Man, it's late. You should have gone to the comic shop by now. It is Wednesday, you know. That's when new comics come out.
And I have recommendations about which ones you should buy. Sorry they're late, but, hey, the shop will be open tomorrow, too. And you could always download at least some of this stuff legally...
The Adventures of Hergé This is a graphic novel about the creator of Tintin, written and drawn in the style of a Tintin album. Official summary: "The Adventures of Hergé is a biographical comic about the world-renowned comics artist Georges Prosper Remi, better known by his pen name, Hergé. Meticulously researched, with references to many of the Tintin albums and complete with a bibliography and mini-bios for each of the main 'characters,' the biography is appropriately drawn in Hergé's iconic clear line style as an homage to the Tintin adventures that have commanded the attention of readers across the world and of many generations. Seven-year-old Hergé first discovered his love of drawing in 1914 when his mother gave him some crayons to stay out of trouble. He continued drawing in school when he fatefully met the editor of XXe Siècle magazine, where Tintin first appeared. His popularity skyrocketed from the 1930s through post-WWII. Hergé was perceived by some to have aided the Nazi government in Belgium by continuing to publish Tintin in a government-sanctioned magazine, and he was briefly imprisoned in the aftermath of the war and narrowly escaped execution. Also covered are his marriage troubles in the 1950s and subsequent affair with Fanny Vlamynck, who went on to become his lifelong partner; his late career in the 1960s, as his interest in Tintin waned and he occasionally 'disappeared' for weeks at a time as he contemplated giving up his career to become a fine-arts painter; and a recounting of a humorous encounter with Andy Warhol."
Avengers #19 I recently started reading Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers comics, and I like what I've seen. He's great on a team book, flexing his mastery of dialogue to make Marvel's most famous heroes seem like a group of real people, at least in terms of how they talk. In this issue, he debuts a new Avengers line-up, so if you're interested in how Marvel's big super-hero team is doing, this is a good jumping-on point.
DC Comics Presents: Superman: The Kents #1 One of comics' most reliably good writers, John Ostrander, teamed with one of comics' best illustrator of Westerns, Tim Truman, teamed up in the '90s to tell a tale of the Wild West lives of the ancestors of Superman's adopted father, Jonathan Kent. This collects the first four issues, presented in one volume. Two more reprints will follow.
Hawken #1 Tim Truman is good at Westerns. (See above. ) This is a new one, co-written with his son and drawn by him. I hear it's quite good. Official summary: "Tim Truman returns to the Weird West! The industry legend teams with his son, writer Ben Truman, for a violent new tale of the supernatural! In the land of the lawless rode the soulless! Scout, hunter, raider, killer-for-hire: Kitchell Hawken has been many things-most of them bad. Scalped, tortured, and left for dead by the mysterious order called the Ring, Hawken returns, seeking vengeance...but surrounded by the ghosts of every person he's ever killed! Are the phantoms real, or illusions from Hawken's blood-soaked past?" (Read a preview here.)
Mudman #1 Writer/artist Paul Grist is one of the best super-hero creators who rarely puts new work out. Today, he's got new work out. Official summary: "It's the first day back at school for Owen Craig, and it's not going too well. He's been run over, got detention, and his police officer father has been taken prisoner by armed bank robbers. And now his body seems to be turning into mud…"
DC Universe Online Legends #17 Official summary: "Hal Jordan is seriously conflicted as he and the Green Lantern Corps arrive at Korugar to 'contain' the war between Sinestro's Yellow Lanterns and Brainiac - but can they save the planet of innocents caught in the crossfire? And how desperate could things possibly get that would see Hal team up with Sinestro for one final battle?!"
End of Nations #1: Official summary: "Economic disaster brought world governments to their knees. Industrialized nations, for the first time, experienced hunger and poverty on a scale not seen outside the most stricken third-world countries. The Order of Nations, a new world power, stepped into the chaos and restored order, imposing a tyrannical rule. But they pushed too hard and people everywhere began to openly challenge them. Follow the story of one resistance group as they struggle against the totalitarian regime of the Order of Nations in this 4-issue miniseries based on the highly anticipated, massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game End of Nations from publisher Trion Worlds and developer Petroglyph!"
Mass Effect Invasion #2 Official summary: "Space station Omega is under attack by bizarre creatures from the center of the galaxy! Aria T'Loak, pirate queen of Omega, leads the charge against the grotesque invaders, but when the true threat behind them is revealed, Aria is forced to regroup and form a new strategy-or risk losing everything!"
Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and other Steam-Powered Stories Official summary: "For fifteen years, Valve has defined the cutting edge of video games. Now, Valve joins with Dark Horse to bring three critically acclaimed, fan-favorite series to print, with a hardcover collection of comics from the worlds of Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Portal. With over three hundred pages of story, Valve Presents: The sacrifice and other Steam-Powered Stories is a must-read for fans looking to further explore the games they love or comics readers interested in dipping their toes into new mythos!" (Read a preview here.)
Lots of day-and-date comics from Marvel, DC and Image are on the ComiXology app, plus they're always adding interesting back catalogue comics, including a 512=page collection of Sonic: The Hedgehog comics called Sonic: The Hedgehog: Legacy, a bunch more issues of the Ed Brubaker Catwoman from that brief era when Catwoman's series was both beautifully drawn and not cheesecake, a 98-page rare work from the acclaimed Jeff Lemire (more about him in a bit) called Lost Dogs, and a ton of Star Trek comics from publisher IDW (and if you can tell me if any of them are any good, please do!). Over on the Dark Horse app, they have released the comics-only Seasons 8 and 9 of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, two bucks a pop. (Our Kirk Hamilton says he has read some and that they were "wildly uneven")
Evan writes the following about Animal Man #3: "The best comic I read last week made me more worried for Buddy Baker. That's a good thing.
"Jeff Lemire had ridiculously huge shoes to fill coming onto DC Comics' New 52 re-boot of Animal Man. Grant Morrison's run on the character stands out as a highwater mark of superheroes comics, delivering a deconstructed take that showcased how much having powers and saving the world would disrupt a guy's life.
"Lemire takes that concept further, having the horror of supernatural forces invade Animal Man's life even more. As his daughter continues to exhibit creature mimickry abilities that dwarf his own, Animal Man's origin gets re-configured in this issue. However, it's not a wholesale dismissal of what's gone before. The kind of surefootedness on display here has been the best thing about Lemire's Animal Man so far. It gestures at the previous interpretations of Buddy Baker's superhero life with characters referring in passing to weird stuff that's already happened in their lives. Yet, their reactions to the new terror that pops up are still filled with genuine surprise. Travel Foreman's work suits this series incredibly well, with linework that makes the viscera and blood swirling around each page feel utterly disgusting. It'll be interesting to see how the things being set up here will tie into the larger picture of the new DC Universe, but I'm mostly sticking around just to see what happens to Buddy and his family."
That's it for this week. Next week, I'll be back with new comics recommendations for all of you.