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by Wayne Markley
In this blog I would like to talk about four different books. two of these are brand new and only the first issues are out and the other two are barely into their runs. I want to talk about them because all of them are outstanding reads for very different reasons. All tell outstanding stories with terrific art. All tell stories that are self contained or leave you wanting much more when you get to the last page and all are original in their own ways. The subjects matter ranges from classic pulp to crime to kids comics (although any adult will love these stories). two of the titles are from Image, one from DC, and one from Dynamite. All are worth your time to find and read.
Doc savage #2
Doc savage from Dynamite is written by Chris Roberson and drawn by Bilquis Evely, a very talented Brazilian artist. It is worth looking her up, she has some incredible drawings. This take on Doc savage is different than past versions as, at least in the first six issues, all are set in different time periods and each issue takes place about 20 years after the previous issue. issue top is the conventional Doc savage and his gang of five assistants but with each issue as we relocation ahead in time as Doc slowly grows his network to become a global force. Also, each issue tells a story that helps discuss Doc’s motivations while telling terrific adventure stories that stand alone. While each issue moves the overall story along, each issue has a beginning, middle, and end, a rare treat these days. Each issue ends with an ominous cautioning that the future is bleak without giving away what they are building towards. This may be the best version of Doc savage I have read because the old Kenneth Robeson novels. These are crisp and well told stories with art by an undiscovered superstar (who I would not be amazed to be snatched up by marvel or DC in the near future). I cannot talk about Dynamite’s Doc savage without mentioning Alex Ross’s incredible covers. Ross is certainly inspired by James Bama’s Doc savage covers from the previously discussed novels by Kenneth Robeson published by Bantam for numerous years. Ross captures the classic Doc savage look to a T and the images jump off the covers. Overall, the whole Doc savage package is a charm to behold.
Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1
When Scooby-Doo Team-Up was announced, I thought it was a silly idea just to sell much more copies of Scooby-Doo. now to be honest, the monthly Scooby-Doo comic is pretty basic and fun for what it is, but it’s really not much aside from a good kids comic or mildly entertaining for the hardcore Scooby fan. So when I read Scooby-Doo Team-Up I did not have high expatiations; especially because the first three issues were all Batman related, Batman and Robin, Bat-Mite, and Ace the Bat Hound. So let me tell you, this is easily the best DC book on the market. It is fun, entertaining, has a terrific story and art, and it is written with a wink and a nod to the old (traditional?) DC fan. It is set in the world of Scooby-Doo and the entire guest stars look like they come out of the new Scooby-Doo films TV show. Batman and Robin is much more the Batman you know from Batman ‘66 than the current Batman. writer Sholly Fisch and artist Dario Brizuela have been able to make me laugh and delight in a comic unlike any comic I have read in years. With issue number four, Scooby and teen Titans Go, they acknowledge the change in Robin’s look from the previous issues to the much more manga inspired look in the teen Titans Go cartoon series. While these comics are developed for younger readers, there are so numerous in-jokes for the long time DC fan that this book is a terrific read for everyone. This series not only tells terrific stand-alone stories, it does it in a fun and entertaining manor. Fisch and Brizuela are worthy of a substantial round of applause for creating such a classic comic.
Nailbiter just recently came out from image and the first issue sold out immediately. It is written by Joshua (Ghosted) Williamson and drawn by Mike Henderson. What really grabbed me about this book was not so much the first issue as the premise of the story. A small town in Oregon has produced 16 of America’s many violent serial killers. An FBI agent is identified to find out what about this town has made so numerous killers, but the FBI agent goes missing and an NSA agent (and pal of the missing FBI Agent) should work with the famed serial killer Edward (Nailbiter) Warren to find the missing FBI agent. and thus starts the first issue. This first issue is a real attention grabber and is very well done. I just hope as the story develops it does not go the path of Ghosted, where I loved the first story arc but felt it lost some of its charm with the second arc. but having read this first issue I am prepared to come back for at least the first arc of this new book.
Southern Bastards #1
Southern Bastards is by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour and is also from Image. While only the first issue of this book is out I loved it so much I am prepared to recommend it based on the opening shot. The basic story is about Earl Tubbs who returns to his home town of Craw County, Alabama, after numerous years and things are not going well. He is there just to take care of some family company but alas, it turns out there is a lot of unfinished company in this small town. At first read, this story reminds me of Scalped set in the South, but after a second reading I think this book is going to be as good as Scalped (which I loved and the complete story is available in ten trade paperbacks), but will go in a very different direction. having lived in the south for numerous years, this book rings true with the setting and the personalities. I am greatly looking forward to future issues.
Fantastic four Vol. 10 SC
I would also like to mention this time out marvel Masterworks: wonderful four Vol. 10 softcover. This collection completes Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s run on wonderful Four. I would highly recommend all of the volumes prior to this as Lee and Kirby’s run on FF is one of the most creative and best in comics history. While it could be argued the end of their run was a bit weaker than their earlier work, it still has a vibrancy and charm you do not see much anymore. This collection also includes the two issues John Romita did following Kirby and the lost adventure which was an unfinished Lee/Kirby issue that marvel went back and finished and released a number of years ago. This is a very good end cap to one of the greatest runs on the World’s greatest Comic.
All of the books this time out are terrific reading and I would highly recommend. As always, everything written here is my opinion and in no way reflects the thoughts or opinions of the Westfield company or their employees. I welcome feedback, or disagreements, to what I have written at Mfbway@aol.com. Please, let me know if you agree or disagree. Honest. Till next time.