This Week’s Winners

Black Widow: Deadly Origin #2. Essentially this 4 ish mini is a simplified attempt at Black Widow: Year one, but it works. When Iron Man 2 debuts in May, with Scarlett Johansson as the Russian red headed spy, this will be a good place to start for those curious about the character. Paul Cornell manages to write an intriguing tale involving Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow and never allows the flashbacks to her youth to get distracting. Of course, with Tom Raney on the art in the current setting and John Paul Leon on art chores for the flashbacks, it makes for a book as pretty as its titular heroine. Guest stars such as Hawkeye and Winter Soldier never seem jarring and Cornell has a blast making Widow a 007-like action girl with a unique Russian background. I’ve already learned a great deal about this character whom I’ve only ever been marginally interested in, such as the fact that she’s one of many Widows trained by the Soviets and has a long lifespan. #2 throws in some Cold War antics, the activation of the Icepick Protocol and a cool White Widow variant suit.

Toy Story #0. Bringing writer Jesse Blaze Snider to play in BOOM!’s kids line of comics seems like an odd choice, but now I can see why they chose him. Snider’s last work was the surprisingly good Dead Romeo mini-series from DC and here he kicks a new four issue arc off with great skill. Nathan Watson’s art is cartoony, but solid. Of course, it can’t be easy to replicate the 3D magic of Pixar, but each character is instantly recognisable. Woody and Buzz steal the show of course, but the whole gang (from the first film where this issue looks to be set) is here. The amusing chaos begins when Andy receives a new present from his grandpa, but unfortunately it’s another Buzz Lightyear figure. The two Buzzes have a rather funny duel and the voices of every character rings true. It was much funnier than I expected, and is another fast paced and entertaining entry in the BOOM! Kids line. Snider proves his diverse skills as a writer here.

Daytripper #1. Those talented Brazilian siblings Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon launch a delightful new 10 ish series from Vertigo. It follows the life of an obituary writer in Sau Paulo who aims to be a disciplined novelist. Themes of family, life and death run through this issue, but never in a heavy handed manner. It’s quite enticing and very readable, with a magical quality to the art and a lyrical tone to the words. Where Ba and Moon go from the surprising ending will be even more intriguing I’m sure.

The Absolute Death

On sale October 14 from Vertigo is The Absolute Death – a 360 page oversized, slipcase hardcover for $99 collecting, well a bunch of stuff starring the popular Neil Gaiman character. Here’s all the info you need to know, plus Jeff Smith and Adam Hughes pin-ups from the gallery included in the hefty book.

Written by Neil Gaiman; Art by Mark Buckingham, Chris Bachalo, Jeffrey Jones, Dave McKean and Mark Pennington; Cover by Dave McKean

“The landmark comic-book series that actually made Death seem . . . cool.”

— ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY on THE SANDMAN

Absolute Death HCFrom the pages of Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman’s THE SANDMAN comes the young, pale, perky, fan-favorite character Death in a new Absolute Edition collecting her solo adventures! Featuring the miniseries DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING #1-3 in which Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. Also included is the DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE 3-issue miniseries featuring the story of a rising star in the music world wrestling with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into Death’s imminent realm. And enjoy a plethora of extras including the DEATH TALKS ABOUT LIFE AIDS pamphlet, stories from VERTIGO: WINTER’S EDGE #2 and THE SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, the short story “The Wheel” from the 9-11 tribute book, SANDMAN #8 and #20 and extras from the DEATH GALLERY one-shot along with an intro from Amanda Palmer, the lead singer of the hit musical group The Dresden Dolls! It’s all combined right here for the first time in one volume. This Absolute Edition slipcased hardcover is also the perfect companion for THE ABSOLUTE SANDMAN and ideal for fans of Gaiman’s sprawling, intimate comics work!

Jeff Smith DeathAdam Hughes Death

Vertigo and Wildstorm Blogs

It’s awesome that DC Comics finally have a blog, called The Source. It’s not exactly a barrage of news but it makes up for it with almost daily previews of projects days, weeks or months away. Now, two of DC’s imprints also have their own dedicated blogs. The Bleed belongs to Wildstorm and it kicked off with the news that Planetary #27 would be the series’ last, produced by its creators Warren Ellis and John Cassady.

Vertigo’s blog, Graphic Content launches with an excerpt from October’s Fables novel. Peter and Max is written by the writer of the series, Bill Willingham with art by Steve Leiahola. Also on Graphic Content are  a few pages from DMZ #42, which is now on sale. This begins a new 3 part story entitled No Future, and is brought to us by writer Brian Wood and artist Ryan Kelly. Pics below.

dmz_42-41

dmz_42-51

dmz_42-61

Jeff Lemire’s The Nobody Trailer

Creator Jeff Lemire is a great new talent. Anyone who’s read his Essex County trilogy from Top Shelf will tell you that. All three books were moving and powerful. His new book, out on July 1 from Vertigo is inspired by the classic novel, The Invisible Man by H.G Wells. Press release and trailer below.

The tiny, isolated fishing village of Large Mouth never saw much excitement — until the arrival of the stranger, that is. Wrapped from head to toe in bandages and wearing weird goggles, he quietly took up residence in the sleepy town’s motel. Driven by curiosity, the townfolk quickly learn the tragic story of his past, and of the terrible accident that left him horribly disfigured. Eventually, the town embraces the stranger as one of their own — but do his bandages hide more than just scars?

Inspired by H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, THE NOBODY explores themes of identity, fear and paranoia in a small community from up-and-coming alternative comics creator and Xeric Award-winner Jeff Lemire (The Essex County Trilogy) in a special two-color story that’ll have you guessing until the very end.

   * Vertigo
   * 144pg.
   * B&W
   * Hardcover
   * $19.99 US
   * ISBN 9781401220808
   * Mature Readers


The Unwritten Stuff

The Unwritten #1This new series from the Lucifer team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross is different in a number of ways. Firstly it stands out from the other “Un” series launching this month (Unknown and Unthinkable from BOOM! Studios) by being bigger. Not bigger in format, but bigger in its story and by its very approach to the concept of storytelling. This debut issue has extra story pages, so you can feel a little heft when picking it up from the shelf. It’s also only $1! Thanks Vertigo/DC. They’ve had success with similar cheap launches, such as the After Watchmen…What’s Next? series of re-prints. This is a wise marketing move, and will only help give this series the attention it deserves.

So ,what’s it all about then? Imagine Harry Potter was real. That’s the basic premise. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that, but basically Tom Taylor is a grown man trying to live away from the shadow of the fictional boy wizard Tommy Taylor, the hero of a series of much loved books by Tom’s father, who has been missing for a decade. It’s a very well constructed first issue and barrels along at a nice pace. It takes itself seriously but isn’t melodramatic about it. With clever use of web-site comments, news casts and journal excerpts it becomes obvious that this creative duo have thought long and hard about the story they’re building.  There’s an insightful interview with the creators at Broken Frontier and you can also find Carey’s commentary on the issue at the same site.

If you’re looking for something fresh, with just enough nods to pop culture to make you feel smart, then pick up this ish.

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