SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
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 settle in first with Dark Horse Presents #14 (Dark Horse, #7.99). This is no mere anthology: Dark Horses seems to be increasingly using it as an alternate means to serialize new single issue stories, especially with this new issue, as the publisher has expanded it to 100-plus pages. Nexus, Finder, a new Ghost series, AND the new Buddy Cops series by Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner? Sold! Moving on from that, I’d next get Saga #5 (Image, $2.99), which is completely not what I wanted this to be, and turned into something else I want even more. My third and final pick of this big week is Avengers Vs. X-Men #8 (Marvel, $3.99). I believe this is Bendis’ first issue as the lead writer post-Phoenix Force 5 and I’m interested to see him bring his dialogue to this. Seeing Adam Kubert on this brings up some questions for me, as I never really saw Kubert’s style fitting in with the overall aesthetic Marvel’s been pushing these past couple years.
If I had $30, I’d get a second anthology title – World War 3 Illustrated #43 (Top Shelf, $7.00). I’ve been remiss in buying this series for the past few years, but after stumbling over it in Previews a couple months back I made it a point to seek it out next time it came out. After that I’d get Glory #28 (Image, $2.99), Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell’s warrior-woman epic. Each issue manages to outclass the one before it, and I’m thrilled and surprised Ross has been able to do five entire issues with no delays or fill-ins. Finally, I’d get Daredevil #15 (Marvel, $2.99). The media-sensitive side of me is torn about this book now because for a time it was considered Marvel’s best kept secret, but now with the creative team coming out of the Eisners with a wheelbarrow full of awards I have to throw away my elitist mentality and fight off my expectations that the quality will drop now that it’s more well-known. Good thing Chris Samnee is on it, and they’re off to Latveria!
If I could splurge, I’d get Stuff of Legend Omnibus, Vol. 1 (Th3rd World Studios, $29.99). I remember reading a preview of this in a previous Free Comic Book Day sampler issue, but I seemed to have missed or forgotten about it in whatever single issues it’d been released in, so I’m glad I took notice of this. I’m a big fan of artist Charles Paul Wilson III, and this story of kids’ toys fighting in World War II sounds so crazily fun I’m excited to read it all in one sitting.
Anthologies are an overlooked lot in comics, and one of the most overlooked is the long-running World War 3 Illustrated. I myself have fallen victim to having a blind spot for the series, but the solicitation in the most recent Previews catalog drew my attention.
Scheduled to ship in July, World War 3 Illustrated #43 focuses on the subject of censorship — an all-too-current subject in the larger world of comics. Subtitled “Expression/Repression/Revolution,” this issue features cartoonists who may not be all that familiar to our readers. The best-known name is Peter Kuper, who’s joined by the likes of Mike Diana, Gianlucca Costantini and others to do stories about Occupy Wall Street, Wikileaks, the Comics Code Authority and more.
World War 3 Illustrated is a different kind of comic than what most people expect, akin to magazines like Maximumrocknroll, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly and Adbusters. Definitely an overlooked facet of comics, and something many comic stores don’t even stock. If your comic shop doesn’t, you can order World War 3 Illustrated #43 directly from the publisher, Top Shelf.