I want to thank Dustin and the crew for inviting me to join the Heroes blog. Each Wednesday I'm going to run down the 5 most interesting comics and graphic novels that will be hitting the shop. Please feel free to add a comment and either wholeheartedly agree with me or tell us what you're excited about picking up this week.
5. UNCANNY X-MEN #500
Written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction; art by Greg Land and Terry Dodson
Fresh off their acclaimed run on Iron Fist, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction take over the flagship X-men title with it's landmark 500th issue (500? Why does that make me feel old?). Brubaker and Fraction have a lot of plans for the series and will be setting up a lot of future story lines with this issue. The first order of business is getting the team set up in their new hometown of San Francisco. As the writers have described in numerous interviews, San Fran is a logical place for mutants to hang out because it's a town where anyone can just let their freak flag fly. The fan favorite writing team is also joined by a new art team that consists of a couple of other popular guys in the comics world right now: Greg Land and Terry Dodson. Between the new status quo and the top notch creative team this is probably the most interested I've been in checking out an X-men book since Grant Morrison ended his run.
There's quite a few variant covers for this one including the Alex Ross one shown here. Check them all out plus a preview of the interior art here.
4. WAR HEROES #1 (of 6)
written by Mark Millar; art by Tony Harris
32 pgs | $2.99
Writer Mark Millar takes a break from all the work he's been doing in the Marvel Universe to get back to doing the type of creator-owned work that he's had some success with in the past (after the success of this summer's Wanted, everything this guy does is probably going to get optioned by Hollywood now). Teaming with artist Tony Harris (Ex Machina, Starman) on this new 6 issue mini-series, Millar introduces us to an America that has gone down the tubes after devastating nuclear attacks by Iraqi insurgents. In order to regain the global advantage it has recently lost, the government begins giving superpowers to all of its soldiers.
If you were a fan of Millar's paramilitary take on The Avengers in The Ultimates then you're sure to love this and since it's published by Image, independent of Marvel's corporate censorship, there's nothing holding back Millar's more controversial and R-rated tendencies.
Here's a preview of the first issue and an interview with Millar himself.
3. APOCALIPSTIX VOL.1
Written by Ray Fawkes; art by Cameron Stewart
144 pgs | $11.95
A book about a girl rock band traveling around a post-apocalyptic landscape being chased by mutants and pirates in between gigs doesn't really sound like something I'd usually like* but it's possible I'm just biased on this one since I'm a sucker for Cameron Stewart's artwork (Seaguy, The Other Side, Catwoman). With his crisp, Bruce Timm influenced style that gives him a knack for drawing really cute girls this is basically a book that just lets him do what he's good at and there's nothing wrong with that.
Here's a preview of all the apocalyptic goodness and check out the new Apocalipstix website here.
*Actually all those things are totally up my alley
2. MEATHAUS SOS
By Various creators
272 pgs | $30.00
Meathaus is a collective of New York based artists that came out of The School of Visual Arts and, though many have pretty notable careers on their own right now, every once in a while they get together to put out an anthology of really nice looking art comics. This latest volume contains new work from folks like: James Jean (he of the Fables covers); Jim (Street Angel) Rugg introducing his newest character, Afrodisiac; Dash (Bottomless Belly Button) Shaw does the weird The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D.; plus Tomer and Asaf Hanuka (of Bi Polar fame), Brandon Graham (of King City fame) and veteran animation legend Ralph Bakshi (of Cool World and Fritz the Cat fame) all lend some work to the book.
Here's a preview over at the Totally Nerd Core website.
1. AMERICAN FLAGG! Vol. 1
By Howard Chaykin
440 pgs | $49.99
There's a lot of pricey offerings this week but this one I think is totally worth it. American Flagg! fans have been waiting years for a nice collection of Howard Chaykin's groundbreaking political sci-fi sex comedy. Featuring recolored artwork, an introduction by author Michael Chabon and a brand new story by Chaykin, this hardcover volume justifies it's fifty dollar price tag. American Flagg! was a book that was truly ahead of it's time when it was first published in the mid 1980s. Not only because of Chaykin's sophisticated artwork and storytelling style but the ideas presented itself seemed to eerily predict our own future: a collapsed Soviet Union, American society revolving around super-malls and basketball, lingerie as outerwear, media saturation, the mainstreaming of pornography and more. The only things we're still wating on is talking cats and the U.S. government to relocate to Mars.
I'd put this series in my top 5 all time favorite comics so I'm hoping this book will look great and will lead to more collections of the rest of the series.