What to buy, what not to buy from the past month.
WHAT TO BUY: THE TOP 5 TRADES OF JUNE 2011
These get a 100 percent solid recommendation from this city corner of the interwebs:
Honorable mention: X-Men: Second Coming. This gets a mention because it’s a lot of fun. The tale of Hope coming to the present from the future, to save all mutants. It sounds stupid, I know, but this is where the X-Men work best: In a straight-shot storyline where there’s lots of doom and gloom and lasers and all kinds of battling. It’s basically a long-form brawl, and if you’ve not kept up with the mutant line, you can easily jump in here.
5. Baltimore Volume 1: The Plague Ships. Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden introduced Lord Henry Baltimore back in 2007, but now he’s got his own series. One of the best-selling indie books of the year (#1 sold out, even though it was also offered for free comic book day). After Lord Baltimore unwittingly releases a horde of vampires, he goes searching to destroy their leader. Gothic steampunk horror.
4. Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher. A miniseries that could have gone horribly wrong goes wonderfully right. Hilarious, action-packed, and featuring some of the best Deadpool stuff I’ve ever read. Written by Jonathan Mayberry and illustrated by Goran “PunisherMAX” Parlov. Chris borrowed my copy of the hardcover, and still hasn’t read it. Shame on him. Go on, everyone shame him. Oh, and also on sale this week (6/29) is the sequel: Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine. Mmmmm. Good stuff.
3. Uncanny X-Force: Deathlok Nation (hardcover). You can wait for the paperback, if you like, but don’t sleep on this, the best X-book around. When Jason Aaron tried to bring Deathlok back in the pages of Wolverine, it sucked. This doesn’t. Plus, it builds on threads extending to the first appearances of Fantomex (in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, which is mentioned all over this post!) Featuring Deathlok versions of Captain America, Spider-Man, Elektra, Cyclops, Venom . . . A whole buncha cool stuff. Plus, they throw in a reprint of Deathlok’s first appearance in Astonishing Tales #25 (1974).
2. Sweet Tooth Vol. 3: Animal Armies. If you aren’t reading this book, you’re missing one of the best Vertigo books of all time. Truly. It’s spooky, odd, quirky, and touching. And Chris, if you still haven’t read the trades I loaned you: Shame on you!
1. Batwoman: Elegy. Possibly the most visually arresting comic book produced by one of the big two in the past 10 years. The story can be a little confusing, but it’s well worth paying attention to. I had to post some of the interior art here–just to let you see the kind of innovative design you’re missing.
THE TOP 5 REISSUES OF JUNE 2011
In addition to some trades of recently created comic books, check out these blasts from the past:
5. The Boys Definitive Edition Vol. 3. Yes, these issues have already appeared in trade paperbacks, and yes $75 is a lot of money. But this is oversized and hardbound. Darick Robertson’s art is worth it, don’t you think?
4. The Impossible Man. Everyone’s favorite imp, in every appearance drawn by Jack Kirby. It includes his first appearance in Fantastic 4 #11 (written by Stan the Man), his best appearance in FF #176, my favorite issue of Spider Woman (#45, from 1978), and the best X-Men Annual ever (#7). Among other things. Yes, the late 1970s through the mid 1980s were a fantastic time to be reading comics.
3. New X-Men by Grant Morrison Book 2. The only flaw in this is that it’s “digest sized”—slightly smaller than the average comic book. But I’ve always said that Morrison’s New X-Men run was about the words, not the pictures. (Although the issues drawn by Frank Quietly are pretty good, they’re not his best—and I’m not a big Ethan Van Sciver fan.)
2. Daredevil: Yellow. From the days when the name Jeph Loeb meant something, with art by one of the best: Tim Sale.
1. Creepy Comics Vol. 1. Reprinting the first four issues of Dark Horse’s reboot of the pre-code horror title, and featuring the work of folks like Doug Moench, Bernie Wrightson, Angelo Torres, Mike Woods, and Jason Shawn Alexander, among many others. I saw this at my local shop (Victory Comics in Falls Church—holla!) and almost bought it immediately. But then I remembered I needed to have money for dinner that night. Maybe next time.
ONE I WANNA BUY, BUT DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT:
Osborn: Evil Incarcerated. The story of Norman’s life in prison. I don’t know much about it, but I love the writer (Kelly Sue DeConnick, who wrote the under-read and under-rated Sif miniseries) and the artist (Emma Rios, who is freaking amazing).
THREE NOT TO BUY
Spider-Man: The Original Clone Saga. The only Spidey story so bad they had to re-make it. Seriously, this is terrible. Don’t even be curious.
Daredevil: Reborn. Because Shadowland wasn’t enough to convince Marvel to kick Andy Diggle off of this title.
Uncanny X-Men: Quarantine. Okay, this actually isn’t a horrible book, but what makes me crazy is that Marvel thinks I have amnesia. Am I supposed to completely ignore the fact that Grant Morrison did a virtually identical storyline in New X-Men? Wait. How could I forget that, when Marvel is reprinting New X-Men this very month (see above)!!! And most importantly, how could Cyclops forget it?!?