Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 44

Before we dive headfirst into this week's latest and greatest, I'd like to talk TV, if that's OK with everyone. So the premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC has come and gone, and the reviews (and ratings) are in. And they're excellent.

Over 5.3 million people--a record for any AMC original series--tuned in to watch the highly anticipated television adaptation of Robert Kirkman, Tony Harris, and Charlie Adlard's creator-owned series from Image Comics.

Add in another 2-point-something million who tuned in for the repeat of the premiere that immediately followed the first airing, and the total number of viewers of the pilot came in at around 8.1 million.

Obviously, there was plenty of hype leading up to the series, and obviously, AMC had high hopes for it. But it's incredibly reassuring to see just how well the show actually did.

We've witnessed amazing comics properties--Scott Pilgrim, anyone?--build enough fanboy anticipation to fill the Javits Center, only to crash and burn in theaters. Even a movie like Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen, which made a good deal of money and received some strong reviews from critics, is considered a comic book movie bust.

But with Walking Dead, we witnessed the perfect translation of a comic to the screen. The tension and emotion that make the Image series such compelling reading material are there, and even though it's only one episode in, it's evident that there will be as much "heart" to the show as there is to the series.
Yes, there are zombies--and they look great, by the way--but the real story is that of the survivors, just trying to get through another day in a new, miserable world.

For people unfamiliar with the source material, there will be plenty of utterly shocking moments, and if the series sticks closely to the comic, then expect to not see several main characters by the end of the first season.

And that alone will make for revolutionary television.

Here's hoping the show has a nice, long run on AMC, and that lots and lots of people head into the comics shops in search of the series. Or, at least, that the chain bookstores carry plenty of copies of the trades.

Right. Now that that's out of the way, let's get into this week's books.

It's a pretty hefty week again, but my list is pared down, lean, and at the perfect fighting weight. My list for today is kinda short, so instead of covering a few books, I'm just going to talk about one.

From Marvel and writer Brian Bendis, Scarlet, issue 3, hits stands today. With beautiful art by Alex Maleev--the best he's done since his Daredevil days--Scarlet is something new and different (and dare I say, exciting) in today's sea of very similar comics.
In this series, Bendis delivers an ultra-relevant take on political and social issues of the day, and he does so while bending the medium to his will.

He plays with panel structure and he has the main character talk--through word balloons, not captions--directly to the reader. During a recent interview with IGN (which you can find here), Bendis described the series as follows:

"The lead character finds herself forced into a situation where she has to take it upon herself to fight against what she believes is a broken world that has ruined her. And that sparks a modern day American revolution."

The story revolves around the lead character, a young woman who has been completely and utterly screwed by people in authority roles and as a result, her life has been shattered.

But instead of her grieving and coming to terms with things before finally moving on in life, she decides to fight back. She gets knocked down time and again, but she fights back. Literally fights back.

I think Bendis is telling an important story here, and one that will be looked upon as a major moment in the comics medium. No capes, no flying, no convoluted continuity.

Here's the solicitation information for this week's issue three:

THE STORY: Here it is!! The latest chapter in the best reviewed, creator-owned comics sensation of the year!

Scarlet has had enough and has planted her flag. The world is broken and she's going to fix it. But there are those who will not let this stand. In this issue you meet them. The sides are being drawn.

The first issue sold out the same week it shipped! Are you going to let that happen to you again? Hop on the Scarlet train for a comic book experience unlike anything else out there! From the Eisner award-winning team behind Daredevil, Spider-Woman, the Avengers and Halo.

If you haven't yet jumped on this series, definitely track down issues one and two. There should be second printings available at most shops. And if you do decide to pick it up, please drop us a line as we'd love to hear your take on the book.

With that, I'm off. But before I get back to work--what are you Waiting for?

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