I would prefer not to name names, but a certain member of the Beat Staff has ingested one too many Steve Gerber comics and fell into the celebration of oddities. For those not in the know, we’ve been getting a lot of stray visitors at the mansion lately — the castaways of comics long ago who find themselves wandering the hallways of The Stately Beat Manor after hours. This week Ruby Thursday happened to pay us a visit. No…not ringing any bells? Thursday is a member of the Headmen, a group of B-list Defenders rogues sent to wreak havoc upon the work schedules of everyone here at The Beat. Or so we thought…as the aforementioned Beat Staffer blamed above and Ruby Thursday seemed to be getting along quite well. When Thursday heard that we took down Howard the Duck villain Bessie (Hellcow) with the power of love (and literature) she grew a newfound respect for us. We introduced her to some of the signatures we’ve acquired from past guests of the Comics Pull(s) including the Matter-Eater Lad (who she is also quite fond of.) She decided to help us continue The Beat tradition. Ms. Rubinstein suggested the following comics for this week revealing herself as quite the Archie fan.
Ruby Thursday’s picks:
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #3
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artist: Robert Hack
It’s the night before Halloween, the night before Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday, the night of the blood-moon and the lunar eclipse, and Sabrina has made her decision: She will go into the woods of Greendale as a half-witch and emerge…on the other side of a frightful ritual…as a fully baptized member of the Church of Night. But there will be a cost, and his name is Harvey. And unbeknownst to Sabrina and her aunts, there is a serpent in the garden, their great enemy Madam Satan, who is conspiring against them…
With a taste for the dark arts and 90’s sitcoms, Ruby couldn’t help but single out this week’s installment of Sabrina. While she did voice displeasure at the comic’s amount of delays — the villain can’t get enough of this reimagining of the titular witch. She expressed that the story has all the morally ambiguity she looks for in media, and the comic has just started to bring out more of the creepie crawlies…whatever that means.
Black Hood #4
Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Michael Gaydos
NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE! “Bullet’s Kiss, Part 4” The Connection’s lieutenants have discovered the identity of the new Black Hood. And now Greg Hettinger has only 24 hours to unmask their boss-the man who set Greg up! As the badly-injured Black Hood struggles to piece together the puzzle, he’s forced to put his faith in a woman who could end up saving him… or sending him straight to the slammer!
Black Hood is also gearing up for a fourth issue that Ruby specifically wanted to single out. This is another installment within Archie’s own Dark Circle line of comics. With another series that’s filled with moral ambiguity and gritty realism, this is just the comic for Ruby. Before she left, Ms. Rubinstein wanted to mention that she will have revenge on the X-Men, Bruce Banner, Heroes for Hire, Bullseye, She-Hulk, Cloak, Silver Samurai, Skaar, and more. She’s also running in 2016 — so look for that — did we mention that Ruby Thursday previously ran for president?
Matt O’Keefe’s picks:
Old Man Logan #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Enter the Wastelands: a realm where all heroes have been murdered by their arch-enemies, villains who now rule over the land with an iron fist. In the midst of this dystopian chaos, one man may make a difference?a reluctant warrior who was once the greatest mutant of all? A man known as OLD MAN LOGAN.
The original Old Man Logan (illustrated by Steve McNiven), was exactly what you’d expect from a Mark Millar comic: bold, brash, broad and full of interesting concepts largely left unexplored. That’s why it’s so exciting to see Brian Michael Bendis pick up on those old threads, adding his depth of character and focus on the more intimate details to the mix. The fact that the X-Men annuals he did with Old Man Logan artist Andrea Sorrentino were the best Bendis I’d read in years only gives me more confidence that this series has the potential to be something special.
Sons of the Devil #1
Writer: Brian Buccellato Artist: Toni Infante
Last year, Brian Buccellato asked everyone for help making this project. On Wednesday, Sons of the Devil is officially an Image Comics reality. The premise poses the question; what would you do if you found out your father was evil like a Jim Jones or David Koresh? SOTD looks to bring supernatural horror to a human level.
Writer: Ales Kot Artist: Will Tempest
A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed.
An actress receives an offer that can revive her career.
A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement.
A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs.
Look around you. Everything is material.
I love pretty much everything Ales Kot does, from Secret Avengers to Zero (easily one of my top books of the 2010’s thus far), so this will surely prove no different. Material looks to return to the wide-ranging ensemble cast style of his critically acclaimed earlier work like Change, but as with everything written by Kot, it’s impossible to pin down any of his titles into one particular box and that’s why I find him to be such a refreshing read every time out. I already know what will be on top of my modest pile tomorrow. It should be on top of yours as well.
The Sandman: Overture #5
Writer: Neil Gaiman Artist: J.H. Williams
The fate of the entire universe hangs in the balance when Dream finally gets his mother’s full attention. Magic, joy, war and heartbreak are brought to life on the pages with epic luminosity in the penultimate issue of THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE.
The biggest problem with Overture is that it’s been so long since the last chapter, I don’t remember what happened in the previous issue, much less anything before that. But, to its benefit, Williams’ work is so gorgeous that its hard to argue with re-reading the four issues that came before in order to catch up. It’s Neil Gaiman’s second to last issue of Sandman, if I was a betting man, I’d say you’re probably going to read it.