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The Weekly Haul – 2/3/12 – What I Picked Up and Why

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Although I have been making my compulsory regular visits to the kind folks at Austin Books, it’s been over a month since I did one of these round ups of what’s sitting on my reading stack of four color fun. So without any further delay, lets pick up a few comic books:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #679 (Marvel) – Still the one Marvel book I pick up on every visit to the store. Writer Dan Slott and the team continue to produce entertaining stories of a modern-day Peter Parker while managing to respect the character’s rich legacy and spirit. If only other franchise titles could learn from this one.
  • American Vampire #23 (DC/Vertigo) – Scott Snyder has managed to do the almost impossible, make a vampire story interesting and relevant again. No sparkles here – just good old plain horror with a savage twist. The current arc is set in the 1950s and has that James Dean vibe running through it. Highly recommended.
  • Dark Horse Presents #8  (Dark Horse)- Unlike the majority of the American comics buying market I love anthology books (must be from being raised in British comics). I have found this incarnation of DHP a little hit and miss, but there is usually something to like in almost every issue.
  • Doctor Who #14 (IDW) – My buddy Tony Lee may no-longer be writing the book, but I must admit that this first arc from new writer Joshua Fialkov which drops the Doctor and companions into the middle of the movie Casablanca, along with a bunch of aliens, is an inspired idea. Wish I’d thought of it!
  • Fantastic Four #602 (Marvel) – Alien invasions,! Galactus towering over Manhattan! This is classic cosmic FF style old-school adventure with a modern scientific twist from Jonathan Hickman and Barry Kitson.
  • Fatale #2 (Image) – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips latest noir crime story with an apparent supernatural twist. These guys have reinvented noir crime comics in recent years, and this latest entry in the genre is just as compelling as all the others.
  • Green Hornet Annual #2 (Dynamite) – I just like the Green Hornet (but not THAT movie version) and will pick up most stories he appears in. Some work, some don’t – but I tend to give them all a try.
  • The Last Phantom #10 (Dynamite) – Again another character that I pick up no matter what. Overall I’m enjoying this take on the character by Scott Beatty – maybe not the way I’d write him, but it’s an interesting perspective on what it means to be “The Ghost Who Walks.”
  • The Lone Ranger #2 (Dynamite) – This pretty much completes the trifecta of “characters I’d love to write one day” currently published by Dynamite. The first issue in this new series of the original masked man by Ande Parks kicked off in impressive style, and I’m looking forward to seeing where he takes this story arc.
  • Rachel Rising #5 (Abstract) – Reading a horror story written and penciled by Terry Moore seems a little at odds as he is such a nice guy – but as with all his other work, he weaves a compelling tale that just makes you want to pick up the next issue.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 (IDW) – I’m really enjoying this reboot of the Turtles franchise – these aren’t our cartoon Turtles, but a re-imagining of the seminal title that kicked off the 1980s independent comics boom. It’s good to have them back.
  • The Twelve #9 (Marvel) – How long is it since issue #8 ?  – November 2008! – During its initial run in 2007/8 this was one of my favorite books and I’ve been waiting for it to resume – will it stand up to the expectations of my memory after a gap of just over two years?
  • Uncanny X-Force #21 (Marvel) – OK I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of Rick Remender’s stories on the whole – but as this arc focuses on the Captain Britain Corps – it becomes a must read.
  • Witchblade #151 (Top Cow / Image) – Over the last seven years writer Ron Marz turned Witchblade from a T&A pin-up book of dubious quality into a well developed character driven dark fantasy tale. With this issue new writer Tim Seeley takes over and I’m interested to see how he handles picking up the baton from another writer after such a transformative run. No easy task.
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The Weekly Haul – 8/3/11 – What comics I picked up this week and why.

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Haven’t done this since February, but it’s about time I got back to doing it. So with out any acclaim or fanfare whatsoever, a look at what made it into the stack of four-color fun I bought home from Austin Books this week.

Elric: The Balance Lost #2 (BOOM!) – Interested to see where Chris Roberson is taking the Michael Moorcock multiverse concepts and characters. He shows a real understanding of them here.

Essential Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t have a complete run of the classic Lee/Ditko Spider-Man issues in my comics library. That oversight has now been rectified thanks to the reissue of this first Essentials volume.

Heroes For Hire #10 (Marvel) – This is the book closest to the classic Marvel action I used to love. Just superheroes teaming up to catch the bad guys – it’s that simple, and its so much fun.

House of Mystery #40 (DC/Vertigo) – Just a couple of months left for this innovative and thought provoking series by my buddy, Matt Sturges. I’ve been there since before issue #1, and I’ll be there to the end.

The Infinite #1 (Image) – I normally wouldn’t have touched this with a cattle prod due to the name on the art credits, Rob Liefeld. But I heard writer Robert Kirkman (He of “The Walking Dead” fame) talking about the book, the time-travel premise, and his ideas for it on a recent podcast, and he sold me enough to pick up the first issue.

Punisher #1 (Marvel) – I really don’t like The Punisher as a character or as a concept, yet I picked the first issue of his new series up. Why? Simply because Greg Rucka is writing it, and none do urban, gritty thrillers any better. Let’s see if one of my favorite writers can change my mind about Frank Castle?

Rachel Rising #1 (Abstract) – A new series from talented Terry Moore.  Do I need say any more?

Red Skull Incarnate #2 (Marvel) – Stunningly designed and evocative covers, a well scripted story by Greg Pak examining the psyche of one of the Marvel Universe’s most perverse bad guys, all interwoven with the rise of Nazi influence in Germany during the 1930s equals one of the most intriguing “superhero” books on the stands at the moment.

Retro-Active (DC Comics) – Lumping these books together as one. I’m really enjoying these nostalgia themed books from DC using classic writers and artists. In fact I’m enjoying them more than the current mainstream DC Universe books. This week picked up 1980s era Flash, Batman, and Wonder Woman books. And the best part of these books – the newsprint pages. They look, feel, and smell like a comic book should. Way better than the modern slick glossy pages.

Superman #714  (DC Comics)- The end of an era as this is the last issue of the current Superman title that started the whole super-hero thing off back in the 1930s/40s. I’d have picked it up anyway as I’m really been enjoying Chris Roberson’s take on the Man of Steel, and he had me picking up the Superman books on a regular basis for the first time in years. It’s a shame DC didn’t carry his vision over to the new DCU relaunch next month.

Zorro Rides Again #1 (Dynamite) – With my penchant for pulp style generational heroes, Zorro has always been among my list of favorites. Over the years some of the comics series have been hits, and some definite misses. But I give each new one a try. Let’s see how this one pans out.