Previously, “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Y: The Last Man” and “The Walking Dead” were part of the exclusive “milestone issue that is just a part of the current arc” club. Now you can add “B.P.R.D.” to it because even though the series has been released as a “series of mini-series” since its inception, the third issue of the current run “Return of the Master” represents its 100th issue. Kudos to them because it’s a great series that has earned its longevity. That said, it’s not the only title in the franchise that’s being released this month...
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja vol. 2 (actually vol. 5): Not part of “B.P.R.D.” but I think it’d make an awesome crossover. This volume does collect a crossover between Dr. McNinja and “Axe Cop,” the title written by a six-year-old and illustrated by his professional older brother. If there’s a series that’s more qualified to cross over with the Doctor, then I have yet to read it.
B.P.R.D.: 1948 #1, and Hell on Earth vol. 4: The Devil’s Engine and The Long Death: “Proper” entries in the “B.P.R.D.” saga are always marked by the presence of John Arcudi, whose presence made the series click for me with his arrival in “The Dead.” Picking up the latest volume of “Hell on Earth” is a no-brainer, but his addition to “1948” is interesting. The previous two “flashback” volumes, “1946” and “1947,” respectively, have been co-written with Joshua Dysart and were “okay” affairs. They weren’t bad, but they felt like distractions from the “main” series. Will Arcudi’s presence finally make this the first of these series that doesn’t feel like filler? Especially after I’ve read and enjoyed his “Major Bummer Super Slacktacular?” We shall see!
Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Orm of Loch Ness: This reminds me, I need to pick up the second volume. The first one was great fun from writer Eric Powell and artist Kyle Hotz and even if it did feel like a “movie pitch as a comic book” it demonstrated the RIGHT way to do it. In the sense that I’d love to see a movie version of this.
Darksiders II: Death’s Door vol. 1 HC: Considering that artist Joe Madureira’s extensive involvement with the series, it’s disappointing that he has yet to do any actual comics work associated with the title. He provides the cover here. Then again, considering the work ethic that he’s demonstrated in the past, it’s doubtful that any tie-in comic would’ve arrived in a timely fashion with the forthcoming game.
Grandville vol. 3: Bete Noire HC: While most anthropmophic fiction I encounter these days has me going “DAMN FURRIES!” this is an exception. This is mainly due to writer/artist Bryan Talbot’s skills as a storyteller that the world he creates is rich enough that it’s enjoyable despite its embracing of that particular subculture. Of course, he has yet to deliver a “Grandville” story that doesn’t eventually descend into action-movie contrivance. Still, the previous two volumes were good enough that I’m hoping that the third time here will be the charm.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project vol. 12: Still my guiltiest comic reading pleasure. The solicitation text indicates that Gendo may play a pivotal role here, which would be great. While his potrayal in the anime made him one of my all time favorite characters, the uninhibited goofiness of his characterization here is no less endearing. It appears that regardless of the medium, he’s one of those supporting characters who enriches any scene that he’s in. Especially if it involves showing the audience what a total pimp he is.
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi vol. 1 -- Force Storm: This series comes from writer John Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema, the team and co-plotters behind the comics that got me reading “Star Wars” again. Here they’re telling the origins of the Force and the Jedi order, which sounds like it would be an irresistible hook for any fan of the franchise. Though the series was one of the most successful launches for the franchise in years, IGN (normally a big fan of Ostrander’s “Star Wars” comics work) was decidedly underwhelmed about the approach this title took. It makes me concerned, but the Ostrander/Duursema team is critical teflon as far as “Star Wars” comics go. Here’s hoping I don’t get burned when it comes time to pick this collection up.