Coming This Week: "They Thought The World Was Flat Once Too"
There are only three titles this week that I’m 100% positive I’ll be buying. Wasteland #29 (Oni Press) returns after what feels like a very long hiatus, but I never stop getting excited for a new issue from Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten. As friend-colleague-creator Ryan Claytor recently pointed out to me, I seem to have a thing for dystopian epics. Demo Volume 2 #6 (DC/Vertigo) marks the last issue of this volume from Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, and I’m expecting big things if the prior final issue of Demo is anything to judge by. Not only was it my favorite issue of the first volume, but remains one of my favorite single issues of any series, ever. Scalped #39 (DC/Vertigo) is going to be a beautiful disaster considering where we last left things, particularly between Dash and Carol.
In the maybe column, we have Batman & Robin #13 (DC). I’ve felt like I was over this book for a few issues now, but Grant Morrison will be delivering the long promised Frazer Irving arc next, so perhaps this’ll make the cut and be my swan song for the title. Batman Odyssey #1 (DC) certainly looks like it has some promising potential, with the great Neal Adams on both writing and art. Scarlet #1 (Marvel/Icon) also has a pretty good shot at making it home, reuniting Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev on a creator owned title that has some surface similarities to my favorite Bendis book, Alias.
Of note this week are a couple of interesting X-Men books. First up is X-Men #1 (Marvel), which marks the “first new X-Men #1” (which I guess is “!” to some people) since Jim Lee’s ballyhooed restart in the early 90’s. There’s a small part of me that wants to see how Paco Medina will handle the art, but I’m 99% certain I’ll be skipping this because if there’s one thing the world does not need more of in pop culture, it’s bloody frickin’ vampires, with further dilution of the X-Men line as a nice side benefit. X-Women #1 (Marvel) is aptly titled and I’m sure I’ll flip through it to look at the pretty pictures from Milo Manara (oh, and written by Chris Claremont) but I don’t really need to buy T&A shots of Rogue and Psylocke frolicking in a waterfall with thongs and shimmering wet hair, sticking their asses out at me in a playfully inviting way that… wait, maybe I do… nah, just kidding. It’s really just the Penthouse Comix version of all those swimsuit issue comics that were so popular back in the 90’s. I’m pleased to see the Absolute Planetary HC Book 01 (DC/Wildstorm) receiving a new printing because even though I already own it, it means that Book 02, which will complete the series once and for all, can’t be far behind. This really is the best format for what would certainly be a contender for the best comic in the last 10 years. Lastly, I see Casanova #1 (Marvel/Icon) by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon is getting a new life after its Image Comics $1.99 “slimline” format, this time in full color. It’s probably the best thing that Fraction has written in his professional career, even eclipsing his very impressive run on Invincible Iron Man, just for the sheer audacity and bold creative spirit at play. It’s essentially Fraction saying “fuck it, I’m never going to be asked to write comics again anyway, so I’ll just go for broke here and create the comic I want, that I’d want to read,” cramming it so full of personal desire and manic kitschy references, lending it the unbridled freedom to achieve a purity of purpose rarely seen in more mainstreamy comic book periodicals. I own the hardcovers, but if you missed it the first time around, here’s your chance to correct that oversight. I hope the scintillating “backmatter” remains intact, because that was a big draw for me, with tons of personal insight poured onto the page.