5 Things To Love In Comics This Week!

Hey folks, welcome to the CouncilofCaleb blog where I’m going to tell you about 5 things to love in comics every week. Comic-dom is in a strange place right now, and the internet is FULL of people who only seem to want to focus on the negative. Here, I want to help you break through that noise and celebrate comics, the creators, and the fandom by telling you a few things that I found absolutely amazing in the pages of my favorite books! In return, help spread the love around, and feel free to shout-out your picks to me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb. Now, without further word vomit, here are 5 things to love in comics this week:

  1. The Incredible Hulk #709– Just in time to remind readers IH709about Planet Hulk before we see the Jade Giant smash into battle on the big screen, Greg Pak and Greg Land take us back to Sakaar! Did you think it blew up? Two words, Secret Wars! The universe got thrown back together in all sorts of ways and the Totally Awesome Hulk (Amadeus Cho) has to step into the dystopian void left in the wake of the planets leadership. Lets not beat around the bush, this is straight outta the Mad Max playbook and a Warlord holds all the cards. Cho is going to have to unleash the beast and run the gauntlet, and I’m loving every panel of the tale of two Gregs.
  2. Maestros #1– This. Book. Is. Beautiful. Disclaimer: it’s for a mature audience, but as Maestroslong as you can deal with an uncensored view of the human body, you’ll be fine. Where was I? Oh yeah. THIS BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL!!! Steve Skroce and Dave Stewart put on a master class in graphic storytelling. This is an incredibly crafted first dip into what promises to be an amazing Science-Fantasy adventure, possibly the best of 2017-18. An ancient evil launches a coup in the world of magic leaveing the entirety of the royal family dead…except for the murdered king’s ex-wife and their estranged son who has been banished to our world. Here, he has been using a bit of magic to get by and solve important world problems, like the impotence of fat Texas oil-barons. The story is awesome, but for me, the art in this book is what shoots it through the stratosphere of comics glory.
  3. Wonder Woman/Conan #2– I mean, do I really need to explain this? Did you not read the title? Wonder Woman meets Conan!!!! By Crom, this is the moment I didn’t know that I’ve been waiting for since I first cracked open a  comic. Are they going to kill one another in an arena? Are they going to rain down pain on barbarians, pirates, and slavers? Are they going to get naked and rub their abs together? Who knows? I’ll tell you who knows, Gail friggin’ Simone knows. She is one of the best sword-and-sorcery writers in the industry, and she’s no stranger to writing out the adventures of Wonder Woman either. My only question is, what took so long for the powers that be to realize that this in one of the BEST things imaginable. Aaron Lopresti’s energetic and dynamic lines bring this story to life. Also, sharks. Wonder Woman, Conan, and Sharks. Do you have it yet? What’re you doing?WW-Conan
  4. Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1 SherFrank1Award winning writer/artist Jeff Lemire pulls this new title out his award winning series Black Hammer. Did we mention that Lemire wins awards? He places this story in the capable hands of the talented David Rubin (of Ether fame) who is probably going to win awards, because that’s what happens when you create amazing comics. This book explores the world and exploits of Spiral City’s greatest villains in the search for Sherlock Frankenstein, who has been missing since the Black Hammer and the others faced down the anti-God and…you should just go get that comic. It won awards.
  5. Batman #33– Tom King is fresh off of what will undoubtedly be listed among theBatCat33 top stories in Batman canon, The War of Jokes and Riddles. You might notice that this issue looks a little different than the last, and that’s because this issue is artist Joelle Jones’s debut on the Bat-books, and that is definitely something to love. Jones is an amazing and accomplished artist and you may know her on works such as Dark Horse’s Lady Killer and Marvel’s Mockingbird. She brings King’s scripts to life as they take the Bat and the Cat off into the desert in the first part of their Rules of Engagement storyline. I’m all in. She is bringing something fresh and new to the dark night that fits the tone of the book like a well worn bat-glove.

 

***BONUS***

EOCIn addition to the 5 things to love in DblPgSprdcomics this week, there are a couple of things to love outside of comics and into the fandom. More specifically, a few Podcast anniversaries. I’d like to send a huge congratulations to the 11 O’clock Comics crew on there 500th episode, as well as an equally large fist-bump to the Double Page Spread podcast on their 200th episode. Thanks to both of these amazing series for bringing us hours of conversation, interviews, knowledge, and most importantly-love for the medium that brings us all together. You can find both of these ‘casts on iTunes or your preferred podcast provider.

Now, go forth and love comics.

 

 

 

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5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

I’m going to go in a different direction with this blog from now on. Due to the responsibilities of married life, work, school, and extra-curricular activities I haven’t really had the time to sit down with any one comic and give it the attention a good review deserves. That being said, I started asking myself whether or not I just wanted to shut this blog down, and I answered myself with a resounding “NO!!!” Of course I don’t want to shut CouncilOfCaleb down. I love blogging, I love comics, and I love blogging about comics. Let me repeat that, “I LOVE COMICS.” That’s not really something you see much of on the internet. Comics fandom on the internet has become toxic, people who have no real love for the medium constantly talk about the things they hate and trash the medium, and I’m not about that life. So, if I don’t have the time to deep on any one comic every week as I originally intended, how about I take the time to gloss over 5 things I love in comics each week. If you cant name 5 awesome things that happen between the panels each week, then bow out because you don’t love it anymore and your making it fucking miserable for the rest of us. So with that being said, Here’s 5 things I loved in Comics this week:

  1. LUTHER STRODE: THE COMPLETE SERIES– This one is a little pricey, LutherStrodebut its worth every penny for the 18 collected issues of insane brutality from Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore. It’s a classic coming of age story that just wont quit. You remember those adds in comics from years ago where the puny kid got sand kicked on him at the beach? This is that story, but better and with more mayhem.
  2. “WHO THE HELL IS CONNER?”-Conner Kent has been absent from DC for a hotDC-RR minute, and ever since Rebirth kicked off it looked like he had been retconned out of existence for good…and then James Tynion IV said “NOPE.” Detective comics #966 hints that Superboy may be coming back around, either that or Red Robin from the future is gonna jank up the time line and everyone will still be asking, “Who the Hell is Conner?”
  3. WONDERMAN’S WONDERFULL BUTT– Just kidding, his butt doesn’t have anythingWMandBeast to do with what happens in Uncanny Avengers #28 by Jim Jub and Sean Izaakse. Simon Williams is back however, and finally gets some panel time as he and beast throw a few back and deal with a timely and convenient super-villain-get-away. Oh, and Johnny Storm is a multi-billionaire now, so there’s that.weapon X 9
  4. WEAPON H– Seriously, if a Hulk-Wolverine hybrid going up against a team with Warpath and Domino on it doesn’t make you happy, then we can’t be friends. Especially when Greg Pak is writing it. Its good and its full of crazy dramatic fight scenes and really interesting Easter eggs from the history of all these characters.  Family Trade
  5. CATS ARE NOW KNOWN AS “TOMS.”– We started with Justin Jordan, so lets end with Justin Jordan. His new series, The Family Trade came out this week from Image comics, and he’s teaming up with Nikki Ryan and Morgan Beem. Think Water World meets Assassins Creed in a world where a mega-rich douchebag runs things. Its dope. You want it. Go get it.

So there ya go. That’s my 5 on Friday, go find your own things to love and tell me about them. Snap a picture of your favorite panel and tag me in it on Instagram, @councilofcaleb. Help me drown out all the negativity. Tell me 5 things YOU loved in Comics this week.

Family Batters

detective_comics_937_018One of the most well received titles on comic stands right now is DC’s “Detective Comics.” After Rebirth, Detective followed through with Geoff John’s promise of a return to legacy by adopting the titles original numbering, starting with #934, and it’s worth noting that although technically this is the third volume under that heading, the series dates back to 1937, making it one of the longest running titles of all time. Critics and bloggers have written countless of articles on the literary merits of this twice monthly book since its Rebirth launch this past summer. Bat-fans and virgin readers alike should call upon the powers of google to seek these out if they are still on the fence as to wether or not to pick this up. However, the purpose of this article isn’t meant to sway consumer opinion as much as it is to introduce readers to the cast and crew of this on going Bat-centric team book.

Outside the book:

At present, this pillar of DC comics is being captained by James Tynion IV. James is a protege of fan favorite Scott Synder, and his direction for Detective rolls out of last years Batman & Robin Eternal (B&RE). He’s also headed up titles such as Batman Eternal and Talon. Now, if you haven’t read B&RE, it’s highly suggested you do so before diving into the waters of Detective Comics. Not only is it an entertaining read, a lot of current continuity and character development comes out of those paneled pages. Most local comic shops will have B&RE collected in its trade paperback form, or collectors can dive in to back issue bins to find all 26 issues of the original floppies. Tynion’s scripts have been visually realized by a revolving team of Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez. Long time fans have probably seen Barrows lay down lines on books like The New 52’s Nightwing and Earth 2 World’s End, while Martinez is a lesser known artist who has contributed to books such as B&RE, Marvel’s Ultimate Comics X-Men, and Convergence Blue Beetle, but doesn’t seem to have headlined any ongoing titles. These gentlemen are working hard to pump out a new chapter every two weeks, and if current sales are any indication of quality, they aren’t disappointing.

Inside the book:

As usual, the DC comics universe has no shortage of titles revolving around Bruce Wayne and his stable of vigilantes. Tom King and Scott Snyder are scribing their own Dark Knight stories as well. What Tynion IV has done to give Detective its own unique appeal is create a story dynamic which doesn’t actually focus on the cowled crusader, but brings together a team of Bruce’s former apprentices, disciples, and their friends. As mentioned, Detective Comics is currently a byproduct of a story that took place in the New 52’s continuity. It’s the comic world’s worst kept secret that a lot of readers strongly disliked the New 52, and simply walked away after that particular reboot. If thats the case, you may recognize some of the characters names from pre-crisis stories, but won’t be familiar with their post Flashpoint identities. Lets solve that. Not a lot has changed with Bruce and Dick, and they are mainstream enough that chances are readers know all that they need to, and despite what Warner Brothers seem to think, we don’t need a dead parent recap every 5 minutes. So, this will focus on some of the lesser known or most changed players.batwoman

  • Kate Kane/Batwoman– This red and black clad night stalker is actually Bruce’s cousin on his mother’s side. Following in her father’s footsteps, Kate enlisted and excelled in the Army. Unfortunately for Kate, these were the days of archaic laws such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and she was court marshaled for being lesbian. This lead to bit of a downward spiral, but a chance encounter with her estranged cousin prompted an attitude change and Kate took the mantle as the crime fighting Batwoman in her own self titled series. Collectors looking for Kate’s first appearance will find it in 52 #7 and as Batwoman in #11.
  • timdrakeTim Drake/Robin– The 3rd iteration of the boy wonder, Tim is a computer genius who essentially black mailed his way to the side of the Dark Knight. Very little has changed in the New 52 for Tim, except for a few details regarding the Penguin and a large sum of money. You’ll have to go way back to find the original Tim Drake’s first appearance in Batman 436. If you were wondering, yes, Jason Todd is still deadish.
  • Basil Karlo/Clayface– Yes, that Clayface. The actor turned villain seeks redemption in hopes to keep his clayfacename clear and relaunch his career as a working professional. He’s a heavy who’s shape shifting abilities are used deftly in this story. There have been several Clayface’s since the character was created by the Bat-fathers themselves, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, in Detective Comics #40.
  • Stephanie Brown/Spoiler– Stephanie has had a long history in the Bat time line, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that she’spoilers the Cluemasters daughter and she hates her dad. Bruce and Kate recruited her to them team after she was so integral to bringing down Mother in B&RE. She also gives Tim Drake kisses. Historically, Stephanie has not only held the mantle of Spoiler, she suited up as Batgirl as well, but seeing as how popular Barbra Gordon is, you should expect to see Spoiler stick around for a while. Go hit up back issue
    bins to find her first appearance in Detective Comics #647.
  • Orphan/Cassandra Cain– This character is the main reason to go back and orphanread the Eternal stories. This version of Cassandra is a highly flawed, highly damaged killing machine with poor social skills and a very limited vocabulary. She is distant from most of the team, however she has a special Bond with Spoiler. On one hand, Orphan is a sentient weapon, on the other she is a liability that has to be kept in check. The original Cassie made her debut in Batman 567, and her heritage still plays a major roll in her character trope.

 

 

Hopefully this introduction to Detective comics has been informative and may have alleviated any confusion about the current state of our heroes. Go check your LCS to look for any of the titles listed, and as always, you can follow my comic adventures on instagram and twitter by following @councilofcaleb.detectivecomics

Welcome to the Council Of Caleb.

Welcome Nerd Nation,

I was recently encouraged to start a blog on comics and comic culture, so here goes. First, a little about myself. I read a lot of comics, in a lot of formats, from a lot of publishers. Even though I’m not in the industry, comics and sequential art are a constant part of day-to-life. From the nostalgia of flipping through “hand me down” superhero books, to frustratingly accurate breakdowns of current social movements, sequential art is a unique window in which to view and study the diverse, human experience that we are all a part of.

This will be a hub of my opinions, and you are welcome to agree or disagree with those at your own discretion. Just bare in mind, that at the end of the day, comics are a way to escape the physical world in which we live. Reading our “funny books” should be entertaining, educational, challenging, and provoking. Or, maybe they should just be relaxing. The truth of the matter is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to appreciate the medium. These are simply thoughts and interpretations.

So, I hope you enjoy. I’d like to give a big shoutout to my home-shop, Kapow! Comics in Sherwood, AR. They have a $1 comic section to die for, so if you’re in the area, stop by. Also, you can look me up on Twitter and Instagram: @councilofcaleb