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But after the hustle and bustle of San Diego, and the onslaught of titles last week, this Wednesday seems awfully quiet.
Still, there are several comics worth highlighting, such as Children of the Sea, the first book from Viz Media’s Ikki imprint, and the debut of a new miniseries by Gilbert and Mario Hernandez. Archival editions of Dick Tracy and Peanuts, and the beginning of the Willingham-Sturges-Merino run on Justice Society of America should be noted, too.
And then there’s that Ultimatum finale …
To see what other releases have Chris Mautner, JK Parkin and me talking, just keep reading. And, as always, let us know your picks in the comments below.
Chris Mautner’s pick of the week: Children of the Sea, Vol. 1
Viz Media opens up the floodgates of its Ikki imprint with the release of this ongoing series by Daisuke Igarashi about a tween girl who comes across a strange pair of brothers who apparently have been raised by manatees and are more comfortable in the ocean than on dry land.
There’s a plot of sorts involving disappearing fish and mysterious rays of light that other fish like to eat, but really, this one seems to be all about mood and atmosphere. Luckily Igarashi’s good at maintaining both those things.
Kevin Melrose’s pick of the week: Batman: The Brave and the Bold #7
Cartoonist J. Bone joins writer J. Torres for a story of the (classic) Doom Patrol seeking Batman’s help in battling General Immortus. Man, the not-so-Dark Knight can’t seem to shake the general, can he? (Immortus was the villain in the previous issue, too.)
“Way back when Torres and I were working on Alison Dare we used to talk about dream characters we’d love to work on,” Bone writes on his blog. “Both of us have a strange infatuation with the Doom Patrol. Torres first worked on them in Teen Titans Go which he wrote for, like, ever single issue! Now I finally got my shot!”
An all-ages romp from two talented creators with a genuine fondness for the characters? I’m in!
JK Parkin’s pick of the week: Justice Society of America #29
Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges and Jesus Merino kick off a new story arc that will result in a split in JSA land, as some of the newer, younger members prepare to spin off into their own title called JSA All-Stars. Heck, I would have just called it Infinity Inc., but it sounds fun either way. Check out a preview here.
Citizen Rex #1 (of 6)
JK: Two-thirds of the Hernandez Brothers to weave a sci-fi tale involving robots, scandal, violence and intrigue. Sounds right up my alley.
Lobster Johnson: The Satan Factory
Kevin: Not a comic but a novel starring Mike Mignola’s 1930s vigilante Lobster Johnson. Written by Thomas E. Siegoski, The Satan Factory — great title! — puts our pulpy hero on the trail of physican who’s using a witch and a cursed skeleton to change men into mosters.
Detective Comics #855
Chris: Very few artists working for the big two manage to floor me anymore. J.H. Williams, though? Floors me every time.
Northlanders, Vol. 2: The Cross + the Hammer
Kevin: It’s a double dose of Viking drama this week with the second collection of Brian Wood’s Northlanders, with artist Ryan Kelly, and the conclusion of “The Shield Maidens” story arc, with artist Danijel Zezelj.
JK: This issue kicks off Christos Gage’s last story arc, as he prepares to make way for new writer Adam Beechen. But until then, Gage has six more issues, which will feature the ‘Cats teaming up with Team 7 to take down Tao, the villain from Ed Brubaker’s classic Sleeper run. The arc will also include the reappearance of Max Faraday.
Free Realms #1
JK: Free Realms, as I learned this weekend at the Wildstorm panel, is a hugely popular, free Worlds of Warcraft aimed at a younger audience. How do they make money? I guess one way is by licensing the rights to the comic to Wildstorm. Check out a preview here.
Jersey Gods, Vol. 1: I’d Live & I’d Die For You
JK: I haven’t checked out this title yet, but it looks like enough fun that I was at least going to thumb through the trade at the comic shop. The subtitle, however, sold me on it: Words can’t say what a cheesy Bon Jovi reference can do.
The Mice Templar: Destiny #1
Kevin: Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan Glass return to their saga of sword-wielding mice, where the Templars have fallen, leaving the natural world in pretty rough shape. You can see a preview here.
Fantastic Four #569
JK: This issue wraps up Mark Millar’s run on the title, setting the stage for Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham. This comic seems like it has been way under the radar for a Millar-written title.
Kid Colt #1
Kevin: My best guess is that this one-shot, by Tom DeFalco and Rick Burchett, is being released to keep Marvel’s trademark active. Because, really, are a lot of people clamoring for a Kid Colt comic?
Ultimatum #5 (of 5)
Kevin: Six or seven decades from now, when everyone travels around by jet pack, this miniseries and the third volume of The Ultimates will be studied by scholars of turn-of-the-21st century comics, and treasured in much the same way that the works of Fletcher Hanks are now. Maybe?
Werewolf By Night: In the Blood
Kevin: The collection of the recent four-issue miniseries by Duane Swierczynski and Mico Suayan includes reprints of early-’70s stories from The Tomb of Dracula #18 and Werewolf By Night #15.
The Complete Dick Tracy, Vol. 8 hardcover
Chris: Aw, man, now we’re talkin': Pruneface, Mrs. Pruneface, Laffy, Flattop and, my personal favorite, 88 Keys, all in one big book? You want to know how good Chester Gould could be. This is his zenith.
The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 9 softcover (new printing)
Chris: Classic Crumb from 1972 and ’73, reprinted once again. Lots of great politically incorrect material, including Crumb’s assault (of sorts) on feminism. All in good fun, of course.
The Complete Peanuts 1971-1974 Box Set
The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 12: 1973-1974 hardcover
Chris: The one and only Billie Jean King provides the introduction for the latest volume. This one contains what I sincerely think is one of the greatest extended stories in the history of comics, where Charlie Brown starts seeing baseballs everywhere and gets a baseball-shaped rash on the back of his head. Hopefully you’re buying the whole series, but if you only want one volume, I’d suggest this one. If you want more, though, you can buy the box set with Vol. 11 included.
Chris: I’m actually kind of amazed this is still going on. I would have guessed that its niche subject matter would have doomed it under Diamond’s new minimum-order policy.
Mome, Vol. 15 (Summer 2009)
Chris: As with most things these days, I’m a little behind on this quarterly anthology. Still, this one looks intriguing if only because it features both the debut of up-and-coming artist T. Edward Bak and a 16-page story by the Spanish artist Max, who we don’t nearly get enough of in these parts.
Parasyte, Vol. 8 ( of 8 )
Chris: Hitoshi Iwaaki’s aliens-invade-your-body horror series comes to a close. Another series I’m way behind on. It’s really good, though, provided you don’t mind eviscerations.
Rose (Graphix Edition)
Rose hardcover (Graphix Edition)
Chris: Having wrapped up the main Bone storyline, Scholastic gets around to reprinting some of the spin-offs, including this sumptuously illustrated (by Charles Vess) tale of Grandma Ben’s early years as a princess and the dangers she encounters. Jeff Smith is in a more traditional fantasy mode here — there’s considerably less slapstick — but it’s an enjoyable tale all the same.
Chris: A collection of Charles Burns semi-satirical/semi-horrific short stories, originally published in 2000, now presented in softcover. Dog Boy!
The Surrogates, Vol. 2: Flesh and Bone
Chris: Just in time for the soon-to-be-released Bruce Willis movie comes this prequel to Robert Venditti’s sci-fi graphic novel about a future where you can inhabit a perfect body that doesn’t age or get decrepit. Art is by Brett Weldele. I recall the original book being much better than my expectations led me to believe, so I’ll be at least giving this a look-see at the store.
Suspended in Language (new printing)
Chris: Jim Ottaviani and friends (Jay Hosler, Roger Langridge, etc.) guide you through the life and work of physicist Niels Bohr. Originally published in 2004, this is a new printing.
Will Eisner’s Life on Another Planet (WW Norton Edition)
Chris: WW Norton continues to roll out Will Eisner’s lesser, or at least lesser-known, works.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Starting Point: 1979-1996
Chris: Excited about the release of Ponyo? Perhaps this collection of essays, drawings, interviews and assorted miscellany by, about and with master animator Miyazaki will slake your thirst for the time being.
Zombie Tales 2061 one-shot
JK: This collects three short stories that originally appeared in BOOM!’s now-canceled Zombie Tales series, written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Kim Krizan. Check out my interview with her.
The full list of items arriving in stores this week can be found here.