WLG #382: "Birthday Bash Edition!"

A column article by: Brandon Billups

It’ll have to be a short one from me this week folks, since it’s late on the night of my birthday as I type this and the hookers are almost here. Don’t sweat it; I only invited them over to catch the finale of Breaking Bad.

So let’s get right down to business. DC’s new #1s are all out, but #2s are still exciting, right?! Hell, even moreso in some cases!

Batwoman #2

Written by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III

I think I told you guys a few weeks ago I was expecting myself to dig this, and lo and behold, I do. I’m a pretty writerly guy (could you guess from the fact that I’m writing about comics on my birthday?) so I rarely go into a comic for art alone, but I make an exception for J.H. Williams III, whose name I only bother typing out with correct punctuation and capitalization because the man’s layouts are so damn slick.

Don’t get me wrong, his art is exceptional all around, but it’s his layouts that really get me all melty. I was curious as to how he’d handle writing duties, especially shared ones, but #1 felt like a logical progression from where we left off with Kate Kane, so I’m pretty happy. I’m also interested in the sort of supernatural elements of the story, because of all the DC New 52 titles I was looking forward to, most of them came out of "The Dark" category, which leads me to…

Demon Knights #2

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert

Now, I was not initially expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did, but all the magic and swords and sorcery got to me. Madame Xanadu making out with Etrigan only sweetens the deal.

I’m not too familiar with Paul Cornell, but the pencils by Neves and colors by Albert blend perfectly for this sort of story. I didn’t expect the Merlin and King Arthur angle either, but I’m glad it’s there. I hope people buy this one, because I’d hate to see it on the chopping block too soon.

Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #2

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli

And here’s one I knew I’d love. I’ve been Jeff Lemire’s biggest fan since I read Essex County, and he’s yet to disappoint. I went into the one knowing nothing about Frankenstein, or his bride, or S.H.A.D.E., but was given not only a full briefing on who, what, where, why, and when (a first issue prerequisite for the New 52, it seems) but got enough story to get excited about issue #2 as well.

Mostly though, I’m hoping the monsters tie into Swamp Thing and Lemire’s other New 52 book (and my favorite of all of them), Animal Man.

Uncanny X-Force #16

Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena

Okay, enough DC chat. Uncanny X-Force has been consistently on point thanks to Remender being one of Marvel’s best writers and all, but this whole Archangel thing is coming to a head and I’m starting to get a little nervous.

See, back when I was a kid watching X-Men cartoons and reading X-Men comics, Archangel was my favorite character. When he lost the metal wings I realized how much more interesting he was, and now that he’s gotten them back (along with some baggage) I’m a little worried about the Dark Angel Saga’s conclusion.

He’s not in any of the Regenesis teasers, so I’m not what you would call hopeful, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll make it through the ordeal alive.

X-Men Regenesis #1

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Billy Tan

As one of the few comics fans who hasn’t formed an opinion on or even read Morning Glories, I don’t know what to expect from X-Men Regenesis, to be honest. It’s another of the too-many ongoing X-Men crossover events that keep me and presumably other readers a little scared of the X-titles, but I’m trying to keep up for the sake of the Jason Aaron-penned Wolverine and the X-Men title featured in the Regenesis teasers.

Jean Grey’s School for Higher Learning? Kid Omega on the team? I want in on the ground floor.

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #3

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli

Do I even need to say it? Miles Morales is awesome. His family dynamic is awesome. Even his nerd of a best friend is awesome. I’m eager for him to finally suit up, but willing to give him time since becoming Spider-man is probably pretty emotionally difficult.

I love everything about the new Ultimate Comics relaunch, and this book should continue to be great. Even if it wasn’t though, I’d continue to write about it and recommend it just because a black Spider-man makes a lot of people angry, and those people amuse the hell out of me.

The Death-ray HC

By Daniel Clowes

Whoa, I get a week with a cool indie release from a comicker I’m actually a fan of? Awesome. Basically The Death-ray is a hardcover version of Clowes’ Eightball #23, which has been out of print for a while now. I’ve only recently gotten into Clowes’ work, and I’m not nearly 'complete' on him, as some might say, but Ghost World and David Boring are both fantastic in my opinion, so I’m looking forward to a chance to read something a lot of die-hard fans have made such a clamor about.

That’s it from me. It’s my birthday and you leeches still got a thousand words outta me. You should be grateful! Anyhow, it's off to TV-land and 'hired friends' for me! Have a good week folks, and remember that if you hate yourself and desire punishment, the Green Lantern movie is out on Blu-ray on the 14th!

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