Buying comics can be an expensive hobby. A lot of fans simply can’t afford everything they’re interested in, due to rising prices and the over-saturation of the market with superhero titles.
That’s why we’re here. Every week, the Multiversity staff is asked “What would you buy this week if you couldn’t go over $20?” and shares their reasons why, in order to help others who might have similar tastes make their own decisions in buying comics on a budget. Be sure to leave your own picks in the comments!
Change #1 ($2.99) – Ales Kot’s Wild Children was one of the most unique graphic novels I have ever experienced, and a truly impressive debut. Kot is the creator to be watching from here and out, and his career continues with the miniseries “Change,” illustrated by Morgan Jeske. I haven’t read up on what this is about, but I came into Wild Children completely blind — and, I believe, was all the better for it. I’m willing to take the same chance with this.
Conan the Barbarian #11 ($3.50)/The Massive #7 ($3.50) – Brian Wood has been one of the best creators working in the industry almost since his debut, but his output in 2012, particularly concerning these two books, has been truly impressive. While people, myself included, have joked that these two are the successors to “Northlanders” and “DMZ,” respectively, but both books mark new ground for Wood as a writer — or uncharted waters, if you will. This week, I imagine that Wood and co. will keep up the good work, seeing as I have no reason to believe otherwise.
The Creep #4 ($3.50) – This book looks amazing, is written very well, and flat-out is a great crime comic. If you haven’t picked up the other three issues of this mini, at least pick up the trade a few months from now.
Fantastic Four #2 ($2.99) – I was emphatically lukewarm about the first issue of this Marvel NOW! book, but “FF” was so damn good that there’s no way I am dropping its companion. Hopefully it was just a case of First Issue Syndrome — Fraction’s futuristic brain seems like a perfect choice for the First Family, though Bagley might not have been the best artistic partner.
Winter Soldier #13 ($2.99) – People seem to be acting like Ed Brubaker’s time at Marvel has officially passed, but are forgetting about the best thing he has done over there. Bucky is Brubaker’s character, and I find it hard to imagine anyone else writing him — which is fine, because I probably won’t read this title once he’s gone. This arc has been nothing less than excellent, and I am pumped to see where it goes in this penultimate issue.
Change #1 ($2.99) – In case you haven’t noticed, I talk a lot about how good a cover is at grabbing the reader and how graphic design can inform the experience you’ll have reading the book. I’m not one to buy a book just to collect the cover, but attractive design work will get me to check out a book I might otherwise have overlooked. That said, after “Wild Children”, there’s no overlooking Ales Kot. It’s only a matter of time before Marvel or DC scoop him up to write for them. If he’ll have them.
Batman #15 ($3.99) – Batman. The Joker. Snyder. Capullo.
Avengers Assemble #10 ($3.99) – I knew Kelly Sue was a good writer, but she really blew my socks off with the way she went about writing this one. Her early interviews about the title indicated that she was going to take heavy inspiration from the “Avengers” film. The highest compliment I can pay to her is that I can imagine all the characters that we watched this summer saying all of the stuff that she wrote in her debut issue of “Avengers Assemble.” She’s also made me desperately want to see Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel in future “Avengers” films. Stefano Caselli’s art has taken a major step forward as well. This book is gorgeous, funny, and exciting all around.
Avengers Arena #1 ($2.99) – Okay, so this book has taken a lot of flack in the last couple months, without anyone having even read it yet. I think it’s not too presumptuous of the critics to say that this is a clear facsimile of “Battle Royale” and/or “The Hunger Games” – hell, Marvel themselves would probably admit that it’s a takeoff of that idea, I’m sure. However, it is pretty presumptuous to say that it won’t be any good, because of that fact. I’ll admit that I’m not really blown over by the premise or what I’ve read so far, but I’m willing to give this book a fair chance and I think you should too, if you’ve got room for it.
Can I rant here a little bit too? I’ve read a lot of comic fans complaining that an ongoing comic book cannot survive with a premise in which the participants kill each other. First of all, who’s to say that a character dies every issue? Or even every arc? Who’s to say that a core group of survivors don’t survive and escape and make the book into something else entirely? Who’s to say that fresh blood isn’t thrown in periodically to create a rotating cast? Furthermore, what books can you think of that last 50-100 issues these days? If this thing ends after 20-30 issues, cancelled or not, is it any less of a comic book? It may very well be a bad book, and you can like or dislike the premise, but the amount of presumption I’m seeing over this book is staggering.
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #15 ($2.99) – When Jeff Lemire started Frankenstein, I thought he had a good grasp of Frankenstein’s voice. Despite liking Matt Kindt a lot before he ever joined the book, I had reservations as to whether he would continue to focus on the things that I personally liked about the Frankenstein character. Turns out Matt Kindt had an even better idea of how to highlight the eccentricities of the character. Too bad that nothing (except maybe Jim Lee art) could save a book this beautifully weird and bombastic.
Demon Knights #15 ($2.99) – On the other hand, I’m really relieved that someone like Robert Venditti will be taking over for Paul Cornell and continuing Demon Knights – a book that I feared might face cancellation. Maybe cancellation is coming, but I can dream a little bit longer.
Fantastic Four #2 ($2.99) – While I greatly preferred “FF” #1, I was not as down on “Fantastic Four” as some of my Multiversity brethren. I thought Matt Fraction got most of the broad strokes right, and his Franklin has plenty of time to not be a crybaby. While its not Hickman’s run, it still looks promising to me.
Team 7 #3 ($2.99) – Justin Jordan, through his work here and his ascent as new “Deathstroke” scribe, has really been gunning for the role of “DC’s The Edge line architect,” and I for one am throwing my support behind him.
Batman #15 ($3.99) – The best “big” book DC is doing right now, hands down, is “Batman.” While I wish the Joker still had a real face, Greg Capullo’s art makes him sufficiently creepy, even if he’s some weird Hannibal Lecter thing now.
Archer and Armstrong #5 ($3.99) – A book I often forget about, stupidly.
Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #3 ($3,99) – Never in a million years (or in a million alternate dimensions, to fit the comic I’m referencing) did I think I would be as jazzed about a JMS penned Dr. Manhattan comic as I am. Adam Hughes is doing insane work, and JMS is killing it. Did I really just type that?
Change #1 ($2.99) – Did you like “Wild Children” by Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo? Then you will probably like “Change” by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske. I’ve had a chance to read the first issue already, and I can tell you that this is going to be a very fun mini-series. (Be on the lookout for a hidden Bowie reference as well.)
The Massive #7 ($3.50) – Brian Wood has a big week, with new issues of “Ultimate X-Men” and “Conan” as well as “The Couriers” Omnibus, but out of all the various titles he has out this week “The Massive” is my favorite. Definitely the book in which he is taking the most chances and writing the most compelling tale (not that the other titles are bad in any way, honestly), with fantastic art to boot as Garry Brown joins for the new arc ‘Subcontinental.’ If you aren’t already checking this title out, you really ought to.
Revival v1 ($12.99) – “Revival” is one of my favorite new books of the year, as it’s a Twin Peaksian zombie tale as if it were set in Fargo. It’s definitely one of those books that should be a lot bigger than it is, so if you like zombies, magic and snow, this is a title that ought to be in your collection. Tim Seeley and Mike Norton are doing really great stuff.
Total: $19.48 – I want to also recommend the “Fear Agent” Library Volume Edition and the new Kamandi Omnibus, but they’re $50 each, soo… if you can get them, I would.
Change #1 ($2.99) – I honestly don’t know why everyone isn’t going to buy this comic. Ales Kot’s “Wild Children” graphic novel from earlier in the year was one of the best reads of this year (being sleep deprived and on a plane only added to the experience) and I’ve got admit: I’ve read this issue and it was everything I wanted from it and more. People will be talking about this comic in a big way.
The Crow: Skinning The Wolves #1 ($3.99) – I know it’s become a staple of the Hot Topic generation, but I am in love with James O’Barr’s “The Crow” as a comic that used typical superhero tropes as a way of exploring how one reacts to the traumatic death of a loved one. Now that O’Barr is back writing and drawing “The Crow” I am incredibly stoked and setting of this story only makes it more interesting.
Cable & X-Force #1 ($3.99) – I’ve got something to admit: I love Cable. I love him as an over the top Liefeld creation of pure 90s-ness. I love him as the world weary father of the mutant messiah. But the fact that his return to the Marvel Universe was handled by the astonishingly mediocre “X-Sanction” left me very wanting. Which is why I’m actually really excited for this comic. Please be good. Please…
Avengers Assemble #10 ($3.99) – Kelly Sue DeConnick. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner teaming up. Captains Marvel and America teaming up. KELLY SUE DECONNICK. Need I say more?
Fantastic Four #2 ($2.99) – I know reactions to the first issue were mild at best from those coming off of Hickman’s run, but as someone who had never really picked an issue of “Fantastic Four” before? I really enjoyed it and I am coming back for seconds.
Change #1 ($2.99) — I wasn’t a big fan of “Wild Children”, but the solicit for this one is pretty intriguing (particularly the part about the Pacific ocean), and Morgan Jeske’s art is looking smack-in-the-face fresh. Lovecraftian vibes? A cosmonaut? Great colours? Let’s do this.
Point of Impact #3 ($2.99) — Noirish, melodramatic fun so far, and Kuranel’s art alone is worth the cover price. And how fun is it to read a mystery series while it’s still in floppies, where cliffhangers really sing? The funnest, you guys.
Hollows #1 ($3.99) — This issue has got one of the best solicits I’ve ever read. Near-future Japan? Burnt-out husks? The wanton devouring of souls? Giant tree-cities? Then there’s Sam Kieth’s incredible, etherial art, of course, and that quirky cover, so in conclusion: please take my money.
Total: $9.97. Bit of a light week, but you can always take that last ten bucks and put it towards a gift copy of the “Revival” trade.