Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
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’d be all over Fatale #1, as I’ll grab anything Brubaker and Phillips do together. I’d go out on a limb and say that’s one of the best and consistently stellar collaborations in comics going on right now. I’d probably get the latest issue of The Boys as well, because that’s what I do.
If I had $30: Well, I haven’t read the first volume yet, but everyone says that the transgender manga series Wandering Son is stellar so I’d at least give it a look through, and perhaps nab volume one as my splurge for the week.
Splurge: Then again, I’m a big Larry Gonick fan and I see where is latest book, the Cartoon Guide to Calculus, is out this week. I have zero interest or aptitude for math, but Gonick knows how to make even the dullest and fear-inducing subjects seem fun.
If I had $15 this week, I’d get my year started on the right foot with 2000AD Prog 2012 (Rebellion, $10.00), the annual extra-sized holiday issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, and the first one I’ll have picked up in quite some time. I’ve been looking for an excuse to check out some new 2000AD for awhile, and this oversized issue provides me with all the reason I need. Zarjaz! There’s also Fatale #1 (Image, $3.50), the new horror noir by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, and who could really pass that up?
If I had $30, I’d add OMAC #5 (DC, $2.99), which continues to be a guilty pleasure every month, as well as Marvel’s Defenders #2 ($3.99)–I was ambivalent-towards-positive about the first issue, enough that I’m curious enough to pick up the second–and Uncanny X-Force #19.1 ($2.99), based almost entirely on the critical plaudits the book’s recent “Dark Angel Saga” received; I tried out the first trade and didn’t fall in love, but we’ll see whether or not I get won over by this jumping-on point. Curiosity also draws me towards Atlas Unified #1 (Ardden, $2.99); I don’t have any great love for the Atlas characters, but I do like Tom Peyer’s writing a lot, so I’m optimistic about what I’ll find.
When it comes to splurging, I’m going for a possibly unexpected pick of Avengers Academy Vol. 2 trade paperback (Marvel, $19.99); I really enjoyed the first collection, and have been eagerly awaiting this second volume.
If I had $15, I’d get two #1’s and two #5’s (ok, dump joke). My two #1s would be Fatale #1 (Image, $3.50) and Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha & Omega #1 (Marvel, $3.99). I’ve got a lifelong subscription in my mind to anything teaming up Brubaker and Phillips, and Fatale is no different; seeing them melding crime plus horror plus time travel will be interesting to see, plus I just want to see Phillips draw some monstrous creatures. For the other book, I’m getting it for Brian Wood & Quentin Quire – both underrated by Marvel standards, and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish. My #5s would be Action Comics #5 (DC, $3.99) and Animal Man #5 (DC, $2.99). It’ll be interesting to see how Morrison retells Superman’s origin here; the only thing more I would have asked for is a different artist; last time Andy Kubert did an origin (Wolverine’s), it didn’t turn out so well. As for Animal Man, Lemire and Foreman are really showing what they can do with an off-kilter superhero.
If I had $30, I’d go from the Rot to the Green and pick up Swamp Thing #5 (DC, $2.99). No slight against Victor Ibanez, but I’m glad to see Yanick Paquette is back on with this issue; like Animal Man, it’s the artist that are turning it from a greatly written book to just a plain great book. After that I’d pick up the lucky 13th issue of Artifacts #13 (Image/Top Cow, $3.99). Seeing new work by Dale Keown is a rare treat, and after being recently won over to the Artifacts series it’s a crossroads of personal interest for me. The last two books I’d get would both be Marvel: Uncanny X-Force #19.1 (Marvel, $2.99) and Avengers: X-Sanction #2 (Marvel, $3.99). I’ve never really been interested in Age of Apocalypse, but Remender hooked me in with his previous issues of Uncanny X-Force so I’ll give him one chance to wow me here. Last up would be Cable’s one-man war on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes; Loeb’s doing some really decompressed storytelling with I’m on the fence about, but Ed McGuinness’ art continues to make this a must-buy for me.
If I could splurge, I’d splurge for 2000AD Prog 2012 (Rebellion, $10). This is the 2000AD equivalent to Marvel’s recent Point One, with the first part of eight new serials with everything from classics like Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog and more recent hits. I’d reluctantly admit I’ve missed a couple issues of 2000AD in the past, but this should set me straight.
If I had $15, I’d start with two from Image Comics–Mudman #2 and Fatale #1, each $3.50. The first issue of Paul Grist’s latest, Mudman, was loads of fun, and I’m not sure what else I can add to my colleagues’ thoughts on Fatale besides “Yes, please.” I’d also get Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega ($3.99), the new X-miniseries by Brian Wood, Roland Boschi and Mark Brooks. And finally, I’d get the second issue of X-Club after the better-than-I-expected first issue. I wasn’t even planning on getting this until I saw the good reviews of it.
If I had $30, I’d also get Avengers Annual #1 ($4.99), which continues the Wonder Man story that started in New Avengers Annual #1. I love the concept of an annual, at least as I was first introduced to them–that big, special story that may have included some fun guest stars or wrapped up a storyline introduced in the regular book or took the characters to somewhere exotic. New Avengers Annual contained two of those three elements, so if this one takes everyone to the Savage Land or the Blue Area of the Moon or Asgard, it will have scored a trifecta. Mostly, though, I hope we get some of the back story around why these anti-heroes came together to take out the Avengers. Moving on, that would leave me with about $10, so I’d also pick up Dynamite’s new Lone Ranger #1 ($3.99), which should provide a nice jumping on point if you’ve never read their Lone Ranger comics before, as well as the second issue of Defenders ($3.99).
For my splurge item, in all honesty I’d probably spend any extra monthlies I skipped over, stuff like Swamp Thing and OMAC and iZombie and The Punisher. There was a lot this week I would have gotten for a few dollars more …
If I had $15: I’d probably grab vol. 2 of Psyren ($9.99), which is one of those survival-in-the-desert manga from Viz. This one put a few cute twists on the standard plot in volume 1, and I’d like to see where it’s going. Viz manga are reasonably priced, so that leaves me enough for a floppy; I’d go for issue #4 of Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising ($3.99)
If I had $30: I’d keep Rachel but shift the rest of my dollars to Archaia, which has been producing a bumper crop of beautiful books lately. I’m tempted by Billy Fog: The Gift of Trouble Sight ($24.95), which is storybook/comic hybrid with a Lemony Snicket vibe, but I’m drawn by the color art in their first volume of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: The Creation Myths ($19.99), a prequel to the movie, so I’ll grab that one.
Splurge: Chris already picked up on vol. 2 of Wandering Son, which is pricey at $19.99 for a volume of manga (even a hardcover) but definitely a good splurge.