Sunday, December 28, 2008


By John Judy

(Why kiss a loved one at midnight when you could be reading comics?!)

30 DAYS OF NIGHT: TIL DEATH #2 written and drawn by David Lapham. The creator of STRAY BULLETS is delivering his strongest work (and best 30 DAYS series) in a long time. Definitely worth a look if you think the world post-Barrow has been a bit of a let-down.

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #20 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Steve Kurth. Lots of post- Secret Invasion doings as the real Hank Pym returns and Mutant Zero stands revealed.

BATMAN: CACOPHONY #2 of 3 by Kevin Smith and Walt J. Flanagan. The Good News: Kevin Smith managed to hit a deadline on a monthly book. The Bad News: Did you see issue one?

CAPTAIN AMERICA #45 by Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross. Bucky America has to beat the French fiend Batroc the Leaper and find whoever’s left of the Invaders. I recommend shouting in German and checking Facebook.

FANTASTIC FOUR #562 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. The funeral of the Invisible Woman. They say it’s empty casket but how can you tell?

FINAL CRISIS: SECRET FILES #1 by Various Creators. Perhaps this will reveal the secret of why FINAL CRISIS is taking so long to wrap up already.

GOON #31 written and drawn by Eric Powell. “That’s the man who killed Kizzie! And it’s long past time that I dealt with him!” Highly recommended.

GREEN LANTERN #36 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke. Hal and the gang rush to duke it out with the wrathful Red Lanterns while the Controllers seek out the greed-powered Orange Lanterns. So “Orange = Greed.” A subtle swipe at a certain California county? Why not?

INCOGNITO #1 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. This new series is why CRIMINAL is going on hiatus so it must, must, must be awesome! Thankfully it looks like it is. The premise: What if you were a super-villain in Federal Witness Protection and you just couldn’t stand it anymore? Highly Recommended.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #28 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes. The JLA versus the Shadow Cabinet. Watch for flying splinters.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #22 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross and Dale Eaglesham. Gog’s big, fat other shoe has dropped and now it’s time to throw it at him. Big Fight!

KICK-ASS #5 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Remember this series? Issue four came out in August. Look for the trade collection of the first six issues in December of 2008. Oh, wait….

MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #2 of 6 by Kurt Busiek and Jay Anacieto. Photojournalist Phil Sheldon is still tracking the super goings-on in the Marvel Universe but he’s got troubles of his own. Cancer. An engaging follow-up to the classic MARVELS series.

NORTHLANDERS #13 by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly. The Irish guerilla and the Viking enforcer finally come face to face and it ain’t gonna be resolved with a drinking contest. Great stuff. Recommended.

PUNISHER WAR ZONE #4 of 6 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Wow, so it looks like this comic has already outlasted its namesake’s run in theatres. Deservedly so. Anyway, it looks like Frank’s gonna have to take out an army of Ma Gnucci zombie-clones. Seriously. Recommended, but not for kids or people with a low tolerance for the Ennis-style dark, silly humor.

SCALPED #24 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. My favorite comic continues to come out despite the best efforts of the buying public to keep it down on The Rez. Too intense for kids and those with a low tolerance for Total Awesomeness. Highly recommended.

THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS #4 of 5 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins. It’s the end of the world as we know it and it looks fine! The best adaptation yet of Stephen King’s epic novel. Recommended!

SUPERMAN #683 by James Robinson, Geoff Johns and Renato Guedes. Imagine if you tried passing discriminatory laws like California’s Prop 8 against 100,000 people, each with the all powers of Superman. An intriguing issue.

ULTIMATE HULK ANNUAL #1 by Jeph Loeb and Marko Djurdjevic. This is quite an accomplishment since Ultimate Hulk never actually had his own series. Anyway, for some reason the mass-murdering Hulk of the Ultimates Universe is teaming up with the mass-murdering Power Princess from the Squadron Supreme Universe. Makes you wonder what these crazy kids will get up to, doesn’t it?

WOLVERINE #70 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. The twisted alternate future road-trip continues with blind Hawkeye doing the violence and Old Man Logan not. Impressive they’ve maintained such a status quo all the way through part five of eight of this entertaining story.

WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY #3 of 4 by Jason Aaron and Stephen Segovia. Wolverine must unite all the kung-fu schools in Chinatown to defeat the Black Dragon Tong. And that, my friends, is a movie! If you enjoy these Jason Aaron Wolverine stories as much as I, do yourself a favor and pick up his other title, SCALPED. You’ll have the rest of your life to thank me.

X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT #4 of 5 by Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Young Magneto finds himself in Auschwitz. It bears repeating that this is a genuinely powerful series, focusing less on super-heroics and super-villainy than on the horrors of a Jewish boy’s coming of age during the holocaust. Both Pak and Di Giandomenico deserve credit for taking what could have been a hideous trivialization of the 20th century’s darkest moment and making it into something both restrained and moving. Highly recommended.

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