Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday, Issue 6

Welcome once again to the Internet's oldest (and favorite!)* weekly column about the latest new comics releases. This week on Waiting, a longer list than usual, as it appears to be a very expensive week for ye olde blog writer guy.

So, without further ado, here are the new comics that I'm most looking forward to reading this week:

First up on my list is a book that I read as it came out month to month, and one that I will happily re-buy as a trade. A Dark Horse release, The Helm softcover is written by Jim Hardison with art by the great Bart Sears.

The cover gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect from this whacked-out series:

So, if you find that image as hilarious as I do, then do yourself a favor and check this book out. And for all of you who refuse to judge a book by its cover, here's Dark Horse's solicitation blurb for the series:

Matt Blurdy's day has gone from crap to worse. Not only did his girlfriend break his heart at work--and in front of all of the video-store patrons--but he just got fired. All that's left to do is minibike his sorry, thirty-year-old (and freshly unemployed!) butt back home to his mom's basement and drown his sorrows in a bucket of extra-crispy chicken while contemplating where his life went wrong.

On the way home, Matt decides to quiet his aching heart with a brief detour to a garage sale. When an ancient-looking helmet calls to him as "the Chosen One," exhorting him to don the mantle of the "Valhalladrim," Matt touches it with trembling fingers--and is jolted by raw magical power.

Holy crap! Is he going to be a superhero? Is this why he always felt special even when everyone else thought he was a loser? Then the helm gets a sense of whom it's dealing with. Suddenly, it changes its tune: "I was mistaken. You are not the chosen one. Good day."

And, if you're still not sure about it, do check out the Web site for the book, right here.

Next up we have a totally underrated horror comic from Marvel, called Dead of Night, Featuring Werewolf by Night. Written by Duane Swierczynski and with beautifully (and...uh...terrifyingly) rendered interiors by artist Mico Suayan, Werewolf is a rare breed in comics today.

It's a well-written, well-drawn series with a tight plot, truly horrific imagery, and actual horror. Not just rehashed elements of good horror stories, this book is real, honest-to-goodness horror. The only downside is that this is issue four of four, so if you haven't read the previous issues, you may want to wait for the impending (I hope, and would assume) trade.

Now, the Werewolf by Night is an old school 70's Marvel Monster, but that doesn't mean you'll need any prior knowledge to enjoy this new book. If you're a longtime fan of the character, you'll probably appreciate the nods to the past. But, if you're not (and I fall into this category), there's no need to brush up.

Oh, and the cover by artist Rafael Grampa is stunning:

Here's Marvel's press release for the issue:

This wolf has sniffed the trail all the way to the end! In a
sinister sub-basement, Jack Russell finds the answers behind his very existence as the blood-thirsty, carnivorous Werewolf By Night...and more!

Don’t miss the brutal, bloody, gory final issue of this anything-goes MAX Werewolf, as Jack confronts the man responsible for Jack’s torment and the death of his wife...and fights some monsters, too!

That brings us to our third comic for this week. More of a head-scratcher than a book I'm actually looking forward to reading, comes a Final Crisis tie-in from DC Comics. Now, we all know I wasn't the biggest fan of FC, mostly due to the fact that I still am not sure what in the multiverse happened. But, I did enjoy some of the tie-ins, specifically Greg Rucka's Final Crisis: Revelations.

That said, I don't think I'm gonna be the biggest fan of this latest crossover title. As some of you may have noticed in your DC books of late, the company is pushing an ad campaign called "After Watchmen...What's Next?" Well, apparently, this is next: Final Crisis: Requiem for Rorschach.

Solicited a couple months ago in Previews, this book caught my eye for the simple, and blasphemous reason that...well, I think you can figure out why it would catch my eye. Here's what was in Previews:

Months after the apocalyptic battle for the soul of humanity that shook the DC multiverse and had to be seen to be believed, the heroes of the DC Universe come together once more, to mourn.

Legendary comics author Grant Morrison returns for the latest tie-in to Final Crisis in a story that reveals the Watchmen Universe of Earth-4 to the DC heroes of Earth-0. With art by an array of DC's top talent, including Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, this one-shot issue is sure to have people talking for years to come.

Urge to kill...rising. I'm confused for a myriad of reasons. But let's start with this. Earth-4, according to Wikipedia, is "described as a film noir world which uses story elements from the Watchmen limited series and is populated by alternate versions of characters acquired from Charlton Comics."

Oookaaay. But now the regular DC Universe (Earth-0) can...see...the Watchmen characters? Let's just say I'm willing to buy that. But, didn't Rorschach die in 1986?


Now, as we've seen in the recent past, and as the...uh, let's call them irked Fanboys...on the DC Comics Forums have pointed out this week, Grant Morrison (while being one of my personal all time favorite writers) has pretty much been given carte blanche to do what he wants in the DC Universe.

And, revisiting Watchmen, in this sequel(?) of sorts...well, I just don't know what to say. Actually, I just want to know what Alan Moore has to say.

Don't know about you, but the first image that came to mind when I read the solicit was something like this:

Let's move on before my head explodes, yes? Yes. OK.

Next up, we have an old reliable in Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, issue 24. While I did not watch the series during its TV life, I did catch up on the entire thing on DVD after Dark Horse announced its plans to relaunch the comics series with in-continuity stories written by Joss Whedon. Now, I'm a big Whedon fan, and I became a Buffy devotee after just a few episodes, but I really got into the middle seasons of the show.

In any case, dubbed as "Season Eight," Dark Horse started churning out Whedon-penned Buffy issues a couple of years ago. And, while Whedon has written the bulk of the series so far, every now and again another writer takes the helm. Case in point (or is it "point in case"? I always get those two mixed up), this week's issue is written by Jim Krueger, and, as Dark Horse describes it, "Executive Produced" by Joss Whedon.

Here's the promotional blurb from their Web site:

Faith. Giles. Let's catch up!

In an amazing one-shot issue, the esteemed Jim Krueger--whose works include Avengers/Invaders, Earth X, Justice, and multiple original series--fleshes out the go-to girl for dirty deeds, Faith, and her new partner, Giles.

After her last thankless escapade, where she put a stop to Buffy-hunting Slayer and kindred spirit Lady Gigi, Faith decided that though she's determined to be finished with bloodshed, she's not ready to leave misguided Slayers (like Gigi) with nowhere to turn.

Fast-forward to the present. . .bloodshed still abounds, and the Faith-and-Giles team is still finding out what it really means to help those chosen to slay. . .

The series has been stellar, and I can't imagine why fans of the show wouldn't be reading it. For some more, friendly peer pressure, here's the cover for this week's issue:

And, finally, the last book for this (Exfandingly Expensive) week. Several years ago, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Chris Bachalo teamed up to create a mini series for DC Comics. Entitled The Witching Hour, this book has LONG been out of print. Actually, I have been trying to find a copy for a few years now, and, finally, DC/Vertigo re-issues the book this week.

So, this one's not really a recommendation, as I have never read the book before, but more of a "this is one that I'm really looking forward to" books. Here's the cover, by Bachalo:

And here's the blurb from Vertigo's Web site:

The moody miniseries by award-winning writer Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: HUSH, Hulk, Ultimatum) with art by Chris Bachalo (DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING) and Art Thibert (TRINITY) is available once more in this new printing of a Vertigo classic, featuring a section of sketches by Bachalo.

The setting is Manhattan, where the mysterious Amanda Collins moves through the troubled lives of ordinary people armed with little more than a blank white business card and a strange, supernatural presence. She's giving them the chance to change their lives, but the choice they make will depend entirely on the forces that already exist in their hearts.

Amanda herself is a mesmerizing presence and, as she works modern magic with the help of a colorful—if not entirely loyal—coterie of followers, another side of her begins to emerge: one that is troubled, powerful and possibly centuries old. At the crossroads of the supernatural and the very real, this book spins bold, provocative tales of sin, magic and redemption.

Well, that's it for this week. Only thing left to do is ask, what are you Waiting for?

*Waiting for Wednesday is neither the oldest, nor the favorite, weekly new comics column. But my Mom thinks it's "pretty neat."


GarHoch said...

what no Flash: Rebirth #1?

AJG said...

I knew I forgot something! I picked it up at the store yesterday, though. Flipped through it last night--it looks amazing.