And thanks for all your emails, private tweets and messages of concern about my handicapped friend’s recent accident. She is doing much better but it looks like we are moving into a new phase where she will need much more care. Such is the life of someone stricken with a chronic, debilitating disease.
Still, we’re kicking ass and taking names and we will get her through this like all obstacles. So UPWARD & ONWARD! Enjoy a MEGA 5-WEEK PULL LIST!
There are overlooked gems in the comic book business and there are CRIMINALLY overlooked titles that cry for justice (that’s a pun for later in the column). Elephantmen (published by Image Comics) is one such comic book.
If you are like me, you probably looked at the premise of this book and thought Elephants, Hippos, Alligators, etc., etc– wear CLOTHES? In any marketplace– especially in a CROWDED marketplace like today’s comic book industry– it is easy (and sometimes imperative) to judge a book by its’ cover. But that’s why we rely on independent, unbiased sites like Inveterate Media Junkies to help clue us in on books we might have overlooked.
Elephantmen had the unfortunate circumstance to be released WAY BEFORE the current spate of Image comic sell-out series. It therefore does not have the same cache as today’s current crop of books– even though it is FAR BETTER than 95% of them.
Elephantmen is NOT about cutesy animals. It is about the not-so-distant future where men clone wild animals, give them humanoid characteristics and then brainwash/force them into fighting their various ultra violent conflicts. (Think of the current wars plaguing the world– and up the violence to the max.) The books primarily take place AFTER these horrific wars– as the remnants of the Elephantmen (this society’s catch-all phrase for ALL animals that have been genetically manipulated this way)– attempt to let go of their in-bred, ingrained violent tendencies and repatriate themselves into “normal” society.
Elephantmen is a thoughtful study of a post-war society, of misfits, of prejudice and of animals suffering mightily to fit in– while many suffer flashbacks and serious bouts with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
It is BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED on ALL levels. The writing is SUPERB… The art even more so. This book is JUST AMAZING. And it is NOT too late jump on– or catch up. If you just read the sentences describing Elephantmen I wrote above– that is ALL you need to know to enter this world. Once inside, you will be met with ADULT stories told by– and for– ADULTS. The animal characters are rich beyond belief and they breathe, live and act MORE HUMAN and MORE COMPASSIONATELY than most humans ever will.
Ant-Man And Wasp Small World
Baltimore Plague Ships Vol 1 HC – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Batwoman Vol 1 Elegy – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Boys Definitive Edition Vol 3 HC – Already own it
Captain America American Nightmare Premiere HC
Captain America by Dan Jurgens Vol 1
Captain America Fighting Avenger
Captain America No Escape
Certain Scientific Railgun
Crossed 3D Vol 1 HC
Dark Tower Gunslinger Little Sisters Of Eluria HC
Deadpool Team-Up Vol 2 Special Relationship
Doc Savage Double Novel Vol 48
Elephantmen Vol 4 HC
Generation Hope: Futures A Four Letter Word
Joe Simon Man Behind the Comics HC
Last Run Queen & Country Novel – Prose
Lil Abner Vol 3 HC – Second guessing WHY I am buying these
Mister X Brides of Mister X & Other Stories HC
MMW Atlas Era Jungle Adventures Vol 2 HC
Preacher Book 4 HC – Been there, done that
Punisher Max Vol 6 HC – See above
Shadow Double Novel Vol 49
Stan Lee Traveler Vol 1
Superman Chronicles Vol 9
Sweet Tooth Vol 3 Animal Armies
Thor Gods on Earth (New Printing)
Warhammer 40K Chapters Due
Welcome to Oddville HC
X-Men Alpha Flight HC
Zombie Handbook Essential Guide
Astronaut Academy Zero Gravity
Bakuman Vol 5 – MANGA PICK OF THE WEEK!
Bleach Vol 35
Blue Exorcist Vol 2
FullMetal Alchemist 3-in-1 Edition Vol 1 – I own the originals. WHY am I buying these?
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Vol 1
Grand Guignol Orchestra Vol 3
Hoshin Engi Vol 23
Kamisama Kiss Vol 3 – I must’ve lost my mind… Why do I buy this?
Library Wars Vol 5
Naruto Vol 51
Natsuma’s Book of Friends Vol 7
Ninja Girls Vol 5
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan Vol 3
One Piece Vol 57
Ouran High School Host Club Vol 16
Sakura Hime Legend of Princess Sukura Vol 2
Seiho Boys High School Vol 6
Slam Dunk Vol 16
Tezukas Black Jack Vol 14 – MANGA RUNNER-UP PICK OF THE WEEK!
Vampire Knight Vol 12
Age of Reptiles Omnibus (New Print)
Arkham Asylum Madness – Own the Hardcover
Bendatti Vendetta – Looks very cool
Bomb Queen Vol 6 – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Captain America Red Menace Ultimate Collection
Captain Easy Vol 2 Soldier of Fortune HC
Deadpool Vol 7 Space Oddity HC
Dusk Society Campfire
Fantastic Four By Waid & Wieringo Ultimate Collection Vol 1
Girl Genuis Vol 10
Green Lantern Brightest Day HC
Hellboy Library Edition Vol 4 Crooked Man HC
Hulk Hulk No More HC
Incorruptible Vol 4
Justice League Cry For Justice – POS* OF THE WEEK!
Kade Prodigal Sun
Legion Lost HC
Lil’ Depressed Boy Vol 1 She Is Staggering
Marvel Adventures Avengers Digest Hulk
MMW Golden Age Captain America Vol 5 HC
MMW Iron Fist Vol 1 HC
Proof Vol 6
Secret Warriors Vol 5 Night
Sixth Gun Vol 2 – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Spawn Origins Vol 11
Terminator 2029 to 1984 – Where does it stop?
Ultimatum Companion HC – Isn’t a true ULTIMATUM “companion” a GARBAGE CAN?
Uncanny X-Force Deathlok Nation HC
Uncanny X-Men Quarantine
Vampirella Masters Series Vol 4 Visionaries
Walking Dead Vol 14 No Way Out – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Warhammer 40K Battle Fang
Warhammer Dwarfs Omnibus
Wolverine and Jubilee Curse of Mutants HC
Xenozoic Complete Collection (New Print)
Bleach 3-in-1 Edition Vol 1 – Again, why am I buying these if I have the SINGLE volumes?
Detroit Metal City Vol 9 – MANGA HOT PICK OF THE WEEK
Toriko Vol 5
Yakuza Moon True Story of Gangsters Daughter
Avengers Vs Pet Avengers – Digest sized
Batman Red Hood The Lost Days
Black Widow Name of Rose – Own the Hardcover
Blackbeard Legend of the Pyrate King – WHY did I buy this?!?
Book of Lilah- Very nice looking
Carlos Diaz Sketchbook Devil in Details
Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers Worldwide Rescue
Creepy Comics Vol 1
Darkness Origins Vol 3
Deadpool Vol 1 HC – A different edition of a comic phenom NO ONE really wanted?
Dethklok HC- Looks kewl
Doctor Strange Into Dark Dimension HC
Dreams Of Darkchylde Vol 1
Executive Assistant Iris Vol 1
Falling Skies – TV Series PREQUEL
First Wave HC – I hope this is better than the horrid Doc Savage
Ghostface Vol 1
Ghosts of War
Hounds Of Hell
Impossible Man – Cute but not worth, you know, actual MONEY
In Defense of the Realm Campfire
Janet Evanovich Troublemaker – Own the Hardcover
Jesus Hates Zombies Jurassic Kinda Life
Kane & Lynch
Kingdom The Promised Land Vol 1
Low Life Paranoia
Magdalena Origins Vol 2
Miss Fury HC – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
MTG Path of the Planeswalker Vol 2
Mystique By Sean McKeever Ultimate Collection
Next Men Vol 1 HC (New IDW SERIES)
NYX Wannabe (New Printing)
Phoenix Wright Vol 1
Power Girl Bomb Squad
Quarantined – Ho Hum…
Sam and Friends Mystery Vol 3 Mummy Mayhem
Scary Godmother Comic Book Stories
Scud the Disposable Assassin Whole Shebang (New Printing)
Secret Avengers Vol 2 Eyes of Dragon HC
Slaughtermans Creed – Looks like unnecessary horror
Star Trek Classic Movie Omnibus – The existence of this book seems doubly redundant
Terry Moore’s Echo Vol 6 Last Day – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Thing Liberty Legion HC
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Death Prelude HC – Oops! POS* SPOILER ALERT!
X-Men Age Of X HC
X-Men Great Power HC
X-Men Second Coming – Own the Hardcover
X-Men Second Coming Revelations – Own the Hardcover
Afterschool Charisma Vol 3
Arata The Legend Vol 6
Avatar Last Airbenders Vol 1 Lost Adventures
Deadman Wonderland Vol 5
Fate/Stay/Night Vol 11
FullMetal Alchemist Vol 25
Higurashi When They Cry Vol 13
Maid Shokun Vol 1 -*POS OF THE WEEK!
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys Vol 15
Negima Omnibus Vol 1 – Again… Why am I buying these when I own the original volumes?
NGE Campus Apocalypse Vol 4
Soul Eater Vol 6
Sunshine Sketch Vol 5
Tenjo Tenge Vol 1 – MANGA HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Zombie Lone Vol 11
27 Vol 1 First Set – I’m wary…Very wary
Angel Vol 3 The Wolf the Ram and the Heart HC – POS* OF THE WEEK!
Angel Omnibus (DH ED) Vol 1 – (Only marginally better than the above)
Aquaman Death of a Prince – Sweet Jim Aparo cover!
Batman Knight And Squire
Cowboys and Aliens IT Books Edition
Creepy Archives Vol 10 HC
Daredevil Reborn HC
Daredevil Yellow (New Edition)
Deadpool Dead Head Redemption
Doctor Who Way Through the Woods HC
Essential Spider-Man Vol 10
I Am Legion SC – Own the Hardcover
Last Ninja – Couldn’t get past the mediocre art
Little Green Men Its A Big World After All
Marvel Universe Vs Punisher – Own the Hardcover
MMW Mighty Thor Vol 3 SC
One Month To Live
Project Superpowers Black Terror Vol 2 – Is this MISGUIDED EXPERIMENT over yet?
Ratchet And Clank
Red Robin Hit List
Shadow Double Novel Vol 50
She-Hulks Hunt For Intelligencia
Spider-Man Original Clone Saga HC – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Tarot Witch of the Black Rose Vol 9
Thor Blood And Thunder
Thunder Agents Archives Vol 7 HC
Ultimate Six HC
X-Force Sex And Violence – Own the Hardcover
Aion Vol 3
Air Gear Vol 18 – MANGA HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Dot Hack Sign GU Vol 4 Novel
Negima Neo Vol 7
Oh My Goddess RTL Vol 18
Sgt Frog Vol 21
Anita Blake Vampire Hunt Circus Damned Book 01
Archies World Tour
Brain Eaters Bible
Broken Trinity Vol 2 Pandora’s Box
Captain America First Vengeance
Captain America Hail Hydra – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF WEEK!
DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide HC
Doctor Who Dalek Handbook HC
Doctor Who Ongoing 2 Vol 1 Ripper
Dungeons and Dragons Vol 1 Shadowplague HC
Elvis Van Helsing – I SO almost bought this… But I didn’t
Essential Punisher Vol 1 (New Printing)
Fallen Angel Return of the Son – This better make sense (finally) or I am done
Flight Vol 8
Garfield & Co Vol 1 Fish To Fry HC
Garfield & Co Vol 2 Curse Of The Cat People HC
Garth Ennis Battlefields Vol 2 HC – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
George RR Martin Fevre Dream
GI Joe A Real American Hero Vol 2
Gotham Central Book 2 Jokers and Madmen
Green Arrow Vol 1 In To The Woods HC
Green Hornet Golden Age Remastered HC
Halo Blood Line
Heroes for Hire Control – I’m looking forward to this
Infinity Inc Vol 1 The Generations Saga HC
Kull Vol 2 Hate Witch
Locke & Key Vol 3 Crown Of Shadows
Locke & Key Vol 4 Keys to the Kingdom HC
Misadventures of Clark & Jefferson
Northlanders Vol 5 Metal
Penny Arcade Vol 7 Be Good Little Puppy
Phantom Complete Dailies Vol 3 1939-1941 HC
Photo Booth Campfire
Queen Sonja Vol 2 – I seriously need a “quality gene” check
Revolver – Own the Hardcover (and wasn’t impressed)
Saga of Swamp Thing Book 5 HC
Scarlet Book One HC – POS* OF THE WEEK!
Showcase Presents Doc Savage – RUNNER UP HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
Stan Lee Starborn Vol 1
Star Wars Knight Errant Vol 1 Aflame
Transformers Exodus Official History Of War For Cybertron
X-Files 30 Days Of Night
Amazing Agent Luna Vol 7
Black Bird Vol 9
Chi Sweet Home Vol 6
Dance in the Vampire Bund Vol 10
Death Note Black Edition Vol 4
Eyeshield 21 Vol 36
Magic Knight Rayeath Omnibus DH Edition Vol 1
Monster Hunter Orage Vol 1
Naruto 3-in-1 Edition Vol 2
Oresama Teacher Vol 3
Prince of Tennis Vol 42
Rosario Vampire Season II Vol 5
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei Vol 9
Skip Beat Vol 24
Stepping on Roses Vol 6
Toradora Vol 2
Ultimate Muscle Vol 29
Wallflower Vol 25
Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s Vol 1
Don’t let the complimentary blurb from Jason Aaron throw you. The Sixth Gun Volume 2 isn’t a piece of crap. It is far from it. In fact, it is one of finest pieces of graphic entertainment I have read in the last five years– if not the past decade.
What’s great about it? The expansive writing. The breezy art– and the way it meshes together in such a wonderful cacophony of visual madness. Writer Cullen Bunn plops you down in the middle of his world and you feel like you have been there for AGES, not a few pages. The book is earth-bound when it needs to be, organically funny at times and creepy at the most unexpected moments. It us intoxicating.
And unlike another genre mash-up, Cowboys Vs Aliens, this book actually has a REASON to exist. It is NOT, like the former mess, a MOVIE PITCH masquerading as a graphic novel. The Sixth Gun is an idea from a guy who woke up one day and wanted to create a rich, multi-layered Western that combines the best of Old West Action and Social Mores… And the Occult.
After reading the spectacular first volume, I fully expected the second graphic novel to suffer a “sophomore slump”– as the newness of the unique premise wore off. This NEVER happens. Author Bunn keeps forging ahead with NEW IDEAS, NEW CHARACTERS and lots of INTERESTED BACKSTORY— expertly laden within the action-packed narrative.
I thought it would be a lot harder to pick just ONE BOOK worth of this DISHONOR amongst FIVE WEEKS of releases.
Ends up it was really EASY.
Let me be blunt: I think writer James Robinson is now a hack. Maybe he didn’t used to be (Starman), but his recent output puts him smack in the middle of Hackville™. It’s sad– but as I have written before, it is also an inevitable fact of the comic book business. With each title requiring twelve to thirteen fresh stories a year– and the average writer required to write 2 to 3 books a month just to make ends meet… It isn’t long before they run out of fresh ideas and begin the descent into repetitive Hack Hell.
What’s amazing is how quickly Robinson ran dry. He may have been around for a long time– but he spent many years in an ill-fated flirtation with Hollywood… Barely writing comics at all. And I don’t believe when he returned– it was for the better. Still, no reason to further kick a man when he’s down. In my mind, his crap work speaks for itself.
Justice League: Cry for Justice is just another– now sadly typical– attempt at further deconstructing the HEROIC MYTHOS in the DC Universe… Replacing ingenuity with MURDER. It’s all just another lame show of, “Hey! Costumed heroes are susceptible to the same rage and heartfelt emotions that we all are!” This is made all the more curious since it comes from a creator, who– at least when he began– purported to revere innocence and inventiveness the Golden Age of comics.
Grafting GRITTY REALISM into comics is an amazingly BAD IDEA that has hastened the demise of the entire industry. When heroes began maiming, murdering and committing crimes just like the villains– they lost their uniqueness… The special “je ne sais quoi” that made them lightning rods for disaffected children and adults that looked for an escape from their everyday lives. With no (or very little) heroic ideals present, they ceased to become idols– turning into brightly clothed caricatures of their former selves.
Brief and to the point: The Justice League Cry for Justice trade paperback is an unnecessary, rank PIECE OF SHIT.