This week marks a transition for this ongoing column. I, Mike Sains, will be taking the reigns on both Advance Scout (our independent comics showcase here on Capeless Crusader) and Cape Watch (our mainstream showcase) from here on out. Now that we have a sizable review team, I as the editor now have the time to sift through the giant pile of never-ending new releases. For Advance Scout, I will continue to offer choices accessible to new readers and regular readers alike. But New #1′s won’t necessarily be my main focus. This is where you will come to see what my picks are as the cream of the crop for the independent publishing world. Never will I be sparse with my picks and never shall you want for awesome titles that make you cooler than your other nerd friends.
This week we are focusing on two new offerings, one sophomore release, and few favorites of mine.
These are the picks for the week of 5/7/2014:
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy have consistently proven to be a creative force that can not be denied. This blend of deep-sea horror and dystopian future adventure has never failed to find the perfect balance of all of its elements. Fans of Scott Snyder get full doses of his character-driven writing and fans of the very idea of art will be mesmerized by Sean Murphy’s showcase in comic book art.
Issue #8 marks the beginning of the end for this Vertigo Maxi-Series and if you’re not into the book yet, I wouldn’t consider this to be a great jumping-on point. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the first trade that collects issues 1-5, get the two back issues and then grab this one at the same time. I highly suggest doing that. You won’t be sorry.
Writer Joshua Williamson, Ghosted and artist Mike Henderson have teamed with independent comics publisher Image Comics to create a book about one of America’s most beloved subjects: Serial Killers. Whether it be The Green River Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, or Jack The Ripper, comic books and serial killers have gone together like peanut butter and jelly since as long as I can remember.
With Nailbiter, we are given an interesting premise: What if there was a town in America that was famous for making serial killers? Not just a few.
The most notorious of these killers is The Nailbiter, a killer who targets people with the quirk of the same name. Without giving away any of the plot, a series of events leads an investigator to that town notorious in Oregon to track down an old friend. For fans of the crime genre or the serial killer genre will want to check this one out. I’ve had the benefit of reading a preview copy and I personally had high thoughts of this book.
3. Rat Queens #6
Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch have a certified hit on their hands with Rat Queens. With the release of the first TPB I was able to get all caught up on the lives of Palisades’ most loved / hated mercenaries. I recommend you do the same and get on board for issue #6. As far as jumping-on points go, this is as good as it gets for a story that is already five issues deep. But the way I see it, you shouldn’t have much trouble following along.
The events of the first five issues were on a small enough scale that anyone who might have heard the high praises that the rest of us have been screaming from the mountain tops who wants to get on board should be able to do just that. If you don’t have access to the first Trade-Paperback, there is always digital. But I can’t stress this enough: this book is awesome. You will love it.
This book is the one selection of the week were I’m truly going out on a limb. I’m not sure what to expect with this book but the creative team has writer Jamie S. Rich of It Girl and The Atomics making a classic horror tale. That is enough to whet my appetite. After that, I’m a huge fan of Frankenstein and the old-school horror monsters so it really doesn’t take much to get me on board for this.
Also artist, Megan Levens, is new to the comic book world and I’m always game to see what a new visual artist has to offer.
5. Fatale #22
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are now just two issues away from rounding out this tale of a timeless woman and her relationship with her gift / curse. Oh and also the ruined lives of the countless men she has ensnared in her web of deceit and danger. For me, this one of the three books that got me back into heavily reading comic books a little over two years ago.
There have been points in the story where it has waned a little but it has never let me down and since about five or six issues ago there hasn’t been a misstep since. This is, to me, Ed Brubaker’s best work. The same for Sean Phillips. I hope this creative team continues to make books well after their next project which is slated to drop the same day as the final issue of Fatale.
I was two weeks late on buying the first issue of Dead Letters on BOOM! Studios. In those two weeks I heard nothing but good things from people whose opinions I hold in high regard. So naturally, I had to try and get my hands on a copy and I was not let down. Normally I don’t go for books that focus on the spiritual realm but Ten Grand was enough to snap me out of that last year.
I am glad that I went against my instincts because this book is a fever dream of awesome. The first issue is confusing and that is clearly done intentionally. How the creators move forward after the last issue’s big reveal will be interesting to say the least. If you can still manage to find a copy of the first book, grab it as fast as you can and gear up for issue number two. I’m willing to bet that things will be just as crazy.
So, we have two new #1′s, both centering on the macabre. We have a deep-sea horror adventure, a fantastical team of female mercenaries loaded up on booze and drugs, a Femme Fatale’s tale is coming to a close, and the lives of those stuck in limbo are explored in a delirious sophomore book from BOOM! Studios. If I had to pick an overall theme this week, I would say my picks tend to deal with the mythical. From mermen to monsters and spiritual realms that might not even exist, you have options in the independent comics sphere.