Pick of the Week, Pick of the Month, Pick of Whatever-since-the-last-
Deadly-Class came out should go to Velvet vol. 3, but it came out a couple weeks back. Instead, I'm giving it to Frostbite. There were several great books this week, but only one was a new #1 and first issues need all the help they can get.
Pick of the Week
- Great first issue. Lots of world-building and great character work. Basically, a new ice age has set in and everyone is struggling for heat. On top of that, a new disease called Frostbite has emerged that's both fast-acting and fatal, further devastating a population fraught with hardship. It's well written with art that perfectly suits its bleakness. Recommended.
Saga #38 - This feels like the Saga of old. A character dies and agendas are revealed to be at cross-purposes. It makes me remember that the last few issues have seen the cast working together, which is probably why they felt weird at the time, but I couldn't figure out why. Surprise appearance by The Will, which is always nice. And another, brief, time jump. I thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait to see what happens next.
Transformers More Than Meets the Eye #57 - The letters page may have been the best part of this stellar ending. The Sentinel plotline seems (?) to have wrapped up quickly, though I know we haven't seen the end of one element of his plan, and wouldn't be surprised with another returns down the line as well. All-in-all, it's a nice end, even as it acknowledges there's still a lot left unresolved that will carry over to the new Lost Light title. I can't wait! Ordinarily, opening with "the letters page is the best part" would be an insult, but it's not meant to be here. It's just a really good letter from the writer to the readers about endings and beginnings and things left undone.
- Best cover of the week. I get the feeling the series is ending next issue, but can't find confirmation of that anywhere, just an old comment by the creators about wanting to do the series as a series of mini series, like Hellboy. Anyway, events came to multiple heads this issue, so things should be rather explosive for the conclusion... aaand I'm hoping that comment about a series of mini series still stands because I'm not ready to let this go yet. The art is amazing and writing phenomenal. I really can't even vaguely reference events of the issue as everything would be a) a spoiler, or b) you wouldn't understand it anyway unless you're already reading. Let me just say this issue felt a bit like Invincible. If you like Invincible, check this out.
Velvet vol. 3 - "Brilliant" is really the only word I can use to describe this. Due to both story twists and the amount of time it took this volume to be released, I want to go back and re-read the series from the beginning. The writing is exceptional and Epting makes everything look fantastic. Velvet has been a favorite of mine (both the series and the character), but this is starting to top Queen & Country, which is one of my all-time favorites and a title I frequently recommend to everyone. The way everything unfolded and wrapped up here cements this among my shortlist of favorites. Seriously looking forward to more.
Aliens Defiance #5 - Tristan Jones is back on art, but if it hadn't been pointed out to me, I wouldn't have even noticed. Burchielli was a good match for Jones, but there was something missing from those issues that's definitely back here. Mostly it's the sense of creeping dread. Horror can be hard to do in comics, but Wood and Jones pull it off. This book is an Aliens movie on taking place on paper.
Atomic Robo vol. 9 - Atomic Robo in the Old West! Which is a spoiler for the end of the previous arc, but the kind of spoiler that entices non-readers to learn more. Plus this volume's been out for over a year, and the previous one for even longer. My point is: Atomic Robo in the Old West! All the usual action and humor, completely new setting. It's great, and I'm suffering a minor panic attack because I want more but vol. 10 isn't out yet.
Lake Of Fire #2 - This is like Aliens, only set during the crusades. And with far more emphasis put on the religious crusade angle than the aliens. At least so far. The preview pages in Image+ with a giant spaceship crashing into the countryside is what sold me on this book. I'm still waiting for that book to emerge. It's not bad, it's just not the book I thought I'd be getting based on those pages.
Descender #15 - A very nice flashback issue going over Effie and Andy's history. There's a lot of good material here about why they were together and why that's no longer the case. As always, the book is well written and beautifully drawn, and you should be reading it if you're not already.
- Lady Mechanika tries to take a vacation, and things naturally go awry. What's interesting is this issue is more a cultural lesson than the usual steampunk mystery. As the title suggests, this has to do with a grieving Lady Mechanika taking a trip down south and inadvertently running into a small town celebration for Dia de los Muertos. A conflict gets setup, but hasn't begun by the end of the issue, so things will have to move quickly in the remainder of this shorter-than-usual series.
Ultimates #11 - I'm just waiting for this to end. The art is a clash of styles, likely stemming from Rocafort getting tapped for the IVX 0 issue. He draws a seemingly random assortment of pages while Morissette draws the remainder. The clash reflects the story as well, as Anti-Man, Thanos, and the Ultimates fight amongst themselves. This title is no longer the tight, well done book it once was, and I won't be continuing once it renumbers.
Wonder Woman #7 - This ended better than I expected. Which isn't to say expectations were low, but that this pulled out some good surprises. I'm pumped to see where this goes next. Also: Doomsday Swamp Thing. Not really, but that's totally what it looked like.