Dean’s Picks

Best From The Past Week: Velvet #3 – What an embarrassment of riches we have in creator-owned comics right now!  I would say that, “Velvet is already among my favorite ongoing series!” but we also have Lazarus, Saga, The Walking Dead, East of West, The Wake, American Vampire (coming back), The Unwritten (see below), Chew, The Manhattan Projects…..  My goodness!  Still, Velvet #3 takes the cheese this week.  This comic nails the technical aspects: well-written, nicely illustrated.  And it gives a slightly novel twist on a familiar -but popular – theme: spy on the run from his own agency.  Except the twist is that the spy isn’t James Bond, it’s basically a mature version of Ms. Moneypenny (the Skyfall version of Moneypenny).  I just love it.  I love how Ed Brubaker is interested in doing something different, but still is mainstream enough to keep things accessible.

Most Anticipated:

1. The Walking Dead #120 – I think everybody is ready for this All Out War story to reach its climax because it does seem to be lingering.  It isn’t so much that I hate the story line, but I want to see what happens when the action reaches its crescendo! Last issue definitely advanced the action a lot as Rick & Co. now seem to be on the back foot.

2. The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1 – One of my favorite Vertigo series is ready for the final lap.  There have been a lot of hiccups and sputters for The Unwritten in the last year as the first volume ended with an ill-advised crossover with Fables and then we were given an Unwritten OGN that was very high quality, but didn’t do much to push the story forward.  I assume such measures were taken to draw new eyeballs to the series to stave off cancellation?  Still, Unwritten is back for a final 12 issue dash to the finish.  That SHOULD mean a return to the incredibly deep and thought provoking storytelling that was the hallmark of the series for the first 4 years of its existence.  I’m excited!  We need more comics written for thinking-people.

3. Batman #27 – It’s funny, with all the other comics coming out every 2 weeks and the flurry of new #1 issues from Image, I feel like Batman only comes out every couple of months.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the first parts of Zero Year, but the story has really found its footing and now it is typical Snyder/Capullo quality.  Enjoy.

4. Chew #39 – This series is in a very interestin

Hugo’s Pick

Best From The Past Week: Velvet #3 – This was another masterfully written and drawn issue of a team that has nothing to prove to anyone. The ongoing mystery and adventure that permeates the life of this title makes for a very tantalizing read, which was exactly what was delivered in this issue. I tip my hat to you, Brubaker and Epting.

Most anticipated this week:

1. FF #16 – This is it, the final issue of this creative team. While Fraction did leave the title, I have a lot of faith in Lee, Mike and Laura Allred as I am sure they can still deliver the charm and fun that this title was simply oozing all the time. I have no idea how they will close this run, but I am eager to find out.

2. Hawkeye #16 – It had been a while since we last saw the adventure of Hawkguy, but it’s always a pleasure to find out an issue is coming out. The aloof adventures of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop are always entertaining and they always have rather lovely art, so there’s no way I cannot anticipate another issue of this wonderful series.

3. TMNT: Utrom Empire #1 – The IDW titles featuring our favourite ninjutsu practising amphibian are always surprisingly good. With so many characters and so many plot points going on in their universe, I admit to a certain curiosity with this mini-series. The point may be nebulous now, but I do want to find out if Krang and other such characters may play a role in the series future.

4. All-New X-Factor #2 – The first issue was a very pleasant surprise, with a lot of the charm that Peter David is known for. It wasn’t perfect by any mean, but it did deliver on what I anticipated and I do hope this is one will as well. Fun, action and a good lot of exploration of minor characters is always welcome.

5. Black Widow #2 – I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue. With evocative artwork, a nice rendition of the character and a certain direction that has potential, I suppose this issue will tell us if the series can really wow people one more time. Here’s hoping that it does.