It’s Monday which means that Talking Comics Presents is here to tell you what books to buy—well, that and I have a good place to rabble for a while. Everybody wins. Plus, your local shop reaps the benefit come Wednesday as well. Three times the pleasure!
Batman #17, DC
This is the big finale. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been consistently pumping out the best book DC has to its name. They are one of the longest standing creative teams they have had as well, and their work is setting the pace for the rest of the line. The Joker’s return to Gotham is drawing to an end, and Snyder has the Caped Crusader in a precarious predicament. How will things play out for The Family? (Spoilers on the cover of every Batman related, tie in book released in the past 3 months!)
Star Wars #2, Dark Horse
Recommended by Mara and Adam
Brian Wood makes yet another showing on Presents. Somebody needs to go and make an all-time appearance tracker so we can figure out who needs to start paying us for publicity. (And by us, I mean me. Cash works fine, though I’m not opposed to the trusty ol’ check either.) Where was I? Ah, Star Wars debuted with gleaming reviews, and was definitely a welcomed return to some of the greatest characters in film history. Leia seems to be taking center stage here, and I don’t think you will find many people that object to this. Luke and Han get plenty of opportunities to shine in the original trilogy, so it’s nice to see someone new get to flesh out their character.
Fantastic Four #4, Marvel
Matt Fraction’s take on Marvel’s First Family makes its triumphant return to Presents, and does so with yet another lady taking the spotlight. The gang lands on an alien planet that worships the world’s mightiest mom. While we all praise the Invisible Woman from time to time, but these “people” seem to think she’s a messiah. This little wrinkle combined with Reed’s secret keep this book one of the most interesting in Marvel’s lineup.
Uncanny X-Men #1, Marvel
Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo are set to bring Uncanny X-Men back to the Marvel Universe this week. Cyclops, Magneto, Magik, and Emma Frost are gathering an army of newly created mutants, but what their plan is remains a mystery. Bendis has had the reigns on the X-Men wagon with All New X-Men, and has spoken out that he is trying to shape mutant kind in a Marvel NOW! landscape. He’s had defining runs on characters, and teams, before; Let’s hope that he can pull some Bendis magic on this series as well.
Morning Glories #24, Image
You want to know what I know about Morning Glories? People say it’s a lot like Lost. It raises a ton of questions, and doesn’t provide too many answers in a timely fashion. The same thing could be said about my search for what the hell this issue is about. The more I look for some insight into this book by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (I was able to find that out!), the more questions pop up in my head—and, yes, it is just like an MTV Pop Up Video in my head when I get ideas. I feel old for saying that. Anyway, swirling into the mystery that is this issue, I come to realize this may be the best marketing ploy ever. Don’t tell me anything about it so I have to buy it! Genius.
Recommended by Tali
Ironically enough, Hoax Hunters, a book about finding creatures of myth, was much easier to find a decent description than the devil’s black hole of mystery above. The Hoax Hunters have to team up with Donnavan to get their friend back from the Albino King and his army of gnomes. What? Ok, now I have questions about this too. Good on you, people who write solicits.
Others to Watch For
The Bat-Books #17
Secret Avengers #1
Peter Panzerfaust #9
Manhattan Projects #9
The Walking Dead #107 and Governer’s Special
The High Ways #2
Emails by the Fire with Robert Reyer
Bob’s tackling the hard hitting topics this week in Talking Comic’s version of the “No Spin Zone”—you know, except for the fact that we’re not like that at all. Can they sue for that?
“On a more serious note than usual for one of these “Fireside Chats” (Sorry, FDR!), I received a passionate letter from listener Evan Yeong, who is concerned about diversity and minority representation in mainstream comics. This is an issue that requires much further space than can be allotted here, and may in fact become a topic for a future podcast, but let me take the briefest of moments to give some of Evan’s concerns a possible public forum.
To Evan’s mind, the “Big Two”, and Marvel particularly, are doing a better job of late with female heroes and the representation of the LGBT community, a point to which I will grudgingly agree, as I think that there is still a long way to go on this front. What he is most concerned about is seeing “heroes who don’t fit the mould of white guys with powers”, and continuing his thrust on the matter “What will it take to get more heroes of colour into comics? How about an Asian hero who isn’t directly associated with martial arts? (No offence, Shang-Chi!)”
It’s a delicate issue, as at what point does an attempt at “diversity” find derision from some even enlightened folk as tokenism or worse, pandering? I think greater efforts need to be made to be inclusive, and even if a book such as the all-female X-Men seems to be “overkill”, sometimes a system needs to be force-fed to get it started, and then you have to hope for good story-telling technique to take over, and elevate the enterprise beyond its origin. I thing positive examples of this in our “genre” would include the “new” X-Men by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum from 1975, and though it may seem a little heavy-handed now, Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek series, with its multi-ethnic, multi-national, and (mostly) gender-equal cast. We can only hope that moving forward, creators (and publishers!) remember that there are segments of the audience that aren’t being represented adequately, and perhaps a bit of “color-blind casting” while filling the roster of a super-team might bring in some new readers.
What do you think, Gentle Readers?
ps) On the subject of books that brought in new readers, my piece on Captain Marvel has prompted a bit of buzz, as well as quite a few letters to the suits at Marvel, so thanks to all who joined the “Carol Corps”!
(Don’t forget to pick up an extra copy of issue #9, darlings! Audrey)”
There you go, another week in the books (Get it? Books. Comic Books. Golden boy, right here.) Sorry for the no show last week, but at our usual devoted time together last Monday, I was chilling in a hospital bed trying to stay away from the mouth breathers and needles. Everything is fine, but I just wanted you to know that I did not abandon you! As you can see, or missed it entirely, I messed with the presentation a bit this time. Let me know what you think! You love it, or do you hate change? Sound off, folks.
Did my “thang” (it’s cool to say stuff like that right?) this week to my ‘Canes playing the Islanders. Thought it was fitting. Also, Long Island…Come on. There were 4 people in the building tonight. Tsk tsk.