AMERICAN VAMPIRE #21
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jordi Bernet
In the finale of the 3-part “The Beast in the Cave,” the beast is finally unleashed! Plus: James Book and Skinner Sweet’s friendship is severed; setting in motion the events that would change their lives forever. Featuring amazing art by the legendary Jordi Bernet (Torpedo)!
Grant: Oh, Scott Snyder, your American Vampire story has me sold hook, line, and sinker. I've been eagerly following this series since I first stumbled across it near its beginnings, and while this flashback story of James Book and Skinner Sweet's origins hasn't necessarily been everything that it could be, I have high hopes that Snyder and Jordi Bernet will whip out some pretty impressive stuff to finish things off. Hopefully they don't prove me wrong.
ATOMIC ROBO GHOST OF STATION X #4
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegner
Previously: Robo tried to save some astronauts in space. And then it went horribly wrong. So, then Robo tried to get to the bottom of it only to find a big damn conspiracy with tanks and guns and stuff. This issue? He's on the run and the fate of everyone in the world lay in the hands of a trucker and some HAM radio hobbyists. Seriously. Not buying Atomic Robo comics is the biggest mistake of your life. Do something right for a change and pick up an issue.
Grant: Thank you Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegner for making every week that your comic comes out infinitely better. Seriously, cats and kittens, if you aren't reading Atomic Robo, I can't really understand what your major malfunction is. This comic is literally the most fun thing that you will find on comic book stands right now, and every single issue is an absolute joy. The above solicitation is barely hyperbolic at all. Picking up Atomic Robo is pretty much the best choice you can make in a day.
BALTIMORE CURSE BELLS #5
Written by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art by Ben Stenbeck
Baltimore makes a final stand against the evil warlock and his clan of undead nuns in order to save the town, rescue the innocents, and finally come face to face with his mortal enemy!
Grant: Every month around this time I realize that I'm currently reading two comics featuring vampires, and every time I can't help myself, because I know that the second of the two titles is penned by the extraordinary Mike Mignola. I don't necessarily pick up every single book he does (although I probably should), but I've really liked the idea of a British noble who takes up the cause of hunting down the vampire plague after it ravages his family - regardless of the impossibility of the task. It's gotten especially interesting of late with him having to choose between the greater good and getting revenge on the vampire who first put him on this path of retribution. Am most definitely interested to see how this all plays out.
Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III
Blood drenches the back alleys of Gotham City in Part four of “Hydrology” – and Batwoman’s life begins to burn!
Grant: Words just aren't enough to explain how much of a joy it is to open up every new issue of Batwoman. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have really managed something special hear, telling an incredibly engaging story about Kate Kane and her supporting characters that also happens to be mind meltingly beautiful. It's not really fair to any of the other artists out there, because J.H. Williams III continues to be hands down the best thing going right now in comics. It took a mighty long time for this series to get started, but the wait has been worth every second.
DEMON KNIGHTS #4
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Mike Choi, Diogenes Neves, & Oclair Albert
It wasn’t a coincidence that the Shining Knight found herself in Little Spring as the Horde massed at the village gates. She’s on a quest, and has been all her long life – whether she’s known it or not! Now, a powerful vision will reveal to her the true stakes of the battle for Little Spring and pull back the curtain on one of the biggest secrets in the DC Universe! Don’t miss “Merlin Watches The Storm,” featuring guest art by the sensational Mike Choi (X-Force)! And yes, “storm” is a hint.
Grant: Demon Knights continues to be an enjoyable romp through the medieval lands of DC's new 52, which is really all I want it to be. This book's plethora of protagonists have been under siege virtually since the first page of issue #1, and while it isn't necessarily the most complex book you'll ever find on your shelf, the constant action has made for a damn fine read thus far. Count me in for another go 'round.
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli
“Monster Planet” comes to its world-shattering conclusion as Frankenstein and Nina take on the massive Sea Monster, while Lady Frankenstein and the rest of the Creature Commandos go head to head with the colossal Ogre Titan. Plus: Don’t miss the debut of the G.I. Robot Squadron and the new War Wheel!
Grant: Okay. Frankenstein is the one book on this list that I'm not virtually head over heels for. Lemire's new take on Frankie and friends hasn't been able to grab me the same way his Flashpoint mini-series did this past summer. It's been good, but it feels like it's missing that je ne sais quoi in my view. I keep saying that I'll only give it "one more issue", but it finds its way into my pull list regardless. Additionally, it appears that O.M.A.C. is crossing over with this book soon, so I'll at least have to give that one a gander. I guess if that one doesn't grab me I'll take my leave. Maybe.
MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2011
Written by Various
Art by Various
• Four new holiday adventures featuring your favorite Marvel super heroes!
• Wolverine finally learns the Canadian art of ice hockey.
• Written and illustrated by some of Marvel’s hottest talent!
Grant: I have a sneaking suspicion that this title was already released in parts on the digital platform, but an incredibly quick and poorly done Google search yields no proof of that. Fortunately, since I'm not much of a digital guy, it's no sweat off my back either way. My love of anthology books is well known, and when one of the stories are about Wolverine learning to play hockey, how can I say no? Frankly, how can anyone say no? The only way this book could be better is if one of the other stories was a retelling of the Christmas Carol with Tony Stark playing the role of Scrooge (I really hope that happens now).
ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #3
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Roger Langridge
Roger Langridge — the Harvey Award winner behind THE MUPPET SHOW and THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER — continues his all new side-splitting adventure that can only be explained as…SNARKED! Journey with Langridge as he pulls the carpet out from under such Lewis Carroll classics as “The Walrus and The Carpenter,” “Through the Looking Glass,” and “The Hunting of the Snark,” creating an brand new world of humorous grandeur. Princess Scarlett, baby Rusty, and the Walrus and the Carpenter must find a crew to help take their quest to the sea — and who better than those of the Snarkhunter?! The search for the Red King continues in the all ages adventure that has captured the hearts of your and old alike!
Grant: This comic, like most everyone Roger Langridge seems to put his name to, is just a bucketload of fun. In a time when so many comics insist on being super serious and ultra violent, it's nice to know that there are still some people who are happy to simply tell nice stories. And that's exactly what Snarked! is. It's the kind of thing that can appeal to young and old alike. I just hope that it's finding readers, because I want as many issues of this series as I can get.
Written by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft
Art by Attila Futaki
“The Road Beckons”
In 1916, a boy runs away from home in search of his father. But along the way he meets a salesman with sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh. SCOTT SNYDER (American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing), SCOTT TUFT and ATTILA FUTAKI (Percy Jackson) are back with 2011’s most terrifying horror series. SEVERED.
Grant: After questioning the somewhat lethargic start of this series, I've really gotten on board with the last few issues of Severed. The pacing hasn't entirely improved (although last issue unleashed some pretty brutal surprises), but things seem like they're starting to really pick up steam as we head towards the back end of this series. It's still not entirely clear where this is all going, but I'll be there for every cringe-inducing moment until we finish up.
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross & M.K. Perker
Tom’s battle against the cabal continues, with Glitterspar as the ultimate sanction. But Tom discovers that letting storybook magic into your world is playing with fire – and ice.
Grant: Both #31 and #31.5 made for interesting reads, and while I didn't really need to be sold on the "Tommy Taylor and the War of Words" storyline, I am sold nonetheless. I'm really liking the use of the .5s to provide additional background information to the reader, but while it's nice to see other artists have some fun in the world of The Unwritten, nothing beats having Peter Gross on art duty, which is why I'm rather pleased to have him on the main storyline. It's still early to guess where this is all going, but I'm ready for it to go full steam ahead!