Wednesday may be hump day for the rest of the working world but it is the best day of the week for comic fans. Known as NCBD (New Comic Book Day) among the nerd herd, there are always tons of books to attract your attention. Here are four books that I’d like to pick up this NCBD at my LCBS (Local Comic Book Shop).
The Valiant #3 ($3.99, Valiant Entertainment): When Valiant Comics started back in ’89, I was all in. X-O Manowar, Eternal Warrior, Solar … there were some incredible stories being told over there and you could keep up with the continuity of the whole universe with just a few titles. Sadly, Valiant faded with the 90’s but over the last couple of years, they have come back with a vengeance. Valiant has reemerged with most of the same great characters and some of the best talents in comics and that brings us to The Valiant. This four-issue series is a great way for readers to jump into the Valiant universe and get a taste of some of the best characters they have to offer. Presented by superstar writers Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt and pencils from Paolo Rivera, the first two issues began the story of an Immortal Enemy that threatens to destroy civilization. The Eternal Warrior gathers the rest of the Valiant heroes to join him on his 10,000 year-long quest to vanquish this ancient evil. Great Characters + Great Creators = Great Story. Get it. Still not sure – check out this preview.
Batman And Robin #39 ($2.99, DC Comics): When DC announced a few years ago that we were going to get a new Robin that was the son of Bruce Wayne, I wasn’t too sure how I would like him, and at first I didn’t. He was cocky and reckless and violent and he seemed a bit like Jason Todd just before his untimely end (sorta). But over the months, the kid grew on me and nowhere did that happen more than in the pages of Batman and Robin by the team of writer Peter Tomasi and artists Pat Gleason and Mick Gray. Damian Wayne became humanized and his relationship with Bruce and Alfred became something that was at times frustrating but also heartwarming. And then they killed him … I’m looking at you, Grant Morrison. Just when I started liking the kid, they killed him off. Oy. However, in true comic book fashion, Robin is back from the grave and better than ever. The newly returned Robin now has (at least) flight, super-strength, super speed and some degree of invulnerability. This for a kid that was cocky before is going to offer some new challenges for the parenting duo of Bruce and Alfred. Will they be up to the task? Will Robin take out Batman’s entire cast of villains in just this one issue? Go check it out and see for yourself! Get a sample of the kid’s powers in this preview.
The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 ($4.99, DC Comics): Alternate Earths and Grant Morrison go together like Cadbury Eggs and the end of my diet and this whole series (each book has a different title so each gets a #1 but it is really a series of related stories) has been spectacular. This one takes us to Earth-10 where an unstoppable alien orphan crashed in Germany and helped them win World War II and take over the planet. But hope is not lost as a group of Freedom Fighters rise to battle the alien, known as Overman. Will the efforts of Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Black Condor and The Ray be enough to restore democracy and freedom to the world? I don’t know, but it does have writer Grant Morrison, artist Jim Lee and that crazy variant cover by Aaron Kuder based on New Teen Titans #1 with the Titans as pirates. Just take my money DC. Take it! The preview starts with Hitler on the toilet so that’s an image you can carry with you today.
Bitch Planet #3 ($3.50, Image Comics): I loved issues #1 and 2 of this book so much that I keep buying copies and giving them away. I’m hoping to get a mini-podcast together with one of our librarians and English teachers, both of whom read comics for their thoughts on this series soon but until then, you will just have to take my word for how good this series is. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has been telling incredible stories up and down the world of comics for years but this might become her magnum opus to date. The series takes the female prison exploitation theme and turns it into a science fiction story about the place where women that are ‘noncompliant’ get shipped off to be forgotten. However, the man has not totally left these women for dead as there is still a way to make a few bucks off of them. The women in this book are varied in shape and size and attitude and background and they are ready to fight for their freedom but will they be able to fight their captors or each other? This issue features the back story of fan-favorite Penny Rolle. Compliant? Not going to happen. A comment about the art from the preview over on Ms. DeConnick’s Tumblr … I was a bit disappointed to see that Valentine Delandro would not be penciling this issue although he did do the cover, but he will be back for issue 4. No worries though as Robert Wilson IV (Knuckleheads) is more than up to the task. I will be sad if Penny doesn’t punch someone though. One of the charges against her is ‘Wanton Obesity’. I would laugh at how stupid that is if I didn’t live in Kansas.
Those are my #FCIW for this week. What has caught your eye?