Dean’s Top Picks
Best of the past week: American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #5 – This issue really hit all the right notes. It was scary (or at least appropriately creepy), well written, featured wonderful art and added something to the ongoing American Vampire story. Whenever this is released in hardcover, it’ll make a great read even for non-AV readers.
Most anticipated this week: When you’ve almost completely disowned the Big 2, it makes for some light weeks. But, while I’m trying to finish The Twelve this week, here are some of the comics I’m looking forward to.
1). The Unwritten #42 – There’s nothing that isn’t quality about this wonderful series from Vertigo. This issue starts a new story arc as Tom Taylor ventures into the land of the dead in an attempt to rescue a friend. I can’t wait to see what inventive stuff the creators come up with. I mean, if a character can be plucked out of a novel (the words become flesh) what does that mean when such a character is dissolved into words. Do they vanish? Do they go back to the character they were before? Are they some amalgam of their prior self PLUS whatever experiences they accrued in the real world?
2). Mind Mgmt #6 – We’re getting some early answers in this mind-twisting series. I don’t really want to spoil things in a mere preview for the issue, but this comic is doing an very interesting job of examining some of the reality altering powers that started to drive Dr. Manhattan nuts in Watchmen.
3). Fables #122 – As much as I love Vertigo ongoings, I’ve never been able to stick with Fables. BUT supposedly, Fables and The Unwritten are crossing over soon, so it would probably be worthwhile to check out the current status quo of the Fables universe. Who knows? Maybe this will be the time I get hooked?
4). Amazing Spider-Man #696 – I’m enjoying the build-up to issue #700 when something BIG will obviously happen. I don’t think I have any interest in reading this new Superior Spider-Man from Marvel NOW! (despite some kick-ass artistic talent: Stegman AND Ramos!), but I could be convinced otherwise.
Alex’s Top Picks
Pick of the Week: Hawkeye #3 – Not even close. There is no other comic like this on the stands and Fraction and Aja are putting out a superhero book that is quick, witty, action-packed, and a whole new kind of superhero comic altogether. If you’re reading Marvel comics and you’re not picking this up, you really need to rectify that.
Most Anticipated: Invincible Iron Man #527 – There are a lot of farewells to lengthy runs this week, but this one takes the cake for me. While I know others feel strongly otherwise, this is my favourite Iron Man run and really the definitive Iron Man for the 21st century. I’ve loved this series throughout, and while there was a period around Fear Itself where the series dragged a bit, it’s ended up closing the show just as strongly as it opened it. I loved Fraction’s take on Tony and friends and will miss this run/series tremendously, particularly given that I’ve been reviewing it for years, having done my first review of it not long after starting here at WCBR.
Punisher: War Zone #1 – And so Greg Rucka’s swansong on the Punisher begins, a book that was criminally under-appreciated by the marketplace. This was a fantastic book and given how intimate and “small” it was, I’m curious to see how Rucka tackles a big, Avengers slugfest story with this series.
FF #23 – Another farewell to a lengthy run that will go down as one of the best in the franchise’s history. Much like Fraction’s Iron Man, this will be a tearful farewell for me. Hickman got me back into Marvel’s First Family and now I can’t imagine ever leaving them. And Hickman’s leaving with a Franklin issue? Sounds good to me.
Captain America #19 – Yet ANOTHER final issue for a long (8 year!), character-defining run. While I’ve been pretty up-front in saying that I think Brubaker’s run out of gas and has been mailing it in lately, with original artistic pal Steve Epting on board and just one more issue, I think Brubaker can conjure some of the old magic just to say goodbye in this one issue. And hey, no more Cullen Bunn co-writing; that should be a good sign that I’m right (particularly given how awful the last co-written arc was).
Journey into Mystery #645 – Yup, it’s another final issue. All I can say is thank goodness Gillen is writing a Kid Loki-led Young Avengers, or I’d be inconsolably sad about the ending of this series. This has truly been among the very best Marvel comics of the last decade, a ripping fantasy yarn with great character-work throughout. Young Avengers or not, I’ll miss this one.