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Team Comics Beat, the world’s most important comic book website ever to grace the internet, sought out adventure and fun after a hard work week.  However, we were graced with the appearance of Micky Moran. As soon as he entered the halls within the residence of the Stately Beat Manor we knew that he was none-other-than the alter ego of Miracleman/Marvelman himself: staffers squealed, work became unfinished, and food was left out. Moran immediately wanted browse our collection of his stories from decades past, and was shocked to find some original versions of the valuable Alan Moore stories. Unfortunately, he began to spoil the upcoming new/old Neil Gaiman reprints before the younger members of Team Beat had even cracked open the pages. After much discussion among ourselves, we decided to offer Moran the opportunity to kick off our very own Beat Staff article (after taking our selfies with him of course!) Here’s what he had to say:

Micky Moran’s Picks:

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Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1

Writer: Neil Gaiman Artist: Mark Buckingham Publisher: Marvel

Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham’s Age of Miracles begins! Two years have passed since the decimation of London. Miracleman presides over mankind’s Golden Age from atop Olympus. Pilgrims climb its miles-high peak to petition their new god. Each carries hopes that are pure. The motives they conceal, however…Miracleman explores Infraspace in the opening chapter of “Retrieval,” but just what, or who, is he looking for? Including material originally presented in MIRACLEMAN (1985) #17, plus bonus content.

When I asked Moran if he was cheating by including his own comic book adventures, he didn’t seem to care too much. He simply regarded his time with author Neil Gaiman & Mark Buckingham as a period that rivaled the time he spent with Alan Moore…and all of the artists in his run. We cannot endorse Moran’s claims, but are extremely excited to see how Gaiman follows up on Moore’s final chapter which served as a proverbial mic drop from Moore — perfectly encapsulating Miracleman‘s journey from the first issue to everything that Gaiman built. While this is a must for readers already sucked into the original saga, it’s a curiousity how the issue is going to function as a #1 issue since it does seem to be following the brand new status quota implemented by Moore if the solicitation is to be believed. With this killer creative team, it’s gonna be hard to beat this title during the upcoming week…even if the issue is priced at a steep $4.99.

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Imperium #8

Writer: Joshua Dysart Artist: Scot Eaton Publisher: Valiant

You never saw this one coming? ‘BROKEN ANGELS’ reaches its unbelievable climax as DIVINITY takes hold! Toyo Harada is the most powerful mortal man in the world. To build his imperium, he has collected monsters. Now he comes face to face with a god. Confronted by the unfathomable depths of the man who is no longer a man, who can only be called Divinity, Harada plunges his mind into infinity. Can even the unstoppable Harada survive the fall?

Watching Divinity interact with team Unity within the pages of his own series was enthralling — but watching the hero battle with the villains of Imperium is remarkable. The new addition to the Valiant Universe is one of the most unique characters added to a shared superhero Universe in quite sometime, as a person of color granted the ability of a God lying about the Australian Outback, Divinity is certainly an anomaly in superhero comics. Watching the character take arms against (evil Professor Xavier) Toyo Harada last issue was worth the price of admission alone. This quick two-issue arc was an interesting direction to take this psychological thriller in, with the past arc barely introducing the team before series author Joshua Dysart drenched the comic full of wonderful subterfuge.  


Dave’s Pick: 

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Rachel Rising #36 

Writer/Artist: Terry Moore Publisher: Abstract Studios

Rachel has a heart to heart with the Angel of Death and learns the shocking truth about her connection to Lilith. Once the past is fully revealed to her, Rachel must choose between life and death, and either choice will exact a terrible price.

This is a book that no matter how much it’s talked about isn’t enough. Rachel Rising is one of the most chilling horror stories of the modern era. When Zoe murdered her first victim it never let me put this series down and it’s been one emotional issue after another since. In fact you’ll feel more from one of Terry Moore’s pages than you will most mainstream comics.


Brandon Schatz’s Pick: 

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Plutona #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Emi Lenox Publisher: Image Comics

A brand new heartfelt super-hero series by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Hawkeye) and amazing newcomer EMI LENOX! PLUTONA follows the story of five suburban kids who make a shocking discovery while exploring the woods one day after school…the body of Plutona, the world’s greatest superhero. A dark and heartbreaking journey about friendship and coming of age all through the lens of the superhero genre.

The actual solicitation text for this book features very little beyond the fact that this book is by the creators, so I’m just skipping right over that. What you need to know is this: Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox are building a new superhero story by way of Now & Then or Stand By Me, playing to both of their strengths. The result is sure to be heartfelt and affecting, and one of the best things you’ll read this week. At the very least, you should page through it at the shop, or take a look at some of the preview pages that are here on The Beat. You’ll be glad you did.


Zachary’s Picks:

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8HOUSE: Kiem #3

Writer: Brandon Graham Artist: Xurxo Penalta Publisher: Image

A new 8HOUSE storyline starts this issue with amazingly detailed art by XURXO G. PENALTA as an astral projection soldier is sent on a secret mission.

8HOUSE was announced years ago and excited the crap of out me then – imagine how I feel about it now. The first two issues featured the amazing art by Marian Churchland and now we’re about to get an issue from Penalta – just check out that cover. Blows me the hell away.

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ONE-PUNCH MAN Vol. 1

Writer: ONE Artist: Yusuke Muata Publisher: Viz Media

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?

Okay. ONE-PUNCH MAN is literally the best superhero comic being made today. Forget DC, forget Marvel, this is the real deal. It’s been published like crazy in Japan, is being turned into what will end up being THE anime of the season, and it is FINALLY coming over to the US, thanks to the file folks over at Viz. Genuinely one of the funnest, funniest, and hands-down most action packed comic I’ve read in years, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by not getting this. DO. NOT. PASS. THIS. UP.

and to seal the deal…

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ONE-PUNCH MAN Vol. 2

Writer: ONE Artist: Yusuke Muata Publisher: Image

Yup. Both Volume 1 and 2 drop on the same day. GET IT.


Kyle’s Picks:

A Double Michael DeForge Week!!!

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Lose #7

Writer/Artist: Michael DeForge Publisher: Koyama Press

The multi-award winning Lose series is Michael DeForge’s comics laboratory. The art form is pushed to its limits in these first-time-in-full-color pages. Revel in a cartoonist at the height of his powers exploring the eccentricities of a woman who befriends her dad’s doppelganger, and the realities of a flightless bird/boy hybrid.

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Dressing

Writer/Artist: Michael DeForge Publisher: Koyama Press

Michael DeForge makes comics like no one else. This collection of the cartoonist’s mini-comics, zines, anthology work, and more, is a follow up to the award-winning Very Casual, and shows the artist at the height of his occasionally fever-induced powers.

A prolific artist who is constantly producing work in a variety of media, DeForge is a designer and storyboard artist on the Emmy Award-winning show Adventure Time. One can see hints of that show’s house style filtered through the Lynchian landscapes and otherworldly vistas of DeForge’s vision.

Michael DeForge is consistently hailed in the comics press as “the next Chris Ware”, though to me, he’s the “first Michael DeForge”. Crafting unique narratives that combine body horror, absurdist humor, science fiction, Canadian culture, and other descriptors that escape me currently. He’s unlike any cartoonist currently working and deserves every plaudit he gets. His first graphic novel through Drawn & Quarterly, Ant Colony, was one of the highlights of 2014’s comics output. This month sees the release of two new DeForge books: Lose #7, which is the latest in his inventive ongoing anthology series from Koyama Press and Dressing, collecting some of what’s listed above.

I have both sitting next to my nightstand and have already worked my way through half of Dressing. There’s a particularly wonderful tale called “Mars Is My Last Hope”, which relays how a set of astronauts are finding themselves physically adapting to the Mars environment and the unique visuals that DeForge plays with in this setting are quite pleasing to the eye.

Quick note: I received my copies of these books from Amazon this week (Sunday and yesterday respectively), but now I see they’ve pushed the date back to 9/15 for both. I’m not sure what the official release date was/is, but we’ll put this here either in a timely fashion or in anticipation. Either way, go forth and purchase if you’d like to peruse a unique set of alt-comix.


Alex L’s Pick

Sacred Heart

Writer/Artist: Liz Suburbia Publisher: Fantagraphics

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This debut coming-of-age graphic novel, filled with teen loves and fights and parties, is a summer vacation-style bacchanalia set against the threat of a big reckoning that everyone believes is coming. Suburbia’s punk-infused comics and cartooning talent have drawn favorable comparisons to Brandon Graham (King City) and Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets).

I popped by my LCS today and found this gem sitting on the shelf.  I love looking through new releases in real life way more than I like staring at an online link list, as I tend to gravitate towards titles I already know when I do the latter.  Sacred Heart‘s simple cover is evocative of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Lost at Sea.  That, combined with Liz Suburbia’s intriguingly fitting name, drew me in.  Suburbia’s Brandon Graham-esque art style and the promise of a coming of age story (a la This One Summer) meeting an apocalyptic narrative drove the sale home.

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