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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – March 2, 2011: Glorp! Is the Sound of the Universal Solvent

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

KEY:
* Minor threat
^ Teen idles
¶ Embrace
% Egg hunt
¢ Pailhead
£ Fugazi

£ ¢ ANNIHILATORS #1
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s long-running, multi-series, quasi-weekly-for-a-while cosmic Marvel serial seemed to have come to a close with the recent Thanos Imperative miniseries (which is collected this week as a hardcover), but now it seems to be starting up again. Tan Eng Huat and Tom Green II draw; the backup feature stars the team of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, who made a memorable pair in Annihilation: Conquest. (Weirdly, this is not on Diamond’s list, although it is on Marvel’s, so go figure.)

* £ AXE COP: BAD GUY EARTH #1
Malachai and Ethan Nicolle’s stream-of-a-kid’s-consciousness webcomic is now a three-issue miniseries.

^ BATMAN: TIME AND THE BATMAN
A hardcover collection of Batman #700 (Grant Morrison and a cast of dozens’ “Batman-of-many-eras” story which revealed where Prof. Carter Nichols had been for the past few decades… except for his appearance in Batman #600, sigh), #701-702 (a kind of epilogue to Batman R.I.P. by Morrison and Tony Daniel that spelled out the R.I.P.-Final Crisis-Return of Bruce Wayne narrative through-line, which I’d thought was fairly clear already although I appear to be in a minority there), and #703 (a Fabian Nicieza-written issue that seems to have been there to give Daniel a breather before taking over the series again). I have to admit I’m getting a little irritated at the trend of the under-six-issue book collection: really, it would probably make more sense, story-wise, to have rerouted #700 to the third Batman and Robin collection, #701-702 to The Return of Bruce Wayne, and #703 to the collection of The Road Home.

¢ £ ¶ BUZ SAWYER: THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC, VOL. 1
A $35 Fantagraphics hardcover, collecting the first few years’ worth of the daily incarnation of Roy Crane’s oh-brother-I’m-a-buzzboy newspaper strip, 1943-1945.

£ COMIC BOOK COMICS #5
“All-Lawsuit Issue”! Woo! It’s been more than a year since the last issue of this Fred Van Lente/Ryan Dunlavey series about the comics industry’s history, but this one promises to be juicy: all sorts of stories about how corporations have screwed creators over.

¢ 5 RONIN #1
Marvel seems to have settled into a pattern of publishing weekly superhero-team miniseries in months with five Wednesdays. This one is set in 17th-century Japan and is written by Peter Milligan. (And is missing from Diamond’s shipping list, too, curiously.)

^ £ JOE THE BARBARIAN #8
For the record, the first issue of this Grant Morrison/Sean Murphy miniseries came out January 20 of last year. In a lot of ways, it’s read much more like one of Morrison’s three-issue conceits from a few years back than like an eight-part story–it’s been very thinly paced–but I bet it works better as a trade, and I still want to see how he pulls off the ending.

¢ ¶ LOVE AND CAPES: EVER AFTER #2
On the other hand, it’s odd but pretty great not having to wait five or six months between issues of this Thom Zahler superhero sitcom. (I wrote about the previous issue over at Techland.)

% ¢ ¶ POPEYE, VOL. 5: WHA’S A JEEP?
Thirty bucks gets you the penultimate volume of the huge, sturdy collections of E.C. Segar’s final decade of “Thimble Theatre,” from Fantagraphics. Another thirty will get you an IDW volume called Popeye: The Best Comic Book Stories of Bud Sagendorf. I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow for a Popeye book today, etc.

* ^ TAKIO HC
Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s new, kid-friendly series about a pair of super-powered siblings launches with an original hardcover graphic novel. Since it never rains but it pours, Bendis and Oeming also have a long-delayed new issue of Powers out this week. They say they’re going to be working on both series simultaneously. Hmm.

% £ UNCLE SCROOGE #401
I’m a huge fan of Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge stories, a lot of which are at the otherwise underpopulated intersection of “fanatically education-minded,” “cranky and obsessive” and “totally fun.” The one collected here (apparently the first time it’s appeared all in one place in English), “The Universal Solvent,” is very firmly planted at that intersection. The premise is that Gyro Gearloose invents a substance that dissolves everything in its gravitational path except diamonds, Scrooge pours some on the ground, and mayhem and a journey to the center of the earth ensue. Diamond’s list also includes as “offered again” the second and final volume of Rosa’s Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

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