Team Beat, a group of the world’s most elite comic book reading/writing forces assembled in the Stately Beat Staff Manor to deliver The Beat — the world’s premiere comic book website. Recently, Marvel and DC characters from decades past have found themselves wandering through the manner including Bessie the Hellcow, Ruby Tuesday, Vibe, Prez and more. These individuals always terrorize our workflow and make things increasingly difficult for this here website. Therefore, a group of Beat Staffers banded together this week to stop the visitations before they happened. We caught Mysterio lurking in the clutches of the basement who proceeded to throw a select group of staffers into a whole new world…Dinosaur World. We haven’t heard from that group since last week…and we’re starting grow more concerned by the day regarding their own whereabouts. Also, since when does Mysterio unlock a gateway to other worlds? I digress. More on the (mysterio)us location of our lost staffers next week. In the meantime, here’s The Beat’s staff comics picks of the week:
Hacktivist Vol 2 #1
Writer: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing Art: Marcus To
It’s been six months since Tunis. Nate Graft’s life was turned upside-down after his best friend Ed Hiccox died, but he’s since pulled things together and is now in charge of VIGIL, the front line of America’s ongoing cyber operations. Just when things are starting to gain some semblance of control, YourLife, the government, and Nate come under attack by a new breed of hacker…who call themselves .sve_urs3lf. Using Nate and Ed’s former handle, they want to know the truth of what happened in Tunis, and they’re calling for blood. Nate’s blood.
Hacktivist Volume 1 is a really really good comic book from Boom Studios about a group of two visionaries trying to change the future. Mysterio caught wind of the story when he was sifting through new terrorist schemes via Google. He explained that at his first WonderCon last year he even got the title signed by author Collin Kelly and met up with the other co-author Jackson Lanzing at a later show. Anyways, this series features the art of Raid Studio illustrator Marcus To — a force to be reckoned with in comics right now. Catching up on the title isn’t too difficult. One trade is available and then you can run to the first installment of the second volume this Wednesday at your local comic shop.
Writer: Matt Kindt Art: Clay Mann & Butch Guice
The final secret of the Shadow Seven exposed! Ninjak’s mission to destroy Weaponeer and its secret cabal of shinobi masters just got a bit more complicated?since the newest leader of Weaponeer is? Ninjak himself?! Meanwhile, Roku’s gone missing, but we all know the world’s deadliest woman is at her most dangerous when she’s out of sight! Plus: Colin King’s past comes back to haunt him in a big way as NINJAK: THE LOST FILES reveals a deadly connection to Ninjak’s present as Clay Mann (X-Men) returns with Matt Kindt (THE VALIANT, RAI) and Butch Guice (Captain America)!
Mysterio surprised us with his interest of Valiant’s stable of heroes especially concerning the exploits of Ninjak. He told us that his interest of Eastern culture simply cannot be satiated by the likes of Manga and Anime. I think it helped that the series features the art of Clay Mann and Butch Guice, two heroes of the industry right now. Matt Kindt’s writing doesn’t hurt either. We went ahead and served up Ninjak to Mysterio (and we lied about the fact that Colin King is British.) He was satisfied albeit slightly confused with the aesthetics of the comic. Then the remaining Beat Staffers trapped him and took a one-way trip to Dinosaur World to rescue the others.
Southern Bastards #10
Writer: Jason Aaron Art: Jason Latour
On the eve of the most important game of the season, Esaw Goings is having a hard time juggling his duties as enforcer of Coach Boss’s criminal empire, as well being an assistant coach for the Runnin’ Rebs. Football or murder, blood’s gonna get spilled either way.
I cannot stop suggesting this book to people. It’s a problem that will only be solved when the series ends (except we all know I’m a complete liar). In keeping with the remarkable cohesion of violence and community — this book grabbed me by the collar at issue one and has been shaking me senseless all the way through. Do yourself a favor and let your hands get covered in the Blood and BBQ that seeps from every page of this remarkable book. The “Jasons” know how to create a story that is one part critical, another part love, and all parts brilliant. Additionally, if you find this specific cover, buy it – proceeds are going to the victims of the Charleston Shooting.
Zero Vol. 4: Who By Fire
Writer: Ales Kot Artists: Ian Bertram, Stathis Tsemberlidis, Robert Sammelin, Tula Lotay Cover: Tom Muller
This is how it ends: not with a whimper, not with a bang—but with mushrooms. Collects ZERO #15-18.
Somewhere in my head, I have the longest of longform pieces waiting to be written about Zero. From the first issue ’til the gorgeous 18th and last; the continuous depiction, questioning, subversion, and ultimate reconciliation of the violent expression of toxic masculinity wrapped in a psycho-hallucinogenic spy-fi thriller has been nothing but incredible. Just the breadth of the project alone is in itself, a small miracle with series writer Ales Kot, letterer Clayton Cowles, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and designer Tom Muller remaining constant while each issue saw a different artist; a new perspective. Zero, despite (or perhaps strengthened by) my deep-seated confliction with pieces of the narrative vehicle it uses to make its overall statement is far and away one of the most unique books I’ve ever had the good grace to follow, month to month. Pick up the trades and see what the hell I’m blathering about, please.
Psycho Bonkers #3
Writer: Vince Hernandez Artist: Adam Archer (ASPEN COMICS)
Mysterio might not approve of an all-ages book being on the pull this week…we’re doing it anyway. Psycho Bonkers is a great all-ages story from a publisher that’s not suppose to be good at anything other than scantly clad women in fantasy tales. Those who’ve been reading Aspen titles regularly know that versatility is actually the case. In Psycho Bonkers issue three the Super Bonk Rally heats up, more cars backtalk humans, and we learn more about the damages of Shine’s family. Plus go get it; there’s another one of those super adorable Agnes Garbowska covers.
Alex L’s Pick:
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Greg Tocchini
Stel Cain, still reeling from the loss of her children, travels through the nameless dark of the blackest oceans, to rise to the surface and begin her journey to the deep space probe, which holds the key to mankind’s salvation. But there is one last colligation between her and the surface: enter the Merpires!
Sometimes I feel like I’m a broken record when I sing the praises of Low. Rick Remender, who also works on the masterfully done Deadly Class, is a creator of richly realized worlds where stories are governed by the complex relationships between families. In that way, Low is what happens when you take Game of Thrones and mix it with Atlantis: the Lost Empire.
The Cains, a major family in a post-apocolyptic society where mankind is forced to live in the depths of the ocean, were torn apart, pieced together, and torn to shreds again in the first arc of Low. Then, the seventh issue expanded the world by focusing on a totalitarian government official leading a double life. Now the Cains are back in this second issue of the second arc. Tocchini’s inks have gotten tighter since the start of the series, but have kept the ethereal feel that made me fall in love with the series in the first place. Dave McCaig’s colors astound as well, giving a warm and natural feel to the cold depths of the story. Please give this series a shot. Things may be low, but I can’t get any higher on this book.
Sex Criminals #11
Writer: Matt Fraction Artist: Chip Zdarsky
After a delay due to legal struggles related to 1000 unique cover sketches, scattered like Willy-Wonka golden tickets inside the entirely poly-bagged run of new issues, and then another delay due to printing problems: it’s finally here! Sex Criminals issue 11, which begins Volume 3 of the Eisner award-winning series from the dirty minds of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, will continue Jon and Suzie’s quest to understand their orgasm-triggered super-powers. Will Dr. Kincaid continue to be their ally? Where will the cliffhanger ending of issue 10 take us? Get out to your local store tomorrow and find out. And remember: all issues (even those with normal covers) should be poly-bagged. If they aren’t, your comic shop is pulling a fast one. Says Zdarsky: ” If you go to your shop and these are not in bags that means the shop is run by ass***** who tried to find the sketch covers and mark them up! Don’t buy your comics from ass*****!”