And a thousand thunders uttered, welcome to Variant Covers! Your hostel, your refuge from intelligent comic book talk. No sir, here at Variant Covers I pledge to inundate your unsuspecting brainstem with talk of superheroes, superpowers, and super fanboy-boners over things that are exciting me this current week in comic books. Don’t say I didn’t never warn you, ya’lll!
This week is chock full of fucking righteous comic book dalliances awaiting all of my kindred spirits. The sort of week that makes up for every installment of my blathering here which sounds like “Oh golly gee whiz, ain’t nothing droppin’ whine whine whine blah blah.”
Buckle up, I got a chubby for panels and pencils and dialogue boxes this week.
If you spend any amount of time loitering within the halls of Variant Covers, you know that one of my most revered writers is Matt Fraction. I think his ability to manipulate serious political issues within the realms of robot suits and billionaire playboys is amazing. In my more fanboyish moments, I am certain he’s doing something special with Tony Stark during a period in which the character’s popularity is unfathomably enormous. Pick up Invincible Iron Man, and you’re getting all the big budget theatrics of the movies interfacing with all the sort of culturally aware political commentary that you wouldn’t expect.
This week, Fraction’s getting his original work, Casanova, reprinted through Marvel’s Icon line. If you didn’t check out Casanova, you’re not alone. Penned back in 2006, it was where Fraction cut his teeth, and was to my understanding, not widely printed. I also understand nothing, so I could be completely incorrect. Whatever! Fraction takes you on a journey with intergalactic superspy Casanova Quinn, and it is absolutely insane. I’ve gotten to read the first couple of issues, and it really rocks out like nothing in Fraction’s Marvel catalog.
The series is getting reprinted in two four-issue arcs and in full color for the first time, and then Fraction is going to tackle the third volume of the series. I’m looking forward to it; it’ll be intriguing to see embryonic Fraction, fumbling through his first moments in comic book crafting. It’s a bit gushy, but the guy is extremely well-spoken, and beyond talented, and this is going to dominate my reading tomorrow.
Batman: Odyssey #1
This week, we be getting the first issue of Neal Adam’s extravaganza. Adams has been instrumental in crafting the god damn Batman that we’ve come to know and love. His work in the 1970′s, were the “eggs [he] laid all those years ago” that have resulted in what “Batman has finally become”. Adams has returned to the Flying Rodent to examine the “now what” of Batman in this day and age. This meditation is arriving in the form of a six-issue extravaganza, and the man himself will be writing and drawing the entire storyline, as well as inking the first two issues.
Whether or not you’ve read Adam’s work on Batman, you’ve felt the repercussions if you’ve dallied in the world of Bruce Wayne. For someone who helped sculpt the character to return and give us a new storyline is pretty stellar. Frank Miller tried to do that with All-Star Batman and Robin, but I have a better chance of actually graduating from my Master’s Degree and entering the real world before it actually wraps up. So I’m going to have to cling Adams to deliver me some interesting new spins by someone who delivered a seminal work.
Also in the DC Universe:
Yeah man, I’m sorry, this day is totally Bat-themed. But it’s my joint, I can spit what I want! Artist Frazier Irving joins Batman and Robin this week with issue #13, and I’m doing cartwheels in my Bat-pajamas. The dude is simply gorgeous. Not only that, but the issue promises the return of the Joker, as well as Thomas Wayne. Wait, wut? I don’t know. I jumped off the B&R train during the whole Lazarus Pit of Boredom and teasing the return of Bruce Wayne through muckpits and other bullshit. But with Irving coming aboard, I’m returning. Also, you can pick up Brightest Day #5, if you’re still following the bi-weekly release. Is it any good, I’d be interested in hearing what people think.
Shadowland drops this week! And oh boy, am I feeling it! My veins, soaked in caffeine much like Murdock’s dumb ass was soaked in gamma waste, is throbbing at the notion that Andy Diggle’s summer event is kicking off. I’ve been anticipating this for a while, blathering incessantly to anyone who will listen to me. Which, is of course, generally my crumby-keyboard and household pets.
The premise is pretty righteous. Daredevil, as head of the Hand, has been amassing an army of pissed-off ninjas while being manipulated from within. Bad idea #1: Taking over the hand. And he’s been constructing an enormous prison underneath New York City, dubbed Shadowland. Bad Idea #2: Constructing an enormous prison underneath New York City. And for whatever events that have not yet happened, a riotous slobberknocker is going to break out within the streets of New York City, with something hyperbolic like Murdock’s very soul at stake.
Are you sold yet?
You should be.
Diggle’s run on Daredevil has followed the Man Without Fear as he has descended into his own darkness at the helm of the Hand. If I may lend Murdock a bout of psychoanalysis, the dude’s one fatal flaw is his inability to allow for external help. As his personal life has shattered and crumbled continuously throughout the years, he has only withdrawn further into the mantle, pledging to do whatever it takes to clean up the streets, unconscious of his own spiral. This storyline seems to be when he finally slithers down the drain. Buckle up and revel in his madness.
Also Going Down In The Marvel Hood:
I don’t read Spider-Man, but more than one person has recommended the current storyline to me. With finances stretched and issues separating the beginning of the arc and myself, it’s too much of a plunge for me to take. However, Amazing Spider-Man #636 comes out this week, and it continues the Grim Hunt storyline. I’m getting back on the Spider-Train with One Moment In Time, but those looking for some Emo Parker shenanigans can do well to check out this storyline. Also, there’s the usual nineteen Avengers titles dropping. Read for this, no lie: Avengers Children’s Crusade, Avengers Prime, Avengers: The Origin, and regular ole adjectiveless Avengers. Wowzers. That’s a lot of mediocrity right there. What may be most interesting is Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1, as Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee get epic with the Viking Thunderkind (pun!) as he “battles robots the size of cities.”
Sounds about awesome.