Monday, April 18, 2005

New Books 4/20/05 (#1 issues)

Prepare yourselves – it’s a BIG new book week this week. As you’ll see from the lists below, there is a lot of new stuff coming out this week. Because of the high volume, I'm doing 2 separate Blog entries, one for the new books and one for the highlights of other stuff coming in.

Batman Jekyll & Hyde #1 (of 6): Two-Face is the subject of this mini-series published by DC and written by Paul Jenkins with art by Jae Lee. This story examines how one man can harbor two souls, each bent on the destruction of the other. I paged through, but did not actually read, my preview copy of this issue. The art looks great. Batman does not seem to make an appearance until well into the issue. There is a lot of Batman stuff coming out this week (see my rant, and/or under the New This Week section). If you want MORE Batman – just can’t get enough – check this one out. If you are a two-face fan, definitely pick up a copy. Jenkins has done some decent work, and Jae Lee has many fans – so that also makes it worth consideration.

Beowulf #1: Published by newcomer Speakeasy Comics, written by Brian Augustyn Flash, Out There) with art by Dub and colors by Pierre-Andre Dery. All over the world there’s a startling outbreak of super-powers among previously normal humans. This bizarre wave of incredible change evokes terror in some, suspicion and cynical calculation in others. Only one man saw it coming, and he’s been waiting for it for fourteen years! Once called Beowulf, now the great warrior lives in Manhattan and goes by the name Wulf. He alone knows that a coming world-threat has triggered the sudden power influx, but even Wulf is in the dark as to what horrific shape the threat will take. In any case, he makes his plans, bides his time, and waits for the trouble to start. The premise sounds good, and so far Speakeasy has put out two very good, but very different comics (Atomika and Grimorie). If you’re looking for something different, something that has a hero that’s not in a cape, check it out.

Billy the Kid’s Old Time Oddities #1 (of 4): Published by Dark Horse, written by Eric Powell (also did cover art), art by Kyle Hotz. Billy the Kid, having faked his own death, is now free to roam America and start a new life, unhindered by his past crimes and criminal record. Free, that is, until someone discovers his true identity. Fineas Spoule and his band of human oddities blackmail the Kid into joining their troupe. Billy agrees to join this troop of sideshow “freaks” with reluctance and a grudge. Spoule, also a treasure hunter of sorts, sets out to Europe with a plan to use Billy to help them steal a priceless artifact from mysterious scientist Dr. Victor Frankensteain. Eric Powell is an award winner, and his style often combines horror with humor. While this comic isn’t for everyone, it looks like it should be good for those mature readers who enjoy horror titles, westerns, and/or Powell’s other books.

Hercules #1 (of 5): Published by Marvel, written by Frank Tieri and art by Mark Texeira. When his most bitter foe throws down the gauntlet, Hercules agrees to the challenge: Twelve labors, each more perilous than the one before it—and each updated for reality-TV consumption. Art looks OK, and plenty of action. The reality TV twist seems a bit odd, but we’ll see what they do with it…

Iron Ghost #1 (of 6): Published by Image comics, written by Chick Dixon (Nightwing, El Cazador, Robin) with art by Sergio Cariello (Sojourn, Azrael). With the Third Reich on the brink of collapse, someone is killing German officers and foot soldiers guilty of crimes that would go unpunished. Inspectors Tannhauser and Volz are assigned to find and capture the mysterious vigilante known as the Iron Ghost. With no clues besides a tattered piece of paper with a single word, the inspectors are forced to look at every possible suspect—including one of their own. This should be a great book for mystery fans. Dixon and Cariello both worked at Crossgen before its Bankruptcy, and they both did excellent work. Again, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t feature a super hero, and if you like mystery stories, check this out. Of course I’ll mention the one down-side – it is published by Image, so it may not continue to come out on time.

OMAC Project #1 (of 6): This book is a DC Countdown spin-off, published by DC, written by Greg Rucka with art by Jesus Saiz. In a world where men can fly and melt metal with their eyes, there’s now an army created specifically as an answer to them: a One Man Army Corps (OMAC). Every hero and villain is under the watchful eye of this super satellite. Batman and an old ally are about to learn the chilling truth behind the OMAC Project. Will they be able to work together to stop it? DC Countdown got rave reviews, and you DC fans, and/or Batman fans will want to check out this comic mini-series. This is one of 4 comic mini-series that spin out of the events of the DC Countdown and last year’s Identity Crisis, and impact the Infinite Crisis story that should come out lat this year or early next. And its sold out at DC, so get it while you can!!!

Seven Soldiers Klarion the Witch Boy #1 (of 4): This is another of the Seven Soldiers books, published By DC and written by Grant Morrison. Each of these Seven Soldiers series can be read independently of the others, but each is a piece of the overall Seven Soldiers story. Klarion and his cat familiar Teekl have been hand-picked as potential recruits to the Submissionary Order, a group made up of brutal lawgivers who maintain order with the help of their familiars. But Klarion’s nature is to rebel against the powers-that-be, which isn’t a good idea in such a tightly controlled society. These Seven Soldiers books have been very good so far – Morrison is an excellent writer. However they tend to be a bit strange – Morrison loves to write about strange/different characters in different/unusual settings. If you are looking for books that are well written and not about your average super hero, then check this out.

Spider-Man Breakout #1 (of 5): This is a mini-series spinning off of New Avengers, published by Marvel, written by Tony Bedard with art by Manuel Garcia. A flood of the most dangerous villains on the planet (or at least the Marvel Universe) pour into the streets of New York City after the big jailbreak. Spider-Man now finds himself caught between two warring cliques of escaped convicts. Sorry, but I have yet to read the New Avengers (you’re shocked-I know, but seriously we sell out too fast-I’ll probably have to read it in trade paperback form), so I can’t say how this ties in at all. But having paged through, but not read it, the art looks very good, and there seems to be PLENTY of action, even a few panels where Spider-Man has been unmasked!

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