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Casual Comics Guy Hot Picks of the Week (October 22, 2014)

Still spooky time here in the Casual Comics Corner of the universe. I’m on the prowl for scary, weird, or otherwise holiday-themed books. I’m sure I won’t find anything this brilliant…

Why are his pants ripped? His calves aren’t THAT big…

Memetic #1 (of 3)

Memetic #1. Boom! Studios: October 22, 2014 Writer: James TynionIV Art: Eryk Donovan Cover: Eryk Donovan

Bingo! I love getting in on the ground floor of a limited series. No crazy continuity to try and follow. And, I should be able to read it through to the end without too much trouble. Especially since it’s coming out as three super-size (48 page) issues instead of six regular sized monthly books.

Why it’s spooky: Just read the solicit…

” Meme is an idea that starts with an individual, and then spreads throughout multiple persons and potentially entire societies. Richard Dawkins suggests a meme’s success comes from its effectiveness to the host. But history shows that destructive memes can spread just as rapidly through society. MEMETIC shows the progression of a weaponized meme that leads to the utter annihilation of the human race within 72 hours. The root of this apocalypse is a single image on the internet, a ‘meme’ in the popular sense. A meme that changes everything.”

 

Arkham Manor #1

Arkham Manor #1. DC Comics: October 22, 2014 Writer: Gerry Duggan Art: Shawn Crystal Cover: Shawn Crystal

What? Wayne Manor getting overrun by some of the scariest Batman villains of all time. And apparently, they’re vandalizing Bruce’s property.

Why it’s spooky: Just look at the cover. It’s got all the weirdest members of Batman’s rogues gallery. There’s Scarecrow…Mad Hatter… Guy who draws on his own face that looks like he’s just seen The Silence from Doctor Who. Actually, if The Silence are in this book, it rockets to number one on the must-read list. It’s much more likely that it’s just some other dude I don’t know because I haven”t read a Batman comic in ages.

 

Last Unicorn TPB

 

 

Last Unicorn TPB. By: Peter S. Beagle, Renae De Liz

I love this movie. I had no idea that they were releasing a trade paperback and then – like magic – I just ran across a copy of the hardback at Barnes and Noble tonight. And, if you’ve never seen it, you should definitely watch it. It used to be streaming online for free, but now I think you’re going to have to pay to stream it on Amazon.

Why it’s spooky: The Red Bull in the story still gives me nightmares.

She-Hulk #9

She-hulk #9. By: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada

She-Hulk is such a great book.  Charles Soule is knocking it out of the park. Some people aren’t a big fan of Javier Pulido’s idiosyncratic art, but I’ve always found it endearing. I’m glad that the title doesn’t have the hyper-detailed art that most Marvel titles employ. Getting something a little more abstract reminds one that you don’t need a She-Hulk you can ogle, so much as you need one with heart (and brains).

A welcome relief from the normal overly-sexualized heroine we get in the books.

And for those of you who don’t like Pulido… at least Ron Wimberly isn’t drawing the book any more.

AHHHHHHH!!!! MY EYES!!!!!

Why it’s spooky: Because even though this is probably one of the best titles Marvel is publishing right now, I just found out they’re pulling the plug after issue #12. Boooo!

 

In almost any other week, She-Hulk would easily nail down the top spot. But… guess what I just found!

Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3

Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #3. By: Mike Neumann, Agustin Padilla.

A Borderlands comic? I know IDW licences a bunch of properties, but this is one of the few where I think it’s a GREAT idea.

Borderlands has to be the funniest, most surreal games I’ve ever played. If Neumann can bring half the humor to this book from the game series, this will be well worth checking out.

Why it’s spooky: This issue features one of my favorite bad guys from the first Borderlands – Nine Toes. (That’s not the only appendage he’s got an odd number of)

Between the comic and the release of the new video game, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, it’s a Vault Hunter’s life for me. That’s why  Borderland’s: Fall of Fyrestone #3 is my Official Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week.

Until next time, support your local comic book shop.

Cheers!

CCG

 

Hot New Comic Picks of the Week (June 25, 2014)

It looks like it’s going to be interesting for new comics this week. We’re getting back to the usual routine – expert picks from the experts at Dragon’s Lair and amateur commentary from the casual guy. Let’s see what they’ve got for us this week.

Savage Hulk #1

Savage Hulk #1. By Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Matt Hollingsworth. Marvel Comics.

Not the Incredible Hulk. Not the Indestructible Hulk. I was hoping this was a She-Hulk title, since she used to be the Savage She-Hulk. She-Hulk is a tremendous book that everyone should be reading.

But, it looks like it’s old purple-pants back in action in an all new title. Wanna hear some more about it? Here goes:

“AN ALL-NEW SERIES!!! Alan Davis writes and draws a blockbuster story pitting the HULK against… the X-MEN!?!?! Learn the startling secret of Professor Xavier’s connection to Bruce Banner! Guest starring the Leader and the Abomination!”

For those of you scoring at home, that description contains:

  • 4 sentences
  • 3 periods
  • 2 question marks
  • 8 exclamation marks

It’s gotta be exciting based on those numbers alone.

Outcast #1

Outcast #1. By: Robert Kirkman, Paul Azaceta. Image Comics.

Again, I was hoping that this was something else – a comic starring Big Boi and Andre 3000 is exactly what this world needs right now. So, it’s not that… what is it?

“NEW HORROR SERIES FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREATOR ROBERT KIRKMAN! Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. ”

Man. All caps? You know that’s a good comic. Walking Dead is getting a little tired, so hopefully this one will be good.

Goon One for the Road (One Shot)

Goon One for the Road. By Eric Powell. Dark Horse Comics.

Goon seems like a comic I should be into, but one where I missed a good jumping on point. This is a one-shot, so you know it’s got my interest right away. One-shots can either be the best friend or the worst bane of a casual comics fan. This is one I’ll actually buy. Thanks for the recommendation, CJ.

Amazing Spider-Man #3

Amazing Spider-Man #3. By: Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos. Marvel Comics.

Spider-Man is once again Peter Parker, and is once again Amazing. All seems right with the world. Let’s see what Petey’s up to this month.

“• Because of her last encounter with Spider-Man, Felicia Hardy lost everything. Now the Black Cat is back, and she doesn’t want any apologies or excuses… just REVENGE. • Plus: Spidey teams up with a real hero, fireman Pedro Olivera… who just happens to be the current boyfriend to one Mary Jane Watson. • And… more on you-know-who from the opening scene back in ASM #1. You know who we’re talking about. Yeah, that’s right. You better not miss this one! ”

That seems like a lot to be going on in one issue. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for Felicia Hardy, so I’ll definitely check in on this one as well. Maybe I should go back and pick up #1…

Before Watchmen Ozymandias and Crimson Corsair TPBK

Before Watchmen Ozymandias Crimson Corsair TPB. By: Len Wein, Jae Lee. DC Comics.

Ever wondered just what happened before the Watchmen series started (that wasn’t already covered by the flashbacks in that book)? Then Before Watchmen might be the title for you.

I kid… I’ve heard it’s pretty good, and a trade paperback is casual comic fan friendly, so I’ll give it a rest on the kidding about the probable necessity of this entire series.

C.O.W.L. #2

C.O.W.L. #2. By: Kyle Higgins, Rod Reis, Trevor McCarthy. Image Comics.

Now, I did like the first issue of this. Well done, gritty urban adventure. I’m very excited to see if they can keep up the momentum. How long will I stick on board with this title? You’ll have to tune in to a future installment. I think I’ll cover this one in depth along with another title in an upcoming Double Down post.

There’s no Hot Comic of the Week in the new comics section. That’s because I’m still distracted by the Savage Hulk comic. So, here’s the deal. This week’s Official Hot Comic Pick of the Week is Savage She-Hulk #1. My site, my rules, people.

Savage She-Hulk #1. By Stan Lee and John Buscema. Marvel Comics. February 1980.

 

I’m going to scour the local comic book shops this weekend for a copy and see if it’s as good as I remember.

Thanks, and Cheers!

– CCG

 

Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (May 7, 2014)

So? Hot Comic Picks for this week?

Tell you what. Between the NFL Draft, Free Comic Book Day, and trying to cram in all of the back-story on Uatu, I only got time for the “best of the best” this week.

Yeah. I watched it. So what?

And away we go…

Mentions that don’t get a full write-up:

Nailbiter #1 (Image Comics)

Satellite Sam Tijuana Bible

Cyclops #1 (Marvel Comics) – Did I mention that Scott Summers is lame? I think I did…

Powerpuff Girls #9 (IDW Publishing)

Red Sonja #9 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Gail Simone is awesome…

And now the top 3

She-Hulk #4

She Hulk #4. By: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada. Marvel Comics.

 

This is my favorite Marvel title, and my second favorite title overall (after Alex+ Ada). Is that Matt Murdock on the cover? Let’s read the solicit:

Jen’s new client Kristoff Vernard has been kidnapped by his dad, DOCTOR DOOM!

What does fellow lawyer (and recently outted Man Without Fear) MATT MURDOCK know about it?

It’s an international jailbreak, She-Hulk Style, as Charles Soule (INHUMANITY) and Javier Pulido (HAWKEYE) take us to Latverian soil!”

Love it! Gotta read it!

Alex + Ada #6

Alex + Ada #6. By: Jonathan Luna. Image Comics.

No holds barred, this is the best title on shelves today. If you’re already reading it, it’s got to be the title you’re most looking forward to. The only reason it’s not the pick of the week? If you ‘re not reading it, you might as well wait for the trade paperback at this point. You’re not going to find the first five issues all single-bound.

Original Sin #1 (of 8)

Original Sin #1. By: Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato, Julian Totino Tedesco. Marvel Comics.

Marvel’s big event of the summer just arrived. Who shot the Watcher? This could be awesome. It could also be incredibly awful. Either way, for a casual comics fan, this issue has to be the Casual Comics Hot Pick of the Week. It’s the one title you’ve got to at least browse in hopes that the story stays on the rails.

So, I hope you all got out to your local comic shop for Free Comic Book Day. I also hope you’ll check out these titles and more and support local stores.

Cheers!

– CCG

 

Casual Comic Guy Picks: Hot Comic Books of the Week (April 2, 2014)

Here we are again. Another week. Another new comics day. The comics are like the mail. No matter how far behind I get (and I’m at least two weeks behind reading the comics I’ve bought), they just keep coming.

Not that it’s a bad thing… Just an observation. But that’s why my list is shorter this week. I have issues… BACK ISSUES!

Quantum & Woody #9

Quantum and Woody #9. By: James Asmus, Kano, Tom Fowler. Valiant Entertainment LLC.

People keep telling me that Quantum and Woody is a great title – one I should be reading. Also, I recall this title from my days persuing the shelves of Dragon’s Lair way back in 1988.

It’s been around forever, there’s a goat on the cover, and people tell me to check it out. Why not make it a pick of the week?

(That’s a rhetorical question since I already did)

Doctor Who Magazine #471

The colors on the cover image are HORRIBLE, but whatever. It’s a magazine about Doctor Who and I need some light reading this week. Plus, I just finished watching “The Green Death” and “Blink” is an iconic episode from the new series.

Shotgun Wedding #1 (of 4)

Shotgun Wedding #1. By: William Harms, Edward Pun. Image Comics.

The first issue of a new series. That’s an appealing proposition right out of the gate. The art is marvelous, so it’s got that going for it, too. Let’s check the solicit:

Mike Stone wants nothing more than to marry the woman of his dreams. Denise is smart, sexy, teaches the second grade, and loves Mike more than anything in the world. What she doesn’t know is that Mike is one of the world’s top assassins and was once engaged to a fellow assassin named Chloe. And when Mike abandoned Chloe on their wedding day, she vowed revenge… This April, treat yourself to an issue of SHOTGUN WEDDING each Wednesday! All FOUR issues of Minotaur Press’s latest miniseries will be released in April, and the covers for all four issues connect to form one larger image. 

Sweet! A weekly? So if I like the first issue, I only have to wait week-to-week for the next installment. Count me in.

She-Hulk #3

She-Hulk #3. By: Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Kevin Wada. Marvel Comics.

The Marvel She-Hulk series is brilliant with a capital “B”. I could not be more excited to see how Jennifer Walters continues building her legal practice whilst punching bad guys in the face. Plus, based on the last issue, I’m anticipating Hellcat being in #3.

If you’re not on board with this title, get #1 and #2 ASAP. By far, the best book being published by Marvel today. This book is so good that I guarantee I’m not only buying this, but getting the first appearances of She-Hulk and Hellcat from the back issue bins.

There’s absolutely no doubt that She-Hulk #3 is the Casual Comics Pick for the Hot Comic of the Week.

Until next time… support you local comics shop! If you’re in Omaha, be sure to stop by the relocated Dragon’s Lair – now open for business.

– CCG

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.

Cheers!

– CCG

 

Casual Comics Review Double Down – She Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1

With so many great titles hitting the last couple of weeks, I’m still digging out from my pile of recent purchases. It’s all relative, though, since I only buy about four titles a week.

Two super-buzzworthy titles dropped, so I wanted to give you the Casual perspective on both She-Hulk #1 and Ms. Marvel #1. Two books with female leads, but both come from very different places. One is an established hero with a long publication history, the other is a brand new hero with a familiar name. One is a grown (7 ft. tall) woman with a professional career, the other a teenager out of her element and just discovering her powers while navigating high school.

How’d they each do in their respective first issues?

She Hulk #1

She-Hulk #1; Marvel Comics

Full disclosure, I absolutely adored the last She-Hulk series I read. Read the rest of this entry