There haven’t been any “Comics Picks of the Week” articles for a while, and the major reason for that is because I’ve just been too caught up with other stuff and I just can’t be… well bothered. It just takes too much out of my time to keep these titles going, especially when Wednesdays also see me trying to get through two TV shows and doing reviews for them. Though, that situation has kind of abated now.
Anyway, this week’s surprise hits were Batman: Arkham Knight #2 and Gotham Central Book 1 from DC. It was a relatively small week for me since I didn’t read all that many new titles and most of those were middling. Ongoing greats were Django/Zorro #4, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #4, Fantastic Four #643 , Inhuman #12, Aquaman #39 , Catwoman #39 , and He-Man: The Eternity War #3 among others .
Getting on a roll again, this week I managed to repeat the “Magic 40” with 2 graphic novels and 38 singles, with many of the latter being absolutely new series, so that was a lot of fun for the most part.
My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Archer & Armstrong: One Percent #1 from Valiant Comics, Deep State #1 from Boom Studios, Django/Zorro #1 from Dynamite Entertainment and Vertigo Comics, and The Kitchen #1 from Vertigo Comics also. The most disappointing comics of this week were Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 and Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy #4 both from Marvel Comics, New 52 – Batman #36 from DC Comics and Grimm Fairy Tales: Cfinderella #1 from Zenescope Entertainment. Other than that, the regularly great titles like Hexed, Fables, New Suicide Squad, Red Sonja and Unity all proved to be immensely fun.
The graphic novels for this week were King Conan: The Hour of The Dragon by Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello and Jose Villarrubia, and Fables Volume 5 by Bill Willingham, Tony Akins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Daniel Vozzo, Todd Klein, James Jean, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha.
The Phantom is one of my favourite pulp heroes ever. I grew up reading the Indian comics, and even the short-lived live-action television series. Not to mention the good days when Flash Gordon, Mandrake and Phantom joined together to take down some really nefarious villains with plans to take over the world. Those were some great times. Last year I got a chance to read The Last Phantom 12-issue series from Dynamite but that didn’t really prove satisfying, least, not until I read the recent Kings Watch mini-series.
And then there’s the new ongoing The Phantom by Peter David and Sal Velluto which does a fairly good job of portraying The Ghost Who Walks. The first issue, released this week is a bit stiff with the dialogue in a few places, perhaps echoing some of the old pulp roots of the character, and the art is similar in some respects as well, but on the whole, The Phantom #1 proved to be a very satisfying read. I’ve always loved the Phantom as a character and now finally there is an ongoing with him that I can love and read every month.