Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’

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!
CriminalCoward

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.
PPG

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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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STAFF PICKS :: IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1 :: JANUARY 21, 2015

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

staff_picks quay_staff_picksZAQ’S PICK :: IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1: My pick for this week is a doozy, especially given how much time has passed since my last pick. Speaking of “time” I give you, “Ivar, Timewalker”! Published by Valiant, & the brainchild of writer Fred Van Lente and artist Clayton Henry. This book is about time travel, well, more about saving existence from time travel…? Our hero, Ivar, is like an eastern block Constantine. Nuff said!
IVAR_Timewalker

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STAFF PICKS :: FINAL SCORE–SNOOPY 65 – BUFFY 9 – WOLVES 1 :: JANUARY 14, 2015

January 13, 2015 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksI never eat December snowflakes. I always wait until January.
-Lucy Van Pelt
So here are some ripe ones:

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 9 LIBRARY HC VOL 01| $29.99
(W) Joss Whedon (A) Georges Jeanty
Okay, so Buffy Season 8 was a bit of a let down, but with Season 9, the Creative-Scoobies really got it together. Our world is a world without magic and a new menace arrives–zombie Vampires! Willow is working overtime to bring the magic back to our earthly realm while Buffy has a serious personal crisis. This entire run is a blast. Collects Buffy Season 9 Volume 1 and Volume 2 in an oversized format; plus an Expanded sketchbook by the talented Messer. Jeanty.

FABLES THE WOLF AMONG US #01| $3.99
Reprinting Vertigo’s first-ever digital-first series, FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US which is a comic adaptation and expansion of the video game. This is an official prequel to Bill Willingham’s FABLES! With the series in the hands of Matthew Sturges (JACK OF FABLES) along with fellow scribe Dave Justus (HOUSE OF MYSTERY), and featuring art by Stephen Sadowski (JSA), Shawn McManus (FABLES/FAIREST), and Travis Moore (JSA ALL STARS) this looks like a solid offering to help fill our Mundane void.

LETS DANCE SNOOPY 65 YEARS OF PEANUTS TP

For those who can’t budget for the complete Peanuts reprint from Fantagraphics or for folks who want to let their kids read the adventures of the greatest daydreamer in comics history and want to keep their collected volumes from excess stickiness, this is a perfect single issue sampler. It’s not just the dog; it’s the WWI Flying Ace, it’s that gad about the Quad, Joe Cool, it’s the greatest unpublished novelist in America, it’s the world famous attorney, it’s the tennis partner of the terrifying Molly Volley.
It’s all Snoopy and it’s all great.

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STAFF PICKS :: ANT-MAN #1 :: JANUARY 7, 2015

January 06, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S :: ANT-MAN #1: You have to give Marvel a little credit for some of their recent publishing strategies. Since they were acquired by Disney and their films became one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood, Marvel has gotten increasingly better about publishing new comics that have a more obvious correlation with some of those t.v. and movie projects. Just a few weeks ago they published a new SHIELD comic, and this week we see two new series that will hopefully appeal to new readers. Operation Sin #1 sees an Agent Carter comic just in time for the new show, and Ant-Man #1 arrives just in time for the first film trailer. Ideally, such cross-promotional efforts will translate into more people walking into comic shops.

I’m particularly excited for the Ant-Man comic. Whereas most of the other Marvel Film properties have had multiple comics series over the years, Ant-Man is a relatively unexplored character. He’s one of those characters who has been a go-to guest star in the past, but hasn’t really had much by way of his own series. Marvel wisely tapped Nick Spencer to help define Ant-Man before the film. He’s coming off an acclaimed run on Superior Foes of Spider-man, and should do a nice job developing the criminal turned tiny hero. Ramon Rosanas provides the art, and while I’ve not seen much of his previous work, the previews suggest his cartooning is a good choice for this series. Wrap it all in one of the nice covers by Skottie Young or Chris Samnee, and you have a fun read for the week.

antman1

 

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