Why?: Because I love the Vision, and think Hank Pym deserves a chance to shine. But I really hope this book finds its legs. I’m not too familiar with Humphries’ writing, and this seems like territory already covered by Rick Remender in his Secret Avengers run (race of A.I. with megalomaniacal leader declaring war on humanity), and feel like Araujo’s art is too organic looking and muted for a technologically based book. I’ll keep it going for a bit… For now.
Why?: Because I really thought this would not hold my interest (whooppeee Galactus goes to the Ultimate Universe…. Don’t they have one already) , and it surprised me. I was impressed with Fialkov’s sci-fi chops, only knowing him from his awesome and cancelled- too-early-run on I, Vampire. Combine that with vibrant vet Leonard Kirk and you get a damn well constructed story. Plus I just had to see what happens when Galactuses (Galacti ????) merge into a new being!
Detective Comics #23
w. John Layman
a. Jason Fabok
Why?: Because the Wrath was a childhood character I found in a Batman Special by Mike Barr and Mike Golden that will always have a special place in my heart. He was an Anti-Batman… Orphaned when his burglar parents were killed by a rookie cop (give you one guess who that rookie cop was???) He trained and learned how to be the ultimate criminal, and set out on a killing spree. There are familiar threads in the New 52 Wrath, but this cop killing psycho is much more dangerous, and is not afraid to play dirty… Meaning Bruce Wayne’s company and employees (mainly poor old Alfred again) are in danger, as his sights shift to Batman as a prime target.
Phantom Stranger #11
w. J.M. DeMatteis
a. Fernando Blanco
Why?: the Stranger leads a team consisting of Deadman, Katana, Green Lantern and Batman into the afterlife to find Dr. Light’s soul and vindicate Superman, in this Trinity War tie in. When a decision is made to return Dr.Light to the land of the living, this ad hoc Justice League brings on the wrath of Heaven, in the form of a certain former member of the Justice League, who just happens to be an Angel. Check out fan favorite Zauriel’s new 52 redesign, pretty bad-ass:
w. & a. Howard Chaykin
Why?: Because I two distinct memories of Buck Rogers. One was watching the Gil Gerard show with my dad on Sundays, slowly developing a crush on Erin Gray while my dad did his bidi-bidi-bidi Twiki impersonation. Flash forward 20 years later, and in rush for a Christmas gift for the old man, I grabbed a 12 episode collection starring Buster Crabbe for him to enjoy, and I as well, albeit in a much altered state of mind later that night.
I couldn’t think of a better writer\artist than Chaykin to handle this time lost character, combining styles and sci-fi concepts from previous interpretations, and proving why the name Chaykin is synonymous with cool retro art.
w. & a. Jeff Lemire
Because time travel is my second favorite sci-fi trope, with alternate realities in third, and any combination of the two as my first. Trillium is a time travel-love story involving a botanist from the year 3797 and an adventurer looking for a lost temple in 1921 meeting and falling in love, a love which might just destroy the universe.
Lemire, who is doing wonders over on Green Arrow, is pushing the creative envelope with a storytelling device that calls for flipping the comic during different parts of the story taking place in different time periods. What might seem a little unwieldy at first, is actually kinda fun. And comics are supposed to be fun!
Last Weeks’s Surprise pick:
Indestructible Hulk #11
w. Mark Waid
a. Matteo Scalera
Why?: Because Waid, much like he did with Daredevil, has taken the Hulk book in a fresh new path, progressing the character forward, while still keeping the essence of the hero there, without a reboot or retcon.
This issue in particular impressed me with its showing of the damage from the Age of Ultron Timestream Cluster Jam, while other books just talk about the problem a lot, SHIELD and Hulk actually try to do something about it in this cleverly constructed issue.
With a little help from Zarko the Tomorrow man, who is well aware of the damage done, Hulk enters the timestream in an attempt to stop the Chronanarchists from taking advantage and manipulating the time stream for their own benefit. And who better to guide him in this mission than Bruce Banner himself, or at least his brilliant mind copied into a floating tag along robot.
Just check out Matteo Scalera’s art. Flip to the centerfold of this issue to see a two page spread of the Hulk punching a 75-year-old military cargo plane full of skeletons. Bet you buy the book!