AMERICAN VAMPIRE #27
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Roger Cruz
“The Nocturnes” concludes here! Calvin Poole is a haunted man with a secret, but it’s nothing compared to the secret he uncovers in a small Southern town. Plus, a major character steps back onto the stage!
Grant: I feel like throwing up the claim that the story "concludes here!", when you consider that it's a two-part story that began last issue, is maybe a little strong. That being said, I'm willing to look past that hyperbole due to how enjoyable that last issue was. Roger Cruz's fill-in for this interlude has been most excellent. It certainly helps that Scott Snyder is putting a great story on offer, but Cruz's art definitely went a long way to hooking me in. His style fits quite well into that of the series, providing for a rather seamless transition from and to Raphael Albuquerque's normal work on the title. See also: I'm intrigued to see what this "major character" business is about, and if it ties into the epilogue of the "Death Race" storyline at all. We shall see!
ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Timothy Green & Joseph Silver
• A stand alone tale detailing the history of the epic struggle between THE RED, THE GREEN and THE ROT!
• As seen in ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING, these forces will play a major role in the future of the DC Universe!
Grant: One of the few somewhat inappropriately titled "annuals" that DC is putting out this month to both fill out the five week month and (presumably) provide extra issues of popular series, I'm nonetheless pretty excited to have more Animal Man goodness on my pull list. I've gone on and on about how strong Jeff Lemire's reboot of the character has been, but that's mostly because (surprise!) it's been really good. So an extra issue that's also extra long doesn't strike me as a bad thing, especially when it takes the time to further solidify the links between Animal Man and Swamp Thing, which are becoming more and more interesting.
BATMAN ANNUAL #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jay Fabok
• MR. FREEZE is introduced to The New 52!
• What is Mr. Freeze’s relationship to the COURT OF OWLS? Is he an ally – or do they want him dead?
• “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!
Grant: My frustrations with the Court of Owls (and the related Night of the Owls) storyline have been previously aired here, and while I still maintain that I'm not a huge fan of everything Scott Snyder's doing with the Caped Crusader and his gallery of rogues, it's hard to deny that he writes a mean Batman. And I've always been somewhat partial to Mr. Freeze, so I'll be interested to see how Snyder handles him and how he fits him into this whole thing. I'm hoping that it's something slightly more nuanced than Mr. Freeze being really good at getting the Talons to chill out.
GRIM LEAPER #1
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art by Alusio Santos
A brand new series from the mind of critically acclaimed writer KURTIS J. WIEBE (GREEN WAKE, PETER PANZERFAUST), GRIM LEAPER is a gory romantic comedy. Lou Collins is caught in a cyclical curse of violent, gruesome deaths and new beginnings in the bodies of strangers. With no clue why, Lou desperately searches for a way to break the curse and cross over peacefully to the other side. Then equally doomed Ella comes along. It's a love story to die for.
Grant: I didn't get a chance to talk about it, but Peter Panzerfaust really picked up in the last issue, and considering what he did in Green Wake, I'm always intrigued to see what's coming from Kurtis J. Wiebe's pen. He always seems to find some pretty rockin' concepts for his books, and Grim Leaper looks to be no exception. I'm more than willing to pony up to see what a "gory romantic comedy" involving waking up alive in strangers' bodies plays out.
ROGER LANGRIDGE'S SNARKED! #8
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Roger Langridge
Harvey Award winner Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show, Thor: The Mighty Avenger) brings you the latest chapter of his critically acclaimed series Snarked! Back on the decks of the good ship Snarkhunter, the Walrus is inconsolable, stricken with a broken heart. But unless Scarlett, Rusty, and McDunk are able to shake him out of his funk, they'll all be stricken with a broken everything as the ship is attacked by a menacing sea beast known only as the frumious Bandersnatch!
Grant: I hate to sound like a broken record, but Snarked! is amazing. Okay, I don't really hate sound like a broken record when it comes to this series. Roger Langridge's Snarked! is one of the better all-ages comics coming out right now that can appeal to readers of every age bracket. I'd hazard that Ryan North's Adventure Time adaptation is probably the other best one, which also happens to be coming out of Boom!'s "kaboom" line of books. Clearly those cats are doing something right. And you could be too. All you need to do is run out and get yourself a copy of this book to find out for yourself just how good it is!
There we have it! Not a bad way to send off the month, leading us nicely into June, which should see some of the heavy hitting titles of the summer coming to a comic book shop near you. I know I'm looking forward to it!