After an arduous week scraping gum off The Stately Beat Manor ceiling and cleaning crushed PBR cans out of the infinity pool, the Beat Staffers were ready for a week long nap when suddenly, Lobo blew the hinges off the long-locked bathroom door, howling with anger and flexing his arm hairs threateningly. His bushy locks trailed in the wind as he adv-he adva-heeee…
“Is this thing on? Are we live?”
“I thought radio piracy died out in the 80s.”
“Catch the wave!”
The Beat’s feed has been taken over! What dastardly fiends could have done this? What uncouth monsters could have possibly hacked into The Beat’s state of the art security?! It must have been an inside job…it must have been the work of someone we all trusted…Alex Lu, how could you?! Who are these intruders?! Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare?! Rocket Girl and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare? The Comic Archive‘s Mike Furth, too?! What do they want with us? They want to give us their pulls? And they’re going to do it through…through video?
Brandon Montclare’s and Amy Reeder’s Picks
Silk #6, Doctor Fate #3, Weirdworld #3, Secret Wars: Secret Love #1, Ms. Marvel HC #1, Annihilator HC
Mike Furth’s Picks
Invincible #122, Trees #12, Ms. Marvel HC #1, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl TPB #1, Invader Zim #2
Alex L.’s Picks
Power Up #2, Weirdworld #3, Island #2
Alexander J.’s Picks:
Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain’s Rai has been one of the best things about the new Valiant Universe. It’s refreshing to see a series with but one artist take the time for a slow burn. The comic is back with a brand new arc entitled “The Orphan.” Those following the series should know exactly why this new storyline bears the name, which carries quite a bit of dramatic weight in everything that Rai has been building too so far. This title is finally venturing out of New Japan and touching down on the Earth. With Rai currently roaming the existence of 4001 A.D., The Orphan seems him exploring what the rest of the Valiant Universe will look like within the lens of the futuristic landscape. With Matt Kindt carefully writing the somber and passionate titular character alongside the wonderful artwork of Clayton Crain, this series is something to watch in the comics landscape right now.
BATTLE FOR NEW JAPAN was only the beginning! This summer, the war for the future has yet to be won… In order to defeat Father, Rai must marshal the forces of Earth and begin the long journey back toward home in THE ORPHAN – an all-new story arc beginning in RAI #9! Jump on board here this August as Valiant superstars Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain return to the year 4001 with an all-new volume of the acclaimed series chronicling the future of the Valiant Universe!
RAI #9 (ALL NEW ARC! “THE ORPHAN” – PART 1)
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover A by CLAYTON CRAIN
Cover B by RYAN SOOK
Cover C by RILEY ROSSMO
Cover D by RYAN LEE
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY
$3.99 | 32 pgs. T+ | COMING IN AUGUST!
Book of Death #2
Book of Death #2 from Valiant is finally upon us. In many ways, the series actively functions as the reverse of Valiant’s last big event series: The Valiant. With the The Valiant being revealed as the Geomancer, the Book of the Geomancer could be the only thing between destruction of the entire new Valiant world and nothingness. As noted by the solicit text seen below, this series still contains the writing of author Robert Venditti with art from both Robert Gill and Doug Braithwaite. This is the last opportunity for the heroes of the Valiant Universe to take a stand at whatever is causing the natural decay of the Valiant world. The cliffhanger from last issue adds a few more wrinkles into the story as well which would possibly prove to complicate the heroes of team Unity dispatching the new threat even further.
Be here on August 19th as Valiant superstars Robert Venditti, Robert Gill, and Doug Braithwaite detonate the next earth-shaking installment of Valiant’s colossal summer event in BOOK OF DEATH #2 (of 4) – featuring covers by Cary Nord (X-O MANOWAR), Clayton Crain(RAI), Kano (THE DELINQUENTS), Pere Perez (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), and Paolo Rivera (THE VALIANT)! Featuring the last stands of Valiant icons, the first appearances of all-new heroes, and tantalizing clues of future events, BOOK OF DEATH is the gateway to the next decade of the Valiant Universe and beyond!
BOOK OF DEATH #2 (of 4)
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by ROBERT GILL and DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by CARY NORD (JUN151591)
Cover B by CLAYTON CRAIN (JUN151592)
Cover C by KANO (JUN151593)
Valiant Icons Variant by PERE PEREZ (JUN151594)
Artist Variant by PAOLO RIVERA (JUN151595)
$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On Sale AUGUST 19 (FOC – 7/27/15)
Matthew Jent’s Pick
Secret Wars: Secret Love #1
Writers & Artists: Various
When worlds collide, can their love surviv? Robbie Reyes/Kamala Khan! Typhoid Mary/Karen Page/Matt Murdock! And many more secret love affairs…
I’m a sucker for romance comic parodies/satires/revivals. It’s the genre I’d most love to see brought back and done non-ironically, but for now I’ll settle for an anthology-type book that puts beloved Marvel characters through romance tropes.
Edie Nugent’s Picks
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Fiona Staples
Archie’s reboot at the hands of writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples has gotten a lot of well-deserved ink over the past few months. In addition to re-tooling the stories and world of Archie for the modern era — Archie broke the fourth wall in issue one: asking fans to tweet him advice regarding his break-up with Betty — the character design was radically updated. In the capable hands of Staples, though, it feels fresh rather than forced. These characters are unmistakably the Riverdale-gang, and the art style feels like a natural evolution: no small feat for a look that has barely changed in 40 years.
In issue #2 Waid manages to similarly breathe new life into the long-running gags of klutzy Archie: our hero attempts and fails at many jobs, trying to earn enough money to fix his beater of a car. These misadventures lead the redheaded teen — and us — to our first glimpse of Veronica, bringing us that much closer to one of the most famous love-triangles in comic history. By way of contrast, we get to actually meet Betty and learn something of her inner life. More plot point than character in issue #1, in issue #2 we watch Betty navigate her newly single-status and attempt to celebrate her birthday without her long-standing BF/BFF by her side.
Invader Zim #2
Writer: Jhonen Vasquez, Eric Trueheart
Artist: Aaron Alexovich
One of the first indie comic titles I ever read was Jhonen Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. I loved it instantly, and even wrote a term paper in college on the influence of H.P. Lovecraft in JTHM (spoiler alert: Cthulhu’s tendrils are all over that series, literally and figuratively). Naturally, when I heard Vasquez had been tapped to helm a cartoon series for Nickelodeon I assumed it had to be a joke. I was never happier to be wrong, as the resulting show, Invader Zim, was a thing of beauty. Following the adventures of Zim, a bumbling alien entity consigned to Earth as a punishment for undermining the invasion operations of his race, the show was subversively entertaining in a way the network only barely allowed. Zim was canceled mid-way through it’s second season.
This makes the comic book continuation of the series, which debuted last month, a welcome surprise to fans of the cult-hit. Vasquez teams with writer Eric Trueheart and artist Aaron Alexovich, who both were involved with the now 14-year-old TV series, on the comic and it pays off in a big way. While Issue #1 had some catch-up to play, Issue #2 plays much like an unaired episode of the show: pitting Zim against his long-suffering nemesis Dib on a chase through the “spaceside attractions” of the Universe. Will Dib foil Zim’s plan, though he has no idea what that plan actually is? What strange things will GIR eat along the way? Will mini-moose make another appearance? Grabbing issue #2 is the only way to find out, earthbabies.
Doctor Who: Four Doctors #2
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Neil Edwards
Is it any surprise this shows up as one of my picks of the week? It shouldn’t be. I’ve been foaming at the mouth for this crossover for literally months now. And with good reason: it’s written by long-time Who scribe Paul Cornell, who has written for almost every type of Doctor Who serial format imaginable: TV, radio, novel, and comic. Cornell’s TV Who work has been twice-nominated for a Hugo award, and his pedigree as a long-time Whovian — writing well-regarded fan-fiction in the years the show was off the air — is unquestioned. This combination of talent and an understanding of what fan service, the guiding principle of any “multi-Doctor event,” really means makes him uniquely qualified to take on four Doctors over five issues.
I talked with Cornell about this series in an interview for The Beat published last week to coincide with the release of issue #1 . Last week’s installment gave us all four Doctors right up front and didn’t drag out the meeting of the central three (Doctors 10-12). Instead, we were treated to eight wonderful pages of Doctors arguing, insulting, and talking over each other. Issue #2 picks up right where the previous issue ended: with the Doctor’s and their companions facing a squad of Reapers, an alien species Cornell created for “Father’s Day”, his 2005 episode of Doctor Who. Neil Edwards’ art is a lovely balance between photo-realism and caricature, which makes it just about perfect to animate a television show-turned comic series. Will our Doctor’s be able to stop squabbling long enough to evade the Reapers? And why is this multi-Doctor event such a threat to the Universe? Issue #2 will answer at least one of those questions.
Zachary Clemente’s Picks
Giant Days #6
Writer: John Allison Artist: Lisa Treiman
Final issue! As everyone buckles down for exams, we get a good look into Susan’s mysterious past.
Giant Days has been an actual blessing in the form of a monthly. Delightful, charming, gorgeously illustrated – there’s nothing wrong with Giant Days other than the fact that it’s ending! I’m excited (yes saddened) to say goodbye to this book yet thoroughly excited what may yet come next from Allison and Treiman, either collaboratively or elsewhere. God speed Giant Days, I’ll miss ye fondly.
Creators: Emma Ríos, Ludroe, Simon Roy, Brandon Graham, Will Kirkby, Miguel A. Woodward MD, Robin Bougie
SECOND ISSUE OF THE OVERSIZED COMICS MAGAZINE! This issue introduces SIMON ROY’S (PROPHET, Tiger Lung) tale of cannibals in space.
I have lots of feelings about the American comics publication method and how awful it sometimes be for creators and readers alike. Island is, to me, the proof that other methods can exist inside a publisher that normally sticks to the trend of monthly issues to collected paperback trades. Full of marvelous, ongoing work from Emma Ríos, Simon Roy, Ludroe, and Brendan Graham – don’t miss this overside mag rad. It’s something old, something new, something borrowed, and in full color.
BRPD: Hell on Earth #134
Deep breaths, everyone. I think the intruders are gone…for now.
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.