Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wednesday Pickups 1/11/12

Lots of good books this week (so many that I left off of the usuals like Unwritten), so let's get right to it:

First up this week comes from Image and is one of their newer titles, The Last of the Greats #4. The Last - A super alien whose siblings were all killed by humanity - deals with the starling realization from last issue that there is a "daughter" of The Greats and that he is now a father/mother while our protagonist Beaumont suffers for his oh so human choices. It's hard to talk too much about this issue without giving away it's ending, suffice to say it something I really didn't see coming but isn't exactly out of left field either when you think about the book's themes. Joshua Hale Fialkov continues to write a interesting story about power and instincts, while Brent Peeples; Nick Nix; and Eddy Swan (Penciler; Inker; and Colorist, respectively) present gentle artwork that isn't afraid to switch to violent on a moment's notice. Definitely recommend checking this out if you are looking for a book that deviates from the normal super-hero fare.

Moving over to Dark Horse Comics, we have Orchid #4. Lord Wolfe, self designated ruler of civilization, tells the tale of his beast-controlling general who he is about to sic on Simon and Orchid. While I liked the first issue, since then the book has been going down hill and this will be the last one I pick up. The world Tom Morello created for the book is interesting and has potential, but I just think the story he is telling with it is getting shallow and boring. This coupled with Scott Hepburn's art leaves me more disappointed that satisfied after reading it, so probably a book your going to want to pass on.

Going back to Image, we have the debut issue of Joshua Luna's new book, Whispers #1. Sam Webber is a man who spends a bit too much time in his own head, but that is about to change as he's just discovered he can leave his body while sleeping and effect the lives of people he knows. I was a little skeptical about how Joshua's work would be solo - most of his previous work has been collaborations with his brother Jonathan - but I have to say I really liked this first issue. Josh's art has a distinctly rougher feel, that works for the title and his story feels human with just a dash of weirdness to keep it interesting. If you've enjoyed the brothers' previous works - Ultra, The Girls, The Sword - I recommend giving this a shot.

Heading over to Marvel, we have X-Men Legacy #260.1 kicking off an east coast X-Men triple feature. Rouge's group settles into their new role at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning with a friendly game of football and some unexpected grounds-keeping. Christos Gage and David Baldeon (writer and penciler) turn in a perfect .1 issue, that not only manages to introduce us to the regular cast (both new and old) but tell a self-contained story that establishes the book's tone. If only Marvel would make sure every .1 were held to this standard, I would get behind this initiative. Definitely check this one out, even if your not an X-Men fan it's worth a read.

Venturing off the school grounds, we catch up with Madrox and crew in X-Factor #230. The group continues to mourn for Jamie - who unbeknownst to them is bouncing around alternate dimensions - as Wolverine shows up to help them in more ways that one. Only my second issue back reading X-Factor, but it's already commanding a regular spot on my pull list with Peter David's comedic writing and the cohesive art of Emanuela Lupacchino, Guillermo Ortego, and Matt Milla (penciler, inker, and colorist.)  Looking forward to more great times from this crew, especially with their newly added characters - aka my main reason for returning to the title. A must buy if you want more than a few laughs from you funny books.

Heading back to Westchester County, and surprising even me as pick of the week, is Wolverine and the X-Men #4. The school gets a couple new students, straight over from Uncanny X-Force, and receives a guest lecture from Deathlok. While I stayed away from the book for the first few issues, based on the art and the bad taste the writer's last X-Men tale (Schism) left in my mouth, I decided to give this a shot with the new characters additions, and man am I glad I did. Feeling like a blend between Morrison's New X-Men and Kyle & Yost's New X-Men, Jason Aaron has written something in this book for every one. Mutants both young and old struggling to deal with their powers and the world in general may be the oldest synopsis for any X-Men book but why fix what isn't broken. While it could be viewed as a step backward from the previous years, the book setting it's self up as something so similar to books from almost ten years ago, I now see it more as giving readers an option for their mainstream X-Men consumption. You can follow the heavy hitters and action packed adventures of Team Cyclops in Uncanny X-Men, get back to the roots of young mutants learning to deal with the world in this title, or pick up both if your like me and can never seem to get enough X-Men. So check this one out if your craving that mutant education of yesteryear, as it also makes for a great introductory issue.

That's it for this week and since I "may" already be working on next week's reviews, I'll just leave it at that.

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