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: Those in the know will tell you it's a 'five week month' which, for calendar fans out there, doesn't mean August has an additional seven days - it's simply that there are five New Comic Book Days this month, and consequently the regular scheduling goes a bit skew-whiff, resulting in either the appearance of additional titles to fill the gap or a week that can be best described as 'slim pickings'. We're veering towards the latter, or at least that's what my pull-list is telling me. Scarlet #1 is my top pick and, although it's not one likely to bother the top end of the sales chart, it's a very welcome return for a title that made sporadic appearances when Marvel were publishing it - in all honesty I'd assumed we'd seen the last of it. Fortunately, writer Brian Michael Bendis' shift to DC seems to have given it a second (or is it third?) chance, which is a very good thing seeing as how it's one of the best, most provocative comics he's put his name to. Fingers crossed it doesn't disappear again any time soon. Elsewhere, I'm going to be controversial and say that Marvel 2-In-One is a better Fantastic Four comic than the relaunched Fantastic Four. Okay, so we've only had one issue of Dan Slott's Fantastic Four so far, but it didn't come anywhere close to replicating the buzz I got from the first (and subsequent) issues of Marvel 2-In-One. While I'm talking Marvel, Ed Piskor's exemplary condensing of an insanely complex and convoluted fictional history in X-Men: Grand Design Second Genesis #2 also appears this week. Last but by no means least, Garth Ennis shows he knows horror in the utterly unnerving A Walk Through Hell, his most effective foray into the genre since the original Crossed series.
Jo S: Contradicting my expectations in what should have been a quiet week (as Matt C explains, it's a five-week month), I actually have a bountiful list and I'm looking forward to a stellar line-up of books which might, in most weeks, be the cream of the crop. I've got chillers, thrillers and contract killers in store for this Wednesday, kicking off with the horrifying A Walk Through Hell, which lines up shocker after shocker as we delve deeper into the gruesome mystery that brought Agents Shaw and McGregor to the terrifying warehouse scene. Continuing on the supernatural scariness kick, I'm also taking the second episode of Bone Parish - this made a surprisingly strong start for me, with plenty of intrigue and a strong family of characters hooking me in. Joe Benitez, with the writing assistance of M. M. Chen and art from Martin Montiel, has finally gifted us the second episode of Lady Mechanika: Dame Sans Merci: it's great to see Montiel really tune in to what Benitez has created - previous outings for our steampunk robo-queen have been a very visible labour of Benitez’ love and so it's pleasing to see that her voice can be heard through other creators too. Finally, I'm excited about two new ventures this week: there has been a rumble of interest among the PCG team recently about the arrival of Scarlet, the latest of Brian Michael Bendis’ DC stories. DC is touting this as ‘new reader friendly’ - I'm not totally clear what that means but the gritty female assassin concept naturally appeals and, whilst I'm probably not entirely in the ‘new reader’ classification any more, it's always interesting to see titles which can be recommended to those who are new to the medium. Aftershock’s new title Beyonders has my name all over it: code-breaking, archaeology and treasure-hunting are directly up my street and I've been looking forward to applying my solver-brain to this since glimpsing it in Previews. I love a comic which pays attention to the little details, and gives the reader something additional to do besides passive absorption of a story - this looks to be all that plus a corgi sidekick.