Greetings, crusaders! October is in full swing now and this week was dense with titles, and choosing ones for this column was tough (thank goodness for deadlines!). If you’re new to how all this works let me recap; I am a comic book enthusiast who reads everything he can get his hands on in the medium. Each week, I sort through my box and choose what I think is worth talking about. All opinions are mine, and your opinions and comments are always encouraged and welcomed. We good? Excellent. On to the picks:
A continuation of his “Trio” series (although you haven’t had to have read that title to get this), John Byrne gives us a perfect slice of throwback style and pace, both artistically and narratively. I had the same feelings reading this when I read George Perez’s first issues of the DC New 52 Superman—comfort, fun, and escapism. Maybe I am showing the grey hairs in my reading, but Triple Helix to me seems closer to how I want super-hero comics to feel, and maybe that is the reason I have not been reading them on a regular basis.
The Archer and Armstrong team, who are obviously having fun putting these stories together, give us yet another perfect place to jump in to this comedy buddy cop-esque team up. The boys are feuding with each other, and the forces of the sect are starting to tear themselves apart for ultimate control of… well, we are just going to have to find out in this arc. Along with Quantum and Woody, Valiant has continued to show a solid development in the genre of the buddy book.
By the end of this issue Red Sonja is angry… and you don’t want to mess with her when she is angry. The Gail Simone I fell in love with who wrote Secret Six (what’s that? don’t know what that is? Go.Now.Find.Read.Discuss.) has all those lovely dark side skills on display here. This title has the mojo working for it.
Every now and again something makes me remember why I bother with comics when a story hits that magical combination of art, narrative, and that certain intangible something that kept you coming back when you were reading them for the first time. Paul Pope has pulled off this trick, and I am happy to say his own take on the hero book—mixing many elements of not only genre but also the history of hero narrative—is just the beginning. Battling Boy is what gets people hooked on comics, and it would be a dis-service if I did not pass it on. Start a book club with this one, or, better yet, give it to a young person who loves imagination and adventure.
Quietly, Hogan and Parkhouse’s second volume of their not of this world gumshoe is one of the most under-rated, reserved, quality who-done-its on the shelf in 2013 next to Rucka’s and Southworth’s Stumptown. Minimalism is the word here folks, and nothing feels wasted. The depiction of Harry is one of the few characters in comics written with a real conviction and the ability to draw empathy from the reader.
So there it is folks: another week in the books. Good to see some old favorites putting out some quality work for new readers. As always, feel free to comment on my picks or interject your own in the comments section below, over on our Facebook page, or mention us on twitter (@capelesscrusade) with the hashtag #afterwednesday. See you next week, and happy reading everybody!