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Casual Comics Preview – Week of 05/18/21

Hi all –

It’s been a while since we discussed the hot new comics that y’all should be excited about. But, with all the COVID nonsense largely behind us (fingers crossed), we’re back on track and ready to roll on our recurring coverage of the comic releases that we are looking forward to this week.

Black Knight: Curse Ebony Blade #3 (of 5) – Marvel Comics

Writer: Simon Spurrier, Art: Sergio Davila

Suddenly – out of nowhere – the Black Knight is hot again. On the heels of Marvel’s announcement that The Black Knight -Dane Whitman – will play a major role in the upcoming MCU movie “The Eternals”, the comics publisher is getting the character back out in front of readers.

The Black Knight recently got his own one-shot as part of Marvel’s “King in Black” crossover event – which, if you haven’t checked out, you definitely should. Writer Simon Spurrier quickly educated readers who were new to the character nimbly, explaining the character’s back story and unique power/skill-set, in that one-shot. And his expert storytelling and dry wit carry through to this title.

Casual comics fans should love the mini-series format of “Black Knight Curse Ebony Blade”. It’s both a fun introduction to a character many are not familiar with and a self-contained story that requires neither extensive background knowledge nor a commitment beyond these five issues. It should not be hard to find the first two issues of this series – which has been top-notch so far – so now is a perfect time to fall in love with Dane Whitman, his curse, and his ebony blade.

Shang-Chi #1 – Marvel Comics

by: Gene Luen Yang , Dike Ruan , Leinil Francis Yu

Here’s another character that Marvel would like you to know more about heading into an upcoming movie release.

ShangChi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opens on September 3, 2021. This is a hero that I don’t know a ton about, so I’m actually really excited to read this book. The solicit promises a great introduction to the charatcter:

“SHANG-CHI VS. THE MARVEL UNIVERSE! Shang-Chi and his family are back! And this time, they’re colliding head-to-head with the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes!”

I find that one way to make a hero (and his family) more accessible to casual readers is to create friction between said hero and the other characters that readers are much more in tune with. So, this should be an excellent jumping on point for people who want to get on board with Shang Chi before the movie rolls on the big screen.

Rover Red Charlie #1 (Dog Days Variant)

Writer: Garth Ennis, Art: Michael Dipascale

Personally, I find Garth Ennis a bit hit-or-miss, but this is definitely one of the more twisted “hits” in bibliography.

The release date on this one in the solicit is confusing, so don’t be mad if you’re not seeing this on the shelves this week. This is a re-release of a comic that I read (and loved) when it was first published back in 2013 and tells the tale of three canine pals who are living through the apocalypse. When an outbreak occurs that causes all humans to erupt in violent rage, the dogs are on their own in figuring out how to navigate a world gone wild. If you can imagine “28 Days Later” told from the POV of the pets, you’re halfway there.

This appears to be some kind of deluxe edition, so hopefully there’s some bonus content for those who have read this before. Avatar Press’ website is positively awful, so I guess we’ll all find out together.

Wonder Girl #1 – DC Comics

Writer: Joelle Jones, Art: Joelle Jones

Here’s the book I’ve definitely been dying to read. In the course of wading through DC’s huge “Future State” rollout, “Wonder Woman” was definitely the standout book in a mostly “meh” lot of books. Finally Yara Flor has her own ongoing series with “Wonder Girl”.

“Yara Flor has always felt something was missing from her life – and now she is headed to Brazil to find it. Little does she know her arrival will set off a series of events that will change the world of Wonder Woman forever. Her return has been prophesied, and with that prophecy comes the undivided attention of benevolent gods from pantheons beyond. “

I absolutely LOVED Joelle Jones’ take on the Wonder Woman mythos and the introduction of Yara into the DC Universe. Jones did a magnificent job of blending our mundane reality with the fantastic world of Greek mythology, and I cannot wait to read more.

And the art is magnificent – I mean just look at that cover. I’m going to read this one and then hang it on my wall!

As the first issue in an ongoing series – featuring a brand new character, nonetheless – this is a perfect time for casual comics readers to get introduced to a book you might just fall in love with.

That’s why “Wonder Girl” #1 is the official Casual Comics Pick of the Week.


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Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (March 5, 2014)

Greetings comics fans. While we’re all still eagerly awaiting the news of the grand re-opening of Dragon’s Lair Omaha, I’m covering the comics picks of the week again. That means two things for the comic book picks of the week:

1. You’re not getting the professional opinions you would be used to if you visited a cool local comic shop like Dragon’s Lair.

2. Be prepared for a faceful of titles I’ve already talked about.

Rover Red Charlie #4 (of 6)

Rover Red Charlie by: Garth Ennis, Michael DiPascale. Avatar Press

I’ve already raved about this title. Garth Ennis is a madman, but he hasn’t yet crossed that line. Anyone who has read issue #3 might be concerned about where I’m drawing the line, but I’m still hooked on this title that follows the adventures of three awesome dogs trying to make their way in a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Batman Superman Annual #1

Batman Superman Annual #1 by: Greg Pak, Jae Lee, Ed Benes. DC Comics

At this point, I don’t know a lot about the new 52. (Or should I say, “The New 52!”). I see Batman and Superman. It’s an Annual. It’s the first Annual for the title. My memory banks tell me this should be a standalone story that anyone can pick up and understand without having to be intimately familiar with the nuances of current events in their continuity. I’m probably way off on that suspicion, but I’ll give it a skim.

Loki Agent Of Asgard #2

Loki Agent of Asgard #2 by: Al Ewing, Lee Garbett, Jenny Frison. Marvel Comics.

Yes, yes, yes… Tom Hiddleston is great as Loki. Yes. Fangirls (and boys) love the trickster god from Asgard to an almost annoying extent. And, no, I haven’t read any of the recent Loki stuff that has come out since his newfound popularity. However, check out this solicit:

“Loki vs. Lorelei! It’s the battle of the Asgardian younger siblings–from the casinos of Monte Carlo to a speed date in New York! Loki goes speed dating. We should have mentioned that earlier, really.”

Come on. Tell me you’re not reading that one… I’m all in.

Moon Knight #1

Moon Kinght #1 by: Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey. Marvel Comics.

A great hero – Moon Knight… the Fist of Khonshu. I always had a super soft spot for this guy and his weird, schizophrenic, adventures. And Warren Ellis has been one of the consistently best comic authors in recent years.

So I love Warren Ellis. I love Moon Knight. So why isn’t this my top title of the week? Look how boring that cover is. YAAAAWN!

Luckily, there’s another option. Katie Cook – one of my favorite artists ever – has a variant. Get on this now. She’s the next Skottie Young, people.

Moon Knight #1: Katie Cook Animal Variant Cover

She-Hulk #2

She-Hulk #2 by: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada. Marvel Comics

Please pick up this title. I reviewed issue #1 earlier. I love She-Hulk. It’s so much more than a typical crisis, punch, resolve storyline. Jennifer Walters (aka She-Hulk) is finally striking out to start her own law firm – one I’m sure will continually involve the super-powered margins of the Marvel U.

Check out the solicit:

“Jennifer opens her own practice, but things aren’t going as smoothly as she’d like. A new client rides into town…but is he hero or villain? Guest-starring Patsy Walker, Hellcat!”

If you’re not excited to see Jen and Patsy having a cocktail, you’re crazy. And if you don’t know who Hellcat is… I can’t help you with that right now. She-Hulk #2 is my Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Other notable titles:

Afterlife with Archie #4

I’ve already talked about this way too much. It’s the Archie gang both killing and becoming zombies. What more can I say at this point… get it….

As always, support your local comic book shop.




Casual Comics Review – Rover Red Charlie

A wise man once said, “Sometimes you kick. Sometimes you get kicked. Yesterday was that kind of day.

I stopped in at Legend Comics over my lunch break. Joe Patrick – one half of the Two Headed Nerd – finally caught me in the store, so my cover was blown. On the positive side, I stumbled onto Rover Red Charlie while browsing the shelves. The series is up to issue #3, but I only picked up the first two.

Rover Red Charlie #1 by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale Avatar Press

It’s a “high concept” book, and it’s written by Garth Ennis, which was enough to convince me to give Rover Red Charlie a try.

Ennis is not known for being a subtle. He often piles shocking material on top of offensive material in a short stack of mayhem that dares you to stop reading. Read the rest of this entry