A Comic Book List

It’s 2012! <insert fireworks> It’s a time forreflection, new beginnings, old friends, arbitrary calendar dates, paying off holiday credit cards, and the satisfaction of saying ‘fuck it’ to a resolution you swore you’d keep this year as you viciously paw at a cheeseburger marinated in your own tears.

At this time of year, the internet is saturated with hundreds of people’s “Top 10” on anything and everything; reminding us why even in a recession someone can convince us it’s a good idea to pay $13 to watch Michael Bay ruin Transformers again.  Well guess what? This is not a top 10 list. It is, however, indeed a list to some degree. But, where this list differs from any ordinary list is the overall lack of order, strength of argument, chronology, numbers, method of from best to worst etc. 2011 or 2012? Who cares, I’m ready to throw down the confines of time and space, all for the sake of “who gives a shit”.

Instead I merely offer a list of comic books; ones that suck, and ones that don’t suck. Ones I would read, and ones I shouldn’t read but will probably read anyway. A list based solely on my own opinion of upcoming comics I’m excited about reading, and comics that I wouldn’t wall paper a dog house with. Without further introduction, behold my non Top 10 list of comic books.

Hack Slash (Image): Like most people, the holidays leave me with a strong desire to take part in some good old fashioned violence. Hack Slash, although not the most creative title on the list, delivers the goods every time. Like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixed with crack and Norwegian death metal. The comic features a gothic female lead named Cassie Hack and her disfigured goon of a side kick Vlad; out in the world to slay monsters and unearthly serial killers called “Slashers”. Cassie is loud, rude, provocative, and hands out ass kickings like lolly-pops; she’s what Marvel should have done with the X-23 character.  This comic is bloody, violent, funny, and brings out the best qualities found in the horror genre. The Annual just dropped in December and is a great opportunity to pick up a new title.

Kick Ass 2 (Marvel International): Kick Ass really does just plain Kick Ass. I loved the first comic series, I loved the movie, and this new series does not disappoint. Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Team up again to deliver and amazing sequel to the successful series. The final instalment, Kick Ass 2 #7 drops on February 1 in an extra large, extra bloody, climactic duel to the death! Even if you haven’t been following the story, this issue is worth a look over, or you can wait because it is only a matter of time before this one hits the big screen.

 

 

Norman Osborn (Marvel): I wanted to take a moment to talkabout Norman, not so much any particular comic, but the character himself.
Quick question: Is anyone else getting sick of this asshole?

Okay, the Green Goblin was a fantastic Spidey villain, and I loved his role in Marvel’s Dark Reign series. It was a creative way to take a fan favourite villain, and reconstruct him into something new and even more threatening in the modern Marvel Universe. But that was then, and this is now. Norman had his fun; he took over Shield, fucked up Asgard, tortured children (see The Avengers Academy, another good read), and even created his own Dark Avengers. Good memories. Then The Siege event concluded with the death of The Sentry, and Norman went all crazy on us…again and got tossed into super villain solitary forever and ever Amen. Now, in true corny comic cliché, he’s somehow back and now he’s escaped from prison (who hasn’t) forming the Dark Avengers…again, and he’s back in charge of his own little cabal…again, and now he’s going to occupy several marvel titles with his regurgitated story line….again. Dear Marvel, we just finished swallowing your last epic load called Fear Itself, which took over almost every major title for like six months and now that we were just settling in you drop this crap on us? It’s making me miss interesting plots like Civil War and House of M, which brings me to…

Avengers Children’s Crusade (Marvel): Possibly one of the coolest mash-up stories that Marvel has released in a long time. With 9 issues over 18 months, I’ve been waiting a long time to read this one in its entirety. Featuring the untold story of the Scarlett Witch since the whole Avengers Disassembled/House of M storylines, this comic features awesome action and some of my favourite characters. What do get when you take the Young Avengers, the Runaways, the Avengers, the X-men, and Doctor Doom; in a weaving tale of romance, deception, death, violence, family secrets, long lost companionship and betrayal? One of the best books to hit the shelves all year. With Issue 9 is on its way this one makes my “must own” list, and will make a great TB.

Batman Arkham Unhinged (DC): A few months ago I had a countdown going for the release of Arkham City. This game made almost every critic’s top 5 year end review for best video game of the year, and it deserves it. That game is awesome, the DLC is debatable, but the game itself is fluid, beautiful, and possibly the best super hero game released since Maximum Carnage for Sega Genesis. Then DC decided to dig the well deeper, and milk that mother fucker for every cent it could get. Of the new 52, this is the title that disappoints me the most, and I read Aquaman. The comic is cheap, poorly drawn, and nothing but a knock off of the successful video game. It doesn’t even hold up against other titles based on video games like the Mass Effect series.  It’s the one Bat title on the shelves that in my opinion isn’t worth the dust it gathers.

30 Days of Night (IDW): Fuck you Edward! Vampires don’t sparkle, they fucking feed on the blood and flesh of the living. They don’t go on honey moons; they rip the throats from their prey with a jaw full of shark like teeth. Do they have relationships? Yes, but it means as much to these vampires as playing with your mash potatoes means to you. This comic came back when we needed it most. They should hand out copies of this comic to every guy who’s ever been forced to sit through a Kristen Stewart performance. It’s dark, gritty, and it’s back to restore our faith in the vampire mythos.

Carnage USA (Marvel): You know what I like about Carnage? I picture creator David Michelinie sitting at his desk looking at picture of Venom and saying to himself “What a pussy, we need to turn this shit up a little” and now we have Carnage. He’s not just vengeful, he’s outright psychotic, and can turn his tendrils in to razor sharp mind altering tools of death. Now he’s back, and the first thing he does is mind fuck the entire town of Doverton Colorado; putting every branch of the Avengers in panic mode. The series just got started and I won’t get too far into it, but just imagine The Wolverine covered in the Carnage symbiote. This series is going to be all kinds of badass.

 

DMZ final Issue (Vertigo): I have to admit, I was sad to see this one go. After an excellent run of 72 main issues, the DMZ story is coming to an end. I never really read into this one religiously, but every issue I did read was well worth it. DMZ had an excellent blend of complex characters involved in an interesting and immersive universe where the one-shots held just as much weight as the longer plots. The final issue came out just over a week ago and is worth picking up as a land mark issue in a series that, in my opinion, represents the best in Vertigo comics. In years to come I will always claim “Y: The Last Man” as my Vertigo favourite, but DMZ comes in a close second.

Haunt (IDW): I came across Haunt by accident a year or so ago, strumming through random comics in a stack at my local comic shop (they basically just cash my paychecks for me), when at first glance I notice an issue by IDW with what I thought was a cool drawing of Venom of the cover. Wait a second, not Venom, What? Written by Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), Art by Todd Mcfarlane (Spawn). Iv’e been hooked ever since, this dark comic resembles a twisted combination of Venom, The Punisher, and Hell Blazer. I’ve collected every issue and although not the best piece either creator has released, it provided an excellent comic experience. Recently, Kirkman and Mcfarlane have bowed out of the title for personal projects, including a new Spawn movie;
leaving the legacy to a new creative team of Joe Casey and Nathan Fox. Now don’t get me wrong, Casey has released some excellent titles including some memorable runs on Uncanny X-Men, but his new take on Haunt just doesn’t happen to be one of them. After two new issues under the new duo, I’m not convinced this was the best move for the title, I’ll stay dedicated for now, but I think Casey and Fox are going to be left to linger in the shadows of legends.

Justice League (DC): My favourite pick of the New 52, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee rock out the revamped Justice League, I’ll be the first to admit I spend a lot more time hanging out in the Marvel dept., and Ive never been a big Justice League fan (I really hate Superman) but this comic has me exploring the dark side of the force. Geoff Johns who has had a very successful run with DC and shares a writing studio with Jeph Loeb, working on the original super hero team with one of the greatest artists in the modern age of comics. The result is a masterful take on the Justice League of America. This is one comic where the art alone is enough to keep me coming back, Jim Lee hasn’t missed a beat and can still draw one the best Batman I’ve ever seen. With the team just coming together and Darkseid showing up to kick some ass, I’m loving every page.

Happy New Year Nerdosphere!

What are you reading? what comics would you like to see me review?let’s talk shop!

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Mr. Tappa K