If you’re having a bad week, don’t worry. It’s about to get Marvel-ous (unless you’re not a Marvel fan, in which case I just made your week worse—sorry)! I usually try to pull from as many publishers as I can, but this week it’s all about the big M. It wasn’t intentional, and it’s not that there aren’t good books coming out from the other publishers. There’s just nothing out this week that’s conducive for new readers to jump on.
That said, Astonishing X-Men No. 48 should be first on your pull list this week. This issue kicks off the new creative team of Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins, but the change to the roster is what caught my attention. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a total sucker for seemingly random characters being mashed together. You put Karma, Iceman, Northstar, Warbird, and Gambit on a team and you’ve already got my money. Oh, and Wolverine is there too, of course. Seriously, forget the unbreakable bones, claws, and healing factor—Wolverine’s greatest power is the ability to be everywhere at once. But I digress… Omnipresent Wolverine aside, this team of fan favorites will either be just quirky enough to click or fail miserably. Either way I’m curious enough to check it out.
Another fan favorite roster gets the hardcover treatment this week. Secret Avengers Vol. 3: Run the Mission, Don’t Get Caught, Save the World collects Warren Ellis’s recent run on the book. This time around the focus is on Beast, Black Widow, Captain America, Moon Knight, Sharon Carter, War Machine, and Shang-Chi. Ellis gives each character time to shine while he/she takes on some truly inspired threats. While each story is entirely enjoyable on its own, reading the entire arc in one sitting reveals the subtle threads throughout the whole thing. It also features Shang-Chi beating people up in an M.C. Escher-inspired space station. You can’t put a price on that! Based on the quality of these issues, nothing would make me happier than to have Ellis on this book fulltime, but at least we’ll always have this.
Coming out a week too late (it would’ve been perfect for last week’s monster-inspired pull), the recent Legion of Monsters miniseries comes out in one collected volume. I have to say Dennis Hopeless’s script and Juan Doe’s art were in perfect synch on this book. The story is about a group of monsters policing a city of monsters while it goes crazy with monster rabies. Spoiler alert: There are monsters in this book. That somewhat ridiculous premise could have fallen flat, but Doe’s stylized, cartoon-like art kept the book from taking itself too seriously, and Hopeless kept the humor coming. The interaction between seasoned monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone and the rest of the group is worth the price alone.
Just so I can’t be accused of total bias, I have to mention that DC has given us the last of its new Vertigo books this week: The New Deadwardians. A description from the publisher reveals: “In post-Victorian England, nearly every one of the upper classes has voluntarily become a vampire to escape the lower classes who are all zombies.” That description, plus Dan Abnett on writing duties, pretty much guarantees a good time. Ian Culbard handles the art, and considering that his other projects include At the Mountains of Madness, this is a guy we can be sure knows how to draw horror. Vertigo already has one good zombie book out with iZombie, so here’s hoping they can make it a double!