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.
Matt C: Following Brian Michael Bendis' much-publicised move from Marvel to DC, it doesn't appear as though his takeover of the Man of Steel's adventures has been as successful as DC might have hoped. What I saw didn't appeal to me but I'm glad that his publisher-switch seems to have offered him the opportunity to do some more creator-owned work. We'll see the return of Scarlet shortly - arguably his best work of the last few years, but one previously afflicted by erratic scheduling - but before that there's some thing entirely new in the form of Pearl #1. The pitch of a tattoo artist getting mixed up with the Yakuza perhaps doesn't score an 'A' for originality, but the prospect of the writer reteaming with his Jessica Jones collaborator Michael Gaydos is more than enough reason for the deubt issue to make it home. It's a miniseries too (six issues) so hopefully the 'decompressed storytelling' criticism won't need trotting out again. Also from the Direct Competition is Batman #53 and truthfully, if you've not got on board with Tom King's take on the Dark Knight yet, you need to rectify this immediately as it really is as good as it gets. The 'Bruce Wayne in 12 Angry Men' storyline wraps up here, and if it's good as the previous instalments it'll be another absolute winner. Gideon Falls #6 is my top pick from Image, although The Magic Order #3 follows closely behind, and Doctor Strange #4 is the Marvel offering I'm most looking forward to, a title that has unexpectedly revealed itself to be one of the best things the House of Ideas have put out for a while.
Jo S: Independents Week ascends again for me on Wednesday, with less than a quarter of my pull coming from the Big Two, although the top spot will almost certainly go to Batman #53, with Tom King laying down the law of what makes a gripping comics read. Its closest contender looks to be Gideon Falls #6: I've raved at length about Sorrentino’s work on this, which is the finest design I think I have seen yet, and his art is drawing us on through Lemire’s superb story, which becomes counter-intuitively more complex as further information is divulged. The Magic Order reaches issue #3 this week; each so far has been rich in detail, reminding me, to some extent, of the gorgeous Sacred Creatures in terms of the lushness of illustration and intelligence of story. Martian genocide crime story The Weatherman also reaches the third instalment - there's much more to the apparently air-headed weather-guy than initially meets the eye and this is an enjoyable fun read with enough weight to keep my interest. Finally, my new start spot this week goes to Pearl #1, a new Bendis/ Gaydos collaboration from DC. No coyness is shown in the blurb for this: it's aimed squarely at fans of the duo’s work on Jessica Jones but that's just fine by me! A story of a super-talented tattoo artist trying to escape the tendrils of the San Francisco Yakuza; even the cover of this alone has me tingling with anticipation.