ADVANCE SCOUT: Politics and Pizza Dog

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:

This week we are pleased to bring you a selection of titles that is easily the most thought-provoking collection of titles since this feature began. We’ve got immortal rich people, superpowered stoners, modern mutations, and the inimitable Hawkguy! Each and every book features characters who lack the traditional trapping of super hero comics, terrific art teams, and writers who have proven over years that they really know their craft. There isn’t a book here that a discerning reader won’t enjoy on quality alone and, if you’re the kind of person who likes a little relevance with your books (which is probably why you’re here), then there is a lot on this list you’ll simply love. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS:

1. “Lazarus #1”

"Lazarus #1" (w) Greg Rucka (a) Michael Lark Image Comics, $2.99
“Lazarus #1”
(w) Greg Rucka
(a) Michael Lark
Image Comics, $2.99

Rarely do episodic installments of sequential graphic storytelling (otherwise known as monthly comics) attempt to address issues that affect our society directly. The books that do are few and far-between, and often fall into the trap of becoming preachy treatises on societal ills, offering little in terms of narrative to help the reader place the point in context. When they do, and particularly when they do so as directly as the book I’ll be looking at in this week’s Featured Review, it is important that we give them the attention that they so richly deserve.

“Lazarus #1,” the first issue in an ongoing series that re-teams writer Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark (a pairing well-known to fans of Gotham Central), seeks to dive headlong into one of the most pressing problems facing the world today, namely Wealth Inequality.

You can read a complete Advance Review HERE.

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2. “The Bounce #2”

The Bounce #2 (w)Joe Casey (a) David Messina Image Comics, $2.99
The Bounce #2
(w)Joe Casey
(a) David Messina
Image Comics, $2.99

After a questionable debut that left some readers wondering, “The Bounce” returns this month for a second issue that goes much deeper into the inner workings of Jasper Jenkins world.
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There is a lot more to this book than meets the eye, as well as a great deal more depth than one would expect after a first issue that had many fans scratching their heads.

Believe it or not, The Bounce may well be one of the most relevant books on shelves this week, so put it in your pipe and smoke it.

For a full Advance Review, click HERE.
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3. “Ballistic #1”

Ballistic #1 (w) Adam Egypt Mortimer  (a) Darick Robertson (c) Diego Rodriguez (l) Crank! Black Mask Studios, 33 pages.
“Ballistic #1”
(w) Adam Egypt Mortimer
(a) Darick Robertson
(c) Diego Rodriguez
(l) Crank!
Black Mask Studios, 33 pages.

Black Mask Comics’s latest offering is a unique blend of science fiction and science fact that creates a final product that bears remarkable similarities to some of the best work from the underground comics scene.

For a complete ADVANCE REVIEW, click HERE.

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4. “Hawkeye #11”

"Hawkeye #11" (w) Matt Fraction (a) Francisco Francavilla Marvel Comics, $2.99
“Hawkeye #11”
(w) Matt Fraction
(a) Francisco Francavilla
Marvel Comics, $2.99

Two words: Pizza Dog.

The canine companion to Marvel’s battling bowman has become a fan favorite since his introduction in the first issue of the series, and the concept of an entire issue told from PD’s point of view is a fascinating one.

Hawkeye has consistently been among the best books on shelves each month, and there is no reason to expect that this month’s issue will be anything less, even with the Hawkguy himself pushed to the background.

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5. “Uncanny #1”

"Uncanny #1" (w) Andy Diggle (a) Dan Panosian (a) Aaron Campbell Dynamite Comics, $3.99
“Uncanny #1”
(w) Andy Diggle
(a) Aaron Campbell
Dynamite Comics, $3.99

The concept on it’s face is an intriguing one: a man who can strip others of their special abilities, whatever they may be.

This callback to a core concept once featured in shows like The Pretender is enough reason to find this book intriguing, but if the more discerning readers need further motivation, the creative team of Diggle and Campbell should bring them off the fence.

Dynamite is best-known for licensed work and pulp heroes, but this deviation from form should make for an excellent tale.

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ANALYSIS

It’s a great week if you’re a reader who doesn’t demand escapism from their comics but looks for comics to provide themes and messages that explore real-world problems and issues. Even Pizza Dog is a very street-level look at what it means to be a hero, and every other title on the list explores some fascinating facets of the world we live in. Hopefully some (or all!) of these will make your pull list this Wednesday!

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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!

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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