Ryan L's Thoughts
The Best Things in April
Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky
Oh, man, I even missed this one on my first look through the solicits. For those who don't know, Hooky was a Graphic Novel printed years ago (way back in the glorious year of 1986 my google fu informs me) and I have spent decades since seeing adverts for this beast in old comics and have never been able to track this one down.
Now we all get it in this one-shot for $4.99. I am 100% in for this one.
Oh, did I mention it's drawn by Bernie Wrightson. Yeah, there goes that five spot out your wallet.
I like Breitweiser. I like The Defenders - maybe not love it but I'm diging what little of it has come out so far. I like Terry Dodson but I love Brietweiser so let's see what Fraction does to earn such an artist.
I'm keen for the Daredevil: Season One HC, natch, but this tells me the #1 issue from Waid and Paolo Rivera will be collected in it and that's just a wicked smart play. Shine on.
The Strange Talent of Luther Strode TPB
This wickedly violent and insanely fun book from Image has six issues collected for $15. If you can't get down for that then you're doing something wrong. This is one hell of a great book and if you didn't buy in already then this is a bargain. Enjoy.
I'm just not getting the point on some of these. "Hey, remember that title you didn't pick up 10 months ago, well maybe now you want to jump on in." Or giving a title a second .1 issue. It barely makes sense.
Now, I'm all for getting another great issue of the book I already love, or am curious about, but I want the issue to be good. Hell, I just don't want modern numbering to become a joke in ten years. I want future readers to be able to easily track these things down in trade instead of tracking Daredevil's numbers to Black Panthers and then having .1s in the mix, and other in continuity minis. It just seems like Marvel really don't want to just have a title and have the numbers count up logically and have something easy to track and enjoy.
Batman Back Up Story
I have no issue with paying an extra dollar for extra pages for a back up in my titles. I especially love it when that back up is by quality talent - and Rafael Albuquerque is all sorts of quality talent. I don't mind any of that, in fact, I'm really looking forward to it.
My problem is that the back up in Batman seems to be interacting with the back up in Detective Comics and I don't pick up that other title. I pick up Snyder's goods and now I'm thinking I'm going to have to miss out on half of this story because I don't see myself picking up Daniels' run. Guess I'll just have to enjoy Albuquerque's art on its own.
This is just a good place to say how lame it is that DC let Brian Wood go and thusly we don't get anymore Northlanders. The bright side is, Wood is picked up at both Dark Horse and Marvel so we'll get plenty more comics out of him just yet.
Jeff Parker in Creepy #8
Jeff Parker is a Marvel writer (Thunderbolts, Atlas) but he's also a hard man to pin down. He does all sorts of random stuff and I really dig that. I also dig horror anthology titles so this should be a very great mixture for the month.
Secret Warriors Omnibus
This one was a no brainer to make and should be a pretty decent pick up for you to buy. I loved this series when it started and some arcs continued to wow me and some left me a little off but in the end, it's this mammoth cohesive story and it ends pretty damn strongly.
If you count yourself as a Nick Fury man then you need to get on this.
The Omega Effect
Am I an idiot for liking this storyline because it's internally touted as 'important' and thus I will buy it? Maybe, but it's also an easy way to point a new reader toward this good stuff. I also don't think you really need to know anything from before to get in on this mini-event. Daredevil has the Omega Drive - it has important files on it about secret criminal organisations. That's it, so enjoy.
Oh, and I'm aware the last time Daredevil did this we got Shadowland. Whatever, I have way more faith in Waid.
Men of War #8 - Lemire and Kindt
Hmm, this is the final issue of the title and they're going out with a strange WWII issue featuring Frankenstein and all sorts of fun. I'll pony up for this one, I do believe.
The Best Things in April
Thunderbolts vs. Thunderbolts
The first 75 issues of Thunderbolts were some of the best comics I've ever read, so any chance to go back to that era, specifically the Busiek and Bagley era, is welcome. This time travel arc has felt rather listless over the past six issues, but hopefully they're saving the best for last here. Any chance to go back to the start of Zemo's big character arc is welcome (PS Marvel, please bring back hero Zemo and not generic Cap villain Zemo)
Marvel's New Solicit Schedule
And by solicit schedule, I mean lack of one. Instead of pushing out one solicit a day, or showing off variant covers for these silly appreciation months, why not provide everyone with the material needed to determine how much money they want to spend on your product? It seems like this is some weird retaliation for how DC have done their solicits since the reboot, where they deliver them all over the course of one day, instead of breaking it down by group over a week or so.
________ Appreciation Covers
I get it, you have months where a big movie premiers or it's a milestone anniversary for certain characters so you have covers that have nothing to do with certain books, and some of the covers are actually pretty neat and clever like this Gurihiru one. I just think it's a concept that is run into the ground and just completely shameless in trying to be a money grab for completionists. And it just seems completely out of place to have this Gurihiru cover for Wolverine #304, a book that has always been on the violent side of things.
America's Got Powers
I don't knock Ross and Hitch for wanting to do something creator owned, it just feels like a concept that is as dated as the reality shows it's trying to poke fun at. All this book makes me wonder is why we can't get more of Todd Nauck's WildGuard.
The Coolest Things in April
Batwing Joins JLI
Or at least it looks like he joins JLI with issue #8, and this is a much better way to introduce new characters to the audience, being members of ensemble books. And when the book deals with international heroes, well, that's kind of common sense in this case. This probably means Batman will be leaving, but it works because we now have the other lovable B-listers ready to show Batwing the ropes.
Skullkickers is Back!
Skullkickers is back in action come this April with issue #13, and that's music to my ears. Clearly D&D inspired, this book succeeds both because it plays on fantasy tropes without being beholden to them. Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, and Misty Coats have combined for a great book is both dependably funny and expertly crafted. A lot of time, effort, and thought goes into each and every issue, and it shows. That sometimes means we have to wait a little bit between storylines, but it is invariably worth it. See also: pirates! What's not to love?
A Whole Lot of Secrets
Okay, I don't know if it'll necessarily be a "best", but I'm rather intrigued to see what Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons manage to come up with with their new title, The Secret Service. Everything I've heard thus far has been kind of vague while also being kind of interesting, in trademark Millar style, but who knows? Maybe these two gents will be able to collaborate something amazing. We'll see.
Avengers vs. X-Men
I'm not really sold on the basic concept of this series. I've gathered from bits and pieces of current Marvel continuity that it isn't super ridiculous from a story perspective for the Avengers and the X-Men to be getting into a big fight, but that does nothing to mask how much this whole thing smacks of desperation. The last few failed events (I'm looking at you Flashpoint and Fear Itself) have really emphasized how readers have long grown tired of constant event-mania, but instead of trying something new, Marvel has decided to just have their biggest franchise face off against their other biggest franchise. It might have some of their best creators on board, but I can't get past how creatively bankrupt the whole thing feels.
Speaking of creatively bankrupt, we have Marvel's much touted tie-in to Avengers vs. X-Men, which jettisons all that pesky story in favour of dedicating every single panel to showing off the fights. Personally, I think this sounds kind of dumb, but I guess it could be kind of cool. However, the fact that they didn't bother to solicit any creators for the first issue seems like a strike in the "kind of dumb" column. Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe people are tired of words. But if that's the case, it might not bode well for us at The Weekly Crisis...
The Coolest Things in April
Black Beetle's Big Breakthrough
Francesco Francavilla is one of the most exciting artists in the industry right now, routinely offering readers a pulp-noir-inspired style that never fails to impress. While he's been wowing the comic book world while playing in the sandboxes of various company-owned characters, he's apparently been finding ways to get his own creations into print, with the Black Beetle headlining Dark Horse Presents #11. If you haven't seen the character before, I invite you to check out an earlier story that Francavilla did featuring the character. I think you'll quickly understand my excitement on this one.
April is set to be the most enigmatic month ever! Not only do we have the aforementioned Secret Service dropping, but Image is publishing the simply-titled Secret from Jonathan Hickman. Secret is one of Hickman's new creator-owned books (following in the steps of The Manhattan Projects, which debuts the month before), and it looks to be a doozy. In what seems to be classic Hickman style, it looks like a whole whackload of unrelated stuff is going to happen, there will be some crazy mysteries, and then all that unrelated stuff will end up being way more related than you ever thought possible. As someone who seems to be continuously on the lookout for a Hickman book to get into, maybe this one will be for me!