Monthly Comic Book Round-up…pt.2 – The Comics!

I know, I know, I promised this yesterday. Sorry, I got side-tracked. First I started reading comics and then my house-mate Kevin and I took a field-trip to Anchor Grill for pie and ice cream. Shut-up, it was awesome. But I’m here now, so let’s talk about those comics you should be reading. I think I’ve got a good little selection here for you. In terms of an introduction Id just like to say that I don’t really read “alternative” comics. Nope, I like my comics full of superheroes, villains, monsters and spaceships. You know…cool stuff.  If I can’t have fun reading them I don’t see the point in spending money on them. So let’s at some books about kids, french space-wars and characters you know and love…

I’m not going to be writing too much about each of this books. The idea that my descriptions could have more words than are in the comics themselves is somewhat laughable. Plenty of pretty pictures though!

First up is a book called “Kick-Ass,” written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr. I’m a really big fan of Millar’s work so hell be showing up later too. I thought Civil War was an amazing Watchmen-lite reboot for the Marvel Universe and it got me pretty excited about comics again. This book is about a kid who reads too many comics and decides to try this super-hero thing out himself. Of course he fumbles a lot but the thing that sets this apart from being kind of a run-of-the-mill story is the writing and the incredibly over-the-top violent situations this kid gets himself into. The cover above is from issue #3. Go out and buy these before it gets turned into a movie.

Next up is another Millar book called “1985.” Presently we are on issue #3, and it’s proving to be a pretty great story. The basic premise is that a kid who reads too many comics (I sense a theme in Millar’s work) begins to notice a few of the villains from his books inhabiting a house in the woods. Before you know it, our world is under attack by villains and being saved by heroes from 80’s era of Marvel. This book started out pretty slow but has gotten much better by this third issue. I was initially keeping with it hoping that this better-than-average book would take off because I love the concept. Well, it finally did. A couple of the villain attacks on civilians in this one are almost disturbing, particularly The Mole’s. It’s definitely worth reading.

OK, I promise this is the last Millar book I’ll be mentioning. I really only follow two writers closely, Millar and Mignola (he’ll come up later), so bear with me. This here is the wrap-around cover from the new “Old Man Logan” story-arc that started with “Wolverine” #66. I don’t tend to read “Wolverine” but this story sounded to hard to resist. If this description doesn’t sound awesome to you, you’ve got a screw loose: So, Wolverine is older and living in a Mad-Max style post-apocalyptic America which is run by super-villains. Wait, there’s more! Take that concept and that make Wolverine and Hawkeye do a “Smokey and the Bandit” style cross-country drive through the villain-run America and now you’ve got “Old Man Logan.” It’s awesome!!!

I am extremely excited about this book. Marvel has started publishing English versions of comics previously release by French comic publisher Soleil. In recent years comic books have become noticably shorter and less wordy. It’s so incredibly frustrating to buy a comic and finish it in 10-minutes. I love the art of comics, but good art can’t save a weak story. I’m happy to report that I still haven’t finished the first issue of “Universal War One” but I can already tell you I’m loving it. It’s in space, it’s wordy, the art is beautiful and so far it involves a giant black mass that’s a bajillion times bigger than our sun. Oh and it gets a “Mature Content.” Buy this, I want Marvel to do more of Soleil’s comics in the futures.

The final Marvel book today is the “Captain America: White” #0. Marvel does some interesting things with origins in their “Color” series and I’m excited to see what they do with the Cap and Bucky. I love Captain America stories that take place during WW2 (which the upcoming movie will too, yessss!) so I’m already completely infatuated with this book. This book is a preview/prologue for the series which I believe will be officially starting during the winter. Go out and get this, this promises to be a great story.

Two new story-arcs from the Mignola camp too. Whether from a longtime love of the comics or being newly introduced through the films, most people know who Hellboy is these days. If you’ve only seen the movies, I would highly suggest going to any book or comic store and picking up some Trade Paperbacks of old Hellboys. The films aren’t bad, in fact I like them a whole lot, but they’ve never quite matched the wit and epic web that is the Hellboy Universe. Hellboy has just started his “Crooked Man” story arc and you should be reading it.

B.P.R.D. has also started a new arc entitled “The Warning.” For those of you unfamiliar, B.P.R.D. is the organization that Hellboy started his career with. In the comics, unlike the movie where it was everyone, Hellboy left the organization to go off wandering. The wonderful thing about the book, as well as his own solo book “The Drowning,” is that Abe Sapien is almost an entirely different character than what they’ve done with him in the movies. I’d say its the only this that frustrates me about the movies. Abe Sapien, while an intellectual, is way more of a bad-ass and leader in the comics. I’ve always been sorely disappointed that they turned him into a mincing little polly for the movies. That’s why you should read this, Abe Sapien is an amazing character. Also, the fish-bowl-head character, Johann Kraus is also a lot better. Seth Macfarlane came perilously close to ruining that character for me.

OK, nerd time is over! Go buy some comics at one of these places.

Love,

John

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