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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – October 13: Strange Tales, Bruce Wayne and the Funny Frankenstein All Return

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

KEY
* Pete Best
^ Klaus Voormann
@ Murray the K
¢ Billy Preston
% Yoko Ono

^ AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #645
Mark Waid and Paul Azaceta’s “Origin of the Species” continues to roll toward its conclusion. Preview. Also this week: the fourth and final issue of Jen Van Meter and Javier Pulido’s thoroughly enjoyable “Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat.” Preview. Get it.
* BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5
Given that this issue is running more than a month late (and seems to have knocked the rest of the “Return of Bruce Wayne” Mexican train over too), you’d think that Ryan Sook would have drawn the whole thing. Apparently, he didn’t. He’s a terrific artist, but I wish publishers would resist the temptation to solicit anything he draws until it’s actually done. Preview. Get it.

¢ @ % CASANOVA #4
Your Matt Fraction comic of the week #1, reprinting, colorizing and generally buffing up the original Image presentation, as drawn by Gabriel Bá. I thought the text feature in #3 was brave and bracing, by the way. Preview. Get it.

% ¢ DC COMICS PRESENTS: BRIGHTEST DAY #1
A fat eight-dollar collection of Hawkman and Deadman reprints, including some interesting stuff–work by Neil Gaiman, Scott Kolins and Teddy Kristiansen, among others. Get it.

@ DICK BRIEFER’S FRANKENSTEIN VOL. 1
Back in late 1940, Briefer launched a “Frankenstein” feature in “Prize Comics,” a horror serial in which Dr. Frankenstein’s monster–now calling himself by his creator’s name–wreaked havoc. In 1945, he returned to the character in the “Frankenstein” series reprinted here, which was played for giggles. And in 1952, he went back to the scary version. I like the funny version most, although I’ve barely gotten to see any of them; looking forward to this.

% FOOTNOTES IN GAZA
The paperback edition of one of the best books to come out last year, this hefty Joe Sacco volume has gone curiously unread by a lot of people I know that I suspect would get a lot out of it. Is the problem that it sounds “depressing” to describe it as being about Sacco traveling to Gaza to investigate the circumstances of a pair of massacres that happened fifty years ago? Would it help to point out that it’s also fascinating and riveting and incredibly well told, and that Sacco is the only person I know doing comics reportage that has to be drawn rather than happening to be drawn? It’s twenty bucks well spent–not just “good for you” but really great. Get it.

^ INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #31
Your Matt Fraction comic of the week #2, this one drawn by Salvador Larrocca–I’m still getting over that “hellooooo, Mr. Bond” scene from last issue. Preview. Get it.

% ^ * JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA 80-PAGE GIANT 2010
Bill Sienkiewicz interior art alert! (At least a little, anyway, it looks like. After that “Mad Hatter” one-shot that Keith Giffen ended up pencilling, I’ll believe it when I see it.) Six bucks. Get it.

@ KNIGHT & SQUIRE #1
Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton’s “British Batman and Robin” series–apparently featuring 100 new British heroes and villains–begins. It looks very silly, in a really good way. Preview. Get it.

^ ¢ NEW AVENGERS #5
Bendis/Immonen. Preview. In the dept. of quasi-Avengers titles, Paul Tobin and Scott Koblish’s “Marvel Adventures Super Heroes” #7, with Sub-Mariner et al., also comes out this week. Preview. Get it.

% @ STRANGE TALES II #1
The newest incarnation of this venerable Marvel title is more like “Strange Tales VIII,” but let that pass: it’s a sequel to last year’s version, i.e. indie-associated cartoonists doing short gag strips about Marvel characters. And while I’d actually kind of rather see a few of them playing it straight, I’m not going to dis any comic book that includes work from Kate Beaton, Rafael Grampa, Nick Gurewitch, Kevin Huizenga, Dash Shaw, Jillian Tamaki… Preview.

^ ¢ THOR #616
Your Matt Fraction comic of the week #3, this time with Pasqual Ferry. Metal! Preview. Get it.

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