Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday Pickups: The First Two Weeks of December (12/01/10 and 12/08/10)

Still playing catch up here so jumping right back in with December's books:

First up is an impulse pick after flipping through it at the shop, Batman: Orphans #1 of 2. Somewhat uncharacteristic of the dark knight, Batman starts recruiting any army of orphaned and runaway children to help him fight crime on the mean streets of Gotham. Keeping them in an undisclosed location, he is hiding them from even Dick (Nightwing) and Tim (Robin). The question is, Why? Have to admit I really picked this up because I flipped it open and the first page mislead me a bit. It turned out not to be a bad thing however as I really ended up enjoying the comic. Featuring two talents I haven't read much of before, Eddie Berganza (writing) and Carlo Barberi (pencils, did some awesome work on New Mutants Vol.2), who ended up really working well together. Looking forward to the second part soon.

Next up, and also from DC, is Brightest Day #15. Titled "Whatever Happened To The Manhunter From Mars?", this story takes a look at Martian Manhunter's new "life" on the revived mars quite a few years in the future. Another great one off from the Brightest Day crew, this one is also accessible to those not keeping up with the title if read as an Elseworlds One-shot. Probably would have ended up being a pick of the week if it wasn't against some of the stiff competition I'm about to talk about, I really recommend every one check out this issue for its great art and story.

Runner up this week is a "series" that is quickly becoming one of my favorites, Vertigo Resurrected: Winter's Edge One Shot. Another anthology like collection, this time featuring winter/holiday related stories that Vertigo has previously released in 3 issue mini-series, it once again blew me away. Perfect for those readers who have just come to Vertigo in the past few years and missed out on these stories the first time, like me for instance. A great read for a cold winter's night, make sure to pick it up if your shop has any left. Can't even pick a favorite out of this one, pretty much all the stories were top quality and well worth the price of admission.

Last up, and pick of the week by a slim margin over the last two books, is American Vampire #9. Concluding the "Devil in the Sand" arc, all the major players engage in a bloody free-for-all with not everyone living to see the sunrise. I pretty much been gushing about this title since the first issue, but what can I say Scott Snyder (writer) and Rafael Alburquerque (artist) have consistently been bringing their "A" game. Perfectly combing period set comics with the horror and gore of vampire books, this duo have a firm handle on how to keep a reader coming back for more. So if your still one of the few who has yet to check out this awesome book, do yourself a favor and pick up the recently released hardcover collection of the first two arcs.

Small but very quality stack this week, I love it when there isn't one book in the bunch that disappoints. Keeping it going though, here are the books from the 8th:

Starting off with the only Marvel book I picked up this week, we have Widowmaker #1 of 4. Essentially the title that is taking the place of Hawkeye and Mockingbird for a few months, this issue features someone new dawning the Ronin identity and killing international politicians. Not far behind, some of the most notable Marvel spies, Black Widow and Mockingbird (with Hawkeye in tow), are hot on his tail as they have had hits put out on them. All is all, a solid book. It really keeps the same feeling built in the H&M (or HaM if you prefer) and just drops Black Widow into the mix. Love what Jim McCann is doing with these characters and I hope he keeps their reigns for quite a while.

Venturing to a company that rarely graces my pull list (I buy their books in trades), Image brings us 27 #1 0f 4. This issue follows injured rock star Will Garland on his 27th birthday as he meets with an "alternative healer," looking for anyone that can get him back the use of his left hand. Little does he know, he just open a door to a world even weirder than that of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Initially drawn in by the awesome cover pictured above, I ended up digging the book. The story (written by Charles Soule) has got me interested enough to keep picking it up and the while the interior art (done by Renzo Podesta) isn't my favorite it fits well with the dark and mysterious tone of the book. Definitely recommend giving it a shot if your local shop still has it on the shelves.

Continuing with another awesome cover, we have Crossed: Family Values #6. This penultimate issue starts with a bang and pretty much beating you to the ground the whole way through. Adaline and Matt make it back to the rest of their group after their run in with the Crossed members of their family last issue but morale is hits rock bottom. What more can I say about this series that I haven't already? It's still superbly written, still spectacularly drawn, and continues to drags its readers through the mud while kicking them square in the junk (but in the best way possible. ) If you can't handle gore or only slightly do not read this book, but for those brave few that can or embrace it (you sickos know who you are ;)) this is a must read if only to see what new way Lapham and Barreno have come up with to disgust their readers. Also, I really didn't think any one particular Crossed would reach the level of infamy "Horse-cock" achieved, but I have got to say Mommy Pratt has topped him in every way possible.

Heading into the slightly more cheerful world of DCs capes and tights, we have Red Robin #18. Heading to Russia, following a lead about the supervillian communication grid Unternet, Tim meets with heroes and businessmen to gather intel not knowing who is really on his side if any of them are. Another great Red Robin issue from writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Marucs To, yet this book still flies under the radar of most DC fans. Sure it doesn't feature the big names of the other Bat-Family titles but its just as good, if not better. In conclusion, Buy It!

Next up if Justice League: Generation Lost #15. Back in the present, after last issues possible future, we find our favorite outcasts once again seeking refuge in an old J.L.I. base while, unbeknownst to them, a new threat tracks them down. Also, turns out Max Lord isn't the only person the most of the world forgot. Continuing its streak of awesomeness, this issue brings us another solid read. Another title I've praised to death and have run of good things to say about it, easily my favorite Justice League title in quite a while.

Lastly up, and pick of the week, is Booster Gold #39. In this issue that really hit me on personal level, Booster deals with his unresolved feelings over his best friend's (Blue Beetle) death. Not as humor filled as most issues but one that is equally important to the building of the character; Giffen, DeMantteis, Batista, and Perrotta bring us a stand alone issue that tugs on the heart strings and is a shinning example to be shown to anyone who claims superhero comics are "for little kids." Might not be as moving to those that haven't been keeping up with Booster but I still recommend everyone check out this book, if not this issue. Great story, character, and art that has its hooks deeper in me than pretty much any other DC book.

Well, that wraps up another two weeks of comics and brings me closer to getting back on track. Looking to do one more long post containing the last three weeks of December and put me back on track for the new year. Any questions, comments, or suggestions can be left below or sent to

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