Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'Twas the Night Before Wednesday...

The revitalized publisher Alternative Comics releases the next issue of its flagship anthology, a $6, 48-page comic book comic—which sound expensive until you remember how much a 20-22-page Marvel comic book costs you these days—featuring work from James Kochalka, Sam Henderson, Noah Van Sciver and a bunch of other talented folks whose names I can't recall at the moment because they did not make me laugh like those other three gentleman did. I will likely write at some length about this later in the week, but, in the mean-time: Heads up!

Essentially the New 52 version of Superman/Batman, this Greg Pak/Jae Lee/Ben Oliver joint is differentiated from that pre-New 52 iteration by the fact that this is a "Year One" story, presumably dedicated to telling the tale of how Superman and Batman first met (aside from the other time they first met in Justice League #2, anyway). It's a $4, 26-page book, and those first 19-pages sure are pretty looking. Again: Full review forthcoming.

So right now there are four—count 'em, four—Green Lantern titles, three with the words "Green Lantern" actually in them, and Red Lanterns, starring the Red Lanterns. This new ongoing will make a fifth Lantern ongoing, and I'm pretty sure this is where we'll see the Lantern book bubble burst. The title character, alternately known as "Agent Orange" or, to civilians, Orange Lantern, previously starred in a Christmas special and a back-up in Threshold, a book that got canceled almost as soon as it was announced. Like Threshold, this will be written by Keith Giffen, whose resume makes him seen an ideal writer for a sometimes funny character having outer space adventures, but whose New 52 track-record is pretty dismal. Scott Kolins will be providing the art.

That's just an adjective that just doesn't get thrown around enough these days.

This $8 giant looks a lot like three issues of a miniseries smooshed into a single, unnaturally large one-shot. The premise is right there in the title—mash-ups of classic literature with the aliens from the old Mars Attacks trading cards—but is notable around my apartment for featuring the work of two of my all-time favorite artists, John McCrea (drawing the Moby Dick portion) and Kelley Jones (drawing the Jekyll and Hyde portion). Comic Book Resources has a preview. Hopefully this does well enough that a series will be generated, and we can see Mars attack Wonderland, Neverland, Camelot, Pemberley, fair Verona and, ultimately, Mars Attacks War of the Worlds....

I really enjoy David Petersen's Mouse Guard comics, and really, really enjoyed the Legends of the Guard series he put together, in which he drew a framing sequence while other artists got to tell stories in his world of medieval mice. This week, Petersen and company are kicking off a new volume of the series, with Stan Sakai and Ben Caldwell serving as the guest artists. ComicsAlliance has a nice preview here.

This is the comic book released this week that I most want to read, and its $50 price tag makes it the comic book released this week I can least afford to purchase. (Confidential to Dark Horse: Got any review copies lying around the old warehouse? 'Cause I know a very talented and astute comic book critic who could review that for you somewhere...)

The Superman family of characters get the Tiny Titans treatment courtesy of Art Baltazar and Franco. Highly recommended for Superman fans of all ages (Bonus: Baltazar is the only artist to kinda sorta make the New 52 Superman costume work).


Akilles said...

You`re right about the word malevolent.

Attacking Martians vs. H.G.Wells Martians absolutely mandatorily needs to happen.

Akilles said...

Also, McCrea is pretty much the perfect choice for that Moby Dick-story, `cause he`s excellent at drawing monstrous animals.

Anonymous said...

I picked up the final issue of Superman Family Adventures the other day. While it is kinda cool that I own every issue of a Superman book, I'm still very sad to see it go.

I completely forgot about Batman/Superman coming out yesterday!!! As it is, I spent nearly every free cent I had on catching up on Superman. Ahh well, guess I'll pick it up soon.

Jeff said...

Oh, man. I didn't read Batman/Superman because it's part of the New 52, and I'm just not really interested. However, I know that the first 19 pages (which you said were pretty) are done by Jae Lee, but the rest are done by Ben Oliver, whose work is totally gorgeous. I've loved everything he's done. Different strokes, I suppose. I just think it's awesome.

Caleb said...


Fair enough. I think my main complaint was that he's an artist who wasn't originally advertised and that the art changed at all. Like, if Oliver drew the first 19 pages and then Lee drew the last six, there would STILL be a really big and unwelcome shift in style.

They're both fine artists, but their styles don't match, and the result is it just sorta draws attention away from the comic and toward the "Hey, maybe someone should have planned this better" aspects of modern DC comics-making...