This week, we play to the screen with Annihilator #1, dig for fire with Prometheus #1, enter the woods with Wild’s End #1, lull between twilight & first light with Dawn/Vampirella #1, ride into town with Copperhead #1, and much more!
Scene & Heard
David Ziggy Greene
Thomas says: Full disclosure; I’ve known Dave for over a decade now and am a huge fan of his work so I am one hundred percent biased and untrustworthy when I say that this is a fantastic collection of his political cartoons previously seen in Private Eye. As part of the release of the book we are also hosting an exhibition of his work featured in the volume that is worth a look. Dave has a great eye for detail regarding the physical personality of his subjects and a keen instinct for a good quote. His style is clean and deceptively simple while the work itself is fresh and still worryingly topical so come on down and check out both the book and the show.
Death of Wolverine #2
Charles Soule (w), Steve McNiven (a)
Adam says: The first issue of this weekly four-part mini-event certainly caught me off guard. After months upon months of lead-in, this book has emerged as a surprisingly grounded and cogently digestible affair. Stripped of his healing factor, Logan is now an obvious target for a potentially endless number of previous irate sparring partners. Insert bounty here. This second issue brings in some familiar Wolverine family characters and in seems to define the parameters and scope of this individual story. Obviously the legacy of the eventual conclusion will be far-reaching, but this book functions well in isolation, a testament to the creative team.
On which, McNiven is on excellent form here with a tight blend of spacious, lush and detailed pencils. And his work thus far for Marvel has been solid and in some cases stellar, so it was always going to be intriguing to see how Soule, now a Marvel-exclusive, would handle the inevitable higher profile assignments and events especially. At this point, he appears to be bringing an understated approach to ‘big’ stories which is wholly welcome.
Grant Morrison (w), Frazer Irving (a)
Joe says: I was skeptical when I saw that Legendary were publishing comics; I couldn’t shake the idea that the film production company was essentially commissioning film scripts with storyboards already wrapped up in a neat package. When I saw that Grant Morrison was writing a mini-series, however, I had to pick it up regardless.
In typical Morrison fashion, the story is meta and the lines between reality and fiction are blurred but the issue is not obtuse. Whilst enjoyably complex, the writing is accessible and the same can be said of the art.
I have a confusing relationship with Frazer Irving; I‘m always drawn to his work but am never sure whether I like it or not. Having said that, Irving is on top form here- his gorgeously atmospheric visuals are stunning and with the promise of more surrealism to come, I can’t wait for the coming issues of this six-part series.
Fantastic Four Epic Collection
Stand Lee and Jack Kirby
Will says: I stood in front of the new comics shelf for a while pondering on what to choose for my staff pick this week, my eyes rapidly scouting every crevice in search of that hidden gem. What was the best comic out? Although I enjoyed a few things, nothing stood out and excited me enough to write about it. Then I asked myself, what was my favourite? Although I hadn’t read it this week, or likely even in the past ten years, Lee and Kirby’s run of the Fantastic Four from the early 60s is one of my favourites. I could justify it being a pick as this trade paperback of Marvel’s Epic Collection was released this week. I feel excited just thinking about revisiting these gorgeous fantasy stories. Follow the adventures of Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm and Johnny Storm when they gain their super-human powers from cosmic rays! This book collects the first 18 issues from the historical run, and it always gets you feeling like an excited child no matter how many times you’ve read it in the past. If you’ve never experienced this before then you’re in for a treat.
Cyanide & Happiness: Punching Zoo
Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin and Dave McElfatrick
Clair says: Since I was younger with a worse sense of humor I had always been a fan of Cyanide & Happiness; the crude jokes and simple art made it the most basic visual representation of story telling jokes without causing the reader to think to hard. Its simple and not for kids, it lacks political correctness and the creators have already published thousands of their comic strips online for free. Though I still think you should read it. Just mind-numbingly good.
This week, we batter up with Southern Bastards #4, offer atonement with Original Sin #8, turn up the bass with Moon Knight #5, lay the groundwork with Concrete Park #1, get filled with venomous poison with Alice Cooper #1, shoot for the stars with God Hates Astronauts #1 and much more!
Big Trouble in Little China #4
John Carpenter/Eric Powell (w), Brian Churilla(a),
Thomas says: As a huge Big Trouble fan I’m absolutely in love with this series doubly so considering that Powell is writing it. Powell’s covers are always great while Churilla’s art is . . . good but far too cartoony for my tastes and I feel for the book. The whole point of the film was that the absurdity was played straight so having someone illustrate the book with such a cartoony style seems to be hobbling the absurdity making the comic simply stupid. Which is a shame because Powell’s writing is fun and will, I’m sure, read even better as a full and complete whole.
Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0
Gerry Duggan (w), Matteo Lolli (a)
Ryan says: Some might call it a marketing ploy, but I call it badass!! Teaming together two of Marvel’s favourite delinquents, Deadpool and Hawkeye are forced to put their differences aside on Halloween, when mindless drone copycats of Daredevil and Crossbones publicly murder a man holding valuable S.H.I.E.L.D. operative data. Not only is this issue well written, filling every page with action and wit, but also utilizes some of the clever visual-storytelling tropes that have become synonymous with the Hawkeye “Marvel Now” series, an element of the title that really set it apart from any other comic on our shelves. Suffice to mention, there’s even more on the way, as this issue leads into the upcoming series “Hawkeye vs. Deadpool vs. Crime”, and I’m honestly excited to check it out (even if the title is a little uninventive). Pick this issue up before it’s gone, even if it’s just for the hilarious James Harren cover!
Fear Agent Volume 6: Out of step (Paperback 2nd edition)
Rick Remender (w), Mike Hawthorne/Tony Moor (a)
Dark Horse Comics
Will says: The final instalment of the thrilling sci-fi adventure following Heath Huston on his journey of redemption. Remender’s gritty epic has been out of print for a long time making it near impossible to enjoy this great book, so it’s nice to be able to see it again with the re-release. If you’ve read enough of Remender’s stuff you can begin to see his protagonists are all very similar, but that doesn’t make Fear Agent any less special. It is by far his greatest piece of work and to describe it simply, it is just a huge amount of fun. Over the top action, a great story and stunning artwork from start to finish make this a must for any fan of the sci-fi genre that allowed this to slip under their radar.
DC Future’s End One-shots
Karl says: DC are getting a hard time lately. People are saying they’ve run out of ideas, incorrect editorial decisions are being made and they are losing control of their properties. The New-52 has run out of steam, and fans are losing interest. So what to do? After the ‘success’ of 2013′s villain’s month – remember that? People queueing outside comic stores, old ladies being pushed to the ground by rabid fanboys in the crush to get copies of the Joker’s Daughter holographic cover! DC even introduced a new number order – 23.1, 23.2, etc. Madness!!
Well, they’ve done it again – but better. For this series of one shots, tying in to the lame Future’s End event, the marketing geniuses have revisited the whole holy grail of holography and one upped themselves by adding the extra visual that is the lenticular effect. So, not only do we get the mind-blowing 3 dimensional image, if you move the comic slightly, the main character changes or appears to move! Aquaman, and Fanthon Stranger are particular effective. All comics should be like this all the way through. In addition, there is a terrifying picture of Conan O’Brien on the back of all of this week’s comics, also in holographic glory.
Jim Woodring (w/a)
Camila says: Big fat collection of all things Jim Woodring that aren’t Frank related. The bulk of it is the stuff originally published as single issues as ‘Jim’ and then collected as ‘The Book of Jim’, but there are lots of little bits from other assorted publications, making this the ultimate collection for anyone who wants to experience a little bit of the genius madness that goes on in Woodring’s head.
This week, we stray off he path and go Wayward #1, check the charts for the latest Pop #1, call it a night with Silver Surfer #5, talk it out with Sundowners #1, figure out the action with Gi Joe vs Transformers #2, and much more!
We also take the top rope and look at Box Brown’s Andre the Giant graphic novel from First Second.
Liz Prince (w/a)
Camila says: Just a few months after the release of Alone Forever, Liz Prince is back with her first long-format graphic novel Tomboy, where she shares her experiences of growing up, of refusing to conform to the generally expected ideals of what a girl should look and behave like, and of just being totally and completely awesome.
Anyone who has asked me for book recommendations in the past few years, especially those into autobiographical comics, will have heard me going on about my love for Liz Prince and her books Alone Forever, Delayed Replays, and Will you still love me if I wet the bed. Those are also autobiographical, but are more like journals chronicling situations and relationships she was experiencing at the time;Tomboy, on the other hand, starts with a very young Liz, takes us all the way through her teenage years and adulthood, addressing issues of identity, gender, conformity, and growing up in general, all with the same humour, charm and excellence that graces her other works. Highly recommended!
The Goon: Occasion Of Revenge #2
Eric Powell (w/a)
Dark Horse Comics
Chris says: After a brief hiatus, The Goon returns in the first of series of minis created wholly by Eric Powell. Following on from the done-in-one tales he’d favoured over the last couple of years, Powell mines early continuity to create a bold new chapter in the story of The Goon and Franky. This time around he’s found love in the arms of a new woman – but with the return of some old foes you can tell this won’t end well. Each issue of the series is exquisitely rendered by Powell, with subtle coloring designed to communicate the tone and feel of the story. Despite drawing on elements from the past, this new mini is fully accessible in its own right, and can be enjoyed by old and new fans alike. If you haven’t checked out The Goon before, then do yourself a favour and buy the first two issues of this mini … Hopefully you’ll fall for the loveable lug, just like we did. You can hear more about Eric Powell, The Goon, and why the book’s been gone for so long in this recent interview I did with the creator.
Dream Police #4
J. Michael Straczynski (w), Sid Kotian (a)
Thomas says: I really, want to like this comic. I really do. The art is great, Kotian’s lines have a gritty, sketchy quality to them that fits perfectly for a crime noir story adding depth and mystery and even a little hint of a psychedelic nightmare on the verge of breaking through but then there’s the writing. Part of the problem is this modern ‘technique’ of expanding a story far beyond the necessary number of issues, a two issue story becomes a twelve part ‘epic’ (I’m looking at you Nu52 and fan fiction ‘writer’ Geoff Johns). Most of the four issues so far have had a great deal of padding or, put another way, left out a great deal or simply glossed over important details. It all feels a little haphazard which is strange when you consider the writer. There’s an interesting story here somewhere and I hope we get to it sooner than later.
The Strain: Volume 1
Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan & David Lapham (w) Mike Huddleston (a)
Dark Horse Comics
Liz says: Technically this isn’t a new release, but it’s new to me and because we had a signing with artist Mike Huddleston this week, I finally got around to reading it. And I really liked it! It’s a combination of things that I enjoy: folklore, horror and a great mystery that hooks you right in. The mystery begins when a plane arrives at JFK and goes silent on the tarmac and no one gets off. A hazmat team are sent in and discover all but four of passengers dead, with no cause apparent. An old man in Spanish Harlem may be the only one who knows what horror is about to be unleashed, as a contagion begins to spread … Based on the trilogy of novels by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain has also recently been made into a television series. I was so impressed with Lapham and Huddleston’s adaptation that I can hardly decide which format to try next!
Curt Pires (w), Jason Copland (a)
Dark Horse Comics
Rossetti says: An awesome start to a four part series, where a woman escapes from a facility that genetically engineers and grows superstars. It nicely avoids the whole “beautiful woman meets heroic man” trope that I was expecting, our leading male rescuing the damsel not because of his own goodwill or morals, but because “there was no way in hell I was going anywhere near a police station with the amount of weed I had on me”. It’s a really fun first issue, with some truly gorgeous artwork and colouring, but the best part of this comic for me was easily the last few pages. Because who doesn’t want to see a Johnny Ramone doppelgänger shoot “Dustin Beaver” in the kneecaps.
Welcome to Episode 162 of The Orbiting Pod!
This week, we hit shuffle with Dark Horse Presents #1, sing lullabys with Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1, go on a road trip with Multiversity #1, turn out the night with Dark Ages #1, and much more.