1 Jun 2011

Incoming... 01/06/2011

New comics are released Wednesday in the States and guess what, in the UK too! Here's a brief look at our expectations for the books we're picking up this week.

Stewart R: Well it’s Wednesday, there are new comics due in and I’m sure everyone is excited about that but I wonder just how many DC reader’s will be looking at their haul a little skeptically today and for the rest of this week following the news that DC is going to essentially reboot or restart the vast majority of it’s titles come September? I’m not the biggest DC follower so the impact to me may just see a slight reduction in the 7-8 titles I do pick up on a monthly basis - Green Lantern is something of a concern for me admittedly - but readers picking up Jeff Lemire’s Superboy #8, Stracznski’s Wonder Woman #611 and other releases this Wednesday may be wondering if it’s worth sinking much of their reading hearts into these comics considering that it’s a good possibility that the storylines being written and read now will have no real influence on the future direction of the title. There’ll no doubt be further press releases and announcements in the coming days on just how much will change in the DC Universe so it’s just a case of holding onto your hats folks and hoping for the best!

Bringing the focus back to this week’s pull-list I find myself barraged once again by a slew of new illustrated delights and strangely there’s exactly the same number of titles as there was last week for me to wade through. Top billing this week has to go to the grand, blood-soaked and laser beam-fried finale of Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards’ superb Image series and I’ve been looking forward to Turf #5 for quite some time. At a time where I find myself cursing long, often unplanned breaks between issues of various comic titles - see Young Avengers The Children’s Crusade or any of Mark Millar’s books - I have to say that I’ve had little or no trouble sinking straight back in to the vampire and alien populated 1920s world that Ross and Edwards have crafted after each gap of a couple of months. This final piece of the puzzle looks likely to be an explosive affair as Eddie Falco and his ragtag gang of armed showgirls and one bulky alien try to prevent the waking of the biggest and meanest vampire of them all. It still makes me laugh a little now at how Ross has managed to take all of the many ingredients present in that last sentence and get them to work in one coherent and enjoyable plot but by golly the man has done it. Only hours to go until I discover just how hard I’ll be recommending the whole series to other friends...

On the other side of the coin I’ll be picking up Criminal: Last of the Innocent #1 this week thanks to the many recommendations I received a couple of years back to dive into Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ dark and seedy Criminal Universe. Since dipping my toes into the noirish waters I’ve not looked back and have been really impressed with Tracy Lawless’ troubles in Criminal: The Sinners and Zack Overkill's super-powered and ethical conundrums in Incognito. Brubaker has said that this latest series will only work as a comic as he and Phillips will be utilising styles and tropes from 1950s kids’ comics at various points throughout to enhance the visual storytelling of this tale of sex, obsession and murder which should be interesting to see. Heck, let’s face it, when these creators get together it’s always worth picking up their wares as they rarely put a foot wrong.

Marvel continue to keep the Fear Itself cart rolling on in timely fashion as #3 hits the shelves today and I’ll be interested to see just how dark and dangerous things are going to get for the superheroes of Earth - oh yeah, and the entire human population who are taking a severe hit to their numbers during this event! We’re getting close to the mid point of this event and I’m hoping that Fraction is getting nearer to showing us just what plan the forces of the Serpent are acting upon and just what their actual aim is. There’s still an air of mystery swimming through my head after reading the first two chapters and it’s not quite clear whether the forces of Earth will be leading the fight back against the seven hammer-wielding and transformed heroes and villains or whether this will end up being an Asgardian-led war. To this point it seems that the ‘Breakers’ may verge on being unstoppable and in some ways I really do hope that Fraction has a touch of genius tucked up his sleeve for how this may play out.

While the main event carries on unimpeded there are of course a mountain of tie-ins to contend with and for the most part I’ll be avoiding picking up anything outside of my usually collected Marvel titles. The one exception to that rule is Fear Itself The Deep #1 which is out today. Written by Cullen Bunn (of Sixth Gun fame), illustrated by Lee Garbett (The Outsiders, Batgirl) and featuring the likes of Dr Strange, Namor and other members of The Defenders this has struck a chord with me for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on. The creative team have really been having a good few years with Bunn being a writer who’s now squarely on my radar and Garbett being a big reason for me getting into the Batgirl series when it restarted. I’m also interested whenever Steven Strange appears in titles these days as he’s a character who really has fallen from atop his lofty perch in recent Marvel Universe years and it intrigues me to see how various writers portray a man who feels that he’s seen better days and has really abused his position of power.

Speaking of which, we’ll get to see just how close to that line Brian Michael Bendis is going with Moon Knight #2 this week! Har-de-har Har! Happy reading folks!

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