Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Gosh! Authority 18/06/09

It’s a Hayley Holiday Week folks, so you’ve got me again for a quick whip through the week’s releases. Not exactly bursting at the seams this week, but there are a few notable bits and pieces so let’s get started!

Pick of the week for me? Well, I’m going to have to run with an oldie and go for the Sleeper Season One TP, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. If you’ve never read this spiritual precursor to their excellent Criminal series then you really should make sure this is on your shopping list for the week. Wildstorm superheroes meet crime noir, as former black ops operative Holden Carver is stranded under deep cover within the criminal organisation of the enigmatic super-genius known as Tao. A decidedly adult tale of deception, betrayal and a guy who absorbs and redirects pain (and the immorality-powered woman who loves (and hates) him). I can’t recommend this enough.

Speaking of golden oldies, remember Hitman? Well at long last DC do and this week we see the first reissued volume of Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s much-missed series about metahuman assassin Tommy Monaghan. Like all good Ennis books, there’s plenty of time spent in the pub with an increasingly bizarre cast (Dog-Welder, anyone?) who never lose their humanity despite the escalating weirdness around them. An irreverent, action-packed classic.

One more for the reprint files is Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester’s Irredeemable Ant-Man, now collected into one handy proper-sized volume. Currently a member of the Thunderbolts, former low-level SHIELD operative and full-time heel Eric O’Grady started his super-sorta-hero life in these 12 issues, on the run from his employers in a stolen suit of Hank Pym’s armour. It’s a lot of fun as O’Grady uses his newly-acquired powers for less-than heroic purposes while occasionally saving folks. Something of an overlooked gem, also featuring art from Kirkman’s Invincible co-creator Corey Walker.

Okay, time for something new. Jamie Smart, clever-Brit creator of Bear, has the second volume of his Slave Labor anthology Fat Chunk out this week. He’s got a great line-up of creators, including Lew Stringer, Scott Wegener, Sonny Lieu and many more, including someone named Chunkysmurf, who surely must be the greatest artist of all time.

Fans of the Paul Dini / Dustin Nguyen Detective Comics run from the pre-RIP days will be happy to see the pair re-team for Batman Streets of Gotham #1. The new series promises a more street-level view of the new Batman, and the impact his presence has on the citizens of Gotham City. Oh, okay, here’s a preview.

Enough of that new stuff, you cry, give us more reprints of classic material! Well, the third Starman Omnibus hits the shelves this week, a darn sight more prompt than the second. This volume of (fun fact) former Gosh! employee James Robinson's excellent series features a team-up with Batman to fight against the always entertaining Solomon Grundy (married on a grey and grisly Wednesday), as well as the origins of the Shade, as related in the Shade mini-series illustrated by JH Williams III.

The first issue of Final Crisis Aftermath Dance was a pleasant surprise. Morrison’s Super Young Team are a perfect fit for the underrated Joe Casey, whose Intimates explored a similar theme of media-exploited teen heroes. ChrisCross does a great job on the art, creating a fast-paced, energetic feel that sits very well with the characters. Issue #2 is out this week, and I would be remiss not to recommend it, especially since we do still have some copies of #1 in stock so it’s not too late to catch up.

Argh! Running out of time! Here’s the round-up ticker:
- Penultimate issue of Captain Britain & MI 13 ships with absolutely beautiful cover. Really, check it out.
- Artist Christian Ward breathes sigh of relief to see Olympus #2 come out, complete with Frank Quitely variant cover. Still some sketched first issues in store!
- Goon Volume 7 collects best story arc from best series you’re probably not reading.
- Fourth volume of Wasteland released to cheers of post-apocalyptic junkies everywhere.
- Phonogram Vol 2 #3 released to cheers and frenzied creation of playlists.
- Seth’s George Sprott is a genius piece of comics and you really should read it.

So, Captain America #600 is out this week to much speculation and brouhaha, with an early release in the US helping to fill the internet with spoilers. If by some miracle you’ve managed to remain unsullied by the web I won’t ruin it for you here. Suffice it to say that Marvel have promised a BIG EVENT, so top secret that stores had to order it completely blind. Cheers for that, Big M. Anyway, all the hype aside, Brubaker has been writing a terrific arc on Captain America and so I’m fairly confident this won’t disappoint. One thing I will guarantee is that this issue won’t last long, so get in early! This cover is actually from Reborn #1, but I couldn't resist sharing my favourite quote regarding the issue, from Tom Spurgeon over in the comments on The Beat’s coverage:

Is the tiny, glowing, screaming skeleton going to be permanently embedded into the new Captain America’s abdomen and crotch? Because if so, I have a new favorite comic.

And that’s about that. Campbell is back next week, so expect normal service to resume then. Otherwise, have a good one!

Oh wait. Did someone say Darwyn Cooke Bookplate?

Hmm, guess I’d better look into that…