Tuesday 20 September 2011

Weekly Treats! The Armed Garden, New York Five & New Teen Titans

So we're halfway through DCeptember and aside from all the stories of sold out comics, ebay prices and reprints, how're you finding it? I'm finding (thank you for asking) comics crackling with a bit of energy and enthusiasm - you can almost sense the light switching on in the writer and artists eyes when as they're told they'll be given the chance to reinvent, tweak and refresh. Even the ones I haven't enjoyed as much (no I'm not going to risk upsetting anyone by naming names) have had something of zip about them. Anyway, onwards and upwards to this weeks offerings.

Batman #1 will appeal to a wider audience just because its called Batman and has a number one on the cover (unlike the confusingly titled Detective Comics) but the previews we're seeing from Greg Capullo have been really nice so adding Scott Snyder's loyal following I'm quite confident in naming it the big release of the week (although even my youngest at home could have done that and he's four). Then there's a slightly more of an unknown bag with Wonder Woman #1. Traditionally female-fronted comics don't usually do so well (answers on a postcard please as to why that might be) and also, who would have foreseen Brian (100 Bullets) Azzarello on as writer? Could this be a surprise package?

Let's hope the female bias is broken because this is week with a strong female showing. Birds of Prey #1 features redesigned costumes from the dependable Jesus Saiz and Supergirl #1 also gets tweaked with a new costume and, DC promise us, a slightly more uncompromising personality. Then there's Judd Winick's Catwoman #1 which certainly doesn't need any tweaks as she's filled with enough lovable anti-hero ambiguities as it is. As for the boys, Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 finds Jason Todd reluctantly getting himself a gang and speaking of ex-Robins Dick Grayson finds himself faced with the return of the circus he grew up on in Nightwing #1. DC Universe #1 may be a dark horse with Paul Jenkins kicking things off with a five issue Deadman story. Hard to see which titles may get left behind this week - is it me or are the releases getting stronger as the month progresses?


After a quiet first week to the month, Marvel once again bring out the big guns including re-souped up Ultimate X-Men #1 by Nick Spencer and Paco Medina, Captain America #3 and Daredevil #4 (again? Slow down on this one guys - less is more!)

And for the books? Well Morning Glories vol. 2 (Image) finally makes an appearance along with another high-selling fledgling series Chew vol. 4 (Image). But superhero fans looking for some old-skool action will be heading for the original graphic novel of Marv Wolfman and George Perez's final chapter to their Teen Titan series last seen twenty years ago. The New Teen Titans: Games (DC) looks great and is in a fantastic over sized hardcover format that brings to mind the old annuals you used to get way back. Great stuff.

For relationship drama The New York Five (DC) has received excellent reviews. Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly (responsible for the excellent Local) take us on journey through New York college life via the lives of five female friends whose separate tales interlock throughout the story.

But I would suggest that the stand out release this week is from David B. (who's recently looking prolific after Black Paths and The Littlest Pirate King). In The Armed Garden and Other Stories (Fantagraphics), he explores three stories presented as classic historical myth: The Veiled Prophet, The Armed Garden and The Drum Who Fell In Love. The art looks wonderfuly timeless, drawing on surrealist imagery that recalls his breakout book Epileptic. Here's the Fantagraphics flick-through:


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