Tagged: Punk Rock Jesus

TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 17: That Can Save Her People…

Funny story. My column ran long last week and Unkie Dev’s space got cut. Since then I have been wracked with guilt and completely unable to function in my daily life. I am overwrought with worry thinking about all you Unkie Dev Dev-iants who missed his thoughtful words and gentle demeanor. I have completely rethunked my whole column to try and make amends. Also the numerous death threats helped me see the issue more clearly. For this week I am doing a very special, micro-machines man-esque, super speed version of TRY SOMETHING NEW. Without further ado…

THE MASSIVE #1 is being rereleased for $1. Frontrunner for book of the year, Brian Wood does realistic global disaster from the POV of a radical environmental group hunting for a missing boat. There’s nothing like it on shelves and if you like the $1 issue you can buy the whole trade for just a bunch of dollars more. I know nobody wants to hear that this book has some light environmentalism themes so I won’t mention that. People shoot at each other though, you all like that. Read also: DMZ.

SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY. A friend of mine who works at Marvel lent me this and said it was the best Superman book of all time. That’s how good it is. It almost brokered the Marvel/DC peace accords. He was wrong though. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is the best, but this is up there. A surreal tale of a young Clark Kent that will keep you guessing. Kurt Busiek can find the humanity in superheroes better than almost anyone, and Stuart Immonen can draw that just as well. Read also: ASTRO CITY

PUNK ROCK JESUS. Sean Murphy steps out of his own artistic shadow to become a powerhouse writer. The story of a clone of Jesus who quits his reality TV show and fronts a punk band may make you cringe, but Murphy handles it with aplomb. His art, as always, is brilliant. This one may not be for everyone but if it seems interesting to you now you will probably dig it. I think the ratio of people with mohawks in comics to people with mohawks in real life is crazy. This book doesn’t help that. Read also: AMERICAN JESUS vol. 1

MISS FURY #1. It seems like something changed over at Dynamite and their relaunched character books have either been getting much better or people are finally caring about them. Now they launch Miss Fury, a hero who ends up moving through alternate timelines after WWII. She may be lost, she may be crazy, she is definitely angry (Dynamite, call me. I can make this $#!% up all day: 212.473-1576). This book is good too because if you squint you can pretend you are reading Catwoman. Read also: CATWOMAN

MICE TEMPLAR vol. 4 #1. How &*(%!#@ weird is it that there is more than one book about mice with swords? I think it’s absolutely insane. It makes me feel like I am losing my mind. It’s hard to find comics with black characters in them and there are two books with sword wielding mice?!?! Both sword/mice books are good. This one has some great Michael Avon Oeming art. Read also: MOUSE GUARD (obviously…)

THANOS RISING #1. I once went on a long and moderately well received rant about how I think in some ways comic writers are too sheltered. Many just lack crazy life experiences and it shows in their writing. I said something about how I don’t want to read comics from anyone who has never been in handcuffs, or slept with a stranger, or been knocked unconscious, or had a gun pointed at them, or woken up on a strange floor, or seen a dead body, or crashed a car, etc… Rantings of an idiot, but my point remains. I don’t know if Jason Aaron has done any of those things but he sure writes like has. Now he is writing a Thanos origin story. I don’t know who thought a Thanos origin story was necessary but here it is. Read it and everything else Jason Aaron writes. Read also: SCALPED

UBER #0. There’s a lot of Nazi stuff in comics. Nazis are like mice with swords, they’re everywhere. Except in MAUS where the mice aren’t Nazis at all and there are no swords. Confusing. Most of the Nazi stuff I find to be boring and cliché. Heck, this is my second Nazi stuff book of this column, and this column only has stuff I like in it. But Kieron Gillen is a good writer and can take a tired cliché and shake it up enough to make it feel fresh and exciting. His new series finds Nazi superheroes entering the last days of WWII to CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY! Whoa. If that doesn’t excite you you should probably stick to books with mice and swords. Read also: PHONGRAM

HARBINGER WARS #1 is a crossover between Harbinger and Bloodshot. Both of those books are among the better offerings in superheroics right now. This, the first crossover of the Valiant Comics relaunch, is all set to be epic and hopefully gamechanging. If you have been reading both main books then this event is a no-brainer. If you haven’t then I don’t know why you would start here. The trades of both individual series are only $10 each. Start there. Read also: HARBINGER, BLOODSHOT.

50 GIRLS 50. Fantagraphics has been re-releasing old EC stuff in these really nice hardcovers. Now they are taking a shot at Al Williamson’s work. Ranging from sci-fi & fantasy, to horror and crime, this stuff is almost infinitely fun and readable. There are some Ray Bradbury stories in here, as well as some stuff that Frank Frazetta drew. All with great notes on EC and Williamson. This book is equal parts truly classic comics and amazing history lesson. Come for the arts, stay for the smarts. (Again, Fantagraphics, I will write taglines like this for you. I make up stuff this good like every day.) Read also: CORPSE ON THE IMJIN

‘TAIN’T THE MEAT…IT’S THE HUMANITY. I could write about how this is Fantagraphics collection of all of Jack Davis’ Tales From The Crypt stuff but instead I will just direct you to the title. Now I offer the theory that anyone who does not own a book called “’Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity” deserves nothing of value in their lives. This stuff is funny, gross, creepy, and like nothing that has come since, but mostly it just has the single greatest title of all time. Ever. Including the future. Read also: CAME THE DAWN

Well that’s all for me now. I just got a tip from a friendly lady cop I used to run with that a guy matching the description of tech wizard/crazed mole person, Tyler, has been spotted in the abandoned Fulton Fish Market building. I just hope I can get to him before they do. Pray for us.

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Because I’m always right-Best comics of 2012

I would like to start this article off by “publicly” thanking those friends of mine who purchased a plethora of games via Steam for me this past Christmas. You’re given me an excuse to continue half-assing it via “Best of” articles.

2011 wasn’t a bad year for comics, but 2012 seems to be one for the records. We’ve had comic movies dominate the box-office for awhile, but nothing performed as well as Disney/Marvel’s Avengers film, shattering records globally. Marvel also found great success with Avengers vs X-men sales, which lead into the Marvel NOW! initiative, which has been pretty swell so far. DC saw a ton a creative/editorial problems, but dominated sales for most of the year. Image released a ton of new creator-own series, many to critical acclaim and solid sales, while the Walking Dead solid well, and dominated TV ratings. Overall comics sales have increased, and it seems 2012 is ending on a high note in terms of comics news. It’s good times all around, and now it’s time to celebrate the best of best of 2012.

It’s been awhile since a non-Buffy licensed comic book sold well and made comics news headlines, but 2012 saw at least 2 series based on licensed promises deliver quality and profit. My wife pulls both kaBOOM’s “Adventure Time” and IDW’s “My Little Pony” on-going series, and for good reasons-they’re really good. Both companies have assembled all-star creative teams consisting of web/indy-comics creators who obviously love these properties, and deliver some genuinely good all-age comics. And sales have shown that the shows respected fandoms are embracing these books, given how well their sold. Both series are worth picking up, assuming you can find them on shelves!

DC did an excellent job of trying to get me to not read their books in 2012, as they did a fine job on shitting on a lot of creators and characters I like and respect, but I’m not above admitting they released some fine books -Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Saucer Country, American Vampire, The Unwritten and Hellblazer were all solid comics. But in terms of being the best, the Dark Knight stands above them all, as Snyder/Capullo’s Batman was ridiculously good. A treat on every level, it’s one of the best book available on the market, not to mention one of the most disturbing. Snyder’s future “Wake” partner-in-crime Sean Murphy also debuted “Punk Rock Jesus” in 2012, and it’s a visual trip. The writing’s solid too, don’t get me wrong, Murphy is putting out one of the best-looking books out there. If you’re not pulling the single issues, make sure to buy the eventual trade day 1.

I’m gonna go ahead and give Image my nod as best publisher for 2012 and 2013. It kills me that the book I’m going to name as my pick of year doesn’t come from Image, especially with the year they had. Robert Kirkman had 3 great books on the market, the Rob Liefield’s Extreme “relaunch” produced some amazing books like “Prophet” and “Glory”, and there were great break-out hits like “Mind the Gap” and anything written by Johnathan Hickman. But for me at least, it came down to Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips’ Noir-Lovercraft series “Fatale”, which sales warranted it to go from a mini to an on-going and Brian K Vaughn/Fiona Staples’ “Saga”, which is amazing. No seriously, amazing is the only way to describe this book and do it justice. I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

But in the end, I’m going with Marvel’s Hawkeye, but Matt Fraction and David Aja (and Javier Puidos). Not only is it Marvel’s best book, it’s arguably the best book on the market. Everyone brings their A game to this title, which is super accessible thanks to little to no continuity concerns, and each story only being a issue to 2 long. While Staples’ art is incredible, Aja is also doing some career defining work, and doing some panel work unmatched by anyone else in the business today. You can totally make a valid argument for Saga, being the book of the year, and it would be hard to argue otherwise, but Hawkeye oozes so much charm it isn’t even funny. Right Clint?

Book of the year folks!

Enjoy the rest of 2012 FP Faithful! I’ll be back next week to pimp out some stuff you can’t buy anywhere yet! THANKS PREVIEW POSTS!

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Avengers Vs Quality -What I pulled this week

So my ankle been’s acting up, as has my left kneecap. My lower back kind of hurts t00-GET IT? I SAID PULL IN THE TITLE AND YOU THOUGHT I WAS REFERRING TO COMICS BUT THEN I STARTED TO TALK ABOUT PHYSICAL PAI-never mind this joke is bad and I feel bad.

Loran is a bit behind thanks to the college year starting up, and the my next toy article is still being worked on.  Which means if I want to get paid, something needs to be tossed on the ol’ Daily Planet, or the powers that be will send me a displeased e-mail. It’s a lot more threatening than it sounds, I assure you. So, to please the pay-gods, I’ve decided to type up an article about what comics I bought this week, and if they’re worth your money.  Warning, slight spoilers below for those who trade wait.

The 11th issue (or “Round”, as it’s called on the cover) of AvX (Avengers Vs. X-Men) dropped this past week and man….I’m torn. Writer Brian Michael Bendis is probably the weakest of 5 “Architects”  working on this book,  as issue 11 is….kind of rough in the script department. Marvel having 5 different writers on this thing did not do it much service, as characters and the story  struggle to have one consistent voice,, not to mention act incredibly out of character at times, making either side hard to pull for. The Phoenix 5 (er 2…1) are suppose to be the bad guys for the last 5 or so issues, but the Avengers have been jerks since issue 1. It’s a rough read and the hyped up death is pretty weak, considering this is the UMPTEENTH time this character has died. Luckily,Oliver Coipel handles the art for this issue, so it’s a pretty trainwreck.

However, Uncanny X-men #18 follows the proud Marvel tradition of  being a book that is ” A tie-in book that’s actually better than the main series”. Kieron Gillen has been KILLING on this series, making the Extinction’s team fall from grace way more compelling that the core AvX series has, and we have Ron Garney drawing this issue, which is a HUGE step up in the art department. The book gives  more of an in-depth look  of the battle and events from AvX #11, and the B-story focuses on a plotline that dates back from “Fear Itself” with a shocking twist. “Uncanny X-Men” #18 is well worth the $4, where as AvX #11 is strictly for completionists, or fans of Coipel’s worth to the point where the plot means nothing to you.

I only pull 2 books from DC monthly, and they happen to come out on the same week this month. They also happen to be quite excellent. Batman #0 drops with the EXCELLENT team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. This issue focuses on Bruce Wayne from 6 years ago, fresh from his global training, ready to make a change. It also brings back and semi-reinvents some baddies that tie into another Bat-book, and sets the stage for a story in 2013. The back-up, written by James Tynion IV & Andy Clarke, focuses on 5 supporting characters, and how Batman’s present influences them, and shapes their destiny. This is the PERFECT jumping on point for this series and a great issue overall. Well worth the $4.

Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus #3 came so very, very close to being my book of the week. It’s a great mini by Murphy, who’s been kicking all sorts of ass on various Vertigo titles these last few years. This is the 3rd chapter of a 6 issue mini where the clone of Jesus Christ is the focus on a reality tv show, and the world that the Clone of Jesus (Chris) is born into is beginning to take it’s toil on the boy, which means we should be getting a heavy dose of punk rock next issue. Also the last 4 pages are the perfect cliffhanger, making the wait for #4 quite painful. A great creator owned title, and the $3 will get you a story I’m surprise DC will publish and some of the best art coming out of the big 2 today. Buy it now, and then double dip for the eventual trade.

And while both DC releases were amazing, Uncanny X-Force #31 is without a doubt my pick of the week. Rick Remender’s final arc is halfway through, and after having their asses hunted down and kicked several times, X-Force is ready to go on the offensive and take the fight to the new Brotherhood. Literally in this book is amazing, from the script to Phil Noto’s pencils, to the coloring and letting. I could gush on more, but I’m sure you get the point. Granted it’s a $4, 20 page book, it’s well worth the money. Buy it on sight, unless you’re not reading it, then buy all the trades and get caught up.

That’s it, which is bad, because I am not so great wrapping up articles. So um….buy comics. Preferably at Forbidden Planet NYC. Setting up a pullist with us would be fine as well.

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