Upon writing cats on cats I realize that there’s several ways in which that can be taken.
Whelp, Imma keep it, because I hope people’s mind won’t go directly to the gutter (HAH!) and more importantly, I’m lazy. So fingers crossed
With that out of the way, I’m going to change the format up a bit this week, as this is 2014, and that sounds like a thing you should do in a semi-new year. Aside from the 2-4 books I usually review (4 this week!), I’ll name drop/highlight a few other books of note you may want to check out every week because….reasons?
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES THIS WEEK:
Furious #1, Dredd: Underbelly #1, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1, Adventures of Superman #9, Batman and Robin Annual #2, Fables #137, Bad Ass #1, Black Science #3, Five Weapons #6, Invincible #108, Inhumanity #2, Uncanny Avengers #16, Uber #9, WWE SuperStars #2
Bravest Warriors: CATBUG 2014 Annual #1
Kate Leth/Coleman/Monica Ray/Sloane Leong
KaBOOM Studios/$4.99/30 pages
As someone who’s a big fan of Cartoon Hangover’s Bravest Warrior, as well as the comics coming out of KaBOOM Studios’, the Catbug Annual was a no-brainer for me. The breakout star of the hit Youtube series is very appealing to me(Yes, of course I own a Catbug t-shirt), and seeing a bunch of awesome indie creators craft tales starring Catbug is a good way to me to give someone $5.
Kate Leth, a KaBOOM & Comics Alliance regular, leads the annual off with a cute 8 page story that has said Bug that is also a Cat covering the alpahabet. Sloanne Leong also puts a Catbug twist on a familiar story, and her slightly off-model take on the cast works for me. Coleman Engle‘s story is a tad weak compared to the other stories in the annual, but the art reeks of charm, and the colors are fantastic, so it’s all good. Monica Ray‘s story really captures the feel and the look of the show the best, mixing the type of cute and horror you expect from Bravest Warriors. I dug it a ton.
My only beef with this annual is the price point, as it’s not even a double sized issue for $5. Then again I am old, and remember that $5 use to get you a lot more comic for that price. Regardless of my old man problem, the Catbug Annual is a delight for all age reader/fans of the show, and I urge you to buy the hell out of it.
Guardian of the Galaxy #11.NOW
Brian Micahel Bendis/Sara Pichelli/Justin Ponder
Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages
As someone who was a big fan of the DnA-era Cosmic Marvel, I’ve accepted that Brian Michael Bendis‘ take on cosmic Marvel is a different beast. And seeing how I’m really digging Bendis’ take on the X-titles he’s writing, I went into the 2nd chapter (the cover says part 1 for some reason) of the Trial of Jean Grey with an open mind.
Sadly, the book is kind of a mess on the narrative side of things. Bendis attempts to play catch up with any potential new readers who’ve come over from the X-neighborhood (S’up), while progressing the story he’s been telling for nearly a year now. Sadly that’s a lot to cover in 20 pages, and it doesn’t mesh as well as it should in the end. Which is a problem with crossovers and event-tie ins, something BOTH titles are coming from.
Luckily for everyone, Sara Pichelli is on art duties, so the book looks fantastic. And with the introduction/catch up done, hopefully the next installment on the GOTG side of things will be an improvement. But if you’re like me and not a completionist/ buying Guardians on the regular, you can skip this issue.
Avengers Assemble #23.INH
Kelly Sue Deconnick/Warren Ellis/Matteo Buffangi/Nolan Woodward
Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages
I could read snarky Avengers team up forever Marvel, please take note.
Spider-Girl’s quest continues on this month, this time seeing her teamed her up the the omni-present Wolverine. Ol’ Bubsnikt is at his best when he’s cranky and forced to team up with teenagers (See: The last 40 years of X-men comics), and with KSD and Warren Ellis on writing duties, it’s no surprise how much this book is as drenched is banter and snark. It’s a solid and dense read, and Matteo Buffangi & Nolan Woodward do a fine job on art duties (with no assists this month, yay), providing slick, fluid, and bright visuals. It’s a shame that the book is ending in March, as it’s been a delightful read post-Infinity.
Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples
Image, $2.99, 20 pages
Maybe you’re not hip to Tumblr. Maybe the term “Feels” is foreign to you. Allow me to help! “Feels” is shorthand for “Feelings” that you may get from a comic, video game, or overrated niche genre show (#shotsfired). With that being said, I now fully expect everyone to know what I mean when I say Saga #18 had me DROWNING in feels.
The final chapter of what will make up the 3rd volume of Saga is flawless. It’s rare for me to actually choke up in response to the contents of a comic book (Grant Morrison writing Superman aside), but there were several moments in this book that gave me the wibbles. It’s a beatiful book, and THE comic to be ready right now. Several plotlines are resolved, 2 characters fates are revealed, and there are confrontations and answers a plenty. Both Vaughan and Staples are on top of their respective games, and it’s hard to imagine this book being as good as it is with any other creators involved.
The only downside to Saga is that we’re not getting another issue until probably May, which is brutal, given how this book ends. But at least it’s a clean break, and has me excited for the future.
That wraps up this week. Next week, THE most important mainstream comic of 2014 drops, and Steve Lieber returns to Superior Foes of Spider-Man. GET HYPED, ALSO GO HAWKS!
-Chris Troy writes weekly for Forbidden Planet NYC, and can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @theanarchris