Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’

STAFF PICKS :: BATGIRL: ENDGAME #1 :: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2015

March 16, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks matt_staff_picksMATT’S PICK :: BATGIRL: ENDGAME #1: I can say without reservation this comic book will be very nice to look at! Wicked-awesome good-girl-art French gentleman Bengal not only drew this book, but he also colored it! Please do your eyeballs a favor and pick up this comic! I believe the story should be pretty decent, as well – The Joker (or his minions) are featured within. It should prove to be a win/win for your weekly comic fixation. From what I gather, this is a stand alone book – it should be acceptable for the curious reader. I enjoy the ongoing series (which is also being released this week). There will be no shortage of Batgirl goodness available at Heroes on Wednesday! Lucky us!
BatgirlEndgame

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STAFF PICKS :: HOWARD THE DUCK #1 :: MARCH 11, 2015

March 09, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: HOWARD THE DUCK #1: I’m a big fan of Howard. The guy’s on my business card, and indelibly inked onto me corporeally. Also, he’s in my heart and soul. A childhood love for that foul (see what I did there?) movie lead to a rekindled personal interest in the funnypapers. A lot of that had to do with the late, great Steve Gerber, the Duck’s creator and chronicler, and how his work provided a hitherto nonexistent intersection of comics and “comix”. Howard was the consummate outsider, but also a staunch everyman and rugged individualist. Personalities like that usually end up the most incisive of social critics. And that was Steve Gerber’s tack: Howard was his mouthpiece, his means of satirizing not only the insular culture of comics, but the pop culture abroad as well (even post Y2K, Gerbs was savaging his psychic surroundings…see Howard’s brilliant and underrated six issue MAX series if you don’t believe me). Howard WAS Gerber, and in other writers’ hands, well, he’s never been quite right.

Therefore, I do not envy Chip Zdarsky. Granted, people like me – fanatical Duck fans – aren’t a flock large enough to generate a blip on the radar (these duck puns are making me very ashamed of myself), but like Ty Templeton before him, Zdarsky is using high concept as his entry point, i.e. Howard the Duck PI. That’s fine, I’ll give him a fair shake; he’s demonstrated a singular enough sense of humor. He could do worse for collaborators: Joe Quinones may be drawing Howard with four fingers, but otherwise, he is a stellar artist, whose work is both elegant and entertaining, technically proficient without sacrificing storytelling. And our man Rico Renzi will certainly punch things up with his usual panache. Me? I approach the book with a strange mix of enthusiasm and trepidation. A lot of people saw that movie, and a lot of them sat through those credits. Will they all understand that there is soul behind the smartassery? That satire is the essence of what Howard is, or should be? Or do they just want a cuddly ducky with a cranky attitude to placate them for a few months, ‘til the next fad pops up?

htd1

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STAFF PICKS :: COMPLETE SUPER VILLAIN TEAM UP :: MARCH 04, 2015

March 03, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: SUPER VILLAINS UNITE TP COMPLETE SUPER VILLAIN TEAM UP: Collecting GIANT-SIZE SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #1-2, SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #1-14 and #16-17, AVENGERS (1963) #154-156, and CHAMPIONS #16.

No, they haven’t formed a Union, but it makes you wonder if the Beagle Boys and other henchmen received benefits.
Is there anything more supery or villainy than Doctor Doom? What if ol’ Vic was united with an angry, angry, angry Prince Namor who had just been unceremoniously booted from the Mighty Marvel monthly rotation? Add to this volatile duo a Dash of Red Skull, some fighting-mad Magneto along with some Avengers who have been enslaved by Attuma and you have a crew tough enough to defeat the Fantastic Four, the Legion of Doom and even the one-time ’70’s super- group of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Sacco and Venzetti. Only the Champions can possibly save the day. Or can they? This volume is post Lee and Kirby Marvel at its silliest and fun and it makes for big time rainy day reading.

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STAFF PICKS :: SPIDER-GWEN #1 :: FEBRUARY 25, 2015

February 25, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’S PICK :: SPIDER-GWEN #1: There’s been a lot of criticism about the way female characters are treated in comics.  Strong women have gone awry in the wrong hands.  As a female reader, I don’t necessarily only read books with strong female leads created by women, but I do have a tendency to be drawn to those.  A team of all male creators on a female solo book will give me pause.  I say all this as an admission that I wasn’t originally all in on Spider-Gwen from the start like I was with the new Ms. Marvel.  I also don’t have an existing connection to this character like I did when the new She Hulk launched.  At the most, I was cautiously optimistic that given what I know of the creators, Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi that this would be a book that I would enjoying reading.

As for my Spider-Man background, I’ve read the early trades of Ultimate Spider-Man and some mini-series books here and there.  The best thing about a book existing in its own universe is limited prior knowledge doesn’t matter.  You don’t have to be aware of which Peter Parker girlfriend, Gwen or Mary Jane, you should like best.  Gwen is no longer about being a love interest.  She is simply the hero.

Spider Gwen is a good example that men can do a wonderful job on female heroes.  It’s refreshing to see a woman drawn with a slight figure that is appropriate in both proportions and age.  Robbi’s art as always is gorgeous.  Jason is bringing a fresh take to this character with original concepts applied to Spider-Man’s rogue gallery.  Rico’s coloring is the cherry on top of this sundae of a book.  Great job, guys! I can’t wait to swing along with you and Gwen.  spider-gwen-1-cover-robbi-rodriguez-109184

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STAFF PICKS :: THOR IS EPIC, CONAN IS TOO! :: FEBRUARY 25, 2015

February 23, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: THOR EPIC COLLECTION TP TO WAKE MANGOG

Collecting THOR #154-174. It just doesn’t get better than this. These are super hero comics at their most fun and free-wheeling. You get Thor, the rest of the Marvel Norse Pantheon along with Mangog a villian who just sounds grouchy already, but now he’s been woken up and he’s wielding the Odinsword– a weapon so big it could jimmy the lock on the door of the fortress of Solitude. Plus Galactus vs. Ego the Living Planet (the loser has to pay for lunch), the return of “Him” (who’s Him? Why Him is Adam Warlock that’s who) and the whole series comes to a frothy boil with the origin of Galactus. It’s Lee and Kirby at their best. The dialogue is beyond a hoot, it is magical; a joy to read. Plus several issues of Kirby’s best issues are inked by the incomparable Bill Everett!
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conanITEM..Conan the Avenger. Well, it’s about damn time. I mean Tigra and Patsy Walker and even the Two-Gun Kid (well, sort of) were all members of the Marvel Superteam at one time or another. Let’s hope Jarvis can get our favorite Cimmerian to wear a shirt at the next meeting. And just wait until Conan gets a taste of of 21st Century Pale Pilsner. By Crom, the barkeep will be in grave peril. What? Oops…sorry wrong “Avenging” all together. But this series from Dark Horse has been quite good and is worth a look.

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STAFF PICKS :: JENKINS, DAVIS, LOS BROS :: FEBRUARY 11, 2015

February 11, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: HELLBLAZER TP VOL 10 IN THE LINE OF FIRE: The classic run of everyone’s favorite unwashed misanthrope continues with the first eleven issues from the four year run of writer Paul Jenkins and artists Sean Phillips and Al Davison. Horror at its best.

THE ART OF JACK DAVIS! SC: This beautiful jam packed book features the best of the best of Jack Davis (perhaps the single most recognizable comic artist of the past 50 years!). This book has been out of print and in the past few decades has become a rather expensive collector’s item, but now it’s back and it’s very inexpensive. A must-have for any well rounded comic library.

LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 07: from Jaime we have the return of Maggie, Hopey and Ray. And if that wasn’t enough, Gilbert serves up Fritz as Morgan La Fey and then delivers a story about Luba’s mother, Maria. The brothers are peaking yet again. Don’t miss these great comics!

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STAFF PICKS :: OUTCAST VOLUME 1 :: JANUARY 28, 2015

January 28, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: OUTCAST VOLUME 1: A DARKNESS SURROUNDS HIM: If you’re someone who waits for collected editions of great comics you should check out today’s first volume of Outcast. Writer of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, has teamed with the brilliant art duo of Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser to tell a dark tale of demonic possession and exorcism. Shooting has already begun for a television show based on this one.

Paul is a featured guest at Saturday’s Charlotte MiniCon so now is the time to catch up on this comic and when you meet him you can tell him how much you love it! More info here.

OutcastVol1_Cover

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STAFF PICKS :: CRIMINAL, BLUE BEETLE and POWERPUFF GIRLS (huh?) :: JANUARY 28, 2015

January 28, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS:: CRIMINAL TP VOL 01 COWARD| $14.99

Ah..where it all began for the noir comics team extraordinaire of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. If you’ve not yet entered the ink drenched world of heists and fatales and twists of the plot as well as the knife, here is your ideal entry wound (errr..entry point). Gullible characters will end up incarcerated or dead or both(!) and Justice is hardly ever served. As fun as a ’50s crime film and just as dangerous. Enjoy!
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SHOWCASE PRESENTS BLUE BEETLE TP| $19.99

500 pages of Ted Cord’s superhero adventures from the creative team of writer Len Wein with art provided by Paris Cullins and Bruce Patterson. Featuring a nice early cross-over with The New Teen Titans and the return of The Question. Not great, but certainly a lot of fun- one of the last gasps for mainstream superhero comics before those talented Brits turned the spandex crowd on its revisionist ear. And before Giffen and DeMatteis turned our Azure clad scarab into a constant punchline for the wise-guy version of the Justice League.

POWERPUFF GIRLS SUPER SMASH-UP #01| $3.99

Life in the CNU ( Cartoon Network Universe) will never be the same after the events of the recently wrapped-up Super Secret Crisis War. But its time for a little post SSCW break for the greatest power trio since Rush released 2112. Join Blossom the orange leader, Buttercup the green one with anger management issues and our favorite Blue Bubbles ( imagine Rory Gilmore but with the power of Mon-El ) as they take a VIP tour of Dexter’s Lab and the afternoon unfolds swimmingly until Didi decides to follow along…..Big trouble. Big, Big trouble. Plus ( as if you needed any more! ) Courage the Cowardly Dog.
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STAFF PICKS :: UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 :: JANUARY 28, 2015

January 22, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: UNCANNY AVENGERS #1: Another Marvel relaunch destined to inspire endless diatribes of Internet nerdsnark. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see a new iteration of the Avengers’ Unity Squad. Including a historical Avenger like the Vision on the roster only deepens this group’s significance, and throwing in a left field B-lister like Dr. (Brother) Voodoo is super cool (70s genre Marvel is kinda my jam). Also, Rick Remender and Daniel Acuña play well together, so let’s check the cynicism at the door and have a little fun, shall we?

uncannyavengers#1

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STAFF PICKS :: CLASSIC COMICS CORNUCOPIA :: JANUARY 21, 2015

January 21, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS :: Classic comics old and new……

BATMAN SILVER AGE NEWSPAPER COMICS HC VOL 02 1968-1969| $49.99
(W) Whitney Ellsworth (A) Joe Giella, Al Plastino (CA) Peter Poplaski
The second half of the comic strip run of Batman that rode on the coat-tails of the popularity of the infamous albeit hilarious TV Series. Sure, It’s a relic but it’s also a riot and it features guest-stars Superman and Aquaman. Same Bat strip, same Bat creative teams.

BPRD PLAGUE OF FROGS TP VOL 02| $24.99
(W) Brian Augustyn & Various (A) Guy Davis & Various (CA) Mike Mignola
An ideal and inexpensive way to dive into the Mignolaverse. Collects B.P.R.D.: The Dead, B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame, and B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs. Plus the storytelling mastery of Guy Davis!

FABLES #148| $2.99
(W) Bill Willingham (A) Mark Buckingham & Various (CA) Nimit Malaviae o
Rose Red learns the truth about her mother, herself and her sister Snow White. As NFL Coach Dennis Green might say at a Post Fables press conference “They’re AREN’T who we thought they were” . There are only 2 issues left. The tension is getting pretty thick.

GROO FRIENDS AND FOES #01| $3.99
(W) Mark Evanier (A/CA) Sergio Aragones
It’s a year long series. Each month spotlights a supportive character whose life gets repeatedly destroyed by everyone’s favorite bungling Barbarian. This first issue features Captain Ahax. Things will get wet.
groo

MMW UNCANNY X-MEN HC VOL 09| $75.00
(W) Chris Claremont (A) Various (CA) Paul Smith
Even though the earlier John Byrne era made The X-Men stars, it is this volumes era that sent the mutants and their scribe Chris Claremont into the stratosphere.Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN #168-175- artist Paul Smith became a star, Rogue became a hero, Cyclops became a husband and Professor Xavier became a Jerk. Also included is the MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #5 “God Loves, Man Kills” a true mainstream high water mark and WOLVERINE #1-4. Featuring art by rising superstar Frank Miller. Last and certainly least, THE UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #7 perhaps the single worst comic book in BRONZE AGE  history. If you think I’m exaggerating, look at the last two pages. POP And POPsicles….yuck.

RUN LIKE CRAZY RUN LIKE HELL HC| $19.99
(W) Jacques Tardi, Jean-Patrick Manchette (A/CA) Jacques Tardi
Following the success of West Coast Blues and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot (both highly recommended) Jacques Tardi third collaboration with famed crime writer Jean- Patrick Manchette is by all accounts, the best of the bunch. Hard boiled noir action, dark humor and page after page of Tardi. Tres Bien!

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