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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Word Balloons on the cover of Justice League– Long ago in the age of spinner 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.