Variant Covers: The Red Skull Vomits On Tony Stark.

VARIANT COVERS, the comic book column that fucking adores caps lock and funny books. VARIANT COVERS, the comic book column that covers all the new releases that I’m giggling over with wet panties and glassy eyes VARIANT COVERS, the column that encourages you to share your own picks of the week.


The Arctic Marauder [Graphic Novel].
These are several things I hadn’t heard of until today when I was browsing various columns on tomorrow’s comic book releases: icepunk, The Arctic Marauder, and Jacques Tardi. I realize this makes me a philistine. I apologize. This graphic novel is a rerelease of a 1972 work by the aforementioned Tardi, and it has me intrigued.

Published by Fantagraphics, the concept sounds fucking outstanding, “Jérôme Plumier, whose search for his missing uncle, the inventor Louis-Ferdinand Chapoutier, brings him into contact with the sinister, frigid forces behind this – and soon he too is headed towards the North Pole, where he will content with mad scientists, monsters of the deep, and futuristic submarines and flying machines.”

Color me ignorant but trying desperately to correct the problem.



Fear Itself: Book of the Skull.
This would be the one-shot that is leading up to Marvel’s next event, Fear Itself. Normally I lob dung bombs at what I perceive to be obvious money-making measures in the comic book world. I know. However, I am also an  unprincipled  son of a bitch, and a huge Brubaker fanboy. What exactly is going to happen in this title? I don’t have a goddamn clue. But it does feature the Red Skull puking up Captain America and Namor, so there’s that.

If you’re really wondering, it has something to do with Red Skull’s daughter having all the dastardly secrets of her father, and she’s planning on doing…something also dastardly with them.

Also From Marvel: Uncanny X-Force 5.1. If you’re not reading this series, True Believers, this pig will catch you up. Trust me, it’s worth it.


Morning Glories #8.
Finally got a chance to wade through the first TPB of Morning Glories this weekend, along with the seven issue. I dig the series. But! There’s a bit old but. I find that my entire interest is predicated around wanting to find out what’s going on at the academy. I’ve read a lot of reviews – okay, the back of the TPB jacket and over at a couple of websites – which strike me as breathlessly in love with the depiction of teenage life. What? Spencer is so intent on milling around with the various mysteries that I feel almost no rapport with the characters. They come off as barely more than stock stereotypical depictions of teenage characters, used as vehicles to move the reader from guessing on one mystery to the next.

Still though, I’m fine with that, I just wish there was more substance beyond the guesswork.


Xombi #1.
I missed Xombi back when it was first around in the 1990s. I was young, pubescent, and my underevolved brainskull dedicated to rubbing myself confusedly to pictures of Jean Grey and trying to grab every variant cover of Gen 13 #1.  I apologize.  My time to repentant has come, as creator John Rozum has teamed up with Frazier Irving to give the world a second volume of the title.

The story of Xombi:

David Kim is a nanotechnology researcher who gets mortally injured by a supernatural cult, and then injected with nanomachines. And the nanomachines turn him into an immortal posthuman, whose body can repair any damage using the raw material around him – including the body of his best friend. And even though David Kim becomes a technological marvel, he finds himself drawn into a world of mystical weirdness, in which monsters, savants and religious superheroes do battle.

Sounds fucking great. Go here for a great interview with Rozum as well as a preview of the first seven pages.


FRACTION FANBOY ALERT: Invincible Iron Man #502.
I can’t get enough of Fraction and Larocca’s Iron Man. It’s the sexy synergy of consistently crushing script and perpetually poignant pencils. I know man, I’m a fucking painful lad to read in this column. The caffeine whispers in honeyed humors slathered in annoying alliterations. The current arc on Iron Man has Stark being forced to save Doc Ock in order to prevent the death of one of his workers at Resilient. In other words to save the future, Tony needs to make amends with things that have occurred in the past.

Write that shit down, okay? Surface-level knowledge bombs.

Also From Fraction: Casanova: Gula #3. I still don’t know what’s going on in this title, I just know I love it.


What are you guys checking out this week?