Greg Sez #1 – Comics You Should Be Reading This Week

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Greg, the man, the myth, the panelist on Giant-Size Podcast, available right here on WPR!

Welcome to my first bit of what some would call ‘journalism’ here on WatchPlayRead. What I’m going to attempt to do each week is spotlight some books that, I feel, may pique your interest. In addition to the BIG FOUR of Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse, I’ll try to shed some attention on a few smaller press books as well. And, starting next week IDW will join the ranks since they’ve finally reached the rank of premiere publisher in Diamond Previews.

Marvel – Punishermax #8

While the mainstream Marvel Punisher wanders around the Marvel Universe a bizarre, patchwork, Frankenstein monster, writer Jason Aaron and artist Steve Dillon opt to keep Frank Castle firmly grounded in his roots. This somewhat alternate take on the Punisher’s early encounters with street-level villains continues in the second story arc entitled “Bullseye”.

Aaron, who has toiled on such gritty series as Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and his own Scalped, tells the origin of the twisted assassin Bullseye. Although it ties in with the previous story arc focusing on the Kingpin, it can be read and enjoyed independently.

The Punishermax series is an adult title, with harsh language, graphic violence, and, in many cases, nudity.

DC – Batman #700

Scribe Grant Morrison returns to the main Batman title. Morrison has divided the fanboy community with his take on the Dark Knight, but love him or hate him, he’s back for Batman’s landmark 700th issue.

This issue ties in with the return of the original Batman, Bruce Wayne and spotlights tales from his past, present, and future. Wayne, the current incarnation (Dick Grayson), and the future hero (Wayne’s son, Damian) get the treatment this month.

This special anniversary issue sports a gorgeous cover by superstar David Finch, and a chase variant by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

Image – Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #1

Tim Seeley’s indie hit triumphs over the most fearsome enemy in comicdom: delayed release. No longer with struggling publisher Devil’s Due, Seeley takes Hack/Slash to Image Comics for, what fans hope, is a better shipping schedule.

Hack/Slash is the story of Cassie Hack, whose mother was the monstrous Lunch Lady serial killer. As the Lunch Lady, she murdered dozens of hot teenagers, but then served them up the next day at Cassie’s school cafeteria. Yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds. Cassie eventually has to kill her own mother, then teams up with a slasher look-alike named Vlad, who is actually a deformed, super strong giant of a man with a heart of gold. He’s just been mistaken for a psycho killer, due to his appearance.

Vlad and Cassie proceed to go on a never-ending road trip in search of slashers to kill. This first issue of the new mini-series is a fantastic jumping on point. Hack/Slash has been optioned by Rogue Pictures for feature film treatment, so grab one of these while you still can!

Dark Horse – Buzzard #1

Goon creator and hilarious Southern madman Eric Powell launches this spinoff limited series focusing on the Goon supporting character Buzzard, who has, following a nasty battle with the Zombie Priest, retreated into the Forest of Spirits. There he encounters a village that is scared nearly to death of half beast/half man creatures that are stalking and killing the villagers.

Powell, as per usual, takes on writing and art duties, with legend Richard Corben providing the variant. For long timey fans, there’s also the bonus of new short stories of Billy The Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, written once again by Eric Powell with art by atmospheric genius Kyle Hotz. Billy The Kid is about the eponymous character, who’s faked his own death and has been roaming the countryside free to do whatever he pleases. Unfortunately, carnival sideshow boss Fineas Spoule realizes who Billy is and forces him to join his show.

In the initial series, they set out to rob none other than Victor Von Frankenstein, so it’s anybody’s guess where the insanity leads in the new backup features.

Avatar – Gravel #19

Warren Ellis’ combat magician William Gravel continues his adventures in one of Avatar press’ rare ongoing series.

Imagine John Constantine as a bigger bastard and working for the British government and you’ll have an idea of how Gravel reads. The Last King Of England story arc continues as Gravel must deal of their world’s sorcerer supreme. The only problem is that he’s an ageing SAS agent that just wants to be left alone. Oh, and have a few more drinks. The catch is the king must entirely restructure the structure of Britain’s magic system, and very few are the people that like how it going.

Series artist Mike Wolfer and writer/creator Ellis continue the third arc in this fan favorite series. For Mature Readers.

Disney Press – Phineas and Ferb Early Comic Reader #1 Nothing But Trouble

Disney Press debuts Phineas and Ferb, based on the phenomenally successful cartoon series. In the longest title of the week, the boys make a huge gelatin pond to go swimming in. Everything is going perfectly, that is until the nefarious Dr. Doofenshmirtz shows up with his ray gun set on evil. All in transformed into badness, which leave Phineas and Ferb to fight a huge gelatin monster.

Good fun for the kids, and a possible gateway for them into the comic world.

Well, that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading, assuming you got this far. Be sure to listen to Giant-Size Podcast, brought to you by the good folks right here on this fine website for more comic book fun.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that all these new titles and dozens more each week are available at Black Cat Comics in Salt Lake City, Utah. The reason I’d be in trouble is because I own the aforementioned shop and it just gets weird if I have to write myself up for not pushing it. Until next time, Ex-Seltzer, true believers!

Yep, that's MY store here in SLC, UT.

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