New Comics!

I'm a bit behind on my comic-book reading right now so these are not the freshest of reviews. Although, I've got to say that as problems go, having a surplus of comics to read is one I will gladly accept. Click on the cover images to see bigger versions. Especially the Scarlet Witch cover. That thing is beautiful.

Immortal Iron Fist #8 - Marvel (2007)

If you've read my previous reviews of this title you know that I like it as much as it is possible for a human to like a comic book. Issue #8 is an excellent place to begin reading this series if you haven't seen any of the earlier issues. If you like martial arts, good writing, excellent art, cool characters, and, y'know, fun you will like Immortal Iron Fist. Fraction and Brubaker have further expanded the Iron Fist mythology by making K'un L'un one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. Each city appears in the mortal plane on a different schedule but once every eighty-eight years the appearances converge and they celebrate with a kickass martial-arts tournament! Oh. My. God. That is the most awesome idea ever. The first fight (which will, of course, feature our hero) happens next issue while this one sets up the tournament beautifully.

Check out this post to see a couple of preview images Marvel released. The writers are thinking BIG with this story and I can't think of anyone better than David Aja to turn their ideas into pictures. When someone asks me what comics to read I mention this one first.

The Brave and the Bold #6 - DC (2007)

Here's another comic book I recommend to people. Mark Waid and George Pérez are a dream team. Unlike the Iron Fist issue above, this is not a good jumping-on point for this series because it's the last installment of a universe-spanning story arc. Next issue, however, will start a new one so keep your eyes peeled. See what I did, there? There's a dude with a big eye for a head on the cover and I said...

Ahem. Sorry.

I will now talk about the series as a whole rather than this specific issue (which is excellent and wraps up the story very well):

The Brave and the Bold is a fun, well-crafted series created by two guys with planet-sized storehouses of comics knowledge and experience in their heads. My favorite part of the series is the interactions between the characters who are teaming up. For example, the Blue Beetle/Batman meeting was one of the funniest things I've ever read and it showed the differences and similarities between them economically. Waid is one of my favorite writers because he knows when to let the pictures do the talking and when to throw in the awesome dialogue. So, either pick up the trade which should be out soon or grab issue #7. Or, y'know, both.

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 #1 - Archaia (2007)

Hooray, another Mouse Guard story! This one snuck up on me. I had heard that David Petersen was putting out another limited series but I didn't know what the release date was. So, this was a pleasant surprise. If you missed the first Mouse Guard story, it's a medieval tale of the brave mice who protect rodentkind with their blades and wits. This story involves two teams of mice who are traveling through deep snows and freezing winds to secure food and medicine for their home town. The characters are interesting and the story is full of adventure. Prior knowledge of the Mouse Guard universe is not necessary for enjoyment of this excellent tale. These mice are cool.

The Programme #2 - Wildstorm (2007)

The first issue of this series started off with a bang. The second issue has a couple of points where it drags the story to a screeching halt while it inserts infodumps and pontifications which is a shame because this is a hell of a story. The slow spots don't ruin the series, however. The art fits the writing and once this issue gets back on track it continues to flesh out one of the most interesting ideas I've run across in a long time.

In short: The Allies confiscated a fetus from a NAZI lab near the end of WWII. This fetus was going to be a super soldier for the Axis but the U.S. decided to keep him for their own use. One of the scientists thought that might not be such a good idea so he inadvertently assisted the super soldier in his escape. Now the government has tracked down the super soldier and wants him to fight this foreign badass who is screwing up stuff for them overseas. And there are explosions.

Dynamo 5 #6 - Image (2007)

This one continues to be fun and well done. The story by Jay Faerber about a bunch of people who discover that they are the kids of a philandering Superman-type hero is original and fun but it's Mahmud A. Asrar's art that really makes this book shine. Asrar has a dynamic style which is perfect for a book with this much action.

Speaking of action, this issue reveals yet another of Captain Dynamo's children and we get to see what she can do. We also get to see how Maddie, Capt. Dynamo's widow, handles herself in a crisis. An extreme crisis. It's not what I expected and I love it when a comic book surprises me.

Astonishing X-Men #22 - Marvel (2007)

Nice to see this one on the shelves again. I don't mind production delays as long as the product in question is as good as this. I'm not one of those people who thinks Joss Whedon can do no wrong but I do believe he doesn't do very much wrong. When John Cassaday draws the stuff Whedon writes my little geek heart grows three sizes. Whedon's X-Men are as cool as we'd all like to be and they say the things to the bad guys that we want to come up with when we get our mutant powers. He depicts the camaraderie and the conflicts amongst the X-Men with a skilled hand and he puts them in exciting situations where each of them gets to do what he or she does best. Even if that thing isn't very nice.

And that's all I want from an X-Book. See also: Peter David.

Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch #1 - Marvel (2007)

I've enjoyed each of the Mystic Arcana issues. The Black Knight issue was my favorite so far but this story was cool and a lot of fun to read. It's essentially an origin story, telling the tale of the day Wanda Maximoff discovered her powers and was almost invited to join a powerful coven of witches. There are demons, duplicitous fakirs, werewolves, Agatha Harkness and explosions. That's a recipe for a good story if I've ever seen one. As an added bonus, no one kills the Avengers.

Green Lantern Corps #15 - DC (2007)

Mogo is my favorite Green Lantern. Among hardcore GL fans that's probably like saying Peter Criss is your favorite KISS member but if that's how it's gotta be I'll accept it. So, this issue, which is pretty much the Battle For Mogo, is my favorite part of the Sinestro Corps crossover so far. The bad guys send an entire freakin' city after Mogo along with some creepy-ass children and some huge gravity bombs. The rest of the Corps has to deal with the scary, scary Sinestrites and their innovative use of "killing" technology. Weird, wild stuff.

A quick note about this crossover: This is the way it should be done. It's a self-contained story that only affects two titles. I like that. I don't have to chase down a bunch of stuff I wouldn't have bought in the first place and the story is exciting and well told. Good on ya, Sinestro-Corps creators!

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