Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
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 dutifully pick up Dark Horse Presents #17 (Dark Horse, $7.99). With all the stories and the variety of genres, this is a comics haul all under one roof. This month’s issue has a great looking Carla Speed McNeil cover, and inside’s star looks to be Richard Corben adapting an Edgar Allan Poe story. Beat that, comics! After that I’d do an Image two-fer with Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 (Image, $3.99) and Invincible #96 (Image, $2.99). On the Multiple Warheads front, I’ve been salivating over this ever since it was announced – I bought the premature version of this back when it was published by Oni, and it’s built up in my mind as potentially greater than King City … and I loved King City. In terms of Invincible, I feel this book has the best artists working in superhero comics – and the writing’s not to shabby either. They’re doing a lot of world-building here, and having Cory Walker join with Ryan Ottley on this essentially split book makes it the highpoint of the series so far.
If I had $30, I’d double back to Image and get Prophet #30 (Image, $3.99). Of all the prophets, I love Old Man Prophet the best – and this issue looks like a mind-bender. After that I’d get Ghost #1 (Dark Horse, $2.99). Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto look like a dream team and Dark Horse really scored a coup by getting them together on this book. I was a big fan of the original series (Adam Hughes!) so I’m excited to see if this new duo can make it work in a modern context. Third up would be Secret Avengers #33 (Marvel, $3.99). Make no mistake, I love that Rick Remender is so popular now that he’s graduated to the upper echelon of books, but I’m remorseful he’s having to leave his great runs on this, Uncanny X-Force and Venom. This Descendents arc is really picking up steam. Lastly, I’d get National Comics: Madame X #1 (DC, $3.99). I’m a fair-to-middling fan of Madame Xanadu, but the creators here – Rob Williams and Trevor Hairsine – mean it’s a Cla$$war reunion! Love that book, love these guys, and love my expectations here.
If I could splurge, I’d splurge all over Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine (Dark Horse, $15.99). Can DH do two excellent anthologies? We’ll see… but fortunately they’ve got Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy to lead the way in this pulpy throwback. Shine on, you crazy super-detailed diamond, shine on.
If I had $15 this week, I’d concentrate on a beginning and an ending. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a single issue of Captain America, but Issue 19 (Marvel, $3.99) sees the end of Ed Brubaker’s run after eight years, and I can’t wait to see how he goes out. He’s certainly revitalized the character and the concept to make both more interesting and vital than they’ve been in years, and he’ll definitely be missed. Meanwhile, as Chris points out, Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads finally returns with a new Image series, Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity ($3.99), and that’s just ridiculously exciting to me — especially because I, like Chris, found myself even more interested in Multiple Warheads than King City, as much as I adore King City.
If I had $30, I’d add Tharg’s Creepy Chronicles (Rebellion, $19.99) to my pile. My love for all things 2000AD isn’t a surprise at this point, and I’ve always enjoyed the title’s one-off short stories, so this collection feels like it’ll be a fun pre-Halloween treat.
Thinking about splurging, it’s silver age weirdness and super heroics for me: Showcase Presents The Flash, Vol. 4 (DC, $19.99) has everything I could want from a Showcase collection: Fun, adventure and some killer art in lovely crisp black and white.
If I had $15, I’d pick up all three new kids’ titles from BOOM! Studios: The first issue of its Bravest Warriors comic, Adventure Time #9, and the one-shot Ice Age: Past, Presents, and Future. At $3.99 each, they aren’t cheap, but not only will I enjoy them, so will my teenage kids and my younger niece and nephew. Then I’ll pick up The Untold Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy ($2.99), just for me, because it looks interesting and weird.
If I had $30, I’d put back two of the floppies and pick up Tharg’s Creepy Chronicles ($19.99). I went to the Judge Dredd panel at New York Comic Con (which featured a number of comics from 2000AD), and I was fascinated by the variety of stories on display. Now I want to read ‘em all. This anthology features Gordon Rennie and Frazer Irving’s “Storming Heaven,” which is set in San Francisco, I guess; after seeing the art at the panel, I want to see more.
Splurge: Two from Fantagraphics, starting with the third and final volume of Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know trilogy, in which (I hope) we will finally discover what traumatized her father during World War II and haunted him for the rest of his life. Even if we don’t, Tyler’s superb storytelling makes this a book to read over and over again. And although my colleague Chris Mautner wasn’t impressed with Harvey Kurtzman’s Curse of the Imjin and Other Stories, I feel like I haven’t read enough Kurtzman, so I’d like to read this book, warts and all.
If I had $15, I’d go along with the prevailing crowd and pick up that first issue of Multiple Warheads, if only because having read the King City trade, I realize Brandon Graham is an artist that rewards close attention. I’d also grab Batman Inc. #4 to see what Morrison and company are up to with the Caped Crusader and company these days.
If I had $30, I’d put those two comics away and grab the third volume of You’ll Never Know, Carol Tyler’s three part saga about her father and how his experiences during WWII shaped him and his family. Tyler is a great cartoonist and woefully under-appreciated, so here’s hoping this final volume gets her some of the recognition she so richly deserves.
My splurge would be the one-two punch of The Lost Art of “Ah Pook Is Here” and Observed While Falling: Bill Burroughs, Ah Pook and Me by Malcolm McNeill. Ah Pook is a pseudo-comic that Burroughs and McNeill collaborated on but never finished back in the 1970s. The first book offers a look at McNeill’s elaborate paintings for the work, while in the second McNeill writes about his experiences working with the Naked Lunch author. I imagine both books would make for fascinating reading.
If I had $15, I’d join Arrant in a copy of Ghost #1 ($2.99) and join everyone in buying Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 ($3.99). My thoughts about Ghost are exactly the same as Chris’, but unlike the folks above, I’ve never read King City. I’ve read Graham’s Escalator though, so that’s all I need to know. Well, that and that I need to get me a copy of King City too. I’ve still got some money left, so I’ll grab a couple of superhero comics with female leads: National Comics: Madame X #1 ($3.99) and Pantha #4 ($3.99). I’ve not been a fan of the New 52 Madame Xanadu, but let’s see if Rob Williams and Trevor Hairsine can change my mind. As for Pantha, that’s research.
With $30, I’d just add Lewis Trondheim’s Ralph Azham, Volume 1: Why Would You Lie to Someone You Love? ($14.99). ‘Cause I like Trondheim and a six-volume fantasy series by him is something I’m ready to begin.
For my splurge, I’m tempted by Classics Illustrated Deluxe, Volume 9: Scrooge – A Christmas Carol and The Remembrance of Mugby ($15.99), because I hoard Christmas Carol adaptations. But $16 doesn’t feel like a real splurge, so what I’d really is get is Freakangels: The Complete Collection ($99.99) in its snazzy slipcase. Been wanting to read that for a while.