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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – December 22, 2010: He Will Hit You With His Axe

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

* Hero vs. the supernatural
% Hero vs. technology
^ Hero vs. thing with tentacles
¢ Hero vs. Japanese culture
† Hero vs. Telescope Gun Cop

The viral online hit by Malachai Nicolle and his brother Ethan comes to print: arguably the best comic ever written by a pre-teen, with the possible exception of some Legion of Super-Heroes stories.
The wheels of Eric Shanower’s Trojan War epic turn slowly, but they do turn–this is always a thrilling, thoughtful, gorgeously drawn series, and last issue was the most compelling one yet.

^ % ¢ BATMAN INC. #2
The first issue of Grant Morrison’s new addition to the Batman franchise was enormously fun, and significantly different from the vibe of Morrison’s Batman and Batman & Robin. This issue, also drawn by Yanick Paquette, wraps up that story. Too bad it now looks like we don’t get #3 until February. Speaking of delayed Morrison projects, while we’re waiting for the currently unscheduled final issue of Joe the Barbarian, Sean Murphy’s drawn this week’s one-shot Teen Titans: Cold Case. Also out this week: Batman Annual #28, wrapping up the David Hine/Agustin Padilla two-parter. I’m enjoying how Hine has been carving out a continuity of his own across various Bat-books.

Garth Ennis and John McCrae’s long-out-of-print Hitman series has slowly been creeping back into print–this volume collects #9-14, which is where the series really started to click, with a mercilessly funny takedown of Kyle Rayner and the “Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium” two-parter.

If your appetite for Alejandro Jodorowsky/Moebius collaborations was whetted last week, and you’ve got $100 burning a hole in your pocket, here’s an oversized version of what appears to be the original ’80s-era science fiction series (i.e. notBefore the Incal, After the Incal or Final Incal).

The oversized conclusion to Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca’s “Stark: Resilient”; next issue, the numbering jumps to #500. What’s the last Marvel Universe book that’s had 33 consecutive issues by the same writer/artist team, anyway? (Since that disqualifies Ultimate Spider-Man.) Preview.

Jog’s remarkable essay about the second issue of this ultra-creepy Alan Moore/Jacen Burrows miniseries made me go back and pay a lot more attention. And guess what: it rewarded that attention.

Felipe Smith’s culture-clash “what’s up with ‘Western manga’ anyway?” series continues.

Chris Roberson and Jesus Merino, returning to the world of DC One Million. Apparently this is the story that got Roberson the Superman gig.

Artwork by Cliff Chiang = automatic look-at-this, as far as I’m concerned. Preview.

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