It’s that mid-summer moment where the comic books are twisting in my greasy palms, affronted by humidity and my general toxicity. Comic books! One of the great stalwarts of summers, the MEGA-EVENTS coming out weekly. Say what you will about the general quality of the EXPLODEY TIME STORY ARCS that permeate the shelves during the summer, I’ve come to need them just as a means of passing time. Like marking days off a calendar, they’re there. And they’re omnipresent. Keeping me company.
Like the drunk Uncle at the Christmas parties who you thinks annoys you, but then when he dies in a horror shit-show of cirrhosis and bloody vomiting, you miss him under the mistletoe. Trying to kiss your Mom, his first cousin.
I don’t know what I’m writing about anymore. This is Variant Covers, your weekly take on the tasty licks hitting comic books shelves.
Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #4.
I’ve come to enjoy Butcher Baker for the back pages ramblings of Joe Casey just as much as I have for the story itself. Maybe even more so. The comic reads like a commentary on the spoiled comics of yore waking up after the sad dismissal of the Wunder Times of the 1990s and asking itself “What now?” Baker, the halcyon champion of the Golden Ages died and went into filthy Alan Moore depravity for a good portion of time. Now he’s trying to make sense of the world, and though I don’t know for certain he seems to be having some sort of spiritual awakening.
Casey supplements the story with the aforementioned essays at the back of every comic, and his ramblings are from his Fingers to my Tits. His brutal assessment of the current comic book industry is slathered with the salve of his caring. Casey gives a shit! about the comic book world, and his anger stems only from this love.
Maybe I’m fucking insane (I am), but I’d recommend this title just for those invective penned alone. The comic that comes with it is bat-shit crazy, involving fucking, cocks everywhere, hyper-kinetic artwork, and a generally depraved time. I left the third issue on my girlfriend’s coffee table and a couple of days later she accosted me.
“Why is there a lightning girl with a skull covering her pussy?”
I love me some Jonathan Hickman. Those of you unfortunate enough to frequent my blatherings and boastings and references to my genitals know this. The Hick-Man is finally getting around to his ‘War of the Four Cities’ storyline. A story he’s been stoking for a good year and some change that I can’t calculate, and I’m ready for feces to meet motorized cooling apparatus. The four Reeds who know not love nor family but only a hard-on for Jeremy Bentham ethics have pulled off a cataclysmic war that they’ll leverage to send them home.
Meanwhile our tasty Reed who knows both love and a gorgeous blond wife and some kids opposes them.
Hickman seems not short of anything philosophical, and I’m digging the whole thing on a meditation (at this point) between various Kantian and Utilitarian Ethics. Maybe it’s just my boredom coming through.
I’m certain there’s lots of punching and ass-whuppings occuring too.
Also From Marvel:
This is something I’ve recently discovered. Perchance you realized it a while ago. When MEGA-EVENTS occur, there’s a flood of titles that wear the banner. Fear Itself: Dreary Douche Lips #1 or whatever. I thought this a bad thing. Maybe it is. But there’s also a glimmer of dopeness. It gives a lot more creators opportunities to write for the “Big Boys” (emphasis on the quotations). Take for example Fear Itself: Black Widow #1, which is being penned by Sixth Gun’s Cullen Bunn. Pretty cool. Some new blood in the pool.
Shit I’m Not Reading But Should Be:
Every week I like to give a heads-up to people who have more time, better taste, and superior mental faculties to me on titles I’m not reading but they probably are. Scalped #50 drops this week. Jason Aaron and a shitload of artists mark the half-century of this acclaimed title in style. Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s American Vampire #16 shall be fanging you fans of it (oh GOD) for picking it up as well.
Northlanders nixed! Xombi next. Goddamn. Speaking about the Flashpoint: Taints and Tits On The High Seas #1, that’s probably how that deluge affects titles. Joe Mouthbreather is so insistent on buying every fucking event title that he won’t even stop to look at something like this gem from John Rozum and Frazier Irving. The fourth issue drops this week, and it hasn’t been scheduled to appear in the DCnU. Poor sales point to it never reappearing.
The Devil’s Advocate in me points out that no matter the dearth of titles in a given week, those who don’t read this title wouldn’t have snagged it out of boredom.
For those on the fence: just open the fucking comic book. It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous. Even if you’re illiterate or can’t handle post-humanist explorations of a society whose science has gotten as weird as magic when you take a step back. It’s stunning.
It’s going to die a death soon enough, but you can hop on the perishing ship while it remains. It’s great.
DC Is Pushing Out:
You can get your Flying Rodent Fix with Batman Inc. #7. I’m trying hard to care about this title when I know it’s going to be on hiatus in two months. Really hard. Then there’s DC equivalent of an interesting spin-off title with Flashpoint: Project Superman #1. Normally, I wouldn’t be intrigued, but it’s Scott Snyder. I like me some Snyder. I know I’m part of the problem! I shouldn’t buy that, I should snag Scalped and not act like a douche.
I’m a douche.
What are you fools reading this week?