This week's books (plus a few from previous weeks) were amazing! Add those to a few other goodies and it going to be quite lengthy post today, so grab your beverage of choice and turn on some Dido to set the mood.
First up is our fortnightly does of brightness, Brightest Day #10. This issue focuses on Aqualad and one of my favorite new odd couples, Firestorm. Both stories begin to heat up and boil (double bad pun useage for the win) as one pulls a semi-Darth Vader while the other brings back one of the best characters from Blackest Night (hint: his new name is so stupid its awesome.) Keeping up with quility of work this series has been putting out can't be easy task of this band of artists but they some how manage it. Art is still awesome, with a particularly striking cover, and going with only two story lines per issue is really helping the writing to shine.
Staying in the DCU but heading into a future (the future is a lot harder to get to), we have Batman Beyond #4 of 6. Terry meets up with a former partner of Bruce's and sees the real cost of the working with him while the new Catwoman shows she is not a one trick pussycat. Oh yeah, and the new Hush reveals his or her identity! I am going to reserve judgment on that till the end of the mini but still really enjoying the book. One (of the many) things the creative team, lead by Adam Beechen at the type writer and Ryan Benjamin on the pencils, is good at is subtly making references to the TV show. Both in the story and in the visuals it is their for long time fans to appreciate but doesn't exclude those who may just be getting into the Batman Beyond world.
Moving from the dark and grim future of Gotham City to the dark and grim future of the Marvel universe we have Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher #4 of 4. While I was some what skeptical about this mini at first it really ended up being an enjoyable read. Part dark comedy, part "true" Punisher story, this tale doesn't try to redefine Frank but show him in his true light in another world. This final issue really brings it all together nicely and satisfies with out making you desire a sequel. However, I do hope Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov team up for something else soon.
Meanwhile back in the current Marvel universe things are going almost as badly for our favorite band of young mutants in New Mutants #17. Illyana feels "a disturbance in the force" and realizes young Pixie has been kidnapped by General Ulysses, his unit, and "the babies." Taking charge, she leads the team against these Limbo-hardened warriors and by issue's end things are going so well. Have to start off by saying how much I love this cover! Not sure if it is how strong and colorful the image looks or my obsession with young Russian women with awesome names but Dave Wilkins gives us a cover you can't help but notice on the stands. As for everything inside the cover, awesome as usual. Can't wait to see what happens with these "babies" when everything is said and done. Also loved how Cypher nonchalantly translates everything said in limboese in the book, just adds to my fondness for him and Magick and gratefulness at having them both back in the X-verse.
Last up from Marvel is 1 Month 2 Live #3 of 5. This week Dennis Sykes, or Flux as he was recently dubbed, goes adventuring with Marvel's first family while his family drift further apart. Really liked Shane White's art in this issue, has that classic Fantastic Four feel to it and goes with the adventure. An interesting guest-star of the week type tale, this book is consistently fun and the creative team changes keep the reader vested as well, but I am not sure how its going to finish up in two issues with out feeling rushed or losing impact. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.
Changing companies to other dying protagnist, we have 5 Days To Die #3 of 5. Contiuing this weekly noir tale Ray confronts Mr. Hoverman but doesn't get his revenge just yet. Is revenge really warranted though, is Frank even seeing reality anymore after his injury? Meanwhile, in the hospital his daughter wakes up and is not to thrilled about his absence. Really digging the art on this book, its dark tones with occasional red splashed panels creates a feel not available anywhere else on the stands. While I feel like I know where right where this one is going, there still might be a surprise or two in store, and I am sticking around to see it to its bloody finale.
From one bloody tale to another, we have Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #3 & 4 of 4 (missed 3 at some point resulting in this little double feature this week.) Cassie Hack gets to the bottom of the happenings at the old Fig Farm and finds her place in this monster filled world. For my first venture into the Hack/Slash books this mini really pulled me in. Full of sexy babes, horror film humor, and character development this book delivers on all fronts. Already looking at picking up some of the collected editions and I can tell by the covers I am in for a treat. If you like horror movies or like to laugh at them, I can't recommend this book enough. I am sure it will be out in trade paper back soon enough, and be showcasing a provocative new cover no doubt.
Next up is another $1 preview comic from Radical, Mata Hari. A fictional tale based on the real person, famous during World War I as a performer turned "double agent" or government scapegoat depending on who you ask. Not only does this comic feature beautiful art but its page and panel layout is amazing. Busy pages line up and flow perfectly with out seeming crowed and over stuff. The story of this book is interesting as well, featuring an article at the end of the comic by the author and why he had to write this tale. Mata Hari is set as a hardcover graphic novel release in spring 2011 and I will definitely be picking it up then. The only problem I see with it is their release of this preview so early, closer to the release of the actual book would seemingly have gotten them much more sales from buzz about it.
Last to books of this week both come Vertigo and both are awesome, yes I realize saying something is from Vertigo and is awesome is redundant but some people don't know this yet and need to be converted. First up is Joe the Barbarian #7 of 8. In this penultimate chapter, Joe finally gets to the item that could make every thing right again but will it work for both worlds? I've said it before but this mini-series is just chock full of awesomeness! From all the classic heroes we see doing battle to the the mirroring of the real world in his world to the humorous mythical names given to locations, this one has all the makings of a great dream-scape adventure. Can't wait to see how it all wraps up in the next and final issue.
Last book, and no suprise as pick of the week since its no longer competing with Day Tripper, is The Unwritten #17. Taking a different approach with this issue, Mike Carey and Peter Gross present us with a choose your own adventure comic. Complete with non-sequential pages and choices that lead to different endings, this is just another example of how special and unique this comic is. It goes places other haven't or won't all while telling an engrossing narrative. The art, both interior and covers, is amazing as well of which this month's cover is a fine example. If your not already reading this comic, seriously stop reading and go check out the first collected volume!
That brings us to the end of my comics for the week but I also bought a few other things which you might find of interest.
First up is the Halo Reach Limited Edition set. I wouldn't call myself a huge Halo fan but I do enjoy the campaigns as well the multiplayer modes of all the ones I have played. The real reason I wanted to pick this up/showcase it here (besides playing it obviously) is how sweet this set really is. First is all comes in a black box type case which goes well with this game being about the fall of Reach In addition to the case it comes with a journal of one of the supporting characters in the game that dives deep into the creation of the Spartans as well as the research happening on reach. Now they could have just produced it like a normal book and it would have been fine but it is made to look like an actual journal down to the page feel and sketches inside! Going even beyond that, tons of little news stories or memos are stuffed into the journal and can be taken out, some of which I arranged in the picture below but I couldn't even fit all of them on the table. As some of you might now, I have a fondness for movie or game collector's editions I can easily say this is one of the finest I have ever seen.
Next to Halo Reach is an impulse buy graphic novel/memoir from this week, Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz. Can't say to much about this one, as I haven't gotten around to reading it yet but the cover and title really drew me in. Flipping through it in the store really sold, while it was simply illustrated I just got this cool personal feel from the writing. Looking forward to sitting down with it in the next few days, maybe even tonight.
Last is yet another example of my sickness in collecting collector's editions, the Alan Wake Limited Edition. I haven't tired the game at all and actually no very little about it outside its comparisons to Twin Peaks but just couldn't pass up this awesome looking edition on sale. This one, all shown in the picture below, comes with a novel "written" by the main character in the game about the happenings in the game, the soundtrack of the game, some bonus downloads for your Xbox 360, not to mention the game itself. On top of that, it comes packed in what looks like an over sized book (the protagonist is a writer.) Not quite as awesome as the Reach set but very cool indeed.
Well, that is it for this week. You know the routine, any comment is greatly appreciated. Suggestions, critiques, and even off color jokes are all accepted. If your not the type to comment email is also an option, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org Untill next time, stay literate my friends.
-The least interesting comic reader in the world