Last week some of our most elite staffers that contribute to The Beat found themselves in an impossible situation. When our entire team worked on apprehending Spider-Man rogue Mysterio, he suddenly opened a portal to a brand new comic book world — one very familiar to those who are acquainted to the work of Jack Kirby…that’s right…Dinosaur World. We were Eager to hunt down our lost friends and unite the entirety of Team Beat, the other group of us tracked down the Spider-Man villain and went after our friends! When we arrived, we greeted the missing staffers who were all dressed in caveman garb uttering something about the new friend dinosaur — just then the Devil Dinosaur reared his head above us and we panicked. How was the other group of Beat Staff supposed to assume that this dinosaur was friendly? After our dino-dispute concluded things worked out for the best — we slaughtered the local wildlife and had a Beat-approved dinner. Devil Dinosaur doesn’t read comics…so the Devil Dinosaur wasn’t able to contribute to the pull list this week, luckily our battered Beat members had a Diamond list handy. Here’s our staff picks for the week:
Cavemen Beat Staff Picks:
John Flood #1
Writer: Justin Jordan Artist: Jorge Coelho
What’s to Love: Justin Jordan exploded onto the comics scene just four short years ago with The Strange Talent of Luther Strode and caught everyone by surprise. Now he brings us John Flood, a series that combines the metaphysical with the procedural in a way we think is really fresh. Joining him is Jorge Coelho, whose fantastic work on Polarity and Sleepy Hollow made him a BOOM! favorite. Perfect for fans of Desolation Jones and Sherlock Holmes.
John Flood is a man who doesn’t know if he is dreaming or not. The Caveman Staffers found solace in his tale of woe. They are also interested in Justin Jordan following up his last project at BOOM! Studios entitled Deep State and the recently concluded Luthor Strode comics. Jorge Coelho is rendering the dream-like interiors of the comics offering a sobering look at a man trying to acclimate with the brand new world around him.
This Damned Band #1
Writer: Paul Cornell Artist: Tony Parker
This August, from Paul Cornell (Wolverine, Action Comics) and Tony Parker (Mass Effect: Foundation) comes a darkly hilarious adventure of black magic and classic rock! This Damned Band is another great piece for emotionally and time distraught people!
This one is a period piece about a band as depicted by writer Paul Cornell. The author is using a documentary style inspired by single-camera comedies like Parks & Recreation to tell this story. Also, on his very own website, Paul Cornell dropped this incredible quote; “Like several prominent musicians of that era, some of the band like to intimate that they, you know, worship Satan. But then they discover they’re actually, you know, worshiping Satan.” Count us in.
Brandon Schatz’ Pick:
Bowery Boys: Our Fathers HC
Writer: Cory Levine Artists: Ian Bertram & Brent McKee
When his father is framed for murder, immigrant Nikolaus McGovern rallies a motley crew of street youths in a rip-roaring coming-of-age adventure based on the period history of antebellum New York City! Against a backdrop of rampant political corruption, vicious street gangs, nascent labor reform, and ardent xenophobia, can Niko and his friends triumph in a life-or-death battle against their oppressors-or will they succumb to the engines of socioeconomic progress?
There are some books that I want to buy just to seem smart. I think we all do this, to some extent. We know our time constraints, and we know the type of things we enjoy, but for whatever reason, we purchase that one item that would generally remain firmly ensconced outside of both circles because it seems important. I tend to be this way about a lot of prose novels, and to a lesser extent, certain high-minded comics. There are books that I’ve owned for years upon years that I always intended to read, but would fall by the wayside because hey, these Matt Fraction stories aren’t going to re-read themselves, you know? Anyway.
This book is the kind of story that I would normally purchase because the premise seems interesting and the writer is sound, but I would never get around to reading, because it usually takes another genre or two thrown into the mix for me to really dig in deep on a period piece. I should note, this is never a slight at the writers of said material. A book in this style could send people into fits of cathartic weeping after the reader casually glances at a written sentence, and I would probably find a different way to spend my time, because I’m more curious about the four seasons of Hart of Dixie that are on Netflix. It’s all wiring. That said, Ian Bertram draws this book, and you guys. You guys. Ian Bertram is the business. He’s one of the next big artists. At times he reminds me of both Frank Quitely and Rafeal Grampá, and that’s just something I can’t pass up, ever. So yes. This is the book I’m most excited to get into this week. An artist gentle coaxing me out of my comfort zones and bringing me to some quality writing that I’m sure to enjoy.
The power of comics.
Zachary Clemente’s Picks:
My Hero Academia Vol. 1
By: Kouhei Horikoshi
I actually don’t know much about this manga, but at San Diego Comic-Con and onward, I’ve heard nothing but incredible things. Touted to be on par with the FINALLY licensed One-Punch Man, making it the the second-best superhero comic coming out from any country or any publisher (that’s right, I said it), I know that My Hero Academia is going to be one of those series I just can’t get enough of.
Assassination Classroom Vol. 5
By: Yusei Matsui
This manga seriously cannot come out fast enough. Assassination Classroom follows the story of a class of social outcasts and misfits who find themselves being trained to kill their own teacher: a goofy tentacled creature who can move at Mach 20 and is threatening to destroy the Earth in a year. I absolutely love this manga so far; the fight scenes are well executed, every character is distinct and well-motivated, the humor has a wonderful range, and it’s a very morally complex story riddled with great twists and turns. On top of that, their strange sensei is a incredible teacher, ensuring to remain involved with each of his students cum assassins on an individual level, working with them to help them not only overcome their educational perils, but the real-life perils of his own existence. It’s really really good and each volume has a wonderfully attractive cover design that looks great on a shelf.
Yeah, I only picked manga and I’m very okay with that. Best part is, since manga is published through the book market in the US, these books are available TODAY (so long as we post on Tuesday!) which means you have no excuse.
We Stand On Guard #2
Matthew Jent’s Pick:
The Fox #5
Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Dean Haspiel
Alex L’s Pick:
The Wicked + The Divine #13
Writer: Kieron Gillen Art: Tula Lotay
Colors: Matthew Wilson Letters: Clayton Cowles
There’s one god missing in our story. It’s time to finally meet Tara, Goddess of God-knows. Also, meet TULA LOTAY (SUPREME: BLUE ROSE) who joins Team WicDiv as the second guest artist in our Eisner Nominated Series. We had to mention the Eisner nom. We are shameless.
In a week with when TW+TD comes out it’s no choice. No choice at all.
Full disclosure: I’m going to shamelessly plug the hell out of this book every time I get the opportunity, but this month’s issue is particularly special. Not only is the wonderful Tula Lotay this month’s guest artist, but it’s also unlucky very-goth issue #13 and it’s also the first in-story appearance of Tara, the final unseen God of this cycle’s Recurrence, when ancient deities from various human cultures reincarnate as teenage musicians.
Tara, being one part Lady GaGa three parts insert-most-hated-celebrity-of-the-moment, has been name dropped and character assassinated so many times over the course of the past 12 issues, so here’s hoping that she lives up to her reputation i.e. being an egotistical narcissistic celebrity we can only dream of becoming.
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.