ADVANCE SCOUT: Cures for the FCBD Hangover


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.


It’s the week after Free Comic Book Day, and retailers should be primed for a big week, but sadly there were very few offerings from the Big Two that really stood out, and most of the independent titles coming out are either still getting their sea legs or appeal to very niche audiences.

That said, we were able to isolate a few books that are definitely worth your while. All-in-all, this week’s selections represent an excellent cross-section of the industry, with monthly mainstream “cape” books, a great first issue, and a worthwhile experiment in online distribution.


1. “Avengers #11”

avengers11It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this column that we’re pushing this book. After a much-maligned opening act, writer Jonathan Hickman has finally found his stride, as he struts his stuff in the spotlight of Marvel’s most high-profile book.

Last month’s issue brought things full circle, showing that perhaps the ponderous first few issues were necessary after all in order to lay the groundwork for this third act.

With all the pieces in place for an epic conclusion to his first arc, this is an issue that is sure to be much talked-about.


2. “Batman and Red Hood #20”

B&R20Continuing to wade through the fallout of Requiem, B&R (which is rebranded this month in keeping with DC’s approach since the death of Damian) touches base with Red Hood in what should surely be a unique attempt to delve into the psyche of the Bat. Not only does Bruce explore a loss the likes of which he hasn’t suffered in decades but he does so with Jason Todd, who last caused him to question himself in the wake of a major tragedy.

3. “Private Eye #2”


When a superstar writer like Brian K. Vaughan decides that he’s going to pair up with a fantastic artist like Marcos Martin, people take notice. When the pair decide to buck every trend of digital distribution and offer their product as a pay-what-you-can, DRM-free download, then the internet is sure to explode.

This book is frightening in its depiction of a world that we are all too close to seeing become reality. As ironic as it is to release it on an internet that the book itself destroys in-world, the concepts explored in these pages are too good to miss.

Follow THIS LINK. Download it. Immediately. Also pay for it, because good creators deserve to be supported, as does such a bold experiment.

4. “Chin Music #1”

chinmusic#1What do you get when you take a master of horror and suspense writing in Steve Niles and pair him with an artist whose visceral, sublimely detailed and gruesome character designs in Tony Harris? You get Chin Music, a twisted take on the prohibition era mob scene, spicing it up with more than a hint of magic and utilizing legendary figures such as Elliott Ness and Al Capone.

That such excellent work would be produced by two masters of their respective crafts should come as no surprise. When you’re done reading this book, one of the many questions you’ll find yourself asking is What took these two so long to team up?. It’s a good question but not even the best one to come out of the book.

If the first issue (and check back later today for a spoilerific Advance Review) is any indication, we are in for a terrifyingly wild ride.


While it may be slim pickings, and your retailer may still be recovering from some FCBD mayhem, there are certainly good books hitting shelves this week. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you will find something to suit your tastes. If you haven’t seen enough of your local comic shop this week, then you should be headed out first thing tomorrow to grab each and every one of these. Go! Fly, you fools!


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!

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. 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.

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