LOOKING FOR BOOKS TO BUY THIS WEEK?
LOOK NO FURTHER.
HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.
Cosmo looks “North” with… The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 Fun adventure + endearing characters + great art = the best new Marvel title of the year so far. Need any other reason to pick it up? OK, Tippy-Toe is the new Pizza Dog (who was the new Lying Cat, who was, anyway . . .). Just buy this awesome series before I resort to pestering you with bad nut puns . . .
LOOKING FOR BOOKS TO BUY THIS WEEK?
LOOK NO FURTHER.
HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Patrick courageously casts a vote for… The Valiant #3 Not only is the comic great but it keeps getting better each issue. Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt & Paolo Rivera is about as All-Star of a comics team as it get’s outside of Marvel/DC/Image and there work together is truly collaborative. The Valiant is the superhero epic that truly delivers on being an epic and it’s of the highest quality.
Back in November I started a new segment called Image #1’s where I wrote a progress report on some of the new series Image had to offer that month. I plan on making this a monthly segment. When reviewing all the new Image series of December there was only one I wanted to write about. Instead of writing a December progress report on one book I put together a top ten list of the best #1 issues Image had to offer in 2013. This list is only based on issue #1 of the series. The unique aspect of #1 issues is that for the most part you do not know what to expect. You enter the book open minded and it either hooks you or it doesn’t. Image put out 54 #1 issues in 2013, more than one new series every week. This top ten list provides a wide range of books from comedies to horrors. I think Image’s slogan should be “Something for everyone” because that is exactly what they have to offer. Enjoy 2013’s top ten best beginnings from Image. If you are wondering what the December book was I deemed worthy to write about check out #9.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
9 LOONIES LAUGHING8 Heaths-a-quipping 7 Shields-a-spinning 6 Orcs-a-staining A BOULDER NAMED THE THING Numerous Norse Words Astonishing X-Men Sex (not for love) and Preacher Volume 3
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
7 SHIELDS-A-SPINNING6 Orcs-a-staining A BOULDER NAMED THE THING Numerous Norse Words Astonishing X-Men Sex (not for love) and Preacher Volume 3
Captain America. The United State’s symbol of heroism. The true American war hero. Personally I never really cared for the guy. It’s not that I dislike him, I mean if I’m putting together a team I definitely want him in charge. I understand his appeal but for some reason I am sucker for the heroes who walk the line. I do not feel a connection to the boy scout hero who always does the right thing. I can’t relate to that, what kind of person always makes the right choice. After receiving glowing recommendations I picked up my first book containing only Cap in the title, I crawled out of my hole of darkness and prepared myself for the hugs and teddy bears of Captain America. Whoops, guess I was wrong on that one. Apparently a hero can have a scarred life and still make the most honorable of decisions. Sure he might hit a guy in the face a little more on his bad days but hey the guys human give him a break.
Each week, the NBC Staff will share various comics we think are worthy to be your pull list. These issues will be picked based upon just how excited we are for them to come out. We dig them, and you might too.
Feel free to let us know what YOU think WE should be reading in the comment section below.
Apologizing to Cosmo for changing my pick…Ukerupp thinks you should try:
Ian Edginton and Francesco Trifogli
For two weeks in a row, I have chosen a Vertigo book, and you all have no idea how happy that makes me. While I love the superhero comics, I am always interested in what else is happen outside of the world of capes and tights. Vertigo unleashes its next series in the wave of greatness. What do I know about this series? Absolutely nothing besides the blurb in the solicitation. However, just looking at the cover I get a sense of something special brewing.
Lazarus #10 by Greg Rucka & Michael Lark
Having concluded the series’ second arc last month, Rucka returns this week to some unfinished business from the first arc. That storyline centered on The Carlyle Twins (Jonah and Johanna) attempting to seize from their father control of their family. Their plan failed utterly, yet, still Johanna was quick-witted enough to save her skin. Thinking on her feet, she shifts the blame entirely on her brother, casting herself as another victim of his reckless schemes. The family’s enforcer, Forever, buys her story. During the course of the second arc, Johanna sits pretty, continuing to enjoy the privilege that comes with Carlyle power. Her brother, though, is forced to make a run for it.
This issue doubles back in time to discover how well Jonah is able to get himself out of a difficult situation. He has stolen away in a private aircraft, heading towards the boarder of Hock Family territory. His ad hoc plan is to surrender himself to the rival family. He surmises that he has valuable information from the upper circles of authority, which he could barter for security. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that spur of the moment strategizing is not a gift he shares with his sister.
An early telling sign that Jonah is in over his head, is not only his inability to land the plane, but his inability to at least crash it on the proper side of the boarder. This forces the pampered Jonah to forge the Mississippi on foot (it’s seen much better days). Once across the once mighty river, Jonah proclaims his asylum request with a smug assurance that the boarder guards will be amply rewarded for their service in this matter. Instead, he gets a rifle butt to the back. Things pretty much go downhill from here. Even after being confronted with how far off his original assumptions were, Jonah is unable adapt to his newfound circumstances. All he can do is mindlessly babble the one card he had to play.
This issue serves as a bridge between the second arc and the upcoming third one, Conclave. Jonah’s actions have consequences outside of himself as others more adapt at scheming start shifting the gears of machinations. This issue is also noteworthy for being the first where the lead character Forever makes no appearance. In exchange, though, Rucka further expands his world-building, giving readers a peak at Hock holdings and how they are run. (Is it just me or has a visibly damaged/mutilated Statue of Liberty become a cliché?) In the back-matter, Rucka has discussed different dominions on other continents, yet, this week, readers see one in the story proper for the first time. I suspect that it is only a hint of the diverse competing interests which will enter the stage during the approaching Conclave. This issue is a good teaser for that forthcoming storyline.
Overview: In the penultimate issue of the second arc of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s new series, we inch towards a potentially explosive conclusion next month. Forever is still trying to please her Dad at all costs, and the Barret family is getting closer to the Lift selection in Denver, CO. A fog of unease hangs over this issue, and based on how things have gone so far, I’m expecting to get a bittersweet finale next month. This has been an engrossing world from the beginning, but now that we’re getting to know the people who inhabit it a bit more, the reality of their situation is even more sobering.
Story: I hadn’t read much by Rucka before this, save for his stint on Batwoman, but that combined with his reputation was all the convincing I needed. The thing that sticks out so much to me is the massive world building he has done in just 8 issues. The back matter where he elaborates on the history of the different families is fascinating, and by using flashbacks to Forever’s childhood, mixed with the present day goings on; we’re getting a vast amount of story. Some of you may or may not have noticed, but they’ve been creating fake ads to go on the back cover, which have all been fantastic. I love details like this, it just adds to my enjoyment of the book as a whole, as well as my admiration for the creative team.
This issue focused on Forever’s quest to stomp out a terrorist cell intent on attacking the Lift selection, and we checked in with how the Barrett family is doing after the firefight from last issue. Every character is very well planned out and presented. From our protagonist, to the various members of the Carlyle and Barrett families, we’ve seen very rounded and complicated personalities. We’ve known since the beginning that this was a harsh world, but after the past few issues’ deaths, and the uncertainty for nearly everyone’s survival lingering; every situation is filled with tension. I really enjoyed this issue and the series in general, so if you haven’t given it a shot, grab the first trade that’s already available and join in the fun.
Art: Michael Lark is one of my favorites, and his heavy shadows combined with an attention to detail, fit the style of this book so well. He excels in the action sequences, and does a perfect job moving our vantage around a scene. jumping in for emphasis, and pulling back to survey the aftermath. While his figures can seem a little static, he makes up for it with his choices of story beats. We fill in the blanks so naturally that the sequences have a very cinematic flow, and the action unfolds in a precisely orchestrated pace. When things slow down and we join the Barrett family, his ability to deliver telling facial expressions adds to every interaction. When Michael Barrett is trying to make a little girl feel comfortable enough to let him reduce her dislocated elbow, you can see the hesitation on her face, and the concern on her father’s; Michael’ s body language combined with the dialogue conveys his calming approach and nature appropriately. Lark’s abilities combine with Rucka’s deft scripting to make a lived-in world, thankfully I can’t imagine this actually happening, but the realistic approach by the creative team makes for a very affecting story. I’m not very familiar with Santi Arcas, but he’s done great job coloring this series. This is not a pretty world, the pages of the “waste” are filled with a grime, and warm, bland colors; you get the immediate sense that most people need a shower and laundry. Conversely, the world of the Carlyles and other rich families is lovely and sanitary. The colors are cooler to go along with the cushy interior environments and conference rooms filled with the blue glow of computer screens.
Conclusion: This issue worked very well to set up the next chapter while still keeping this episode engaging. If you’re interested in some powerful storytelling, and some speculative sci-fi that is incredibly well thought out; then you couldn’t do much better than picking up a copy Lazarus.