BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15 I would be in comics heaven, starting with Shade #4 (DC, $2.99). I’ve loved what Cully Hamner and James Robinson have done so far, but seeing Darwyn Cooke drawing this issue knocks it up to a whole new level. It’s like seeing David Bowie sit in on an up-and-coming band’s gig one night. Next up would be the reunion of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen in Secret Avengers #21 (Marvel, $3.99). I was halfway hoping they would break from the serious tone of the title and revisit the inanity of Nextwave, but the preview dashes that hope; still, excellent work of two guys at the top of their game. Next up would be Invincible #87 (Image, $2.99), promising an all-new level of beatdown for Mark Grayson. Lastly, I’d get Jason Aaron’s fresh take on Marvel’s mutants with Wolverine and the X-Men #4 (Marvel, $3.99). Part return to basics and part brand-new day, seeing Logan having to be the respectable one and not the plucky wildcard is fun, and the cast Aaron’s assembled is great.
If I had $30, I’d continue reading Aaron with Wolverine #300 (Marvel, $4.99). Jokes about the constant renumbering/reshuffling/rejiggering of Aaron’s run aside, it’s been a swell ride and looks to be heading up to a finale of sorts. Next up would be Batwoman #5 (DC, $2.99). Williams’ art continues to impress, and while the story doesn’t match up to his levels with Rucka on Detective Comics, he and Blackman are striving for something I haven’t been able to fully understand yet. Lastly, I’d pick up Northlanders #47 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). Artist Declan Shalvey is an inspired get for this series, really showing off what he can do outside Marvel’s Thunderbolts.
If I could splurge, I’d dive into Eric Powell’s adaptation of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (IDW, $19.99). Putting Powell together with Twain isn’t an obvious team-up, but given Powell’s depth of work I’m interested to see how it turns out.
If I had $15, I’d probably get Papercutz’s latest Smurf collection The Return of Smurfette, which is nice to see, because I was kind of worried about her.
If I had $30, I’d put down the Smurfs book and pick up Hand of Fire, a new prose book by blogger, author and scholar Charles Hatfield about the one and only Jack “King” Kirby and his legacy. I’ll read just about anything about Kirby, and Hatfield is a great writer, so this is about as close to a must-get for me as possible this week.
While there aren’t many under $30 I’d buy this week, there are a number of splurge-worthy books, including a hardcover collection of Brooklyn Dreams by J.M. DeMatteis and Glenn Barr, a series I had slotted for a future “Collect This Now” and now shall thankfully scratch off my list; Before the Incal, a $99 prologue to Jodorowsky and Mobieus’ sci-fi epic, this time featuring art work by Zoran Janjetov; and the Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 2, which contains more Silver/Bronze Age Ditko goodness than you can shake your oddly gesturing hand at.
It’s a weird week for me this week; if I had $15, more than half of it would go on IDW’s Cobra Annual 2012 ($7.99), which promises to tell the origin of the new Cobra Commander. I know, it’s a toy tie-in book, but I’ve been enjoying the ongoing Cobra series so much more than I would’ve imagined, so this one is definitely on my list of things to read, as is Secret Avengers #21 (Marvel, $3.99), a reunion for Nextwave‘s Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen and one that I really, really hope doesn’t rehash old jokes as much as let the two creators play with the medium they enjoy as much as they possibly can.
If I had $30, I’d probably grab a handful of superhero books I’ve been trying to keep up with lately: Batwoman #5, Batman and Robin #5, Legion Lost #5 and Green Lantern #5 (all DC, $2.99). Just to mix things up, I’d also see how X-Men Legacy #260.1 (Marvel, $2.99) is, and whether Marvel can continue their X-book winning streak in light of the successes of Wolverine and the X-Men, the relaunched Uncanny X-Men and the critically acclaimed Uncanny X-Force recently.
Splurge-wise, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind: The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 2 HC (DC, $59.99). I loved the mix bag of the first volume, and this second edition has the complete original Hawk and Dove. Just sit me down with this one and come back to get me in a few hours; I’ll be fine by myself.
If I had $15, I’d grab my usual series, Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #5 ($2.99) and X-Men Legacy #260.1 ($2.99) and also finish up the likable Avengers 1959 with #5 ($2.99). I’d top off the pile with the latest issues of two series that I’ve only recently fallen in love with: Batgirl #5 ($2.99) and Batwoman #5 ($2.99).
If I had $30, I’d add Demon Knights #5 ($2.99), a series I’m enjoying, but would love to see slow down enough for me to get to know some of these characters. To that I’d add Lewis Trondheim’s new book Monster Mess ($9.99).
There’s a lot of stuff I’d like to splurge on, like the first volume of The Intrepids ($16.99) and the first volume of Archaia’s Dark Crystal anthology ($19.95), for instance. I’m extremely interested in G. Willow Wilson and David Lopez’s take on CrossGen’s Mystic ($14.99), too. But if I had to pick just one thing, it would be Josh Tierney’s Spera ($19.95), about a couple of princesses and a fiery dog who have to save their kingdom.