Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 05/08/13

We're into our second five-week month of the year for our Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews, and I gotta say that it looks like it's going to be a lean month.  There's not a ton of exciting books dropping this week, but we'll be looking at X #1, Suicide Squad #20, Star Wars #5, and a few others.  So hit the cut to give these books a look.

Major Releases

Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Michael Walsh
Colours by Jordie Bellaire

Reconnect agents Mark and Seth go back in time to save people from their untimely demise – for a fee. But, when a rescue mission goes awry, both agents find themselves trapped in the past and on the run from both the FBI, who want to jail them, and their own employers who want to kill them to protect their own dark and deadly secrets.

Collects COMEBACK 1-5, plus never-seen-before extras.

Grant: I know that I usually only talk about single issues that are coming out, but considering how much I've been talking up Comeback these past few months, I figured it wouldn't hurt to alert you that the trade paperback is being released on the morrow.  So if you've been waiting to check out this series (or buy it again in a different format), you are in luck.  Trust me, this trade will be well worth your money, as this was on heck of a miniseries.

Written by Ales Kot
Art by Timothy Green II

New team members, new direction, new creative team! After the shocking events of issue #19, the team returns to Belle Reve to lick their wounds and bury their dead—but when they find out what’s waiting for them at the prison, they’ll wish they were back out in the field! Plus: Who are the two killers Amanda Waller has recruited to shake things up, and what are their true motives for joining the team?

Grant: I'd say that I checked out from Suicide Squad real early on in its run, but I don't know if it's fair to say that I ever actually checked in.  Regardless, very little of this series, ranging from the odd character redesigns to the different creative teams, has piqued my interest, but the arrival of Ales Kot as the new writer just might do the trick.  I've been catching bits and pieces of his work, and I'm honestly quite intrigued to see what he'll do with DC's toys.  I'm also happy to support DC's efforts of bringing in new creators to revitalize some of their stagnant books.  We'll see how it plays out.

New Kids on the Block

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Caanan White

From the jaws of defeat, the Nazi war machine is resurrected by walking battleship superhuman soldiers who turn the tide of World War II. Kieron Gillen unveils his epic new monthly series, which rewrites history with a horrifying twist! Super soldiers now turn the machinations of the Twentieth Century's greatest madman into reality. The Ubers are here and the world will tremble at their feet. But a deeply entrenched spy could be the difference in seeing the world remade in the Nazi vision and the Allies finding a way to stem the tide.

Grant: This series actually started with Uber #0 last month, but my shop didn't have any copies, so I'm hoping that this issue will be a sufficient introduction to the story (as that #1 would imply).  I'm keen to see what Kieron Gillen will do with some historical superhuman fiction, especially considering the setting of World War 2 and the choice of the Nazis getting the superhuman tech.  Considering Avatar is publishing the book, I imagine it will be pretty brutal.

X #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Eric Nguyen

The enigmatic vigilante X has shattered Arcadia’s criminal triumvirate, the Three Pigs, and fixed his eye on an even tougher target. But with the police department AND the crime establishment teamed up against him, muckraking blogger Leigh Ferguson may be X’s only ally! The brutal story of Dark Horse’s bloodiest hero begins anew!
• Swierczynski and Nguyen relaunch the classic Dark Horse vigilante!
• X is the letter of the law!

Grant: Speaking of brutal, Duane Swierczynski and Eric Nguyen really went to town in the X story they told over the course of Dark Horse Presents #19 through #21.  They really brought the anti-hero back in a big way, leaving him to brutalize the criminal element in some rather creative ways.  Dark Horse clearly feels there was some fan pickup, as they're giving the two another kick at the can with this X miniseries.  Considering what we've seen before, this should be a pretty good read.

The Balance

Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Clayton Henry

The true story of the Epic (Fail) of Giglamesh! Original series artist and Harbinger Wars superstar Clayton Henry returns to tell a tale of the early days of the man known as Armstrong! How early? How's ancient Ur sound? For the first time, the 100% true story behind the Epic of Gilgamesh can be told. A tale of three warrior brothers, the Anni-Padda - or as you may know them, ARMSTRONG, the ETERNAL WARRIOR and TIMEWALKER - on a quest to the mysterious Faraway to bring back its immortal Boon. What they find is a lost land full of danger, excitement - and the greatest secret of the Valiant Universe! Plus: this issue tees up the next arc of A&A, beginning this June in issue #10!

Grant: I enjoyed Fred Van Lente's Archer & Armstrong, but as the months went on, the title got lost in the shuffle for me.  However, since Valiant is providing a zero issue to let readers jump back onto the series, I may very well oblige them and see how things have been going for the two heroes (well, I guess only the one, since this appears to be an issue set long before Archer was born).

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Backup Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Backup Art by Alex Maleev

A strange visitor comes to Gotham City when tragedy delivers the team-up you’ve been asking for since the start of The New 52!

Grant: So the opening issue of this Clayface two-parter was pretty boring, and I don't have much in the way of hope for things turning around this month.  I'm definitely waiting for Zero Year for things to pick up again, and unfortunately, it looks like Scott Snyder might be doing the same.  If we're lucky, maybe the Alex Maleev backup will turn the corner and realize some of the potential it setup last time.  Fingers crossed.

Written by Joey Comeau
Art by Mike Holmes

FINAL ISSUE OF THE ARC! The most nefarious force in the universe has finally followed through with its plan to steal brains through an alien beauty pageant! Can the Warriors stop it with POWER and RESPECT? The final issue of the arc, and the final Nick Edwards connecting B cover!

Grant: On the other hand, Joey Comeau and Mike Holmes have really raised their game in their second arc of Bravest Warriors.  The beauty pageant setting has yielded some surprisingly ridiculous and enjoyable moments, and odds look good that that will continue through the end of this issue.

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Robson Rocha and Oclair Albert

After decades of questing, the Demon Knights have a lead on the resting place of the Holy Grail—but are they ready for what they’ll have to fight through to get it? And has time run out on one knight’s immortal life?

Grant: Demon Knights is something of an odd book.  It doesn't really fit into what DC is doing anywhere else in the New 52 lineup, and since the changeover from Paul Cornell to Robert Venditti, it's also been lacking in direction.  The main takeaway from this storyac has seemingly been getting the group back together, and whether that has or hasn't happened yet is still kind of up in the air.  Shining Knight's choice last issue was also a bit of a headscratcher.  Hopefully Venditti can get this ship focuses soon, otherwise I'll have to abandon it.

Written by Brain Wood
Art by Carlos D'Anda

When Princess Leia is caught between two squadrons of TIE fighters, her undercover scouting may be at an end. But Luke Skywalker is doing his best to disobey Leia’s own orders, and to once again save the princess. Time is short and the Empire is closing in!

Grant: I've definitely been enjoying Brain Wood and Carlos D'Anda's Star Wars, but things are moving a tad on the slow side.  It seems that our heroes are meeting setback after setback, unable to take one step forward without a couple steps back for good measure.  While some challenges are obviously important for a story to be of any real interest, it's also nice to see some progress from your protagonists.  That seems to be in short supply at the moment, something I sincerely hope changes sooner rather than later, as my interest will only last so long if things don't start happening.

Pick of the Week

It likely would have taken the prize regardless, but the relative dearth of books does make it even easier to go with the trade collection of Comeback as my pick of the week.  Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh, and Jordie Bellaire combined for one of the best comics of late last year / early this year, and if you haven't yet had the chance to read it, you really owe it to yourself to give it a look.

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