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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – January 26, 2011: Avengers O.D.

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

* I believe in bugs. I truly believe in bugs
^ Darling, will you marry me twice
% I want bicarbonate of chicken tonight
¢ Do not mind if I thump you when I’m talking to you

Paul Cornell and Pete Woods’ tour of DC Universe villainy, via Lex Luthor, finally gets around to the Joker.¢ AVENGERS #9
If I have this straight, this week sees the release of this Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. issue, as well as New Avengers #8 and Secret Avengers #9 (both drawn by Mike Deodato, and respectively written by Bendis and Ed Brubaker), not to mention Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #6, and various Avengers, Avengers Academy, New Avengers and Pet Avengers collections. It’s called “traffic flow,” Marvel.

^ ¢ CHAOS WAR #5
So the serial went Incredible Hercules, Assault on New Olympus, Hercules
: Fall of an Avenger, Heroic Age: Prince of Power, and now this miniseries, and that’s apparently it for Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Hercules/Amadeus Cho serial. (I need to sit down and read through the whole thing at some point.) Van Lente’s got a new project called Renaissance coming up with the mighty Sarah Oleksyk, though. Can’t wait.

Somebody bites it, I hear. Actually, what I’m secretly hoping is that this is where the series just ends–no FF year-long mini, no resurrection-and-reunion with number 600, no particular follow-up at all, just completing the trifecta of the Comics Code and Wizard with an “okay, we’re done, nice job, everyone, on to the next thing.” I realize this is unlikely.

At this point I’m just skipping over the fashion-mag parody pages and going straight to Dave Sim’s fanatically close analysis of a particular moment in newspaper-strip history. Also: oh dear, it’s Dave’s version of JFK on the cover.

The first volume of Mezzo & Pirus’ European trilogy about suburban horror, sex, violence and drugs was one of the creepiest books of last year; its look owes rather a lot to Charles Burns’ Black Hole, but it’s also got a sick, surreal vibe of its own. In this follow-up, a bunch of the characters who died last time are still sort of hanging around; it’s that kind of story. Here’s a preview.

Congratulations to Paul Tobin, who is, I believe, the first person to write the adventures of Chili Storm in two distinct continuities. And if Patsy Walker can be a superhero, so can she!

Another repackaged, hardbound collection of the Alan Moore run: this is #43-50, the sequence that was in the A Murder of Crows paperback. It’s the second half of Moore’s “American Gothic” storyline, where he was effectively reprising the conceit of the original Len Wein/Berni Wrightson run–having Swamp Thing encounter a different monster archetype every issue–with the additional conceit that each monster would be metaphorically connected to something awful about American society. And it all ends up with the big anniversary issue where Moore had the bright idea of bringing together all of DC’s major magician characters (and incinerating one of them).

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