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First Force Choke

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2010-02-05 09:32:01

Comics Roundup

Sorry Gonz, only implied Force choking today.

I've been struggling to figure out how to best cater to our audience, or even what audience we want to cultivate. I personally have eclectic tastes, so I pretty much throw up any random regurgitation that strikes my fancy. As far as I can tell, we have a small but broad clientele, and the vast majority of you don't give us any feedback. So the few voices that do reach out to me hold disproportionate sway. Well, two such voices requested a return of my comics pull list so here we go.

Red Robin #9: This book is a guilty pleasure. I can't even say it's actually good. I just love the character of Tim Drake. He's the one character that, just maybe, WE could be. There's something cool about Batman, in that he doesn't have any super powers, but let's face it, none of us can ever hope to be the Ubermensch that is Bruce Wayne. Tim, on the other hand, isn't even a natural acrobat like Nightwing. He just trained up. He isn't a genius of any kind, but by applying himself manages to keep up with "The World's Greatest Detective". There are times when he knows he's outclassed as a martial artist, and is not above a tactical retreat if it means winning the war. In a way, he's kind of like Spider-Man with more direction and purpose. He has the shittiest luck (his father, best friend, girlfriend, then adoptive father were all murdered in short order), but instead of wallowing in self-pity, he goes out and uses the full extent of his faculties to take control of his life.

Currently, in the face of monolithic skepticism from his peers, he believes Batman (his adoptive father) to be still alive, and is globetrotting trying to pick up the trail. He's currently about to take on Ra's al Ghul without much in the way of backup, so that ought to be interesting.

Ghost Riders: Heaven's On Fire #6: This issue wraps up a Ghost Rider limited series. Jason Aaron has quickly become one of my favorite writers to the point that I just go ahead and buy anything he pens. His stuff reminds me of early Garth Ennis material. I've always loved Ghost Rider as a concept, but never really enjoyed any of the actual comics. Aaron changed that for me. He excised the hokey and needless complexity and distilled the cool '70s style occult and biker badassery into a fun book with sharp humor and great action. We're talking throwdowns with gun nuns and demon thingies with eyeballs for heads! He wrote the main series (volume 5) from issues #20-#35, and wrapped up his run with this mini-series. The links are for the trade paperbacks collecting his run. The fourth link is for preordering the limited series which hasn't yet been released in TPB form.

Siege #2: Brian Bendis certainly has his detractors, but I for one am a fan. He's been the primary architect of the Marvel Universe for several years now, and has (for the most part) engineered some of the most entertaining Marvel stories to date. He's the reason I'm currently more interested in Marvel books than DC titles. For those of you not up to date with the Marvel universe, the bad guys are currently running the show. Norman Osborn (formerly the Green Goblin) is in charge of United States security forces, and "Siege" is about his war Asgard, and the various heroes rallying to Thor's cause. "An Event Seven Years In the Making" is definitely marketing, doublespeak hyperbole, but I have definitely enjoyed the first two issues of "Siege".

Wolverine: Weapon X #10: Another Jason Aaron book. He finds a way to take Wolverine and make him interesting - not just badass, but genuinely intriguing. Even while exploring retread plots (the first arc involved combat with fellow Weapon X program types and the second revolved around a mad doctor mucking inside his head poking at his bestial nature), Aaron manages to deliver fresh and edgy takes on the character. Issue #10 delved into his tragic love life without resorting to sappiness or rendering Wolverine into an emo whiner.

Criminal: The Sinners #4: When Ed Brubaker does anything even remotely noir, he is hands down my favorite writer. "The Sinners" continues the hardboiled greatness of the series and I recommend it without reservation to anyone interested in the crime genre. The trade paperbacks are linked below. The fifth is a preorder for the current "Sinners" storyline which, of course, has not yet been released in TPB.

Scalped #34: Jason Aaron yet again. This is another crime book that's most easily summed up by the lazy descriptor "Sopranos on an Indian reservation". I don't recommend it anywhere nearly as strongly as I do Criminal, but I do dig it. It's better than 100 Bullets for those of you who are jonesing for something along those lines, now that that book has wrapped up. The TPBs below will catch you up on a solid crime saga. Again, the final link is to preorder the current storyline.

Sweet Tooth #6: OMFG this is my favorite new book to come along in years. I've already reread the initial story arc three times, and my eyes lit up when I saw #6 on this week's pull list. It's yet another post-apocalyptic (pandemic flavor) tale, with kids being born with animal features (the protagonist has antlers). Once you accept this weird premise, Sweet Tooth is simultaneously bleak and uplifting. It touches the soul... BUY THIS BOOK. If you're not a comic book store kind of guy, preorder the trade below. You will not regret it.

Demo #1: This kicks off a new volume of one of the books that established indie-darling-made-good Brian Wood. It was originally a twelve issue limited series consisting of isolated stories that were connected by a theme: young people with supernatural abilities. Wood has a knack for squeezing relationships and emotions out of dramatic situations, and you may want to pick up the collection before starting this new volume.

I'm always interested in recommendations. If there is a comic book you love that I'm not reading, hit up our forums and point me in its direction.

Now Playing - Modern Warfare 2 (360); level 67, 8th prestige, 2.11 kill/death ratio
Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce

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