Comics! We got comics! Loads and loads of comics!
And this is what our expert retailers are picking …
Christy Blanch, Alter Ego Comics, Muncie, Ind.
Daredevil #23, Marvel Comics. This book continues to be one of my favorites and not because my boyfriend writes it. It’s just the book. You know the kind. The one that makes Wednesday the best day of the week that you can’t wait to delve into! It’s one that I show people and say THIS is what comic books are about. Why? There’s action, bromance, twists and turns, storylines that leave me crying — this book has it all. The last issue ended with Matt being shot while protecting monsters, which sounds really weird but it worked. It’s killing me (no pun intended) to see how Matt is going to get out of this one. Mark Waid really writes an amazing Daredevil and I think Chris Samnee is one of the best storytellers in the business today!
Scooby Doo Team Up #1, DC Comics. Okay, yes. This may be a silly pick but I have been waiting for this book since I first saw the solicitation. I mean, how can you go wrong with Batman, Robin, and Scooby-Doo! I am really hoping for a drag race between the Mystery Machine and the Batmobile. I bet Batman has some Scooby Snacks in his utility belt. Any takers? (Shaggy here: Like, check out the EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW here!)
Afterlife with Archie #2, Archie Comics. I wasn’t sure what this book would be like but it ends up it’s awesome! I’m a fan of zombie books anyway, but figured that this would be a toned-down version. I was so wrong. Zombie Jughead is really horrid and I love the involvement of Sabrina and especially the portrayal of her aunts. Francesco Francavilla’s art is amazing as usual and I am looking forward to seeing more of this book.
Menachem Luchins, owner, Escape Pod Comics, Huntington, L.I.
Afterlife With Archie #2, Archie Comics. What sounded like a fun little lark, a $2.99 comic featuring a zombie outbreak story in the Archie universe, was proven to be far more when the first issue came out. Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa knows not only how to hit every truly classic zombie note but he’s also an Archie expert — every single bit of dialogue and characterization fits so perfectly. And Francesco Francavilla and Jack Morelli have done the impossible: a totally different approach to the Archie characters that is still somehow 100 percent true to their origins and most famous incarnations.
The Wake #5, Vertigo. This eagerly awaited book is a huge game-changer, according to writer Scott Snyder. The focus of the book, we are told, is going to shift from our trapped scientists to the strange future world that we’ve only gotten hints of before. Whatever changes take place, we know that artist Sean Murphy will pull it off with aplomb. It’s also nice that to make up for the book’s delay (it appears) the issue comes with additional material, such as a slightly longer story and sketch material.
“The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” Dark Horse. One of the most anticipated books of the holiday season, this is something that people have been talking about for more than a year, since it was announced. Already optioned for a film and sold out in Italy, this exploration of the man who brought the Fab Four to the world is not just a well researched, well written piece of Beatles history but a kinetic and exciting read of a comic as well. For all the effort Vivek J. Tiwary put into writing this piece Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker matched and doubled with the art. A stunning book. (Ringo here: Gear review, mate. The book is also a Gift Guide selection. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Ted Alexander, manager, Midtown Comics’ Downtown location, Manhattan
Afterlife with Archie #2, Archie Comics. The first issue of this series was actually not-so-kid-friendly. The story by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is creepy enough, but throw in some equally creepy art by Francesco Francavilla and you have one frightful book.
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #12, IDW. What better way to get ready for “The Day of the Doctor” on Saturday? This yearlong celebration of Doctor Who comes to a conclusion with this issue. I can finally complete my Prisoners of Time Francesco Francavilla cover montage as well. That’s two mentions for Francavilla. I don’t have a problem with that at all!
Aimee LoSecco, JHU Comic Books, Manhattan
“Fables: Fairest in All the Land” hardcover, Vertigo. Like “1001 Nights,” Bill Willingham gives us another anthology book chock full of origin stories for the fairer fables. Snow, Rose, Cinderella, Rapunzel … all the ladies are represented, drawn by the best in the business. Not merely an extension of the “Fables” spin-off, but an attempt to answer who, indeed, is the fairest of them all. Spoiler alert: the Barleycorn girls are back!
Dimitrios Fragiskatos, manager, Midtown Comics’ Grand Central location, Manhattan
“Berserk: Volume 37,” trade paperback, Dark Horse Comics. Berserk is one of the most unique manga I’ve ever read. It has gone on for so long that I feel like it’s confused what its responsibilities are to its readers. On the one hand, you have Guts, the one-armed, one-eyed protagonist who has had 36 volumes of slaughtering murderous, lecherous demons and monsters. On the other, you have his misfit band of youthful, goofball allies who can be as heroic as they are mischievous. This book goes from Pokemon-level humor to Avatar’s Crossed-level of gore and horror, and I love it. It’s a kid’s book and a mature-audience book. Nothing else like it on the shelves.