SWEET TOOTH #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
Stewart R: Jeff Lemire’s not a name I’m immediately familiar with but his credentials seem promising enough to increase my anticipation for this Vertigo title. Gus is a young boy, born with antlers and a deer-like façade in isolated woodland where he grows up with his father. When he’s forced to leave behind the only home that he’s ever known he discovers a ravaged land where a pandemic has decimated the population yet he, and other children with similar animalistic mutations, seem to be immune. This promises to be an edgier story of childhood loss and discovery and the strange premise certainly has me intrigued. At a bargain $1.00 I can’t pass it up.
SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank & Jon Sibal
Matt C: Even though it's questionable whether we really need another retelling of the Man Of Steel's origin, the team involved in this miniseries are, for my money, the best creative partnership on a Superman book in years. Frank's rendering of Kal-El is pretty much perfect in my eyes and while I'd prefer these guys working on contemporary Superman tales I'm pretty confident they'll be bringing their A-game to this book, making it an essential purchase.
ULTIMATE COMICS: ARMOUR WARS #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Steve Kurth
James R: Ok, I'll admit it - I really could not give a swine's sneeze for the Ultimate Universe of late - Ultimates 3? Arrrgh! Ultimatum? Ack! However, all it takes is one name to get me back on board - step forward, Warren Ellis. I think Ellis has one of the best modern takes on Tony Stark (as a 'Test Pilot of the Future') in both the 616 and Ultimate Universe. So the prospect of him writing Iron Man again, even if it was just Tony inventing a new pencil sharpener, I'd be on board. The fact that it's mouthwateringly subtitled Armour Wars means that maybe there's life in the old/new/old Ultimate titles yet.
THOR: DEFINING MOMENTS GIANT-SIZE #1
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Marko Djurdevic
Rob N: A short, snappy title, that surely could be made a little bit longer by adding 'The Mighty' to the front of the cover. It's Straczynski's final issue, and I'm highlighting it first and foremost as a mark of respect for the quality of his reboot of the Thunder God, but also because he's leaving the title for all the right reasons. Being a writer for Marvel and DC must be a frustrating job at times because hardly five months goes by without your editor telling you to shelve your subtle continuity and embrace instead the latest big crossover event. Titles tread a careful line between selling too few copies (resulting in cancellation) and selling too many (pushing your character into the path of the 'A' list crossover arc). Thor it seems has done too well, and Straczynski has chosen to walk away rather than dilute his story with whatever Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis have dictated Marvel is doing next. He will be missed.
VENGEANCE OF THE MOON KNIGHT #1
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz
Art: Jerome Opena
Matt T: Moon Knight heading back to NY to hand Osborn's ass to him in a paper bag sounds just perfect, but I know it's not quite go to happen like that. If Hurwitz can at least recapture the early promise of the most recent run I'll be satisfied, even if the streets of the Big Apple aren't caked in Goblin blood.
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #27
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Jesus Salz
James R: Normally we flag up issue #1's on this part of the blog, but if there's anything noteworthy that might slip under your radar of monthly titles, well, we're here for that too. Exhibit A: Brave & The Bold - a title that has been overwhelmingly mediocre of late gets a welcome shot in the arm with September's issue, as this is the first to be written by J. M. Straczynski. Now, as good comic reading folk, I'm sure you don't need me to recount the man's pedigree, but it's safe to say he can write a bit! So the thought of him writing Batman, and throwing the cool 'H for Hero' device into the story mix means that this should be the first of a welcome upturn in this title's fortunes.
DARK X-MEN: THE CONFESSION #1
Writer: Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Art: Mitch Breitweiser
Stewart R: One of the most interesting aspects of the X-Men comics over the past few years has been the burgeoning pro-active attitude of Scott Summers - which it must be said has been embraced by the various writers charged with steering the good ships Uncanny, Force and Legacy - and his unravelling relationship with Emma Frost. With the House That Cyclops Built apparently on the verge of sinking beneath the sands of Dark Reign, so too may disappear his love for the former White Queen. Her thinking and actions are yet to be fully explained in the Utopia story and by the point this is released I’m guessing things will be much clearer but the prospect of these two going head to head over life, love and the future of mutantkind is a must for my pull-list.
PINNOCHIO: VAMPIRE SLAYER #1
Writer: Van Jensen
Art: Dustin Higgins
Andy H: Move over Buffy, there's a new slayer in town! Yep, you read it right. Everyones favourite wooden boy is the latest character to take on vampires. Genius! Why wasn't this thought of sooner? After witness the death of his father, Geppetto, our hero is out for vengeance. As long as he can keep telling lies he has an endless supply of stakes, thanks to his growing nose. Like any good slayer he has a team: a master carpenter, a fairy and a spectral cricket. With it's tongue stuck firmly in it's cheek this book should be a blast.
CHARLEY'S WAR VOLUME 6: UNDERGROUND AND OVER THE TOP HC
Writer: Pat Mills
Art: Joe Colquhoun
Rob N: A reprint, but scarce enough in its original form that most of you probably fall into the category labelled 'heard of it but haven't read it'. Pat Mills is better known as being one of the leading writers on 2000AD during its glory days, but in addition to his tenure on Tharg's flagship, he also contributed to many other IPC comics in the Seventies and early Eighties. One of the most prominent was Battle, for which he created a gritty and (let's be honest here) depressing World War One series. British comics traditionally featured gung-ho tales of action heroes thwarting the dastardly machinations of the Hun, so Charley's War with its unbridled realism and its 'war isn't just hell, it's also incompetent' theme meant it quickly stood out amongst the other strips. This is the last of the collected volumes, but consider this a plug for the earlier five books too.
SQUIRREL MACHINE OGN
Writer: Hans Rickheit
Art: Hans Rickheit
Matt T: As odd as this may sound, the actual reality behind this book is stranger than the title. So there's no rodent-producing contraption involved, instead we have a story of two brothers in the 19th century creating strange musical instruments out of futuristic technology and animal carcasses. I'm hoping that the end result comes together as something coherent, since the premise is enough for me to pick it up.