Dean’s Top Picks
Best of the Past Week: Scarlet #6 – Not only was I really looking forward to this comic and pleasantly surprised to see its anti-establishment message back, it reappears against a real world backdrop of Christopher Dorner proving that police aren’t all nice guys. Even the photorealistic art by Alex Maleev doesn’t bother me because Maleev does it so well. This comic is smartly written, looks great and has something to say. Bravo!
Most Anticipated: 1). Batman #17 – Well….the last issue was a masterpiece, so I expect great, great things from this conclusion to the Death of the Family story. Enjoy this run by Snyder, Capullo, Glapion and Plascencia because it could be a long time before a Bat-book is this consistently excellent again.
2). The Walking Dead #107 – TWD usually tops my “Most Anticipated” list, but the last issue was a bit of a non-event. Hopefully, Robert Kirkman can get the story into gear in this issue and help wash away the bad aftertaste of Sunday’s dreadful TWD episode. At least we’ll get to see what Negan has done with little Carl.
3). Star Wars #2 – I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of Star Wars. It wasn’t an awesome comic book or anything, but it was nice to see a Star Wars story about the characters I grew up enjoying instead of all that “Old Republic”, ancient Jedi Knight stuff I’ve never been about to get into. I don’t expect this comic to be great; I just want it to be enjoyable.
4). Uncanny X-Men #1 – Brian Bendis has been doing a wonderful job on All New X-Men, so I expect that his Uncanny X-Men will probably be solid too. It’s funny how the last few years of Avengers made people forget that Bendis is a pretty good writer. I think his chatty style of dialog is actually more appropriate for the X-Men than it ever was for the Avengers (who don’t seem like “chatty” people to me). Plus–Chris Bachalo artwork!
5). Morning Glories #24 – This is the next to last issue before #25 concludes “Season One” of Morning Glories. I’m expecting a few answers that help me make sense of the story so far. I really appreciate the commitment to long-form storytelling that Nick Spencer has shown with Morning Glories.
Alex’s Top Picks
Pick of the Week: Green Arrow #17 – I’ll be honest, nothing really blew my socks off this week. That said, there were several really, really solid reads (Dial H, Secret Avengers, and New Avengers were all very good). Of these, I’ll give the prize to the first issue of Lemire/Sorrentino’s Green Arrow. No, it’s not Hawkeye, but it’s nonetheless a breath of fresh air for the book and one that is very distinctive in both its art and its general tone from anything else DC is putting out, and that sort of distinctiveness is something DC is definitely in need of.
Most Anticipated: Powers: Bureau #1 – Last week, I expressed my complete and utter amazement at Scarlet‘s return. Now, to challenge the limits of reality once more, as if that wasn’t enough, Powers: Bureau is out…and only one week after Scarlet! What he hell is going on? Craziness, that’s what! I am a big, big fan of Powers; it was the first Bendis book I ever read and was one of the books that got me back into comics. It’s a big part of why I’ll follow Bendis around no matter what he writes. So any week with an issue of Powers out is a good one. Better still is how the last volume closed, which was a HUGE moment for the book; I’ll even go so far as saying that the second last issue of that volume was one of my favourite issues of Powers ever. Bring it on, Bendis and Oeming! My body is ready!
Uncanny X-Men #1 – Of Marvel NOW, All-New X-Men #1 was probably the biggest surprise for me. Years of uninspired, often phoned-in work on Avengers gave me some pretty tempered expectations. But ‘lo and behold, All-New X-Men has seen a revived Bendis, delivering injections of addictive, mutant soap opera goodness. And now I’m going to have ANOTHER ongoing of Bendis X-book goodness? Sold! I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Chris Bachalo fan in the world, but his work can be fun from time to time and doesn’t detract much from my excitement.
Batman #17 – It’s Snyder’s Batman and, hopefully, it’ll reveal what’s under that silver dish. This has been great, creepy, tense stuff so far and this is quite possibly DC’s best book from their best writer. As such, Batman will basically always make this list.
Fatale #12 – Another “always makes this list” entry, Brubaker/Phillips keep right on doing their thing, delivering a highly polished creator-owned book that is all their own. And, oh wait, what’s that? We’re getting a one-shot set in Medieval times?! As a big fantasy fan, that’s right up my alley; a mash-up of medieval horror noir is too good to pass up!
Manhattan Projects #9 – I love this book, but last issue was INCREDIBLE. MP is always an injection of pure craziness, but last week delivered gritty, manly heroism in a big, man-sized portion. That’s only raised my enthusiasm for this book, one where I genuinely have no idea what the hell I’m going to get or what’s going to happen in any one issue.
Hugo’s Top Picks
Pick of the Week: New Avengers #3 – This was an amazing issue, full of important and absolutely bold events. Jonathan Hickman promised big things and he really delivered with this one. I have no idea where this title will go, but I can’t wait to find out.
Most Anticipated: 1) Batman #17 – ‘’Death of the family’’ has been nothing short of fantastic, thanks to Scott Snyder pacing and Greg Capullo’s art. With the big finale in this issue, I am anxious to see just how he could possibly end this and still keep the same quality.
2) Threshold #2 – More cosmic goodness from Keith Giffen, who has created one of my favourite event comic of all time: Annihilation. I truly cannot wait to see if he can achieve the same level of greatness on DC cosmic side.
3) Fatale #12 – This mix of noir and horror has really caught my attention, as the Brubaker/Phillips duo are really doing some amazing work in this setting. If they keep up the same level of quality from the previous issues, this one should be great.
4) Uncanny X-Men #1 – Brian Michael Bendis is doing some great work in the X-Corner of the Marvel universe right now. Not just that, but he’s doing something that I always thought impossible: making me like Cyclops as a character. I am eager to see if he can continue this quality streak with a title headlined by Cyclops and his gang.
5) Secret Avengers #1 – A new number one on this series which last volume ended last week. I am curious to see if Nick Spencer and Luke Ross can get our attention with their S.H.I.E.L.D variation of the Secret Avengers theme.