On the Shelves: 6/1/06

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My weekly look at select comic books being released Thursday, 6/1/06. The full shipping is list available at ComicList.

[NOTE: Not all of these titles will actually arrive in all stores. If your LCBS offers a pre-ordering service, be sure to take advantage of it. If not, find another one; or try Khepri.com or MidtownComics.com]

PICK OF THE WEEK

Skyscrapers of the Midwest #3
ADHOUSE BOOKS
Skyscrapers Of The Midwest #3, $5.00

If you only buy one non-superhero comic book this week/month/year, let it be Skyscrapers Of The Midwest #3. Seriously. In the first two issues Joshua W. Cotter delivered some of the most compelling, emotionally resonant work I’ve ever read, with or without pictures, and I’m fully confident that this issue will offer more of the same.

AK ENTERTAINMENT INC
Aya #1, $2.95
Jalila #1, $2.95
Rakan #1, $2.95
Zein #1, $2.95

The Arabic version of Milestone (without the corporate backing) debuts with an admirable mission: “…to fill the cultural and social gap that was created over the years between the West and East, by providing essentially needed role models – in our case, Middle Eastern superheroes.” Of the four, Aya is the most appealing at first glance, an intriguing variation on the Batman theme, but I’ll give them all a look and probably cover them in the next Pull List Propaganda. Hopefully the comics themselves are better edited (translated?) than their Web site is, which is chock full of typos.

ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
Artesia Besieged #1 (Of 6), $3.95
Mouse Guard #3 (Of 6), $3.50
Robotika #4 (Of 4), $3.95

One good thing leads to another, as the intriguing Robotika and the engaging Mouse Guard have me curious about Artesia Besieged. I love RPGs, so Artesia’s nomination for Best RPG of the Year only adds to my curiousity.

AVATAR PRESS INC
Alan Moores Hypothetical Lizard Wraparound Cvr #4 (Of 4)(resolicited), $3.50

Finally! I don’t even remember what the hell this is about anymore, but it’s the last issue so Avatar wins. Ugh!

BOOM! STUDIOS
Second Wave War O/T Worlds #3, $2.99

I wasn’t really feeling the first two issues of this series but I’m on BOOM!’s comp list so I’ve already read this one and have to say that, decompressed as it’s been so far, there’s a rather intriguing story starting to unfold, though it’s a bit overshadowed by the loose War of the Worlds tie-in. I was also distracted by the surprise switch to B&W after the first issue, but in hindsight, it seems like it was a smart move since it fits the uneasy pyschological tone a lot better. Depending on where it all ends up, this might read a lot better in a collected edition.

DC COMICS
52 Week #4, $2.50
Crisis Aftermath The Spectre #1 (Of, $2.99
JLA Classified #21, $2.99
Superman Cover To Cover HC, $39.99

It took only three weeks for 52 to lose me. Makes me wonder how long before the One Year Later stunt loses its lustre, too, especially considering the lameness of the most recent issue of the Batman/Detective crossover, and the overall running in place feel throughout the rest of the DCU. *** Crispus Allen was one of my favorite characters in Gotham Central, so I’m curious to see what happens to him as the Spectre, a character I’ve never really gotten in the past. *** The current JLA Classified arc started off fun, but the past couple of issues lost me a bit. I’ll have to reread them all at once now to get a real sense of whether or not I liked it. *** I won’t be buying Superman Cover to Cover, but if it’s anything like the Batman edition, it’s a great coffee table book for Superman fans.

D. E.
Battlestar Galactica #0, $0.25

I try every less than $1 preview I can find, and I have zero expectations going in to this particular one. There’s a bit of general nostalgia for the old TV show, which I never really watched all that much, and I’ve been curious about the new one but still haven’t seen a single episode, so the comic will have to do all of the heavy lifting to pique my interest.

HYPERION BOOKS
Abadazad Book 1 Road To Inconceivable, $9.99
Abadazad Book 2 Dream Thief, $9.99

This is the Disney revivial of the CrossGen series, right? Might have to give it a flip-through.

IMAGE COMICS
Cyberforce CGC Graded 9.8 #1, $69.99
Emissary #1, $3.50
Godland #11, $2.99
Stagger Lee GN, $17.99

CGCd Cyberforce being offered direct from the publisher? That’s lame. Especially coming from Image when they’re starting to do such a good job of changing their image. (Chronically late-shipping titles aside, of course.) *** Despite its intriguing (if not terribly original) premise, I’m still not completely sold on The Emissary just yet, unsure about Valentino and friends’ ability to tell the kind of nuanced story it would need to really work, but I’ll definitely be checking it out to judge for myself. *** Similar to NextWave, my interest in Godland is starting to rapidly fade as it too suffers from a feeling of inconsequence. Eleven issues in, it’s been fun, but I’m still not really feeling a connection to any of the characters. *** Rich Watson tipped me off to the real story behind “Stagger Lee”, and after enjoying Bluesman so much, I’m really looking forward to it.

MARVEL COMICS
All New Off Handbook Marvel Universe A To Z #5, $3.99
Daughters Of The Dragon #5 (Of 6), $2.99
Halo Sampler Book, $0.99
Incredible Hulk #95, $2.99
Iron Man The Inevitable #6 (Of 6), $2.99
Son Of M #6 (Of 6), $2.99
Storm #4 (Of 6), $2.99

ANOHOTMU continues, and with each issue I [re]discover some genuine D-list gems that remind me what I most love about superhero comics. I mean, knowing someone like Gamecock exists puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it? Sheer random genius at its best! *** DoD has been a fun ride so far, and I’m glad to see they’ll be continuing in the new Heroes for Hire series, but I’m kind of disappointed that Khari Evans won’t be doing the artwork for it. *** I’ve never played HALO, but I’m curious to see how it translates to comics. Would seem to be a perfect fit. *** “Planet Hulk” has done something only the TV show ever managed to do: make me interested in the green goliath. If Marvel had any sense, they’d keep him out in space and far away from Civil War. Because unless he comes back and kills Reed Richards and Tony Stark and is then permanently brought down himself, it will be a big step backwards from the storytelling potential of Hulk…in Space! *** Iron Man and Quicksilver’s respective minis end this week, with one offering an enjoyable escape from the Civil War madness to come, and the other seemingly being the bridge between it and House of M for the mutants. Judged on their own merits, though, they’ve both been solid if uneven, reads. *** Kudos to Eric Jerome Dickey for telling a pretty good Storm story so far that makes her feel less like a cipher and more like an individual.

MR COMICS
Revolution On The Planet Of The Apes #2 (Of 6) (AA), $3.98

I’m guessing this is actually #5, but the Mr. Comics Web site hasn’t been updated recently, so I’m not sure. Nevertheless, dollar for dollar, Revolution is one of the meatier comics on the stands, and has been a consistently entertaining read.

NEKO PRESS
Kickass Girl Skeletons In The Closet TPB, $12.99

Possibly one of the best comics titles ever! I’m going to have to track it down just to see what it’s actually about.

VIPER COMICS
Middleman Vol 2 #4, $2.95

Fun, fun, fun, in that uniquely skewed way Viper seems to have trademarked.

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