What a week. Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, Image, IDW. So much storytelling! It’s overwhelming. Let’s go brain-hopping, shall we?
COLDER #2 was so great we gave the issue its own review.
Darwyn Cooke’s BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN has managed to turn what some labeled a gimmick into heart-wrenching fare that gives emotional weight to the original. No small feat. Issue #5 continues to add multiple dimensions to Hollis Mason and the original masked gang, shedding both light and shadow. If you avoided BEFORE WATCHMEN for moral reasons, you might still want to give MINUTEMEN a try. It’s that good.
For fans of the Marvel movie universe, there is no better beginning fodder for you than Jonathan Hickman’s AVENGERS #1. I want to marry it. Jerome Opena’s art is so good I could throw up a planet. The scope is so huge it could take on all nine (nine?) STAR TREK films. The flashbacks and villain posturing are like a Silver Age Avengers book except with a bigger vocabulary and less squick about Cap and Iron Man being touchy-feely. The final page is like a WHERE’S WALDO of worthy Marvel superheroes. I am so on board I need a lifejacket.
Dear DEADPOOL #3: I don’t think I’m enjoying you enough. Please bring in one of my favorite characters from all of comics, Dr. Strange, and give him a third eye. And oh—make political dick jokes. Sincerely, me.
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #3 proves that Steve Niles, as famous for horror as he is, can write a compelling tale that features no vampires, zombies, or scenes of carnage. Ever wonder how Batman emotionally deals with the Joker escaping from Arkham Asylum so many damn times? The answer’s here—in letters—and it’s a truly convincing one.
For fans of the old ultra-violence, THE LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #1 returns to the world that Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore made insanely popular just a year ago with STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE, only instead of picking up again from the point of view of Luther, as one might expect, this new series seems to revolve entirely around his reputation and bloody effect on the locals. Smart move. Plus, he punches through people’s heads. Ace.
Although it’s taking some time to adjust to Paul Davidson’s somewhat erratic, funhouse-style art, X-FACTOR #248 is fun as ever thanks to Peter David’s reliably snarky dialogue. There’s even trivia about troll anatomy.
HAWKEYE #5 may not feature any monsters beyond business moguls, but it still manages to be an espionage-heavy farce that gives laughs and intrigue in (almost) equal measure. Plus, Matt Fraction invents new panel-appropriate sound effects (FOOTOOMP!). Respect, people.
Quick! What’s more awesome than Devil Dinosaur? If you guessed Devil Dinosaur fighting a mutant called DEMON Dinosaur, then you are correct! Spider-Man’s in there too, somewhere, but there is so much reptilian awesome in AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15 it almost reads like a children’s dinosaur picture book. In the best possible way, of course. Nice Jurassic Park references, too.
Finally, for classic horror fans, it’s hard to miss with the reprinted Golden Age strips of Yoe Books’ HAUNTED HORROR #2. It’s text-heavy, for sure, but features a Kafka-like insect nightmare, disembodied hands, and a suicide club of ghouls, all set to a pulpy four-color palate. A worthy, nostalgic finish to the kind of week that makes me wish I didn’t love comics so much. Wait, no. That’d be depressing.