Hey-ho there, ya Bastards! And Happy Fucking New Year! I hope all your respective 2014s are going just peachy-keen so far, and that you’re all lubed-up and ready for the first New Comic Book Day in this, The Year of the Horse! Well, to prep you for this Wednesday’s rubdown, I’m here to give you my pull list for the coming week. Now, before you take the full brunt of my throbbing suggestions, I just want to let you know that I won’t be including my two reviews for the week, which you’ll be able to find from January 8th onwards on the site. But hey, feel free to jump over to the reviews section and read what I thought about Quantum and Woody #7 and the Will O’The Wisp hardcover! Here’s the other stuff I’ll be checking out this week...
Afterlife With Archie #3
When I started writing for Comic Bastards almost exactly one year ago, the first thing my mom asked (after I mentioned the site to her) was whether or not I would be covering an Archie book. She means well, guys. If you told me then that I’d be able to answer her in the affirmative now, I’d have socked you in the face hole! But seriously, like many other folks, I’ve been completely floored by this series for the way Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has so effectively thrust Archie and company into a very un-Archie story, while at the same time maintaining the roots of its innocent storytelling style and themes, even though there are zombies afoot. This is not even mentioning art by the supernaturally prolific Francesco Francavilla, which is, as always, worth the price of admission alone.
Green Lantern #27
This is like that song you’re not sure you want people knowing is still on your iPod. Let’s be honest, Green Lantern hasn’t been a fantastic book for a long time, but I’m also a Washington Redskins fan, which means I can sit through a lot of bullshit. That’s not to say what Venditti has been doing is flat-out hot garbage, but it is fairly mediocre, and I’m not sure how much better Dale Eaglesham will be (visually) from the so-far disappointing Billy Tan. Still, I’m a fierce fan of this character and with the Durlan War ramping up - which could be interesting, if handled well - I’m still holding onto hope that at any moment, this series is going to finally turning the corner it’s been desperately searching for since Blackest Night.
All-New X-Factor #1
I’ve been a fan of the X-Factor team since the 90s, when they were a government-sanctioned mutant team offshoot with members like Multiple Man, Havok, Strong Guy and Quicksilver, and while I still really need to get caught up on Peter David’s most recent (and intimidatingly sweeping) run on X-Factor (as detective agency), this new direction interests the hell out of me. This team’s newest evolution not only plays on its past corporate incarnations, but does so in what I hope will be shades of WildC.A.T.S. 3.0: a brilliant take on the superhero/privatized business dynamic. With David again at the helm, I’m expecting good things from the narrative, though I’m less convinced so far from what I’ve seen on the interiors of Carmine Di Giandomenico. I guess we’ll see.
Avengers World #1
I know a lot of the other Bastards will have my guts for garters on this one, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for Avengers books right now. After a full year of falling for the two flagship titles by Hickman and being completely won over by Infinity, I’m all aboard pretty much anything that will toe this particular company line. Add to that Nick Spencer’s co-captaining of this vessel (I fucking loved his Infinite Vacation) and Stefano Caselli’s art (my limited experience of which leads me to believe he’s pretty damn dope), and for me at least, this one’s a no-brainer.
Revolutionary War Alpha #1
Okay, I’ll admit it, this selection is based almost completely on morbid curiosity and a probably ill-advised nostalgia. When I was growing up in comics, Marvel UK was desperately trying to claw its way to relevance, with Death’s Head II being the only character (in my view) to transcend obscurity (I’m not counting Captain Britain, even though his best days were spent in the fantastically kooky-as-fuck Excalibur, circa Claremont and Davis). Other characters, like Dark Angel, Killpower and Motormouth, who flitted in and out of my books for a minute or two (with the latter two making a really fun cameo in a couple of David’s mid-90s Hulk issues), were less interesting, but still warrant a revisit after all this time. Properly re-imagined, any of these characters could work well, but we’ll see whether the creative team, like so many before them, will shit the bed with this mini-event. Only one way to find out!