Every Wednesday, 8th Dimension’s Jeremy Bulloch reads every comic that comes out, and recommends some of the best titles for you to check out.
Alabaster Wolves #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Dancy is feverish from infected Werewolf wounds, and her guardian angel has abandoned her. Seeking refuge in a clearly defiled church wasn’t the best idea, but you know – fever. The dark and trippy artwork continues to drive the story, and give the reader a creeped-out feeling of dread. I’m still not entirely sure what’s happening in this book, but I like it a lot.
Batgirl #9 (DC Comics)
One of the coolest things about the Night of Owls crossover is the diversity of bad guys. Using the template established by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in Batman, the other creative teams were told to go nuts and create different and unique servants of the Court of Owls. Gail Simone manages to create a fantastic new bad guy who is as creepy as she is tragic. The real star of this issue is Commissioner Jim Gordon. The Court of Owls seek to exploit both his loyalty to Gotham City and his love for his daughter. Every action that he takes is one chosen and manipulated by the Owls. Gotham is their city, but is that just for now, or forever?
Batman #9 (DC Comics)
Batman has the best guard dog. The lead feature continues the narrative of Night of Owls right where we left off. Batman is battling an entire cave full of Talons who sought to end the Wayne family line once and for all. This issue is comic book action done perfectly, but it’s the backup feature that really stands out. It’s a short story from the perspective of Alfred’s father Jarvis Pennyworth, former servant to the Wayne family in happier times. He writes his son, warning him to stay far away from the Waynes. The family is cursed, and he blames himself for causing their doom. I’m not certain how the Owls are involved, but maybe they dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, if you know what I mean.
Batman & Robin #9 (DC Comics)
Damien Wayne takes center stage in this Night of Owls tie-in. All Robin wants is to rush to his father’s side, but he is too well-trained to disobey orders. Major General Benjamin Burrows is next on the Talons’ hit list, and Robin is the only thing standing between him and certain death. Damien approaches the Bat-family mission with a military-like precision and focus, so it’s fun to see that balanced with actual military men. As usual, he is Batman’s most brutal and efficient soldier.
Captain America #11 (Marvel Comics)
Back in the 1980s, one of Mark Gruenwald’s most celebrated Captain America runs was centered around the Scourge of the Underworld. A master of disguise, his victims never saw his face. He would pop up from time to time and assassinate minor super villains, coldly announcing that justice had been served. Recent readers of Thunderbolts know that there is a new Scourge, and he has resumed his predecessor’s mission. Somebody is selling out super criminals in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s witness relocation program, and Captain America is investigating. Featuring cameos by Dum Dum Duggan and Diamondback, this story is a treat for people who read Cap back in the day and new readers who just enjoy Ed Brubaker’s awesomeness.
Fury Max #1 (Marvel Comics)
Garth Ennis and Nick Fury go together perfectly. This book is macho, violent, and not for the easily offended (in other words, a typical Garth Ennis comic). Fury goes where there’s work to be done, and he has work to do in Indochina. His history of insubordination and heroic wartime service have landed him a position as an American liaison to the French armies who are about to lose their grip on Vietnam. If you know your military history, there’s a lot to recommend about this comic. If you don’t know your military history, there’s still tons of bar fights, naughty language, and Nazi war-criminals.
Green Lantern #9 (DC Comics)
After all this time, we finally get the origin of the Indigo Tribe. Natromo and Abin Sur assembled the Tribe out of the worst killers and sadists in the universe. The Indigo light forced them to feel compassion for those that they had wronged, regardless of their previous lack of empathy, but the Tribe was just a dry run for the real mission. Abin Sur had seen the future, and knew of the Blackest Night, and the much, much worse threat that would come next. Natromo has kept the Indigo Tribe going according to plan, never knowing that his friend and cohort was long dead. There are several crazy plot twists that make this book required reading for any fan of the DC Universe.
New Avengers #26 AVX (Marvel Comics)
Jean Grey was not the first human to play host to the cosmic power of the Phoenix Force. Centuries ago, there was an Iron Fist in the magical kingdom of K’Un Lun who also carried the burden. Her name was Fongji, and this is her story. To be fair, it’s also apparently the story of Leonardo Da Vinci. Comics are crazy.
Punisher #11 (Marvel Comics)
During the Omega Drive crossover, Rachel Cole-Alves betrayed Frank and ran off on her own. Now the Punisher is looking for her. He interrupts Officer Bolt’s date with Carlie Cooper (Peter Parker’s ex-girlfriend) to shake him down for information. Then they fight zombies in Times Square.
Scarlet Spider #5 (Marvel Comics)
“Get an address on his family. Because I’m going to go kill them.” Those are words that you never hear Spider-man say. That’s a major difference between the Amazing Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider. Kaine and Officer Layton are chasing a bunch of racist whack-jobs who plan to blow up H-Town with an atomic bomb. What’s cool is that Christopher Yost is enough of a Marvel history buff that he remembered about the old Captain America villains the Watch Dogs. Rather than create a new one-off bad guy, he utilized a bit of old continuity. You know what else is cool? There’s a bearded agent in the Houston FBI Field Office named “Bulloch.” I have decided that he is the new star of this series. Please write to Marvel and demand to see more appearances by Special Agent Bulloch. I won’t be satisfied until he is in the next Avengers movie.
Suicide Squad #9 (DC Comics)
There’s a lot going on in this issue. First, Harley Quinn seems to have suffered a total psychotic break after the events of the last two issues. Either that or she has had a psychological breakthrough and regained her old pre-Joker personality. Or there’s always the possibility that she’s playing everyone. While whatever is happening with Harley happens back at Belle Reve Penitentiary, the rest of the team has been sent to kill Mitch Shelley, AKA Resurrection Man, and bring his body back to Amanda Waller. Of course, the Wall didn’t tell them that Shelley would resurrect with super powers after they killed him. Apparently, that was on a need-to-know basis. This story continues in Resurrection Man #9, also out this week.
Deadpool #54 (Marvel Comics)
Fatale #5 (Image Comics)
Mind the Gap #1 (Image Comics)
The Walking Dead #97 (Image Comics)
Wolverine & The X-Men #10 AVX (Marvel Comics)
X-Men Legacy #266 AVX (Marvel Comics)