WLG #408: Digging Deep

A column article by: Matt Spatola


Hey all. So some weeks when I make my trip to the local comic store I feel my wallet cringe when I’m checking out with my haul of new releases and other goodies. And other weeks I’m really digging deep to find enough books to make the trip to the store worth the time and gas money.

Well this week is one of those weeks.

You would think with Marvel and DC both knee deep in ‘Big Event’ Land that those two publishers would have balanced their release schedules a little better to have more tie in products for sale each week. This week there is only one for each- Secret Avengers and Batman: Dark Knight- and both are books I don’t normally buy.

Still I did find a few books that I’m looking forward to picking up this Wednesday. With that said here we go…


Star Wars- Darth Vader: Ghost Prison #1 of 4 $3.50 (Blackman & Alessio)

The graduation celebration for the first class of Imperial cadets is disrupted by a sudden terrorist strike! But the real targets of the attack are the new Emperor and his second in command, Darth Vader. Only one man-a disabled, brilliant cadet who, up until the moment of the attack, was experiencing the best moment of his life-stands ready to fight alongside Vader for the life of his Emperor!

Blackman has done lots of previous work in the Star Wars universe, including being the driving creative force behind the MMO Star Wars: Galaxies and the popular video game Star Wars; Force Unleashed. Plus I’m loving the work he is doing with J.H. Williams on DC’s Batwoman.

Like most people I’m a sucker for a Darth Vader story. You know that a character has transcended to another level of popularity when even after killing loads of kids- like he did in the Episode 3 movie- he still appears on Burger King soda cups.


Batman Inc. #1 $2.99 (Grant Morrison & Chris Burnham)

BATMAN, INCORPORATED makes its NEW 52 debut with an all-new first issue! The series hits the ground running as BATMAN and ROBIN face off against the assassin GOATBOY! LEVIATHAN'S sinister mission revealed!

Think it is safe to say that this book, which would have been a huge seller less than two years ago won’t be moving anywhere near that number of copies this week.  And there’s a bunch of reasons why.

First is that this Bat title is not tying into the huge Night of the Owls crossover in any way. And right now any Bat title that is touching that event is selling big time.

Also the book now seems like a ‘throwback’ now to me. For years Morrison- comics’ own Jim Morrison- was master of the Dark Knight’s destiny, taking him through years of intricate and hallucinatory plotlines.

And as much as I was enjoying the Lizard King’s work on the character I’m enjoying Scott Snyder’s work even more. Under Snyder’s direction of Batman a level of excitement and energy seems to have overtaken the creators on the book as much as the fans. Everyone is just really jazzed about the Bat titles at DC now, all of them.

But I still am looking forward to some Burnham artwork and Morrison finally bringing all his plotlines and ideas together.


Captain America #12 $3.99 (Ed Brubaker & Patrick Zircher)

Patrick Zircher joins Ed Brubaker for 'System Failure' Ex super-villains in Witness Protection murdered! The return of an old villain and an old lover! Can Cap solve this mystery before he himself becomes a target?

You know when Bru first started writing the character, almost 8 years ago, his direction for Cap was heavy on the super espionage and played up connections to his past either by flashbacks or by using specific characters from the book’s history. And all of that was wrapped up in Steve Eptings dark and moody artwork.

With this storyline Bru is going back to that legendary start of his run. This System Failure storyline feels closest to those introductory arcs as any have felt in the last couple of years. Here we have Cap and co. deep into another S.H.I.E.L.D. story but with the return of the Mark Gruenwald era favorites- Diamondback and the Scourge.

And if I can’t have Steve McNiven or Steve Epting back on the book then I’ll take Patrick Zircher just fine. He’s a great combination of the two and I’ve really loved his artwork in the past, especially the underappreciated Mystery Men limited series from last year.

So those are my picks for the week. A few titles that I’m also going to take a look at this week are the new True Blood ongoing series from IDW, Secret Avengers #27 because of the beautiful art by Renato Guedes and some of the Image titles- Youngblood #71, Prophet #25 and Near Death #8

Well there you go. A little of an abbreviated list this week but hey, you’ll have this sometimes. Next time I’ll be writing the column after returning from WizardWorld Philly so hopefully I’ll have a few stories to share.

See you all in 2.


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