Coming This Week: "The Past Was Erased, The Erasure Forgotten, The Lie Became Truth"

I’m not a rabid Philip K. Dick fan or anything, but I’ll probably be checking out Electric Ant #1 (Marvel). If anything, I think adaptations of Dick’s prescient sci-fi work are already a bit de rigueur at this point, with Boom! adapting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? But, I think it’s interesting to note the influence he had on pop culture and specifically modern comic book creators like Paul Pope or Warren Ellis. I certainly hope that mining the work of Philip K. Dick doesn’t become the next zombies/pirates/vampires “in” high concept that everyone rushes to strike gold with and they all begin pumping properties into the market. In any case, when it’s David Mack (writer/artist) adapting the work, along with Paul Pope on covers (not one, but TWO of my favorite writer/artists!), it’s hard not to give the five issue mini based on a 1969 short story a fair try. However, Marvel’s not doing themselves any favors with the confusing solicitations. In some locations, it says Mack is writer and artist, in others it says Mack is merely the writer, with Pascal Alixe doing illustrations. That’s a big difference to me. It’s also unclear if Paul Pope will be doing the covers for every issue, or just a couple. Marvel will also be trying out a concept that reeks of Dan Brown’s Illuminati influence, with SHIELD #1 (Marvel) featuring Da Vinci, Imhotep, Sir Issac Newton, and Galileo as founding members of the organization. Who better to attempt this than writer Jonathan Hickman, whose early Image work certainly possessed the conspiratorial leanings necessary to even come close to pulling something like this off. I’m not a huge fan of artist Dustin Weaver, but the concept is just risky enough to give it a try. It’ll likely either be a train wreck or really cool, hopefully entertaining either way. Uncanny X-Men #523 (Marvel) is also due out, and well, you all know how I feel about that.

Over at the Distinguished Competition, we have Batman & Robin #11 (DC), the second issue from Grant Morrison and Andy “No, I’m Still Not Frank Quitely” Clarke. I found Clarke’s pencils ok in the first ish, but isn’t everyone just biding time until the Frazer Irving arc? This title has lacked any razzle dazzle for me since the first three issues that Quitely was actually on. While it’s not quite as bad as the Detective Comics-No-Longer-Starring-Batwoman-Now-Greg-Rucka’s-Leaving-DC-Altogether clusterfuck, it’s getting pretty close. Continuing bizarre publishing practices, Batman & Robin Deluxe Edition Volume 1: Batman Reborn (DC) will also be on the stands this week. This collects the first six issues from Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and… Philip Tan. I just think it’s interesting to collect the best artist right along with the one who seems to be the most maligned of the lot; it makes quite a dichotomous little package for $24.99. Saving the DC day, as usual, will be the Vertigo line with Demo Volume 2 #3 (DC/Vertigo) from Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. It’s been an interesting run so far, with more ethereal dark horror leanings than overt superhero trappings, and that’s just fine. I’m always curious to see what the duo will come up with next.

Moving right along, Lone Ranger #21 (Dynamite Entertainment) is also out. I’m not sure what’s happening with the publishing schedule here. The last I heard, arcs of issues were not to be released until they were all in the can and ready to go, with time off only inter-arc. However, it sure seems like there are still significant delays between intra-arc issues. I’m almost certain that this is the last issue of this arc, so if that’s the case, I’ll be opting out of single issues from this point forward and tradewaiting this title. I still enjoy it enough to pick up the swanky hardcovers, but honestly the publishing schedule is so erratic that I won’t miss picking up the single issues at all. Sea Donkey never got the first issue, so he probably won’t have Dodgem Logic Magazine #2. I mean, seriously, if you can’t sell an Alan Moore project, do you have any business owning an LCS? This is the type of thing I’ll seek out at the San Diego Con since it’s apparently so baffling a product for my local retailer. Booth (First Second) looks like it could be interesting; it’s written by an American historian, with French artist Tanitoc offering up a retrospective about John Wilkes Booth. Last, but not least, we have Market Day (Drawn & Quarterly) from James Sturm, who is always worth a look.


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