Greg Sez #7 – Comics You Should Be Reading This Week
Greetings and salivations. This week I’m once again spotlighting some titles from the majors and a few indie gems, but am breaking tradition this time by giving a special shout out to a book that caught my eye, and then solidified my interest.
First off, let’s get to bidness, as the kids like to say.
IDW continues their line of licensed books and severely long titles with best seller James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard Battle for Shadowland #3. Continuing the stories of the novel’s magical siblings Whit and Whisty Allgood, Witch & Wizard plunges the kids into a battle with the magic hating New Order (not the 80’s band). In this issue, writer Dara Naraghi and artist Victor Santos deepen the trouble as Whisty accidently redirects the time portals away from Freeland and ends up in a time loop. At the same time, Whit has words with The One, leader of New Order, and finds out the secret of why The One wants control of the Shadowland. This is a great gateway book for the non comic fan; much like the Umbrella Academy or Stephen King’s various comics.
Arguably one of Hellboy’s most popular supporting characters is Abe Sapien. The spinoff series are few and far between, but this week Abyssal Plain #2, the last issue in this mini, is released. Co-written by creator Mike Mignola and Hellboy vet John Arcudi, tell a tale of one of Abe’s first missions with the BPRD, as he tracks down a sunken Soviet U-Boat that contains powerful, ancient relics. Unfortunately for him, the relics are protected by the reanimated dead. Peter Snejbjerg provides his typically creepy, dark artwork with beautiful covers by Dave Stewart (not the 80’s guitarist for the Eurythmics) and Dave Johnson.
Action Comics, one of DC’s premiere flagship titles, continues to gain steam both in sales and fans. The Superman books are on their way to being back in where they should be as new writer Paul Cornell follows up the sold out #890 with this week’s #891 with part 2 of the Black King storyline. After the events of Blackest Night, Lex Luthor (not the 80’s wrestler) briefly became an Orange Lantern. For those of you that aren’t familiar with what I call the Rainbow Corps, Orange Lanterns represent greed. Perfect match for Lex. Only trouble is, he couldn’t keep the ring. Now he’ll do anything to get that power back. Pete Woods is the artist helping to bring one of DC’s longest running titles back to the top of the heap.
Brian Michael Bendis continues to apparently clone himself and write everything in the Marvel Universe. Ultimate Comics Mystery #1 teams him with artist Rafa Sandoval to tell the second part of the Ultimate Enemy trilogy. Although Mystery is a #1, I would recommend picking up the Enemy mini-series first so you know all the players and situations. It’s well worth it. In Mystery, the stakes are raised considerably, as most of the Ultimate universe teams up to take on the newly revealed Enemy and take him/her down before any more damage can be done. This issue is expanded to 40 pages, but still priced at $3.99. Bendis has put together a complex, yet accessible, weave of storylines for yet another triumph (not the 80’s band).
The long awaited Haunt #8 is finally here! Writer Robert Kirkman’s surprisingly engaging series rolls along with new series artist Greg Capullo and inks by co-creator Todd McFarlane. Daniel Kilgore has been first haunted, and then bonded, with his dead brother’s spirit. During the first arc, Daniel and his brother, now the creature known as Haunt, were out for revenge on the killers and found out that not everything was as it seemed. Now, in the second storyline, Daniel finds that the cost to him may have been a little more than he bargained for. This series doesn’t contain a mature readers tag, but probably should, due to some pretty extreme (not the 80’s band) violence.
The 2010 Aspen Swimsuit Spectacular is here. Aspen publishes Fathom and Soulfire, Michael Turner creations. They are dressed pretty skimpily to begin with. Most fanboys “read” these in the basement. I’m not sure what else needs to be said here, except maybe that it contains art by a stable of hot artists. The Fathom (not the still-hot Raquel Welsh, star of the 80’s TV movie Right To Die, who also starred in the 60’s film Fathom. Wow. OK. Stretching it, now.) audience remains loyal and hardly dressed comic books women always sell.
The mind behind Snakes on a Plane, John Heffernan, is the latest film maker to put his creativity behind a comic from Radical (a popular catch phrase from the 80’s). Driver for the Dead #1 tells the story of Alabaster Graves, a hearse driver for funeral homes and mortuaries in the Deep South. His latest gig is picking up the body of renowned Voodoo priest Mose Freeman from New Orleans. Freeman’s ha-cha-cha daughter is riding shotgun with him, and eventually he’ll wish her position were more literal, as an evil resurrectionist named Fallow is hot on their tail. Fallow is a necromancer who gets his powers from stealing body parts and someone as powerful as Mose is the ultimate prize. Artist Leonardo Manco has worked on Vertigo’s Hellblazer, so his artwork will feel right at home on Driver.
And now to break tradition, I have to say a few words about a comic that stuck with me last week, and it should clear up all those 80’s references. Being a teenager in the 80’s was a golden time for music, if you liked metal and punk, that is. If you were a fan of this music and in New York during that decade, you made it your life’s mission to visit the premiere club in the Bowery, CBGB. I was never lucky enough to get there before it closed its doors for good, but the kind folks at Boom Studios’ new imprint BoomTown almost made me feel like I made it in time.
Interim Thor writer Kieron Gillen, Sam Humphries, Marc Ellerby, Rob G, and Jaime Hernandez all contribute to the first issue of the CBGB mini-series. These guys obviously have a love for the DIY attitude and punk scene, and it shows in their work. Gillen’s story is narrated by a few surprise guests in a punk rock version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, with a past, present, and future history of the genre. The book is sold out at the wholesale level, but I do still have some copies left.
If you ever wanted to know the history of the club and some of the acts that made it their own, buy it! And thanks, Boom.
Now that my gushing is finished, I’ll wrap up and thank you all for reading! Until next week, enjoy what you take home from the comic store. If you don’t, come back next week and try again!