Greg Sez #3.5 – Comics You Should Be Reading This Week
Hi. Welcome to Greg Sez #3 ½. The reason for the off episode # is because I was a slacker last week and sent in the column late, therefore it is neither 3 nor 4.
Anyhow, here are this week’s comics you should be reading.
Marvel’s quieter event, Doomwar, continues this week with #5. The legendary bad guy Dr. Doom has conquered the Black Panther’s African nation of Wakanda and gained control of the precious metal Vibranium reserves. In a natural plot device, the Fantastic Four and Storm (X-Man and the Black Panther’s wife) gather their forces to oppose the tyrant Doom, and in a natural sales device, Deadpool also shows up. The cancelled Black Panther series’ last few issues served as a prequel to this story, but wisely, Marvel has decided to make Doomwar pretty self contained. Not having read the Panther issues, I was still able to enjoy this event greatly. Jonathon Maberry writes, Scott Eaton pencils.
Wonder Woman returns to its original numbering as the giant anniversary #600 is released this week. New ongoing writer J. Michael Straczynski is joined by an all star creative cast, including Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, George Perez, Phil Jimenez, and Joe Madureira, among others. There is also a beautiful variant cover by Adam Hughes, who can be considered the definitive Wonder Woman cover artist. In a similar move to the Batman and Superman anniversary issues, WW #600 is more a celebration of the character’s longevity rather than an integral part of the storyline. Regardless, this is another of DC’s accomplishments in publishing that cements them as a historical powerhouse.
Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper is Psycho author Robert Bloch’s novel about the infamous serial killer’s exploits in modern times. The story, which was originally published in Weird Tales in 1943, is finally adapted for the first time in comic book form by splatterpunk horror legend Joe Lansdale, John Lansdale, and Eisner nominated artist Kevin Colden. In this 3 issue series, IDW continues their tradition of adapting horror stories from other media into thoroughly enjoyable comic books.
Image’s latest mini-series Turf, by the man some people call Britain’s David Letterman continues with issue #2. Writer Jonathan Ross combines hard boiled crime, mob dealings, prohibition, vampires, and aliens in 20’s New York City. Now, if that seems like it’s a bit too much to handle in one book, fear not. Somehow, with Tommy Lee Edwards’ gritty, scratchy art, it works like a charm. In issue #2 we are introduced to interplanetary smuggler known as Squeed. This unlikely “hero”, coupled with gangster Eddie Falco, may be the only ones standing between earth’s survival and the Dragonmir vampire clan’s complete takeover of first the mob, then the rest of the world. Pick up the second issue of this completely original book.
Dark Horse Comics
Stan Sakai’s long running series Usagi Yojimbo rolls on. Three series and twenty-four years later, issue #129 chronicles the ongoing adventures of the rabbit ronin in “A Town Called Hell”. Apparently its gang war week in the comic world, as Usagi is in the middle of one, too. Sakai is able to mix in traditional Japanese culture and history, the honor of the samurai, and action that evokes some of Kurosawa and the Shaw Brothers finest works, all in the guise of a kid-friendly furry animal comic. Sakai’s enduring creation is proof to all nay-sayers that comics are not “just for kids”.
The unlikely spinoff of a trading card series, Zombies vs. Cheerleaders #1 hits this week. Writer Stephen Frank teams with to create what promises to be some great fun. Basically, it’s just what it sounds like: zombies fighting with cheerleaders, and really, how can you go wrong? With 4 (!) variant covers, be sure to pick up this big bucket of awesome for all your B-movie, cheesecake, and brain-munching goodness.
FVZA, which stands for Federal Vampire Zombie Agency, was a three issue series written by David Hine and beautifully painted art by Roy Allan Martinez and Kinsun Loh. It is now collected for the first time in trade paperback. The series poses the reality that vampires and zombies not only do exist, but are fully recognized by the government as a serious threat to the world’s health and security. The FVZA was formed and fought the monsters throughout the ages. Eventually a “cure” was found, the vamps were destroyed, and the dead were returned to their graves. Well, in typical undead tradition, the diseases evolve past the point of the agency’s knowledge, and all hell breaks loose.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy every book you buy! I’ll see you next week for more of what’s coming up and what you should be checking out.