Dean’s Picks

Best From The Past WeekVelvet #2 – This is just a really, really good comic book.  The story is direct and engaging.  The art is wonderful.  In only two issues, Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting have created a compelling character, a real setting and an interesting story.  I’d be happy if they wrote Velvet stories for years.

Most Anticipated:

Wow! So many good books this week!  Clever books like Manifest Destiny #2 and Coffin Hill #3 don’t even make the list (hahaha….see what I did there?  It’s a Top 7 now…)

1. Parker: Slayground – Not technically a comic book, per se, but this is still probably the best thing coming out this week.  Unfortunately, I pre-ordered mine from Amazon and that means I’ll be getting it sometime in the next month.  Why is Amazon able to deliver a video game to my house on the release day, but graphic novels get delivered whenever?  Anyway, this is the fourth in the Darwin Cooke adaptations of the Parker stories.  The first three have been gloriously good and there’s no reason to suspect that the fourth will be a letdown.

2. The Walking Dead #118 – This storyline is just chugging along.  After a lengthy period where it felt like TWD was spinning its wheels and Kirkman was kinda stalling for time, I feel like the story has a real direction again. Sure, we don’t get a shocking conclusion in every issue, but there is always the possibility of something shocking…..and that’s what keeps us coming back for more.  Plus, the current villain (Negan) is about as fascinating as any comic character in recent memory.  The art has even been rock solid since the series went bi-weekly.

3. Batman #26 – Is there an auto-text for “Snyder & Capullo’s Batman is great!”?  Honestly, it is so consistently excellent that it is a hard series to review just because the quality almost never wavers.  I feel like I’ve been saying the same things over and over for 2 years now (and a year before that on Snyder’s Detective Comics run in the Old 52).

4. Alex + Ada #2 – The first issue of this was really good.  It told a story of a young man who was given an attractive female android, but the impressive thing was how Jonathan Luna clearly knows how to set up such a story so that we can ask a lot of challenging questions about why we care about some types of machines, but don’t care about others.

5. Lazarus #5 – If you’re having a hard time remembering what is going on in Lazarus, it’s because this issue is a little late.  The last issue came out the first week of October!  I really love Lazarus and am curious to see how it begins to transition from “cool concept/cool world” to having an actual story.  So far what we have is a story of two rich families dueling for power and control.  We’ve seen that type of story in daytime soap operas.  I’m ready for Greg Rucka to pull the trigger on the big story.

Hugo’s Pick

Best From The Past Week: Six Gun Gorilla #6 – Sorry Hellboy in Hell, you came really close, but the conclusion to the adventures of a man with a tumor-camera inside his head that is somehow accompanied by a poncho-wearing gorilla took the cake this week. This was a moving, exciting and beautifully-drawn ending to something that was utterly strange, yet compelling. The whole mini-series was something special and it got the ending it deserved, which is not something you get to see every day in the comics business.

Most anticipated this week:

1. Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6 – This title is bananas, but in a good way. It’s crazy, yet in a really likable way as these loser become incredibly interesting to read and follow with each issue. It’s funny, it’s well-drawn and it doesn’t shy away from self-indulgence and mockery, which makes this title something quite anticipated from my perspective.

2. Lazarus #5 – The first arc of this title was confident, fast-moving and delivered I lot of what I like when I read something done by Greg Rucka. Good action, decent world-building and a lot of potential were things that could easily be identified, with some strikingly potent art by Michael Lark. Now that the second arc is starting, I am anxious to see this title continue as the world gets bigger and the conflicts potentially larger.

3. Abe Sapien #8 – This title is a bit uneven, as it ranges from okay to downright great. It never truly stabilize in terms of quality, but when the lower points makes the series only a bit less enjoyable instead of downright terrible, it’s hard to not wait for one of the higher point to come back again. With a great angle and some terrific art and colorization, I would be hard-pressed not to wait for this one.

4. Unity #2 – The first issue of this series did a lot of things right: it introduced its players, gave readers plenty of action and featured rather good art. I don’t know if Matt Kindt can continue this trend, but I’ll only have to wait and see in order to get more. Hopefully, it’ll be just as good as the first one.

5. Astro City #7 – More Kurt Busiek goodness, with a touch of super hero optimism just the way I like. I really enjoy this series and how it portray a good dose of humanity to its characters, be they capes or not. I have no idea what the story will be this month, but I am eager to find out what Busiek and Anderson have in store for us.