Hit the ground floor running with this selection covering a mass of genres for the discerning reader. If you’re tired of convoluted epics that make no sense to the newbie, these books will give you a good place to start, or add to, your graphic habit, whether they be the first issue of a new series, or a collection worthy of that lonely coffee table. Here’s a list of some of September’s best.
INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1
From Marvel’s Icon imprint comes the return of Ed Brubaker’s and Sean Phillips’ pulp masterpiece. Bad Influences follows Zack Overkill as he struggles to maintain his secret identity upon returning to the criminal underworld that birthed him.
I love everything writer/artist David Mack does. A true visionary of what comics can become, Kabuki is equal parts love letter and open challenge to the medium of sequential art. This is the first time Mack’s frantic and experimental tale of ninjas, memories and life and death has been in print for over a decade and this new deluxe treatment is the perfect place to see what all the fuss is about. Get it and you won’t regret it.
TRANSFORMERS: DRIFT #1
A 4 issue, bi-weekly mini-series focused on the newest Autobot, the Japanese and aptly named Drift. Written by All Hail Megatron scribe Shane McCarthy with art from Alex Milne, the series delves into Drift’s origin and the reasons why he turned his back on the Decepticons.
OZ: THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ
The follow-up to The Wonderful World of Oz, also by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young, this collection of the 8 issue sequel follows the well-known cast of Frank L. Baum’s masterpiece and also throws in Jack Pumpkinhead and Tip.
DAREDEVIL/ECHO: VISION QUEST
Yep, it’s that Mack fella again. His run on Daredevil transformed that long running series, and here he re-introduces Echo, also known as Maya Lopez, a deaf woman whose life gets entangled with the blind lawyer/crimefighter Daredevil. This Hard Cover gathers issues 51 to 55 of the series.
PILOT SEASON: 39 MINUTES #1
This is part of this year’s Pilot Season initiative that sees readers vote on their fave of 6 one-shots, with a new stand alone issue each week. From writer William Harms (the excellent Impaler) and new artist Jerry Lando comes this heist yarn about bank robbers facing a tough getaway, so they decide to kill everyone and see if that works.
SUPER HERO SQUAD: SQUAD UP!
Like the also-new Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius Ultimate Collection, this is one for the kids and also those with a knowledge of the Marvel Universe who don’t mind laughing at its crazy characters. Featuring the cuddly cartoon counterparts as seen in the TV series.
KOKO BE GOOD
:01 First Second
Jen Wang’s delicate watercoloured book follows Jon, Faron and Koko as they search for, and discuss happiness, life and purpose. 300 pages of great art and emotionally engaging storytelling.
Wolvie is one of those characters who gets used so often that any appearance by him can bring a jaded roll of the eyes to any fanboy or girl. Occasionally however, something like this treasure will show up, restoring faith in the character. This handsome book collects Wolverine #66 – #72 and Wolverine: Giant Size Old Man Logan, which finally ended the much-loved tale. The story is from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven who know a great deal about high stakes superhero action, as seen in their equally awesome Civil War, and to a lesser extent, the recent Nemesis. Set in a depressing future in which superheroes are long gone, the now pacifist Wolverine must team up with blind archer Hawkeye and traverse dangers including Venom-ous dinosaurs and in-bred Hulks for a secret mission. Encapsulates what can make superhero comics so awesome.
This Italian publisher’s mature titles are now becoming available to the rest of us looking for something different. This sci-fi series follows Ethan Babylon, an amnesiac and accused killer, who’s stuck in an endless loop with a desire to solve his own murder.
LIQUID CITY VOL. 2
The first volume of this anthology wowed readers with the talent of South East Asian creators on display. This second tome keeps the focus the same, with short tales covering war, sport, drama, fantasy and more in its more than 300 diverse pages.
Howard Chaykin and Stephen Thompson present this collection of the mini-series that reveals the origins of cinematic hero and underdog cop, John McClane, in a gritty and tense tale set during New York’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976.
25 TO LIFE #1
From actor Eriq LaSalle (E.R.), Doug Wagner and Tony Shasteen comes this hard hitting new 3 ish mini-series about criminals teaming up with a new FBI unit to investigate crimes the crims are familiar with. This means a racist militia leader serving life in prison must now help solve the case of 3 murdered African American cops in Virginia.
Offering debut issues from relatively new series at the attractive price of $1 is becoming an industry norm, and it makes perfect sense for publishers to allow new readers to give a series a try at a very low cost. The latest company to take this incentive up is Dark Horse, and now you can grab some of their best #1s for just a buck as part of their 1 for $1 Program. The titles for September include Star Wars Legacy, Buffy, The Umbrella Academy, Serenity: Those Left Behind and more. September also sees Image re-release some of their fave debuts for $1, including Wanted, The Darkness and I Kill Giants, while October sees Elephantmen, Godland, Hack/Slash and more.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE DVD
The 9th offering in DC’s superb line of animated films is based on the fan fave story from the Superman/Batman series by Jeph Loeb and the late, great Michael Turner, which re-introduced Superman’s cousin Kara, AKA Supergirl to the modern DC Universe. Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy return as the voices of the Man of Steel and The Dark Knight respectively, with Summer Glau as Supergirl and Andre Braugher as Darkseid, who wants to control Kara before she can learn to become a true heroine. As always, the film is available on DVD and Blu-Ray and contains an extra animated short film (this time focusing on Green Arrow) and a host of informative extras for those new to the DCU, including docos on Supergirl and The New Gods. A must have for fans of more mature animated superhero fare.
This one has been out for a few weeks, but it makes it obvious that the PR department don’t always work closely with the comic production people. This in-house ad in some of Marvel’s recent books shows artist Marko Djurdjevic’s excellent and large poster assembling all the new Avengers teams from their own books, whether they be Secret, Young or otherwise. The problem is that whoever wrote this ad didn’t know that. “All of the greatest heroes and villains together,” it states. Um…no actually. It’s by no means all of them. That poster would have to be the size of an airplane.