Alright, so here’s the deal. It’s not like I’m trying to be the “X-Guy” around here. I’m not purposely trying to label myself as such, but I could understand if you were beginning to think that about me. Don’t get me wrong, I love X-Men and there are far worse labels to have, but my interests expand further than mutants. They soar with the Big Blue Boy Scout, lurk with The Bat, swing from the roof tops with Spidey, blindly follow The Man Without Fear, fight off walkers with Rick and the Gang, and cruise post-crash Earth aboard The Capital…just not this time. For the fourth issue in a row, Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness serve up some of the best story-telling in the business.
Eighteen issues ago, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples launched a new science fiction comic. Their chosen name, Saga, was both plain and grandiose, aptly reflecting the contents inside. At first glance that initial chapter told a pretty straight-forward tale of forbidden love: Marko and Alana, two soldiers from different sides of an endless war, run off with their newborn child. However, even before the end of that issue, Vaughan had broadened his scope by introducing a wide range of characters scattered across his fictional universe. The issue ended with a heartfelt reflection from the narrator that not all of us are lucky enough to reach old age. This observation overlying her parents kissing demonstrated Vaughan would not lose track of the emotional beats amidst the cosmic adventure. All in all, it quickly became apparent that Saga would live up to its name.
You know that plucky girl that can’t be knocked down? Full of energy, joy, and homicidal tendencies? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Harley is that kind of girl. Out of all the DC ladies, Harley holds a special place for my heart (in her freezer). Ever since the “Batman: The Animated Series”, I’ve been rooting for that loony woman to get her puddin’. Thank you Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for making me encourage a violent domestic relationship!
Hands down, this is one of the easiest choices I’ve ever made. I listed this book as one to watch for this week, and I hope you were all paying attention because it was wonderful. After the Thunderbolts lost their submarine during the Infinity tie-in issue (which was surprisingly good for a tie-in), they found refuge in a cramped van (the setting for maybe the best issue of the series). This issue finds the team ready to find new quarters and get their mission back on track. And where else would the infamous Thunderbolts choose as their new HQ? Well, below a rundown diner in Northern Michigan, of course! Their next mission: take down the now ex-Thunderbolt Mercy at any cost.
75 years later and nothing has changed…well, okay maybe a few things have changed. This week DC releases a Batman Anniversary issue with the same title the Dark Knight made his heroic debuted in 75 years ago. For my analytically number based brain simply seeing Detective Comics #27 on the shelf gets the endorphins pulsing through my body. I was pleased that for the $7.99 price I get a book with a spine I can display on my bookcase instead of hide in a short box. But I’m not here to tell you how to store your books so I’m going to dive right into the pages of this mega-size Bat anthology.
Call me simple but when you have a talking blue monster that sounds like “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski and your comics ends with “Fuck you science Doctor. I’ve got a machine gun” you’ve pretty much got me hook line and sinker.
Once again not only is it December, but December seems to be flashing by too quickly for me to even notice. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been working insane hours at work, but I don’t remember how this month got so far along. Next week is Christmas, followed by New Year’s, and here we are at the final NBC Comic of the Week for 2013.
Regardless, Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez have given us a fantastic issue for this week. This is one that grabbed me from the first page and held me entranced for the entire 22 pages. We’ve come to expect great things from this title, and yet again Waid and company manage to surpass those expectations.
If you’ve been reading my articles beforehand you would know I’m a big fan of AMC’s “Comic Book Men”. The series is about some guys in New Jersey running a comic shop. They joke, prank, and muse about comics and famous story lines. In one episode, they actually pitched a comic to Dynamite that they would write and draw. THIS is that comic.