What a week! After a long wait we get some fresh blows to the head, followed by two of the most popular teams in comics going toe-to-toe over the return of a fan-favorite character. Grab a helmet and get ready to choose a side, because it’s about to get rowdy.
You have no idea how happy I am to tell you that Skullkickers No. 13 finally lands in stores this week! Kicking (no pun intended) off a brand new arc and ending the painful, months-long hiatus since the last issue, this is a book you need to make a priority. Seriously. When you walk into your comic shop today, I want you to go directly to wherever this book is located and pick it up before you do anything else. If there aren’t enough copies to go around, please ask your local retailer to set up a Thunderdome-style arena out back. Two readers enter, one reader leaves! The victor will find the battle was worth it because after 12 issues and two whirlwind arcs, this series just keeps getting better and better. Aside from being friendly, wonderful people, Jim Zubkavich, Edwin Huang and Misty Coats have created one of the most fun, interesting and distinctive-looking worlds in comics today. Between the hilarious writing and artwork that’s as detailed as it is eye-poppingly colorful, there is literally nothing to dislike about this series. This is, of course, unless you hate fun, in which case, yeah, you probably wouldn’t like this either. I’ve heard some people say that they were put off by the medieval/fantasy/Dungeons & Dragons-esque setting, but don’t let that keep you away. If you like those things there’s plenty here for you to love, but if not, just picture your favorite ‘80s buddy-cop movie at a Renaissance fair and you’re good to go. Since we’re at issue No. 13, I sincerely hope I’m preaching to the choir, but if you haven’t managed to pick this book up yet…look, I’m not mad at you, I’m just disappointed. The good news is that this week you can make up for your failure by also picking up the Skullkickers Treasure Trove Vol. 1, which collects the first two arcs and a slew of extras in one convenient hardcover volume.
Other than looking at the calendar, there are a few surefire ways you can tell summer is approaching; plants are blooming, the weather’s getting warmer, and Marvel is launching a huge crossover event. Marvel has been pitching this season’s event for months now, and the big showdown between the Avengers and X-Men over the impending return of the Phoenix finally comes to a head this week with AvX No. 1. Technically this started last week with AvX No. 0 and Avengers No. 24.1, but I was hesitant to recommend them. As someone reading a website with “geeking” in the title, I’m going to assume you’re familiar with how these big summer events go. When they’re good, they’re really good. We get to see all of our favorite characters interacting in epic situations, and they remind us why we read comics in the first place. When they’re bad, however, they make us feel like we just got robbed at gunpoint on Christmas morning. Without making any judgment calls on previous big events, AvX looks like it might be one of the good ones. During last week’s issues we got to see Vision have it out with both Magneto and Wanda, something that fans have been waiting for since the Disassembled arc way back in 2005. If the rest of the series can give us character moments like that, interspersed with the ridiculous action that one expects from a brawl between two super teams, it should be worth the investment. Marvel has been asking fans to pick sides, so I’ll come clean right now and say that I’m far from unbiased in this fight. I love both teams, but if I have to choose, the Avengers can shove it. X-Men all the way!