Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 12/11/13

December is in the air, and it's time for our Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews!  This week, we're looking at some excellent comics, including the venerable Lazarus #5, the ephemeral Adventure Time: Candy Capers #6, and many more.  So hit the jump to see what all the fuss is about!

Major Releases

LAZARUS #5
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Michael Lark

NEW STORY ARC! 'LIFT,' Part One Following Jonah's betrayal, Forever is beginning to question the nature of family, in particular her own. Waste from all over the Carlyle domain travel to Denver in hopes of improving their lives. 

Grant: The first arc of Lazarus was absolutely killer, as Greg Rucka and Michael Lark showed why they are easily some of the best in the biz. With a month buffer in between issues, I'm more than ready to jump back into Forever's dystopic world of hypercorporation families and the Filth that attend them.




SHELTERED - VOLUME #1
Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Johnnie Christmas

SPECIAL LOW INTRODUCTORY PRICE! A PRE-APOCALYPTIC TALE OF SURVIVAL AT ANY COST. The men and women of Safe Haven have been preparing for any and all end-of-world scenarios for years.

However, their bunkers, weapons, and training can't save them from the one threat they never could have expected: their own children. 

Collects SHELTERED #1-5 

Grant: While there's definitely some cognitive dissonance involved in a "pre-apocalyptic tale", Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas have clearly not been dissuaded by the challenge. Sheltered has been a fascinating comic thus far, as we've met the many children of Safe Haven and seen how they've been trying to deal with the awful things that they have wrought. Word of caution for trade-waiters: the last issue has a wicked cliffhanger that might just get you into the single issues.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #6
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Steve Lieber

FOES! FOREVER!

You can’t steal the head of Silvermane without severe repercussions – a lesson the Foes are about to learn the hard way!

Don’t miss out on the next action-packed chapters of the sleeper hit of Superior Spider-Month!

Grant: This title. I know Nick Spencer is an absolutely amazing writer of the hilariously mundane. While we are following supervillains here, they are "super" in the loosest sense of the term. Even while in the midst of a big heist, our Sinister Five is still made up of a bunch of lovable losers that you can't help but cheer for. And while Spencer is nailing the writing, Steve Lieber is matching punch for punch on the art side of things, delivering some mighty dandy pages.

New Kids on the Block

DEAD BODY ROAD #1
Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Matteo Scalera

The men involved in his wife's death must die. All of them. Writer JUSTIN JORDAN (LUTHER STRODE) and artist MATTEO SCALERA (BLACK SCIENCE, Indestructible Hulk) craft the bruising story of one man's revenge and the dark road he travels. 

Grant: Justin Jordan's stock continues to rise, finishing up the second chapter of Luther Strode and writing for both DC and Valiant this past year, but this is the book I'm most excited for. The premise sounds pretty solid, but knowing that Matteo Scalera is on art is what really piques my interest. Scalera is one of the more exciting artists right now, delivering eye dropping pages wherever he goes, and a tale of revenge sounds like an excellent backdrop for his beautiful work.


DOC SAVAGE #1
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Bilquis Evely

In 1933, readers were first introduced to Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. Raised from the cradle to be the pinnacle of mental and physical perfection, Doc Savage travels the world using science and sinews to right wrongs, aid the oppressed, and liberate the innocent. Whether with his team of able associates at their headquarters high atop the tallest building in the world, Doc Savage is tireless in his pursuit of knowledge and justice. 

Grant: While I don't follow Dynamite particularly closely, it feels like they're giving all of their recent classic pulp licenses to Chris Roberson's pen. I'm not complaining, as Roberson is a talented writer. It's more of a curious observation than anything. I've never quite understood the appeal of reviving Doc Savage, but if anyone can make it worthwhile, he seems like a good choice.

INDESTRUCTIBLE #1
Written by Jeff Kline
Art by Javi Garron

Meet Greg Pincus -- the planet's brand-spanking-newest Superhero. One small problem: Greg is neither super, nor particularly heroic.

But, he sure enjoys the perks that come with the job. Can Greg survive in a celebrity-obsessed world that wrongly believes he's indestructible?

Jeff Kline (Transformers: Prime, G.I. Joe: Renegades) explores this comedic take on a reluctant hero, and contemplates what is required to be considered 'special' in a world where fame can come and go faster than a speeding bullet. 

Grant: I actually spent my first few moments with this title wondering if Mark Waid was back for more Irredeemable / Incorruptible action. While that would be an interesting proposition, the premise of what's actually going on here, of a superhero who isn't actually superheroic caught up in our celebrity culture, sounds pretty darn good. I'll definitely be picking this up to see if Jeff Kline and Javi Garron can stick the landing.

KRAMPUS #1
Written by Brian Joines
Art by Dean Kotz

Meet the Secret Society of Santa Clauses. For centuries, Father Christmas, Ded Moroz, Hoteiosho, and others have magically distributed Christmas cheer to children around the world.

But when the source of their power is stolen, a desperate Society turns to an usual source for help: the dreaded Krampus, child-punishing demon of holiday lore.

Free of his cell for the first time in decades, will the Krampus uncover the truth behind the Santas' depowering or leave his jailers to their ultimate fate?

It's Snake Plissken by way of the Grinch as the darkly comedic adventure begins here. 

Grant: I've never quite understood the obsession with Krampus. It feels like gorillas in comics to me: kind of cool, I guess, but the mass appeal eludes me. Regardless, this does seem like a fun spin on the character and worth picking up if you're looking for some holiday themed comics.

Fond Farewell

ADVENTURE TIME: CANDY CAPERS #6
Written by Ananth Panagariya and Yuko Ota
Art by Ian McGinty

It's the conclusion to this sugary sweet mystery of a series! Has Peppermint Butler finally found Ooo's new protectors? Will Cinnamon Bun ever stop trying to help? You definitely don't want to miss this final issue as Peppermint Butler and Cinnmon Bun finally figure out what has happened to Finn and Jake! 

Grant: My adoration for Adventure Time comics is well-documented, but Candy Capers has been one of the most fun iterations of the franchise. Ananth Panagariya and Yuko Ota have weaved some incredibly hilarious buddy cop scenarios these past few issues, and I have every faith that their concluding story will live up to those earlier ones. That will be in no small part due to Ian McGinty's wonderful art, which has been picture perfect throughout, nailing every moment he's been given and making plenty of them better than you would otherwise expect. I will be sad to see this title go, but am mighty glad to have experienced it.

You May Have Missed

CHEW #38
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory

"FAMLY RECIPE," Part Three

Cibopath behind bars. 

Grant: Chew's uneven publishing schedule has been getting me a bit down, and I am starting to question whether I really need to read this book in singles when I feel like I keep losing the thread between issues. On the other hand, the current arc, like the rest of the series, has been pretty solid, so it's a bit of a toss-up. We'll see how it shakes out, I suppose.




DRUMHELLAR #2
Written by Alex Link and Riley Rossmo
Art by Riley Rossmo

Psychedelic detective Drum Hellar searches for a wayward bog-man, but finds Mutilated livestock instead. Meanwhile, someone else has a gruesome job in mind for Drum's elusive, soggy bog-buddy, and a new mystery for him to investigate...himself! 

Grant: Alex Link and Riley Rossmo's first issue was a really fun read. Drum Hellar is one unique detective, and already our two creators have built him up a fascinating supporting cast. Unless things take a dramatic turn, it looks like I'll be sticking with this book for the foreseeable future.




FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #6
Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Robbi Rodriguez

When the newest member of the team is introduced, nothing is what it first appears - again! The agents of the FBP have learned to deal with unruly physics, but can they learn to deal with each other? The turbulent nature of the FBP gets even crazier in issue #6. 

Grant: For a book all about physics, I hope you'll excuse me when I say that FBP lost some of its momentum towards the end of its first storyarc. We've switched gears with last issue, and the solicitation promises that they'll continue into high gear, so I hope that Simon Oliver's script will be able to live up to that claim. On the plus side, Robbi Rodriguez's art and Nathan Fox's covers have continued swimmingly, so the book is, at the very least, always worth taking a good, hard look at.

MANIFEST DESTINY #2
Written by Chris Dingess
Art by Matthew Roberts

Lewis and Clark uncover a new breed of savage creature with the Louisiana Purchase. No wonder the French gave it up so easily.

Grant: I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the first issue of this odd series was. Thus far, its concern and focus seems to solely be upon the Lewis and Clark expedition itself, but we'll see if they take a wider view of all the players who would have been out in the midwest at that time. Part of me feels that it might not happen, but if the writing and art continue so strongly, it might not be the end of the world.




The Balance

SHAOLIN COWBOY #3
Written by Geof Darrow
Art by Geof Darrow

The saga of the Shaolin Cowboy's war against the walking dead, who have followed him from the Fourth Level of Hell, is running on fumes. Will he, with only his fists and twin chainsaws, be able to reform this congress of the undead before its mindless hunger and overpowering self-interest overrun the world?!

* From multiple Eisner winner Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty)!
* Comics' brutalest hero is back!
* Don't miss Darrow each month in Dark Horse Presents!
* Now a four-issue series!

"What do a talking horse and a shaolin priest have in common? Each other. Add to this strange pair a band of assassins (including a talking monkey with a gun) and you get Shaolin Cowboy." -Comic Critique 

Grant: Beyond this miniseries, I have no real experience with the Shaolin Cowboy, so I must admit to being somewhat confused by this title. The first two issues have pretty much been exclusively extended fight scenes, which while beautifully executed by Geof Darrow, does leave my narrative hankerings somewhat peckish. That being said, at four issues long, I'm willing to keep at it to see where things go next. And frankly, that chainsaw fight from last issue was bananas.

X-FILES SEASON 10 #7
Written by Joe Harris
Art by Elena Casagrande

Hosts, Part 2 of 2: Missing persons reports point to the return of the 'giant, bloodsucking worm' known as the Flukeman, sending Mulder to Martha's Vineyard to invesigate and Scully to Quantico to examine the supposed remains of the creature.

And what they both discover lies beyond belief and terror! 

Grant: My ignorance of the X-Files has been slight more challenging in this arc, as it's clear that the Flukeman is kind of a big deal, but I have no prior experience with the character, so its impact has been minimal. However, this is part two of two, so I'll see where things go from here before giving up on the book completely.


Pick of the Week

There are a stupid amount of excellent books dropping tomorrow, and while I am sorely tempted to go with Adventure Time: Candy Capers #6, after the reveals we got last issue, I know I'm most excited to see what's next in Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6. Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber are clearly working on the groundwork laid by Hawkeye, but they're take on the formula is something to behold.

What about you, dear reader? What titles are you jonesing to get your hands on?


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