So I've swapped the Weekly Treats layout back to books first (DC-October doesn't have the same ring) and what a book to spotlight! The Death-Ray (Jonathan Cape) by Daniel Clowes was originally published in 2004 as part of the Eightball series it won a clutch of awards and a iconic cover recently ressurected on Simon Pegg's t-shirt in the movie Paul. Forget Kick-Ass, this is the superhero story that would probably happen to you or me. Teenager Andy discovers that smoking cigarettes give him powers (no less perverse than radiation) but rather than facing supervillans he has to be content with avenging himself against the school 'jocks' and bully's and there are only so many of those... So now imagine one of Clowes' archetypal loner characters with their very own ray gun. This is a character story of course and it's told through Clowes' expert playfulness with viewpoints and narrative time lines whilst, on this occasion gently exploring superhero and pulp sci-fi code. Essential.
The Best American Comics 2011 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is this year edited by Alison Blechdel and features samples from Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, Dash Shaw, Jeff Smith, Paul Pope and many more - has a really nice cover too. The two volumes of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman are glued together in one paperback. Not only one of the best Superman stories ever told but a wonderful superhero fable in its own right.
And the infamous Axe Cop makes a non-internet, full and proper comic series release in Axe Cop vol. 2: Bad Guy Earth (Dark Horse). The writer was only five when he wrote the material for the first volume and, a year later his story-telling is now maturing into a semi-coherant narrative. Features behind the scenes photos, notes and sketches.
As for the weeklies it's all about DC's number twos. In Action Comics #2, Grant Morrison backs Superman into one of those "don't make him mad, you wouldn't like him when he's mad" type corners and Detective Comics #2 sees Batman reassuringly (in this Christopher Nolan era) after serial killer The Gotham Ripper. Then there's the critic-favourites Animal Man #2 featuring the arrival of The Hunters Three and Swamp Thing #2 as Alec Holland discovers a new history from The Parliament of Trees. There's also my favourite from last month: OMAC #2 featuring Rocker Bonn, The Amazing Man! 'Nuff said.
Full list of titles will be found under the Features tab.