New comics are due to hit the shelves on Wednesday so here’s a look ahead at some of the books we’ll be picking up this week.
James R: Well, some weeks are thin, and some weeks are Biblically fat. Following a pull-list which constituted a single book last week, mid-July regains the equilibrium with a slew of quality books. It's certainly the strongest showing for a Dark Horse for a long time, with three titles on my pull. Firstly, there's Jeff Lemire's new series Black Hammer, finally getting a release. Following a lengthy delay, I can't wait to see how this reads - Lemire's name alone will always guarantee that I pick a book up, but the premise of a super-team trapped in a timeless farming town following a multiverse-crisis event looks spectacular. There's also new material from the equally brilliant Matt Kindt with the fourth issue of full-fathom murder-mystery Dept. H. I'm also a fan of Fred Van Lente, who has one of the most singular voices in mainstream comics, and I'm definitely giving the second issue of his Cthulu-flavoured series Weird Detective a look. From DC, it's the next chapter of Rebirth, and following a strong start for both I'm still picking up Batman and Superman. Neither are shaking the world of comics to its foundations, but each of them have started with good plots and a strong sense of their iconic characters - let's hope DC's notoriously meddling editorial board leave the respective creative teams to craft some quality runs! I'm only getting three Marvel Universe books these days, so my single purchase from the House of Ideas is the latest instalment in Jason Aaron's masterful take on Star Wars. Even if it wasn't good as a book, I'd still buy it - it's one of those rare times where the cover by David Aja is so good, it's worth the cover price alone! Finally, Image give me two books which I know will be quality - firstly, there's Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's majestic Lazarus continuing to be one of the finest comics published anywhere. Finally, there's Brian Wood and Garry Brown's Nordic Noir, Black Road. Following a brilliant third issue, I'm hoping that this next chapter keeps up the high standard that's seen Wood back to his Northlanders best.
Andy H: Verily, 'tis a good week for comics. You'd never know I was watching Thor whilst writing this would you? Anyhoo, some good stuff IS heading our way. Jeff Lemire has another book out this week, the much anticipated Black Hammer #1. Joined by Dean Ormston on art duties this tells the tale of a band of heroes after their heroing days are done. Living a quiet life in a farming town may not be the end after all. I don't think this will be an all-action based comic so I look forward to Lemire's deft handling of a character-driven piece. Being a massive fan of Adam Hughes' art, I will be picking up Betty & Veronica #1. Unlike the Archie and Sabrina 'dark' makeovers, B&V appears to be keeping with the original concept. This is new territory for me but Hughes on art and writing makes it a must buy. Over at DC there's more Rebirth to check out. Like Green Lantern, Hellblazer lost it's way for me over the last few years and like GL, I'm all for giving it another go. This time Simon Oliver is the scribe and Moritat is on art. One, just one, of the flaws was moving John Constantine to America but it looks like he's coming home to London, baby. He's back fighting demons and of course a curse on his soul. Sounds like old times. Batgirl And The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 catches my eye as, a) Batgirl and Black Canary are back together, and b) we get some Oracle related story, much missed since Barbara Gordon donned the cowl again. Over at Image we have something new from Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, the delightfully titled Snotgirl #1. Art by newcomer Leslie Hung looks great so it's another Image issue #1 to check out. I also have some Image regulars to look forward to as Manifest Destiny #21 and Velvet #15 round out this weeks pull.