Dean’s Top Picks
Best of the past week: FF #3 – This series is really hot and it’s all down to the Mike/Laura Allred combo. It’s tempting to give some credit to Matt Fraction, but he’s the same guy writing Fantastic Four, and that series doesn’t have 1/10th the spark that FF has. If you’re missing FF because you perceive it to be secondary, you’re doing it wrong. FF is really good and the Allreds can produce do a monthly book, so it shouldn’t be a case where they disappear after issue #6. This could be a the beginning of a modern classic like X-Statix.
Most anticipated this week: 1). The Unwritten #45 – It is becoming slim pickings over at Vertigo, but at least we still have The Unwritten. I’d assume that regardless of sales levels, this series has gotten to the point where it will be permitted to finish a 60-issue run (to better make a collection of bound volumes). It’s no secret that I really enjoy this series and the current storyline finds our protagonist trying to find a missing friend in the underworld. Unlike some series, this probably isn’t one to just dive into – you’ll want to start with the first collected edition – but why wait? It’s a wonderful series that isn’t afraid to strive for greatness!
2). Mara #2 – I was a little hard on this futuristic mash-up of superpowers and volleyball when the first issue came out. But, I do trust Brian Wood as a writer and Ming Doyle is the type of young(er) artist who can show tremendous growth in just a few issues as she settles into a series. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for this one!
3). The Sixth Gun #28 – We’re nearing the end of this story arc focusing on our heroes being snowbound and beset by a wendigo. Even if this arc has been a little slow-paced, it’s almost over now and the payoff is likely to be quite good.
4). Avengers #4 – I enjoy Marvel comics much more when I don’t have to review them! I’m sure that Jonathan Hickman has some kind of grand plan for the Avengers and part of that involved the bizarre last issue where it was hard to understand what was going on. But all you really need to take away from the first three issues is that we’ve added a lot of B-teamers and that these god-like beings are now loitering on Mars (where they’ll surely come up again). If I had to review this issue-to-issue, I’d gouge my eyes out, but reading it for the pulp that it is–that’s another thing. Now, whether that is consistently worth $3.99 is another story.
5). Invincible #100 – I’ve never been able to “get into” Invincible; I’ve read the first trade several times and always thought, “I don’t need any more of that.” Perhaps I simply don’t need more superhero in my life? However, a tip of the cap is still appropriate for any series that makes it to issue #100. Bravo Team Invincible!
Alex’s Top Picks
Pick of the Week: FF #3 – A real landslide this week, as FF really hits its potential, suddenly emerging as one of Marvel’s very best books. In both art and writing, this was pure, unadulterated fun. Great, great stuff with Fraction and Allred doing what they do best.
Most Anticipated: Hawkeye #7 – Another issue of Marvel’s best comic and it feels like it’s been way too long. Hawkguy is guaranteed comics brilliance every single time. What bumps this issue up in my stack even more is that it’s for a great cause, with Fraction donating all proceeds from the issue to the Red Cross to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy (which Hawkeye himself will also face head-on). Given how heartfelt this book can be (look no further than the first issue), this is sure to be great stuff. It’s also drawn by Steve Lieber, which is pretty cool; it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen him on the racks.
Aquaman #16 – I really feel like Throne of Atlantis has lit a fire under Johns’ ass. With the fantastic, “Justice League Unlimited” type ending of last week’s issue of Justice League, I’m all in at this point.
Avengers #4 – While I’ve had mixed feelings, I’ve been generally positive on Hickman’s Avengers thus far, even if I’ve yet to really feel comfortable deciding what to make of it just yet. So at this stage, every issue is still a curiosity to me and that doubles this week, with the start of a new story-arc and Adam Kubert handling the art, which should definitely give the book a very different feel from Opena.
Batman Incorporated #7 – Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc. really feels like the odd man out in DC’s new 52 and, honestly, I’ve started to lose track of all the moving bits and pieces. But it’s still a rock solid comic and Chris Burnham’s art is lovely. It’s also very different from anything else DC is currently offering and is a series moving into it’s big end-game.
Punisher: War Zone #4 – Honestly, in a bigger week, neither this nor Batman Inc. would likely make this list, but here we are. While I’m not a fan of the art and don’t feel this has been up to the high standard of Rucka’s earlier run on the ongoing Punisher series, it’s still quality comics overall with some definite bright spots.