In this week’s stack of books that you should totally be buying because I’m recommending them, del Toro Strains and all we get out of it is a David Lapham hardcover while Great Pacific sees a (nuclear) power play go down.
Also, Dick Grayson gets a bad haircut and an even worse career change in Grayson #1 from DC. Please let the paramilitarization of comic book characters stop. It’s a bad look, everyone.
The Strain v1 HC (Dark Horse Comics)
Without a second thought, I’d normally pass up “the comic that is also the tie-in to the novel that’s becoming a TV show on FX,” but Guillermo del Toro and David Lapham have earned a little bit of credit with me. In Lapham’s case, Stray Bullets can help me forgive any number of The Young Liars.
I’m also super interested in Lapham’s current gore and grue phase that he’s been indulging, starting with a lot of his nastier Avatar work (his issues of Crossed might have had a bigger gross-out factor than series creator Garth Ennis’). So with that in mind, whatever Lapham can do with del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampirism-as-viral outbreak story will have my interest piqued.
Download The Strain v1 from Dark Horse Digital.
Lumberjanes #4 (BOOM! Studios)
Oh, hey there family-friendly adventure and comedy book – you’re a sight for sore eyes. Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen’s book about a troop of intrepid girl scouts (but not Girl Scouts, for legal reasons) continues to delight, with its tales of mystery and the weird all wrapped up in a trip to summer camp.
If you’re not reading this one (comics readers young and old), you’re missing out on the kind of seriously un-serious fun that can sometimes feel missing on the comics shelf (says the guy whose first pick is a gory monster comic).
This issue, the girls have a mysterious tower problem, a boy problem and a “using-your-friend-as-a-distraction” problem.
Also: yetis, y’all!
Download Lumberjanes #4 from comiXology.
Magnus: Robot Fighter #0 (Dynamite Entertainment)
I stop paying attention for two seconds and Magnus moves from Dark Horse to DC. Or maybe it’s both? Who knows?
Anyway, I’m very excited that there is a character called Leeja: The Human Hunter and I feel it’s very important that I let you know that I have feelings about this. According to the solicitations, Leeja’s got something to do with Magnus #4, which I didn’t read and the upcoming The Singularity event which I’m only just now hearing about.
It’s the kind of overstuffed nuttiness that I’ve come to expect from Fred Van Lente, so I’m just going to assume that it’ll be nuts, but my kind of nuts. Also, I’m really digging Gabriel Hardman’s cover design, because in my world, nothing succeeds like human-smashing excess.
Download Magnus: Robot Fighter #4 from Dark Horse Digital.
Rai #3 (Valiant Entertainment)
Speaking of excess, I think there’s a lot to recommend against Rai based on the first two issues: there’s a little too much jargon in writer Matt Kindt’s future Japan and occasionally, artist Clayton Crain’s busy, computer-assisted style threatens to overwhelm the action.
And yet (my favorite phrase these days, I think), Kindt is building up a strange world of artificial people and card catalogs with all known data (because then the possibly sinister supercomputer which runs things can’t scan it). Reading more like a manual for a first adventure in some kind of 2nd or 3rd generation Shadowrun manual (minus the magics and orcs and stuff, but this is the Valiant Universe so anything can happen).
Oh, and the first issue is available for free.
Download Rai #3 from comiXology.
Grayson #1 (DC Comics)
I’m approaching this book from complete and total ignorance having ignored most of what’s been going on with Nightwing in the current DCU, but who the hell looked at the former Batman sidekick and thought “Yup, gun-toting spy is the way to go now.” That doesn’t really smell like inspiration so much as it reeks of desperation, as DC editorial shuffles Bat-characters around so that the line maintains some kind of arcane homeostasis.
Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley is on this one and maybe he’ll find a reason for Batman to have two ex sidekicks who turned to guns to get things done. Or not.
Preorder Grayson #1 from comiXology.
Great Pacific #16 (Image Comics)
I only just recently started reading Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo’s Great Pacific and holee cats. You take the bloody in-fighting and elaborate circumlocutions of Deadwood and drop it into a garbage pile out in the Pacific and you have a broad sense of what Great Pacific is about.
Last issue saw a frankly terrifying BAMF swagger into town, offering to do a little big game hunting while New Texas founder Chas grappled with what to do with some loose nukes stashed outside of town. But when you see a man like Baston (all neck, muscles, and teeth) walk into town, just assume that this is going to be a Most Dangerous Game-type situation.
Buy Great Pacific #17 on comiXology.
Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?