Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jumping On Points 05-04-2011

This column looks at the best access points in comics for new readers, and old readers looking for new titles. You must read this article before you hit your LCS this week to see what you can slip on into. Hit the jump to see why you don't need continuity, background knowledge, or prior love to buy and enjoy the Legion, one Giant-Sized comic, a brain eating heroine, the new Moon Knight, Green Wake’s double bill, and Image’s new best all-ages comic. It's a good week to get in on some great new stuff.

It’s hard to get new readers into the comic stores and when you do stage a coup and get them across the threshold there so rarely much that seems approachable. Most superhero comics have continuity longer than anyone can reasonably chase down, and many indie comics are going the same way. However, there are jumping on points to be found and this column is going to highlight them. Sometimes it might be a new number one, other times a creative team change or new direction. No matter what, we’re dedicated to finding perfect points for you and your friends to try new comics without being weighed down by too much.

Adventure Comics #526

“Written by PAUL LEVITZ
A “Legion Academy” single-issue story starring the enthusiastic (and slightly spacey) Legionnaire-in-training, Comet Queen! We learn her origin tale and the tragedies she has endured on her path to graduation.
32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T”

C’mon, I’m not even a DC guy and this one sounds good. It’s a done-in-one, sometimes my favourite type of tale, and it sounds like it will be light fun. It’s an origin story and I like the description of the character here, imagine what I’ll think after a whole issue. I don’t know, this just sounds like it would nbe as much fun as Dan Slott’s Avengers: The Initative one shot about Butterball, man, I loved that issue.

Prior Knowledge Needed – It really doesn’t sound like you will need much, here. The Legion of Superheroes are a bunch of superheroes from the future. It appears they are recruiting and training some new personnel.

Avengers Academy Giant-Sized #1

“Written by PAUL TOBIN
Variant Cover by CHRIS SAMNEE
HUMONGOUS-Sized Issue…Guest-starring The Young Allies!

The traps are set and the dice are rolled as the vibrantly villainous Arcade decides to rebuild his tarnished reputation…by setting his sights on the “easy pickin’s” of the Avengers Academy and the Young Allies! But when one of his teenage victims escapes, is it a setback for Arcade, or all part of a master plan to turn the entirety of New York into... Murderworld?
80 PGS./Rated A …$7.99”

I’m pretty sure this one was meant to be the mini ‘Arcade: Murderworld’, or some-such, right? I can see why a mini with Arcade as the apparent centre might not end up being pre-ordered all that much. So instead of wasting the creative team’s time they just rework it into a massive one-shot. I like that. You know the trade, or set of singles, would have set you back about double this price, right? I say we all support this one-shot and who knows, maybe Marvel will start putting out more of them. You guys go first, tell me how it is, and tell me if Marvel do more. Agreed.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Oh, this story is also all up amidst the Avengers Academy and the Young Allies. Considering the Young Allies got cancelled then all those whinging messes should be over this like flies on stank. Those two teams are the premiere junior Marvel teams right now.

Gladstone’s School For World Conquerors #1


40 PAGES / FC $2.99

Welcome to Gladstone's School for World Conquerors, a top-secret academy for the children of the world's greatest super villains to learn the trade. Join us as Kid Nefarious, Mummy Girl, Martian Jones, Ghost Girl, and the infamous Skull brothers unearth the School's and their parents' hidden past.”

It’s a school for villains. It’s so simple that I don’t know why I haven’t been reading it for the last five years. And this isn’t some Thunderbolts style exercise, this is a school that harnesses the inherent evil in children and facilitates it into growing tomorrow’s cackling supervillains today. I’ll give you the heads up right now, I’ve read a preview of this comic and it’s awesome. It’s so much fun, and it is actually funny, but the characters are cool, too.

Prior Knowledge Needed – This is the start of something new so no knowledge needed at all. Some understanding of the hero/villain dichotomy might help. Other than that just know I vouch for this one to be the best all ages comic you must be buying. When have I ever been wrong before?

Green Wake #1 & #2

art & cover RILEY ROSSMO
24 PAGES / FC $ 3.50

Green Wake claims another mutilated victim and the disfigured body leaves little evidence behind. The secrets of this sleepy town begin to creep through the blood filled cracks when Morley Mack confronts one of its oldest residents. Is the key to stopping another macabre murder in the hands of an insane recluse?"

Yes, I’m dropping this one in again because it’s just that good. The first issue sold out in a day or two and so the second printing drops this week along with the second issue. That’s service and you all must pick up this phenomenal horror-noir comic that blends Cronenberg and Lynch with Hammett and maybe a smattering of Lovecraft.

Prior Knowledge Needed – It’s a complete new mini, now made an ongoing, and it’s going to continue to blow up huge. This is my favourite new comic of 2011 and there’s a reason for that.

iZombie #13

Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED

This issue marks the beginning of the new story “5 Brains, 5 Months,” which will play out in “real time” over the course of the coming issues. In May, 2011, zombie girl Gwen and her friends solve a mystery just in time to keep an even more mysterious appointment with Amon, the sexy mummy, while the vampire girls add a new member to their number and the monster hunters prowl the streets. And in the first of a series of backup stories, we meet a group of government agents who will soon be making life very difficult for Gwen and company. But who are the Dead Presidents?

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS”

I can’t believe this book is up to its thirteenth issue already. Feels like it only just started, it must have been hitting deadlines like Bullseye. I haven’t read this book yet but this new arc sounds pretty accessible and I always like to see more people trying something different so have at this. It’s gotta be better than the usual 2-3 star Big Two comics you pick up out of habit. I also really dig the idea of the ‘real time’ of the tale. Comics need to do more stuff like that.

Prior Knowledge Needed – The main character is a young lass who eats brains and can then solve crimes based on the knowledge she gains…I think that’s what happens, right?

Moon Knight #1

Pencils & Cover by ALEX MALEEV

The wait is over! Moon Knight is here...like you ' ve never seen him before! And we mean NEVER! The Eisner award-winning team of Bendis and Maleev tear into the mythos of Moon Knight with the same verve and derring-do they brought to Daredevil. A MARVELOUS reinterpretation of one of the most enigmatic characters in Marvel history starts right here!

48 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99”

Hoo boy, people have already written this one off and that’s such a shame. We haven’t had one issue drop and people have been slamming it for months already. I’m not picking this one up but I really want to see Bendis knock it out of the park and shut everyone up. But I also wanted Scarlet to keep being awesome and look where that got me…

To put it on the line, I think Bendis will do something fun with the character here, and if it’s not good it’s still surely better than the alternative, which is no Moon Knight at all. And, no, a few panels a month in Secret Avengers does not count.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Moon Knight started off by hunting Werewolf By Night. He then got his own ongoing where Bill Sienkiewicz made it all look gorgeous. Then he was powered by an Egyptian god and his power increased when the moon was full. Now he’s a little more street level and gritty and he’s got multiple personalities like Bieber’s got rabid tween fans.

Spidey Sunday Spectacular #1

“Written by STAN LEE
Pencils & Cover by MARCOS MARTIN

The legendary Stan “The Man” Lee and artist extraordinaire Marcos Martin bring the real world into Spidey’s world in this collection of their two-page Spidey Sunday strips, straight from the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Get ready for a heaping helping of fourth-wall-breaking, web-swinging wonder in the Mighty Marvel Manner!

40 PGS./Rated A …$3.99”

Man, I’m glad I looked this one up because I had not remembered what it was but I remember being initially excited by it. This is a collection of the back up stories Stan and Marcos were doing in the back of Amazing Spider-Man over the past months. I heard these pages were pretty awesome and from what I’ve seen they are. This one-shot collection should be worth the money for some Stan Lee writing and to scope out Marcos Martin’s art right before he joins the team launching Daredevil in July.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Stan Lee invented comics, even the staples. He is now very old and still very awesome. He created Spider-Man and if you don’t know who Spider-Man is then you must have got here by Googling Bieber and hitting the 37th page of results. Shame on you.

X-Men Prelude To Schism #1

“Written by PAUL JENKINS


The countdown to the biggest X-Men event yet, X-Men Schism, starts right here! Leadership is a heavy burden and all who have helmed the X-Men have borne the consequences. But with mutantkind at a crossroads, which of its noblest commanders will stand resolute…and which will see their loyalties divided? Take a hard look at those who would sacrifice all to see mutantkind united this May, only in X-Men: Prelude To Schism #1!”

Hey kids, another event. I know what you’re thinking but fret not, this is an X-Event! These are always the best ones, right? Oh….no? Well, this one’s being run by Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, the respective writers on Wolverine and Uncanny X-Men. They’re both awesome so the event might also be…Oh, Paul Jenkins is writing this one…and it’s just a lead up. Oh…but it does have an ‘X’ in the title. Truth.

Prior Knowledge Needed – The X-Men are currently led by Cyclops and all holed up together on an island off the coast of San Francisco. Wolverine obviously wants to take over the team because his sexual fantasy list involves most of the X-Babes and Cyclops keeps getting in the way. Expect sparks to fly.

If you pick any of these up throughout the week please let us know what you thought of them in the comments.

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Nathan Aaron said...

Adventure Comics 526 is ALL kinds of wrong. This is NOT the issue that is coming out. DC has screwed the entire thing all up for some crazy reason. The actual issue will be the second part (and final part of the current storyline) of the Legion Academy (now NOT drawn by Phil Jimenez, even though he drew the first part last issue, but apparently DC has yanked him off the book mid-story for something bigger. Sigh.) The issue you're showing will more than likely NOW be 527. (Just an FYI! :)

The preview for this issue is here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=8523&disp=table

Midnight Monk said...

My biggest niche would have to be with Avengers Academy Giant Sized, I probably would like the book more if Marvel didn't go about cancelling both Young Allies and Spider-Girl, course these days if you weren't in a movie your cacellation is most likely on the horizon

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