Every Wednesday we run down the 5 most interesting comics or graphic novels coming out for the week.
5. MYTHOS HC
Written by Paul Jenkins; art by Paolo Rivera
Mythos is a series of one-shots that have been released over the past couple of years, each retelling the origins of the big players in the Marvel Universe: The X-men, Hulk, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Captain America and Ghost Rider (yeah that's right - Ghost Rider, what he's not good enough for you?) Written by Paul Jenkins and lushly painted by Paolo Rivera, the idea with these stories is to weave together various story elements that have evolved into canon over time from both modern comics and the movies into the stories that were originally told in the first issue of each character's respective books. I hear the results were mixed as far as how effectively this was done but it's all certainly nice to look at.
4. TED McKEEVER LIBRARY BOOK 1: TRANSIT
By Ted McKeever
$24.99 | 156 pgs
Ted McKeever is an artist with a bit of a cult following who's never had a real breakthrough hit but has produced some interesting work over the years, notably his Epic series Plastic Forks and Metropol and his Vertigo book with Peter Milligan, The Extremist.
This first hardcover volume of a planned series of reprints from his career begins with his first book originally published in 1987 by Vortex called Transit. It's about an "urban rebel" who gets caught up in a political power play that might take down his whole city. McKeever never actually finished this story until now. In addition to the original five issues this book collects the never before seen ending and some other odds and ends.
3. BATMAN: CACOPHONY #1 (of 3)
Written by Kevin Smith; art by Walt. J. Flanagan and Sandra Hope
$3.99 | 32 pgs
Kevin Smith makes his long awaited return to comics this week. But it's not to finish that Daredevil/Bullseye book he left hanging a few years ago. Or to finally do that Spider-man book he was supposed to write. Nope, he's starting a new book with DC that has been logically limited to only 3 issues which gives him a pretty fair chance of actually finishing it.
Cacophony is a Batman comic that features the villain Onomatopoeia that Smith created during his Green Arrow run. He's a serial killer who imitates sounds in a very comic booky way (blam, krak, sploosh, and all that). In addition to Onomatopoeia, other villains make an appearnce here like The Joker, Deadshot and Maxie Zeus.
One interesting thing to note is that the book is drawn by Smith's friend Walt Flanagan who has appeared in many of Smith's movies like Mallrats and Clerks.
2. STRAY TOASTERS
By Bill Sienkiewicz
$24.99 | 224pgs
This lost relic from the '80's has rarely been reprinted over the years, possibly because its weird, near impenetrable story is not for everyone. But it's Bill Sienkiewicz in his Ralph Steadman meets Bob Peak heyday, around the time of his other classic works like Elektra:Assassin and his run on New Mutants.
It's a serial killer story featuring a tough but burnt out detective, freshly released from the nuthouse. Oh and toasters come into play somehow.
1. FABLES: COVERS BY JAMES JEAN
By James Jean
$39.99 | 208 pgs
A coffee table art book for those comic fans that just like looking at the covers. You don't get better than this. All of James Jean's covers for the excellent Vertigo comic, Fables, collected in an oversized hardcover and accompanied by sketches, annotations and an afterword by Fables writer Bill Willingham.
Jean will seriously be considered one of the best, if not the best, cover artist of all time someday and the fact that he's been producing such amazing works of art on a monthly basis for this comic is mind boggling. They are all equally breathtaking.
It was recently announced that Jean is leaving Fables soon so consider this book a farewell celebration of his magnificent run. The comic won't be the same without him.
OH AND ALSO...
HULK: RED HULK HC
Collecting the first issues of the newly relaunched Hulk comic - post World War Hulk. Written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Ed McGuiness and featuring the mysterious death of a long-time member of the Hulk comic cast and the Hulk turns red.
BIG QUESTIONS #11: SWEETNESS AND LIGHT
Anders Nilsen's highly acclaimed comic reaches its 11th issue of gloomy, existential angst and talking animals.
BATMAN EGO & OTHER TAILS
A softcover collection of various Batman-related stories written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke, including the excellent Selina's Big Score.
NEW X-MEN BY GRANT MORRISON ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 3
The final volume collecting Grant Morrison's crazy run on New X-men. This one has the truth about Xorn and Marc Silvestri illustrating the future.
JSA KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN #1
Written and drawn by Alex Ross. This spins off from recent events in the JSA comic and of course ties in to the classic Kingdom Come series that Ross did with Mark Waid way back.