“What does it mean to be an environmentalist after the world’s already ended?”
This is the question Brian Wood asks in The Massive No. 1, out today from Dark Horse. For those of us who’re getting a little bored with the bath salt-fueled zombie apocalypses, an environmental disaster is a nice change of pace. Scratch that—not “an” environmental disaster but “all” environmental disasters. According to the preview, the story begins after a series of environmental cataclysms have nearly wiped out humanity, leaving a group of environmental activists and their captain searching for their sister ship, conveniently named The Massive. It’s an interesting premise and Wood’s DMZ has received nothing but praise, and both are reasons why this book should come home with you today. Pay attention while you’re reading it…it might come in handy in December.
On the off chance you’re actually not reading American Vampire yet, I need you to do two things: 1) Punch yourself in the face, 2) Go get American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares No. 1 of 5, out today from DC’s Vertigo imprint. While you’re at it, just get all the American Vampire trades too. There’s literally nothing to dislike about this series. I mean, I guess if you hate fantastic writing, expansive world-building, historical fiction, beautiful art…if you hate those things, then yeah, you should probably stay away. For everyone else, the ongoing American Vampire series is an absolute must, and this miniseries should come right along with it. Yes, vampires are a bit played out, culturally speaking. I’ll give you that one. But Scott Snyder has done an incredible job with this series, to the point where it feels cheap to even call it a vampire book. If the last miniseries was any indication, new readers won’t be confused if they jump on with this one, but to get the full impact of the story you’ll want to be caught up on everything first. Just get it. The only thing you’ll regret is waiting this long.
While you’re in the DC section, Batwoman: Hydrology, which collects the first five issues of the new ongoing series, is also out today. Unfortunately, at this point it looks like this might be the only good arc of the series, so grab it while it’s hot. J.H. Williams III brings his incredible visual talent on this arc, which makes up for the somewhat lackluster story, but when something looks this good, it’s easy to overlook some weak writing. The series seems to have taken a nose-dive (off a cliff, in a car that’s on fire) with the current arc, which is more than a little disappointing. At least we got this.
The next two aren’t something I’d ordinarily recommend, but they’re too random to pass up. IDW releases a weird roster of books today with both KISS No. 1 and Popeye No. 1. I don’t really know that the world needs more of either of these things, but hey, why not? Popeye in particular has an absolutely fantastic cover, and I’m guessing KISS has lots of Gene Simmons and his freakish tongue. KISS recently did a guest spot in Archie, so it’s only a matter of time until they’re pounding down some spinach, saving Olive Oyl and taking down Bluto with the power of rock. Or that could just be wishful thinking. Either way I bet you’re picturing Popeye in KISS makeup right now.
If you read Image books regularly then you’ve seen the previews for Planetoid No. 1, which is finally out today. Let’s run through the checklist: space pirates? Check. Industrial wasteland planet? Check. Giant machine monsters? Check. This series sounds like it would’ve made the best original NES game ever. I can practically hear the sweet 8-bit soundtrack. It’s the first issue of a new Image series, so you know how this goes by now. I wouldn’t expect a deep, cerebral storyline with this one, but it does look like it’ll be a good time.
Marvel also gets a quick pull this week with Spider-Men No. 1. Dan Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man has been a lot of fun, and Brian Michael Bendis’s new Ultimate Spider-Man has been equally fantastic, so I’m actually really curious to see what happens when Peter Parker meets Miles Morales. If you’ve been avoiding this summer’s big AvX event, it’s worth pointing out that Spider-Island was one of Marvel’s better “events” in recent memory. For fans of either Spidey book, this one is worth a look.