Variant Covers: Shakespeare. Must. Die.

Shakespeare Must Die!

[Variant Covers is a column every Tuesday that breaks down the various titles coming out that week in the world where Billy Shakespeare is a wizard who must fucking die!]

Kill Shakespeare #1

It’s Tuesday, which means only one thing. I’m shotgunning Diet Mountain Dews while praying to the Gods of the Weekly Releases that there’s something worth covering for the weekly comic book gig. And they have responded with charity and righteousness this week.

Kill Shakespeare. Amazing.

Why, what’s the premise behind this comic book? Uh, to fucking kill Billy Shakes! Duh! But more seriously, the premise of this comic book is that Shakespeare’s greatest heroes such as Hamlet, are pitted against the most bad-ass villains of his works, as they try to hunt down and kill reclusive wizard. Who happens to be Shakespeare himself. Is this brilliant? Is it stupid? Is it brilliantly stupid? I know that it’s totally pissed off Frank “The Goddamn” Miller’s girlfriend, who happens to be a Shakespeare scholar.

Me? I sort of fucking dig it. It’s absurd, and perhaps suffuse with metafictional awesomeness. The previews tout it as the Shakespeare equivalent of “Fables”, and that’s probably aiming a bit high. But I mean, just the ridiculousness of the comic alone makes me want to pick it up.

I can understand those who hold Shakespeare super reverentially to be crapping their pants at this heresy, but they need to chill the fuck out. I’ve always dug the acclaimed works of Billy, and this doesn’t seem particularly threatening. At the very least, it’s something of a shitty homage. At the best, it could be some sort of mind-warping exercise in mimesis. That seems worth the risk to me.

Daredevil #502

Daredevil #506

Daredevil is fucking legit. The Man Without Fear is running amok as the leader of the Hand, slapping down errant bitches with his baton-thingies. How can you not dig this guy? But seriously, I’ve been pumping Daredevil almost every month, and I’m sure you’re yawning and telling me to shut my trap. Maybe it’s just the week of Marvel releases its sent out with, but it’s constantly the most boner-inducing of the batch.

And if you’re one of those mouth-breathing completionists who has to follow every event no matter how drab or boring, you’re going to want to start checking out Daredevil. Matty Murdock is currently in Japan, trying to solidify his grasp on the five-fingers of the Hand. There’s so many vomit-inducing puns there. And all of this is tied around his desire to build a “Shadowland” underneath New York City. What the fuck is a Shadowland? I’m not really sure, but it’s going to be an Event in the Marvel Universe this year.

So yeah. If you want to understand what the fuck is going on, without having to buy Shadowland Prelude Preliminary # -1, then start reading Daredevil. It’s consistently terrific.

Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe is Lockjaw and Pet Avengers Unleashed #2. Just when you thought that Marvel had ruined the Avengers by casting everyone in their universe in some derivative of that title, they have dragged their pets into it. Oh lord. There’s also Siege spin-offs for Captain America, Loki, and Young Avengers. I’m sure they’re totally important to the fabric of the Marvel U, and its canon. Or not. I’m pretty sure you can skip this and miss nothing. Save your money and buy yourself a Double Gulp and some fucking Laffy Taffy.

Flash #1

Flash #1

Geoff Johns likes the Flash. A lot. He’s written some of the finest Flash stuff from the last few years, and he totally made him a focal point in the just ending Blackest Night. He’s also penned Flash: Rebirth, which brought Barry Allen back into the fold. And now? Now he’s relaunching the Flash, starring good old Barry Allen. Who died in 1985, and I’m totally not resentful they brought him back. At all.

It’s all good though. The Flash has been a messy character lately. A couple of years ago, Barry was still dead and shit. Not uh, lost of the timestream. Speaking of which, why is everyone lost in the timestream these days? Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne, Steve Rogers. Shit is the new hotness.

So Barry was dead, and then they killed Wally West in Infinite Crisis. And they were like, Bart Allen is totally going to rule as the Flash. Except people thought Impulse could go suck a fuck, everyone hated the idea, and then they panicked and brought back Wally. Like, uh, somehow. Not content with everything being crazy and messy, they then brought back Barry Allen in Final Crisis.

Shit was bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

So yeah, the Flash could use a clean slate, and it makes sense that Flash Guru, Geoff Johns, will be handling it. Johns is like the Dead Character Whisperer, bringing back Allen and Hal Jordan and making them rock out.

And in the If You Want Your Wallet Dry Fucked department, DC is dropping Brightest Day #0 this week. It’s the sort of money-grab you’ve come to expect DC and Marvel these days, prior to a new event or movement being kicked off. Throw together something like three or four shitty short stories, package it under a bundle, and use the phrase “EVENT X Starts Here” and charge $4. It’s genius. Or rape. Genius rape.