Because you demanded it, I’m going through the rest of my comic pull list to share what I’m reading and what I think of each book. Last night, I covered the mainstream DC books and tonight I’m picking up where I left off with my comics from other publishers (and Vertigo). Without further ado…
Though I spent last night going over DC superhero titles, this is my favorite superhero book being published. I love Daredevil but the book had gone over the deep end on its quest to make Matt Murdock more and more miserable. Along comes Mark Waid with the great idea of making things fun again. Even better, he does it without stepping on anything that happened before. And that’s not saying anything about Paolo Rivera’s art, which has been outstanding. Did I mention the covers? They’re some of the best I’ve ever seen. You should be reading this if you already aren’t.
Moving along to my other regular Marvel book, this one isn’t at the lofty heights it was two years ago but still manages to tell a good yarn every month. Ed Brubaker has a talent for making fantastic stories feel down to Earth and I’m a Steve McNiven fan, so there you go.
Speaking of Ed Brubaker, 2011 saw the end of his latest Incognito series and a new story for Criminal, both with regular cohort Sean Phillips. While Bad Influences may have not gotten the praise of the previous Incognito story, I still really enjoyed it. And Criminal? Last of the Innocents may be its best storyline yet. These will stay on my pull list as long as these two keep returning to them.
This is a new series from Image about a second generation KGB Cuban sleeper cell being re-activated to wreak havoc in the US, despite the Cold War being over. The problem is a key member has gone native and has no interest in working against his adopted home. The others aren’t taking no for an answer. The book is four issues in and off to a strong start.
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (Season 9)
So far, Whedon and company seem to have learned their lesson from Season 8, which started strong before going off the rails two-thirds of the way in. They’re keeping things down to Earth and it’s enjoyable watching Buffy adjust to her new status quo. Let’s hope they can keep it together.
After finishing the epic that was Bone and having fun with Shazam, Jeff Smith has moved into more adult territory with RASL. It’s the story of a scientist, turned dimension hopping thief dealing with the consequences of his, and his colleagues’, dabbling in Tesla’s unfinished work. It’s not the triumph that Bone was but it’s an interesting story and unlike anything else coming out right now.
2011 saw the conclusion of what creator Mike Mignola calls the second phase of the Hellboy story. At the end of this last series, Hellboy was able to defeat the witch queen Nimue and the Great Dragon but his soul was pulled into hell as a punishment. The ad at the back of the book promised a new series, Hellboy in Hell, coming in 2012. Sounds good to me.
This series, by the 100 Bullets team of Azzarello and Risso, is about Orson, a man bioengineered to live on Mars. That project was scuttled, though, and he spends his days as a scrapper in a flooded out, gloomy future while daydreaming about his adventurous life that should have been. Things get interesting when he winds up in the middle of a high profile kidnapping case. The little girl involved is the star of a reality series where poor kids compete to get adopted by a celebrity couple. Sound a little crazy? It is but these are two creators who know what they’re doing. There was complaining when the first issue came out that you couldn’t follow the dialogue, as Orson and his friends speak om a strange slang, but for me it just added to the book’s character.
That’s about it for my regular pulls, though I’m catching up on the two Vertigo series The Unwritten and Scalped in their trade collections. I highly recommend those two. Scalped doesn’t really take off until the third book but once it does it becomes one of the great all-time crime books.