Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – June 30: Batwoman Collected, Iron Man Simultaneous, Krazy Kat Gigantic
* Ø ACTION COMICS #890
Thought Superman would be coming back to "Action" after the New Krypton business was over? Surprise! Lex Luthor takes over the lead role, and Paul Cornell and Pete Woods take over the creative roles; that little preview that appeared in various DC titles last week looked promising.
* ^ @ AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS: AMERICAN SON #2
Brian Reed and Philippe Briones' miniseries goes back to some long-neglected plot threads from "Sins Past" (while the parent title doesn't appear at all this week, two weeks after its double-up). Between this, "One Moment in Time" and "Clone Saga," the Spider-Man franchise is all about re-opening the wounds right now. Preview.
^ § Ø BATWOMAN: ELEGY
Did you spend the first seven issues of Batwoman's run in "Detective Comics" reading lots of people raving about how great Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's collaboration was, but figure you'd wait for the trade? Your wait is over: this slightly oversized, $25 hardcover collects the entirety of their run (although Williams will be co-writing and drawing a new "Batwoman" series later this year). It really is the best-looking superhero comic in recent memory.
Ø CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE 1940S NEWSPAPER STRIP #1
The joke is that there actually wasn't a "Captain America" newspaper strip, but Karl Kesel is writing and drawing this miniseries as if it were the real thing (reformatted and colored for a comic book format, of course)--he's even drawing it on the oversized boards that '40s-era newspaper strip cartoonists used to use. Preview.
^ HERALDS #5
The conclusion of Kathryn Immonen and Tonci Zonjic's miniseries about an ad hoc team of superheroines. This has been the kind of cheerful, incident-packed, low-stakes B-list Marvel title I've always enjoyed--along the lines of The Incredible Hercules or Peter B. Gillis's Defenders rather than Avengers or Thor, if you see what I mean. Preview.
* Ø INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1
Matt Fraction. Carmine Di Giandomenico. The Mandarin. Day-and-date. Preview, although seeing this particular cover makes me wish for a whole series that looks like this.
@ KRAZY KAT: A CELEBRATION OF SUNDAYS
Count on Sunday Press to bring the oversized awesomeness. In this case, a C-note gets you a 14 x 17-inch hardcover collection of George Herriman's most inventive Sunday "Krazy Kat" strips (more or less the dimensions at which they appeared in newspapers), with a bonus section of some of Herriman's pre-"Krazy" full-page comics, including "Major Ozone's Fresh Air Crusade" and "The Two Jolly Jackies." Preview. Also this week in newspaper-comic-strip reprints: Fantagraphics' second hardcover volume of Hal Foster's "Prince Valiant," covering 1937-1938.
^ SHADE THE CHANGING MAN VOL. 3: SCREAM TIME
I'm pretty happy about the sudden omnipresence of Peter Milligan, and especially the return to print of his berserk early-'90s revival of "Shade, the Changing Man." This volume collects #14-19 (mostly drawn by Chris Bachalo), and has a cover by Jamie Hewlett. Speaking of which, what about a new edition of "Hewligan's Haircut"?
@ § WEREWOLVES OF MONTPELLIER
Every ten months or so, the Norwegian cartoonist Jason unleashes a new, brief, brilliant graphic novel on the world--his formula is "low-key romantic drama + deranged genre-story element + everybody has animal heads + straight-faced understatement of presentation = comedy gold." This one involves a bored burglar who dresses up as a werewolf, and what happens when he encounters actual werewolves. The preview should give you a sense of what Jason's up to.
* Ø WONDER WOMAN #600
Now renumbered; this is arguably actually the 602nd issue of "Wonder Woman" proper, but let's not quibble about it. J. Michael Straczynski's first story, Gail Simone's last, Geoff Johns writes something, longtime "Wonder Woman" contributors George Pérez and Phil Jimenez draw, etc. Speaking of the character's history, this week also sees the sixth volume of "Wonder Woman Archives," reprinting her circa-1945 stories from "Sensation Comics" #41-48 and "Wonder Woman" #13-15.