What Looks Good - Week Two
By Michael Diaz
Hello, and welcome to the 2nd installment of What Looks Good. The rules here are simple. Don't believe me? Look:
The Rules (according to Michael):
THIS IS NOT A CALL TO ACTION
In other words, this is just my opinion. This is my own money I am spending, none of what I am recommending is comped to me by anyone. If I mention a comic here it's my scrilla on the line, not some freebie that a company sent my way hoping for some good press.
Just in case you weren't here last week, I'll go over this again: every Monday I take a look at what is coming out on Wednesday, according to the Diamond Comics website. This is everything that I think looks interesting and why I think they look interesting.
Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
Feel free to comment on this column over in the SBC Forums. I hang out there and check in about once or twice a day just to see what people have to say. Come in, say "hi" and tell me how great my column is. Or tell me why you disagree with me, I'm cool with that too. I love a spirited discussion and telling people why they are wrong and I am right.
So, enough of my babbling about me. What looks good...
ROUTE 666 #12 $2.95
I normally don't like horror books, but I love this book. Ever so slowly I find myself converting to the cult of CrossGen.
How can I not? A book that combines horror, humanity, and humor?
Last issue found Cassie robbed of her memory as she went back home into the loving arms of the demons that are posing as her parents. OH yeah, she can't tell they are demons anymore either because of the "gift" the twins gave her by taking away her powers.
With friends like those...
A solid book every month that dares to bring back the old school horror comic.
SCION #36 $2.95
A book that combines sci-fi and fantasy with a family struggling with one child leaving the nest as well as the death of one of its members as a daughter knowingly marries the killer. Did I mention that the killer's sister is in a relationship with another member of that same family while also being blamed for murdering the killer's, and her own, father? All of this while one war has been stopped while another invader looms in the distance.
Yeah, things can get messed up pretty fast in three years, but what a ride it's been. Ron Marz and Jimmy Cheung have slowly sunk their hooks deep inside of me, causing me to fall in love with a book that I happened to pick up on a lark.
Well done, guys.
As I said, the Heron family (the good guys) has just married their daughter off to the Ravens (the bad guys), just after their son Ethan showed up to warn the families of the invasion plans of a new third faction: Tigris.
If you're looking for a book that marries the idea of sword fighting and advanced technology but maintains its thoroughly human tone, now would be a good jumping on point.
Plus, if I don't recommend this CGE book I will be forced to drink the "Kool Aid" and let loose this mortal coil for disobeying Lord Alessi and his coven.
GREEN ARROW #26 $2.50
Ok, here's the deal. Me, like most everyone else on this planet, was a big fan of the Kevin Smith's run on this book. In fact, he is pretty much the only reason why I picked up the book in the first place. Let's face it, the Ollie Queen hardcore fans out there are a minority, to say the least.
But he did it. I bought Green Lantern and enjoyed it thoroughly for over a year. Then that novelist guy took over for a few issues, and he was good too. But now Green Arrow is in the middle of an unoriginal and uninspired crossover with Green Lantern. That just about killed the book for me.
Then they said Judd Winick was taking the book.
Winick's Barry Ween is hilarious, his Exiles currently the best X-book, but, well, I didn't like his Green Lantern run at all. So, will his Green Arrow work be more like his Exiles or his Green Lantern run?
I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he gives us more of the former.
Y THE LAST MAN #11 (MR) $2.95
Are you reading this book? If not, you're mental in the head. Yeah, you heard me!
Everyone goes on about how great Morrison/Millar/Bendis are, and, well, they are. But at one point they were that "new" guy that was writing comics that were too cool for words and ahead of their time. Morrison has Doom Patrol, Millar has The Authority, Bendis has Powers, and now Vaughn has Y: The Last Man.
I am prone to over-hype things. It's part of my nature, I get SO excited about comics/movies/music that I hype things up to such a level that I just can't help but be disappointed. I say this all as background information for you, and also because of what I am about to say.
This book lives up to that hype.
Seriously, I can't wait to devour this issue the second I get it on Wednesday. For those of you who have not been following along, here is the short version: Yorick is the last male on Earth after some virus killed every male on that planet. Not just men, all MALES. Now he is crossing the country with Dr. Mann (yeah, no irony there **snicker**) and agent 355 in an attempt to somehow figure out why he is the only male and perhaps correct the situation, all while the being hunted down by neo-"Amazons" who want to eradicate any trace of all that is male in the world
This series has been excellent at ending most every issue with a wallop of a cliff-hanger, the last issue being no different as we see that there are at least two other men still currently alive, though trapped on a space station.
Get used to it, you'll be saying that at the end of every issue.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #53 $2.25
I don't buy Spider-Man books.
Well, I used to back in the day when McFarlane actually drew instead of wrangled through the legalities of Miracle Man and Tony Twist. I moved on.
Then one day a balding freak of a spitfire named Brian Michael Bendis took over Ultimate Spider-Man and the guy that got me back into comics with Rising Stars took Amazing Spider-Man. Thank you, J. Michael Straczynski for not only getting me back into comics, but for also for actually making me care about Spider-Man again (and you too, Bendis!).
Straczynski is an excellent writer who is first and foremost a Spider-Man fan. He loves the character; he's a fanboy cut loose with his favorite comic and it shows. Every panel is vibrant with Stracaynski's love and respect, brought to life wonderfully by the hopefully well compensated JR JR.
Great Spider-Man stories with (mostly) new villains, new extended cast members, MJ back, and Aunt May in on Peter's secret, all handled by one of the most impressive creative teams ever.
What's not to like about this book?
Now I don't just buy Spider-Man books, I consume them.
THE CREW #1 $2.50
Everyone and their brother keeps telling me how amazing Black Panther has been with Priest writing it and that I should be shunned and ostracized for not ready such a good book. Well, I'm sorry, I've only been back into comics for about 3 years now, so I missed so many back issues of Black Panther that picking up the series has been rather cost prohibitive. I made a half-assed attempt to get into the book during the "reboot" around issue #50, and though I enjoyed the story I could not bring myself to start collecting a series so far along. I do have a finite amount of spending money.
Now Black Panther is canceled, but like a Phoenix rising from the ashes comes this book. From what I understand this is going to be a "street level" book starring the new Black Panther, War Machine, and apparently one of the descendents of one of the characters from The Truth limited series.
OK, so maybe the aforementioned would only appeal to someone that has been following Black Panther since day one, which is not me. However, like I said, word has it that Priest is one of the best writers in comics today, known for his witty and clever scripting with complex and intelligent story lines. THAT does sound like a book that I would be into. Couple that with a perfect jumping on point (uhh...new series, hello), this looks interesting to me.
My wallet aches so.
EXILES #27 $2.99
This could very well be the best X-book out there.
I know, I know, to the old school Claremont fans out there this is tantamount to blasphemy, but I am serious. Winick and co. have been doing a wonderful job of making the characters in this book real. They make you care about the characters, making it all that much more powerful when they actually die or move on. When they die in this book they stay dead.
Of course, this issue isn't written by Winick, it's by current X-go-to-boy Chuck Austen. There are a lot of people out there slamming on Chuck as of late, but on this book it is not fair. Chuck is filling in with a four issue arc...but why is he filling in? Word has it that Winick had a year's worth of stories already in the car when he signed an exclusive deal with DC for a year. "No problem," said the fans, "he's got a whole year in the can, he'll be back to the book we love after his year at DC." Then Marvel said they wanted to put out more than 12 issues a year. Then fans freaked. Could it be that Marvel is trying to extend the series to meet up with Winick after he is free from DC? We shall see.
Anyway, for what it is worth Austen did a decent job with his first issue. The Exiles team was given the task of killing an alternate version of the Avengers. Of course, being heroes they balked and decided to do what was right instead of what they had been told to do. At least most of them decided to do what was right, but a bloodthirsty Magick began killing anyone that got in the way of her completing her assignment. Then she came across an alternative version of her brother, Colossus, and found that it wasn't so easy to be cold and heartless.
I am willing to see how Austen does with this team, but I would be dishonest if I didn't mention that mainly I don't want a hole in my collection.
NEW MUTANTS #1 $2.50
I was never into the "X-babies" in their first incarnation, but I picked up almost the entire series for a song on E-bay one day and I have to say it wasn't half bad.
This book is done by the writing team of Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, who have done Skinwalker and Three Strikes. Hopefully this means something to you, because to be honest it means nothing to me. That doesn't mean that I don't like them, it just means that I have not read anything that they have done. Of course everything I have read from Oni has been excellent and I am always in favor of "the big boys" taking on some of the independent writers.
It's a first issue and an X-book about which I have no real preconceived notion. I hope that I am pleasantly surprised, but if I am not it's not that big of a loss.
NEW X-MEN #141 $2.25
So, that bird looking kid killed Emma Frost (relax, that's from the confession from the last issue, so it shouldn't be a surprise; if it is, oh well, you would've found out real quick like anyway)?
Yeah, Morrison has me sold on this book. Is he doing anything really different? Nope, but he's giving everything a fresh spin and I like it. And could it be that we have a REGULAR artist on this book now? I mean, wow, TWO issues in a row? How does Paul Jimenez keep up this blistering pace? Is Frank Quitely taking notes?!?!
All kidding aside, it is good for a book to maintain SOME kind of consistency. If anything, the lack of such has hampered a run that really could've been something. Now, with some kind of semblance of regular creative team Morrison's run will truly blossom.
Though, knowing comics he will probably leave or be asked to leave the book now.
Oh, and gotta love that Terminator homage on the cover.
RUNAWAYS #2 $2.50
Tsunami + Vaughn + children whose parents are the bad guys.
Vaughn already gets my money for Y: The Last Man, but I admit that I was hesitant when this book came out. OK, I even admit that I didn't even buy it the week it came out, I waited and bought it the next week. As keeping with the Tsunami approach the story moved along slowly but by the end I was hooked. The children of this book find out that their parents are super-powered. Sounds cool, until a moment later they realize that their parents are not the good guys. Or, at least it seems like their parents are evil, what with the ritualistic murder and all, but then again, I am from Michigan. Maybe ritualistic murder is the cool new party game elsewhere.
Damn you Mr. Vaughn for writing these slow building scorchers.
Bah, I'm hooked!
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #41 $2.25
Got to be brief on this one because before you finish reading this paragraph issue #51 will be on the stands.
What, do they lock Bendis and Bagley in a cage and feed them crack? C'mon, their books come out every 17 minutes (really, the do, it's a universal constant now).
Well, whatever works, as this is one of the consistently GREAT books out there. This issue continues Peter's strained relationship with MJ as they try to navigate the post-boyfriend/girlfriend teenage world while Peter looks for a new costume. It's right about then that Pete and Gwen go to a bash and encounter what appears to be a new villain.
ULTIMATE X-MEN #33 $2.25
The last part of the "Return of the King" arc.
Not too jazzed about this one, I admit.
Don't get me wrong, I usually love Millar. His work on The Ultimates is fantastic, but this book just hasn't been made of the same stuff.
I have to say I am looking forward to Bendis's run.
Maybe it is just me, but the "ultimate" version of X-Men just doesn't seem "real."
WOLVERINE #1 $2.25
Greg Rucka and Darick Robertson.
Do I need to say more?
OK, how about excellent writing and a wonderfully ugly and violent Wolverine?
I'm just glad that it isn't Frank Tieri; however, I do hope Sean Chen found decent work.
X-MEN UNLIMITED #47 $2.50
Didn't I just mention last week that this issue came out every other week?
This just seems to be filler because the new X-Men movie is out. Sure, they're catching up, but is releasing a quarterly book every week the way to do it?
Of course, I'm buying it, so what does that say about me?
Holy cow, there's a lot coming out this week, huh? Sorry I was so wordy, but you got to say what you got to say. Now is your turn, now. As I said before, I will be hanging around the SBC Forums if anyone would like to post about this column. Be bluntly honest, it's all good. Wasn't it Socrates who said that only through debate comes truth?
Or something like that.
See you next week for something I like to call "Week 3."
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