Tuesday, April 9, 2013
With yet another week filled with quality comics rolling in on the morrow, it's time for your Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews. Batman and Robin #19, Hawkey #9, and Sledgehammer 44 #2 are but a few of the many great books you can look forward to behind the jump, so get clicking! I'll see you on the other side.
BATMAN AND RED ROBIN #19
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
• On the darkest of nights, who is the one person Batman meets that could change his life forever?
Grant: The death of Damian Wayne was already enough to add lots of interest to the title, but DC has decided that that was not enough and have raised the stakes in ways you probably couldn't have imagined. In a move that the New York Post rightly calls "befuddl[ing]", apparently The Dark Knight Returns' Carrie Kelly is going to show up in this issue, gatefold cover and all. While I guess that's kind of cool, it definitely doesn't make all that much sense, and is a pretty blatant example of DC doing their darndest to make sure that continuity in the New 52 is as convoluted as it was in the Old 52. WTF indeed.
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja
• More ladies, more problems. Featuring: The Girlfriend, the Work-Wife and the Ex-Wife.
• Plus the tracksuits are back and aim to kill.
• Good luck, Hawkeye.
Grant: It's a little delayed, but I'm more than willing to be patient when it comes to Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye. This series continues to be on the of best things coming out of the House of Ideas, and I cannot get enough of it. This series is a wonderful mixture of action, humour, and fun. It looks like we're continuing the story started up in last issue, and I'm eager to see how it all plays out.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
Prince Robot IV makes his move.
Grant: While Hawkeye is a little late, it looks like Saga is a little early this month, which is some stellar news. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are comic book machines, delivering stunningly moving stories month in and month out. This has been especially true the last few issues, which have really played with reader emotions, and with issue #12 being the conclusion to this arc, I think it's fair to guess that we'll find more of the same here. Hopefully Vaughan and Staples will take some pity on us and it won't be too emotionally draining.
New Kids on the Block
BATMAN LIL GOTHAM #1
Written by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
• The first time in print for this hit all-ages digital first series!
• First, Robin needs Batman’s help to learn the true meaning of Halloween. Then, on Thanksgiving, Batman and Robin join the families of Gotham City around the table for a holiday feast—and birds of a feather flock together to stage a march against the city...led by The Penguin!
Grant: Okay, so this is actually a reprint of some digital comics that have been available for quite some time, but I haven't read it digitally, and even if I had, I still can't say no to Dustin Nguyen art - particularly when it is this cute. I only have a vague understanding of what this series is all about, but all-ages Batman-themed good-time funnery is a winner in my books every time.
INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #1
Written by Phil Hester
Art by Todd Nauch and John Rauch
In the aftermath of INVINCIBLE 100 and “The Death of Everyone,” Dinosaurus has left his mark on the world. Can heroes from across the universe – Invincible, the Guardians of the Globe, Tech Jacket, the Astounding Wolf-Man and more – contain the damage done? Or are the end times of the Invincible Universe ahead?
Grant: Invincible has long been a solid superhero book from comic book superstar Robert Kirkman, but with all the world building that's been going on since issue #1 and all hullabaloo that's happened in issue #100, clearly there's a feeling that there isn't enough space in the pages of Invincible to fit everything in. Cue Invincible Universe, a new home where Phil Hester will tell some stories (presumably) starring the wider cast of the Invincible... universe. If you're an Invincible fan, this one seems like a no-brainer. But who knows, maybe it would be a good jumping on point for those wanting to know what all the fuss is about.
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Kalman Andrasofszky
• Ultron took over the world.
• Ultron killed the heroes.
• Ultron...is your father.
• When you're Victor Mancha, android teen Runaway, "daddy issues" doesn't quite cover it.
Grant: It's only with my recent reading of Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways that I even know who Victor Mancha is, but even though I'm by no means a fan of Marvel's Age of Ultron storyarc, I do have to admit that a look at how this whole thing is affecting Victor sounds rather intriguing. I will express slight caution that there was no announced writer when this book was originally solicited, but Kathryn Immonen is a capable writer who should be more than able to step in and weave a solid story from a concept such as this.
SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #2
Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by Jason Latour
Outgunned and outnumbered by an army of Nazis, a group of GIs must band together and unleash the Hyperborean power of the mysterious man in the iron suit in order to make it home safely.
• Super Soldier!
• The Iron Prometheus returns!
• From B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror and Django Unchained artist Jason Latour.
Grant: If you're thinking that it was only last month that we became acquainted with this strange little science fiction World War 2 story, you'd be right. Sledgehammer 44 is but a two-issue miniseries, but if number two is anything like number one, it's going to be one hell of a ride. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are telling the great stories that they always do, and Jason Latour is absolutely killing it on art duties. The only true downside about this is that we're only getting two issues. Fingers crossed that this won't be the last we see of Project Sledgehammer.
You May Have Missed
ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA & CAKE #4
Written by Natasha Allegri
Art by Natasha Allegri
THE FAN-FAVORITE ADVENTURE TIME SERIES CONTINUES! The Flame Boy rescued by Fionna and Cake has a secret…Will returning him to his fire lion pride finally reveal it?
Grant: I'm legitimately so excited for this issue to hit stands. While I'm a big fan of Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb's Adventure Time comic, I must say that I've really been feeling Natasha Allegri's solo effort for the gender-swapped equivalent. This book is just as full of fun as the main title, but Allegri's art lends a playfulness and lightness that I honestly find irresistible. This book has been cute and fun and genuine, and while I'll be sad to see it conclude, I'm happy to see how we end up getting there.
DJANGO UNCHAINED #3
Written by Quentin Tarantino and Reggie Hudlin
Art by R.M. Guera and Jason Latour
• The adaptation of the screenplay for award-winning director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film continues!
• This is the only way to read the entire, uncut story, including scenes that may not appear in final film!
• Django and Dr. Schultz search for Django’s wife and encounter a ruthless plantation owner!
Grant: Now Django Unchained is probably the worst offender for tardiness of the books we're looking at this week, but I'm prepared to look past that based on how enjoyable the series has been. I'm glad that the team for this title has been able to take their time to get the book done right. While it's nice to be able to get a book on a monthly basis, it's always frustrating when there's creative switches that break up the flow of a story just to ensure that it comes out for a certain date. The time in between can make for a difficult wait, but the end product often ensures that said wait is worth it.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #19
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marco Checchetto
• Spider-Man is Doctor Octopus!!! There! Now, that we've got that off our chests...
• The mysterious being known as SLEEPWALKER stalks Spider-Man in the waking world, while something far more horrible has invaded his dreams!
• And what nightmares will the Superior Spider-Man's dreams unleash on the world?
Grant: I haven't been following Avenging Spider-Man in any serious fashion for maybe ever, but my eye couldn't help but be caught by the inclusion of Marco Checchetto on art duties for this month's issue. Checchetto was a huge part of what made Greg Rucka's run on Punisher so memorable, so it's hard to not be at least tempted by his inclusion on the creative roster for this book. It'll come down to a game time decision for myself, but maybe you'll be keener than I.
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
Backup Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Backup Art by Alex Maleev
• Who would cause Bruce Wayne to use a gun?
Grant: So I've long ago outed myself as something of a Batman traditionalist, and like many, I'm not terribly keen on Batman breaking his personal anti-gun code. Unless it's built around a particularly significant plot point and treated with its due earnestness (as it was in Grant Morrison's Final Crisis), it risks coming off as gimmicky and cheap (as it looks here for WTF month). However, Scott Snyder does seem to know a thing or two about the Caped Crusader, so I'll once again give him the benefit of the doubt. We shall see.
BRAVEST WARRIORS #7
Written by Joey Comeau
Art by Mike Holmes
THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS ALL-AGES SERIES ON THE STANDS! While other contestants are twirling flags, Plum and Beth are kicking butt and taking names at an alien beauty pageant! Don’t miss the third piece of the connecting Nick Edwards B cover set!
Grant: Although the end to the first storyarc was a tad lackluster, Joey Comeau and Mike Holmes second kick at the Bravest Warriors can has made for some excellent reading this time around. The book has regained lots of the strange wackiness that made the initial issue so appealing in my books, and it's been a welcome return to form. I'm eager to see this book's team continue that momentum this week.
DEMON KNIGHTS #19
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Bernard Chang
• What undead menaces threaten the lives of the Demon Knights?
Grant: While I've long been a stalwart defender of Demon Knights, part of me is wondering if it's time to move onto other things. Robert Venditti's story is interesting and Bernard Chang's art is solid, but I just can't muster the same excitement for this series that I once had. I don't know if it's the current storyarc, the switch in creative teams, or something else entirely, but unless things really turn up in intensity - and soon - my time with this motley crew may be coming to an end.
STAR WARS #4
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Carlos D'Anda
As Princess Leia’s stealth squadron lays a trap for the spy within their ranks, she soon realizes that the Rebels are ill prepared for the Empire’s zealous pursuit. Meanwhile, Han Solo flees from the Empire through the lower levels of Coruscant, and Luke Skywalker enjoys being grounded with a female friend . . .
Grant: I do love me some Star Wars, and Brian Wood and Carlos D'Anda have been releasing some mighty fine Star Wars tales in their eponymous monthly book. I'm really enjoying these stories set shortly after the timeline of Episode IV. Wood has found a fun period to play around in, and has really taken advantage of the opportunities for character development that exist within it. Dark Horse have obviously done the Star Wars universe proud with their comic book tie-ins, but this one is by far my favourite.
Pick of the Week
Wow, there are a lot of great comics that could easily take the pick of the week, but I'm going to go with my gut feeling here and select Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake #4. It may not have the critical acclaim as Hawkeye or Saga, but for my money, the story Natasha Allegri is telling here is just as stirring as either of those.
So that's how I see things this week. How do they look from your perspective?