Dean’s Top Picks

Best of the past week: Mind Mgmt #3 – This wasn’t quite as mind-blowing and novel as the first two issues, but it was still the best comic in a relatively light week.  It’s hard to go wrong with an inventive concept like a conspiracy theory involving all the passengers on a plane losing their memories.  And, it has the wonderful art that we’ve come to expect from Matt Kindt.

Most anticipated this week: 1). American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #3The first two issues have been outstanding….but everything having to do with AV is outstanding, so that isn’t really a surprise.  Still, it’s fun seeing Scott Snyder beginning to toy around with his vampire story set against the backdrop of the Cold War.  And Dustin Nguyen has been incredible on the art.

2). Punk Rock Jesus #2 – We all knew that Sean Murphy was an incredible artist, but it was pretty cool to see him attempting such an ambitious story in the first issue.  This story has a lot more going on than the original solicits suggested.  Any comic that gets religious people to talk about boycotts is probably a winner in my book.

3). Godzilla: Half Century War #1 – Ever since I added this to my pull list a few months ago, my LCS has been trying to stick copies of IDWs other Godzilla series in my box.  Each time I say, “NO!  I ONLY want the one that is drawn by James Stokoe!”  Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the other Godzilla series, but seeing Stokoe (of Orc Stain fame) tackle the big lizard sounds really cool.

4). Blue Estate #12 – I’m very excited to see that Blue Estate is back for a second story after the first volume wrapped a few months back.  Blue Estate plays in that “funny gangster” space and always has great art by a collection of artists.  Probably has some of the best covers in the industry too.

5). Hoax Hunters #2 – Ever since Proof went away, we haven’t really had a series that focused on crytozoology.  That’s the niche that Hoax Hunters fills.  It’s well written with fun concepts and good art.

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Alex’s Top Picks

Pick of the Week:  Hawkeye #1 – This week was an easy one to pick from.  Hawkeye #1 strongly reminded of Daredevil #1:  it offered a new, fresh take on a big-name, but well-worn, character and it truly felt like the start of something special.  Gorgeous David Aja art didn’t hurt its case any either.  I hope the numbers are enough to justify a substantial run, because we could be looking at the definitive Hawkeye for the 21st century, much as Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man did for Tony Stark.

Most Anticipated:  Venom #22 – It’s the final issue of Rick Remender’s run, which did the impossible:  it made a Venom book, and one starring Flash Thompson, a fun, compelling book that was consistently among Marvel’s best.  This issue ties up all of Remender’s loose ends, promising the final battle between Flash and Jack O’ Lantern.  Sounds like the perfect swansong to me.

Batman #12 – I’ll be honest; I’m not a big fan of “aftermath” comics.  That said, this is Scott Snyder’s Batman we’re talking about here, so I’m willing to keep an open mind and hope for the best.  This isn’t just any superhero comic, after all.

American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #3 – Another Snyder comic.  Much as he did last year, Snyder is offering a fantastic miniseries that shows the depth of his AV universe, starring one of his strongest characters.  Oh, and Dustin Nguyen is drawing the interiors.  In touching the elephant in the room that seemingly every long-running vampire story has to address eventually (Dracula), Snyder is delivering a great, thrilling, and atmospheric story here.

Mighty Thor #18 – The last arc of Mighty Thor was, in my opinion, the most consistent of Fraction’s run.  It was the first arc that both started and finished strongly and didn’t leave any untouched/squandered potential, didn’t feature several issues of decompressed wheel-spinning, and the ending wasn’t a trainwreck.  In other words, it didn’t fall prey to the problems that plagued Fraction’s prior arcs.  With this final story of Fraction’s run, I hope that that momentum continues and I’m excited to see what Fraction has in store.  And Alan Davis is drawing!

New Avengers #29 – I’m surprised to be picking this, but then, Bendis’ New Avengers tie-ins have been perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of AvX.  Who would have thought that they’d be some of the best?  But that’s what we’ve been getting and with Bendis playing with some heavy-hitters this month, I’m looking forward to what’s in store.  And, much like those fantastic K’un-Lun tie-ins, it’s another New Avengers that doesn’t actually feature the team, instead, this time, giving us an Illuminati comic.

Grade

Conclusion