Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 3: Death of Spider-Man Prelude

December 31, 2011

For those of you still wondering, “Wolverine Goes to Hell” remains my choice for the best comic book title of 2011.  Not being content with that very minor accolade, Marvel has also served up what I consider to be the worst title of the year with the latest “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man” collection.  Where “Wolverine’s” title had a beautiful simplicity in how it simultaneously delivered its high concept and told you exactly what you’d be getting inside, “Death of Spider-Man Prelude” is clunky and artless without really delivering any kind of buildup to the title event.

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Comic Picks #97: Tintin

December 29, 2011

Spielberg's movie is okay, but the original comics are really where it's at.


The Walking Dead vol. 15: We Find Ourselves

December 27, 2011

In any postapocalyptic situation, things eventually have to stop being about mere survival for those involved.  There will come a time when people have to start considering the long-term approach to not just securing a place for themselves to live, but also how they’re going to want to rebuild society.  If you are among the living, these are your ultimate goals.  That’s why Lori’s anxiety over whether or not to have her baby in the TV series annoys the hell out of me.  Yes, it’s a bad situation, but if you haven’t already “opted out” of living in this new world, rebuilding it needs to be your ultimate goal and that includes bringing new lives into it.  This particular argument isn’t the focus of this new volume, but the long-term approach to survival is.

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I’d say it’s the kind of Christmas gift money can’t buy…

December 25, 2011

... but actually it did.  I'm saying this because Naoki Ursawa's "20th Century Boys" is now a #1 New York Times bestseller.  This is probably a one-week thing, but it's still something I never thought I'd see even after the chart craziness of the past few months, let alone when it first came out.  So if there was anyone still holding out on picking up this fantastic series, you now have another reason to start.

Happy holidays everyone!

Dark Horse/Image Previews Picks: March 2012

December 24, 2011

These two get put together because it would be a very short column for one or the other in any given month.  Also of note is the fact that all trade paperbacks from Dark Horse are always advance-solicited, so all the trades mentioned here will be coming out in May.  With that in mind...

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DC Previews Picks: March 2012

December 23, 2011

It’ll have been more than half a year since the “New 52” relaunch when March rolls around, and that means it’s time to start seeing some trades!  Naturally the majority of these collections will be in hardcover first, but the decision to pick them up is always easier when it comes to DC.  Mainly because I’m already buying a few of these series in hardcover already.

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Marvel Previews Picks: March 2012

December 22, 2011

Don’t ask why it took three-and-a-half years for this to occur to me.  It probably won’t surprise anyone that I regularly peruse the solicitations from the “big four” as they’re published each month over at Comic Book Resources.  Naturally I’m looking to see what collections are being released, along with what format they’re in, their price and page count to see whether or not I’ll buy it when it comes out, wait until the softcover version hits, or until Comic-Con rolls around.  Originally, I was going to go through everything that Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse had to offer, but this wound up being a much bigger proposition than I initially anticipated.  So I’ll start off with Marvel and hope that they don’t find new and interesting ways to aggravate me this month.

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Criminal (vol. 6): The Last of the Innocent

December 20, 2011

Savor this one people, because it’s the last you’ll see of this series for a good year or more.  Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been the most consistently excellent writer/artist team since the heyday of Ennis/Dillon, and I think it’s fantastic that they’ve continued to explore new territory in the crime/noir genres over the years.  They’ll be continuing that trend next month when their maxi-series “Fatale” starts and runs through the end of the year.  While I think the idea of “‘Criminal’ via ‘H.P. Lovecraft’” sounds awesome, I’m still bothered by the fact that it means we won’t be getting new installments of this or “Incognito” -- which ended on a big “What’s going to happen next!?” note -- anytime soon.

As I continue to come to grips with the fact that you can’t have everything, let me say that this volume is as good as anything the series has offered.  It’s also unique in the sense that I can’t talk about what makes it so without offering a *SPOILER WARNING* first.

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Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm

December 17, 2011

I didn’t buy this one.  My dad is a big fan of the TV series “Castle” and when he saw this graphic novel featured prominently in an episode earlier this season, he decided to pick it up himself.  After he was done, I gave it a read to see what it was like.  Overall, it wasn’t bad, but I was glad that I didn’t spend my money on it.

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Comic Picks #96: Batman: The Black Mirror & War of the Green Lanterns

December 15, 2011

These two hardcovers are great reads for people well-versed in their continuity prior to the "New 52" reboot.  Less so for everyone else.