Sweet Christmas! What a comic book week it’s been for me. Hey kids it’s Anthony here again, plague carrying host of the Comic-Issues.com podcast. This week I found myself picking up 11 books, which is huge for me. I don’t have a job or lifestyle to allow me to buy as many books as I particularly would like, but I do try to keep myself satisfied. Typically my stack of books tops off at about 6-8 a week. This gives me enough that I’m happy, but honestly I’d like to take one of everything.
This week I turned a corner on a lot of story arcs, coming into the home stretch. I got deeper into the Age of X, got one step closer to seeing the Death of Spider-Man, and watched Peter Parker mourn the death of everyone that he’s ever lost. In the end when I had to pick my favorite I decided I just had to go with the one that made me laugh.
- Top Pick: Skull Kickers #6 Creative Team of… everyone? Skull Kickers is a book that I’ve been wanting to jump into since I initially heard about it. Unfortunately I missed the start and my comic shop didn’t have the first issue by the time I remembered that I wanted it so I figured I’d catch up with it in trade and jump in on the next story arc. Well this was it and even though it’s a compilation piece, I really enjoyed the characters and tone of this book. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions and even passed it off to Darran and my roommate who also liked it. In case you don’t know, Skull Kickers is a bit of a tongue and cheek love letter to the fantasy settings of D&D and the like. In it two mercenaries fight their way through monsters and adventures with a buddy cop comedy style. This issue was made up of 4 stories from different artists and writers who all got a laugh out of me. The two unnamed mercenaries told the bar tales of when they fought undead scorned women, a “Chimerihydraskluuaag”, laid waste to an “evil cult”, and took the time to tell their enemies the finer points of choosing your weapon more wisely. Each artist and writer knocked it out of the park with 4 unique styles where nothing felt the same but the fun.The book is a crack up and I can’t wait to see it in story mode. If you’re a fan of casual fantasy role playing or campy horror like Army of Darkness, I’d highly suggest giving this book a read.
- Runner Up: The Amazing Spider-man # 655 Creative team Slott (writer), Martin (pencils), Vicente (colors)This book would of been great even if it wasn’t Spider-man. Slot and Martin take the reader through the grieving of Marla Jameson who just died a heroes death in the last issue. A lot of credit has to be given to Marcos Martin for his first 10 pages where not a single word or caption is seen, but the emotion is nearly tangible. Martin hits all the beats as he portrays how each character death with Marla’s death differently from J.J.’s cold deadpan expression to Max Modell’s seemingly shame and guilt over what had happened. The book then moves into a dream sequence where Peter deals with the loss of many old characters who haunt him now. Another moment in the book is made by Martin when you see a two page Echer-esque spread showing all the characters that Peter has lost since becoming Spider-man.Dan Slott is really knocking his solo run on Amazing out of the park. I’m really happy that I jumped in when I did because I have yet to be disappointed. Even though the pencils change each story arc there has not been a lack of talent and everyone is putting a lot of heart into this book.
Also this week:
Thor #620: In my attempt to get to know Thor a bit better before the movie came out I jumped onto this book when Matt Fraction took over. Honestly it hasn’t thrilled me at all. The writing’s decent and the art by Ferry and Hallingsworth has been good, but not good enough for me. I’ll see what’s coming in the next story arc but if I can’t get into it then I’m getting out all together.
Uncanny X-Men #533: Some books you just can’t give up, for me those books are the core X-Men books. The Quarantine story arc is coming too an end and just like my own cold I can’t drink enough NyQuil to make it go any faster. For me Fraction is spreading things way to thin and all the story lines are suffering for it. Combined that with Greg Land’s photo traced art style I’m left confused and naseus… just like with the NyQuil.
X-Men Legacy #245: The first chapter of The Age of X story line is giving us a larger look at this alternate reality. Personally I also like alternate realities, mostly for the character designs. This book gave us a lot of clues as to what we might expect in what’s to come and a peak into the mind set of the battle hardened dopplegangers of the characters we’re used to.
New Mutants #22: Following exactly where Legacy left off we find Rouge/Reaper our main character as she tries to get answers
from an uncooperative Kitty Pryde. The two big moments in the book involve an out of place Destiny and a comatose Prof. X.
X-Men #8: So the X-Men Blue Team is back in New York looking for lost children with Spider-Man. Why this is an X-Men book and not a Spider-Man book has yet to be explained but with the exception of a few poor decisions I’m still in on this book. Chris Bachalo’s art is both amazing and dizzying depending on how you look at it but at least there’s plenty to look at.
Deadpool #33: Deadpool has left the building! And by building I mean planet. The Merc with the Mouth has taken his show on the road and I’m still enjoying every minute. Daniel Way has got the voice of Deadpool nailed and the art team of Barbieri, Wong, and Garcia have got a look that is perfect.
Ultimate Spider-Man #154: The road to the Death of Spider-Man continues as Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Black Cat face off against Mysterio and a mysterious key with terrible power. It’s yet to be revealed how this is all leading to the ultimate wall crawler’s death but always awesome Bendis along with a squad of pencilers have got me in for the long haul.
Teen Titans #92: So you thought I didn’t buy DC? Well you’re mostly right, but I jumped on to Teen Titans when Damien joined only to see him leave 3 issues later. At least I’m into the book now and I can add one more DC title to my pull list. This story finishes up what Red Robin #20 started, “C” rated villan indirectly starts some shit that the Titans and Red Robin finish, the end. Well what more do I really want I guess?
Whew! What I week, although it put a dent in my wallet I’m still pretty happy with everything that I picked up. I got into Skull Kickers, I laughed at Deadpool, and I had several books with art that stopped me dead in my tracks. If anything sounds good to you then I suggest picking up any of these books the next time you’re in your local shop.
And if you’ve got anything you’d like to recommend or you want to debate my picks then leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you guys have to say.