WLG #393: Resolutions

A column article by: Brandon Billups

So it’s a new year, huh? Does that mean anything to any of you? Have you carefully made out your resolutions in a list, ordered by importance, so that you can check them off one by one as you fail to fulfill them?

I’ve never been much for resolutions. I tell myself every day it’s time to get my act together, get a job, move out of my parents’ house, go back to school, all that jazz. This year I celebrated the completion of our miserable planet’s solar cycle by deciding never to return to work. Ever. Because jobs are boring. To keep myself occupied I signed up for classes at University of Central Florida, because it’s nearby and it gives me something to do during the day besides driving to the gas station to buy cigarettes.

So I feel that, just maybe, given this new and exciting educational adventure I’m embarking on, I should try out a few resolutions. I resolved, along with a friend, to read one book a week this year. So far I’m mostly on course, although writing this for you greedy little readers is cutting into my Dark Tower time.

Another resolution I made, and this one was just for your benefit, was to catch up on some comics I’ve been meaning to read for a while, as well as some I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon with. After all, you guys don’t want to hear me tell you to read Uncanny X-Force every week, right?

Well too bad, because issue #20 is out Wednesday. Read Uncanny X-Force.

Now that that’s out of the way:

The first book I decided to catch up on is another Remender-written title, because lately I just cannot get enough of the dude.  I have to admit that I wasn’t hooked immediately. I blame a general lack of familiarity with Eugene “Flash” Thompson and a mild distaste for the art and colors from the first few issues. But by the time issue six or so rolled around, I was hooked. Remender has a good thing going here, something I think he can draw out and really give a lot of depth too. Thompson’s family issues, his alcoholism, the whole, y’know, no legs thing…really all make for a very intimate comic.

It never fails to deliver on enormous balls-out action (I mean, c’mon, he bites off a guy’s head) but it still hits some great emotional beats as well. Plus Jack O’Lantern, as a villain I’ve heard of but never once read a comic about, has won my heart.

He’s the most delightful psychopath I’ve encountered in comics lately, aside from the new Li’l Hellfire Club over in Wolverine and the X-Men. The art’s improved greatly too, at least in my opinion.  Venom #12 (Marvel; Remender, Medina, Decastro, Gracia; $2.99) comes out on Wednesday. It’s probably not a great jumping-on point, but that’s what the trades are for.

Next up on my list was a title that’s been a tad controversial, although I missed out on the prime time to have An Opinion on the thing. Regardless, I want to have it on record: I really like Morning Glories. It’s not a super-hero comic, which is cool. It’s a little paranormal, which is also cool. It seems to be heading somewhere deeply occult, which is the absolute raddest place a story about an upscale prep school can go.

I was raised mostly in Christian prep schools, and now I wish I had gone to MGA instead. Seems like more fun at the very least. The story, which is still very vague I’ll admit, is really starting to heat up. As with Venom, this week’s issue may not be a great place to jump on, so snag a trade if you’re behind. Morning Glories #15 (Image; Spencer, Eisma; $2.99) is out Wednesday.

The last comic on my resolution list was one that I’ve dearly missed. Chew is simply one of the most colorful, exciting, hilarious comics being released right now. It has the added benefit of not taking itself too seriously, which allows all sorts of fantastic food-related tomfoolery. We have characters who get psychic impressions from food, characters who can write about food so well you can taste their words; a guy who is a genius but only when he’s eating; and maybe a vampire.

Also chogs (fricken (frog-chickens)), big fat weird-colored space-babies, a cyborg, an anti-chicken-consuming death cult…there’s just no limit to what can (and does) go on in this book. For whatever reason I lost track of this one around #14, but I’m so glad I decided to catch up. The creators made an interesting choice by publishing issue #27 out of order last year, right after issue #18, and we’re getting very close to finding out the events that led up to that issue. I’m excited. Chew #23 (Image; Laymon, Guillory; $2.99) is out on…uh…Wednesday.

One last book I want to talk about before I get lazy and give you a bulleted list of things I’ve probably talked about in the past and don’t need to go in depth on: Prophet #21 is out this week. This book was originally a Jim Lee creation, and is being relaunched under Image Comics new (sort of) Extreme Comics imprint. If you couldn’t guess based on the name, EXTREME!!!! (emphasis mine) used to be run by Rob Liefeld. If you can believe it, it eventually turned into something called Awesome Entertainment. Now, I’m just educating myself on all this for the sake of writing this article. I want you to be informed. If I had known 15 minutes ago that Rob Liefeld ran two publishing companies with absolutely idiotic names I probably would’ve told you never to read a single thing they put out.

But Prophet #21, despite being a Liefeld creation, is being written by Brandon Graham, famous for King City and having the same name as me. Graham’s busy drawing Multiple Warheads, so the art duties are being taken over by Simon Roy, with Richard Ballerman on colors. They seem to be going a very non-Liefeldian direction with the book’s visual style, opting for a sort of utilitarian minimalism to the whole thing. We might all be a little tired of time-travel stories, but I can’t help developing a huge rad-on for this. Issue #21 [Image/Extreme; Graham, Roy, Ballerman; $2.99], which will hopefully be a good jumping on point because God knows I’ve never read this book before, is out on, you guessed it, Wednesday.

And now, without further ado, aforementioned bulleted list:

  • Avenging Spider-Man #3
  • Daredevil #8
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #6

Well it’s a shorter list than I thought it would be, but all these books have been good in the past and will probably be good this week.

See you in a few weeks folks!

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