
Fallen Angel Reborn #1
JK: Peter David’s Fallen Angel series has been launched and relaunched a few times now, and simply refuses to die. This relaunch comes with an interesting guest star: Illyria, from the Angel TV show and comics.
IDW: The First Decade hardcover
JK: This is a two-volume hardcover slipcase that collects an oral history of the company based on interviews with many of the creators who have worked for them, every cover they’ve ever done through last year and a comic with new Fallen Angel, Wormwood, Locke & Key and Popbot stories by their respective creators. And it all comes in a magnetized box with an IDW key embedded.
The Last Resort #1
Kevin: Frequent collaborators Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray team up with artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo for this Irwin Allen-inspired thriller about sun, surf and biological disaster at an island resort.
Lost Girls hardcover
Chris: If the initial three-volume slip-cased edition of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s major treatise on dirty, dirty things cross-contaminated with kiddie lit didn’t make you reach for your wallet, perhaps this all-in-one hardcover edition will. I know a lot of people, devout Moore fans included, had trouble with this book, but I liked it.
JK: RASL moves to its new 24-page format as Jeff Smith prepares to take it bi-monthly later this year. Check out a preview here.
Welcome to Forest Island hardcover
Chris: Not comics, per se, but a collection of art, sketches, drawings and whatnot by the painter and designer known as Bwana Spoons. Could be interesting.
The full list of items arriving in stores this week can be found here.
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