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 February 8, 2011.
Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
What it’s about: Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft’s rural horror tale about a young boy in search of his father has been a real surprise over the past few months. Centering on Jack Garron’s cross-country journey and his introduction to the sadistic Salesman, Severed is a suspense comic for the more sophisticated reader.
Instead of focusing on cheap scares and tasteless gore, Snyder and Tuft have made psychological horror the book's most prominent trait. Last issue, Garron was faced with the unbridled terror of the Salesman as he looked to finish the boy off once and for all. And in issue #7, it all comes to a head.
What to expect this month: This is it—the last issue of Severed is here and it doesn’t disappoint. The entire series, Snyder and Tuft have slowly set the stage for a big confrontation between Jack Garron and the Salesman, and it's here with even more brutality than anyone could have imagined. The sheer, visceral emotion is jarring at first and further proves that Snyder and Tuft are playing for keeps.
There's no dramatic last-minute rescue or deus ex machina here; it all comes down to Garron's moxy and fisticuffs as he attempts to overcome The Salesman. And while the ending seems to wrap everything up nicely, Snyder and Tuft leave readers reeling with one of the most terrifying final pages we have seen in a while. Plus, even though the scripts are creepy enough, the art by Attila Futaki really sends this whole issue, especially that final page, over the top.
Severed is a comic book for people that want something different than the norm. Reading the whole series from beginning to end uninterrupted is an experience that should be able to convert even the most ardent comic doubters.
What it’s about: In a matter of months, Batwoman has gone from being just one of DC’s many new titles to becoming one of the company's best books. Writers J.H. Williams and Hayden Blackman have crafted an incredibly unique superhero book that manages to separate itself from the numerous Bat books on the stands. There are enough superhero beats to keep mainstream fans happy here, but there's also an indie comic feel to attract a more cult-like audience.
Armed with terrific art and gripping stories, Batwoman has made the character of Kate Kane, an open lesbian, into more than just a publicity stunt. Batman fans everywhere should put aside their preconceptions about female crime fighters and take a look at what has become a gem within the superhero genre.
What to expect this month: The next chapter in Batwoman’s life begins here. Last issue she took a deal to join the Department of Exrtanormal Operations, a shadowy government agency, in order to grant her father leniency from the feds, and now she has to deal with her decision.
This issue continues some of the plot threads from the last story arc, but it should be easy enough for new fans to pick up and not get lost. Kate Kane continues to track down the kidnapped children of Gotham while contending with a new supernatural villain named Maro, who is connected to the group of kidnappers collectively known as Medusa.
Secret Avengers #22
What it’s about: The Avengers are publicly adored heroes that operate in the daylight for all the world to see; the Secret Avengers, on the other hand, are a clandestine group of heroes that perform tasks that the general population can never know about. Sporting a harder edge, the Secret Avengers aren’t a typical super team; they are often just as hostile towards each other as they are the enemy, which makes every mission more tenuous than the last.
This issue marks the debut of a new creative team, with Rick Remender writing the scripts and Gabriel Hardman on art duties. It's the perfect place for people looking forward to the Avengers movie to hop on board and get a different take on the heroic ensemble.
What to expect this month: A new era begins here as the team shuffles its roster and faces off against the threat of classic Avengers foe, Adaptoids. Giant Man and Captain Britain join the team in this issue as the squad’s new leader, Hawkeye, assembles his own Secret Avengers.
In the past, Secret Avengers has given fans a different take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which is tough to do with a franchise that is almost 50-years-old. The real selling point of this title is that it shows off some of the lesser-known heroes of the Marvel Universe, so it's perfect for anyone looking to broaden their knowledge of the superhero world.
Avengers: The Origin - Trade Paperback
What it’s about: Finally back in print, Joe Casey’s Avengers: The Origin is collected here in a complete trade paperback. Retelling the early days of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, this miniseries takes an expanded look at the first few Avengers story with a more modern storytelling sensibility. Here, the heroes take on the villainous Loki, not to mention each other, as their rocky partnership begins in its infancy.
The way Casey crafts the Avengers as an inexperienced, paranoid bunch is completely different than how they have been portrayed over the past few decades. Even Iron Man’s clunky gold armor is a far cry from the sleek crimson suit he wears now. But it all works well, and there's a dense sense of nostalgia that fills every page. And, come on: It’s always fun to turn back the clock and see our favorite heroes before they were super.
With The Avengers becoming household names recently, a story like this is a perfect place for newcomers to really understand what makes these characters so ever-lasting. There's a lot of back story to the Avengers lore, and there's no better place to start than here, especially if the actual Silver Age comics themselves don’t appeal to you.
There aren’t many things better in the Marvel Universe than seeing Iron Man take on Hulk or Thor battle it out with Loki, and the art by Phil Noto pulls these scenes off brilliantly. If you’re looking to brush-up on your Avengers history, or if you just want to kick back with a fun superhero story, Avengers: The Origin should be able to scratch that itch with ease.