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 start the new year off right with Invincible #99 (Image, $2.99). The build-up (or teardown?) to Issue 100 has been great, and honestly I never quite trusted Dinosaurus to begin with so I’m glad to see this finally boil over. I’m all ears – and eyes – for this and the next issue. Next up I’d get another Image joint, Prophet #32 (Image, $3.99). Kudos to Brandon Graham for being confident in himself enough – and choosy enough in his collaborators – that he’s stepping back and letting artist Simon Roy write and draw a one-off issue. And the story of a Prophet clone gone native sounds mighty enticing. Third in this week’s haul would be Punk Rock Jesus #6 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99). I feel a slight bit of remorse at how fast this series has gone – it seemed like a whole lot of introduction, a brief second act and now we’re being pushed into the finale. Still, one of the best series of 2012 (with this finale sneaking out two days after 2012). Finally, I’d get James Stokoe’s Godzilla: Half-Century War #4 (IDW, $3.99). I’ve become big fans of Ota and Kentaro here, and Stokoe has really populated this world with all kinds of special and grotesque. Excited to see what comes up here!
If I had $30, I’d continue my mad dash through my local comic shop with two Marvel picks: All New X-Men #5 (Marvel, $3.99) and New Avengers #1 (Marvel, $3.99). All-New X-Men has been surprisingly refreshing for me; I always love Stuart Immonen’s, but what’s startled me is how fresh and unencumbered Brian Bendis seems here with the writing. On the New Avengers #1 tip, I liked Hickman’s other Avengers work so far but I’m even more interested in how artist Steve Epting draws this unique cast. Plus, I loved Epting’s first run on Avengers – leather jackets, people! Next up I’d return to Image and get Glory #31 (Image, $3.99). This is going to be a great collection when the whole thing is done, but right now we’re knee-deep in the series itself as Glory faces off with her sister Silverfall. Hey Rob Liefeld – this Silverfall character could be something special for more after this series ends! And finally, I’d get Manhattan Projects #8 (Image, $3.50) and anxiously await the big reveal of the secret powerbrokers in the MP universe. I can’t wait for Hickman to blow my mind.
If I could splurge, I’d buy the back-to-back first and second volume of Chimpanzee Complex (#13.95 each, Cinebook). Coming to America with no press at all, I found this in Previews a while back and have been excited by its potential: a Franco-Belgian comic that reveals the astronauts who returned from the moon in 1969 were doppelgangers, and the fallout from that discovery. 2010 meets Orbiter. Bring it on.
Should auld acquaintance be … oh, wait. Too carried away with saying good riddance to 2012. What I meant to say is, if I had $15 this week, I’d pick up the first issue of New Avengers (Marvel, $3.99) to see if Jonathan Hickman’s promised political drama lives up to the tease, as well as Colder #3 (Dark Horse, $3.99), Flash #15 (DC, $2.99) and Red She-Hulk #61 (Marvel, $2.99), all three of which are proven joys by now.
If I had $30, let’s add the fifth issues of both All-New X-Men and Iron Man to the pile (both Marvel, $3.99), as well as the sixth issue of Batman, Incorporated (DC, $2.99). They’re all worth a look, I think.
As for splurging, it’s not even close: IDW’s Woodwork: Wallace Wood 1927-1981 HC ($59.99) is likely to be the most beautiful book of the week, if not the month… And so early, too.
If I had $15, I’d celebrate the glory of the New Year with Glory #31 ($3.99). Like Chris says, this is going to be fantastic in collected form, but Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell have created a series that won’t let me stop buying it in monthly format. I’d also get Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm #5 ($3.99), Red She-Hulk #61 ($2.99), and how can I possibly pass up Mars Attacks Popeye ($3.99)? That’s a battle I have to see.
With $30, I’d add one of the new collections of Frank Godwin’s space pulp comic strip, Connie ($14.95). I thoroughly enjoyed the first couple of editions that Pacific Comics Club put out and The Menace of Mo Tung and The Unseen Avenger should be just as fun. It’s Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, but with a female lead.
With some leftover Christmas money, I’d splurge on whichever Connie volume I didn’t get before, but then I’d add Eric Shanower and Skottie Young’s adaptation of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz ($19.99). In the absence of a definitive, illustrated collection of L. Frank Baum’s original books, I’ve been reading Shanower and Young’s incredibly faithful adaptations as my belated introduction to the Oz series. They’re so wonderful that if I’m missing out by not reading the originals, I can’t tell it.