Each week I'll spotlight a couple independent books I've read and may have flown under people's radar.
If you're not reading the Villains micro series, or really any of the micro series, you're missing out. While the cover says issue 26, it's really more like 40 with the two micro series factored in. The two go hand-in-hand, immediately evident by fallout from the Hun issue in the opening pages, and later, a reference to the Donatello issue.
The Foot are making moves while everyone else is merely making plans and gearing up. Leo gives us hope that he'll soon break the reconditioning that has made him a follower of Shredder. Angel hints at change and internal strife within the Purple Dragons, stemming from the events of Hun. Mike checks in with an old friend and gets a possible lead on Leo and the Foot's whereabouts. Donnie checks in with an old friend of his own, and with the help of April, acquires some tech that will aid in their assault on Shredder. The Foot attack and devastate an unprepared Savate, though Karai grows increasingly insubordinate. Splinter begrudgingly works with Old Hob, to further Hob's plans, in return for his help when Splinter and the Turtles attempt a rescue of Leo. And Raph sees Casey in the hospital, easing Raph's guilt over what happened that put Casey there.
That's a lot to cover in a single issue, but all of it flows well together and is a natural extension of the preceding issues. Nearly every cast member makes an appearance, all with their own goals and agendas. No room for slouches here. All of it gorgeously illustrated by Mateus Santolouco, one of the new favorite artists. It's my understanding he'll be the main artist for the series through issue 50, and I couldn't be happier.
WILD BLUE YONDER 2
My newest favorite series. If I could have one favorite series for each week of the month, I'd be in comic heaven. I don't know what sales are like, but I haven't seen anyone talking about this except +Bleeding Cool. I'd easily recommend this to all kinds of people, especially fans of anime. It has that feel to it.
Anyway, in the book, we managed wreak most of the face of the Earth through war and nuclear weapons, and now people live in fleets of planes in the sky, or mountain tops. Great writing, fantastic art, and I really don't have anything else to say except to please try this book.
RAT QUEENS 1
Kurtis J. Wiebe is someone whose work I have an interest in. Debris was great, though I wish the series were an ongoing instead of a mini series. Peter Panzerfaust is amazing. If you haven't checked it out, you definitely should. I've heard great things about Green Wake, and I may even own it, though I haven't read it yet. And Grim Leaper was great, with an added bonus that it was drawn by a friend of mine. So I'll try anything new from him based on his past work. But this didn't grab me.
Rat Queens is a fantasy book starring four women known for their destructive tendencies. Mildly reminiscent of Northlanders, but only in the sense that there are non-modern characters speaking like they are modern characters. Overall, it gave me the sense of trying too hard to be something it's not. I recommend Peter Panzerfaust instead.
JUPITER'S LEGACY 3
The beginning and the end. Things come to a head for all members of The Upotian's family. Issue four will jump ahead nine years, so we can see the fallout from decisions made here, and I'm looking forward to seeing just how screwed up things become. While I'm generally not a Millar fan, Quitely could illustrate and instruction manual and I'd want to read it. This feels like Millar might be maturing. While he still goes for the occasional shock value, this isn't as immediately offensive as something like Wanted or Nemesis. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens, not only in the future, but back on that island all those years ago.
CRIMINAL MACABRE: THE EYES OF FRANKENSTEIN 1
Niles and Mitten are back for the latest mini series - The Eyes of Frankenstein. Christopher Mitten does an excellent job crafting the dark world Cal inhabits, with colors by Michelle Madsen adding a wonderful touch that's missing from some of Mitten's black-and-white work.
The re-cap on the credits page covers a good amount of ground people unfamiliar with Cal will need to jump into the series. The only things left out are the recreational drug use and Cal's current state as a sort-of ghoul, though this gets touched on within the comic itself.
Preview pages for this issue involve Cal meeting Frankenstein's monster, whom is going blind. But this is actually the end of the issue. Prior to this, we're shown two additional situations Cal will have to deal with, though he's only aware of one. Needless to say, Cal's going to have his hands full. It's a great start to the series, and I know I'll be along for the ride.
I read this a few days ago, and was just flipping through it again now trying to figure out what to write when I saw "Royal Baby Bump?" on a TV in the background of a panel. This is why I love the book. Saga is a story of imperfect people trying to live their lives as best they can, with gorgeous, expressive art by Fiona Staples, set against an incredible sci-fi backdrop. With sometimes hilariously ridiculous things, like flying sharks and a baby seal in overalls harvesting plants, and tiny background details you may not even see the first time you read it. You either get it or you don't.
THE INVINCIBLE HAGGARD WEST
Final issue! Also the first. The credits page reveals that "This is an limited-edition sneak peek of the first book of Battling Boy." A few weeks back, my shop had a preview copy of Battling Boy which reminded me I had missed this when it was published back in July. This is Pope at his best. The characters and world immediately come alive, and the story isn't just read and seen, but felt. If I weren't already looking forward to Battling Boy, this issue would have done the job.