New year, new comics, new posting schedule (as in a little more often then every four months); so without further ado let's get right into the first batch of comics from 2012!
First up, Team Cyclops is making the world love and fear them in Uncanny X-Men #4. In a one-off tale, spinning out of Mr. Sinister's return, The Phalanx are back and still having problems "making friends." Not a ground breaking comic by any means, but it is always nice to get a one'n'done in sea of trade formatted titles. Keiron Gillen weaves an interesting and humanizing story of a solitary phalanx (phalani?), which accompanied by Brandon Perterson's art and Justin Ponsor's thematic colors makes for an enjoyable read. I would love to see more of this kind of thing from the book, but the arc starting next issue doesn't sound too bad either as it is spinning out of the previous events from the next title here.
We once again head to the Age of Apocalypse with Uncanny X-Force #19.1. Phoenix and Sabretooth return to their home-world after helping out X-Force, and are immediately thrown back into the fire. Another solid writing effort from Remender, who has been knocking it out of the park lately, this time paired up with Billy Tan's softer and more dramatic art making for a compelling read. My only real complaint with this one is that it should have been Age of Apocalypse #0, as it leads directly into #1 of that series and offers no introduction to the current X-Force (the original goal of these .1 issues.) Still, I'm looking forward to more of this story and these characters when their title starts in March.
From the horrors of a post-apocalyptic world, we head to the horrors (and whores) of the werewolf world in Ferals #1. It seems strange beasts have descended upon the small Minnesota town of Cypress and they aren't too fond of it's human inhabitants. In true Avatar Press (and writer David Lapham) fashion, this book features blood and guts galore but also harbors some psychological under-currents that will keep readers coming back. Maybe not their best first issue, when compared to the likes of the Crossed minis and Caligula, but still definitely worth a look, if only to check out the various ways Gabriel Andrade decides to layout corpses in his art.
We continue this horror spree over into DC with Animal Man #5. Buddy Baker confronts the third hunter to save his family, but he might have just put them into more danger. Another fantastic issue from Jeff Lemire (writer) and Travel Foreman (primary artist) that not only raises the stakes in the series but sticks some beautifully grotesque art in ones mind that won't soon be forgotten. Definitely looking forward to more from this creative team in the coming months, especially when it starts officially crossing over with the next book here.
Concluding DC's horror, double feature for the week is Swamp Thing #5. Alec and Abby continue chasing her half brother, the soon to be avatar of The Rot, with disastrous results. As the similarities between this and Animal Man continue to grow, so does the quality in each of them. Scott Snyder is quickly becoming the top man in horror comics and Yanick Paquette's art (especially the fluid panel layering) makes almost every page worthy of a wall frame. Hard to deny this the top spot of the week, but a well know noir team has snatched it out from under them.
My favorite comic of the week is Fatale #1 from Image Comics. The famous Criminal team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips reunite to tell the tale of the fictional novel 'The Losing Side of Eternity' and the trouble it brings it's new owner. Interestingly enough, this is my foray into the teamed efforts of Brubaker and Phillips and I really enjoyed it. The former's knack for interesting yet mysterious dialogue and the latter's expressive and shadowy artwork work well in tandem, creating a murky world of beautiful women and troubled men. Looking forward to more as the first issue only gave the reader barest taste of the mythology, murder, and magic it advertises but sometimes a little goes along way.
That's all folks! Next week looks to be shaping up nicely with lots of Image titles and X-books to get to, so make sure you swing by your local comic shop and grab a few.