This week at The Beat our staff members were particularly swamped with new books — between Archie comics ending their titular title and DC in the midst of a huge line-wide reboot, we had our work cut out for us at the Stately Beat Manor. After a hearty week of article writin’, when we heard that Ulu Vakk (A.K.A. Color King) was in town, we actually decided to go seek out his company. Vakk’s color ability is a scream to utilize in public. He’s always turning random things different colors! Unfortunately, he went a bit too far when he toyed with our comics, making us believe that the coloring of the individual issues of some our favorite collections were wrong. However, the act that which actively banished the Color King from the Stately Beat Manor was when he spoiled this week’s Archie #666. Folks, avoid these spoilers and be sure to pick up all of our titles in the upcoming staff picks:
Writer: Tom DeFalco Art: Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz, Pat and Tim Kennedy
On the eve of the game-changing ARCHIE #1, an all-star cast of Riverdale’s finest creators join forces to celebrate one of the longest-running comic series ever in the much-loved Archie style! Take a look back at Archie’s wonderful life and the many lives he’s lived in a zany, heartfelt and hilarious adventure that will be a must-have for fans old and new—and a can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind collector’s item. A dazzling journey through the world of Archie with plenty of winks and nods to what’s come before, ARCHIE #666 caps off a legendary run of comic excellence while opening the door to the next thrilling chapter—featuring six covers celebrating Archie’s vibrant history.
Even if this issue was spoiled by the Color King, this comic is worthy of critical reception for a number of reasons — the first being that the title is the last entry into the Archie franchise after the titular character took a bullet for Kevin Keller. The second including that it’s now time to reflect on the history of the character before the massive relaunch happens with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.
Secret Wars #3
Writer: Jonathan Hickman Penciller: Esad Ribic
ALL THE DEVILS DANCE!
I hate to be a Marvel zombie, but even the Color King can’t get enough of Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman. The series has been breaking some new ground in the Marvel Universe, really taking advantage of how to bend mythology that is already established into incredible new directions. Let’s see if this newest issue of the event can live up to the praise.
Writer: James Robinson Artist: Greg Hinkle
When acclaimed comics author JAMES ROBINSON (Starman, Fantastic Four) is hired to write a reboot of the 1940s action hero Airboy, he’s reluctant to do yet another Golden Age reboot. Just what the hell has happened to his career–?! His marriage?! His life?! Hey, it’s nothing that a drink can’t fix.
Having read the first installment of Airboy, I can say for all intensive purposes that this comic is not for children. It is however, for fans of James Robinson, who has had a very interesting career from coming back to comics after his legendary Starman run in the 90’s. The story is all about him breaking the landscape of comics in a really interesting way. I guarantee that this first issue will include at least a few aspects of the creator that you didn’t see coming.
Public Service Announcement: DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN NEAR THIS COMIC BOOK!
Samurai Jack #20
Writer: Jim Zub Art: Andy Suriano
FINAL ISSUE! A scribe named Mako has heard many strange stories of the great hero known only as ‘Jack.’ Mako’s journey to record the truth of the samurai reveals a fascinating look at his legacy and possible future: Jack the King. Jack the General. Jack the Legend.
Because I had an interview with artist Andy Suriano this week and have one with writer Jim Zub next week, I was privileged enough to receive an advance copy of the last issue of the newest iteration of Samurai Jack. It does not disappoint, great for fans of the comic, but also perfectly suitable for fans of the animated series, even if they skipped the previous nineteen issues. It impressively offers closure without necessarily being a final chapter. Highly recommended.
Batman Beyond #1
Writer: Dan Jurgens Art: Bernard Chang
At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn’t the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that’s already won.
The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home – or further down the road of disaster!
Admittedly, I stayed away from all the DC weeklies. After 52 everything seemed gimmicky. From my understanding, future Tim Drake has taken over because DC can’t stand to have an Irish Batman. However this week I’m also not looking to do a ton of scrutinizing reading, so the more familiar the better. Jurgens and Chang fit the bill. From the preview this will be some of Bernard Chang’s sharpest work since Deadman. The world of Batman Beyond has been one of those things that feels fresh while at the same time being easy to connect to a world you already know and I can’t wait to see how this creative team ventures through it.
BAT MITE #1 (OF 6)
BIZARRO #1 (OF 6)
THE ART OF DISNEY/PIXAR`S INSIDE OUT HC
THE LEAGUE OF REGRETTABLE SUPERHEROES
[Are these actual heroes from the Golden Age? So they might be in the public domain?!]
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.