Dean’s Picks

Best From The Past Week: Lazarus #6 – Even a quieter issue of Lazarus is way beyond the quality of most comics.  This wasn’t the most action-packed issue, but there are so many little nuances being layered in that it’s hard not to be impressed.  The cool thing about Lazarus is that it is really just a funhouse mirror view of class-warfare and inequality.  Those are pretty timely topics give the unemployment/underemployment rate in the US and the amount of wealth held by the top 1%, huh?

Most Anticipated:

1. The Walking Dead #121 – TWD is always a safe bet to top my “most anticipated” list, but last issue actually ended on a pretty high note.  This series is at its best when it has forward momentum and the current status quo has persisted for entirely too long.  But, it’s just about over and I’m really excited to see our protagonists/survivors back out “on the road” looking for a new place to hide.  The enema the series needed is upon us.

2. Batman #28 – The true villain of Zero Year was revealed last issue and I love that it’s someone who can (probably) out-think this  young Batman.  The story is clicking together wonderfully and the art is sublime.

3. Manifest Destiny #4 – This series is still in it’s honeymoon phase for me.  In a few issues, they’ll have to answer some questions about why any of this stuff matters, but for now, I’m just enjoying watching Lewis and Clark battle bison/minotaurs.

4. Mercenary Sea #1 – For the longest time, I didn’t have a clue what this series is about – I just kept seeing the preview art in the back of some Image books and was captivated.  The story is supposedly about high-seas privateers in an old German U-Boat in the Pacific Ocean in 1938: wild tropical islands, south seas pirates, aggressive Imperial Japan, luscious ladies in hula skirts…..  Could be really entertaining.

5. Royals: Masters of War #1 – There’s a sense that the “New Vertigo < Old Vertigo” and it’s true that there have been some stinkers like Dominique Laveaux and some very “meh” comics like Hinterkind and Spaceman, but Vertigo has also recently brought us The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus, American Vampire and The New Deadwardians.  So, Royals could go either way.  Regardless, it’s probably worth giving it a chance.  The crux of the story is that the English royalty family has superpowers and the purer the bloodline, the stronger the powers.  They’ve mostly stayed out of wars, but the Blitz during WWII brings them into action.

6. She-Hulk #1 – I’m always a sucker for a She-Hulk series.  Maybe I just like green women??  There’s always been something interesting about her that makes her a little more interesting than the typical superheroine.  Interestingly, this series is written by Charles Soule who is an attorney just like Jessica Walters.  And its illustrated by Javier Pulido who is always awesome.

Hugo’s Pick

Best From The Past Week: Action Comics #28 – It wasn’t the strongest of weeks, but there are always books that do manage to stand out, with the week won by Superman. Greg Pak’s take on the man of steel is actually very fun, with a great mix between older and newer sensibilities with the character. Charming, fun and with rather energetic art, this was something that really made me smile, which is sometimes all that’s needed.

Most anticipated this week:

Some series are ending and some beginning here, with quite a lot that really makes me eager this week. A good number of creators are lined up here, with some rather nice variety.

1. X-Men Legacy #24 – I have no idea how this story will end and that alone makes it exciting. The evolution of David Haller was something special, turning him from a character that I had no interest in to one I absolutely love and the spotlight on him will unfortunately fade away here. Simon Spurrier and the many collaborators that worked on this series deserves special kudos and I believe they can close this superb tale in a way that is befitting of the weird, yet touching story they have built.

2. Manifest Destiny #4 – This rather unique tale is one that has a lot of potential. With a touch of horror, adventure, exploration, alternate history and many other genres mixed together, I am certainly mightily curious to see where this might go. With art that is also very expansive and detailed, this fresh new series has my attention this week.

3. Thor: God of Thunder #19 – Esad Ribic is back! Hurray!…But I also believe that the new arc focusing on Thor tackling an evil corporation while his future self tussle with Galactus might provide a lot of fun too. The latest arc wasn’t bad by any means, but I do think the return of Ribic will make this series return to the height it once attained.

4. Eternal Warrior #6 – The previous issue was a big surprise, with great world-building and a direction that was simply magnificent to see develop. With the 4001 AD corner of the Valiant universe now built and the intriguing additions of Greg Pak to the ongoing effort of setting up the mythology and lore, I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter to what might be a great and memorable arc.

5. She-Hulk #1 – I have faith in Charles Soule. While he isn’t the most consistent of writers in terms of quality, his lows are few and far between as well as not that terrible when compared to some of the low-quality stuff some writers can produce. He can produce fun storylines and work very well in a superhero universe, which bodes well for a character as strongly connected to pure fun like Jennifer Walters. If this first issue is the opening to a great run or not is still to be seen, but I do have high hope for this one.