WLG #383: Gotta Hop a Train

A column article by: Matt Spatola

Hey everyone and welcome to this week's What Looks Good. I'm afraid that I'm going to be making this one a little quick and a little short as I'm typing this on my way to the New York Comic Con. There's been a ton of announcements already and with so many panels remaining I imagine a ton more. So even though this is where I usual do my commentary on the newest happenings in the industry I'm going to skip ahead and dive right into my picks for What Looks Good.


Batman #2 $2.99 (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)

Bruce Wayne is back in the cowl, hunting a new and deadly killer in Gotham City - a killer with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne! But who is this mysterious killer in an owl skull mask? And is he the key to unlocking one of Gotham's oldest and most terrifying secrets? Be there for their first brutal encounter!

I'd have to admit that of all the 52 books that I read, Batman #1 was my favorite. I was a little late to the game when it came to Snyder's run on Detective Comics. I have, though, been going back and getting what I missed. I really suggest that everyone should be doing the same thing.

I know that Grant Morrison gets all the Bat-acclaim for the work he has done with the character the last few, and deservedly so. However I think that Snyder is truly developing the character and the mythos in ways that are different and complementary and truly revolutionary.

Catwoman #2 $2.99 (Judd Winnick & Guillem March)

She's a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He's The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm's length, but...they just can't seem to help themselves! Don't miss this issue - things are gonna get messy!

Well the first issue of this book probably received the most blogosphere attention, more than any other of the New 52 titles except possibly Red Hood and the Outlaws #1. We had lots of readers posting with their opinions on the 'sexiness' of the title- and of course on the graphic 4-page sex scene with Catwoman and Batman that ended the issue.

Last issue teased this story to be 'The Morning After'. I'm curious and I'm betting many others are too.

I'll give Winnick credit and say his approach to the Bat-characters over the years has always appealed to me. Now the execution might not have always hit the mark but he does have a handle on the essence of what makes these characters work. And a quick nod to the always excellent artwork by March.


The Avengers #18 $3.99 (Brian Michael Bendis & Daniel Acuna)

The madness and drama of FEAR ITSELF has taken its toll on the mighty Avengers and now they must reinvent themselves once more! The entire world awaits word of who will be the Avengers! This is one of the most important chapters in Avengers' history. You will not want to miss the shocking surprise announcements!!

I'm guessing that this issue's story takes place following the events of Fear Itself #7, the conclusion to Marvel's latest big epic which also happens to ship this week. And with this issue we also see new regular artist Daniel Acuna come onboard.

This is good news and bad news for me. John Romita Jr's work on this title was the big draw for me here, with the mix of members being next and Bendis's scripting following. So it is a loss but the addition of Acuna is a great development. No one likes following a legendary talent like JRJR but Acuna is more than capable. I've liked his work for a while and was really impressed with a short run he recently did on Captain America before that book was retitled.

With all that in mind this issue could be thought of as an unofficial, soft relaunch of the book as we get a new lineup of members too. I'm guessing Thor's gone but I'm also hoping for some interesting additions and not just recycling the same old same old. One of the announcements from NYCC was that Storm was joining, I think in issue 21. Not sure how that works out. And with Marvel launching their 5th Avengers ongoing in the spring with Avengers Assemble I hope they have devised a way to give each book its own identity and reason for publication.

Fear Itself #7 $4.99 (Matt Fraction & Stuart Immonen)

Tony Stark returns from the depths with a last-chance arsenal that will transform the Avengers from Earth's Mightiest Heroes...into Earth's Last Hope! It's THOR'S DAY-- the day that everything ends! Double sized Finale with a little something extra for keen eye 56 PGS.

Wow! A double-sized conclusion and the book still shipped on time and without fill-in or pinch hit artists? Honestly, in the current comic publication business that is a big deal. So my hat goes off to Marvel and Immonen for pulling that off. I'm hoping that whatever approach they used for that is somehow lifted and transferred to the rest of the Marvel line.

I've liked this series so far. A lot of that has to do with Immonen's artwork more than Fraction's writing. Not that I am not a fan. I've praised his work on Iron Man since I started working on this column. And I liked the idea of how this book came together as a way of building out from certain plot points in the Captain America and Thor books. I just would have liked more focus on the character pieces in the main series and not rely so heavily on the tie-in issues and supporting mini-series as the main depository for those stories.

Alrighty folks, hate to end it here but my train is almost ready to depart. Those are my picks for What Looks Good. While you are at your local comics shop you should also stop and check out a few of these books:

Justice League #2- DC- with Jim Lee doing Superman vs. Batman
Red Hood and the Outlaws #2- DC- so who is Starfire going to have sex with this week?
Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #1- IDW- comes one of the craziest crossovers in recent memory
Uncanny X-Men #544- Marvel- the last issue of the books, until next month's new issue
Cold War #1- IDW- newest series from legendary John Byrne, not sure if he is using zip-a-tone like he did on the old Namor series but I sure hope so.

Thanks again for stopping by this week's column. Be sure to read What Looks Good every week to see what my more talented partners are picking as the best in the week's comics, books, movies and TV. Next time I'm at the wheel I promise a regular length column and hopefully some interesting choices. See you in 3.

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