This week, between four publishers (Marvel, DC, IDW, and Boom! Studios), five first issues, and about four genres (super-hero, fantasy, horror, and mystery if my classifications are correct), I think I set a personal record for variety in comic book reading.
But before I get into all of those, I have to report the second (by my count) Great Wave sighting of 2006. The first was the cover of NEXTWAVE #1. The second is a panel out of SUPERMARKET #1. Please feel free to report any other sightings as you see them.
--Warning: Possible Spoilers--
Cole at Mountain of Judgement recommended ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1 (among other things), and needless to say, I took him at his word and gave it a shot.
Apart from Kingdom Come, this was my first real comic-book introduction to Superman. I read this thing slowly (being new to DCU), not really feeling it until the very end, when Clark reveals his secret identity to Lois. Didn't catch any references beyond that which any American layreader might know, but that's really to be expected. I'll see if the store has the second issue on its shelves, yet, and will probably give the series until the third, but really, I don't have my hopes up.
My other foray into DC this week came in the form of WILD GIRL #1. This was one of two comics I chose from the dollar bin this week, and being in a bit of a hurry to get to work, I didn't give either of my choices a great deal of thought. And the guys at the shop were not overly enthusiastic about WILD GIRL.
Me, I thought it was cute. The art was a bit too cartoony, maybe, and maybe the whole "Girl who Talks to Animals" theme is a bit overdone, but the urban setting made it interesting. Probably not worth back-issue hunting for, though, and it doesn't seem to be in trades. Oh well.
IN THE BLOOD #1 is a dark study in grays, reds, and sepias. The origin story of a teenaged werewolf, I'd somehow expected something lighter. But, no matter, I'm a sucker for a decent werewolf story. The werewolf imagery itself reminds me of those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books I read as a child (albeit more detailed). There is nothing light-hearted about this. Be warned.
Last week, the shop was out of SUPERMARKET #1, but this week, they had it. Not sure what I can really say about it, other than the fact that it's an excellent blend of murder mystery and social commentary. Truly excellent. It's now on my pre-order list.
This week, on Earth-616, FANTASTIC FOUR #535 saw two major story arcs resolved, and lent an interesting angle to the Planet Hulk storyline that's been going on. Franklin and Valeria are not going into foster care after all (not a huge shock); and Ben calmed the Hulk down; and Ben suggested to Reed that the only way to really solve the Hulk problem would be to send him (the Hulk) into space. I'm not nearly jaded enough to not think this is nifty.
Meanwhile, in THING #4, the Inhumans' dog, Lockjaw, joined the cast, and Ben learned the value of family. Dan Slott provided a huge "aww" factor without being completely sappy. My favorite issue of THING, yet!
GRAVITY #1 (OF 5) didn't happen this week (it was my other Dollar Bin pick), but it did happen. And it was a whole lot of fun. Since this coming Wednesday is slow, I might pick up the trade.
Earth-1610 was in flashback mode, as ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #2 (OF 6) followed the "adventures" of Bruce Banner/Hulk, from his escape from execution to his current weird womanizing status in Tibet. Next issue promises to be a slugfest, but this one was oddly quiet. Aside from the requisite Hulk-kills-and-eats-people mayhem, anyway. Needless to say, I added the series to my preorders.
Notes and Rankings (Best to Worst)
*I first read all of these Wednesday evening, cloistered in my bedroom whilst listening to Celtic Twilight 2 (Hearts of Space), except for ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #2, which I read without background music. Loreena McKennitt kinda clashes with gory slugfests.
1. THING #4
2. SUPERMARKET #1
3. GRAVITY #1
4. FANTASTIC FOUR #535
5. WILD GIRL #1
6. IN THE BLOOD #1
7. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1
8. ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #2
ALL-NEW OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE A To Z #2 BENNY BECKLEY TO CRAZY EIGHT. Not rated.
Panel of the Week: An extremely cool two-page spread from WILD GIRL #1.