REVIEWS: On The Shelves 05/23/07

by Jeff

Reprinted courtesy of Comic Book Commentary.

Reading is fundamental. Read what you like; don’t waste your time reading bad comics out of habit!

My weekly look at select comic books being released Wednesday, 5/23/07. 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
jan071924d REVIEWS: On The Shelves 05/23/07
CASANOVA v1: LUXURIA (Image Comics)

CHRONICLE BOOKS
Art of Ratatouille HC, $40.00

Am I the only one thinking this will be Pixar’s first real box office disappointment? I know it’s Brad Bird, but the previews I’ve seen so far haven’t had quite the same zing of their past efforts. Of course, I wasn’t expecting Cars to be as good as it was based on its previews, so who knows?

DARK HORSE COMICS
Star Wars Legacy #12, $2.99

Still going strong, and with the first TPB out, I’d love to see this series pick up steam and break into the Top 50 on the sales charts.

DC COMICS
Robin #162, $2.99

I was rather surprised to hear that Robin writer Adam Beechen had been yanked from taking over the reins on the post-Johns Teen Titans, as I was looking forward to adding it back to my pull list after its Infinite Crisis-induced axing. I’ve enjoyed his work on Robin, where he’s doing a solid job developing a supporting cast while writing Tim Drake as a believable teenager. Ah well; more money to spend on good comics.

DEVILS DUE PUBLISHING
GI Joe Special Missions Brazil, $5.50

I’ve really enjoyed these Special Missions one-shots as they’ve introduced me to many Joes with whom I have little-to-no familiarity, and it doesn’t get any more unfamiliar than Dial-Tone, Claymore, Leatherneck and Wet-Suit! I thought the franchise might suffer a bit when Joe Casey left the main title, but it’s arguably stronger than it’s ever been. I’m particularly enjoying Larry Hama’s return to the GIJU, and last week’s Storm Shadow spin-off was a solid start that sets its own tone and should co-exist with the main title without siphoning off sales from it. Well played, Devil’s Due!

HACHETTE BOOK GROUP USA
Art of Pirates of Caribbean, $50.00

These movie art books are pricey, aren’t they? I wonder who buys these? Is there a magazine or web site out there targeting the coffee table movie art book crowd? That would kill!

IMAGE COMICS
Casanova Vol 1 Luxuria HC, $24.99
Dynamo 5 #3, $3.50
Fell Vol 1 Feral City Ltd Ed HC, $24.99

If you’re going to blow $50 on comics this week, you could do much worse than spending it on the Casanova and Fell hardcover collections. Two of the absolute best titles Image is publishing these days, both are worthy additions to any bookshelf. *** Dynamo 5 isn’t ground-breaking superhero comics by any means, but two issues in, it’s shown more personality and life than 98% of what’s come from the Big Two over the past couple of years. Even girls might like it!

MARVEL COMICS
Captain America #26, $2.99
Criminal #6, $2.99
Doctor Strange Oath TPB, $13.99
Fantastic Four #546 CWI, $2.99

It’s been two-and-a-half months since Captain America was killed, and we finally get the next issue in the saga. Talk about killing momentum! The Dark Knight Strikes Again #1 pulled me back into a comics shop for the first time in nearly a decade back in 2001, and I spent the next few months checking in now and then for the ridiculously delayed third issue. Each time I’d glance at the shelves and see nothing of interest and leave empty-handed. By the time it finally came out, I’d forgotten about it, ultimately picking it up on eBay a couple of years ago to complete my set. I’m guessing at this point, most retailers have dramatically cut back their orders of #26 and it might end up being one of the biggest single issue drops ever. But hey, World War Hulk is coming and the next Universe-changing event is apparently hot on its heels so who cares, right? *** Criminal has moved to wait-for-the-trade status. The first arc was solid read, but nowhere near an essential one. *** I’ve read a lot of great reviews for the Dr. Strange mini, but Brian K. Vaughan totally lost me once I moved Ex Machina to wait-for-the-trade status after its lame “Smoke, Smoke” arc and I didn’t miss it at all. Dr. Strange, like Dr. Fate, is one of those random characters I’ve always had an inexplicable fondness for, most likely attributable to their eye-catching character design than anything else, so it’ll be an on-the-spot call. The price point’s just right, though. *** Am I suddenly reading Fantastic Four because I’m enjoying it or because I’m supporting Dwayne McDuffie? They jury’s still out, but I expect a verdict to come in after this issue.

MOONSTONE
Kolchak the Night Stalker the Lovecraftian Horror, $12.95

I’m neither a big Kolchak fan nor Lovecraft, but it’s an intriguing combination that will at least get me to flip through this one in the store out of curiosity.

MORPHEUS INTERNATIONAL
Hr Gigers Alien SC (AA), $27.50

Now this is a movie art book I could get into. Giger’s work on Alien remains some of the most stunning, evocative visuals ever put to film.

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING
Back Issue #22, $6.95

It’s the sidekick issue, with Robin featured on the cover and some great Norm Breyfogle art inside. Twomorrows really has the niche magazine thing down, no?

VIRGIN COMICS LLC
Walk-in #6, $2.99

I was on the verge of dropping this, not for lack of interest but for lack of clarity, but the last issue finally laid out enough of the backstory to pull me back in. It’s a trippy read, but a fun one nonetheless.

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