Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’

Staff Picks :: Runaways #2 :: Wednesday, July 7, 2015

July 07, 2015 By: Heather Peagler Category: Staff Picks

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HEATHER’S PICK :: RUNAWAYS #2: I missed out on picking Runaways #1 since it came out the week of HeroesCon and things were just a little bit busy around here. I didn’t even have a chance to glance at the issue until the Monday after HeroesCon. I did have a chance for an all too brief chat with artist, Sanford Greene and was a little dismayed to learn that Molly Hayes was the only original Runaway to be appearing in the new series. I didn’t exclaim out loud what I was thinking which was “No Arsenic and Old Lace?!?”. (Seriously find a way to work Old Lace into the new story and I will love you forever.)

After reading the dinosaur free first issue, I found myself intrigued and I would be entirely remiss not to pick the second issue.  The premise of the Battleworld Runaways is a school for the “gifted” set up by Dr. Doom.  Joining Molly are some familiar (to me) faces, Jubilee, Pixie, Cloak and Dagger, and even Bucky Barnes as a hall monitor! Issue two’s final exam for the freshmen class seems to be setting up the rebellion against authority that features in the original series.  Written by Noelle Stevenson (of Lumberjanes-have you read Lumberjanes, yet?!?) and drawn by the aforementioned Greene, this is one Battleworld story that will be on my pull list!

Psssssss: if you love Old Lace as much as I do, be sure to pick up Runaways The Complete Collection Volume 4 that came out last week.

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STAFF PICKS :: HE-MAN: THE ETERNITY WAR #7 :: JULY 1, 2015

June 30, 2015 By: Karla Marsh Category: Reviews, Spotlight on New Releases, Staff Picks

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karla_staff_picksKARLA’S PICK :: HE-MAN: THE ETERNITY WAR #7: Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, BIG SURPRISE! My pick for the week is He-Man: The Eternity War #7. That’s almost like me saying, “Hey guys, you know what I REALLY like? BREATHING!! Breathing is AWESOME!!” All obviousness aside, however, I AM picking this issue for a reason other than my true and undying love of all things Masters of the Universe. Issue #7 picks up with a new creative team. Rob David and Dan Abnett take the story-crafting reigns for this arc while Edgar Salazar’s pencils bring a slightly edgier look to the Masters. The changes in artistic style are bold, but not detrimental as the story picks up with Skeletor, She-Ra and Skeletor’s minions trying to find a way to best Hordak now that Evil-Lyn has betrayed them. The story is solid and offers more insight into the current incarnation of Skeletor! There’s also some good moments with Shadow Weaver which made me happy! (I want more Princess of Power characters in my Master’s of the Universe!) The cover by Jonboy Meyers is also worth mentioning because, if you look closely, you can see twisted versions of classic She-Ra characters Madame Razz, Kowl and Glimmer in the mix!

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STAFF PICKS :: THE SPIRE #1 :: JULY 1, 2015

June 29, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: THE SPIRE #1: Start July on a good note this week with the latest collaboration between Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely. You may remember their post apocalyptic sci-fi western Six Gun Gorilla from a few years ago. That book won a lot of deserved critical acclaim, and I enjoyed it immensely. The Spire features a similar apocalyptic scenario, but trades the western motifs for fantasy this time around. It also adds a murder mystery into the mix, and a protagonist who must solve the crimes as she navigates a racist and xenophobic society. Spurrier telling a fantasy story with plenty of modern societal parallels, plus an array of monsters, strange machines and characters rendered as only Stokely can? That’s enough to sell me (and you) on this new series. spire1

Bonus Pick: Autumnlands vol. 1 TP: Tooth and Claw: This affordable debut collection (just $9.99) by Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey features some of my favorite anthropomorphic fantasy storytelling in years. Dewey’s depictions of endless humanoid animal creatures is remarkable, and Busiek does a fine job of building an accessible narrative for a new world in this excellent first volume.

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STAFF PICKS :: A-FORCE #1 :: WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015

May 19, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: A-FORCE #1: So Secret Wars, things blow up, worlds collide, Heroes had a really cool variant cover.  You now have the sum total of my knowledge of the wars of secrets.  That’s my comics confession, I rarely do the big events.

In spite of that, I can’t wait to pick up A-Force #1. Marvel’s got my number on this one.  A comic loaded with female superheroes written by one of my personal favorites, G. Willow Wilson. (Side note: Are you reading Ms. Marvel?  If no, then why the *$@! not?!? Pick up a trade or two when you’re in this week for singles.)

Written by Wilson and Marguerite Bennett with gorgeous art by Jorge Molina and Craig Yeung as well as colors by Laura Martin and Matt Milla, out of Secret Wars (I think) comes Battleworld, part of which is protected by a team of lady Avengers.  Based on the cover and previews of interior pages, the team includes some of my favorite Marvel characters: She-Hulk,  Medusa,  Hellcat, Jubilee,  and SpiderGwen.   There are a ton of other great characters in case our favorites don’t coincide.  This looks like a good one to pick up, especially while so many titles hit pause for the summer.
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STAFF PICKS :: THE BEST AVIAN SIDEKICK? 4 ROBINS OR 3 JR. WOODCHUCKS :: MAY 13, 2015

May 13, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: ROBIN THE BOY WONDER A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC

(W) Bill Finger & Various (A) Bob Kane & Various (CA) Jim Lee, Scott Williams
Happy Birthday Dick/Jason/Damien and according to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there are some who call him…..Tim? Regardless he still looks great…nice gams! And you have to tip your hat to the enduring concept of the Super-hero kid side-kicks. Again, I know nothing about the contents, but these DC Diamond Jubilee editions have been consistently good. And I’d be willing to bet $.15 (Sterling!) that a whole lot of Teen Titans can be found somewhere between these hard covers.
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Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Pixilated Parrot (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 9)

(W/A) Carl Barks
Two hundred pages of comics by the greatest of the great Carl Barks. You get Donald Duck, his Uncle Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey & Louie, great gags, break-neck pacing, exhilarating adventure that ads up to comic storytelling at its best. What more do you need? How about brief, insightful essays on every story from a number of knowledgable critics, authors and academics. Buy this volume or any volume. Buy some Barks NOW!
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STAFF PICKS :: WEDNESDAY, MAY 06, 2015

May 06, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksrico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK(S) :: SECRET WARS #1: Secret Wars was the crossover that captured the imaginations of the kids I went to school with in the 80’s and started the Marvel summer crossover trend. I can’t tell yet if Marvel is letting Hickman burn everything to the ground to start things over for real, for real but a lot of the books coming out of this book seem interesting at least! This book has a ton of covers for fans to choose from including our HeroesCon variant featuring a fresh take on Zeck and Beatty’s classic Secret Wars #8 (colored by me!).
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BONUS PICKS: Since I’m plugging things I’ve colored, why not pick up Spider-Gwen #4 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5 today too. The second Southern Bastards trade is out today too if you need to catch up on that amazing story by Jasons Aaron and Latour.
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andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS
:: SUPERMAN VS DARKSEID TP
Publisher: DC COMICS
(W/A) John Byrne & Various (CA) Adam Kubert
Mayweather v Pacquiao was a dance contest compared to these two heavy-weights. And the best part is this pay-per-view is only 20.00! And once in your library, you can enjoy it more than once! But please, no wagering…Collecting SUPERMAN #3 (1987), ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #426, ACTION COMICS #586, SUPERMAN VS. DARKSEID: APOKOLIPS NOW!, SUPERMAN/BATMAN #12-13, COUNTDOWN #3-2, DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #8 and JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1!
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SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP #10
Publisher: DC COMICS
(W) Sholly Fisch (A/CA) Dario Brizuela
Wow, the two greatest Saturday Morning Cartoons of all time join forces. With Johnny and Hajji added to Mystery Inc, the term meddling kids is no longer a misnomer. Plus, this should prove once and for all who wins in a no holds barred junkyard dog fight between Scooby Doo and Bandit. The victor advances to the quarter finals of the Laff-Olympics to take on the winner of the Muttley/Dino-mutt grudge match.
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STAFF PICKS :: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2015

April 29, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: AVENGERS WEST COAST VISION QUEST TP NEW PTG
 (W/A/CA) John Byrne
Let’s head back to the late ’80’s as the all star creative team of Byrne, Byrne and Byrne turn the the super-team known behind their backs as Avengers 90210 into quite the chaotic mess by completely screwing with the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. And if that isn’t enough, Byrne unveils the Great Lakes Avengers who have to deal with the triple threat of the Dread Mosquito, the onslaught of The Living Humidity and the unlimited power of The Snow Plow!! Collects WEST COAST AVENGERS #42-47 and AVENGERS WEST COAST #48-50.
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AVENGERS EPIC COLLECTION BEHOLD VISION TP
(W) Roy Thomas (A) Various (CA) John Buscema
Writer Roy Thomas and artists John Buscema, Gene Colan and Sal Buscema proved once and for all that the House of Ideas was capable of great things without Stan Lee at the typewriter. Inside the covers of this TPB we witness the debut of the Vision, the introduction of Yellowjacket as well as an all-new Goliath! Plus, Ultron, Kang the Conqueror and the chess-piece wielding Squadron Sinister. Need more? Howzabout the Black Panther and the return of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch? Collecting AVENGERS #57-76 and MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #17 And yes, years before Star Trek: Generations we discover that even an android can cry. And lastly, a Shocking cameo from one Percy Bysshe Shelly. Poetic Justice, indeed!
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AVENGERS VISION AND SCARLET WITCH TP NEW PTG
 (W) Steve Englehart, Bill Mantlo (A) Don Heck, Rick Leonardi (CA) Gil Kane
Set the Way-Back Machine to 1982 and meet the first true Power Couple as they toil to make a life for themselves in the suburbs. ScarViz -as the paparazzi like to call them– and their super powered battles and marital spats make the trials and tribulations of the Kardashians seem positively trivial in comparison. Collecting GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #4 and VISION AND THE SCARLET WITCH (1982) #1-4. Bravo!
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FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS HC ROSS CVR VOL 03 ROSS CVR
(W) Stan Lee (A) Jack Kirby (CA) Alex Ross
For those who prefer their classic Marvel comics 100% Vision, Quicksilver, Ultron and Scarlet Witch free, we have one of the greatest runs in main stream comics history starting with a brooding mad Silver Surfer and ending with Victor Von Doom: Art Critic. Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR  #61-93 and ANNUAL #5-7 (Franklin!) and material from NOT BRAND ECHH #5-7.
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STAFF PICKS :: MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS ACTIVITY BOOK FACSIMILE COLLECTION :: APRIL 29, 2015

April 27, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS ACTIVITY BOOK FACSIMILE COLLECTION(phew) Like most fans of my generation, I am a victim of nostalgia. No industry exploits that propensity quite like comic books. Alongside a cache of Silver Age treasures and unreliable TV reruns, Marvel/Mattel’s Secret Wars toy line was one of my earliest touchstones for the characters I grew to love. In anticipation of its Big Summer Event incarnation, Marvel is releasing this activity book facsimile collection. I don’t think I even had this as a kid, which makes owning it now even more imperative. ‘The specifics weren’t important,’ reads a particularly illuminating appendix in the trade paperback collection of the original Secret Wars series, ‘as long as it featured unique designs that could be made into toys, and as long as it was called “Secret Wars” – two words Mattel had found tested well with adolescent boys.’ Creepy as grown men dispassionately analyzing children may be, the marketing works: thirty years on, and I’m still buying this stuff. Score one for target demographics.

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STAFF PICKS :: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2015

April 21, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: HULK FUTURE IMPERFECT TP NEW PTG: Writer Peter David along with artists George Perez and Dale Keown take that old SF/superhero chestnut of the hero going into the future to change the past. Or is it the Hero’s job to change the present by going to the future to change the future’s past and the present’s future. Ah hell, who cares (although a Visio couldn’t hurt) when the story and art are this much fun. Keep an eye on those backgrounds; they’re are many smashed Easter Eggs to be found.  Collecting HULK: FUTURE IMPERFECT #1-2 and INCREDIBLE HULK: THE END. Plus, see the Hulk’s hairline recede, but don’t stare, he’ll kill ya.
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unnamed (1)JOSS WHEDON: THE COMPLETE COMPANION REVISED & UPDATED SC:
Of course Joss Whedon is the creative juggernaut behind Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelFireflySerenityDollhouse, and even Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, as well as two feature films starring  The Avengers. The Joss Whedon Companion (newly revised) is the ultimate survey and analysis of his career genre bending career. This SC edition from TITAN BOOKS is well written and quite engaging. Perhaps this revised edition includes a chapter on Card Show Hotel Room Etiquette; if so we need to get a copy over to Zander ASAP
HARVEY KURTZMAN HC MAD AND HUMOR IN AMERICA:
Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSunnamed
Writer Bill Schelly -a man who has interviewed the titular cartoonist numerous times- delivers an exciting biography of Harvey Kurtzman, the creative mastermind behind Mad Magazine as well as the modern realistic war comic with Two Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Kurtzman’s story is one everyone needs to read– lawsuits, the FBI, Hugh Hefner and much, much more. He is easily in the top 5 or 6 most influential comics’ creators of all time. Forward by Python alum Terry Gilliam. Fantagraphics has a track record of publishing really solid Creator biographies and it is a no-brainer that HARVEY KURTZMAN HC MAD AND HUMOR IN AMERICA is another worthwhile, reliable gem.
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STAFF PICKS :: RUNLOVEKILL :: APRIL 15, 2015

April 15, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: RUNLOVEKILL: Anytime Eric Canete takes time from his busy schedule of animation work to draw comic books, I’m checking it out. The 1st issue of this 8 issue series comes out today and if you’re into science fiction, explosions and great art you should check it out. You can tell Eric how much you love this when you meet him at HeroesCon in June.

04_RunLoveKill_PreviewBONUS PICK :: SENSATION COMICS #9: Don’t miss today’s Sensation Comics featuring 2 great looking Wonder Woman stories. The first features art by HeroesCon family member Mike Maihack and the second is a Lois Lane and Wonder Woman story with art by Chris Sprouse, Karl Story and Jordie Bellaire all wrapped in a great cover by Ben Caldwell.
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