Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’


August 10, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

There are so many extra books that are riding on the coattails of Secret Wars, I know it can be daunting to choose one to pick up and read.  Inhumans: Attilan Rising is one of them, though, and if you haven’t read any of the previous issues I highly recommend that you do.  The story is fun, and a bit quirky, from writer Charles Soule (who you may remember from his work on She-Hulk). You have a great team of characters with Blackbolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, and the blind hero Matt Murdock, also.  If you aren’t sold with the first issue, where you find out Matt is a blind musician that plays at Blackbolt’s club – the Silent Room – you should be when you see Blackbolt talk. The whole building is still standing once he finishes his sentence! There are plenty of twists and turns still ahead for this book, and I am excited to see where it goes. I hope others will join in as well.


August 04, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: AMERICAN BARBARIAN: Tom Scioli has long held the reputation for being an artist who expertly pays homage to the canon of Jack Kirby. One of the things I most respect about Scioli, though, is how he not only captures and distills Kirby’s work in his own, but also channels other interests and influences. Case in point with this week’s long awaited complete collection of American Barbarian. Sure there are nods to Kirby, especially the excellent Kamandi comics, but there’s also a plethora of other monsters, robots and beings that could only jump from Scioli’s fertile imagination. ambar1

As with Scioli’s must read Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series, American Barbarian is full of unabashed love for all things sci fi, fantasy, film, comics and pop culture. It takes concepts that have at times been stereotyped as low, and raised them to high comics art. Thanks to IDW, American Barbarian is finally receiving a nice new complete hardcover collection. It’s unlike any other new book you’ll see on the stands this week, and I hope you’ll take the time to relish this work in all its glory. ambar4



August 04, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_pickskyle_staff_picksKYLE’S PICK(S) :: SECRET WARS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RENEW YOUR VOWS #3: Having a more paternal, adult Spider-Man who is constantly worrying about his family and making sure that he is doing whatever is best for them is a definite future shock for Spidey fans.  I never thought I would see a time where his witty banter would go out the door but this is the comic that shows a new side of the wall crawler that gets down to business no fuss, no muss.  Also its just REALLY GOOD.

BatmanBeyond3BATMAN BEYOND #3:  This book is not what I was originally expecting when it was announced but it is the ideal reboot for the story arc of Futures End that it is springing from.  A future that will definitely look new to all Batman Beyond fans but there are still plenty of faces that they will remember like our favorite inky villain that loves to throw a wrench in the Future Dark Knight’s plans. Dattins a real good un.



August 03, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: AIRBOY #3: I was never too enamored of aviation comics. As a genre, it’s not something that appealed to my sensibilities. So, when Image announced a new take on Airboy, it wasn’t a priority in my reading. Airboy is in the public domain, which means the copyright on the property lapsed, and the character is fair game for any creator that cares to use him and his supporting cast. Now, I know James Robinson to be a quality author, and although he doesn’t have a lot of published work under his belt, Greg Hinkle’s art is a thing of great beauty. I didn’t have a lot of expectations when the first issue was released, but because of the top notch creative team I nibbled, and I’m rather glad I did. Robinson uses the title as a metafictional, autobiographical clearinghouse, detailing a debaucherous and undignified mid-career crisis. This is a refreshing take, with the Golden Age stalwart as a moral springboard. This is the kind of story only comics can pull off, and if you were on the fence like me, as of Wednesday, Heroes will have all three issues available for your enjoyment. Check out what is turning out to be something of a rare treat, and even more rare, a book every Heroes staffer seems to heartily recommend.




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

staff_picks rico_staff_picksRICO’S PICK :: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #10: The boys are back in town and this issue of SoBas is especially rough. Spending a day with Esaw is no plate of ribs with all the fixins’. Aside from all the sex and violence Jason Latour and Jason Aaron stuffed into this issue, proceeds from sales of the variant cover go to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund:

From the mouth of Latour, “The variant is available in as high a quantity as your retailer wants to order. But please keep in mind that Southern Bastards remains an unabashedly rated R plus comic book. It wasn’t the plan but this one maybe more so.”

We ordered heavy on the “Death To The Flag, Long Live The South” cover so be sure to come by and grab a copy when you can. Thanks!

By using the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund
This city’s fund will provide direct financial support for the funeral and burial expenses of the nine victims of the senseless tragedy. Any funds remaining after the funeral and burial expenses are paid will be donated directly to the Emanuel AME Church in ways best determined to benefit the surviving families and the Church.  Donations to this fund are NOT tax-deductible.


July 21, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: Staff Picks


seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: WEIRDWORLD #2: Trust me, I get it. Company wide events, crossovers, tie-ins, reboots, and the like can be frustrating, difficult to navigate, and time consuming to deal with whether you’re a fan, a retailer, or like me, both. Let’s face it, they’re not all going to be worth your time and money, but when there are so many being produced, a few will fall through the cracks and fail to get the attention they deserve. Thus, this Staff Pick.

On the surface, Weirdworld may appear as just another ripple in the flood of the Secret Wars Battleworld miniseries. The premise is simple enough, with a lesser known character, Arkon fighting to escape his titular locale, while an array of beastly/monstrous hordes attempt to kill and/or eat him. It’s so simple that in lesser hands, this comic would certainly remain inconsequential. weirdworld1

Fortunately for us, the creators bringing this story to life are Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo. Aaron remains one of the most reliable writers in comics, regardless of whether he’s writing his own creator owned Image books, or a Marvel series. Mike Del Mundo’s gorgeous art continues to impress, and is broadened here to include this series’ necessary fantasy elements. The creators also pull in lots of classic cult characters in this series, so if you’re a fan of Morgan le Fey, Man-Thing, the Lava Men, or Skull the Slayer, there’s even more to enjoy here. weirdworld2

This may be just another Marvel event miniseries, but it’s one of the most enjoyable I’ve read this year. Issue #1 hit shelves just a week or two before HeroesCon, and I read it early one morning after a late night of processing comics for the show. It was the perfect little slice of stand alone, easily accessible comics that we rarely see amid these large publishing events. If you skipped Weirdworld because you assumed that it isn’t worth your time, reconsider that decision and pick up the first two issues this week. Sometimes simple fantasy miniseries can be the most rewarding reads.




July 10, 2015 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: HAWKEYE 22: Okay…this looks bad. I’m not entirely sure why Marvel supposedly held up the publication of the Matt Fraction/David Aja finale, or why they decided to start a new (or rather, All New) Hawkeye series before the acclaimed previous run finished. Whatever the reasons, this week we finally get the opportunity to celebrate the work of Fraction and Aja on this the last issue of their impressive series.

Heroes customers and readers of this blog know well that I’ve long championed Hawkeye. Until the Fraction/Aja run, the character was mostly a laughable everyman with seemingly little narrative or aesthetic value. For the past three years, that assumption has been proven wrong time and time again. Both creators exhibited a range of narrative and visual deft. Fraction wove non-linear plot lines, callbacks and deep character studies through Aja’s Mazzuchellian visual motifs and panel layouts. The pair took a fairly bland archetypal concept and elevated it to high comic art. They reminded us of the potential of comics, superhero or otherwise. hawkcvrs

I could write endlessly about why this series is so impressive, but this is, after all, simply a Staff Pick. If you want to enjoy a thorough and critical reading of this series, I’d encourage you to link HERE to the brilliant article on The Comics Journal by our friend and HeroesCon panelist, Craig Fischer. Craig digs into close detail about the many highs and occasional lows of this epic series, and will give you an even greater appreciation for just how unique a work it has been. Thanks, Matt and David, for a remarkable series. Hopefully we’ll see the two of you team up again before too long.


STAFF PICKS :: Classic Comics Cavalcade :: WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2015

July 08, 2015 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICKS: Notify the Vatican and make certain all household clocks are synchronized to incorporate the Market-threatening, potentially Apocalyptic LEAP SECOND [TM] because the Classic Comics Cavalcade returns…..

Have you read From Hell and the autobiographical Alec: The Years Have Pants? Of course you have because I’ve repeatedly told you all to do so and when it comes to the works of the great Eddie Campbell, you don’t want to cross me. Compared to the two epics mentioned above, Bacchus is a less important yet thoroughly entertaining work about the Greek God of Wine and Revelry as he tries to sit quietly and drink his way through modern times. Unfortunately, the are a score of Mythical figures who have their own plans for old Bacchus. And wait ’til you meet the Eyeball Kid face to face.

Keep it simple and spot those blacks and the page will explode with storytelling potential. Alex Toth is one of the giants of comic art and he worked especially well with writers like the great Archie Goodwin who tailored his comic scripts to exploit the assigned artist’s strengths. The result? How about a dozen or so of the best Horror stories published by Warren in the mid to late sixties. And it’s only 20 bucks. Toth rules!

Yet another DC ANNIVERSARY HC edition. Have you always wondered about Eisner and wanted to sample his classic Spirit stories but were put off by the sheer amount of material and the enormous cost? I can’t blame you ( but I can -and do blame Frank Miller, but that is, as they say, a different kettle of stories) But this handsome volume looks like it will an ideal sampler of the master cartoonist at his best.

Attention Monty Python fans
Sing along with me and The Bolton Choral Society as they attempt to summarize Swann’s Way in 15 seconds…Proust in his first book, wrote about, wrote about, Proust in his first book wrote about….GONG!!! Anyhooo
Were you assigned to read Proust in English Lit? ME TOO!
Did you read the entire first book Swann’s Way? ME NEITHER!
This comic adaptation from French illustrator Stephane Heuet should prove to be more insightful than Sparks Notes and a hell of a lot more fun to read.
Now if they can only figure out a way to adapt Infinite Jest into comic form then I will no longer have to avoid the more persnickety members of my local book club.

CRICKETS #04| $8.00
Sammy Harkham returns and just in time. Mr. H is one of the major comics talents of this young century and you owe it to yourself to pick up all 4 volumes of his solo comic Crickets. Sensational storytelling with unique and rather distinct art and if you aren’t careful you just might learn a bit about what it was like to work on early ’70s Horror films. Always a plus!


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

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

staff_picks heather_staff_picksHEATHER’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.runaways



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


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!

Eternity War 7


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