AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #675
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI joins the regular Spidey artist rotation in this high flying free falling ride through Dan Slott’s post Spider-Island world. The VULTURE IS BACK and making kids do his high flying dirty work for him. With Spidey back on the cops’ bad side will he be able to stop this flying Fagan from twisting young runaways before another boy falls from the sky?
Grant: Last issue wasn't quite as hyper-exciting as Dan Slott's Spider-Island had been, but it was still a pretty alright read by Amazing Spider-Man standards. I've never been that big of a fan of the original Vulture, but if anyone can convince me that Adrian Toomes is worth my time of day, it's probably Mr. Slott and his revolving cast of talented artists (I really don't understand how he gets to have so many good artists on his book, but I won't complain about the results).
ANIMAL MAN #4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman
After coming face to face with the mysterious Totems, Buddy learns the truth about Maxine’s destiny – but it may be too late, as The Red is infiltrated by agents of The Other, and Buddy struggles to control his new, unfiltered powers with deadly results! Meanwhile, Ellen and Cliff must face the last Hunters alone!
Grant: Whoa, Nelly! Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman's Animal Man has been one of the trippiest books on stands - and that's a real good thing. I'm really enjoying trying to figure out just what the heck is going on, but I'm happy to follow along what is probably the best book featuring Buddy Baker that I've ever encountered (yeah, I've read the first few issues of Grant Morrison's run, but they didn't grab me). I didn't know what to think of Foreman's art at first, but it's really grown on me. At this point, I can't imagine anyone else drawing it, so that's definitely some major points in his favour.
Written by Judd Winick
Art by ChrisCross
As Massacre’s bloody reign of murder continues and more heroes fall, Batwing closes in on this mad villain. But with his memories stirring, Batwing’s dark past begins to emerge... At last, the truth of his past will come to light.
Grant: Speaking of not imaging anyone else on a title, I'm a little disappointed to see that Ben Oliver is conspicuously absent from this month's edition of Batwing. I've gotten nothing against ChrisCross, but part of my enjoyment of this title comes from Oliver's bold and unique style. However, I'm more than willing to see how Judd Winick works with ChrisCross. I just hope it isn't a long term switch.
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory
“MAJOR LEAGUE CHEW,” Part Two
Two captives. Two kidnappers.
Grant: I didn't realize how off-schedule Chew is right now, but I had to go all the way back to the September solicitations to find Chew #22. It's a bit of a disheartening discovery, but more Chew is always good, even if it is a little later than expected. If you're finding this a bitter pill to swallow, I can perhaps take away some of the pain by mentioning that the second Omnivore Edition hardcover, collecting Chew #11 - #20 drops this week as well, so that's not too shabby, right?
Written by Blair Butler
Art by Kevin Mellon
The evolution of cage fighter Oren "Rooster" Redmond continues – but will a fist to the face stop his momentum before it starts? If you like dudes punching each other in the grill, this one's for you!
Grant: Holy crap. I did not get a chance to talk about the first issue of this four part mini-series, but it was phenomenal. I know I tend to throw that word around a lot, but the first issue has been sitting on my desk all month, and I've often found myself flipping through it. I don't even really like Mixed Martial Arts, but Blair Butler manages to convey the intensity and dedication practitioners can have in a way that I don't know that I thought was possible. Long story short, if you're tired of superheroes month in and month out, Heart is the series that you should be reading.
Written by Dan Didio & Keith Giffen
Art by Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish
Kevin Kho finally makes it back home – but while trying to pull the pieces of his life back together, he inadvertently disconnects from Brother Eye! Unfortunately, Kevin’s freedom comes with a price, because now he’s alone and forced to defend himself against Checkmate and their lethal Bio-gators!
Grant: Oh, O.M.A.C., you shouldn't be nearly as good as you are. Seriously, part of me keeps feeling like I shouldn't be liking this book, but it's just too much fun. It's off the wall ridiculous in the absolute best way possible. But how can you say no when the lead character is facing off against Bio-gators?! Just look at that cover! That's amazingly ridiculous! Ridicuazing! Amaculous! ... You know what I mean!
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Clark & Matthew Southworth
THE BIGGEST SHOT OF ALL IS DOWN!
• A fallen Frank Castle...alive but dead inside.
• Secrets of the Exchange revealed...and it's connected to some of the Marvel Universe's darkest secrets!
Grant: Uh, that solicitation is really quite awful. Like, who thought this was going to get people interested in the comic? Frankly, I'm a little turned off. Obviously not enough to not pick up this issue, Greg Rucka's Punisher has been far too good to consider such a crazy action, but I'm still a little disappointed. Also disappointed that Marco Checchetto is missing in action. What's the deal with these fill-in artists?
SWEET TOOTH #28
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Matt Kindt
“The Taxidermist” concludes as Thacker leads his crew on an all-out assault on Simpson’s camp in an attempt to slaughter the mysterious antlered child! But will the child live on, or will the plague spread? Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt conclude their mini-epic in bloody fashion with implications that will affect Gus, Jepperd and more.
Grant: This has been a very interesting storyline that has kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it, but with this third issue being the concluding portion, I suppose I'll have a much better idea in the very near future. Speaking of guest artists, as much as I've appreciated Matt Kindt's fine work (and it's been the perfect addition for this arc), I will be really happy to have Jeff Lemire back in the drawing saddle for Sweet Tooth. It just doesn't feel right without him.
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Lan Medina
NEW DIRECTION. NEW ARTIST. OLD SOLDIERS.
Rick Remender welcomes Lan Medina (PUNISHER) with AMERICAN BADNESS!
SPIDER-ISLAND has changed everything and now the death of a loved one reminds Flash Thompson that his secret identity is in the hands of the villainous Crime-Master – and the only way to take his life back is to go rogue. But CAPTAIN AMERICA is out to shut him down. It’s a good old fashioned road trip with Flash Thompson and an alien symbiote!
Grant: That's a lot more caps than I'm entirely comfortable with (and no, I'm not referring to Captain America). I know that you should take solicitations with a grain of salt, but it almost feels like it's overcompensating for something. Would it really be so hard to just talk about what's going down and trust the talent of the creators to sell the content within? I guess so.
Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Sana Takeda
ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING continues! What could possibly go wrong for X-23, on an already disastrous night? More dragons? Hellion and his bad mood? How about being kidnapped to another galaxy by...THE COLLECTOR?
Grant: Oh, man. I picked up part one of this Adventures in Babysitting storyline on a whim last month, and it was a ton of fun. I hadn't encountered X-23 in any capacity beforehand, but Laura is a pretty interesting. The fact that she ended up babysitting the Richards' children and that they were subsequently kidnapped by a giant dragon monster also helped things along. I am quite interested to see where this ends up going.
That's me for this week. I'm every so excited to see how all these books turn out, but how are you all feeling? Is the beginning of the winter holidays bringing you comic book cheer? Or is your pull list naught but coal? Are my belaboured holiday metaphors going too far? Don't hesitate to let me know (or else I'll keep doing them all month long)!