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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – May 4, 2011: Bad People, Bat Boy and Brains

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

KEY:
* Bring on the bad guys
^ Bring on the dancing horses
% Bring on the night
¢ Bring on the rain

* AVENGERS ACADEMY GIANT-SIZE #1
This Paul Tobin/David Baldeon project was on and off the schedule, initially as Avengers Academy Annual, Spider-Girl Annual and Young Allies Annual, a three-part story called “Game On” in which they’d take on Arcade and Murderworld, then as a miniseries called Arcade: Death Game; it turned out the whole thing was just being telescoped into a $8 one-shot. Sounds like a good deal.
^ % BAT BOY: THE WEEKLY WORLD NEWS COMIC STRIPS BY PETER BAGGE
Like it says. Bagge’s strip–based on a WWN gag that was funny the first time and then got run deep into the ground–isn’t his best work by a long shot, but it did have its moments over its two-year run, and apparently this $18 IDW collection is reproduced at close to original size.

^ DC COMICS PRESENTS: SON OF SUPERMAN
The Howard Chaykin shutout continues: this $8 one-shot reprints a prestige format thing from 1999, written by Chaykin and David Tischman and drawn by J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray–I believe it was Williams and Gray’s last major collaboration before Promethea.

% ¢ DMZ VOL. 10: COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT
In which Brian Wood’s fairytale of Baghdad via New York moves toward its endgame, with several artists. Nathan Fox draws one issue!

^ ¢ GARDEN
You know how Matthew Barney basically makes movies to show off his sculptures? Yuichi Yokoyama seems to make comics to have a venue for his ideas about architecture and landscape. This is a 320-page narrative with characters and dialogue that are basically just there to explain what Yokoyama is drawing. Very striking; very, very odd. Yuichi Yokoyama. (On the Midtown Comics list, not the Diamond Comic Distributors list.)

^ GREEN LANTERN SUPER SPECTACULAR
A magazine-format, ten-dollar thing with four reprints in it, notably Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s much-reprinted “Tygers” and John Broome and Gil Kane’s much-referenced Green Lantern #40.

% ¢ iZOMBIE #13
Mike Allred returns to drawing this Chris Roberson-written series for a new storyline called “5 Brains, 5 Months.”

% MOON KNIGHT #1
So Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev are going to attempt to do Moon Knight monthly and Scarlet bimonthly? At the same time? Bendis, not a problem: I think he’s only writing those two plus Avengers and New Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man (which, uh, may not have too much longer to run) and Takio and allegedly Powers; that’s nothin’. But I will be pleasantly and strongly surprised if Maleev can draw 18 issues a year.

^ % THE NEXT DAY
A “graphic novella,” written by Paul Peterson and Jason Gilmore and drawn by the great John Porcellino, adapting interviews with four survivors of near-fatal suicide attempts. I don’t know anything else about it, but “John Porcellino” is the magic phrase.

* ^ % SECRET SIX #33
I love that one of the plot devices of this series–which apparently comes to fruition in this Gail Simone/J. Calafiore issue–is that there is a card that will literally get someone’s soul out of Hell free.

¢ SPIDEY SUNDAY SPECTACULAR
Remember how I was all psyched about that Spider-Man: New York Stories trade a few weeks ago, on the grounds that it included the Stan Lee/Marcos Martin backup strips from Amazing Spider-Man? This is a $4 collection of just those. Odd that they’d be publishing it this way now, but no complaints: this is an exceptionally well-drawn comic book.

* TASKMASTER: UNTHINKABLE
$15 collection of a Fred Van Lente/Jefte Paolo miniseries that several people have described to me as being “unexpectedly good.”

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