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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – November 10: New York, London, Paris, Asgard

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

* “Everyone’s entitled to two, aren’t they?”
^ “I fought the war for your sort.”
% “Turned left at Greenland.”

The “Big Time” initiative (in which this series moves to a consistent four-dollar cover price and a twice-a-month frequency, with at least 30 pages of content each issue) begins. Dan Slott writes, Humberto Ramos draws, and Paul Tobin and Clayton Henry are responsible for the Spider-Girl backup. Preview.
A three-issue videogame spinoff written and drawn (collectively, in a Dupuy-and-Berberian sort of way, supposedly) by Karl Kerschl and Cameron Stewart. I can’t quite bring myself to care about the subject matter — the last good videogame-inspired comic book may have been Atari Force back in the Stone Age — but Kerschl’s “Flash” serial in Wednesday Comics was absolutely stellar, and Stewart’s been doing impressive work left and right, so this is worth a look for sure.

Grant Morrison, Lee Garbett and Pere Perez. I could have sworn he was back already, but perhaps this time we’ll figure out how he got into the fireplace in Batman & Robin last week and why his return doesn’t actually herald the cataclysmic conclusion of the whole rang-dang-doo multeyeverse (thank you, Dave Sim). Preview.

The first American volume = the first two French volumes of Jacques Tardi’s semi-parodic “adventuress in the weird Paris of 1911″ series, soon to be a Luc Besson motion picture.

I already said, “thank you, Dave Sim.”

Speaking of thanking Dave Sim, this is the second volume of Bryan Talbot’s Grandville series of Victorian/Edwardian-era steampunk anthropomorphic Holmesian ultraviolent in-jokey police procedurals, or whatever the hell you want to call this. I thought the first one suffered from severe conceptual dogpiling, but Talbot’s stuff is always at least ambitious.

Wrapping up the reprints of the Grant Morrison-era JLA, including the final story of the main run (with its amazing way-over-the-top conclusion in which everyone on Earth becomes a superhero), the first three issues of JLA Classified (which are effectively a prequel to Seven Soldiers and also feature the Squire prominently), and the excellent Frank Quitely-drawn JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel. Probably the best of the four volumes. Also out this week in Morrison reprint action: Vampirella Masters Series Vol. 1, a $25 paperback collecting the Morrison/Mark Millar run. And Grant Morrison’s 18 Days is a $25 hardcover with material he wrote for the allegedly-in-pre-production animated series based on the Mahabarata, extensively illustrated; I’m not entirely sure what’s in it, and am not convinced from what I’ve heard that it includes much more of his work than was in that Virgin Comics ashcan a couple of years back.

The first issue of this Paul Cornell/Jimmy Broxton miniseries about the British Batman & Robin wasn’t quite as loltastic as I’d hoped, but I’m still curious to see how it goes. That cover looks rather Hellboyish, too. Preview.

Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen conclude the Dr. Strange/Doctor Voodoo arc (teensy preview), and Bendis continues his oral history of the Avengers, which I kind of hope will ultimately cover the entire span of the series. Also this week: Bendis and Alan Davis’s Avengers Prime #4 (preview) and Paul Tobin and Scott Koblish’s Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #8 (preview).

Oh God, the ’70s. $20 for the hardcover that is smaller but supposedly has some extra material, $40 for the fancy giant-sized facsimile. I remember this as being better than anyone would have guessed it would be, although that’s not the highest bar; it helps that it’s by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, who really knew how to draw a heavyweight champ.

% THOR #617
Matt Fraction/Pasqual Ferry. It looks from the preview like Iron Man plays a significant role in this one. Also out this week: 47 other comics with Thor in them.

^ T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1
I have zero interest in this property beyond a couple of Wally Wood and Steve Ditko-drawn stories from the ’60s, but I like Nick Spencer’s Jimmy Olsen backup in Action Comics enough that I want to see what he does with this. Art by Cafu and Bit. Maybe if it does well enough they’ll be able to afford first names. Preview.

Lars Martinson’s Xeric-winning tale of an American twentysomething teaching in rural Japan (and suffering from severe culture shock) continues in a nicely designed little hardcover.

Stéphane Blanquet draws this uncharacteristically kid-friendly, Toy Story-gone-sour tale of a secret sanctuary for abused toys invaded by a pair of kids who haven’t always treated their stuffed animals as kindly as they ought to have. It’s the first in Fantagraphics’ new all-ages hardcover line of translated Euro-comix; David B.’s is up next.

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