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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – June 20, 2012: From a Finger to a Glove

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

* Slaying the father
^ Stan is smilin’
% The end is not in sight

There are oversized hardcovers collecting most of Grant Morrison’s Batman comics, but the early part of that run isn’t available in a uniform edition, and collector culture means we must have uniform editions. So now there’s this oversized $30 hardcover collecting the 15 issues’ worth of material from Batman & Son and The Black Glove–but not the awkward crossover The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul that ran between them with a couple of Morrison-written chapters.

Judging by #9, Trevor McCarthy, the new artist on this J.H. Williams III/W. Haden Blackman-written series, is drawing it in a very heavily Williams-esque style. I’m not complaining about that.

Bob Kane legally gets the official credit for creating Batman, but it’s not exactly a secret that Bill Finger did a lot of the heavy lifting. This biography of Finger is written by Marc Tyler Nobleman, with illustrations by the wonderful Ty Templeton. (It’s on the Midtown Comics new-release list, not the Diamond Comic Distributors list.) Templeton also co-writes this week’s Avenging Spider-Man #8 (with Dan Slott), drawn by Matthew Clark, an “Ends of the Earth” epilogue.

Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá’s marvelous, densely woven time-and-space-and-hermeneutics series finally concludes its third arc. I understand why this is not the most regularly published of the series Fraction writes–although it’s worth noting that two weeks after Avaritia #1 came out we got Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s Invincible Iron Man #508, and this week we get #519 (as well as the Invincible Iron Man: Demon collection). Iron Man is a very solid superhero comic; Casanova, on the other hand, makes me happy to be alive at a time when a comic book this good is being serialized.

Mark Waid and Chris Samnee: that’s quite a team. I generally like their projects individually, and they turn out to work really well together, maybe because they’re both focused on meat-and-potatoes craft–doing familiar things in a particularly elegant way.

Kieron Gillen and Richard Elson continue the “Manchester Gods” storyline, which also means that they’re continuing Gillen’s parry to the Neil Gaiman bibliography, the most affectionate act of slaying the father I’ve seen in comics lately.

Apparently Brian Michael Bendis has figured out that it’s much easier to sell a Power Man & Iron Fist comic if you call it New Avengers. Mike Deodato draws.

It’s not quite clear how this is meant to be an ongoing series–now that Langridge’s Lewis Carroll-derived cast has reached Snark Island, it sure feels like we’re entering Act 3 of 3. What a pleasure this story is, though.

% SAGA #4
I don’t know that Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ monthly science fiction/high fantasy epic is quite playing to Vaughan’s strong points yet, although it’s fun to see him pushing himself outside his comfort zone. And it’s certainly playing to Staples’ strong points–if there were a regular periodical this attractive-looking 25 years ago, it’d have seemed like an impossible stroke of luck.

^ 2000 AD #1784
John Wagner and Colin MacNeil wrap up the 20-part Judge Dredd serial Day of Chaos: Eve of Destruction, in which Wagner’s made it clear that he’s about to knock down 35 years’ worth of plot dominoes, and Al Ewing and Brendan McCarthy wrap up The Zaucer of Zilk. Also this week: Judge Dredd Megazine #234, concluding Simon Spurrier and Carlos Ezquerra’s Avengers parody, continuing Andy Diggle and Jock’s “Snapshot,” and including a separately bound collection of Steve Parkhouse’s 2005 serial Tiger Sun, Dragon Moon. (Both appear on the Midtown list, not the Diamond list.)

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