BEST BETS

THE DELINQUENTS #1 (of 4, Valiant, $3.99): The new kid on the block launches a miniseries combining the stars of their two funniest books, Quantum & Woody and Archer & Armstrong. It's superhero-ish action, but should also serve as an antidote to the shroud of grimness that seems to cover all superhero comics.

THE FADE-OUT #1 (Image, $3.50): The team of writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips have demonstrated their mastery of noir in such books as Fatale and Criminal, and now launch a book that perfectly suits their strengths: a crime noir set in 1930s Hollywood. That's all I need to know to sign up for the ride, which is bound to be good.

JUSTICE INC #1 (Dynamite, $3.99): If you're a fan of The Shadow, Doc Savage and/or The Avenger, the "Big 3" of Street & Smith pulp magazines in the 1920s and '30s, you've probably wondered what would happen if these very different characters tried to work together. It's happened once before at another publisher, but not for very long, so this new title from Dynamite should be very, very interesting.

LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND #1 (IDW, $3.99): This all ages book brings a beloved character back to print, albeit without the genius of creator Winsor McCay, who died in 1934. That's pretty gutsy -- this book is bound to be compared to the Little Nemo strips, long regarded as classics -- but they must have a reason for their confidence, and it's worth a look to find out if it's justified.

THE MULTIVERSITY #1 (DC Comics, $4.99): DC has made a lot of missteps with its multiverse of late, but this promises to be a huge on in the right direction. Grant Morrison, one of the best writers in comics, will use this book to tell stories from at least six different parallel worlds, with the fan favorite President Superman of Earth-23 as the backbone. This should be quite a ride!

SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #1 (DC, $3.99): The Amazing Amazon got her start in Sensation Comics back in 1940, and now DC is reviving the title with Wonder Woman stories that first appeared online. The chief draw here is that the first tale is by the excellent Gail Simone, which answers the fervent prayers of a lot of fans.

THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL (Dark Horse, $3.99): If you've been watching the excellent TV adaptation of Guillermo del Toro's Strain trilogy on FX, you know what a great story it is. Dark Horse has already adapted the first two books (available in trade paperback and hardback), and this issue begins the adaptation of the third.

THIS WEEK'S COMICS

The Comics Guide is assembled using the Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. website, as a guide, and is subject to change. Clicking on most images results in a larger image. All information is from Diamond and/or publisher solicitations and press releases, except for random comments by Captain Comics (in blue), and occasional comments by The Baron (in this here purplish color).

ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

SKYWARD #9

Writer/Art/Cover: JEREMY DALE

32 pages/ All Ages/ FC $3.99

All-out war! Three Rivers is under attack by Herod's armies, and it may just beup to Quinn, Abigail, and the Rabites to save the city from certain destruction! But wait ... who rides on the horizon? Plus: A HUGE REVELATION you won't see coming -- not to be missed! THE SMASH HIT SERIES CONTINUES! From rising star creator Jeremy Dale (GI Joe, Marvel Kapow!), this issue also features a stellar homage RETAILER INCENTIVE variant cover by Gene Ha (Top Ten, Action Comics)!

ARCHIE COMICS

BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS VOL 4

Script: Frank Doyle, Various

Art:  Bob Montana, Harry Lucey, Dan DeCarlo, Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz

Cover: Bob Montana

$9.99/$10.99CAN

5 1/4  x 7 1/2”

TPB, 416 pp, Full Color

Direct Market On-Sale Date: 8/20

The BEST-SELLING Best of Archie graphic novel series is back! This fun, full-color compilation that collects more all-time favorite Archie and friends stories, lovingly hand-selected and introduced by Archie creators, editors, and historians from 200,000 pages of material. It is a must-have for any Archie fan--for that matter, it’s a must-have for any fan of comic books!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ARCHIVES 23 (TPB)

Script: KEN PENDERS, KARL BOLLERS, DANNY FINGEROTH

Art: STEVEN BUTLER, RON LIM, SAM MAXWELL, SALEEM CRAWFORD, JIM AMASH, VICKI WILLIAMS, JEFF POWELL

Cover: PATRICK "SPAZ" SPAZIANTE

$7.99/$8.99CAN

5 x 7 3/8”

Trade Paperback, 112 pp, Full Color

Direct Market On-sale: 4/2

It's adventure and questing galore in this installment in the acclaimed Sonic Archives series! Sonic fights for his life against, not one, but two robot doubles! Is the armor to Silver Sonic II really unbreakable? Is the latest Metal Sonic truly faster than the Blue Blur? Its up to Sonic and Tails to find out for sure! Meanwhile, Rotor makes a dangerous trek home to find the fate of his people. Monkey Khan is forced to relive his tragic past while a village of innocent lives hangs in the balance! And Knuckles begins to recover from the assault on Angel Island with some surprising and familiar faces! Sonic Archives 23 collects Sonic the Hedgehog #85-88WORLD OF ARCHIE COMICS DIGEST #42

Script:  Dan Parent

Art:  Dan Parent, Jim Amash, Teresa Davidson, Barry Grossman

Cover:  Dan Parent, Bob Smith, Tito Peña

On Sale Date: 8/20

160-page, full color comic, $4.99 U.S.

Pack your bags with Veronica, she’s tagging along on her father’s business trip to Paris! When a family friend introduces her to a handsome young French filmmaker who just so happens to share a name with Veronica’s favorite redhead back home, Veronica finds herself falling for him! When the Archie back in Riverdale hears what happened, he’s ready to take drastic action! Take an international ride with a new love triangle in “Archie or Archie?!”, the lead story in this exciting Comics Digest! (Formerly World of Archie Double Digest.)

DARK HORSE

B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH #122

Writers: MIKE MIGNOLA, JOHN ARCUDI

Art: JOE QUERIO

Colors: DAVE STEWART

Cover: LAURENCE CAMPBELL

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

The perfect place to dive into a world gone mad!

Johann travels to Japan to fight giant monsters, but what he discovers is even more disturbing. A man with no brain has been drawing pictures ... and they tell a terrifying story.

Perfect jumping-on point for new readers.

“If you’ve ever fantasized about fighting monsters, there’s no reason to not pick this thing up.” -- Comic Bastards

BRAIN BOY: THE MEN FROM G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #4 (of 4)

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Pencils: FREDDIE WILLIAMS II

Colors: JEREMY COLWELL

Cover: FREDDIE WILLIAMS II, DAN SCOTT

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Miniseries

Fred Van Lente and Freddie Williams II!

The president is in danger! The White House is under siege!

Brain Boy and his handler, the deadly secret agent known as Faraday, are locked in a psychic battle. But which one is trying to save the leader of the free world, and which one is trying to kill him? Which one of them is a pawn of the mysterious Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T.? This turbulent climax will extend your cerebral cortex to its very limits.

“This book has action, mystery, the supernatural, humor, and fantastic visuals; the whole package.” -- All-Comic

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 10 #6

Writer: CHRISTOS GAGE

Pencils: KARL MOLINE

Inks: ANDY OWEN

Colors: DAN JACKSON

Cover: STEVE MORRIS

Variant: REBEKAH ISAACS

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

What should have been a simple exorcism turns into a disaster for Buffy and the Scoobies when, instead of horrors, a demon fights back with blissful childhood fantasies!

Fray artist Karl Moline returns!

“Anyone who was on the fence about Season 10 should be convinced that it’s going to be one hell of a ride.” -- Newsarama

“Dark Horse has brought their A-game talent to this comic, and it shows.” -- Comic Book Resources

DARK HORSE PRESENTS #1

Writers: GEOF DARROW, FRANK MILLER, PETER HOGAN, BRENDAN MCCARTHY, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, JUSTIN GRAY, DAMON GENTRY, DAVID MACK

Art: GEOF DARROW, BRENDAN MCCARTHY, DAVID MACK, STEVE PARKHOUSE, ANDY KUHN, AARON CONLEY

Cover/Variant Cover: GEOF DARROW

On sale Aug 20

FC, 48 pages, $4.99

Ongoing

New DHP 48-page format!

Geof Darrow and Frank Miller’s Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot returns in this new volume of the award-winning, long-running anthology powerhouse Dark Horse Presents! Also in the 48-page tome of awesome comics: Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s Resident Alien, Brendan McCarthy’s Dream Gang, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Andy Kuhn’s Wrestling with Demons, Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley’s Sabertooth Swordsman, and David Mack’s Kabuki!

• Big Guy and Rusty return!

• The award-winning series returns at a new price -- $4.99!

• Features special Geof Darrow gallery!

“Dark Horse’s prestigious anthology series showcases emerging talent alongside some of the greatest writers, artists and cartoonists comics has to offer, as well as promising new and underground talents.” -- ComicsAlliance 

EYE OF NEWT #3 (of 4)

Writer/Art/Cover: MICHAEL HAGUE

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

From fantasy legend Michael Hague!

The imaginative genius of Michael Hague weaves an unforgettable myth of sorcerers and dragons! As the wizard’s apprentice Newt continues his trek through the Netherworld, he finds magical clues to solve the mystery that is his fate!

From the renowned illustrator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Hobbit!

A SECOND CHANCE AT SARAH (HC)

Writer: NEIL DRUCKMANN

Art/Cover: JOYSUKE WONG

FC, 96 pages, $14.99

HC, 6" x 9"

NEIL DRUCKMANN!

As his wife Sarah lies dying, John makes a deal with a demon for a desperate chance to save her! Transported to their childhood, John gets a single day to prevent the tragedy that led to Sarah’s present-day doom, all while trying to convince her that he really is who he says!

An original graphic novel from the Last of Us creative director!

STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL – SON OF DATHOMIR #4 (of 4)

Writer: JEREMY BARLOW

Pencils: JUAN FRIGERI

Inks: MAURO FARGAS

Colors: WES DZIOBA

Cover: CHRIS SCALF

FC, 40 pages, $3.50

Miniseries

Doom on Dathomir!

Count Dooku is possessed by the spirit of Mother Talzin! Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective is shattered! The Separatists attack! And Darth Sidious himself enters the fight!

Based on unproduced episodes of the television series The Clone Wars!

THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL #1

Writer: DAVID LAPHAM

Art: MIKE HUDDLESTON

Colors: DAN JACKSON

Cover: E.M. Gist

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

It’s been two years since the Master’s plan succeeded and a near apocalypse coated the world in darkness. Now able to roam freely, the Master’s legion of vampires rule the world -- a horrifying police state where humans are harvested for blood. As humanity despairs, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and an unlikely team of heroes continue their fight against extinction and hope to unlock the secret to the Master’s demise.

The final chapter in the Strain Trilogy, by Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan, begins here!

“A truly engrossing tale.” -- Bloody Disgusting

“Great writing Lapham. I'm locked in.” -- Comic Bastards

WITCHFINDER: THE MYSTERIES OF UNLAND #3 (of 5)

Writers: KIM NEWMAN, MAURA MCHUGH

Art: TYLER CROOK

Colors: DAVE STEWART

Cover: TOTINO TEDESCO

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Miniseries

From horror fiction legend Kim Newman!

Local officials present a façade of normalcy, but the Witchfinder knows there’s something wrong with the denizens of Unland, and he’s starting to uncover what that has to do with the dying founder of the town and the elixir he invented that put the town on the map ...

• Created by Mike Mignola!

• From the pages of Hellboy!

Views: 1182

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Figserello said:

I don't understand that position at all. I don't think Wolverine's frtiendly relationships with some of the younger female members of the team has ever been shown to be sexual or sleazy. The ones I've seen tend to be like big brother/little sister. Not all relationships in comics have to be leading to whoopie.

I think it's healthy. Young women need different male 'role models' friends/ acquaintances so that they begin to understand how different people think and act. Hasn't it always been shown that Wolverine wasn't pushing himself on these kids, but circumstances tend to bring them together and mutual respect and fondness builds up between people of different generations as it does in any workplace.

It's rare that I find myself in 100% agreement with Figs but this is one of those times. Men should not be presumed to be sexual predators.

FWIW, I agree with most of what you write, Richard, but as we don't have 'like' buttons, I just nod at my desk.


Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:



Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

 

Stray Bullets: Killers #6 - I wonder why Lapham decide on a new series here instead of continuing the numbering of Stray Bullets...

Trav, I'm pretty sure that's entirely a commercial decision. Just starting with issue 42 after more than a decade would have made the book dead in the water. This way it shows there's a clear jumping-on point.

That said, I'm diligently buying these but slowly making my way through the omnibus before reading them. 

Makes sense for sure. I think it is the "Killers" part that is throwing me off for some reason. I think volume 2 would have made more sense to me. I have the omnibus, but haven't even cracked it open yet. The new series has been really good so far.

I've never had a problem Wolverine and the young women either. I think some people have a problem with the way it looks. since Wolvie is helping out women in comics who well, dress like women in comics do.

"Oh look! Wolverine is mentoring yet another teenage girl who barely wears any clothes!"

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I've never had a problem Wolverine and the young women either. I think some people have a problem with the way it looks. since Wolvie is helping out women in comics who well, dress like women in comics do.

"Oh look! Wolverine is mentoring yet another teenage girl who barely wears any clothes!"

Plus, it isn't that any one of the relationships has been shown to be unwholesome, but that there are so many of them. I don't suspect every priest to be a pedophile, but if one of them takes an interest in young boys almost to the exclusion of other relationships, I raise an eyebrow. Again, I don't think this is what Marvel has in mind at all. I'm sure it's just every writer wanting to do his version of Wolverine/Kitty Pryde, with whatever Kitty Pryde-like character is handy. But from over here, I'd like to see Wolverine put that much effort into a relationship with an adult woman to balance the scales a bit.

Also -- and this is my long-running complaint about Wolverine anyway -- he's a stone killer. He ran a death squad behind Cyclops' back. (Cyclops, whom Mr. Death Squad now disapproves of, for one killing, while under the control of an alien force) Sure, one of the hallmarks of Logan's characterization over the years has been his effort of to rein in his animal side. And I've quite enjoyed that. But the death squad wasn't back in the long-before time -- it was a couple of years ago, for two incarnations of X-Force. Leaving any sexual questions aside, shouldn't the other X-people be wondering if those girls might could find a role model who isn't a mass murderer?

Oh wait, I forgot: Wolverine's popular with the readers, so no matter what he does, he's the greatest thing since sliced bread even to other characters. Never mind.

It says a lot about society these days that "the greatest thing since sliced bread" to the readers is the guy with the death squad. One of the reasons Todd MacFarlane left Marvel was he wanted to make Spider-Man more violent and Marvel said no. Maybe he'd be more popular if they'd said go ahead?

The clothing problem started in New Mutants. There was an issue where Danielle Moonstar complained she couldn't find a bikini that was skimpy enough, and Rahne the werewolf seemed sometimes the only girl on the team that knew what clothes were for.

A lot of this is the changing times. There was a Grizzly Adams episode where he tells a little girl lost in the woods to come to his cabin with him and he'll give her some food. Back then people would watch that show and think "what a nice guy, he's going to help her." People today watch it and think "he's luring her to his cabin, the sicko!"

I'd say why aren't guys like Captain America or Spider-Man after Wolverine, but then they look the other way no matter what Reed and Tony do. I suspect Nick Fury lets him get away with it knowing he'll kill off some guys that Fury would rather not have to go through the trouble of arresting and putting away for life on tax payer money.

Oh wait, SHIELD's just a cover, isn't it? Nick doesn't care about crooks because he's fighting Celestials and whatever. I could maybe accept that if 50 years of cotinuity didn't say Nick has always gone all out when fighting Hydra and AIM, so why did they always cause him so much trouble if he's got these powers?

I don't extrapolate anything to the "society is going to hell!" argument, because people have been saying that since the beginning of time. Every generation thinks the next generation is sinful, lawless and overly sexual.

I don't agree with the "Reed Richards and Tony Stark are supervillains!" argument either, because who and what they are and how they act is the product of writers, and different writers write them different ways. If you apply the same standards to just about any other character, you'll find the same problem. Spider-Man made a deal with the devil, you know, and Clark Kent breaks every journalism ethics rule there is every time he writes a byline. Lois Lane is guilty of breaking and entering, burglary, fraud and half a dozen other felonies more time than I can count. And why isn't J. Jonah Jameson rotting in a jail cell for creating The Scorpion, the Spider-Slayers and The Fly? Or for hiring Kraven the Hunter to hunt a human being? I could go on in this vein for some time, but I'll just summarize by saying that I don't agree with singling out those two characters for acting out of character (as we see it) in this story or that, because they're not doing anything better or worse than other characters in other stories where the writer needs Character A to do something awful to propel the story or shocking because he needs a good ending.

Granted, I didn't like what those characters did in Civil War. But, frankly, they were hardly the only ones acting out of character in that story! Everybody was acting out of character, in order for this preposterous story to work. If you're going to treat Civil War as the defining moments for every character in it, you'd have to stop reading Marvel Comics. Me, I just ignore it, as Marvel does.

However, call me a hypocrite, but I do have a problem with one thing: killers being treated as heroes. Don't like it now, never have.

When The Punisher stopped using rubber bullets, Spider-Man should have spent the rest of his life trying to arrest him, because by definition, Spider-Man is all about responsibility. Once he knew about this character, he should have dropped everything to chase him down and preventing him from killing one more person. Ditto Daredevil. Ditto Captain America. These are characters who are defined by their willingness to jeopardize everything they have to do the right thing.

But instead, all three teamed up with Frank Castle at one time or another. Because The Punisher was popular at the time. That's the real-world explanation, but there isn't a plausible in-story reason. So I really disliked those stories.

This applies to Wolverine in spades. And that's because Wolverine is such an egregious example of it.

Wolverine was all swoony over Jean Grey, and remains so to this day, despite her wiping out a whole planet of Broccoli people while possessed by The Phoenix. Simultaneously, Wolverine is unforgiving of Cyclops for killing one man, Charles Xavier, while being possessed by The Phoenix. Uh, what?

Cyclops killed one man, Charles Xavier, while being possessed by The Phoenix. Wolverine has killed thousands of people while not being possessed by anything. But Wolverine -- and the rest of the Marvel U -- is righteously outraged about Cyclops' one sin, committed under extenuating circumstances, while completely ignoring Wolverine's many sins, committed almost casually.

Wolverine ran a death squad behind Cyclops' back, because he knew Cyclops would disapprove. But it is Cyclops who is labeled a killer for his one murder, committed under extenuating circumstances.

There are plenty of other things about Wolverine's happy acceptance by the heroes of the Marvel U. that irk me. Like how apparently irresistible he is to all women, in stark contrast to his early appearances, and despite being short (5'5"), hairy and brutal. Like how everyone is acting as if Charles Xavier was Wolverine's father figure, when for 40 years it was Xavier and Cyclops who had a father-son relationship. (Logan was openly dismissive of Xavier, calling him "Chuck" and constantly bucking his authority. How quickly we forget.) And so on.

But I get it. The real-world explanation for most of this is that Wolverine is one of Marvel's most popular characters, and is now the face of the X-Men in the popular imagination, so they are inserting him into the central role of X-history. Cyclops already occupied that role, so that character has been, almost necessarily, disgraced in order to remove him. Wolverine, quite literally, has been inserted into every role Cyclops once had (leader of the X-Men, lover of Jean Grey, pseudo-son to Charles Xavier, headmaster of the Xavier School).

And it really wouldn't bother me very much if the character who replaced Cyclops was Angel. Or Beast. Or Banshee. Or Storm. Or, frankly, any X-Man without the blood of thousands on their hands.

Because Wolverine is a killer. And killers to me aren't heroes. It's one thing when fans love Wolverine's brutality, but it irks me when other characters who are established as having high moral principles not only look the other way, but embrace Logan as a really swell guy.

For God's sake, he ran a secret death squad!

So I guess I'm a hypocrite like Logan, too. I tell others to get over bad writing and out-of-character moments, but I really have a hard time with characters like Wolverine, Punisher, et al. Not that they kill, because killers exist. But because the other characters act as if they don't.

But here's what I do: I don't much read comics where Wolverine and Punisher team up with other characters. Or if I do, I accept going in that I have to put some of my opinions on hold to enjoy the story.

But sometimes I do complain about it, like now. So I'll take my own advice and STFU now!

As far as Jameson goes, he's a very good liar. And nobody's going to listen to anything Mac Gargan says because he's known to be crazy. And if all else fails he can always say "It wasn't me! It was one of them danged Srulls!" I think JJ could come up with a fascinating story on how he was locked in a spaceship with little green men laughing at how they were printing lies in his newspaper.

Captain Comics said:

I don't extrapolate anything to the "society is going to hell!" argument, because people have been saying that since the beginning of time.

I agree. The problem isn't that society has gotten worse. The problem is that this is the public perception. Because of the 24-hour news cycle and the many TV shows depicting weekly serial killers, serial rapists and child molesters the public is afraid to let their children leave their sight, like we used to do. There are just as many good people and just as few monsters as there ever were.

All that being said Cap I can't help but feel that I'll never be able to think of any member of the Illuminati as heroes ever again.  They've out down Wolverine to the tune of billions and in the last issue they all just gave up, wasting their previous efforts.

Anybody remember specifically waiting until it got dark to go trick-or-treating on Halloween? Now they say be back home by dark. That ruins the entire experience. Can't imagine some undead creature might be waiting to grab you if it's broad daylight.  

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