Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 08/14/13

Wednesday rears its weekly head on the morrow, which means it's time for our Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews today!  We're looking at a number of different books this week, including Marvel's latest event with Infinity #1, Dark Horse's latest video game tie-in with Halo: Initiation #1, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' return to monthly books with Saga #13, and lots more.  So click on that cut and see what all the fuss is about.

Major Releases

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jim Cheung
The oversized kickoff to the year’s most anticipate Blockbuster summer event, changing the way you view the Marvel Universe!
• The outbreak of war on two fronts: Earth and Space, with our heroes torn between them.
• The world-shattering return of Thanos!
• Includes material from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: INFINITY
Grant: While I'm far from the strongest Marvel supporter you'll ever find, I must admit that a Jonathan Hickman helmed event does have a certain appeal to it.  While I don't know much of what's going down in Infinity (beyond Thanos returning, as the solicitation and cover are happy to remind us), I do like that Marvel is handing the reigns to Hickman, rewarding his past work by letting him drive the whole thing foward.  And considering my perennial struggles with Marvel's comic book pricing, 56 pages of comics for $4.99 is not a bad rate, even if ads are included in that page number.
SAGA #13
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples


Now that you've read the first two bestselling collections of SAGA, you're all caught up and ready to jump on the ongoing train with Chapter Thirteen, beginning an all-new monthly sci-fi/fantasy adventure, as Hazel and her parents head to the planet Quietus in search of cult romance novelist D. Oswald Heist.

Grant: That all-caps sentence at the top of the solicitation manages to capture both the sentiment and tone that I imagine most people are feeling with the beginning of the latest volume of Saga.  Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have clearly stumbled onto something brilliant here, and each and every issue seems to be confirming that fact.  The months in between volumes can make for a difficult wait, but this is most definitely an instance where absence makes the heart grow fonder.
New Kids on the Block

Written by Brian Reed
Art by Marco Castiello

Halo—one of the largest video game franchises—comes to Dark Horse!
Before she was a supersoldier defending humanity as part of the Spartan IV program, Sarah Palmer was an ODST—Orbital Drop Shock Trooper—carrying out the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines!
• The origin of Sarah Palmer—and the Spartan IV program!
• The Halo franchise has sales eclipsing $3 billion over its lifetime.
• From one of the writers on Halo 4—comics veteran Brian Reed!

Grant: I feel conflicted about this whole thing.  On the one hand, I'm a HUGE Halo fan.  I played the original Halo: Combat Evolved game until my fingers bled and then I played it some more.  It's easily one of my most played and favourite video games of all time.  On top of that, I really enjoyed some of the Halo comic book tie-ins from Marvel (particularly the original graphic novel of short stories).  However, I found that the Halo universe's story became a little bit weaker with every additional game, culminating with the hot mess that was 343 Studios' Halo 4 late last year.  The gameplay's still decent, but the narrative doesn't make a lick of sense.  So knowing that this comic is based on that game's story doesn't inspire me with confidence.
Or for a shorter version: I'm leery of this comic's quality, but I'll give it a chance for nostalgia's sake.

Written by Mike Kunkel
Art by Mike Kunkel


Go back to the beginning of the fabulous original adventures by acclaimed cartoonist Mike Kunkel, as the awardwinning nostalgic tale is reprinted with bonus new material. After his grandfather passes away, 10 year old Tyler inherits an old stuffed toy bear and a broken pocket watch. If dealing with bullies wasn’t enough, he soon learns that things aren’t always what they seem…and that you shouldn’t judge a bear by its cover. Join Tyler as he goes on his amazing childhood adventure and learns the truth about his family.

Grant: I'm still relatively in the dark as to this whole Herobear and the Kid business, but I will say that the Free Comic Book Day issue was incredibly sweet.  Mike Kunkel seems to really know his way around kids' comics, so if you're looking for something of that nature, I have the utmost faith that this book will be just the ticket (even if it is a reprinting of an earlier story as the solicitation implies).

Written by Dan Boultwood
Art by Dan Boultwood

Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will love this hilarious B-movie romp, a knowing throwback to the heyday of low-budget SF cinema!

In It Came!, Dan Boultwood has unearthed a lost classic from the forgotten Pinetree Studios. An enormous alien robot lays waste to the English countryside, annihilating bunting, villages, and diagonally-sliced sandwiches alike! Only the pipe-chomping space scientist Dr. Boy Bret and his assistant Doris Night stand a chance of stopping it from marching all the way to London!

Grant: I'm unfamiliar with the work of Dan Boultwood, but this is a classic example of a solid cover and a well-written solicitation getting me interested in a brand comic book.  Seriously, what's not to love about that cover?  The font for the title jumps right off the page, particularly with the purple and greens of the rest of it; the robot looks awesome; and the whole thing implies the type of levity I'm always happy to find in comics.  Bring it on.
Fond Farewell

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Chad Hardin and Wayne Faucher
The Knights are running out of options as they try to protect the Holy Grail! Plus, the fate of the Black Diamond is revealed!

Grant: This is one instance where the "Fond Farewell" title may not be completely accurate.  As much as it pains me to say it, this is one title that has overstayed its welcome.  Demon Knights has been on a clear downward spiral since Paul Cornell left the book with issue #15.  While Robert Venditti has done his best to pick up where Cornell left off (give or take 30 years), things simply haven't been the same since the transition.  It hasn't helped that the art team has been somewhat inconsistent, but the real problem is that nothing has really happened since the switch.  Obviously that's a big part of why this book was cancelled, but it's still a shame that a title that opened with so much potential is going out not with a bang but a whimper.

You May Have Missed

Written by Yuko Ono and Ananth Panagariya
Art by Ian McGinty

FINN AND JAKE ARE MISSING?! Don’t worry Candy Kingdom, Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun will…protect…you? This is a miniseries you definitely don’t want to miss, with the talents of Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya of JOHNNY WANDER writing our candied heroes along with Ian McGinty of UGLY DOLLS on art duties, there is nothing that can go wrong!
Grant: Adventure Time: Candy Capers #1 was completely ridiculous, rather nonesensical, and a ton of fun.  Yuko Ono and Ananth Panagariya brought a comedic sensibility turned up to 11 when penning the book and Ian McGinty was more than able to bring the visual funny to meet their silly script.  I really appreciate that this miniseries is switching things up yet again for the Adventure Time comic book adaptations, telling more of a whodunnit tale with the search for Finn and Jake.  I also really dig how the characters are taking things so seriously, in spite of how absurd so much of it is.  It makes for one crazy fun reading experience.

Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Jeff Stokely

Captured by the Rebel WarParty with 6GG nowhere in sight, Blue is forced to lead a small squad out into the Blister in search of the mysterious locket he was tasked with taking back to Earth. But little do they know, the sadistic, fourarmed bounty hunter Auchenbran is also on the hunt…
Grant: I know there's an awful lot of repetition in my praise for Six Gun Gorilla, but I remain unable to get over just how novel and fun this miniseries is.  Simon Spurrier's got some off the wall madness mixed into his sci fi, featuring a war on a world free from some of those pesky laws of physics we're always dealing with.  That alone would be worth a read, but that is mere background to the actual story of the suicidal soldier, the object he must return home, and the talking, revolver-wielding gorilla he's met along the way.  This book couldn't be any more different from what you're reading right now, and you need to check it out.

Written by Joe Harris
Art by Michael Walsh
"Believers," Part 3 of 5: The Acolytes are seeking Scully’s lost son, William, and Dana realizes there’s more than meets the eye to her abductor, known only as the Deacon. Meanwhile, Mulder uncovers more of the truth than he can handle when an old, cigarette-smoking "friend" pays him a visit.
Grant: With every issue of X-Files Season 10, I find myself more and more interested in this whole X-Files thing.  As I've said many times before, I've never watched the show, but Joe Harris and Michael Walsh are telling a story that is more than accesible enough for the complete X-files neophyte, which I've obviously appreciated.  I can only imagine what it must be like for those who are actually familiar with the show and its many charactesr and plots.  Either way, this title is definitely worth checking.

The Balance

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Dragotta


Hear the good word, hear the MESSAGE. In this issue of East of West we find out the contents of the apocrypha that predicts the end of the world. Or does it?

The most exciting new book of the year, EAST OF WEST continues in: “THE LOST WORDS.”

Grant: While I've been at a loss in the past when it comes to understanding the deal with some of Jonathan Hickman's work, East of West has been a wonderful divergence from that norm.  Although lots of the same aspects of his regular work are still present, including dizzying world building, heady concepts, and general weirdness, I'm really digging what he and Nick Dragotta have been getting up to and find myself eagerly awaiting each new issue.


Written by Gerard Way and Shuan Simon
Art by Becky Cloonan

“The pulse is beating like a cheetah on speed!”
No longer content to hide from the prying eyes and lies of BLI, the Girl tries her hand at learning how to fire a ray gun with the help of a former Killjoy, Cherri Cola. But when her vision bends and her mind opens, will the Girl see beyond sight and view more than she can handle? How far can you see when you lose focus?
• One of IGN’s Most Anticipated Comics of 2013!
• From the creator of The Umbrella Academy!
• Art by 2013 Eisner nominee Becky Cloonan!
Grant: Becky Cloonan, Gerard Way, and Shaun Simon's collaboration continues to be one hell of a ride.  There's still lots of unanswered questions and mystery about the world and the story they're telling, but that is half the fun thus far.  Things definitely seem to be coming to a head, so I'm excited to see what's in store in this latest chapter.

Pick of the Week

Seriously, go buy Six Gun Gorilla #3.  We're pretty much right in the middle of everything, but pick it up and get swept away by it all.  This book is something else.

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