6 Must-Read Comics for the Week (November 25, 2010)

Here’s my list of must-read comics for the week. These titles made it to my pull up list because I found them exciting and fun to read in terms of story, artwork, or both. You too can include any of these comic books in your buying list for this week or later on. If you have something to say about them, please feel free to add your comments and they will be deeply appreciated.

This week, my top selections include Detective Comics, where Scott Snyder debuts as the ongoing writer. I was also amazed by JT Krul’s latest issue of Green Arrow. Action Comics #895 and Star Wars Blood Ties also made my list.

Here are the 6 comic books that I recommend for this week:

1. Detective Comics #871: The Black Mirror, Part 1
2. Green Arrow #6: Siege Mentality
3. Action Comics #895: The Black Ring, Part 6
4. Justice League Generation Lost #14: Tomorrow is Today
5. Star Wars Blood Ties: Tale of Jango and Boba Fett #4
6. Astonishing Thor #1

Please don’t forget to tell me what you think about these titles.

Comic Book Review – Star Wars Blood Ties: Tale of Jango and Boba Fett #4

This is the finale for the very first Star Wars: Blood Ties story arc. The whole series is about popular Star Wars characters that are related by blood. But if you expect that the Tale of Jango and Boba Fett only focuses on their relationship as father and son, you might be a bit disappointed. Actually, the story is about Boba’s undying intention of upholding his father’s honor.

Cover Art for Star Wars Blood Ties: Tale of Jango and Boba Fett #4

Right after the second issue, the story gravitated towards Boba and a character named Connor Freeman, a former clone trooper’s son and essentially Boba’s blood relative (Jango being the source of the clone genes). The strong point of the story lies in the fact that Boba has accepted an errand to hunt for Connor, which puts them in a direct collision course. Will Connor perish? Or will this be Boba’s first time to abstain from collecting his reward? Well, suffice it to say that an intergalactic crime lord will become collateral damage for this rampage involving the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. This action-packed series is written by Tom Taylor, with lifelike art by Chris Scalf.

Comic Book Review – Justice League Generation Lost #14: Tomorrow is Today

If you’re a fan of Captain Atom, then this issue is definitely for you. After that incident with Magog last time, Nate Adam is once again (first time was in issue #6) hurled into the 24th century, in an alternate reality where a handful of new and old Justice Leaguers are waging a desperate war against the OMACs. Captain Atom has no choice but to join the other heroes in that time in a last ditch effort to destroy the OMAC moon base, which used to be Max Lord’s base of operation.

Cover Art for Justice League Generation Lost #14

Again, this very powerful superhero from DC Universe is given the opportunity to help save humanity and correct the things that have gone and will go wrong in the future. Question is, will he pull through? One thing is for sure, Captain Atom’s sub-plot is one of the strongest points in the Generation Lost series.

Writer Judd Winick pushes the storyline forward in each installment. The main characters have been brilliantly developed. And to me, that’s an important part of a good story. Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan provide the amazing artwork. I’m really impressed by the smooth clean lines and the fresh look of some of the classic characters in the DC Universe.

Comic Book Review – Green Arrow #6: Siege Mentality

This is a continuing Brightest Day tie-in issue that has nothing to do with Black Lanterns, or the Brightest Day maxi-series for that matter. For many fans of the character, this is a welcome relief. You see, some comic book readers have expressed their dismay over what seem to be a conspiracy to take the edge off Green Arrow, resulting in the character not getting the most captivating parts in the past issues. The first five installments all served as settings for Brightest Day sub-plots and, right now, I couldn’t care less about that mysterious forest in the middle of Star City.

Cover Art for Green Arrow #6

But now, we see Green Arrow finally hitting the bull’s eye in this series that bears his name. Oliver Queen finally raids Queen Industries to meet the Queen and her assistant assassin Nix head on. The assault scenes are packed with action, which all manage to provide the much needed thrust for Oliver’s story to move forward.

Writer JT Krul has brought the series a new sense of direction. Storywise, I believe that this is the best issue in the series so far. Add to that the powerful artwork by Diogenes Neves and the brilliant colors and inkwork from Vicente Cifuentes. As always, the cover art by Mauro Cascioli sums up the core of this issue’s storyline in a manner that’s nothing less than realistic.

Comic Book Review – Detective Comics #871: The Black Mirror, Part 1

A whole new chapter opens in Detective Comics series. A horrible string of murders again besets Gotham City and the GCPD is far from solving the crimes. As a matter of fact, there are indications that some members of the police force are involved in these bloody killings. It must be pointed out that the murders occur after the much awaited return of Bruce Wayne and the start of Batman Incorporated, where Dick Grayson has been designated by Bruce Wayne as the ‘official’ Batman to watch over Gotham.

Cover Art for Batman Detective Comics #871

So, needless to say, Dick Grayson’s knack for detective work will be put to the test. Will he come close—or even surpass—Bruce Wayne’s detective skills? Better yet, will Dick be able to fill in Bruce’s shoes as the city’s Dark Knight? Well, it remains to be seen. But if there is anything that can be said about these brutalities, it’s that Dick will have to face one of the oldest evils lurking in Gotham City.

Rising comics star Scott Snyder and celebrated artist Jock has finally teamed up for the ongoing Detective Comics series. And if that’s any indication, this long-running serial from DC Comics will surely break the state of affairs in the Batman mythos. Snyder is known for his dynamic storytelling style, particularly in American Vampire series from Vertigo Comics. Jock, on the other hand, is admired for his dark, unrealistic but gorgeous artwork in The Losers.

In the co-feature story entitled Skeleton Cases, also written by Snyder, a vile mystery stares Commissioner Jim Gordon in the face. It all started out in the Gotham City Aviary and may soon lead into the police commissioner’s personal life. Color and art for the second story is by Francesco Francavilla.

Comic Book Review – Astonishing Thor #1

Just like any other opening issue for a comic book mini-series, Astonishing Thor has little excitement to offer. Except for the fact that the main characters are being laid down on the table, there are few things that fans can look forward to in any opening chapter. But even if this issue has little to offer to stir up fans, it still made my weekly comic book pull up list because of its amazing, eye-popping art by Mike Choi.

Cover Art for Astonishing Thor #1

Again, many fans will find this issue to be a bit dull, storywise. Even the character development is weak. My main complaint is the part where Heimdall blurts out the word hyperspace. I mean, Asgardians surely have a more archaic term for hyperspace, right? Or did their stay in Oklahoma, during and after the Siege, also defiled their tongues?

At any rate, I’m looking forward to a more exciting second issue. With Thor finally bumping into the living planet called Ego and its creator known as The Stranger, a climactic battle is just around the corner.

Comic Book Review – Action Comics #895: The Black Ring

As Lex Luthor goes on a quest to find the remaining traces of Black Lantern energy, he’s bound to meet some very formidable obstacles along the way. But for the third time in the Action Comics series, he has proven that he can outgun, outman, and outwit anyone who crosses his path. First, he foiled an assassination attempt by Deathstroke. Next, he thwarted Grodd from turning him into a Lex Meatball. Finally, Luthor eluded Death herself.

Cover Art for Action Comics #895

So, it’s just natural for the world’s smartest criminal mastermind to finally take a break and let things hang loose back in Metropolis. Alas, there’s no rest for the wicked. A new thorn on Luthor’s side pops up in the form of Vandal Savage, who’s bent on preventing Luthor’s plan of harnessing the energy from the Black Lanterns. Why? Well, it’s because Luthor’s scheme can only materialize with the use of the Black Lantern energy domes which, in turn, are held by Savage in preparation for some kind of ancient prophecy. This latest confrontation forces Luthor to enlist the services of the Secret Six. And we’ll soon find out if it’s going to be another smart idea from LL.

The absence of Superman in Action Comics started in issue #890 and will last all the way through #899. But I tell you, I do not miss Supes at all. Writer Paul Cornell has given fans of the comic book series a lot to look forward to, most important of which is the amazing scripts between Luthor and his DC villain contemporaries. The artwork by Peter Wood is also worth mentioning. The detailed expressions on both Luthor and Savage are simply amazing.

Lastly, let’s not forget about the co-feature story where we find Jimmy Olsen preventing a cruel bunch of aliens from turning Earth into a bloodsoaked party venue. The plan involves turning Metropolis into a boring city in the hope that the aliens would see the entire planet as an uninteresting place and, thus, a total waste of time for them. Well, only Jimmy Olsen can do it with just a bow tie on his neck.

Weekly Comic Book Review (Nov. 17): Batman: The Return #1, Batman Incorporated #1, The Flash #6

Every week, I will be sharing with you the comic books that really blew my mind. My reviews, however, are not official and they are solely based on my personal opinion and tastes.

My comics pull list for this week has Batman written all over it. There are three major Dark Knight titles, plus one Batman appearance in the Brightest Day maxi-series. I also included Flash #6 which is the last chapter in The Dastardly Death of the Rogues story arc. Brightest Day #14, another comics series by Geoff Johns, also proved to be a real treat. All in all, I have 6 issues as my top picks. Here they are:

1. Batman Incorporated #1: Mr. Unknown is Dead

2. Batman: The Return #1—Planet Gotham

3. The Flash #6: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, Part Six

4. Brightest Day #14: Acrobats

5. Batman #704: Eye of the Beholder

6. Green Lantern #59: Lorek Tarr Lok

I hope you enjoyed these issues as much as I did. Please let me know what you think about this week’s top picks. Thanks.

The Death of Spider-Man Looms in New Bendis-Millar Team Up

Spider-Man is going to die—in comic book pages, that is. Celebrated comic book writers Brian Bendis and Mark Millar will be collaborating to plot the web slinger’s demise. The Death of Spider-Man will be a new crossover storyline in the Ultimate Marvel imprint where many of the characters in the Marvel Comics Universe have been updated and reimagined, often to reflect modern-day settings.

This is another ambitious new project for Marvel Comics after it was acquired by Disney in late 2009. The new plot is expected to forever alter the tale of Spider-Man. The storyline will rotate within the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man and a new mini-series called Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates. The prelude will happen in Ultimate Spider-Man #153 and the main plot will officially start off in Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates #1.

Apart from Bendis and Millar, the creative team will be composed of Sara Pichelli and David LaFuente for Ultimate Spider-Man. Meanwhile, Filipino artist Leinil Yu will handle Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates.

The Death of Spider-Man is definitely going to be a big comics event. So fanboys and girls should start saving up for Ultimate Spider-Man #153 which will hit stores in February 2011.

New Incredible Hulk TV Series Gets Nod, Guillermo del Toro to Direct

A new take on The Incredible Hulk TV series is in the works and it will be helmed by famed director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth). Del Toro is collaborating with David Eick, the executive producer for Battlestar Galactica. Comic book legends Joe Quesada and Jeph Loeb, who also currently heads Marvel TV, will also executive produce the new series.

Incredible Hulk 1980's

Growing up in the 80’s, I still remember how thrilled I was when I first saw the original Incredible Hulk live-action series on TV. Dull when compared to present-day CGI and other special effects technology, the original series nevertheless embodied the resourcefulness of that era. Instead of stop-motion or computer generated images, young Hulk fans in those days had Lou Ferrigno giving life to one of the most enduring characters in the history of Marvel Comics.

Well, the wait is over for lifelong fans of the Hulk. The new series is the first live-action television project from Marvel after it was bought out by Disney at the end of 2009. Many storyline aspects of the latest television adaptation of the Incredible Hulk will be based on the original live-action series and other previous animated incarnations of the raging green monster. Sources say that del Torro’s take on the Hulk will be basically a fresh retelling of the origins of Bruce Banner and his savage alter ego. But unlike other previous screen appearances of the Hulk, the new series will feature the character using a combination of prosthetics, CGI and puppet manipulation techniques.

The new Incredible Hulk TV series will be premiering on ABC and will be aired some time after The Avengers movie hits theaters in 2012.