Variant Covers: Criminals, Mutants, and Hot Dogs.

With the stink of Memorial Day weekend-promoted seared animal and sunshine still on my flesh, I bustle to bring you this week’s Variant Covers. Summer time always smacks of considerable events, the now common deluge of superhero flicks, and a good excuse to read some funny books in front of that big shiny star looming down at us. Per usual, I encourage readers to share their pull lists for the week. I can’t read everything, haven’t heard of your favorite niche comic but I’m interested, and often just like to look at slicing swords and telekinetic knives.

Hit me!

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Sweet Tooth #22
Every odyssey has points for reprieve. The sadness underlying these moments is knowing that they cannot last, and they more often than not end in a good amount of tears. In a title as dismal and heartbreaking as Sweet Tooth, I am expecting no exception. As the women in Jepperd and Gus’ Fellowship of the Antler have been sitting within the too-good-to-be-true confines of Project Evergreen, Tommy and Gus have been wrasslin’ with a big son of a bitch bear. Now that they’ve found the dam holding the ladies, tension is going to mount and we’re going to find out just what cleared out the refuge in the Earth’s wall.

Whatever it turns out to be, I’m certain it’ll reignite their pilgrimage to find where Gus was “born” in Alaska, leaving them to wistfully wave goodbye to showers and books and comfy beds and all the other ¬†accommodations ¬†of Evergreen’s bunker.

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Flashpoint #2, Fear Itself #3: Megaevent Throwdown!
The tentpole events for DC and Marvel both drop this week, and shall clash like Godzilla and Mothra across the comic book stands. I wish I had a smart enough mind to figure out if dropping them on the same Wednesday will cannibalize sales, but since I don’t I just entertain the idea inside my skull. I gnaw on a bubble pipe and play up my best Gandalf, occasionally murmuring “Yes, yes. Why, of course. Yes.” Compliment it with a pensive stare and I’m a complete tool!

After stunting for a week that I was strong enough to pass on Flashpoint, I eventually caved and checked it it out. Not bad! I am admittedly a slut for alternate realities. Such a concept!, to muse about how things would be different. Total slut for it. I’ll spread the Mind-Labia for anything that offers a different look at established icons. The Kubert art is enough to kick me into a nostalgia trip, too. I’m not a huge fan of them anymore, but Andy is nothing else if not proficient. Some of the ways he displays action through superimposed movements through one panel is neat, and with him aboard it’s got that true 1990’s Event vibe going on.

Fear Itself? Not really digging it. In the slightest. It strikes me as the Should-Be-Abortion that arises when Talking Heads mandate a storyline that riffs on both the Thor and Captain America movies dropping within two months of one another. Odin is uh, chilling in Asgard awaiting the Serpent King while Red Skull’s daughter Sin rampages across Washington DC and the such. I don’t enjoy spewing defec-hate all over it, since it’s being done by a favorite writer and a talented artist. I’m just not feeling it.

It’s not you, it’s me? Maybe?

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S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2. #1
And a good lord, it feels like I’ve been waiting for this title forever. Hickman and Weaver’s reinterpretation of Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. finally continues after the grand revelation in thelast issue that the Forever Man is none other than Michaelangelo, and he’s quite cool with the Newton and Da Vinci showdown. I had absolutely no idea that Michaelangelo took a Hegelian approach to history! Man is well read, I’ll give him that. I’m inclined to agree with the motherfucker, too. Conflict breeds new ideas! The collision of ideologies propels man through both the cosmos and history! Pretty intellectually wanky shit by Hickman that is complimented by gorgeous artwork by Weaver and the rest of the art staff.

I don’t know how wise it is to start with a new #1, given the general dude’s penchant for confusion when it comes to numbering systems. On second thought, that may be irrelevant. Given the thematics of the title I already drooled over, it’s probably safe to say that the average dude doesn’t read this and hasn’t been sweating its continuation.

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Criminal: Last of the Innocent #1.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips keep the fucking pulp comin’! Hell yeah. They return to Criminal with their latest tale Last of the Innocent, and I’m pretty jazzified for it. Yes, jazzified. While I prefer my pulpy noir to be superpowered like the team’s Incognito, I won’t pass up a chance to enjoy the duo flexing their talents together. The tale is wrapped around Riley Richards, a good lad dating the hottest girl and living the good life. Richards almost got himself a gambling problem though, and he’s killing (pun!) some time plotting murder. What’s the dude’s deal? Don’t know. Such is the premise of the title.

Sold. Sold, sold.

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Also, In Addition To:
Other titles dropping this week, with alacrity! Your favorite demon is rolling up (he is your favorite, right?) in Hellboy: The Fury #1. The title is promising to set up the next chapter in our boy’s life, so there’s that! For dorks like me who sweat this title beyond good health, Uncanny X-Force #11 is arriving. It feels like this title is coming out every week. Not that I’m complaining. Speaking of coming out every week, Invincible Iron Man #503 is dropping. Damn shame it’s getting crammed into the Fear Itself-verse, but I still love me some Stark. And finally a title I’m always meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to, Jonah Hex has issue #68 for ya’ll gunslingers to dig in. Ooph! With a pun like that, I know it’s time to go home.

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What are you good humans reading this week? Hit me.