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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – Nov. 4: “Stumptown” and “The Great Ten” Make Their Long-Awaited Debuts

Savage Critic and “Reading Comics” author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week, using this helpful key:

KEY

* Those whom the gods would destroy, they first waylay for a while

* STUMPTOWN #1

Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s series about a P.I. in Portland, Oregon has been in the works for a good long while–it was announced in 2007, and they were handing out preview minicomics and flyers (do call that phone number!) at San Diego in 2008. The first issue is a really well-crafted detective thriller: Rucka is in very comfortable territory (grimy crime plot, female protagonist who’s kind of a mess, personal relationships revealed unobtrusively through dialogue), and Southworth nails the look of Portland’s nastier regions. Rucka talked to ComicsAlliance about it here; there’s a preview over at Hypergeek.

* AGE OF BRONZE #29

My favorite series that people tend to say “what’s that?” about: Eric Shanower’s remarkable epic about the Trojan War, which is currently in a “Troilus and Cressida”-inspired sequence. It’s gorgeous, gripping and meticulously researched, not to mention violent and sexy and all that other Homeric stuff. Not-quite-suitable-for-work preview over at Time.com, of all places. Also this week on the Shanower front: the first issue of “The Marvelous Land of Oz,” his and Skottie Young’s follow-up to their surprise hit adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

* ASSAULT ON NEW OLYMPUS PROLOGUE #1

“Agents of ATLAS” is about to move over to “Incredible Hercules” as a backup feature in preparation for a relaunch at some point; in the meantime, we’ve got this one-shot lead-in to the next big storyline in IncHerc, which also involves Spider-Man. Preview here. Also out this week, X-MEN VS. AGENTS OF ATLAS #2, another component of Marvel’s Really Guys Just Try Agents of ATLAS, It’s Good, Honest initiative.

* THE GREAT TEN #1

Yeah, maybe it’d have been better to launch this miniseries three years ago, when there was still some heat attached to the Grant Morrison/J.G. Jones-created Chinese super-team from their appearances in “52.” (Although they’ve turned up a few times since then, most recently in the “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” animated-series comic,) of all places.) This is not DC’s first attempt at a Great Ten project, either, but I’m interested to see what Tony Bedard and Scott McDaniel do with them.

*LIKE A DOG

Zak Sally is probably best known as the former bass player of Low, but he’s also an accomplished cartoonist with a relatively small bibliography; like a certain number of gifted artists, he is his own harshest critic. This hardcover collects pretty much everything he’s published other than “Sammy the Mouse” and the third volume of “Recidivist,” as well as a fascinating eight-page afterword (handwritten in tiny text) in which Sally discusses the peculiar circumstances of his cartooning career and his particular displeasure with many of these pieces. Preview.

* STRANGE TALES #3

The final issue of Marvel’s latest experiment in letting indie types play in their sandbox, including the conclusion of Peter Bagge’s “Incorrigible Hulk,” plus work by Becky Cloonan, Max Cannon, Paul Hornschemeier and Stan Sakai.

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