In a tight economy, it's not always clear what you should spend your hard-earned money on, and with comic books getting more and more expensive, your dollar doesn’t go as far at the comic shop as it did in the past. We here at Complex feel your pain, so we're providing you with a rundown of the best comics coming out on September 14, 2011.
Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
What it’s about: We know what you’re thinking: You wouldn’t be caught dead reading a Batwoman book. But the truth is that Greg Rucka’s Batwoman run from Detective Comics a couple of years ago featured some of the best Bat-related stories that DC has put out in the last decade.
And in a rare occurrence for Rucka, his scripts were completely overshadowed by the masterful art by J.H. Williams III. Williams’ photorealistic style, mixed with his dynamic use of panel layout, makes him the best artist currently working in comics. Along with art duties, Williams is actually writing this new Batwoman series along with Force Unleashed producer Hayden Blackman.
The series acts as a fresh start for new fans looking to jump onboard with this criminally underrated character as she deals with her dysfunctional relatives, seedy sociopaths, and a shadowy government agency. Batwoman stories feature the same pulse-pounding stories of any Batman comic—she just happens to be a weave-sporting lesbian in a pair of high-heel boots.
Our advice: Put away your misconceptions about female heroines and pick up this book. At the very least, it’s 22 pages of eye-candy.
Green Lantern #1
What it’s about: It’s been a generally disappointing year for all Green Lantern fans. Not only did the War Of The Green Lanterns story arc get the shaft due to production problems and DC's reboot, but the character’s feature film debut was a complete dud that may have forever tainted his image in the mainstream.
But make no mistake about it, Green Lantern is a cosmic/sci-fi/space-opera that has tons of action and an emotional anchor in Hal Jordan. And the man who resurrected the character’s comic book career, Geoff Johns, is back on the job for this new Green Lantern book, though with a slight twist: Sinestro, Hal Jordan’s greatest enemy, is now a member of the Green Lantern Corps.
After h's mysteriously bonded to a Green Lantern ring that he can't remove, the Guardians of the Universe seek to keep Sinestro around to work for their own purposes, but there's still a lot of suspicion surrounding the one-time dictator.
This is a perfect place for people wary of the Green Lantern to start reading his adventures in order to see just how dynamic his world really is. It doesn’t feature tacky CGI, a giant turd monster, or Ryan Reynolds, so it already has that working for it.
Fear Itself #6
What it’s about: As Marvel’s yearly blockbuster crossover, the title Fear Itself alone promises tons of explosions, a copious amount of death, and plenty of cliffhanger endings to keep fans squabbling for months. Writer Matt Fraction has so far delivered just that, almost to a fault.
Focusing on the appearance of the Serpent, the God of Fear, this book features the Avengers, along with the rest of the Marvel heroes, as they battle against forces hell bent on taking over the Earth and filling its citizens with complete terror. Backed up by some gorgeous art by Stuart Immonen, Fear Itself packs plenty of action, but don’t expect an Earth-shattering story to go along with it.
What to expect this month: After Thor was nearly killed last issue by a possessed Hulk and Thing, issue #6 starts off with the heroes, in an effort to save their friend, confronting Odin and pleading for the Allfather’s help in destroying the Serpent.
The Fear Itself series has stalled somewhat after a strong debut issue, so both Marvel and Matt Fraction need to make sure that the last act of the story lives up to the hype. But, again, it’s tough to ask for too much from a series that hinges on little more than some widescreen action and incredible art. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the mayhem.
What it’s about: After decades of writers handling Daredevil like hes a handicapped Caped Crusader, the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen has been given a face-lift (i.e., a sunnier disposition) by writer Mark Waid. Gone are the days when shootings, stabbings, and rape dominated the stories; now, Daredevil is back to being a swashbuckling adventurer much in the same vein as Errol Flynn, sans the groovy moustache.
Even though Waid has been pumping out stellar scripts, Paolo Rivera's art is the book's real life-changing experience. It blends the quirky panel layouts of Jim Steranko with the dynamic flow of John Buscema into one unrivaled pop-art package. It simply needs to be seen.
What to expect this month: Ol’ Horn Head is up to his billy club in trouble as he faces off against the Klaw, the master of sound. What better way to battle a superhero who's sensitive to noise than to have him battle a man that could rattle a mountain with a simple blast from his sonic gun?
And, on top of that, Matt Murdock has been discredited in the public eye and no one in their right mind would hire him as their lawyer. So now Murdock must find a way to prove Ahmed Jobrani’s innocence without stepping foot in a courtroom. Only three issues into its new run, Daredevil already looks like Marvel's best book.
What it’s about: Written by Batman and Swamp Thing scribe Scott Snyder, and his longtime friend Scott Tuft, Severed is an indie horror tale that doesn’t jump right out at you with an obvious brand of chills, but instead it slowly eats away at your sense of security with disturbing imagery and bizarre reveals.
Set during the early 1900’s, Severed focuses on a young man in search of his father, and his legacy, in Chicago, but as the country’s newfound sense of opportunity begins to put everyone’s guard down, a deranged killer looks to take advantage.
What to expect this month: The second issue of Severed delivers more of the same unsettling vibes as the first one, but it also digs deep into the characters of Jack Garron and the omnipresent, and infinitely creepy, Salesman. This book deals with the idealism of youth, and the slow descent of corruption that inevitably envelopes everyone as they get older.
Along the way, Snyder and Tuft offer up a true departure for people tired of the same old superhero comic and they even manage to make a horror book appealing to people that normally scoff at the genre. And coupled with the spine-tingling scripts, Severed also touts some heavily atmospheric art by Attila Futaki.
Futaki has a photorealistic style that helps the whole book become more grounded and believable. But he can also pull out a startling page, like the one present in the first third of the issue, that will make you recoil in abject terror.