Dean’s Picks

Best From The Past Week: Black Science #1 – Even though Infinity #6 was very good, it didn’t have a chance.  Once or twice per year, a new comic will come out and just blow your socks off.  Black Science is one of those comics.  The art is out-of-this-world stuff…..literally.  Not only is the art technically incredible, but the world-building and the imagining of alien creatures is incredible.  The reality-hopping premise from writer Rick Remender is probably solid enough that this comic will remain hot as long as the art team of Matteo Scalera and Dean White can keep it up.

Most Anticipated:

1. Velvet #2 – I read the first issue of this while I was 40K feet over the Atlantic while on my way to England.  And that was appropriate because the story of Velvet is kinda a funhouse mirror version of James Bond: Imagine if Ms. Moneypenny was actually a retired ultra-spy herself….and then gets called back into the field by some pretty serious events.  I like the espionage-theme and really appreciate how the protagonist isn’t just “not a man”, but a woman with some mileage on her.  Are there any other comics out right now with a mid-forties female protagonist?  I know Sue Storm SHOULD be mid-forties, but she usually looks like she is 25.  Plus….with Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, you just know that you’re in solid hands.  This story might not be your cuppa-tea, but it won’t melt apart into stupidity in a few issues either.

2. Amazing X-Men #2 – I really loved the first issue of this.  Any time we get to revisit classic Nightcrawler in the classic costume, it reminds me of that wonderful 1985 Nightcrawler miniseries that was written and illustrated by the late, great Dave Cockrum.  That was the miniseries that introduced the Bamfs and really sold the concept of Nightcrawler as a swashbuckling swordsman who saved the day with style. I want that guy back.  He’s been gone long enough.  Jason Aaron writing, Ed McGuinness drawing.  I love that in heaven, Nightcrawler misses his buddies AND imagines himself in his classic costume.

3. Hinterkind #3 – I’m not totally sold on this series….yet.  But, I’m such a sucker for post-apocalyptic storytelling that I’m willing to give it a few issues.  I think what I enjoy about these types of stories is that I love (in real life) observing complex systems and noting how they all eventually reach an equilibrium.  Then things perturb the equilibrium (like a new boss, a new girlfriend….or an apocalypse) and there is a messy time before the pieces reach a new equilibrium.  It’s true that we have a lot of post-apocalypse comics, but this one has some different forces, so I’m curious to see how the imagined equilibriums are different.

4. Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #24 – Okay….the Dark Cybertron event hasn’t gotten off to the booming start that I’d hoped.  Still, I felt like the last issue of the story kinda righted the ship: I understand what is going on now.  And, I’m getting used to the unfortunate clashing of art styles (that was probably necessary to make this series come out in a timely manner).

5. Trillium #5 – This story is in the middle-phase of a Jeff Lemire story.  That means we’re at the part where he’s really going to make us care about the characters before kicking us in the guts at the climax of the series.  Nobody in comics delivers that gut-kick quite the same way as Lemire.  Read it now to fully appreciate the anguish that you know he’ll dish out in a couple of months.


Hugo’s Pick

Best From The Past Week: Black Science #1 – This was a week with some really great comics, but the standout had to be Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera and Dean White on their newest series. Channeling a good lot of pulp style action not dissimilar to Fear Agent, a certain nightmarish landscape full of great visual designs with simply haunting colors, this issue did not disappoint. It delivered on action, themes and did everything it could to makes itself interesting enough to pique the curiosity of its readers, a gamble it simply over killed. This was simply magnificent and I already want some more.

Most anticipated this week:

1. Hellboy in Hell #5 – How many months has it been since the latest issue? Even though Mignola did say that there would be breaks between each issues, the long wait does not diminish he anticipation I have for this series that has been simply masterful at times. With Mike Mignola on script and art and Dave Stewart providing the suitable color work, this ought to be simply excellent, just like the other issues of this series.

2. Six-Gun Gorilla #6 – This mini-series is ending and while it has been downright bizarre at times, it has also achieved excellence through some of its issues. With the big finale putting all the players to the forefront, I am very curious as to how Simon Spurrier, André May and Jeff Stokely will finish their tales of gritty western, weird sci-fi and social commentary starring a man-camera and a poncho-wearing gorilla.

3. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye #24 – While some of the chapters of the huge crossover that is Dark Cybertron haven’t met the same level of quality that the Transformers title achieve on their own, they are still very enjoyable. With the big story continuing with James Roberts and John Barber at the helm, I am eager to see if it can pick up some steam and finally move forward in a big significant way.

4. Swamp Thing #26 – Charles Soule is killing it on this series, with big character moments, mythos building and some truly excellent moments brought forth. With the way the latest issue ended, I have to say I cannot wait to see just where Soule will go with this as Alec Holland needs to get a grip on what is happening around him.

5. Deadpool #20 – With the way the latest arc ended, this ”reserve” issue should come as somewhat disappointing, but to me it’s anything but. With Scott Koblish illustrating a story featuring Deadpool as if done in the 60’s, this means a Jack Kirby twist on the Merc with a Mouth, which seems like a crazy awesome idea. I like Deadpool, I love Jack Kirby. Bring it on.