Buy These Flippin Comics!!! (8/28/13) Drrrrrrty Pop!
Hey, kids! So it’s Wednesday, and I assume we’ve all calmed down after flipping our collective shits from the pop-culture orgy/last-train-to-nowhere that is the VMAs. I’m old, and pop music gets me all kinds of jaded, but the VMAs still managed to teach me a lesson: America THRIVES on nostalgia, even nostalgia that isn’t even 20 years old (see the above pic). I, myself, am currently gushing over an “event” book that, when boiled down to its essentials, is nothing more than a comic scientifically engineered to tickle my 12-year-old pickle. Thanos is my Justin Timberlake. N’Sync are my Infinity Gems. Comic books, particularly superhero ones, are every bit as nostalgic and regressive as the boy-bands and teen vixens of pop music. So while I scoff at the proles going batshit over 10 year old hooks sang by grown men with receding hair lines trying their damndest to recreate moves no thirtysomething should have to attempt (looking at you Fat One), I massage my own nostalgia-boner to pretty pictures of ageless Avengers saddling up for one last ride into the aether in a story not quite called Infinity Gauntlet 2: The Soich For More Money, but may as well be.
Say my name! “Hypocrite.” You’re goddamned right.
So hit the jump and let’s get nostalgic, shall we?
Lazarus #3 – Image Comics
I’m gonna go ahead and call it here: Lazarus will be a cable TV series one day, and probably sooner than you think. It is prime source material for a network to scoop up: a near-future, sci-fi, American Game of Thrones. The first couple of issues didn’t wow me, but I think the world that Rucka and Lark have created is just a vast playground for some amazing stories. For those not in the know, in the near future, America is no longer a democracy, but a bunch of city-states run by corporations-turned-families. Each of these families has it’s own avatar of justice, law enforcement, and protection, a “Lazarus.” These genetically modified humans have ability to cheat death, but perhaps not without a price. Politics, war, death, family…all subjects that are the basis of Game of Thrones, are found here. I can’t wait to see where this series goes, and I can’t wait to watch it when it comes to television (mark my words – Hotsauce guarantee)!
Batman Superman #3 – DC Comics
Another third issue. I’m finding this series far more interesting and engaging than Superman-Off-Da-Chain, with Greg Pak giving us great time-travel tale in the first arc. I am MOST impressed, though, by Jae Lee’s art. The guy is not really synonymous with superheroes, but avails himself quite well here. Some of the prettiest superhero work in the DCU for a while, I think. Issue two gave a cool little shoutout to Ray Bradbury (Bruce Wayne asked his dad to read him the classic SF short story “The Veldt” every night before bed…which really only fucking adds to the dude’s psychological damage – read the story to find out why!), so I’m sticking with this book to see where it takes me.
The Massive #15 – Dark Horse Comics
The Massive makes me uncomfortable. It makes me squirm in my seat. It makes me think of all our nation’s excesses, all of our flaws. All of the ways in which we do things without thinking of the consequences, or, thinking of them, still do them without caring. This is book not just about global climate change, but also about humanity on the brink and still not really giving a fuck. Having just read the newest National Geographic on the rising seas, I really think writer Brian Wood is saying some awfully important, and perhaps ominous, things with this book. This comic makes me worry for our future; it makes me worry to have kids. Good sci-fi will entertain. Great sci-fi will scare the shit out of you.
FF #11 – Marvel NOW
You know what makes me a very sad panda? Finding out that this is Fraction’s last full issue on the series. This comic really took the Fantastic Four concept and flipped it on its head, brought in a bunch of disparate, kooky characters (Ms. Thing is one of the best new Marvel characters since The Runaways bunch), put Mike Allred on chores and really drove home that this was a book trying to mimic the bizarre, sci-fi yarns of the Lee/Kirby era. So yeah, it was sheer nostalgic fun, but with a bit of a twist: it certainly WASN’T the FF you know and love, but Fraction made them immediately lovable. I’m worried where this book will go post-Fraction, as this book was so very much from his brain. I can’t imagine Breaking Bad without Vince Gilligan, or The Office without Ricky Gervais. I know I’m eulogizing a book not yet dead, but I’m pretty bummed out by the prospects.
New Avengers #9 (Infinity Tie-in) – Marvel NOW
Thanos Timberlake assaults Earth as the Avengers are out to try and fight the Builders. Twerk Team Five (aka Cull Obsidian) vs. The Illuminati. Should be fun. I’m seriously digging the hell out of this event. I know it’s completely cavity-inducing, candy-coated nonsense, but “WHEEEEE, they’re playing my favorite song!!!” I…can’t…help….myself!
NOSTALGIA BONUS ROUND!
Sandman Omnibus HC – Vertigo DC
If you haven’t gotten around to reading Sandman and/or are curious about the upcoming series by Neil Gaiman that continues the saga, now is your chance to hop on. This HC collects the first half of the series, issues 1-37 (and a special) in one glorious, and hefty, volume. I cannot recommend this horror-fantasy series enough. It does what fantasy does best, meditates on human nature, on our dreams, and on mortality. Many people don’t like Omnibuses; I love them, as they look great on bookshelves, and I can work out while I read.
JACK KIRBY’S OMAC – One Man Army Corps TPB – DC Comics
A must have for fans of Jack Kirby. If you’re not a fan of Jack Kirby, why not? Do you not like comics? Are you a communist? Are you a Fredric Wertham sympathizer? Get outta here, then! This is no place for your kind! Anyways, the Kirby Crackle and gloriously weird sci-fi abounds. Smoke some of those funny cigarettes while reading this and expand your horizons.
Mind MGMT #14 – Dark Horse Comics
My copy of the first trade still hasn’t come in yet, so I can’t comment on the book, but I’m excited about the prospects. I just finished his and Cullen Bunn’s fucking spectacular nostalgia-laden, retro, Grindhouse comic The Tooth (more on this at a later date), and am stoked for more of his work.
Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #2 (of 6) – DC Comics
I’ve talked on this book before. It’s such a love letter to old serials and classic sci-fi/adventure stories. Even without Alan Moore’s genius working on the book, this mini still hits all the right notes.
Uncanny X-Men #11 – Marvel NOW
Frazier Irving, Frazier Irving, Frazier Irving. I saw some preview pages of this book last week, and Irving’s work looks (naturally) gorgeous. He only seems to be getting better, since having first discovered him on Grant Morrison’s underrated Seven Soldiers books (Frazier worked on Klarion).
PHEW! That does it for me this week, ya’ll. What books are making you sweat bullets of anticipation?