REVIEWS: For Your Consideration 06/06/07

by Jeff

Reprinted courtesy of Comic Book Commentary.

Free time is a precious thing. Don’t waste it reading bad comics out of habit!

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 6/6/07. The full shipping list, as always, is 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
apr073708h REVIEWS: For Your Consideration 06/06/07
The Black Diamond Detective Agency (First Second)

ADHOUSE BOOKS
Superior Showcase #2, $2.95

Maris Wicks, Farel Dalrymple and Joey Weiser team up for AdHouse’s always enjoyable showcase of independent-minded takes on “heroes that are super”, a spin-off of their excellent Project: Superior anthology from a couple of years ago.

BECKETT
Becketts Baseball Card Plus June July 2007 #30, $9.99

I used to collect baseball cards as a kid, perhaps more enthusiastically than comics, and vaguely remember a few games we’d play with them, one a variation on War and the other a precursor to fantasy baseball. (Anybody remember how to play those games? I want to teach my son now that he’s getting into the cards.) Excepting the periodic Ebay search for autographed Graig Nettles cards, I hadn’t seen a baseball card in years before agreeing to coach my son’s tee ball team this Spring, and assumed most kids weren’t even aware of them anymore, so I was pleasantly surprised at my team’s enthusiastic reaction to them when I gave them each a pack of Topps Opening Day 2007 cards. (The gum is now wrapped in it’s own plastic wrapper and won’t break off a tooth!) I’ve given them a pack after the game every week except for the week I gave them some Free Comic Book Day comics, which they loved, too, but the following week most of them asked if they were getting cards again.

BOOM! STUDIOS

I passed the Boom! booth at BEA last week and thought it looked a little silly, sparsely decorated with a handful of floppies on display, and wondered why they hadn’t simply hooked up with Diamond’s communal booth. Then I saw they’ve announced a book distribution deal with Perseus and a solid slate of releases for the rest of the year, and realized what a smart move the standalone booth was. Despite my frequent criticism that too many of their books feel more like illustrated Hollywood pitches, I have to credit them with making some savvy moves to carve themselves a solid niche out of the direct market while keeping the broader market, Hollywood included, firmly in view. It will be interesting to see how their books perform in mainstream bookstores and whether or not Perseus can get them some real visibility there. Tag and Talent, their first two releases (and two of their best series to-date) both have movie deals in place and probably have the most backlist potential if those movies are well-received. Could Boom! be on its way to becoming the next Dark Horse? (Interestingly, I noticed Speakeasy’s Adam Fortier was there with Ross Richie. Is he working with them now…?)

DARK HORSE COMICS
Fear Agent #1, $2.99

One of the stronger Image titles of the past few years officially makes the jump to Dark Horse and will hopefully result in better sales and a higher profile as the ever-present spectre of premature cancellation (or ridiculous delays) that keeps most Image titles off of my pull list in favor of waiting for the trade is less of a concern now. Fans of action adventure and pulpy sci-fi should definitely pick Fear Agent up.

DEVILS DUE PUBLISHING
GI Joe Americas Elite #24, $3.50

The surprisingly good Baroness arc concludes and, presumably, the beginning of World War III gets teased. I’m loving the GIJU these days, even more so with DC and Marvel completely off my radar.

:01 FIRST SECOND
Black Diamond Detective Agency SC, $16.95

First Second continues to be one of my favorite new publishers, and Black Diamond Detective Agency is a perfect example of why that it is. While the story itself is solid — Eddie Campbell adapts a movie script of an entertaining action adventure mystery that doesn’t disappoint — it’s the overall package that is most impressive. The over-the-top cover — ORPHANS! MAYHEM! TERROR! — sets the perfect tone, and the production values, as always, are top-notch.

IMAGE COMICS
Dynamo 5 #4, $3.50
Strange Girl #17, $3.50

Three issues in, Dynamo 5 is solid superhero comics done right. Jay Faerber isn’t redefining the genre here, he’s simply recapturing that seemingly lost feeling of discovering a new universe filled with cool superheroes and villains that doesn’t require an encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure characters and long-forgotten plotlines nor multiple Wikipedia bookmarks and Google searches just to keep up. Solid art from Mahmud Asrar, too. *** Strange Girl defies the odds, chugging along under most people’s radars while employing a seemingly endless mob of simultaneously interchangeable but individually distinctive artists, to deliver as entertaining a post-Rapture, Hell on Earth story as one could ask for. Why aren’t you reading it?

POCKET BOOKS
Spider Robot Titans of Gotham TPB, $15.00

No idea what this is, and I’m too busy to Google it, but that’s a very cool title!

SILENT DEVIL PRODUCTIONS
Death and the Man Who Would Not Die #1 (of 4), $2.99

The first Death Comes to Dillinger mini-series was a hoot, and the sequel brings the original creative team back together with the upfront knowledge that they’re doing a mini-series as opposed to an OGN that’s split after the fact, the one flaw in the original.

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