Ryan L's Thoughts
The best part about this title is that it takes you some time to read. As it should for the $7.99 price point but it's still nice to sit down and and really immerse in a book for a full afternoon. You walk away knowing you got your money's worth. It's not often a comic reading experience is a time consuming enterprise.
Mystique Ultimate Collection HC
You might be wondering why I would want to spotlight a HC collection of 13 issues of the Mystique ongoing from way back when and you'd be right to question it. And my response need only be 3 letters - BKV. That's right, Brian K Vaughan wrote this series a long time ago and only now am I afforded the chance to read it. I might wait for the slightly cheaper trade collection but at least now I know it's in the pipeline. It seems like Marvel are really pulling some random stuff off their back catalogue and collecting it - and for this I thank them.
The Best Things in May
PunisherMax Back on Track
If you are like me, you have been eagerly awaiting for the return of Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's gloriously violent and violently funny take on PunisherMAX. You might remember that the series ran into quite some heavy delays a couple of months back. Those issues have finally been coming out, and now a new arc is set to begin in May, simply titled "Frank". If you haven't checked this series yet, maybe because you don't think anyone can top Ennis' run, then do yourself a favor and sample it. It might not be exactly like Ennis' take on the Punisher, but Aaron has been doing incredibly nonetheless.
Opening the Gates of Arkham
There's two Arkham Asylum-centered series coming out in May. The first one is by Weekly Crisis-favorite Scott Snyder, about the mysteries of the Asylum. This might feel like the kind of thing that is touched upon quite a lot (and it is), but I trust Snyder to deliver a thrilling tale. The other project is Arkham City, by Paul Dini, and promises to bridge the gap between the Batman: Arkham Asylum game and the upcoming Arkham City one. I came into the game quite later than everyone else, but I devoured just like any other fan, and I am excited to revisit the slightly different world.
The Worst Things in May
Holding the Line?
Sometimes I really don't get DC, and get the impression that some of their campaigns are decided as an afterthought. First, in January we had a big announcement that all the titles would be priced at $2.99, in the process screwing up many plans laid out for the back-ups (such as the Jimmy Olsen and Commisioner Gordon back-ups in Action and Detective Comics respectively). Now we get Flashpoint #1, which is priced at... $3.99. Which, admittedly, is 40 pages long according to the solicits. What I don't get is why go through all the trouble of launching the "Holding the line!" campaign, only to go back on it as soon as the next big event shows up around the corner.
If you hear the name "Mark Millar", and you immediately think "I wish he would write a romance comic!", then the Marvel solicits have good news for you! They are reprinting the mini series from some years back, before Millar was the star he is today, in a collection. Widely regarded as one of the worst stories from the nu-Marvel era, it was originally intended to be a retcon for Peter Parker's origin, having Aunt May actually be his (teenage) mother, only to give the child for adoption to her sister and... you know what? Screw this, it's as stupid as it sounds. The only reason you might want to check this out is because of Terry Dodson, who handled the art duties for the whole thing.
The Coolest Thing In May You Need To Check Out
Crime Does Not Pay Collection
Dark Horse is releasing a "Best Of" collection of the mythical Crime Does Not Pay comics of the 40'. You might remember that these played a large role in the creation of the (recently deceased) Comics Code Authority and the research of Frederick Wertham. It's going to be interesting to get to read these comics (which as far as I know haven't really been in print, have they?) and compare them with more modern output of comics. I've heard they are quite good on their own right, so the historical relevance might just be an added bonus to the whole package.
Avengers Academy: Giant Size #1
Third time's the charm, right? This material has been solicited two times before, so no one would blame you if you accidentally forgot to order it. First it was going to be three annuals for different series (Young Allies, Avengers Academy, and Spider-Girl), then it was going to be it's own mini series, and now finally it is going to be collected as one "humongous" package. It's 80 pages for $7.99, which is quite a good deal, and it's by Paul Tobin and David Baldeon. Should be some good, clean, old-fashioned fun!