New Comic Book Day top 5: Sept. 14th

Hello Revuers! It’s time to once again look at our top 5 most anticipated books of this upcoming week. This New Comic Book Day sees the release of a plethora of titles from DC, including a few titles that make this list. On the Marvel side of things, this weeks marks a week of even more Civil War 2 tie ins (spoiler alert, none of those make the list). Let’s dive right in:

 

5: The Forevers #1

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This series is a bit of a mystery to me, albeit an intriguing one. The Forevers is written by Curt Pires with art from Eric Pfeiffer published by the fantastic folks at Black Mask . The premise is that 5 friends make a black magic sacrifice in order to gain fame and fortune. After awhile they start to lose their “glow”. After one of the members dies they realize that the “glow” is stronger. Setting up for a betrayal by one of the friends. I have not seen any interiors but this cover by Eric Pfeiffer is stunning. As I said I don’t know much about this one but the premise and the cover has me stoked.

 

4: Black Panther #6

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The only Marvel title that makes the list this week is Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates with Art by Chris Sprouse and this fantastic variant cover by Brian Stelfreeze. This series hasn’t been what I expected from a Black Panther title, but has been a solid title. I am hoping that this issue sees a bit more action as the last few issues have dealt more with T’Challa as a diplomat more than T’Challa as a warrior. This variant cover by Brian Stelfreeze is beautiful. This is the second issue with Chris Sprouse on the interiors, the last issue he nailed it so I’m hoping that continues with this issue.

 

3: Flash #6

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This issue written by Joshua Williamson and art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, is the culmination of the first story arc ‘LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE’. Finally we will see Barry Allen come face to face and head to head with Godspeed. I’m sure that Barry won’t be alone as he has been training a new generation of speedsters (who may or may not last). Godspeed has been an interesting villain that has a great character design. This story line has managed to feel fresh and yet familiar all at the same time. Great work over all by Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico

 

2: Doom Patrol #1

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The first issue and series off of Gerard Way’s new imprint Young Animal, Doom Patrol looks and sounds fantastic. The art and cover art is from Nick Derington. I have never read any of the original Doom Patrol but I’ve heard great things about it. So this series is a bit of a mystery to me as well. That’s one of the things that’s exciting about comics. That every week you have the opportunity to try new books you’ve never tried before. This cover by Nick Derington is interesting and fun as well.

 

1: All-Star Batman #2

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All-Star Batman #1 was a fun filled joy ride (well for the reader, not Batman) it featured the spectacualr team of writer Scott Snyder and artist John Romita Jr.. The same team has returned for All-Star Batman #2. Issue #1 saw Batman on a road trip with Two-Face taking him to a yet unknown destination. Two-Face made everyone a proposition to kill Batman. Now everywhere they stop Batman is met with resistance. Can Batman survive attacks from everyone around him or has he finally met his match? I suppose you’ll have to buy the issue to find out.

 

Did your most anticipated books make the cut? Tell us in the comments below. We would also love to see you list of most anticipated comics!

The Voice is All: A Manifesto (Of Sorts)

Hello Revuers. As I am sure you have seen already, there is a new kid on the block. That kid is me. I am that kid. By way of an introduction, I thought I should write a few brief thoughts on comics. What I think of them. What draws me to them (or not). What I look for in a great comic. My plan is that this post will set the tone a bit for my contribution to this site. Andrew (who was so kind as to ask me to write for DR) will continue all the great stuff he is doing – the week to week stuff, the interviews, the cons, etc. – while I will tend to gravitate toward the bigger picture, both literally and figuratively as I will be writing about comics, writ large, graphic novels (and trades), and about comic book films, which have turned what was once a throwaway entertainment to one of the most popular mediums in the world. This is my first post here, so thank you for reading this far. I’ll try not to lose you.

I would describe myself as a comics agnostic. I am not a zealot, and I do not think I am a heretic (though some may disagree). There is a ludicrous amount of comic books, and comic related films, produced each year. Some of them are good. Some even exceptional. Most of them are not very good. This is true of every artistic medium, especially in an age when we can create something and then release it to the world in mere seconds.

So here is what I love: Sandman, Calvin & Hobbes, Fables, Watchmen, Essex County, Blankets, The Long Halloween, Peanuts, Kingdom Come, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Persepolis, Marvel 1602, Hellboy, The Far Side, All-Star Superman, Tintin, Maus, The Dark Knight Returns, Bone, Garfield Minus Garfield.

I love Jacques Tardi. I love Sam Raimi’s Spider-man. I love Nolan’s Batman. I love del Toro’s Hellboy. I love Ang Lee’s Hulk. I love Donner’s Superman. I love Batman: The Animated Series. I love The Incredibles.

I love that Miles Morales is Spider-man. I love that Riri Williams is Iron Man. I love that Amadeus Cho is Hulk. I love that Jane Foster is Thor.

What unites these things, and what separates them from the many comics I have read and merely liked, or read and not liked at all, is the strength and singularity of their creators’ voices and their unwillingness to play by the usual rules of comics. They mess with tradition. They forge new territory. They take creative risks. Above all, they tell good stories. Comics as a storytelling vehicle works best when a strong, individual voice, meets a distinctive visual stylist. This is why Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther is so exciting and wonderful. It’s why things like a prominent essayist for The Atlantic writing a mainstream comic book should happen more often. Call it an auteurist theory of comics. Call it heresy. Call it whatever you like. I call it comics at their best.

Forget the canon. Forget what comics are “supposed” to be. Once we begin to reach uncharted waters, that’s when I start to get interested.

So that’s what I’m here to write about. And hey, if you know where to find more good stuff, I’m always looking for recommendations. I’ll be around.

 

-Ian

Tales From the Pull List (04/06/2016): A Widows Peak

Hello Revuers! Its time for another edition of Tales From the Pull List. After several quiet weeks in a row, this NCBD turned into an embarrassment of riches. In fact of the last three years of religiously participating in NCBD this may have been my favorite week ever. Such tremendous talent and titles! So who won this week?  Well it was super close but in in the end only one title can be chosen as Pick of the Week. Read on to find out which one it was!

 

Pick of The Week

Black Widow #2: In what many might call an upset, this weeks Pick of the Week is Black Widow #2 by Matk Waid, Chris Samnee, and Matthew Wilson. Issue number two flashes back to one week prior to the last issue. Here we are given a funeral scene of an unnamed agent with Maria Hill and Agent Elder discussing the circumstances of the agents death. We find out that the Black Widow is at least party responsible. Then in a breath taking succession of pages and panels we see the Black Widow protecting Hill and Elder from a would be assassin team. In the end it’s Widow vs. a lone assassin. It’s then that she discovers the assassins true purpose at the funeral. No spoilers though so go out and get your own issue (if you haven’t done so already). This series is the creative team of Waid, Samnee, and Wilson’s second series together after a legendary run on Daredevil. I can honestly say that I can’t think of a better book for them to be on (Ok maybe Amazing Spider-Man, but I’m probably biased because Spider-Man is my favorite). The artwork by Samnee perfectly captures the feel and aesthetic of the world Waid has created for the Black Widow. The color work done by Matthew Wilson is spectacular, like it would be anything else, as it always is. Wilson is perhaps the greatest, most prolific color artist I have ever seen. Just this week alone I bought two titles colored by him (both were fantastic). All in all a great issue that builds suspense, reveals some of the Black Widows motivations for doing what she did last issue, introduces a new villain, and lets us watch the Black Widow single handedly take out a team of assassins. A very good issue indeed. Rating: 9.5/10

 

Buy

Black Panther #1: A great first issue on a much hyped debut. Ta-Nehisi Coates was under heavy pressure to perform and I must say he slayed it. If it hadn’t been for such an amazing issue of the Black Widow, Black Panther would have been my Pick of the Week. The artwork by Brian Stelfreeze is breathtaking. The color work by Laura Martin does a fantastic job of accenting and world building. Black Panther truly delivers this week and I can’t wait for issue 2. Rating: 9/10

The Wicked + The Divine #18: It’s back! And so is someone else. A great return for my favorite creative team in the business. Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson, and Cowles deliver a unforgettable issue full of action and destruction. In the letter at the end Gillen described this arc as “Taylor Swift’s Bad blood video for 6 issues”. I can’t wait for more of that. Rating 8/10

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #2: In this issue we learn more of the Rita’s grand scheme with the green power ranger. We also get more action that was lacking from the last issue. The page art of the dinozord underwater was some of the coolest art I saw this week. Fantastic! A great installment in this series that keeps me wanting for more. Rating: 7/10

Spider-Women Alpha: The first issue in this summers Spider family event. It sees Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, and Silk team up to take on crepes, Er I mean creeps, brunch, ball pits, clowns, o yeah and villains. We see them travel through inter dimensional space, fight adaptoid robots, and wind a sitter! This issue was a fun beginning for this cross over event and for the first time in recent memory actually has me interested in a cross over event. Rating: 7/10