Variant Covers: I Got Scarlet Fever For Certain Boys!

Variant Covers. Your one-stop shop for the comic books I’m excited about dropping this Wednesday. Your chance to comment, and recommend titles you’re reading not only this week, but in general. A brothel of pathetic attempts at intellectual dialogues, and more glaringly, juvenile jokes. Welcome, I’m excited you’re here.


Scarlet #3
In recent weeks, I’ve tried to ease up on my bashing of writers. Well, ignoring the fact that I took Mark Millar behind the woodshed. Particularly writers that I like, and respect. So whereas I used to bemoan Brian Michael Bendis’ decline, I’ve tried to rationalize it under the idea that he carries an enormous work load for Marvel. Far too many pages for me to fathom churning out every month. I know he’s a talented writer. I know it.

Scarlet is case-in-point.

My brother and I are big fans of Scarlet, Bendis and Maleev’s creator-owned title being published through Marvel’s Icon label. As I’ve detailed before, the time that has been put into this book bleeds through in oodles of quality. Oodles, guys and gals, oodles. The title’s distinguishing feature is the smashing and tearing of the fourth-wall, with Scarlet talking directly to the audience throughout the book. Juxtapose that son of a bitch with Maleev’s creative use of paneling, and you have something that snags you by the nipples right away.

Scarlet’s recruiting a revolution, and she wants you to join in. Trust me, when a sexy femme fatale is talking to you, the loins surge.

It’s a solid title, with tropes that aren’t particularly new, but as I said, they’re executed well. Bendis’ wit shines through, and Maleev is fucking gorgeous as ever. The dude could pencil two pigeons fucking and I’d be on-board. The sort of artwork that could carry a title, but with the writing, simply compliments it.

Grab this son of a bitch.


Baltimore: The Plague Ships #4
It seems like every time I turn around, a new issue of The Plague Ships is flying its way onto shelves. Get it, cause it stars vampires? Flying? I’m a fucking dunce? I concur. And that’s absolutely fine with me. While it isn’t righteous enough to command my full attention with every issue, the title entertains me in a mindless sort of way that I sometimes need. You should seem me when I’m reading an issue of S.H.I.E.L.D by Hickman. I got a pad of paper, and a pen. I’m scribbling notes and asking rhetorical questions like the grad school lit major loser that I am.

The Plague Ships is a way to decompress. I want to emphasize that this is no fucking knock on Mignola. The title is tight, entertaining, and extremely sexy in the artwork department. It operates on a level that I can definitely feel. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to be nothing more than fun. For the burgeoning intellectual who is going to give some brilliant reading of Plague Ships in the comments box, let me stop you: you’re probably right, but I’m turning my fucking brain off for this title, and riding the wind. Get it? Like a vampire? Yeah, fuck me.


Superboy #1
Lest you think I’m packed to the gills with dookie when I say I’ll read anything you recommend to me, consider this: prior to about six months ago, I had never heard of Jeff Lemire. A reader with good taste recommended that I snag up Sweet Tooth and I did so. Since then, my ass crush for the dude has been immeasurable. Love him. I’ll admit I’ve only ingested seven issues or so of his work, as I can only grab Sweet Tooth in TPB around these parts, but I dig him.

So with that said, his name alone is enough to push the relaunch of Superboy onto me. What’s it going to be about? Damned if I know. The synopsis promises wonder and the beginning of the next great epic in the DC universe, but I mean, c’mon. That’s cream puff bullshit. All I know is that it’s a very talented writer getting a crack at an up-and-down icon within the stretched parameters of Metropolis.

Sometimes the author is enough for me to check something out. Actually an author I like is always enough for me to give something a try.


Strange Tales #2
The fact that Strange Tales exists should be enough of a reason to purchase it. This son of a bitch is an anthology of comic strips by some of the more creative, eccentric cartoonists out there. It’s refreshing if nothing else. Every once in a while I enjoy a good bit of indie injected into the mechanisms of the corporate juggernaut. Not that I don’t enjoy my capes, latex-laden cocks, and mainstream narrative. In fact I love it. But nonetheless, this shit is exciting. It’s different.

Do I necessarily enjoy every strip within the anthology? Not at all. Some of it isn’t my cup of tea, but that’s cool. Do I appreciate everything within the anthology? Absolutely. And so should you.


Batman and Robin #16
I love Grant Morrison. I love Frazier Irving. I love the typical examinations of father-son dynamics, the pressures of meeting and exceeding expectations. I love the Joker. I love dudes in pig masks, barking eerie and absurd monologues about the infectious nature of pop culture. Ergo, I love the current arc on Batman and Robin. I checked out on B&R as the storyline headed into England, but when it was announced that Irving was stepping onto the title, I was pressed back into reading it.

The final issue of the Batman Must Die!, storyline sees what is apparently the return of Bruce Wayne. How about that for corporate synergy. I’m pretty sure the final issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne drops next week, but who gives a shit! Right? In comic books in the past two years, Captain America returned to the Marvel Universe before his own miniseries explained the return, and DC killed Batman twice. Once in his own title, and once in Final Crisis.

So yeah, I’ve given up on synergy.

I’m excited for this shit, all confusion aside.


Quickly and With Purpose!
The words, they bleed into one another! So quickly! So I’m jamming a couple of recommendations together. DV8: Gods and Monsters #8 comes out this week, wrapping up Brian Wood’s take on the Gen-13 spin-off. While I haven’t been blown away by it, it was enjoyable enough every month to get me invested in the characters. So of course, this is all particularly tragic with the demolition of Wildstorm. As well, speaking of Sweet Tooth, issue #15 of that is coming out this week. As I’ve said, I read this in a collected format, but if you’re lucky enough to be caught up, that’s worth looking out for.


I’m done, I’m out, what do you guys have for me this week? Hit me!