5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

The great thing about being a comics fan, is that they never stop coming. Week after week, new books hit the shelves at local comic shops, drop in the mail from shipping retailers, or are available for download on your favorite online retailer like Marvel Unlimited or the Comixology app. There’s never a lull in great books to digest, no off seasons, no shortage of beautiful art, interesting characters, and seat gripping plots. Not too many other fandoms can say that. With so many titles to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to read them all, or to even know where to start. So, each week, this blog points out #5ThingsToLove in comics and comic culture. These aren’t “the best” books, moments, or bits of news. I’m not qualified to make that call. These are simply the things that I found to be the most interesting, my personal favorites, and I want to share them with you, my readers and friends. I’m also going to be talking about some of these things on the new podcast that I’m co-hosting now. The Southern Fried Geekery podcast is available for download on Soundcloud, iTunes, Libsyn, and more. Check us out, leave us a review, and let us know how we’re doing as we discuss comics, film, toys, games, and other area’s of geek culture! Now, check out these 5 things to love in comics this week:

  1. Big News!- Long time Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott is leaving his decade plus position scribing the friendly neighborhood web-slinger and heading over to pen another pillar of the Marvel roster, The Invincible IronMan. Slott’s tenure on the title featured some incredible arcs during his 164 issue run on the main Spidey book such the No One Dies (ASM 655-656)  arc and the Spider-Island run (ASM 666-673). He also wrote the Superior Spider-Man series which caused a LOT of controversy when it debuted, yet ended in much fanfare–another example of why it’s important to trust writers to tell their stories, and maybe don’t attack them over click-bait hype created by online pot-stirrers masquerading as comic journalists that exist solely for click bait. While we don’t yet know who the art team for Slott’s Iron Man will be, I can’t wait to see what he has in store for ol’shellhead.DanSlott
  2. One scoop, or two? Ice Cream Man #1- This week, Image Comics debuted their a new horror comic in the vein of The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Crypt, and Goosebumps. Presented as a series or horrifying one-shots playing off human phobias and digging in to the creepiest part of the human psyche. Issue 1 plays into fears of strangers, loners, and reaaaaaaalllllllyyyyy poisonous spiders. There are dead parents, lycanthropy, and memorable characters that writer W. Maxwell Prince and artist Martin Morazzo expertly use to invoke empathy and sorrow from the reader in a short space. Not being episodic, there is no telling where this talented team is going next, but I am absolutely along for the ride. If that team sounds familiar, readers may know them from their previous title together,  The Electric Sublime. IceCreamMan-01_cvrB.jpg
  3. What’s best in life? An Amazonian war party, of course– Those of you who aren’t reading the Wonder Woman/Conan crossover from DC/Dark Horse are doing yourselves a massive disservice. Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti reach deep into their extensive knowledge of both characters massive universal legacies to pull out an incredible sword-and-sorcery adventure tale. Issue 5 came out this week, and Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta,  sends a quintet of Paradise Island’s most fearsome warriors to find the missing princess. Artemis, along with her sisters Philomela, Io, Persephone, and Atone arrive in the world of Men to find Diana in chains alongside Conan, and are forced into a beautifully drawn battle against the minions of the villainous Crows. The crossover itself has been great, but I would absolutely read an ongoing team book featuring the lesser known albeit equally impressive Amazonians. IMG_7976
  4. Nuke cut someone’s face off in Weapon X- Yep, you read that right. All but the screams happened off panel, but it happened. Why, you ask? I’m glad you did! You see, there’s a mutant genocide happening on a third-world, island nation not unlike the Philippines, and the Weapon X team have jumped in to put a violent end too it. The team finds a militant force of genocidal hatemongers purging villages of mutants while donning a certain memorable flag tattoo on their faces. Turns out, the island’s dictator has imprisoned Nuke and set up a factory to produce his infamous and deadly red, white, and blue pills. After being set free by Sabretooth, Nuke embarks on a muder-fest where insists on taking the flags off of the faces of those he feels have sullied it. The rest of the team, featuring Old Man Logan, Lady Deathstike, Warpath, and Domino, are less than thrilled about the pill-addicted mass murderer being unleashed, and rightly so. Greg Pak, Yildiray Cinar, and Frank D’Armata continue to produce an exciting, fun, violent, and new tale with the characters born from the Weapon X program. IMG_7974
  5. Word Balloons on the cover of Justice League– Long ago in the age of spinnerJUSTL_Cv37_ds racks and drug store comics, word balloons were common place on the covers of comics. Often they would hint towards the books content, name the character’s involved, or foreshadow the plot. As a collector of Bronze, Silver, and Golden age comics, I get giddy when I discover a well preserved book with witty and heroic banter splashed across the cover. While I’m not old enough to have bought many of these books new (90’s kid here), it still kicks in the nostalgic factor. Artist Pete Woods designed this weeks cover of Justice League in such a way that lets readers know that the Leaguers are at odds with one another, and the Blame Game is the focus of Chistopher Priest and Philippe Briones narrative.

Head over to your local comics shop and pick up these and many more exciting titles, and get ready for the next New Comic Book Wednesday when the next batch of beautiful and bombastic books break out. Does your favorite 5 look different than mine? That’s great! Let me know what 5 things you love by connecting with us on Twitter at @CouncilofCaleb or @sfgpodcast, and you can also follow what I’m reading over on Instagram by following me, @council_of_caleb. We also are very lucky to have so many creators make themselves available to us on social media. Those folks get a lot of trolls yelling at them, so help fight some of that noise by reaching out and letting them know how much you appreciate their work. As always…

Go forth and read comics.

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5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

As I’m writing this, it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States, so I think it’s important to start this blog off with a reminder of the difficult and important work that MLK undertook, the impact that his murder had on the Civil Rights movement, and the legacy of love that he has left in his wake. Dr. King is an inspiration to us all, and his message of togetherness and community can be seen in the pages of countless comics over the last 60 years. From the Avengers to Superman, Batman to the X-Men, we can see the teachings of this great American figure on display for us all to learn. So today, put aside your differences and step out of your comfort zone to meet and befriend someone different than yourself, be they of another race, gender, religion, ability set, or sexuality. The comics community is diverse and wonderful, and if you are limiting yourself to a homogenous social group, you truly are missing out. Break down your barriers and spread some positivity.

Speaking of comics, it’s been another great week for content and industry news. There were lots of amazing things that took place in the pages and panels of way to many comics to name. We’ve also had some big industry news come out that have us excited about the future of a particular barbaric pulp figure. This blog isn’t pointing out “the best” things that happened in comics last week, simply things that I found awesome and want to drop some praise on. If you are reading this, and have some different moments you think need some love, shout them out in the comments and lets keep the conversation going. Now, here are #5ThingsToLove in comics this week.

  1. Getting to know Dejah Thoris: As one of the most renowned female figures of all of Edgar Rice Burrough’s literary catalogue, Dejah Thoris has been a key player in the John Carter canon and a fan favorite in the Martian saga’s. But who is she really, and what were her formative years before her adventures with the Warlord of Mars like? These are questions that writer Amy Chu and artist Pasquale Qualano seek to answer in the #0 issue of the self titled book from Dynamite. Readers get to see Dejah as a young Princess learning political dynamics and the ugly side of ruling Helium as she encounters the militant prisoners held in the palace dungeons that she is expected to execute.IMG_7926
  2. Hercules carries the world on his shoulders: Avengers No Surrender debuted this week bringing with it some epic moments from Earth’s mightiest heroes. No Surrender is an in-continuity Avengers event that is going to be fully self contained, that is, there are no tie-ins to buy. The event is going to a weekly surge through the zeitgeist of Marvel’s flagship team by an All-Star team of writers: Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Mark Waid, all of which have been making their mark on the Avengers mythos in The U.S.Avengers, the Uncanny Avengers, and the main title, respectively. The manner in which No Surrender kicks off reminds me a lot of the Kurt Busiek-George Perez run where even the B and C list heroes are called in for a crisis. We start off with the Lightning, formerly the Living Lightning, as he thwarts the plans of a few low level criminals. Then, *something* happens, which takes several of the major players out of the game and unites those left over. Buckle up, this is going to be a wild ride, and its going to be beautifully drawn by Pepe Larraz, who is no stranger to the Avengers rolodex, having drawn books like the Uncanny Avengers alongside Zub and his predecessor on the title, Gerry Duggan. IMG_7879
  3. Conan is in the News: This week it was announced that the publication rights for the Conan franchise are returning to its former holder, Marvel Comics. Now, this is not the best news for Dark Horse Comics, whom have held the rights for several years now. The small publisher has taken a lot of hits over the past year and I certainly feel for them, however, Marvel has a long history of producing some of the Cimmerian’s most well known and adventurous stories. It is even being rumored that Jason Aaron, writer of The Mighty Thor, is gearing up to pen the title. Crom be praised, I can think of very few writers who I would rather be on the title.conanmarvel
  4. Superman and Booster Gold blast through time: Writer and Artist Dan IMG_7873.JPGJurgens continues his buddy cop, space romp through time as Clark and Booster continue to attempt to separate fact from fiction in what unfolded during The Oz Effect storyline. The story is equal parts action, comedy, and heart. Jurgens has a strong grasp over the identity and the nuance’s inherent in not only the two main protagonist, but in the peripheral characters such as Lois and Jon as well, who also are involved in their own adventure to rescue Lane’s father, a U.S. General who has been captured and is set to be executed by enemies of the states while on an unsanctioned black ops mission. As someone who isn’t historically a Superman fan, this book has really sunk its teeth into me and made me fall in love with the individuals and the story being told. 5/5 recommend.
  5. New Podcast on the Block: If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, I’ve been pre-promoting a new podcast that I am a co-host and producer of.  The Southern Fried Geekery Podcast is now up and available for download. We still haven’t been approved by iTunes, but its pending and we should be on most other podcast sights already. Myself, along with my counterparts Craig Lantz and Sean Litten, bring hot takes on geek culture, comics, manga, and more. Give us a listen and feel free to send feed back to southernfriedgeekery@gmail.com. If you like what you hear, rate and review us on whatever source you downloaded it from. 26239199_1759647254065527_3880416680925779185_n

Go check out these comics, read up on the news, and listen to a new podcast. These are all things that I’ve enjoyed immensely and I thing you will as well. Got something that you love that you want featured? Holla at ya boy on Twitter at @councilofcaleb or on Instagram at @Council_of_Caleb. While your on social media, reach out to the creators you enjoy and tell them how much you enjoy what they are doing. Those incredible people get blasted by negativity from online trolls all the time. Give them some warm and fuzzies to build off of. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and as always…

Go forth and love comics.

love comics

5 Things To Love In Comics This Week

What’s the old saying? “Better late than never.” I’m living by that mantra this week, which is why I’m a few days late with this blog post. The first week of the year has been BUSY! That being said, HAPPY NEW YEAR comics fans. 2018 is off to a great start in the comics world. We’ve seen some great end of the year lists, some promising news about what to expect in the new year, and a New Comic Book Wednesday full of amazing comics. With all of the amazing comics content coming out these days, if you can’t find something you like, you are trying real hard not too. For those of you new to this blog, each week I talk about 5 things I love in comics in an attempt to help make folks aware of the great comics being produced, as well as break through some of the rampant negativity easily found on the internet. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it. Here are the first #5ThingsToLoveInComics of 2018.

  1. Gail Simone brings it back to Marvel: This week, Marvel announced that fan favorite Gail Simone is coming back into Marvel for the first time since 2003 to pen the mutant Domino in her first solo ongoing series. Simone, who is known for writing titles such as Wonder Woman, Red Sonja, and Batgirl has big plans for the luck altering mercenary, saying “I love her, and I can’t wait to show her best bad side.” If you want to know what Domino has been up too recently, tune in to Greg Pak and Greg Land’s ongoing series Weapon X where she is partnered with the other “victims” of the weapon X program such as Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Warpath, and Lady Death Strike. DOMINO_CVR_001-600x923
  2. FantomXavior: Charles Soule is doing some crazy things over in Astonishing X-Men with artist Phil Noto. The mighty mutants have been locked in a psychic battle with The Shadow King high above London. See issues 1-6 for the juicy details about how the team entered the Astral Plane to find none other than Professor X locked in a psychic duel for the fate of the world. After defeating The Shadow King and thwarting his plans, the team is forced to deal with an unexpected outcome: Professor X is back, kind of. That is to say, his mind is back in the real world, inhabiting the body of the mercenary mutant known as Fantomex, whose consciousness remains in the Astral Plane willingly. We all know that comic book deaths don’t last forever, but what will happen now that one of the most powerful minds in the Marvel universe is inhabiting one of the most skilled and athletic bodies on earth. Bonus: Archangel is back, and Warren is in the drivers seat, much to the shock of Old Man Logan. IMG_7847
  3. Heavens to Murgatroyd: Last year, writer Mark Russell blew all of our minds with his surprise hit, The Flintstones comic. It looks like he’s about to do it again. Never in my life did I expect to be reading and discussing a Snagglepuss comic with any seriousness, but here we are. Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles is a period piece set in the McCarthy era where in Snaggie is a prominent yet closeted play-write in NYC. As the politically motivated hunt for communists in the artist community heats up, lines are crossed, civil rights are violated, and dignity is sacrificed to the dehumanization of “the other.” Whereas The Flintstones was a political satire about the current social climate, Snagglepuss takes us into the sins of America’s ugly past in a nuanced take on a time which challenged our constitutional understanding, spotlighted minority disparities, and led to a cultural reshaping, even. Admittedly, I’m a mark for this type of story, but I truly expect this title to be on several “best of” short lists by this time next year. It certainly doesn’t hurt that ink-master Mark Morales is applying his skills alongside Mike Feehan to give us a beautiful look at mid-century anthropomorphic animals. IMG_7841
  4. Robin sheds some babyfat: In the DC/Dynamite crossover The Shadow/Batman, artist Giovanni Timpano gives a more mature look to the current holder of the Robin mantle, Damian Wayne. Normally, the young hero is drawn with a small frame and often infantile features, often appearing to be more tween-ager than teenager. In this story, written by Steve Orlando, Timpano draws Damian to be leaner, slightly older yet still incredibly youthful. It’s a subtle difference, but one that has a great impact of how the character is perceived in the panel. I wouldn’t be upset if more artist followed suite when drawing the son of Batman. IMG_7826
  5. Tom King pays homage to one of the greats that came before him: In the long list of names that have penned Batman comics, there are very few names equivalent to Denny O’Neil. This week, current Bat-scribe Tom King used O’Neil’s name as a key plot element in his current story arc. I think that it’s important that we, as fans, remember the great creators of years past, even if it’s in small but important moments in current comics. I applaud Tom King for continuing the tradition of working the names of these masters into the pages of todays comics. IMG_7843.JPG

I hope you enjoyed my 5 things to love in comics this week. There were several awesome moments and it was, as always, hard to narrow down. Do you have a #5ThingsToLoveInComics list? Want to share it with me? Tweet me at @CouncilofCaleb on twitter, or follow me on Instagram at @council_of_caleb. While you’re on social media, reach out to the creators who are making the books you love every week and let them know you appreciate them and all of their hard work. Its a small but powerful gesture, and we could all use a little more positivity in our lives. Come back next week for a new blog post and a new list, and as always…

Go forth and love comics.

love comics

5 Things to Love in Comics: The Week Before Christmas Edition

 

 

Happy Holidays, everyone! As I’m writing this, its a few days before Christmas and it was a great week for comics. If you’re one of the millions of people traveling this week, I’d like to wish you a safe journey and a happy visit, wherever you are going. Don’t forget to pack plenty of comics and trades for the trip! Let me know what you are reading, or what awesome comic-related things you gave or received as gifts this year. You can reach out to me on twitter at @councilofcaleb or follow me on Instagram at @council_of_caleb. I love hearing from readers of my blog as we talk about the comics that we love, and I’m sure that each week you have your own list of things to love in comics that is different than mine. That’s great, I want to see those lists. Lets keep the conversation going and promote the positivity in the comics culture. Life is too short to waste time and energy on wallowing in negativity, however, all to often the internet becomes a dumpster fire full of hateful voices who find enjoyment out of bringing other’s down. I want to help break through some of that noise and help encourage a culture of positive interaction and enjoyment. So with that in mind, have a merry Christmas, and here are 5 things to love in Comics this week:

  1. Wormwood saves Christmas, and IMG_7586.JPGBattle Elves- If I’m ever elected God-King of the Universe (We should all pray that doesn’t happen), one of the first things I’m going to make mandatory is that we all celebrate Ben Templesmith. You may know the writer/artist from his work on HellSpawn or 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow, but it’s his creator owned series, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse that really solidified my love for his work. This week, Templesmith gives us a Christmas Special wherein our favorite corpse-driving Worm is visited by one of Santa’s elves and taken into the Christmas realm which has been conquered and usurped by the capitalists, killing the spirit of the holiday in effort to monetize everything and maximize profits. Wormwood is forced to hijack the body of everyone’s favorite red-clad fat man and call on the Old-Gods to outwit the corporate layers who control the North Pole in a way they don’t see coming. It’s a hilarious and beautiful crafted dark-comedy that satires some very real problems in our materialistic society…and I say that fully aware that I’m writing a blog about comic books.
  2.  Marvel recalls the legacy of the Flooding of New York, not once, but in two different books- This is actually me cheating, because I get to name drop two IMG_7548different extremely good books from this week in one slot because both books reference the same extremely important event in Marvel’s History, Namor’s flooding of New York City. Way back in September of 1941, Bill Everett, Alex Schomburg, Carl Burgos, and a handful of other creators, along with the editorial prowess of Joe Simon, produced The Human Torch #5. In this issue, the original Human Torch, an android named Jim Hammond, went toe-to-toe with Namor, The Prince of Atlantis, a battle which ended in the catastrophic flooding of the entire city. This week, Marvel harnessed the spirit of it’s Legacy line-wide rebranding and went back to it’s roots in two different books: Ed Piskor’s X-Men Grand Design and Marvel Two-in-One: The Thing and The Human Torch.  Piskor’s X-Men Grand Design #1 is a gorgeously crafted retelling of the long and Grand Design.jpgcelebrated history of the X-Men. It starts at the very root of Stan Lee’s mutant manifestation and condenses decades of continuity into one cohesive narrative telling. Both written and drawn by the Eisner winning creator (See: Hip-Hop Family Tree), this first of a two issue series was made with an encyclopedic knowledge of the X-Men, not to mention an obvious love of, and dedication to, the characters and what they mean to both the Marvel Universe and hundreds of thousands of fans who saw, in the X-Men, a metaphor for overcoming the ugliest parts of human bigotry. Namor, being the “first mutant” had to make an appearance in such a title.Marvel Two-in-One,  written by Chip Zdarsky and drawn by Jim Cheung, returnsIMG_7557 something that many fans have felt to be absence in the Marvel Comics Universe; The feeling of family that is inherent in The Fantastic Four. Zdarsky pulls back on the comedic tone for which he is famously known, and takes on an emotive and reverent voice while penning the remnants of the First Family, The Thing and The Human Torch. Receiving a pre-recorded message from Reed Richards (via the Hand of Doom, seriously…go get this book), Ben Grimm and an emotionally and physically unstable Johnny Storm  embark on a mission to “find Reed and Sue,” but mostly to stabilize and comfort the seeming lost Storm sibling. Of course the two can’t get together without taking a walk down memory lane, referencing the great flood.
  3.  The underwear game is strong in Batman #37- I’m getting real tired of talking about how great of a writer Tom King is, the guy just wont quit writing amazing IMG_7575stories. In this weeks finale of “Super Friends,” the Bat and the Cat don civilian clothes go on a normal double-date with Clark and Lois to the fair. Of course, nothing is easy, and it’s actually Super-Hero night at the fair, and there’s no admittance with out a costume. Fortunately, as Lois reminds the group, they never go too far without costumes. Worrying that they might be recognized as the real deal, the boys swap costumes, Lois throws on the Cat-suit, and Selena just wings it and gets by on her feline seductively. While this is taking place, we are given some amazing panels of Bruce and Lois in the changing room that feature some little-black-bat-briefs and spotlight Mrs. Lane’s impeccable taste in not-so-secret bikini G-strings that will have everyone who picks up the issue thirsty AF for more of Clay Mann’s incredible pencils. There is actually no over-sexualization of the scene, instead Mann’s art depicts common and accurate movements of normal behaviors in the changing rooms. That’s where the genius of Mann’s masterful lines come into play. It’s (relatively) easy for an artist to use body references to depict “sexy” figures, but it’s a whole other level of artistry to be able to exude sensuality in the art with-out being overtly sexual, especially in a scene where the only clothing is undies on a couple of folks with banging bodies.
  4. An arm-wrestling match fit for the God’s- In this week’s issue of The Mighty Thor, Jason Aaron asks the age old question that has spiraled the best of fan-friends into heated debates, and probably ruined a marriage or three: Who would IMG_7599win in an arm wrestling match, Jane Foster’s Thor or Hercules’s Herc? I’m not going to spoil it for you, so you’ll have to go pick up the issue to find out, but when you do, you’ll be treated to some Grade A trash talk penned by Aaron and more breath taking art from Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson. Joe Sabino also deserves a shout out for his impeccable lettering throughout the issue. There truly is an all-star cast of talent helping to produce this title. Foster, along side the Odinson, continues to fight the war raging across the Nine Realms and the cancer raging in her body. The outcome of neither battle looks very promising for the Goddess of Thunder as she confronts Odin for his complacency. Meanwhile, Mangog…
  5. The Trinity team-up in…well…Trinity #16- Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman ring in the New Year along Deadshot as they attempt to rescue his daughterTrinity16 from the klutches of Kobra terrorists. The quintet have to find a balance between Deadshot’s might and the Trinity’s right as they race against the clock on a wild goose chase to find a proverbial needle in a haystack. The Kobra enforcers claim to have Lawton’s little girl Zoe strapped to a bomb in the back of one of the many armored trucks they have scattered throughout Gotham. Do they find the girl and disarm the bomb? Does Deadshot kill everyone or can the DC bigs keep their consciences in tact and tamp down his murderous instincts. Go pick up this issue from Rob Williams and V Ken Marion, read it, and then enjoy time with the people you love.

Look for this weeks #5ThingsToLoveInComics and many more in the pages of your favorite funny books. Head down to your favorite Local Comic Shop or log on to your preferred online retailer. Regardless of whether you read digitally or with a floppy book in hand the important part is that you pay for the books you read. Folk’s, piracy is theft, and it’s wrong. It’s one of the few things in life that is actually black and white, and it’s the overall message of many of the books we grew up with: Stealing = Criminal. This week, a fair amount of controversy hit the internet when Marvel canceled a number of titles. There was an overflow of outrage from online voices suggesting a number of nefarious reasons that Marvel was canceling those particular titles, many of which feature minority characters and women. At the end of the day, it boils down to this: Those comics were cancelled because they weren’t selling. There were more retweets of conspiracy theories than there were issues sold. If you like a book, you have to support it. Don’t pirate it, don’t trade wait, go buy it or it will get canceled. Put your money where your tweets are. It’s not incumbent on any publisher to keep a title in print just to keep a group of people warm and fuzzy with the knowledge that it exists in the world. If you want diverse characters, then support diverse books legally. It is, in fact, that simple. If every person who claimed to be outraged on the internet had bought Sina Grace’s Iceman, one of my favorite books this year, then it would continue to be produced. They didn’t. It got canceled. Now it’s to late to get it and many of the other titles back. Voting with your wallet means more than just abstaining from spending money on things you don’t agree with, you have to actually spend money on the products you claim to promote.

If you have a favorite writer, artist, or editor, reach out to them on social media and laude them appropriately. If you have questions, comments, or want to share the things you love in comics with me, I strongly encourage it. We live in an exciting time where we get to connect with both creators and fellow fans with the click of a button, use that privilege wisely and help sustain and spread a positive appreciation for the comics industry and medium. Stay on the look out for the Southern Fried Geekery Podcast launching after the first of the year. Mostly, as we go into this holiday, I want you to enjoy the time you have with friends and family, the ones you were born into and the one’s you have chosen.

As always, go forth and love comics.
love comics

5 Things To Love In Comics This Week

Happy Friday, comics fans. It’s that time of year again, kids are getting out of school, finals are wrapping up for collegiate folks, the lead up to Christmas is in full swing, and my Jewish friends are lighting candles on the menorah. Some people are knee deep in snow, some are wearing Santa hats on the beach, and comics companies are about to roll out the holiday specials. It was a great week in floppy books and comics culture, and there were some HUGE things that happened. Now, the internet can often be a grease trap of negativity, but as fans we can break through that mess and talk about the greatness that is abundant in comics today. So, here are 5 things to love in comics this week:

  1. The Mouse caught the Fox– Lets get the biggest, most obvious, world shifting news out of the way right off the bat. Disney merged 21st Century Fox into its vast and magical kingdom. Now, this is a huge corporate merger with major effects ranging far beyond the realm of comics. Many people have major opinions on whether this is a positive or a negative economical move, but for the purpose of this blog–none of that matters. What matters is this: The media licensing X-Men and the Fantastic Four now have a home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans will finally get to see the Mutants alongside the Avengers, and the First Family can now take their place at the forefront of saving the Universe, and the Illuminati can come together and break the world. I’m personally praying for Namor, but that’s between me and my God. Does this merger have any reach beyond Marvel? Absolutely. Disney now owns the rights to franchises such as The Simpsons, Aliens, Predator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Family Guy, Sons of Anarchy, and more, all of which either have, or have been in, comics. In fact, Aliens and Predators are big sellers for midlevel  publisher Dark Horse Comics, the same company that used to print out the Star Wars comics before Disney, who owns that franchise as well moved the rights to Marvel. There are intriguing moves about to be made in comics, and it will be interesting to see how they shake out. However, “what-if’s” are, by their very nature, speculative. What we know, is that the Marvel characters that have been cinematically separated since the Ninety’s are slowly but surely coming back under the same roof, and to a Production Studio that fans have grown to trust. We may even see a Fantastic Four comic again. disney-fox-mega-deal-acquisition-illustration-1
  2. Archie Comics continues to own horror in Jughead: The Hunger #2– I know it goes with out saying, namely because it’s on this list, but I love this book. I love it so hard. Never, in my wildest dreams did I think that America’s most wholesome comics company would be produce what is arguably one of the best horror/monster comics being produced today. Jughead’s problems as a lycanthrope on the run continue to become more and more complicated. He’s being hunted by people that he has a long history with. Archie and Betty are hot on Jughead’s trail, along with her family of Werewolf Hunters. Regie and Veronica are out for blood. Following TheHunger2the events of the first issue, Juggie is on the run and no where is safe. He’s horrified of himself, those around him, and the very world he has been thrust into. Frank Tieri isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. He’s writing an old school chase script with classic horror tropes that are soaked in the long established characters of the Archie-verse, none of which are easy to do by themselves, but combining them and keeping the train on the tracks takes an incredible amount of talent, of which Tieri has in excess. Pat and Tim Kennedy, along with Joe Eisma, bring the artistic heat in this book. The cartooning is phenomenal. Each panel is filled with just enough detail, not too much, not too little and the colors pull the tone and mood of the work out of the script and into a visual representation that we can all enjoy.
  3. A powerful moment of representation in Detective Comics #970– If you haven’t been following the story that James Tynion IV has been telling in his Detective Comics run, part of it has been an ongoing thread with Boris Karlo, better known as Clayface. In summary, Karlo is seeking redemption for his deadly actions through out the years. Now, he is working with a doctor in attempt to control or eliminate his shapeshifting abilities which we now know to be the cause of his inability to control his humanity. He wants to make is body match his mind, and control the way people see and interact with him. Like with Marvel’s Mystique character, there have always been subtle (and not so subtle) parallels between Karlo and transgender identity, and Tynion spotlights that parallel in a moving dialogue by a trans-character, Dr. Victoria October. Representation matters. Members of minority communities have always been fans of the comics medium, but have not always been able to find themselves between the covers of the books they love. It’s a pleasure to see Tynion bring that voice to a mainstream work. Thank you. Detective 970
  4. Booster Gold is Back– Dan Jurgans brings his creation back into the heart of the DC universe in Action Comics #993. I alluded to this a few weeks ago, but I hate spoilers and I’m sure most of you do to. Superman coopted the Flash’s cosmic treadmill and Dective993launched himself back in time to discover the truth about whether or not the man who recently identified himself as Jor El was being honest about being Clark’s father. Firstly, why do they still let Flash have a cosmic treadmill. I mean seriously, all he ever does is screw up the timeline with it. Secondly, Superman is back on Krypton!!! A pre-explody, broken world Krypton where he see’s his father and General Zod working together. Things get complicated when Booster Gold follows him through the time stream, they fall under attack, and there is no yellow sun. Meanwhile back on Earth (yeah I said it), Lois Lane receives some troubling news about her estranged father, which is overheard by her son, Superboy.
  5.  Kill or Be Killed is coming to the big screen– The hit book by the renowned team KillOrBeKilled_01-1of Ed Brubake, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser is set to be adapted to into a feature film by famed “John Wick” director Chad Stahelski. Comics continue to become the main springboard for Hollywood hits. In essence, they are ready made storyboards for filmmakers to pull from. In this case, Brubaker has penned a brutal narrative of a man forced to be a vigilante under fear of being killed, all the while attempting to keep his identity hidden from the world. Unfortunately, the consequences of what he is forced to do starts to take a toll on his friends and family. As an Arkansan myself, it has been wonderful seeing Elizabeth Breitweiser achieve continued success in creating comics. I’d like to send her my personal congratulations for this monumental achievement.

As we edge closer to the new year, a lot of “Best Of” lists will be coming out, and I’ll be posting my own. It’s always a tough decision trying to pull a favorite out of all the incredible works of art I’ve been privileged to read over the past year by so many wonderful and talented creators. We are fortunate to live in a time where we are connected with these talented individuals. Reach out to them on social media and let them know how much you enjoy their work. I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks 5 Things To Love In Comics, but you may have a list of your own. I’d love to hear it. Reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb and let’s keep the conversation going. Also, my partner and I are very close to working out the kinks and launching the “Southern Fried Geekery” podcast, so stay tuned for that.

Now, go forth and love comics…

5 Things To Love In Comics This Week

Hey all, it’s Fri…wait, no its not. It’s Sunday, which means I’m two days late in getting this Blog out. I try to be prompt and regular with these posts, and I apologize for not getting it to you at my regularly scheduled time. If it makes a difference, my weekend was busy, tiresome, and fun. My husband and I drove 5.5 hours from our home to the incredible Oklahoma City, OK to see Lady Gaga, who might as well be considered a comic book hero in her own right. She bright, powerful, and wears spandex. What more could you want? That, coupled with the fact that I’m in the middle of finals week=super late comics blog. While I was in OKC, I was able to pick up some pretty great comics swag from a few local comics shops in the area. I cant stress the importance of supporting local stores. They are the foundation of comics culture and spaces where fandoms thrive, friendships are cultivated, and the history of comics are preserved. Support them if you’re able, give them your patronage, become part of your local comics community. Social media and google are your friends, and great tools to connect with other comics lovers of all types in your area. If you want to see what I picked up, head over to my Instagram page at @councilofcaleb and check out all the comics related posts, and get a little extra insight to my life and adventures. Now, here are 5 things to love in comics this week!

  • A father’s love in Avengers #674– Those who have read this book might think it’s Avengers674odd that I put it in a “things to love” list, considering that it is not an overly happy book. In fact, its an incredibly emotionally charged issue, but comics don’t have to leave you warm and fuzzy in order for you to love them. Writer Mark Waid and artist Jesus Saiz have showcased their impeccable talents in this book that builds on the Vision family ties created by Tom King, and blends with the famed continuity of the legendary Roy Thomas. When Vision cries, we all cry. Fans following the story know that the Vision’s daughter, Viv, has had a contentious relationship with both her father and the Avengers team at large. She, along with a few other younger heroes left the Avengers and started their own team, but now find themselves reunited with their mentors on Counter-Earth, attempting to thwart the High Evolutionary’s apocalyptic plans. Deep with-in the core of the planet, Viv is faced with a choice–the outcome of which will tear at the android’s soul.
  • Holy Half-Shell Batman! Part 2– James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II put their BatmanTurtles2Roman numerals together to dive back into the second round of a fan favorite crossover. This comic is pure, adventurous comics joy made by two individuals who love the Bats and the TMNT crew. Tynion’s story is weaved with easter eggs for people who have followed the two separate story’s for years. Bruce and Damion face down old enemies deep beneath Gotham, while Leonardo comes to terms with inner turmoil and his own limitations. Worlds collide when Leo mistakenly opens a portal and finds himself face to face with his old friend, The Bat-Man, who is happy to see the nerdy ninja, but extremely concerned that the venom-fueled fiend he was fighting is nowhere to be found. Williams’s art is animated, almost moving across the page. His pages are a perfect mix of styles, blending the cartoonish style of Eastman and Laird with the heavily detailed, anatomical lines of countless DC artists. His color palate ranges from deep blacks and gray wash to vivid, bright electric colors begging readers to study every square inch of the page.
  • Something new on the covers of DC Comics– What sells a comic? What makes adccornerboxes comic reach out of the shelf and grab the customer? How do you pull together a line wide brand? At the end of the day there is no “right” answer to these questions, but one good answer is simply this: the cover. It’s the first thing you see, the first thing that grabs your eye and makes you think you might like the stories stapled in between the covers. Graphic design plays in big part in the marketability of comic brands. There’s a long history of marquees and bullets, and this week, DC adds another to the list with it’s new corner box design. Corner boxes have long been a staple of DC’s main competitor, Marvel, but now the company has added its own new sleek and updated design to its covers.
  • Mad laughs in Rock Candy Mountain Chapter Six– The devil made me do it. Well, Rock candy mtnnot me, but the characters in Carl Stark’s hobo hit from Image comics. If you want to laugh at a book that refuses to take itself too seriously, you need to be picking this book up. It’s equal parts levity and American nostalgia, possessing a cartooning style reminiscent of early Dell comics but with an updated edge and the most hilarious sound effects ever put between panels. Its a cross country, train hopping adventure capable of pulling in a diverse audience of long-term superhero fans to lovers of Sunday comic strips.
  • Making X-Books Great Again– I’m so sorry I titled it that. Deeply, deeply sorry.* Sometimes the things you love cant be contained to one book. There I’m an unabashed fan of the X-Men and right now, there are some great things happening across the line from the art, to new takes on characters, to great stories full of heart. Charles Soule rips Professor X’s soul out of the Shadow Realm and into the mainstream universe in a way that none of us ever saw coming (and that my boy Jason Wood from the 11 O’clock Comics podcast is not gonna be happy with.) Artist extraordinaire Ken Lashley draws one of THE best Kitty Pryde’s to ever be printed in an X-book. If you read this blog, you know I’m a huge fan of the “Ledkilla,” but this isn’t just lip service. He delivers simply beautiful, beautiful pencils time and time again, and in particular, his dedication to my girl Shadow-Cat is unparalleled. Lastly but not leastly, Sina Grace continues to write one of the most heartfelt, modern, important books being published today. He pours love into the characters and circumstances surrounding Bobby Drake and relentlessly builds the character into so much more than it ever was, telling timely and relevant stories important to a large swath of the comics community.

astonishing6XMen Gold17Iceman8

I read a weeks worth of comics on the drive to Oklahoma City, and they were packed with things to love beyond this list. It’s a great time to read comics. Whether you do so digitally or the old fashioned way, it’s up to you. Just remember you are part of a larger, globe spanning community that shares your passion. With that being said, be conscious that there are some areas of internet “fandom” that only serve to rip things apart, harass creators, and spread negativity. This blogs wants to help break through some of those hateful voices by suggesting some books that I love and you might as well. As always, let’s keep the conversation going. I want to hear from you, to know what you are loving in comics. Suggest new books to me. You can always reach out to me on Instagram and Twitter at @councilofcaleb or feel free to leave a comment here. Also, do your favorite writers and artist a favor, and reach out to them on those platforms and let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and talent.

As always, go forth and love comics.

5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

If it’s Friday, then it’s time to talk about some comics! There’s a lot to love in comics, so each Friday this blog singles out 5 things to love in comics for the past week. As December sets in and everyone prepares for the holiday season, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all that the end of the year entails. So, take a moment to slow down for a minute, pick up some funny books, and let yourself sink in to the amazing worlds depicted in the pages and panels of the medium that continues to bring joy to all of us. If you read something you don’t like, toss it to the side and fugedaboutit–don’t focus on the negativity. You don’t need that in your life, and there’s enough of it out here in internet land to last several lifetimes. Break through some of that noise, here are 5 things to love in comics this week:

  1. That trailer for that movie– I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain this one but justInfinity War in case you’re that one person who was lost in the Himalayas for 3 months, just got rescued, and this is the first thing you are reading, I will. Disney/Marvel dropped the official trailer for the upcoming feature film Avengers: Infinity War this week and it was so incredible that Donald Trump was heard whispering “real news.” In all seriousness, this action packed 2 minutes and 25 second video almost broke the internet, and actually did break the record for the most watch trailer in 24 hours, stealing the spot from Stephen King’s IT. There is a ton of stuff packed into this trailer, but the most important thing you need to know is that Korg is back and no one’s mother is named Martha (this is the part where you laugh). Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfuNTqbHE8
  2. Tom King wrote another good book, surprising no one– Anytime there are 5 Wednesday’s in a month, it’s always safe to question what is going to be hitting the Batman Annualshelves. Publishers like to adhere to there monthly printing schedule, so *most* books are held off for a week to stay on their usual track. This month, DC comics decided to utilize the 5th Wednesday slot to pump out a few annuals, and bless them for it, because writer Tom King asked a few friends to come over and play in his sandbox and they turned out a book that is on my shortlist for one of the best single issues of the year. (Editors Note: King’s Batman/Elmer Fudd crossover is also on that list.) King, who is the regular series writer on Batman, joined forces with artists Lee Weeks and Michael Lark on pencils, and Bettie Breitweiser and June Chung laying down the colors. This one-shot masterfully plays in to the ongoing relationship between the Cat and the Bat happing over in the regularly monthly, giving readers a taste of what King has been working on over the past year of Rebirth. The book will pull on your heart strings, both because of its dedicated homage to the spirit of those characters and the acrobatic depiction of one of the worlds greatest hero’s finally getting what he’s been denied over the last 75 years: a life of happiness. Head over to your LCS and pick up Date Nights/Last Rights as soon as possible.
  3. A fan favorite busts back on the scene in Action Action Comics 992Comics– DC didn’t just put out annuals this week, a few regular titles still hit the shelves, one of which was the incredible Action Comics #992. First, I should go ahead and note that anytime I tell you to read a Superman book, it’s something special. I don’t typically enjoy that particular character. Calm down super-fans, I’m not dragging him, he’s just not for me. What has been for me, however, is “The Oz Effect” storyline that has been preceded and is epilouged by this issue. If you need a reminder about the heart built into DC comics and its continuity, grab this issue, because every page is laced with it. Dan Jurgens, Rob Williams, and Will Conrad pull you through this expertly paced book engaging readers with the scope of current events rocking the DC universe, while at the same time reminding readers of the brotherly bond between Clark and Bruce, the unshakable virtue of the Man Of Steel, the unwavering faith of Lois Lane, reach of the Lanterns, and why Barry needs to keep an eye on his toys. Oh yeah, and there’s a whole lot of awesome that make you stand up and clap on the last page.
  4. Moon Knight’s “not always grim and violent…”-…but we love it when he is. Max Bemis and Jacen Burrows roll out the second issue of their Moon Knight series, and MoonKnight2it’s brilliant, beautiful, and brutal. If anyone was worried about whether or not Bemis and Burrows would be able to find success in the wake of Lemire and Smallwood’s much loved run on the title, they can rest at ease. The issue makes the reader wait for connectivity to last months debut of the new villain, the living aspect of the Egyptian sun God Ra, allowing that story to build slowly. Instead, Marc Spector has his hands full with another big-bodied villain known as The Truth who is infecting victims with harsh realities leading them to violence and death. If Spector is the aspect of Khonshu, this guy is the living aspect of Twitter. Issue two is basically an opportunity for Bemis to remind readers of the four separate personas under the hooded cowl, and for Burrows to give us a taste of it is going to look as the narrative cycles through them, relying on their particular traits and skills, and also half naked ironing.
  5. Ed Brisson takes us back to Logan’s roots– For most of OldManLogan31the now 31 issues of Old Man Logan, the story has unsurprisingly focus on matters related to the continuity of Mark Millar’s original series from which this version of Logan is born from. In issue 31, however, writer Ed Brisson backs away from inbred Hulk gangs and wastelands, and dives deep into what longtime fans might consider the Wolverine character’s real, or at least canonized, history. For most of the character’s history, Logan has been synonymous with Japan, Hand ninja’s, and women eager to stab in the back…and also the front…and side to side. Basically Wolvie is well known to inspire beautifully drawn women to want to kill him. That’s where Brisson, along with penciller Mike Deodato, seek to take us, and it works. It works well. We’ve got Mafioso street gangs kung-fuing it up, corporate espionage, a Hand assault of a high rise building, and last but not least–the Silver Samurai gleaming in the moonlight. It doesn’t get more Wolverine than that.

That’s it folks, short and simple, 5 things I loved in comics this week. It’s not hard to find great things in funny books these days, and I’m sure that your list probably looks different than mine. I want to hear about it! You can comment on this link or reach me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb. Let’s keep the conversation going, and if your are on those platforms be sure to reach out to creators that you enjoy and let them know how much you appreciate them! Also, keep your ears open for the Southern Fried Geekery Podcast, coming soon.

Now go forth, and love comics…

5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

Happy Friday, comics fans! If you are like me, and live in the U.S., you’ve most likely spent the last few days celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in some manner or another. I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday, and even if you don’t celebrate that particular holiday, I hope you are safe and enjoyed the day as well. Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to focus on and reflect on the things we are most thankful for, and for many of us, comics are high on that list, somewhere around world peace and cute animal youtube videos. As comics fans, we are fortunate to have some great books being produced by some incredibly talented creators who, week after week, deliver the goods for the medium we love. If you’ve never read this blog before, welcome. This blog sets out to highlight and appreciate moments in comics and comic culture that should be celebrated. The internet can be a pretty crappy place full of negativity hiding behind anonymity. This blog is meant to break through some of that noise with positive conversation, and hopefully it suggestions will lead you to something new that you will enjoy as much as I do. So crack your knuckles and lets get to work, here’s 5 things I loved in comics this week.

  1. Continuities collide in DOOMSDAY CLOCK no.1– doomsdayclock
    The walls have crumbled, the veil has dropped, and the levees are broken. In what might be the most anticipated event in comics since the launch of Rebirth, the world of The Watchman erupts into the mainstream DC comics universe. Famed writer Geoff Johns and Gary Frank team to bring readers this momentous occasion where they bring new life and purpose to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons iconic characters, and introduce a few new faces to the world based on classic Charlton tropes. Johns and Frank treat the original content with the reverence it deserves, and lean heavily on its style for inspiration. Johns attempts to mimic Moore’s narrative voice throughout the story, although no one but Moore can be Moore, Johns is probably the only writer alive that can get this close. Frank’s art is nothing short of brilliant. Every line is exactly what it needs to be, he utilizes the 9-panel grid masterfully, and each panel is packed with details that are key to the plot as well as “Easter eggs” that pay homage to the original story. The first issue does exactly what a first issue should; it fills you with emotions and leaves you asking questions that can only be answered in forthcoming issues. We are absolutely left with more questions than answers, but DC delivered what I have only dreamed of since I first read the Watchmen: DC characters and Watchmen favorites actively taking part in the same issue. You need this in your life.
  2.  Big Heroes on the Small Screen
    Netflix PunisherOne of the great things about being a fan of comics in the present day is that we are never at a loss for comics media to consume. The geeks have inherited the earth, and for the most part, it’s glorious. As a kid, I never dreamed that the Super-heroes I loved reading would jump off the panel and into mainstream, regularly scheduled programing. This week, two streaming services dropped two new series. Netflix and Hulu dropped Marvel goodness on us, bringing The Punisher and The Runaways into our living rooms, respectively. The Punisher is a hard look at a broken man dealing with all-too-real issues affecting veterans as they Runawaysassimilate back into civilian lives. The Runaways brings to life Brian K. Vaughn’s hit series about super-powered youth attempting to escape and be better people than their villainous parents. These are just the newest of a long list of live action, episodic greatness that are at our viewing disposal any time viewers like. What a time to be alive.
  3. Move over Koresh, Rednecks are in Waco– Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, andRedneck7 Dee Cunniffe storm into their second arc of their gun-totin’, shit-talkin’, white-trash-beautiful vampire epic. In true Texas fashion, the issue opens up with someone shooting the shit out of a big’ole rattlesnake. It doesn’t get  much more “lonestar” than that. Jumping in time 8 months after being ran out of Sulphur Springs (see vol.1), the family is hiding out in Waco, TX where Bartlett is attempting to teach the newest member of the blood-sucking species how to act right. Unfortunatly, these lessons are too little, too late, and the consequences are beyond grave. (See what I did there?)
  4.  Frank Castle Breaks All The Rules– Well, not PunisherPlatoon3all of them, but definitely a major one. Garth Ennis, Goran Parlov, and Jordie Bellaire continue to march onward to glory in the instant classic Punisher: The Platoon, issue 3. If you aren’t reading this title (you should be), this is a “how the sausage is made” look at the Punisher persona in the vein of Ennis’s other seminal Punisher mini-series Punisher: Born. This is Frank Castle deep in the shitstorm that was Vietnam, before he ever donned the skull. In this issue, Ennis begins to shape Castle’s “by any means necessary” attitude as he does whatever is in his power to ensure that his men have the tools they need to survive the war, even if that means subverting the law and stealing from the government that put him in uniform. Ennis reaches deep into his vast well of military history knowledge to continue to build the profile of the man who will inevitably become the deadliest man in Marvel (up yours, Deadpool.) I stand by my previous advice: When Garth Ennis writes the Punisher, You read it. No questions asked.
  5. Friends in the News!- There were lots of things in comics news this week, but there’s one thing in particular that gets to be on the Love list. Marvel announced this week that the brilliant bearded horror writer, and friend-of-the-blog, Justin JordanJustin Jordan is bringing his storytelling talents to the Monsters Unleashed title starting in December. You may know Justin from his acclaimed Luther Strode series (now in Hardcover Omnibus) and his brutal viral adventure, The Spread. Or, you may just know him because his fluffy feline overlord, Tom Waits, rules a broad segment of the Internet. Either way, be sure to pick up a copy when he unleashes his Kaiju-filled craziness on the Marvel Universe, and until then, pick up his ongoing series The Family Trade from Image, on shelves now.

Head over to your Local Comic Shop, turn on the TV, and keep a look out for these and lots of other things to love in comics. There is so much great stuff coming out, that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with. This is just my list, it doesn’t have to be yours. It shouldn’t be yours! As always, lets keep the conversation going. I want to know what you loved in comics this week. You can reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb and let me know what you think. Also, don’t just reach out to me. Your favorite creators may very well be a tweet away and would love to hear some encouragement from their fans. Don’t have anything nice to say? Keep that to yourself, don’t be “that guy.” Let’s cultivate a community of positivity.

On a personal note, if you’re a person who uses the Internet, a.k.a. everyone, reach out to your representative and ask them to protect Net Neutrality. The web isn’t a novelty in the way it was in it’s inception. For most people it’s a necessary tool, a utility, and should be treated as such.

Now, go forth and love comics…

5 Things to Love in Comics This Week!

Another week has come and gone in the comics world, and it has been packed full of some truly amazing moments. Or maybe the were astonishing moments, or incredible, or giant-sized, or…you get the picture. This blog is dedicated to pointing out some of the best happenings in the comics industry, be they in the pages of the books we love or in the culture surrounding the genre. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in what fans would like to see done differently that sometimes we forget to give credit to the things we love. Art, writing, journalism–the past 7 days have been filled with comics greatness, so lets look at this weeks 5 things to love in comics:

  1. Goblins and Shotguns- If you haven’t been reading The Realm from Seth M. PeckTheRealm_03-1 and Jeremy Haun, you’re missing out on what has turned out to be one of the best series to hit shelves in 2017. This story is equal parts dystopian survival and high fantasy, combining the best elements of those respective genres into on incredibly entertaining adventure. A mercenary is escorting a party of warriors and scientists through a series of modern urban landscapes while avoiding flesh-hungry goblins, trust issues and a somewhat organized force of war-lords and sorcerers. On the peripheral of the main characters are tangential plot lines involving a comic-reading youth and a vengeful loner with a shotgun that will keep readers guessing. Issue 3 came out this week, so it wont be hard to catch up. Head over to your Local Comic Shop this weekend and grab your copy off the shelf.
  2. Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting in The Wild Storm- Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt continued to bring new life to a ’90’s era favorite with issue 9 of The Wild Storm, an imprint of DC. While Ellis’ plot dense story is worth pages of critical acclimation in its own right, it was Davis-Hunt’s art that elevated this issue to the top of the tier this week. Breaking from the tension between IO and StormWatch, Ellis and Davis-Hunt take readers into a flashback sequence featuring some of the title’s most violent, action oriented panels to date. Ellis takes a back seat to Davis-Hunt in these panels, trusting the art to carry out the task of narration without words. It does so. I does so, beautifully. Panel after panel of silent action indicative of a battle between samurai and ninja in feudal Japan bring readers into a fast paced series of events which left me both thrilled and full of questions. WildStorm9
  3. This week’s biggest headline- Today (Friday), Marvel shook things up in its editorial staff by announcing that renowned editor C.B. Cebulski would now be taking the helm as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel comics, replacing Axel Alonso. This, ofCBCebulski course, happened exactly one week after long-time Marvel scribe Brian Bendis announced that he had signed a multi-year exclusivity agreement with DC comics. Things are happening inside the House of Ideas, and ultimately I believe this is for the best. Fresh perspectives and voices are being brought into Marvel, and filling the ranks with hungry young professionals eager to make a name for themselves is healthy for both the publisher and the industry. Cebulski has a reputation as a talent hound, a highly developed marketing sense, and a generally all around likable fellow. I look forward to seeing what he brings to the line wide tone of one of my favorite publishers.
  4. The Batman Who Laughs #1- DC rocks on through their Dark Nights-Metal event, finally releasing the backstory to the Dark Multiverse Batman fans have been waiting for: The Batman Who Laughs. This character differs from the other twisted Batmen in that it doesn’t invoke the mantle of a member of the Justice League, but rather Batman’s greatest foe, Kite Man…no just kidding, its the Joker. There is a universe of continuity packed into this one-shot story that is seat gripping and brutal. There are very few people who can write Bat stories like Mr. James Tynion IV, he know the mythos like it’s out of a textbook, when you see a book with Riley Rossmo on the art, you buy it, no questions asked. He’s that good. batman-who-laughs-header
  5. In other news- Marvel continued to soak up the comics media spotlight this week xred1with two other exciting announcements. The first was the release of the creative team and the line-up of X-Men Red, set to debut early 2018. The title will follow Phoenix: Resurrection, which will see the return of the original Jean Grey, and will be written by Tom Taylor (Injustice, All-New Wolverine) and drawn by Mahmud Asrar (Super-Girl, Avengers). The book’s bullpen is comprised of the well known, the recent, and the brand new (code for “First Appearance,” collectors.) I’m more than ready to see what a team made up of Jean Grey, Namor, Gentle, Nightcrawler, Gabby, Laura Kinney, and a new mutant named Trinary have to offer. The multimanFrancosecond bit of news is short but SWEET! Fox announce that an upcoming film project would feature actor James Franko as Multiple Man. They haven’t released all the details, we have no idea if this is a solo project or an X-Factor movie, but I’m all in. Sold. Give me my ticket.

So that wraps up my selection of this weeks Top 5 Things to Love in Comics. As always, I’m interested in extending this conversation. What did you love in comics this week? You can reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb and give me your picks. Also, remember that we live in an age where the people who create the comics we are crazy about are more reachable than ever through social media. They get bombarded by trolls quite a bit, so help push back against that by reaching out to them and letting them know how much you are enjoying their work. There’s sure to be lots of stuff happening over the next 7 days, so join me back here in a week for more of that sweet, sweet, comics goodness.

Now go forth and love comics.

 

5 Things to Love in Comics This Week

What a crazy week it’s been! No matter where you are or what your into, there’s a good chance that the world we live in is continuously hectic and off-the-walls bonkers. If your reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you, like myself, turn to comics to kick back and take a few moments for yourself. If you don’t, there’s no better time than now to jump into this amazing medium. Now, a certain reality of living in the internet age is that there is a heaping helping of negativity out there, and while there seems to be a TON of voices out there that just want to focus on the bad, this blog wants to bust through that and talk about the good in comics. Don’t be disillusioned, there is way more good in comics these days than not. With that being said, here are 5 things to love in comics this week:

  1. Comic News-  Its not every day (unless there is a film involved) that comics news breaks through into mainstream news, but this week it happened. A comics creator was trending on Twitter. Brian Michael Bendis, the 17 year veteran of Marvel who has created amazing characters like Jessica Jones and Miles Morales, who wrote iconic series like Avengers, New Avengers, Daredevil, abendis1nd Moon Knight, and who has been one of the Publishers main personalities…signed an exclusive deal with DC Comics. The nerd world erupted. Right now, there hasn’t been a release of what titles he will be penning, but there is a good chance he will be on a former flagship property that DC wants to revitalize. There are a number of DC characters that I would love to see him write, and even more where he would make an excellent fit. JSA, Legion of Superheroes, Justice League, Shazam, and the list goes on and on. I’d personally love to see him take on The Question with Renee Montoya. You know, because I’m a nerd.
  2. The Lettering in Coyotes #1- My favorite new comic this week coCoyotesmes out of Image, and its not one that’s making a lot of noise in the comics community, which is unfortunate. Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky launched their new on-going title this week and it is an incredibly pulse-pounding first issue. Coyotes is a story that crosses cultures–it’s pages are filled with a fusion of Mexican and Japanese iconography in a story that is equal parts fantasy thriller and political allegory, laced together with a feminist thread. This world is dangerous, unforgiving, and super-natural, and every panel in this comic pops with those themes. Anytime those elements are mixed in with a strong female character with a nuanced story, I’m sold. However, the story and the art are not my truly favorite parts of this book. Interestingly enough, its the lettering and the word balloons. Each important character has their own, specific thing that makes it stand out. Some letters are in color, some balloons are framed, some fonts are different. This small detail gives this book it’s own spirit, it’s own unique element, and I love it.
  3. Moon Knight is back with a killer creative team- One of this week’s best Marvel Legacy launches jumps readers back in to the world of Marc Spector, a mentally ill MoonKnightfire.pngmillionaire vigilante who fights crime while wearing the aspect of Khonshu, the Egyptian moon deity. Did I mention he was crazy? Beyond being about a great character, Moon Knight #188 has two other great things going for it, the first of which is the first appearance of new character, a pyromaniac murderer representative of a legendary character out of Egyptian lore. The second thing that makes this book great is the phenomenal creative team of writer Max Bemis and artist Jacen Burrows. Bemis has dabbled in the Marvel wheelhouse before with books like The Worst X-Man Ever (that’s literally the title) and Foolkiller. He’s also got a pretty good singing voice. However, I believe this is Burrow’s debut Marvel work, and what a work it is. There are some gorgeous splash pages in this comic that will burn their way into your brain. Buy 2 copies of this issue, one to read over and over, and one to collect.
  4. Detective Comics #968- Detective is one of my favorite Detective968.pngBat-books right now, which is a high compliment considering that the other books are being written by industry titans like Snyder, King, and Bennet. James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez are making great comics. Point blank. These are fun and compelling books that continue to be entertaining issue after issue. This particular issue wraps up Tynion’s “A Lonely Place Of Living” story arc that will serve to be on of the most important to the Tim Drake canon. This story ripples into Red Robin’s past, present, and future, bringing him off the bench and onto the court where he should be. It’s going to have repercussions on the character for years to come, and as we approach the Doomsday Clock event, this book is critical to understanding how the Bat-family approaches this important moment in DC history.
  5. More Comics News- Marvel announced a new upcoming title this week that looks very promising: X-Men Red. This book is going to be coming out of the Phoenix: Resurrection event due out later this year/early 2018, which is going to give us the original Jean Grey back (did you really think she was going to stay dead forever?) Readers should look for this book to also have something to do with the events currently happening in Astonishing X-Men where a certain bald headmaster is making his comeback. For me, the big pull to this title is the creative team. Tom Taylor has been a rock star on titles like DC’s Injustice and Marvel’s All New Wolverine. Mahmud Asrar should be on your list of “Hottest Current Comic Artist.” If he’s not, fix that. Go check out his gorgeous work of Supergirl and All-New, All Different Avengers. You wont regret it. XmenRed.png

So there you go folks! There’s a lot of things to love in comics this week, but that is my top 5. I hope its been helpful, and maybe given you the urge to pick something up that you otherwise might not have. Lets keep this conversation going. Your list of 5 Things to Love in Comics This Week probably looks different than mine, and that’s awesome! I want to know about it. Let me know what you’re loving right now. You can reach me on Twitter and Instagram at @councilofcaleb, and soon you’ll be able to hear me on the upcoming Southern Fried Geekery podcast.

Now go forth and love comics…