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ADVANCE SCOUT: Back to Reality (4/24/13)


ADVANCE SCOUTWHAT IS ADVANCE SCOUT?

Each week, the Capeless Crew picks out those books that we think are most worthy of your dollars and attention. These books are chosen based on a variety of qualities, including relevance to real-world issues of the day, their sheer excellence as examples of the medium, and often with an eye towards the importance of a given book within the context of the comics industry.

SITUATION:

Last week was Trade Week on Advance Scout, so this week we wanted to return the focus to some excellent monthly series that are coming out this Wednesday.

I wanted to recommend both Avengers and New Avengers, but with Iron Man appearing in both of those books, his own movie tie-in, AND Guardians of the Galaxy this week, it seemed like a good idea to give him a breather.

Instead, we brought back a couple of long-time favorites of the staff here, and chose to draw your attention to a couple of books that may have slipped under your radar.

 

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS:

1. “East of West #2″

East of West #2 - Hickman/Dragotta - Image Comics - $3.50

“East of West #2″ – Hickman/Dragotta – Image Comics – $3.50

Last month, the latest series from the stellar creative team of Hickman and Dragotta simply flew off shelves. Much of this was due to the well-earned hype surrounding writer Jonathan Hickman, but more than a small amount of the title’s initial success was due to excellent reviews of the first issue.

The alternate America that Hickman has constructed features a compelling blend of science-fiction, politics, and magic, all seasoned heavily with a western flavor. The idea of how America would look if still fractured nearly a century after the War Between the States is a fascinating one, with differing forms of government being offered up in different parts of the continent. How these aspects of the world affect the plot will remain to be seen, but they provide the book with an interesting societal commentary beneath the rousing adventure story.

If you can’t find a copy of the first issue in stores, then pick it up digitally and jump on this series now.

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2. “Lost Vegas #2″

Lost Vegas #2 - McCann/Lee - Image Comics - $3.50

“Lost Vegas #2″ – McCann/Lee – Image Comics – $3.50

Jim McCann promised readers Ocean’s Eleven in space, and he delivered mightily on that promise. The first issue of this series introduced us to the cast of characters charged by their creator with the execution of this “heist” and did so in a whiplash fashion that left enough time to get the ball rolling on what seems to be a flawed but brilliant plan.

This is one book you’ll definitely want to grab. Given its great mod vibe and fantastic use of its setting, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see this title headed to theaters in a year or so.

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3. “Guardians of the Galaxy #2″

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 - Bendis/McNiven - Marvel Comics - $3.99

“Guardians of the Galaxy #2″ – Bendis/McNiven – Marvel Comics – $3.99

Guardians has managed to exceed both expectations and Bendis’s own established history of team books. It’s not yet Abnett and Lanning quality, but it so far has shown a lot of promise. With the movie on the horizon, there could not be a better time to invest yourself as a reader in these characters. If you’re a speculator, this is a book worth your while. When all it takes is the rumor of adaptation to launch the prices for Irredeemable Ant-Man into the stratosphere, then picking up Guardians should be a no-brainer for the hardcore collectors among you.

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4. “New Avengers #5″

New Avengers #5 - Hickman/Epting - Marvel Comics - #3.99

“New Avengers #5″ – Hickman/Epting – Marvel Comics – #3.99

This is easily one of the most anticipated books of the week. The darkness that Hickman has managed to impose on some of the brightest stars of the Marvel Universe has been chilling to behold. Last month’s issue was a quintessential cliffhanger, promising major action with this month’s release. Throughout the series, Hickman has been dissecting what it means to be a hero: whether moral ambiguity and righteousness can go hand-in-hand, or if they are diametrically opposed. Watching these characters struggle with choices that are literally Earth-shattering in their ramifications has been a real treat. Now that he’s tossed in some action, there is almost nothing this book is missing.

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5. “Massive #11″

Massive #11 - Wood/Shalvey/Bellaire/Leon - Dark Horse Comics - $3.50

“Massive #11″ – Wood/Shalvey/Bellaire/Leon – Dark Horse Comics – $3.50

If you haven’t been reading this series, you’ll have some catching up to do, but the resulting enjoyment will be well-worth your time. Brian Wood has put together a terrifyingly realistic post-apocalyptic dystopia that is only more frightening for being so eminently possible. If you have a hankering for a book that explores the world that we may soon create, this is the title for you.

 

ANALYSIS

There are some rock-solid books this week, and these aren’t even all of them. Many of the Marvel NOW! books would have made this list were they at a point in the story that could be considered new-reader friendly. That said, most of the mainstream books (with the exception of those listed above) lacked sufficient relevance to make our cut. Hopefully these choices meet with your approval and enjoyment!

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Thanks for checking out ADVANCE SCOUT! Be sure to check back next week for more recommendations, and don’t forget to share the link below!

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About Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He also hosts the weekly Infinite Crossover podcast in cooperation with Fanboys Inc. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville. contact: joshuadepstein@gmail.com Twitter: @CrusaderZero6

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