I was sitting in my favourite cafe last Thursday, just around the corner from my Local Comic Shop, reading Captain America #2 and Daredevil #2 and ordering a second coffee because I just couldn’t stop reading when it hit me: I really love comics.
I don’t remember the last time Marvel had an off-week. The House of Ideas continue their winning streak with Captain America, Daredevil, Hulk, Avengers, Invincible Iron Man, Journey Into Mystery, X-Men: Schism, Ultimate Comics Fallout and Venom all out in one week..
Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven took the Sentinel of Liberty on an unexpected journey into Inception territory with Captain America #2, and it worked surprisingly (incredibly) well. Brubaker’s cemented himself as one of the best Captain America writers of all time, but I don’t feel that Steve McNiven gets the praise he deserves. His first two issues of Cap have been fantastic, and the longer he stays on this book the better. Daredevil #2 follows through on last month’s fantastic first issue, with Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera continuing to set a ridiculously high standard for this book. And Captain America turns up here too.
DC basically spent the week cleaning up shop, with the second-to-last week of the Old DCU being spent wrapping up storylines in the final issues of Batman, Green Lantern Corps, Justice League of America, Legion of Super Heroes, Power Girl, Superboy, Supergirl, Superman/Batman, Titans and Zatanna. There were also new issues of Fables and DMZ, the latter of which enters it’s home stretch with only four issues left in the series. And there was some new Walking Dead over at Image.
That said, there were some pretty great reprints out this week. DC Presents: Teen Titans #1, the latest in the fantastic DC Presents series which reprints classic, out-of-print storylines, featured the LOST ANNUAL by Titans creator Bob Haney with art by Jay Stephens and the always amazing Mike Allred, and a back-up feature from Solo #7 , again by Mike Allred. The main feature follows the original team being sent into space to rescue John F. Kennedy, the back-up has the Titans facing down the Doom Patrol. Do I really need to sell you on this one?
PICK OF THE WEEK
WE3: Deluxe Edition
As great as teenage heroes in space can be, the big one this week was the deluxe edition of WE3. For the unacquainted, WE3 is quite simply one of the greatest stories ever told, lovingly crafted by the best creative duo since Stan and Jack, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. It follows the journey of three “animal weapons”, the most recent experiments in the ongoing super soldier program, as they escape captivity in search of “home”.
WE3 is a master class in visual storytelling, with dialogue taking a back seat to the breathtaking visuals. Quitely puts out some of the best material of his career, pushing the medium with images that explode from the page. The result is something that needs to be experienced, eclipsed only by Morrison and Quitely’s magnum opus, All Star Superman. The deluxe hardcover includes ten pages of extra story, with bonus sketchbooks, script pages and commentary. Simply put, this is essential reading.
A release date and cover art for Batman: Earth One, the long-awaited graphic novel by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, was finally released this week after being announced in 2009. The book is slated for release in May 2012.
A new trailer for Batman: Arkham City dropped this week, spotlighting Mr Freeze in his new Mass Effect-esque armor. This game, man.
The 2011 Harvey Award winners were announced this week, and every category was right on the money. Winners included: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O’Malley for Best Original Graphic Album, Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba for Best Single Issue or Story, Thor: The Might Avenger for Best Writer (Roger Langdridge) and Most Promising New Talent (Chris Samnee), American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque for Best New Series, Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton for best webcomic, Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke for Best Artist and Best Cartoonist, and John Workman on Thor for Best Lettering.
Do you see what I mean? Aren’t comics fantastic? What, you want more? Okay, fine. Here’s Katie Cook’s Batman as a delusional child: