Dean’s Top Picks
Best of the past week: The Manhattan Projects #10 – It was a weird week in which both The Walking Dead and Scott Snyder’s Batman were released, but neither seriously contended for “pick of the week” honors. That leaves an opening for other comics to dart in and steal the cheese. Honestly, nothing blew my socks off last week, so I’ll go with TMP #10 which featured (i) one Oppenheimer brother eating the other Oppenheimer brother’s heart, (ii) someone fist fighting with a horse and eventually chewing its ear off and then riding it around and (iii) Samurai Oppenheimer. It was trippy and weird.
Most anticipated this week: 1). Star Wars: Legacy #1 – The Star Wars comics are having a nice little renaissance with the new Brian Wood series (set between Episodes IV and V) being quite good. Now we get this series set in the “Legacy Era” (roughly 100 years after Return of the Jedi) from Corrina Bechko and Gabriel Hardman. This husband and wife team has already done a wonderful job with the Planet of the Apes books over at Boom! and Hardman is easily among the best comic artists working today. This talent almost ensures a quality comic. Plus, the Legacy era is interesting and the last comic set therein was really great.
2). Saga #11 – This series has enough history now that I think it’s fair to start calling it “the best currently ongoing series”. I love everything about Saga. The art is wonderful, the characters are touching, the space opera setting is clever. About once every issue writer Brian K. Vaughn will do something that shows why HE is such a sought after writer and I should keep my day job. The guy is seriously gifted. Even the letters’ column in the back is priceless.
3). Chew #32 – For me, it doesn’t get a lot better than the sharp-edged, black humor in Chew. That is all.
4). Superior Spider-Man #6 – Humberto Ramos returns to Spider-Man with this issue. I’ll be interested to see how I enjoy it. I quite enjoyed the first few issues with Ryan Stegman doing the art, but didn’t buy the next arc with Giuseppe Camuncoli because I just don’t think a Camuncoli-illustrated book should cost $3.99. So, I’m breaking the “rules of comics” here by jumping in and out of the series. Will I be confused by missing the last vital story arc?
5). GI Joe #2 – I quite liked the first issue of this renumbered series under Fred Van Lente. He took the series is a slightly sillier direction and I enjoyed it. Basically, the Joes are no longer a secret organization and the Department of Defense is capitalizing on their fame by launching action figures based on the characters. So characters like Shipwreck have to wear their Village People-esque costumes while they fight Cobra because that’s what the public expects. The art was marginal, but competent.
Hugo’s Top Picks
Pick of the week: Batman and Robin #18 – This was a powerful issue, masterfully told without any word, any dialogue whatsoever. Patrick Gleason was a beast here, showing us how he could convey emotions through his storytelling. A true example of how much an artist can make a good book turn great.
Most anticipated this week: 1) New Avengers #4 – The continuing case of the colliding Earths still manage to make the plot of this new series really good, but it is the character work and Jonathan Hickman’s fearlessness that makes this title a must read. With what happened in the latest issue, who knows what the writer has up his sleeve?
2) Saga #11 – What Brian K. Vaughan is doing here is nothing short of astounding. He has created a wholly original universe combining fantasy, science-fiction with elements of family life, adventure and romance. This book is worth it on so many levels, it is downright scary.
3) Justice League of America #2 – With the twist of why the team was created shown to us, I am curious to see if Johns can channel his JSA magic throughout these characters. The fact that the backup feature with Martian Manhunter cowritten by Matt Kindt begins here is also a nice bonus.
4) Action Comics #18 – Call me an eternal optimist, but I really do hope Grant Morrison will give us a worthy conclusion here. This run had its up and down, going from brilliant to downright confusing at times, it would be a shame for this to be a rather tepid and unexciting finale to all this build-up. I am anticipating something worthy of the man who wrote some of my very favourite comics.
5) Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #15 – The latest issue concluded on one hell of a cliff-hanger, which makes me very eager to see where this leads. James Roberts had said in interviews that the first part of this series will be over soon and with all the things at stake, I do believe he can delivers.