Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Is it just me, or does it feel like July has just flown by? Somehow we've already made it to the last week of the month, which brings us to this week's edition of the Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews! It probably shouldn't come as a huge surprise, but there's a whole lot of exciting books coming out tomorrow, including Debris #1, Winter Soldier #8, and Jeff Lemire's latest graphic novel, The Underwater Welder! Hit the jump for some thoughts on these book, along with some of the other comics dropping this week!
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #29
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Skinner Sweet is back! And he’s hunting Hollywood vampires in 1954. But how did he survive the horrible events of Taipan back in WWII? Unlikely alliances are formed, secrets are revealed, and another name gets crossed off “The Blacklist” as the next major AMERICAN VAMPIRE epic roars on!
Grant: American Vampire is at its best when Scott Snyder gets the chance to mix his thrilling story with significant historical moments. This strategy has lead to brilliant arcs at nearly every turn, none better than the opening story of Pearl Jones' entrance to the world of American Vampires in Hollywood circa the 1920s. "The Blacklist" looks like it will be trying to pick up on some of that early success, as the series return to the original location, but around thirty years later. Our characters have come a long way since that time, both temporally and in their personal arcs, and from the first issue of this new storyline, it looks like we have another successful storyline on our hands. Give it a look.
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art by Riley Rossmo
In the far future, humanity has doomed planet earth to rot and decay, covering her surface with garbage. Now, ancient spirits called the Colossals rise from the debris and attack the remaining survivors, forcing the human race to the brink of extinction. One warrior woman, Maya, sets out to find the last source of pure water to save the world before the monsters bring it all to an end.
Grant: Both Kurtis J. Wiebe and Riley Rossmo have been rather busy of late, each working on a handful of series with different collaborators here and there. And while I'm happy to see them finding success in their individual works, I must confess to missing the series I first encountered both their work in, Green Wake. Cancelled before its time, Green Wake was a cerebral and challenging book that I always enjoyed. I don't imagine that Debris will be a resurrection of their former title, I am still quite intrigued to see what these two talented creators will come up with. Considering how unique their last project was, I'll definitely be paying attention to how Debris turns out.
Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by Marcus To & Ray McCarthy
• The New 52 debut of HEAT WAVE!
• THE FLASH is on a crash course with THE ROGUES!
Grant: I'm finding more and more that, while I do have strong attachments to some comic book character, I'm really reading for the creators. The Flash is perhaps the best example of that. I've never felt any real devotion to the character, but when Francis Manapul started drawing this book when Geoff Johns' revived this title (pre-Flashpoint), I found myself snatching up each and every issue. I even kept buying them when I found Johns' writing to be somewhat lacking. I think I bought every issue in that run, but I was really frustrated towards the end, as they kept throwing in fill-in artists without any forewarning. I feel like that's starting to happen again here with Marcus To and Ray McCarthy. While I have nothing against their work and know it's only temporary, I pick up this book for Manapul's fluid and dynamic art. When he's not drawing it, I ask myself why I'm buying it. I hope he comes back soon - and stays back.
NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Cully Hammer
• An exciting new series of stand-alone comics that feature unique takes on classic characters!
• JEFF LEMIRE (ANIMAL MAN) and CULLY HAMNER (RED) bring a contemporary approach to the hero we used to know as KID ETERNITY!
• Can introverted medical examiner Kid Eternity solve a deadly crime in just 24 hours?
Grant: I don't know much of anything about these National Comics one shots. All I can really say is that they look like they'll be trying to reintroduce old characters, using rotating creative teams to do so. As a man who loves self-contained comics, I think this is a great idea. And as a man who likes both Jeff Lemire and Cully Hammer's work, I think this will be a great issue. I also like that this is being solicited as a 40 page comic for $3.99, meaning that we should be getting 30 pages of story, which is quite the rarity nowdays. I can't comment on how this series will play out over the coming months, but I really like this concept. Frankly, this is what I think DC Presents should be like. In my opinion, we need more done in one books from the bigger publishers, and I'm happy to see at least one example of that.
THE UNDERWATER WELDER
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Jeff Lemire
As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever.
Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending mystery, The Underwater Welder is a graphic novel about fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and reality, and the treasures we all bury deep below the surface.
Grant: While I don't usually talk about the trades that I'm buying in this column, I'm happy to make an exception for Jeff Lemire's The Underwater Welder. Lemire is easily one of my personal favourite creators and is definitely one of the best creators right now in comics. While his writing work on such books as Animal Man, Frankenstein, or Justice League: Dark are rightly praised for their consistent quality, it's his work where he writes and draws that invariably blow me away. Sweet Tooth is a phenomenal example of that, but The Underwater Welder obviously compares more closely to Lemire's previous graphic novel from Top Shelf, Essex County. Both are set in parts of Canada, both focus on family as a theme, and while I haven't yet read The Underwater Welder, I think I can say with confidence that both are amazingly good. If you don't trust my reading of the situation, may I remind you of Ryan's feelings on the matter? Do yourself a favour and buy this book. You won't regret it.
WINTER SOLDIER #8
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Michael Lark
• Bucky vs. Black Widow
• Old enemies resurfacing with new codenames.
• And nothing will ever be the same.
Grant: I've been enjoying the current storyline, following Bucky as he struggles to deal with another part of his complicated past that has returned to haunt him. It's been a nice spin out of the opening arc from the series, and having Michael Lark in on art continues to fill me with joy. My only concern is that Winter Soldier appears to be among the titles that Marvel likes to double-ship, and as I've said in the past, I'm just not that fond of the practice. While it was kind of fun to get two issues of Amazing Spider-Man a month, buying so much of the same comic in such a short period of time eventually burned me out. Not to mention that buying one title ends up costing the same as buying two titles. We'll see how this goes.
A lot of books coming out this week that I've really been looking forward to, but I have to say that I'm one hundred percent the most excited for The Underwater Welder. Ever since I heard that Jeff Lemire was releasing another original graphic novel, I've been anticipating this book's arrival. Now that it's finally here, I don't know if I'll be able to contain my excitement. Are you aiming to snag a copy of The Underwater Welder? Why or why not?