Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 07/18/12

Welcome aboard the HMS Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews!  We have a fleet of exciting comics to inspect this week, including Saga #5, X-O Manowar #3, and more!  So let's get all hands on deck and shove off to the other side of the cut!

Written by Ryan North
Art by Shelli Paroline & Chris Houghton

THE FUN WILL NEVER END IN THIS HOT ALL-AGES SERIES! The awesome adventures of Finn, Jake, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum and the Ice King continue in the latest issue of this critically-acclaimed, on-going series!

Grant: What can I really say about this series that you haven't already heard?  Ryan North had an incredibly fun opening four-issue arc, and his issue #5 one-shot was one of the funniest comics I've read all year.  While Shelli Paroline and Chris Houghton were off for that issue, they've more than proven their comic book artist chops with the work they did on that first arc.  While the whole thing is based on the Adventure Time cartoon, these creators are not satisfied to simply ape what's come before them.  They are pushing these characters into new directions and adding their personal stamp on each and every moment.  And I love it.

Written by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art by Ben Stenbeck

As his surgically enhanced monsters attack Lord Baltimore, the crazed doctor reveals a plan to kill all the innocents before the plague of vampires can get them first.

Grant: This creative team has also proven themselves over the past eleven issues of Lord Baltimore goodness, but with Mike Mignola helming the whole project, I shouldn't really need to tell you that.  What should really be getting you on board for this series is Ben Stenbeck's amazing art.  This man is one of the best in the biz right now, and as it stands, Baltimore is the only place where you can find his work.  Fortunately, his style is perfectly suited for the dark, horrific vampire plagued post-World War 1 world that Mignola and Christopher Golden have created for your reading pleasure.

Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art by Trevor McCarthy

• The conclusion of “TO DROWN THE WORLD”!
• BATWOMAN, CHASE, and the D.E.O. battle Gotham City’s URBAN LEGENDS in hope of finding the missing children.

Grant: While it was definitely unfortunate to lose Amy Reeder in the middle of this arc (especially considering how gorgeous her work was), Trevor McCarthy has proven himself a capable replacement, stepping up in a big way.  I was impressed with his art on Gates of Gotham last year, but he's really demonstrating a whole different side of his work here on Batwoman.  I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it, but I'm glad that McCarthy kept the habit of drawing Batwoman different than the world around her.  It's a great effect that I've always felt adds to the reading experience.  See also: Williams and Blackman have continued to do an admirable job on this title, but you probably already knew that.

Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Roger Langridge

Our unlikely heroes have done it -- they've escaped the kingdom, traversed the high seas, and rescued Scarlett and Rusty's father, the Red King. The only problem? The King has no idea who Scarlett is, and refuses to leave Snark Island. With the Gryphon bearing down on them, will the Walrus and McDunk be able to save the royal family's happy ending? Don't miss the latest chapter of Harvey Award winner Roger Langridge's (THE MUPPET SHOW, THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER) critically acclaimed SNARKED!

Grant: I'm quite thrilled to see Snarked! coming in on a year's worth of issues.  Roger Langridge's all-ages original comic book has been an absolute delight all the way through.  It continually has the right balance between fun characters and lighthearted adventure, providing for some rather enjoyable stories in these near twelve issues.  Hopefully this is the start of lots more from this series!

Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples

The smash hit ongoing series from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continues, as Prince Robot IV's hunt for Hazel and her parents takes a deadly turn.

Grant: While I usually turn to the smaller publishers for what I like to call "good solicitations", this one is a bit of a let down.  Fortunately, the actual series is anything but.  Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga is the best new book of this year.  A bold claim, I know, but they prove themselves again and again each and every month, and I have no doubt that Saga #5 will be another great addition to the issues we've had thus far.  On that note, I'd also like to take a moment to compliment these wonderful character portrait covers that Fiona Staples has been doing.  They're all super awesome and manage to say a whole bunch about the character being depicted.

Written by Jim Zub
Art by Edwin Huang & Misty Coats

Ancient evil has arisen aboard the pirate ship called the Mermaid's Bottom in this, the penultimate part of our 3rd story arc. Mind-control, maidens, monsters, meat, and more words that start with "M". Everybody say it with me now: "Mmmmmmmmm..."

Grant: This solicitation is more like it!  It manages to give a summary of some of things to expect in the issue and is actually kind of fun to read. However, I'd expect no less from Skullkickers, which is one of the most fun to read books on stands.  Jim Zub's scripts are some of the funniest I know of, and he's found the perfect partners in crime in Edwin Huang and Misty Coats, both of whom do excellent jobs in realizing his extended foolishness.

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross

In “The Wound,” part 3, Richie the vampire brings on the bad news, and Tom Taylor hits Brisbane – just as detective Didge Patterson’s murder investigation blows up in her face. To get to her prime suspect, she’ll have to walk through guns, thugs, unicorns, and something very, very nasty that Danny discovers in a box.

Grant: As long as Mike Carey and Peter Gross have more Unwritten stories to tell, I will keep shelling out money to read them.  These two have a knowledge and confidence in their storytelling on this series that is not often seen.  They always seem to know where they want their narrative to go and exactly how to get it there.  It may not always be immediately apparent to the reader, but it always is in the end.  I trust in these two, because they've always steered me right.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

• A new story begins as APOLLO makes his play for ZEUS’S throne – and WONDER WOMAN is the last obstacle in his way!
• As ZOLA goes into labor, a hideous secret is revealed!

Grant: Hooray for Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman!  Tony Akins is all well and good, but Chiang's participation is a monumental portion of why I pick up this title on a regular basis.  His style is just so unique and beautiful.  There's also the part where he happens to also have an impeccable eye for style and one of the bets interpretations of the Amazonian Princess that I've encountered.  Granted, Brian Azzarello definitely has a part to play in all of this, but his words just don't feel the same when they aren't floating above Chiang's amazing art.

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Cary Nord

With the X-O Manowar armor now in his possession, all that stands between Aric and freedom is a legion of alien soldiers. When he at last comes face to face with Commander Trill — the alien responsible for his capture — the enormous power of the Manowar armor reveals its potential in a new and electrifying way. Can Aric lead his band of fellow prisoners off the Vine colony ship and back to Earth, or will their revolt be put down? Who will live and who will die?

Grant: Robert Venditti has paced X-O Manowar a lot slower than most other writers would have.  While many would have raced to get Aric into the X-O Manowar armour as soon as possible, it almost feels like Venditti has been doing the opposite, extending that moment for as long as possible.  It's been a nice change, but at the same time, I'm glad that it seems like we're going to finally get an idea of what that armour can do.  A good decision on Venditti's part to move to the next stage of this story.

These are the books that I'm on the lookout for, and I'll be glad to read 'em when they arrive at port.  What books do you have your eyes on?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

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Jeff OBryant said...

Got to meet JH Williams at SDCC last week- very cool; and really looking forward to his Sandman work.

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