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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – December 15: An Epic of Epic Birdiness

Savage Critic and “Reading Comics” author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY
* Union Jack
^ Union suits
£ Union of the Snake
¢ Reunion shows

^ AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #650
Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos’s inaugural “Big Time” storyline continues, as the shipping date updates continue to nudge this series a week at a time later.
£ BIG QUESTIONS #15
Can it really be? The end of Anders Nilsen’s fantastic series about little birds, uncomprehending people, and the long low-key struggle for stakes that couldn’t be any higher? This thing’s been running a long time, usually only one or two issues a year; the collection comes out in the spring, apparently.

¢ DETROIT METAL CITY VOL. 7
Kiminori Wakasugi’s fake-blood-drenched twee-pop/extreme metal epic continues.

^ ¢ GREEN LANTERN #60
Go, Doug Mahnke! Also this week: a Marv Wolfman/Brent Anderson Green Lantern/Plastic Man one-shot, apropos of nothing in particular.

* ^ ¢ JUDGE DREDD: THE COMPLETE CASE FILES VOL. 2
The American collection of the Dredd stories from 2000 A.D. #61-115 is, like its earlier British equivalent, actually not quite complete: there are four episodes of the 25-part epic “The Cursed Earth” that can’t be reprinted because… well, maybe British satire laws are not quite the same as American ones, or maybe pissing off McDonald’s and Green Giant just wasn’t a good idea. That said, there’s a ton of amazing Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon artwork here, as well as guest shots from Brendan McCarthy and Garry Leach, among others, and “The Cursed Earth” is immediately followed by the excellent “Judge Cal”/”The Day the Law Died” storyline.

¢ £ MADWOMAN OF THE SACRED HEART
A collaboration between Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. Apparently, it “has not been published in completed form” in English before; I don’t know exactly what the deal is here, but I’m very curious about it. From Humanoids. $30.

^ META 4 #4
Ted McKeever’s new “I’m just going to draw whatever the hell I feel like and call it a story” miniseries, which happens to work just fine because, hello, he’s Ted McKeever, continues.

£ MOTEL ART IMPROVEMENT SERVICE
It’s really good to see the second storyline from Jason Little’s “Bee” webcomic finally collected in hardcover form. I think it’s fair to summarize this one as “spunky Tintin-esque girl detective discovers the joys of sex and drugs, while solving crimes.” Very entertaining, as you might guess.

¢ SHOWCASE PRESENTS OUR ARMY AT WAR VOL. 1
It’s great that the early issues of this long-running DC anthology title, from before the era when Sgt. Rock showed up, are finally getting reprinted–they’re mostly stories about World War II, produced during the Korean War. Still, I really wish DC would take advantage of the fairly cheaply manufactured Showcase format to reprint some of the stuff from their archives that really never turns up any more: can we have some romance comics, please? Maybe some funny animals?

^ STRANGE TALES II #3
No idea who’s in the final issue of this year’s incarnation of the “art cartoonists tackle Marvel characters” miniseries, but the Ivan Brunetti cover is a winner in a big way.

^ ¢ SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN
An oversized hardcover collecting the delay-plagued Geoff Johns/Gary Frank miniseries about young Clark Kent discovering why he’s not like other boys, and heading to the big city where he encounters other extraordinary people. If the point was to make a sturdy book for people who want to read about How Superman Got Started (as the America’s Best Comics idiom put it), it’s pretty successful; I could’ve done without Frank drawing Superman as Christopher Reeve, but I suppose that’s a selling point.

* ¢ VERTIGO RESURRECTED: HELLBLAZER #1
Eight bucks gets you two two-part stories that haven’t been reprinted before: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s #57/58 (their first collaboration on Hellblazer, and maybe ever–Ennisologists, please set me straight) and Jason Aaron and Sean Murphy’s #245/246. Also in the Ennis/Dillon division this week: the third hardcover Preacher collection, which includes both the Saint of Killers miniseries and the Cassidy one-shot.

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