New York Comic Con is an event that I’ve been wanting to attend for the last two years, but haven’t been able to find an opportunity until now. There’s always something that comes up and throws a kink in the plans. From all I’ve heard, it is also a much better con-experience than San Diego Comic Con since it is much more focused on comics, unlike its bigger cousin which has become dominated in recent times by genre television shows and by Hollywood. Besides, SDCC is a much tougher Con to get into in the first place, which is why I’d love to attend NYCC more than anything else.
Living the Con experience through news that filters out of it and about it, IDW Publishing yesterday released info on its Con exclusives. In recent years Con exclusives have become a bigger and bigger thing, especially at the larger Cons so that the publishers are able to attract more foot-traffic and what not. Te exclusives run the gamut of everything, and IDW is also offering some really cool and awesome covers as well, and I like the look of them If I could, I would totally get some of them. Anyway, here’s what’s IDW offering this year at New York Comic Con 2014.
It may just be me, but I think that with his work on Samurai Jack that writer-artist Jim Zub has really mastered the art of standalone storytelling. Each of his issues, whether they are part of an arc or not, really feel like great self-contained stories, and that’s one of the things that I love so much about his run on Samurai Jack. Apart from the whole nostalgia feel of it, his writing has been spectacular on this series, and the art by both Andy Suriano and (guest) Brittney Williams has been impressive to a great degree. Each month I can tune in to a Samurai Jack comic and not be disappointed.
I didn’t get around to doing reviews of the last two Samurai Jack issues, either because I was traveling in the week they came out, or because I just couldn’t focus enough to get through as many reviews in that week that I wanted to. But with this week’s Samurai Jack #12, I kind of take a stand on it and so here it all is. Samurai Jack #10 is a standalone issue that deals with Aku trying to defeat Jack by going into his dreams and taking over his mind while Samurai Jack #11 and #12 are part of an arc that really tests Jack’s skills and his endurance and his thirst for vengeance on Aku. Of course, it helps that the art is as great as it is too, so the overall experience is that much better.
I’ve long been a fan of G.I. Joe in all its forms, whether as an animated television series or as comics or as action figures. The recent movies have been the only disappointing part of my life-long G.I. Joe experience, sadly enough, but it is very easy to look past them for there is a vibrant and exciting franchise out there that remains undimmed in its awesomeness despite the terrible movie duology. I’ve been reading G.I. Joe comics on and off for a number of years, taking an occasional break as it were, and as I start to get back into the new phase of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comics from IDW, it also seems like a great time to read G.I. Joe as an ongoing.
Karen Traviss is, to my knowledge, the first British writer of G.I. Joe, and also the first woman as well. As such, she brings a very different take to the franchise than you’d expect otherwise and given her own experiences writing military science fiction over the years and all, I think it is an exciting time to be a G.I. Joe fan. This week’s relaunched G.I. Joe #1, set five years after the end of the previous series, starts the “Fall of G.I. Joe” arc and the outlook of the world in this reboot is both exciting and fresh, whether we talk story or art.
I started reading G.I.Joe comics back in 2006, when I worked through the entire Marvel run in about a month flat, which is kind of a staggering rate, but then again, I didn’t have anything to do in the summer holidays that year. It wasn’t until six years later, in 2012, that I got back into the world of G.I. Joe comics thanks to IDW Publishing, which had secured the rights to such. I followed them only intermittently however, but when I heard that IDW had also put out a prose anthology of G.I. Joe stories, my interest peaked a great deal. And here we are now.
This review is a repost of the original review on The Founding Fields, which can be found here.
With everything going on right now, I had doubts whether I’d be able to get through many comics this week but it seems that this was indeed the week where I surprised myself in a big way. Not only did I catch up on quite a few new titles, but I also managed to read two graphic novels this week, one of them at almost 300 pages no less!
The surprise hits of this week were Doctor Who: Eleventh Doctor #2 from Titan Comics, Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division #2 from IDW Publishing and Inhuman #5 from Marvel Comics. This week’s surprise flops were Caliban #6 from Avatar Press, Grim Tales of Terror #3 from Zenescope, and Superman Unchained #8 from DC Comics. Of the others, they were mostly great, and I loved that both G.I. Joe Volume 1 and Witchblade Volume 3 are among my absolute favourite graphic novel reads of the year!
I got hooked on to the Judge Dredd experience back in late 2011 when I had (mis)fortune of watching the Sylvester Stallone-starrer. It was a rough experience to be sure, but soon after that I took a dip back in when I started listening to Big Finish’s Judge Dredd audios and when I saw the rebooted movie Dredd, starring Karl Urban, which was much, much better of an experience than the original movie. I also experimented with IDW’s Judge Dredd comics in 2012, and then with the original ones from 2000AD last year, and one thing has been clear to me: I really do love Judge Cassandra Anderson a hell of a lot.
And now IDW has launched a new series, starring none other than Anderson, the coolest and most kickass Psi-Judge in the Big Meg. Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division charts the early years of Judge Anderson’s service as part of the Mega City One Justice Department. For someone looking to get into the world of Judge Dredd, this would be a great start I think because of how approachable Matt Smith’s writing is, and also because of how good the art by Carl Critchlow is. The first two issues are the first half of an arc, and there is certainly a lot here to like.
Thankfully, I’m finally settling back into the groove with comics reading and, most importantly, comics reviewing, as I managed to review a fair bit of titles this week and even caught up with reviewing some previous titles that I’ve unfortunately had to neglect for one reason or another.
The surprise hits of this week were Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War: Billy and Mandy #1 from IDW Publishing, Wolverine Annual #1 from Marvel Comics and Vampirella #3 from Marvel Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Batman: Eternal #20 from DC where the title seems headed downwards just when it was getting once again, and The Wicked + The Divine #3 from Image where the title took a nosedive this week after a second issue that was really good. No graphic novels again sadly, though I hope to correct that that this week. I hope..
As per my plans, I didn’t do one of these posts in the past 2 weeks since I was on a holiday. And a great holiday it was indeed. I didn’t get to do more than a very small handful of reviews, more like just two or three in all, but I managed to read a fair bit and kept myself on target for my comics reading.
The surprise hits of this week were Storm #1 from Marvel and Star Spangled War Stories #1 from DC Comics. The surprise flop of the week would be Batman #33 from DC Comics. Not exactly a bad comic but just a disappointing one. All the other comics were pretty much good, excepting Flash #33, where I still can’t really connect with what the new creative team is doing there. I wanted to read a trade paperback comic as well during this week, but the first few days of the vacation were very busy and all these comics were pretty much read in the last 2-3 days of the week so that didn’t happen.
In recent years, IDW Publishing has stepped up with its full force to present some of the best television tie-in comics out there. Dark Horse has been the top-dog in that niche for a good long while, but IDW has focused on altogether different things, and has proved its mettle. Animated series like Samurai Jack and My Little Pony or live-action tie-ins like True Blood and Star Trek have proven that IDW has got what it takes, and with the onset of San Diego Comic Con this week, it was a surety that IDW would announce some new titles, and that it would all be exciting to say the least.
The latest scoop is that IDW is going to start publishing Orphan Black comics as soon as early spring next year, hopefully in the first few months itself. I’ve just recently started watching the show myself, and I’ve grown to love it despite an initial hurdle. Tatiana Maslany has been fantastic on the show, what little I’ve seen of it, and the scripts are wonderfully complex and linear at the same time, so that provides a nice overall experience. In fact, if you are not watching the show, then I would certainly recommend it. A contemporary sci-fi show headlined by a woman in multiple roles and that has just been renewed for a third season!