GREEN LANTERN: LARFLEEZE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL #1
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Brett Booth
Stewart R: As far as I’m concerned Green Lantern and the associated titles are where it’s at when talking about DC’s best and most consistent books at this moment in time. That of course is down to Geoff Johns and the huge amount of effort he has put in to lifting and expanding the universe in which all the Lanterns live. And when it comes to Johns’ contribution to Lantern lore then you don’t get more memorable than Agent Orange himself, Larfleeze!! The supreme lobbyist for all things Avarice gets his own one-shot this winter as his greedy sights settle upon the festive season and Santa Claus/Father Christmas. This little idea was hinted at in Green Lantern #56 when Larfleeze was spotted writing to the fat, jolly fellow with the beard of white and dare I say it, this could be a nice little comic-rival for How The Grinch The Stole Christmas if we’re very good little children and stay off the naughty list.
WILDSTORM PRESENTS: PLANETARY – LOST WORLDS #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway & Andy Lanning
James R: Wha? There's a...? Nah, it can't be! It finished! For a moment my hopes were raised sky high that Warren Ellis had a few more Planetary tales to tell. Sadly, these are re-prints put in a collected edition. One features Wildstorm favorites, the Authority, while the other is a riff on the JLA - Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta. Seeing that Planetary is one of the few titles I've ever given a 10 to, you bet your sweet bits I'm recommending these to anyone who hasn't has the Planetary experience, or missed them first time round. Not illustrated by the genius of John Cassaday unfortunately, but still - it's Warren Ellis, it's Planetary and it's an automatic must-read for all right-thinking comics fans!
THE MAN OF GLASS GN
Writer: Martin Flink
Art: Martin Flink
Accent UK $5.95
Stewart R: I’ve really warmed to creator owned work in recent years and it seems that this December might be another good opportunity to pick up another piece of personal, comic vision. The Man of Glass is written and illustrated by Danish comic Martin Flink and looks at two seemingly separate lives; one a promising boxer with a career ahead of him and a young family at his side, the other an old, transient man with nothing to accompany him through life other than the possessions he keeps in two carrier bags. This promises to be a study of just how fragile life can be and the festive season is always a good time to be reminded of such things so I’ll be giving this a good read through.
WOLVERINE: THE BEST THERE IS #1
Writer: Charlie Huston
Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Andy H: Yuk! First off what a horrible title. Next it will probably be 'Wolverine: Bub'! Sorry, went a little off track there. Once again the thing that draws me initially to a new title is the art and this is the case here with Juan Jose Ryp. If you want in your face, over the top visuals you can't get much better than Ryp. Generally best known for his work on Avatar's more violent titles (is there any other kind?) he's now entering the more mainstream with Marvel. Already having a couple of issues of Vengeance of the Moon Knight under his belt I'm guessing Wolverine could be a natural fit for his style. How 'in your face' it can be remains to be seen. Charlie Huston has worked on Punisher and Moon Knight so I'm sure he can bring the proper tone to the pages of Wolverine and give Ryp plenty of scope to do his thing!
PROOF: ENDANGERED SPECIES #1
Writer: Alex Grecian
Art: Riley Rossmo
Matt C: I’m enormously pleased to see this series get a second opportunity to bring its own unique brand of charm to the comics scene. Whereas the first series had the titular sasquatch Proof as a government agent working at secret facility The Lodge, this time we see him on the run from his former employers and following his own agenda. Proof is one of those books that you feel quite protective of because, as it’s not a mega-seller, it’s like you’re in on a secret, like you’re part of an elite club. You find yourself desperately wanting it to succeed, against the odds, because you want to keep reading stories about these characters. So I hope folks use this perfect opportunity to acquaint themselves with a comic that’s quite unlike anything else out there today.
HEROES FOR HIRE #1
Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Brad Walker
Stewart R: I’ll be blunt and honest; I haven’t particularly given a fig about Marvel characters like Iron Fist, Ghost Rider or even The Punisher before, they have never really held much appeal for me. I can’t even promise that that is likely to change in the year to come but I can tell you one thing: whatever Abnett and Lanning happen to write that involves the excellent Brad Walker picking up his pencil to put idea to page will always grab my attention and allow me to keep as open a mind as possible! Certain members of the Paradox Group will attest to the fact that I was shaking my head furiously at the possibility of me writing about the Heroes For Hire until I completely U-turned when the three creators’ names were revealed to me. These guys handle large casts incredibly well and having actually warmed to Paladin during his Thunderbolts membership I’m hoping that the odd appearance in this book might be memorable too.
LADY MECHANIKA #1
Writer: Joe Benitez
Art: Joe Benitez
Andy H: Buy this book for the cover alone! Go on, check it out. It's gorgeous! Dubbed 'Lady Mechanika' by the tabloids after she was the only survivor found in an abandoned lab and her limbs replaced with mechanical components. With no memory of her former life or who did this, she is searching for answers. Now as a private detective she is on a case that could also reveal the secrets of her past. Standard sci-fi fare? Did I forget to mention this is set in the late 1800s? Lovers of steampunk and alternate histories form an orderly queue here.
CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE KORVAC SAGA #1
Writer: Ben McCool
Art: Craig Rousseau
James R: Since entertaining the hell out of the Paradox Group a couple of Bristol Comics Cons ago, we've been watching the career of Ben McCool with a ultra-beady eye. After his winningly bonkers image series Choker, he gets a crack at one of the Marvel icons with this Captain America miniseries. It's another take on the classic Jim Shooter Avengers tale The Korvac Saga, but McCool doesn't do dull, and I'm curious to see how he interprets Steve Rogers. It's bound to be more fund than Bendis' Avengers!
Writers: Jon Price & David Norton
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
12-Gauge Comics $3.99
Stewart R: ‘Where were you when the magic came back?’ A good question there and thankfully this relates to a comic and isn’t referring to a sports team tournament win or that latest of returns to fame of some rehabilitated singing starlet. No, what we have here is a neat little premise which looks at what would happen if everyone in the world woke up one morning and had the ability to use their innate magical powers. That isn’t maybe the most original of ideas but it seems that Price and Norton will be looking at how the governments of the world would react to such an occurrence and what it would mean if they had been aware that the powers were laying dormant in the first place. The preview text also suggests that two young boys, Ben and Darius, are the main protagonists so I’ll be hoping for a nicely rounded story of magical mayhem!
ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #13
Writer: Paul Cornell
Art: Marco Rudy & Ed Benes
James R: Paul Cornell has had a brilliant 2010 - from Pulse, his BBC3 horror, to his comics work (with Action Comics & Knight & Squire he's been consistently tops) and now he rounds of the year in style with this Action Comics annual. We get to see Lex Luthor's first meetings with two of the DCU's biggest villains. Given his knack with the rogues in the Action Comics title, I've got no doubt this will be a blast and a neat addition to the 'Black Ring' story arc.