Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. While many Americans are counting the hours until Independence Day, and what for some will be the beginning of a four-day weekend, others are packing their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers costume for Florida Comicon.
Still others are simply casting an eye over the list of titles shipping this week from Diamond Comic Distributors. Keep reading to see what books caught our contributors' attentions.
This holiday weekend, it's Florida Supercon
Thursday brings the Fourth of July in the United States, which for many people means barbecues and fireworks. But for comics and sci-fi devotees in Florida and beyond, it also means the start of the four-day Florida Supercon, held at the Miami Airport Convention Center through Sunday.
The big attraction for fans of a certain age undoubtedly will be the 20th-anniversary celebration of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, featuring cast members Robert Alexrod, Jason David Frank, Barbara Goodson, Walter Jones and David Yost. Not to be outdone, the comics guest list includes the likes of Nick Cardy, Dave Gibbons, Dennis Calero, Olivier Coipel, Nathan Edmondson, Ron Garney, Greg Horn, Georges Jeanty, Rags Morales, Ariel Olivetti, Jason Pearson, George Perez, Joe Rivera, Paolo Rivera, Stephane Roux and Kevin Smith.
ROBOT 6 contributors name their top choices from among the comic books, and comics-related books, scheduled to arrive in stores this week. We welcome readers to highlight their picks in the comments below.
Red She-Hulk #67
Add Red She-Hulk to Neil Diamond's list that starts with Jesus Christ and ends with Buster Keaton: "And each one there has one thing shared. They have sweated beneath the same sun, looked up in wonder at the same moon, and wept when it was all done for bein' done too soon." I've enjoyed every minute of Red She-Hulk. From Betty's unlikely, but touching friendship with Machine Man to the bizarre plot device of Nikola Tesla and his Terranometer (a machine that uses the entire world as a computer), it's been a wonderful globe-trotting buddy adventure that I didn't realize how much I craved until it was given to me. Gonna miss it. -- Michael May
The Secret History of D.B. Cooper
This week, Oni Press brings us the trade edition of Brian Churilla’s The Secret History of D.B. Cooper, which purports to tell the true story of the world’s most famous hijacker as a CIA assassin whose abilities are fueled by psychotropic drugs. It’s a story that is perfectly tuned to the time it is set in (1971), and Churilla’s art makes reading it an immersive experience. This oversized trade collects the five-issue series, and presumably it brings in some additional material as well, but at $29.99, the price is a bit steep. If you can’t find a good discount, I recommend buying the digital edition from comiXology for $1.99 an issue, a considerable savings. Either way, this comic is excellent summer escape reading and shouldn’t be missed. -- Brigid Alverson
Catalyst Comix #1
Normally I wouldn't care too much about the relaunch of a line of superheroes I didn't read from a decade where a lot of sensible people decided en masse to just stop buying comics all together. But Rob Liefeld, of all people, has shown recently at Image that by putting the right talent on even the most maligned title and giving them free reign, great things can happen (I am, no duh, referring to Prophet by Brandon Graham, et al). I'm going to presume that this policy was something of an inspiration to the editor of Catalyst Comix, who has given Joe Casey free rein to muck around with Dark Horse's generally unloved and unmissed Comic's Greatest World characters, lined up a rather awesome panel of co-creators (Dan McDaid! Ulises Farinas! Paul Maybury!) and let them run amok. And to top it off, the covers are by some of my personal favorite artists, too: Rafael Grampa, Paul Pope and Brendan McCarthy. This project seems so tailored to my personal tastes that I'm worried it only exists in my imagination. Maybe we all need to go out and buy it just to make sure. -- Mark Kardwell
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundays Vol. 1: Call of the Wild
I like to think that Fantagraphics' reissuing of the classic Floyd Gottfredson comic strip featuring Disney mascot Mickey Mouse is in some way responsible for the stylish new Mickey Mouse animated shorts. Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse is more adventurous than the vanilla mouse most of us grew up with, so it's gratifying to see Disney return to the more entertaining side of the character. This book reprints the first Sunday strips in full color, many of these unseen by the public since their original appearance from Jan. 10, 1932 to Dec. 29, 1935. There are also bonus rarities: strips Walt Disney had produced for the Freemasons, and strips by the first Italian Disney cartoonist Guglielmo Guastaveglia. Plus you get your standard bevy of essays and annotations, which help put these strips into historical context. -- Corey Blake
Avengers A.I. #1
I’m probably not Marvel's typical audience for this book. I read none of the “Age of Ultron” event, but I’m buying this series mainly for the participation of Vision: He’s one of my all-time favorite Avengers (dating back to the 1970s, but cemented by his use during Kurt Busiek's run). Plus I’m partial to Hank Pym in any book, but especially after his role in Chris Gage's Avengers Academy run. I’ve never noticed artist Andre Aruajo before, but there’s an organic quality to his art, which makes him a perfect, yet unique choice for an A.I.-tinged title. -- Tim O’Shea