The Beat Staff has been…busy lately with two events going on and the Ultimate Universe coming to an end (sort of) this week. All of us that write here at The Beat live at the Stately Beat Manor where our heads are stuck in the printed page from early morning to late in the day. However, we’ve had some…distractions as of late. We have had a series of unwelcome guests from the pages of these…comic books come and crash our party — or unwavering focus on delivering the news delivered straight to our astute fans and readers. Unfortunately, our newest guest did the unthinkable when he made his way over to the Beat Manor. His name — Matter-Eater Lad of the Legion of Superheroes. We noticed our comics supply dwindling over the past few weeks, and in truth, we we’re happy with it. Here at the Manor, the Beat Staff has been running low on space to store their books — but when crucial high priced back issues were missing from the pile, we had a feeling that something was wrong. After a Beat Stakeout we caught one of the weirdest legionnaires in the act of literally devouring expensive older issues. We took him to small claims court and relinquished a large part of the Legion’s monetary reserves. All’s well that ends well — here’s our top comics picks for this week.
Writer: G. Willow Wilson & Marguerite Bennett Artist: Jorge Molina Cover: Jim Cheung
Marvel’s Mightiest Women finally get their own explosive series! In a secluded corner of the Battleworld, an island nation is fiercely protected by a team of Avengers the likes of which has only ever been glimpsed before..Fighting to protect the small sliver of their world that’s left, the Amazing A-FORCE stands shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to take on the horde!
No single issue this week has been buzzed about more than A-Force #1. The comic has been the headline of more than a couple of fascinating news stories, and was supposed to be announced on The View. Afterwards, a piece from Jill Lepore via The New Yorker lit the internet on fire. Now, the comic is finally here written by the incredibly well respected author G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett featuring the art of Jorge Molina. The comic is a tie-in to Marvel’s new Secret Wars event, that fetures various Avengers females teaming up together in a certain region within Battleworld. The pedigree of the tale alone should allow it to become more than just a silly news story — but it’s up to the quality of the book to capture the attention of the readers.
Oh Killstrike #1
Writer: Max Bemis Artist: Logan Faerber Colorist: Juan Manuel Tumburus Letters: Jim Campbell
WHAT’S TO LOVE: Say Anything frontman Max Bemis writes a love letter to 1990s superhero comics in this tongue-in-cheek homage to the era, featuring the art stylings of Logan Faerber – reminiscent of works by Chip Zdarsky and Jeff Lemire. Much like Polarity, Oh, Killstrike is very personal to Bemis: It’s about a new dad who loves comics from his youth. Part twisted buddy comedy, part profound coming-of-age story, we could not stop smiling when reading Oh, Killstrike. WHAT IT IS: Jared, a new father, fears parenthood. An old comics fan, he turns to them for comfort. But when he unwittingly lets loose his favorite character, Killstrike – a single minded, vengeance loving anti-hero – onto the world, Jared must find a way to send him back before he harms all the people he loves the most. But before that happens, Killstrike leads Jared on a quest of self-discovery to make him realize the kid who loved this character is not the man he has become.
In the wake of the end of the Ultimate Universe, we chose to look at something a little different — Oh Killstrike #1 from Boom Studios. The series has an incredibly enticing premise, featuring a vengeance seeking 90’s rebel attempting bothering the life of Jared, a brand new father attempting to escape his stressful via the escapism of comic books. Killstrike is on the difficult new quest of acclimating Jared to his upcoming quest of being able to cope with a brand new kid. Author Max Bemis has written some interesting stories with titles like Evil Empire and Polarity. He’s joined by Logan Faerber — an alumni of Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time, and Regular Show — this story is a departure from the rest of Faerber’s works.
Brandon Schatz’s Pick:
Optic Nerve #14
Optic Nerve 14 brings Adrian Tomine’s multifaceted, expressive cartooning to a new peak with two stories and a bonus autobiographical strip. “Killing and Dying” is about a father’s struggles to be supportive: it centers on parenthood, mortality, and stand-up comedy. “Intruders” depicts a man obsessively trying to find his way back to a former life by revisiting places he once knew. Optic Nerve 14 will appear on the twentieth anniversary of Tomine’s beloved comic book series, in whose pages the landmark graphic novel Shortcomings was first published. Each story in Optic Nerve 14 reveals new dimensions to Tomine’s unique visual sensibility and complex, character-driven stories.
A new issue of Optic Nerve is a rare and beautiful thing to behold. Adrian Tomine is one of those fancy-pants comic creators who make the bulk of their “money” doing “art” for the “New Yorker” instead of rolling in the fat stacks of cash that exist in the comic book industry. As a result, issues of Optic Nerve occur few and far in-between – but the results are always stunning. Everyone in Optic Nerve seems to be screaming just behind the eyes whether they know it or not, as they claw and attempt to find perfection in flawed worlds. Equally uncomfortable and exquisitely beautiful, this is the event comic I wait each and every year (or two) for.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have stacks of comics in boxes to ignore as I read through this before my store opens.