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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for February 8th, 2012

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

(A weekly quick pick of the five titles that should reside at the top of your pull list. In no particular order!)

 

I do the research, you reap the reward! Before you head out to your favorite shop today, make sure you add these books to your list of goodies. Forget that apple a day nonsense, this “DOC’s” prescription to good health starts with these top five books of the week!

 

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1.  Severed #7:  Scott Snyder’s classic look at American horror reaches it’s conclusion! This is the best mini-series I have read in a very long time and if you haven’t been reading this one — you missed out on something amazing!

2.  Wolverine and the X-Men #5: Kitty’s pregnant, Beast teaches a biology class inside a living mutant and the school is completely out of money! Jason Aaron continues his fabulous run on a series that is both fun and thought provoking!

3.  Suicide Squad #6:  The hunt for Harley Quinn begins with this issue! Plus, this is the only place you will be seeing the Joker anytime soon, too bad it’s only in flashbacks! Great story!

4.  Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #2 (of 5):  Mignola’s pulp hero returns for his second mini-series and you will be kicking yourself if you don’t pick this one up! B.P.R.D. fans will be pleasantly surprised by the last page reveal!

5.  Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #529:  David Liss‘ fantastic work, on redefining the Black Panther for future generations, ends here with the series finale! This underrated character has never before been so appealing!

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Mr. Freezes Enters The New 52 With Batman Annual #1

DC Comics announced that coming this May will see Mr. Freeze enter the New 52 with the Batman Annual #1 by Scott Snyder and artist Jay Fabok, with James Tynion IV as co-writer. What will role Mr. Freeze play with the Court of Cowls attempting to take over Gotham?!

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Chronicle’s Max Landis Explains The Death Of Superman (Parody Video)

Have you seen the following video, which has amassed over 238,000 views on YouTube in only a couple days?!

Well, it’s a “Death of Superman” parody explanation video of the comic arc from the 90s that saw Big Blue take on Doomsday.

Basically they rip Superman and just about everything about him apart.

As much as a Superman fan that I am, this is hilarious! Well done, too.

Update: Doh! It’s by the writer of the new movie Chronicle, Max Landis, and also features Elijah Wood and Ron Howard!

Warning: Expletives

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Justice League Doom: Justice League Arrival Trailer

Here is a new clip from Justice League Doom which features the arrival of the Justice League! Just in time to confront a band of villains! Warner Home Video will distribute the film on Blu-Ray, DVD and for Download on February 28, 2012.

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DC Comics Announces Full Creative Teams On Liefeld’s Deathsroke, Grifter and Hawkman

Previously DC Comics announced that Rob Liefeld is going cosmic (of sorts, as he said they are actually more grounded) on Deathstroke, Grifter and The Savage Hawkman.

Now we get the full creative teams on the titles beginning on their May #9 issues.

Via The Source:

On GRIFTER, Liefeld will be joined by co-writer Frank Tieri, whose previous DC Comics work includes JSA CLASSIFIED, GOTHAM UNDERGROUND and BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS. Scott Clark will remain the ongoing series artist.
 
Co-writer Mark Poulton will share plotting duties with Liefeld on THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN. Poulton’s notable recent work includes a reboot of Liefeld’s AVENGELYNE for Image Comics. HAWKMAN will be illustrated by Joe Bennett, whose prior DC Comics work includes TEEN TITANS, HAWKMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST.
 
And on DEATHSTROKE, Liefeld will shoulder both writing and illustration duties, kicking off a new storyline with a battle royale between the mercenary against intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo.
 
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DC Comics Takes Top Ten Spots For January Led By Justice League and Batman

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PREVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE #5

The preliminary numbers are in from Diamond for January 2012 sales of comic books, and DC Comics has taken the top 10 spots.

Led by Justice League and Batman, according to DC (via Newsarama) this hasn’t been accomplished by a major publisher since 2005.

DC Comics also took the unit share with 39.86% to Marvel’s 37.51%; however, Marvel was on top for dollar sales with 35.17% to DC’s 33.55%. Worth a note is that Marvel charges an average higher cover price for their titles.

The top Graphic Novel also belongs to DC with Batman: Through The Looking Glass taking #1.

Here’s the top 10:

 
2 BATMAN #5
 
3 ACTION COMICS #5
 
4 DETECTIVE COMICS #5
 
5 GREEN LANTERN #5
 
6 BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #5
 
7 SUPERMAN #5
 
8 THE FLASH #5
 
9 BATMAN AND ROBIN #5
 
10 AQUAMAN #5
 
Good to see Aquaman cracking the list, Johns has been doing wonders with that book and character!
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Marcus To Takes Over Art Chores With Batwing #9

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:577:]]And more creative changes are in store for the Batman family of titles, as DC announces that Marcus To will take over art chores as of May’s Batwing #9.

Marcus To is currently on the Huntress mini-series and will be working with current Batwing writer Judd Winick.

The DC Blog The Source gives us a teaser as to what will come in that issue: 

But To’s first issue finds Batwing still in Gotham City – unfamiliar ground for the hero of another continent. Having pursued Massacre to the United States, Batwing is faced with an even greater threat: The Court of Owls.  It’s all part of the “Night of the Owls” crossover event coming in May.

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Gregg Hurwitz Takes Over Batman: The Dark Knight With Issue #10

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Creative changes abound at DC Comics!

This morning saw the DC Comics blog The Source announce that as of June’s issue #10 on Batman: The Dark Knight, Gregg Hurwitz will be taking over the writing chores.

Hurwitz is the current writer on Penguin: Pain and Prejudice (right) as well as an acclaimed novelist. Current series artist David Finch will remain on the book.

“Finch and I are very fired up to take the Batman into dark and dangerous new terrain, presenting a story that’ll be epic and sweeping and juuust a little bit twisted,” Hurwitz told The Source. “We’re gonna see a cornerstone villain from a whole new angle, too. I’ve always been fascinated by Jonathan Crane—not just what makes him tick, but what could have happened in his past to make him obsessed with fear at the expense of all else. And perhaps that particular obsession isn’t so different from the demons that drive the Dark Knight.”

DC Comics recently announced a second creative change for Stormwatch as well. As a reader, to these changes cause the alarm bells to sound or tempt you to give them a try?

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JMS Sounds Off On Alan Moore and Before Watchmen; Compares To Babylon 5

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We just posted Alan Moore’s thoughts on the recently announced Watchmen prequel, Before Watchmen, where the writer compared his original to Moby Dick, and thought the new take to be “completely shameless.”

One of the creators onboard for the new series of 7 prequel comic books is J. Michael Straczynksi. JMS is writing the Dr. Manhattan issue with artist Adam Hughes, and JMS being JMS, he is not one to bite his tongue when it comes to his thoughts and opinions as well.

JMS posted a lengthy and well thought out rebuttal of sorts to Alan Moore’s arguments, offering up the question: What If the same happened with his beloved Babylon 5?

Here’s the post from his fan Facebook page:

Rather than answer the questions about Watchmen piecemeal in separate topics, I figured I’d address the key ones here, all in one place. 

Let me start out by tackling head-on the most frequent question: “how would you feel if Babylon 5 was being done without your permission?” It’s a fair question, and it needs to be fairly answered…but it has to be an honest comparison, apples to apples, not apples to pomegranates.

First, we have to take the word “permission” off the table. Warner Bros. owns Babylon 5 lock, stock and phased-plasma guns, just as DC owns the Watchmen characters. DC wasn’t making creator-owned deals back in the 80s. Moreover, they were variations on characters that had been previously created for the Charleton Comics universe. Main point is: neither of us owns these characters in any significant legal way. Consequently, neither company needs our permission to do anything.

But I get that we’re talking about the emotional aspect of all this, not the legal stuff, which is pretty cut and dry. So again: apples to apples.

How would I feel if Babylon 5 were being made and I were shut out of anything to do with it, despite my desire to be involved? I’d feel pretty crummy about it. But as it happens, that has absolutely nothing to do with this situation in any way, manner, shape or form.

If at any point in the last 25 years, Alan had said, “you know, there’s a Watchmen story I’d like to tell,” there’s no question that DC would have given him both the freedom to tell that story and a check big enough to dim the lights at their offices for a week. And there were frequent overtures for him to do just that. In 2005, DC actually offered to give him ownership of the characters if he’d come back to do more stories with them. 

They wanted his involvement, solicited his involvement, would have been thrilled at his involvement. He declined at every point. Fair enough. It’s his choice, and it’s his right to make it.

So now – apples to apples – let’s make the B5 comparison. Let’s say Warner Bros. came to me and said, “we want to do more Babylon 5, and we want you to run the whole thing. We’ll pay you anything you want, give you a proper budget, and you will have complete creative freedom.” (Actually, they made that offer last year, and I said yes enthusiastically, because I love these characters and that universe. At the eleventh hour the distribution system they had been trying to put together fell apart, and so did this, but let’s stick to the subject, shall we?)

So let’s say that Warners makes that offer, and I said, “No, I don’t want it, take your accursed money, your big budget and your complete creative freedom and begone, get thee behind me Satan!” Let’s say they came back and said “Okay, then how about we pay you vast sums of money just to consult? How about that?” 

“No,” let’s say I cried, “no, no, a thousand times no.”

“How about just to meet with us? Just for an hour?”

“No, absolutely not, nuh-uh, no way, not a chance.”

“What if we sweeten the deal? What if we offer to give you full ownership of Babylon 5, legally and contractually, so you own it? How about that?”

“Fie, I tell you, fie!”

Well, where does that leave us?

If Warners offered me creative freedom, money and a budget to do the show the way I wanted, up to and including my completely owning the show, and I said no to that deal, and if after Warners waited TWENTY FIVE YEARS for me to change my mind they finally decided to go ahead and make B5 without me…then I would have absolutely zero right to complain about it. Because it was my choice to remove myself from the process, it wasn’t something foisted upon me by anybody else.

And frankly, and I’m only talking about me here, if I made that choice, I would be an idiot. Because I love those characters and that universe, and would greatly enjoy the chance to play with them again. Every TV writer in town would show up at my door just to personally kick the crap out of me, and they’d be right to do it.

On to the next topic.

“These were one-off characters, they were never intended to be used again.” A really good point whose only problem is that it’s not actually true. That was certainly never DC’s perception of the characters, and Alan himself floated an idea about doing a Minutemen prequel back in 1985. 

Alan didn’t walk away from Watchmen for artistic reasons, he walked away over contract language regarding ownership issues. It was a contract dispute. In time that morphed into something else, but that was not what happened at the time.

“These characters are sacred, nobody else should write them.”

If we’re going to talk about the sanctity of characters, let me point to an observation I made in one of the interviews:

“Alan has spent most of the last decade writing some very, very good stories about characters created by other writers, including Alice (from Wonderland), Dorothy (from Oz), Wendy (from Peter Pan), as well as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Jekyll and Hyde and Professor Moriarty. I think one loses a little of the moral high ground to say, “I can write characters created by Jules Verne, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle and Frank Baum, but it’s wrong for anyone else to write my characters.”

Some folks have replied to this with “well, Alan says this is different because he’s using those characters in different situations.” (I’m not vouching that Alan said that, only that this is the most common reply. If he never said anything to that effect I’m happy to be corrected.)

I’m really good with the English language, but I’ve turned that sentence over several times and I can’t parse it in any logical way. What the heck does it even mean? The moment you have Mr. Hyde do anything not in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, it’s a “different situation.” I think that the argument being made here is that by putting Mr. Hyde in a modern context, then that makes it Alan’s and that makes it legally and morally okay. 

If that’s true, then I invite Alan to try that with James Bond, or Jason Bourne, or any other character where the writer or the estate is still around to fight for the rights of their characters. Legally, yes, you can do what you wish with public domain characters. But one ends up on a slippery moral slope to say that all of these other writers’ characters are fair game but Alan’s characters are sacred on a moral or emotional basis. 

I would suggest that there are just as many people around the world who hold Wendy from Peter Pan sacred, or who might think it untoward that Alan had Mr. Hyde literally sodomize the Invisible Man TO DEATH after the latter serially raped a bunch of girls at a private school. How would Robert Louis Stevenson or H.G. Wells have viewed such a story? 

Despite this, somehow, by Alan’s lights, that’s not just okay, it is right and proper. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have done it. Alan’s a genius, and if it were in my power I’d set him up with a big distribution system, ten million dollars, and publish anything he wrote, up to and including the phone book. 

I’m just suggesting that one needs to be consistent in one’s moral stance if one wishes that moral stance to be taken seriously.

“This will dilute the legacy of the original Watchmen.”

Can’t happen. The book is the book is the book. It will always be up on the shelf. You can read it alone, or after the prequels, or before…it doesn’t change a word of it. The original book has twenty five years of legacy standing behind it. It’s not that fragile. It’s a work of art, and art endures.

“So how come you left Thor because they were messing with the story?”

Apples, meet oranges. Thor was a work in process, versus a finished work in the case of Watchmen. No one’s suggesting a mid-course correction in the original book. I would have been happy to remain on Thor for decades, but when I saw the ominous approach of an Event that would once again erase or damage the story that I had worked so hard to create, I opted out. By contrast, nobody is infringing on a story Alan wants to write. Finally, again, opting out of Thor was my choice, just as it’s Alan’s choice not to be involved in any further Watchmen projects. I have no more right to complain about what came afterward than…well, anyone else in that situation.

“You didn’t like what Mongoose Publishing did with Babylon 5.”

True. Leaving aside that they were trying to include novels into a licensing contract that was intended only for game books and reference…leaving aside that instead of going to quality writers they picked up fan fiction on the cheap from amateur writers…the books were dreadful and not in keeping with the standard that I applied to anything done in the B5 universe. I’d bounced a couple of properly authorized and sanctioned novels previously because I didn’t feel they were up to snuff. The quality was the issue, not my involvement, because under contract I was involved and had approval. Had the books been better, they would’ve come out. They weren’t, and they didn’t. Apples and oranges.

I think those are all the major points that have been repeatedly brought up here and online elsewhere. To which I would add only the following codicil. 

When I met with the others in New York to discuss these books, I was in awe of the assembled talent. These were, and are, some of the brightest lights in the comic business. (And me, holding up the rear.) Listening to Brian A, I frankly thought I should be sitting at the children’s table, not here. And beside me was Len Wein, who was involved with the original Watchmen books. Amazing.

I wish you could’ve been there. I wish you could’ve seen the passion, the care, the creativity in their eyes and in their voices. There was no talk of money, or of deals, it was all about digging into characters for whom we all shared a profound reverence and appreciation. No detail was too small to delve into. What really happened to this character, who died or disappeared? Why did this other character dissolve into madness and alcohol? Who the hell was the Twilight Lady? There was an excitement and a dedication to preserve the quality of the characters that I wish you could have been present to witness firsthand. 

It. Was. Awesome.

I have always put a great emphasis on doing right by the money fans have to spend on product. This is because I come from ridiculously poor circumstances, and equally ridiculous fannish circumstances. I saved all summer to buy a membership in the Supermen of America Club. Another summer got me a wonderful envelope from FOOM. I was the only kid in my neighborhood who not only ordered a pair of X-Ray Specs, but expected them to actually work…and was devastated when they didn’t.

So I’ve always viewed things from a perspective of, “Is this going to be worth somebody’s hard earned cash?” I won’t speak of my stuff, because the specter of enlightened self-interest raises its head…but when I think of what Brian and Darwyn and the others are doing with their books, the stories they’ve chosen to tell, and the reaction I think these stories will meet, the quality of the art and the storytelling…for me, as a fan, the answer is an enthusiastic “hell, yes.”

The books will speak for themselves.

Everything else is just foreplay.

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Alan Moore On Before Watchmen: “Completely Shameless,” Compares to Moby Dick

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Earlier today saw DC Comics announce Before Watchmen, a series of 7 prequel comic books from various top talented creators and artists.

The subject of anything post or pre Watchmen is a touchy subject among readers; some think their “bible” should be left alone, while others could care less.

The Cosmic Book News Twitter account just had a conversation about it a short time ago.

So what does Alan Moore, the creator of the original Watchmen, think about Before?

It should come as no surprise to anyone following Moore for the past 25 years that his opinion is not one of support, to say the least.

The NY Times reached out to Moore to get the writer’s thoughts, with Moore calling Before Watchmen â€œcompletely shameless.”

Moore goes on to reiterate things he has mentioned in the past about modern comics having no originality.

“I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago,” he said.

While Moore informs the Times he has no plans to fight the prequel in the courts, he plainly states, “What I want is for this not to happen.”

The Times also went to get an opinion from Dave Gibbons, Moore’s collaborator on Watchmen, who offered up a different take.

 â€œThe original series of Watchmen is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell,” stated Gibbons. “However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire.”

With that, Moore compares Watchmen to Melville’s Moby Dick, in that no new stories came out of that, and that Before Watchmen has “only weakened the argument that comics were an authentic form of literature.”

“As far as I know,” Moore said, “there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’ ”

Related: JMS Sounds Off On Alan Moore and Before Watchmen; Compares To Babylon 5

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Review: Stormwatch #6

Stormwatch writer Paul Cornell gives us a marvelous, cosmic character-driven swansong of an issue this month as the covert team of non-heroes’ HQ appears dangerously close to Earth real-space, the AI consciousness of the Eye comes alive (it’s Daemonite!) and Harry and the Projectress get it on in what looks like Phoenix’s White Hot Room!

And then you turn to Page 2 …!

Seriously, from #s 1-6 Cornell and artist Miguel Sepulveda have kept the concepts high-brow, the action energetic and involving, and the characters complex and interesting. Why this book is undergoing such creative changes I do not know, but I hope it is not some harbinger of doom because Stormwatch above all has become my very favorite New 52 title.

I mean, what a great vehicle with DCU and WildStorm characters to join the two universes and their histories, and perhaps at some future time (like the time of a team-up with the Justice League) to let unfold the story of the Hooded Woman from Flashpoint.

Seriously, if anyone doubts the quality of this mag just re-read the trade when and if it comes out for #s 1-6 and know that editor Pat McCallum is not going to let this excellence die (and I hope creator of the original series and quasi-DC head honcho Jim Lee will not either).

For those of us hungering for cosmic comics, Stormwatch and Green Lantern are our favorite remedies. I am sure Mr. Milligan will do a great job, and I am already excited about his first out-RAGE-ous arc.

See you for the two-issue gravity mining story next month.

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Milligan bringing his rage to Stormwatch

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After thinking writer Paul Jenkins may be taking the place of departing scribe Paul Cornell after today’s issue of Stormwatch, our friends at DC The Source bring word that Peter Milligan of Justice League Dark fame will be leaving that New 52 property to write our favorite sci-fi covert team book.

In an interview on Newsarama some time ago, Jenkins expressed wishes that his short-term two-issue stay on Stormwatch #s 7 and 8 would be the beginning of a long creative stint on the former WildStorm book, but such is apparently not to be as Milligan brings some of his cosmic craziness from Red Lanterns to the Eye.

Why Stormwatch?

“I really like the set-up,” Milligan said. “I like the way these guys are somewhat like superheroes but are in fact nothing of the sort. They’d get very offended if you called them superheroes. And I like that because there are none of the really big hitters in the book (Batman or Superman or whoever) we’ll hopefully have a bit more license to push things around a bit. Also there was a lot hinted at so far but it seemed there was still plenty of room for me to come in and spread my own scent around a bit, make it my own.

“One of the things that makes this book interesting is its offbeat humor. And the fact that these characters don’t run around in super costumes but instead bear more of a likeness to ‘real’ people — that almost makes them weirder. Offbeat and weird is my home territory, I think.”

Although I have been down on Cornell for his departure after just six issues and one arc – some say it was editorial, the writer has blogged it was his decision – I am thankful as a reader of this New 52 book for all the creative story-threads he left and also to Milligan for his determination to pick up on many of them as well as do one thing Cornell said he was not inclined to do: bring in some villain from known DCU space and have a battle royale!

“My first story deals with an intruder on Earth from the planet Ysmault,” Milligan told Newsarama. “He’s red and he’s got a lot of rage — and (was) also a former Stormwatch member!

“ … Stormwatch operates in the DCUworld and I think that’s what makes it tick. Its whole conceit is that in this world of superheroes here is a team of non-superheroes who are secretly going about saving the world. And trying not to go insane. I love that.”

So my hopes for a great focus on all these characters (at least the ones left after the conclusion of #5) may be coming true … especially the Martian Manhunter and Midnighter.

Good luck, Peter. I have not been kind about your Red Lanterns work, but I know you have the talent to keep this great book afloat through the coming “Wave”!

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DC Comics Officially Announces The Watchmen Prequel, “Before Watchmen”

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DC Comics announced what we have been hearing all along, a series of Watchmen prequel comics dubbed “Before Watchmen.”

There will be seven interconnected issues featuring a back-up, “Curse of the Crimson Corsair,” written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. 

Updated with cover images.

Here are the details via The Source:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

BEFORE WATCHMEN includes:
 
RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
 
Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called CURSE OF THE CRIMSON CORSAIR, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a CRIMSON CORSAIR story by Wein and Higgins.
 
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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile for February 1st, 2012

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

(A weekly quick pick of the five books that should reside on the top of your pull list. In no particular order!)

 

I do the research, you reap the rewards! Before you head out to your favorite shop today, be sure to add these titles to your list of goodies. Forget that apple a day nonsense, this “DOC’s” prescription to good health begins with these top five books of the week!

 

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1.  Swamp Thing #6:  Scott Snyder continues to prove he is the new face of horror, and this book will embed itself in your nightmares for weeks to come! Just a tip, leave the lights on for this one! Check out my review for all the gory details here!

2.  The Strange Talent of Luther Strode #5: Luther is finally forced to make a decision on whether he will become the man the Librarian wants him to be or not. But things aren’t so black and white when they’re covered in red! Check out Kenneth’s review here! 

3.  Dark Horse Presents #8:  Mike Mignola headlines this one with a compelling story of Kate Corrigan and her revelation about Hellboy! Plus a creepy Beasts of Burden story by Jill Thompson and the continuation of Neal Adams’ Blood! 80 pages of great stuff!

4.  The Boys #63:  Garth Ennis’ over the top series may be gradually coming to it’s conclusion, but the story continues to heat up! Both teams take some big losses when the Seven and the Boys begin their cataclysmic collision course! The end begins here!

5.  Fatale #2: Ed Brubaker weaves a crime noir tale like no other! Now factor in devil worshippers and demons, and you have another amazing book from an amazing trio! Don’t believe me? Read my full review here!

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Review: Swamp Thing #6

This is the day the world dies! No one can withstand the Rot, it has chosen it’s Black Queen and she will rule the very fabric of reality!

Snyder’s darkest book to date, Swamp Thing #5, is a complete assault to the senses. Visually traumatic and emotionally jarring, it will nest itself within the recesses of your consciousness, waiting there until you slip into a calming slumber — just to assault you again as you close your eyes! 

Dr. Alec Holland can no longer run from his responsibilities as the avatar of the Green. It is not because he has finally chosen to accept his fate, it is because he no longer has the luxury of a choice. While he has been trying to find answers to a past life, one he can barely remember, the Rot has been moving with urgency against him. A veritable life or death chess match, Alec has lost far too many moves from indecision. Now, all he hears is the whispering voices of the Rot as it utters the word — checkmate!

This book will seize your attention and not let go until you give into it’s overwhelming sickness! Snyder is a classically trained maestro of the horror genre and he is conducting his most disturbing symphony for us right now! Although Yanick Paguette is absent from interior art chores this time around, Marco Rudy does a phenomenal job of rendering the pure viciousness of the book. His style, especially the splash pages, remind me of Tom Mandrake’s work on the Spectre series oh so many years ago. It is perfect for the Vertigo-esque style of this book!

Filled with horrifying revelations and pushing the characters to their breaking points, issue five is now the catalyst for things to come. The road from Snyder’s Swamp Thing to Lemire’s Animal Man is growing ever shorter — you need to get this book now before they converge! Don’t be the last to get to your local comic shop, you may just miss out on this amazing book!

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DC Comics 2012 FCBD To Feature New Story and Preview

free comic book dayThe DC Blog The Source announced that this year’s FCBD issue will feature an all-new story by Geoff Johns, art from Jim Lee as well as a preview of the New 52.

Featuring art by legendary illustrator Jim Lee and other top talents, DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 FCBD EDITION will include a new story by New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns.

There will also be preview material from DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 “Second Wave” titles, including BATMAN INCORPORATED, DIAL H, EARTH 2, G.I. COMBAT, THE RAVAGERS and WORLDS’ FINEST.

Meanwhile, Marvel will be re-issuing last year’s April issue of Avengers #12.1 for their FCBD issue.  

FCBD is held Saturday May 5th, 2012 at participating fine comic book retailers everywhere.

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Review: Aquaman #5

The mystery of Atlantis’ sinking, and indeed the mysterious background of Arthur Curry and his father, continues in the new arc of Aquaman #5 – a great jumping-on place for newbies. And it is, I must say, a success that is going along swimmingly!

Aquaman’s desire to leave his past behind and make a life as a hero with Mera on the surface seems to continue bringing him back to points of his past (his dad’s best friend, the “A” give-a-show projector) as Geoff Johns starts to already cash in on some of those seeds planted in the early issues. (Reread issues 1-5 and then see how much has been told the reader that we really didn’t realize. It’ll scare ya!)

How Johns and artist Ivan Reis have gotten me to care this much about Aquaman in such a short period of time is flabbergasting. I have read issues of different revivals of his title, but no handling has ever gripped me like this – not even when our hero lost his hand for a hook.

And while I often brag about how beautiful Green Lantern is these days, please make no mistake that Aquaman and Justice League are both feasts for the mind and eyes. Reis and his inkers and colorists are making it hard not to give this book a second and third read each time, once for the story and twice to devour the awesome details of the art.

“Aquaman” jokes prevail in this title, but no one is joking about this comic: it is, in short, sensational. Let the wonder continue! 

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The “DOC’s” Top Of The Comic Book Pile For January 25th, 2012

The “DOC’s” Top Of The Pile

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

(A weekly quick pick of the five books that should reside at the top of your pull list! In no particular order!)

 

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I do the research, you reap the rewards! Before you head out to your favorite shop today, make sure you add these titles to your list of goodies. Forget the apple a day nonsense, this “DOC’s” prescription to good health starts with these top five books! 

1.  Justice League #5 : Johns and Lee are on fire with this book, creating some awesome moments and hokey catch phrases to boot! One word sells this book — Darkseid!!! For more, read my review.

2.  Secret Avengers #21.1 : Uncanny X-Force scribe and CBN favorite, Rick Remender, breaks his way into the Bendis Fort Knox world of the Avengers! It’s a Hawkeye run team but all we care about is Venom!

3.  Teen Titans #5 : Scott Lobdell pits his teenage team against Superboy with disastrous results. His re-imaginings of these characters are outstanding and so is Brett Booth’s pencils! Now check out my review!

4.  American Vampire #23 : DC’s golden child, Scott Snyder, has made vampires cool again! But they’re not as cool as the kid hunting them down! Take a trip back to the fifties and hold on as the book careens out of control! Here’s my review for that.

5.  The Walking Dead #93 : “Jesus” has come to save Rick and his crew, but do they really want saving from the guy who just kicked their ass? Kirkman’s next big arc starts here and Rick is more pissed than ever!

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Review: Justice League #5

Destruction rains down wherever the eye can see. Creatures from another world soar through the air, causing chaos to the very fabric of the earth. All this, the pain, the suffering, is being done on the breath of a single name — Darkseid!

Johns and Lee pit our newly formed heroes against one of the greatest foes the world has ever seen! And the victor in this malevolent battle — the reader!

I must say, that between Lee and his bevy of inkers and colorists, this is the best work he has put out to date. Not only beautiful, it is explosive and fluid — creating page after page of pure excitement! If this book doesn’t get your pulse pounding — you’re dead inside!

Not to be outdone by his artistic counterpart, Geoff Johns creates a tale that is brimming with action and yet, focuses in on select characters of the team to further enhance who they are. Yes, we all know these characters, but Johns brings new niches to their iconic status. He makes them fresh and energetic for not only new fans, but for all fans of these beloved characters. I personally appreciate that Johns does not set these heroes up as the near omnipotent Justice League that they will become. Remember, this story takes place five years in the past, this team is actually forming before your eyes and Johns makes their partnership faulty at best. But, it is the lack of leadership, even teamwork, that makes this book so well done. Plus, Johns has made Green Lantern one of the cockiest S.O.B.’s around, and yet, he gets pummeled EVERY issue! Brilliant stuff! 

The alien, the amazon, the cyborg, the king, the lightning bolt, the hotshot and the human; all heroes in their own right, must finally learn to depend on others to topple this unstoppable force set before them — before it’s too late! An amazing book, full of velocity, ferocious action and whip smart tenacity; this one should sit proudly atop your pull list. Pull up a chair and watch Hal Jordan break! Too bad it wasn’t Ryan Reynolds instead!

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Review: American Vampire #23

Travis is a young man with a lot of likes. He likes fast cars, records by The Nocturnes, he likes girls in poodle skirts and cigarettes. Like I said, he has a lot of likes. But he only has one love. The love of killing vampires!

Chapter two of the “Death Race” storyline comes out of the gate full throttle, shifting gears between Travis’ past and present faster than a race down Deadman’s Curve. Through flashbacks, Snyder shows us there is a depth to this “greaser” that we never knew, and maybe don’t want to. Tragedy seems to have nestled its way into the soul of Travis, and nothing will help rectify that incessant ache like killing the man that is speeding away from him. The man that killed his parents!

This is a fabulous issue, loaded with tension, slamming gears and revelations! After the — what I thought to be not on par — “Beast In the Cave” storyline, Snyder is firing on all cylinders with the past two issues. Excitement pummels you as the “Rock A Billy” style tale slams into drive and you are forced to hold on as Travis’ world is sent careening over the edge. The youngest vampire hunter and coolest cat since the originator Skinner Sweet, must decide how much he is willing to lose in order to exact revenge. Especially when his prey is even more vicious when cornered!

Snyder and Albuquerque have outdone themselves on this issue. To create a character that fans instantly love is no small feat, but to have done it twice in a twenty-three issue span — completely unheard of! I hope that we get to see the character of Travis far past the four issue arc of “Death Race.” He is unique and multi-faceted, a true pleasure to read.

So roll up your boot cut jeans, tuck a Lucky Strike behind your ear and get your motor runnin’ to the nearest soda shop with the newest copy of American Vampire! It’s the coolest daddio!