Friday, July 25, 2014

This Week in Comics: July 23

While I haven't posted about my weekly comic purchase in quite a while (almost a year, in fact!), motivated by both this weeks San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), and some quality issues this week, I feel compelled to write. It was something of a slow week for personal purchases, but the books I have pulled for my stepson were plentiful. His collection consists primarily of licensed titles such as Dr. Who (two new titles this week), Transformers (two titles this week), and specific video games (Halo). I rarely read completely.

My pull list was short, but very strong, this week. Three highlights included:
Hex's lady friend Tallulah Black remains
 one of my favorite character's especially
 in the hands of Palmiotti and Gray.
  • All-Star Western #33 (DC Comics), written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Staz Johnson and Fabrizio Fiorentino. As this most recent Jonah Hex series moves toward it's impending cancellation in a few months, the writing team continues to excel. Despite the upcoming conclusion in just a few issues, and after nearly 80+ issues (including the pre-New 52 Hex title), Palmiotti and Gray continue to stretch and grow the character in entertaining ways, without losing sight of his Western origins. The mystery I'm waiting to see resolved is how they bring Hex back to his traditional disfigured state...
  • Star Spangled War Stories #1 (DC Comics), written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Scott Hampton. The third time seems to be a charm. Bearing the subtitle G.I. Zombie, this is the New-52's third attempt at a G.I.-themed title (after Men of War and GI Combat were the previous titles), and while the military aspect is not front-and-center, Palmiotti and Gray suggest that future story-lines will bring this element into sharper focus. Introducing some unique ways in which zombie "powers" can be used to fight real world crime, Issue #1 introduces the reader to our new protagonist and establishes a narrative world into to dissimilar to that of All-Star Western wherein the fantastic can occur withing a realistic setting in a manner that makes sense (as much as zombies and time-travelling gunman can). Looking forward to having this replace All-Star Western on my weekly pull list...
  • Detective Comics Special Edition #27 (DC Comics), by multiple writers and artists. This past New Comic Book Wednesday was also Batman Day in recognition of the character's 75th anniversary in publishing. I unfortunately had to take the cost cutting measure of discontinuing collecting individual issues of Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo's Batman following the Court of Owls story-line, but was given this commemorative issue at the counter this week. This issue consists of three Bat-stories from three different eras beginning with Bob Kane's original introductory story. A fine recap of the character it also hints at Snyder and Capullo's recognition of the past in developing their current Batman "origin story," and for visual evidence of this, one need look no further than the purple gloves in Kane's story that have been seen in recent Batman issues. A very cool nod to the character's past... 
I also picked up Conan the Avenger #4 (Dark Horse Comics) and Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #14 (IDW Publishing) this past Wednesday, both of which I anticipate delving into this weekend. While I follow SDCC from afar these next few days, it makes it very difficult to think about how to further reduce the extensive titles I pull each weekend, especially given all the great titles currently being offered by creators and publishers. It is a great time to be a collector, but a one during which, given the prices, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to resist the lure of potentially great titles.

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