author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.
* Not quite (meant to be experienced as) comics
^ Out of time
% Creator behind the wheel
¢ Technology solves every plotting problem
^ % MADMAN 20TH ANNIVERSARY MONSTER
You can't accuse Mike Allred of being poorly connected. This oversized $100 hardcover includes new material (mostly one-page stories and pin-ups) from a Murderer's Row of creators, including the Hernandez brothers, Jeff Smith, Craig Thompson, Dave Cooper, Peter Bagge, Paul Pope, Matt Wagner, and so on, as well as a new story by Allred himself, and a bunch of reprints of older guest-artist images. Also out this week: Chris Roberson and Allred's iZombie
^ ¢ ACTION COMICS #6
Grant Morrison writes, Andy Kubert draws, there's a backup by people who are not named Morrison or Kubert, the Legion of Super-Heroes is involved. And next issue it'll pick up where it left off two issues ago. Anyone want to place any bets about the issue order in the eventual collection?
¢ DEFENDERS #3
The first two issues of this Matt Fraction/Terry Dodson relaunch of the venerable Marvel "non-team" franchise have been a lot of fun--so far, its tone seems to be an updated version of the anything-goes Steve Gerber incarnation. I'm very fond of the running metacommentary at the bottom of each page, too.
* ^ % ¢ FRANK READE: ADVENTURES IN THE AGE OF INVENTION
Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett follow up 2009's wonderful Boilerplate
with another volume of faux-historical faux-non-fiction, packed with convincing faux-archival visual artifacts. The secret word is "steampunk."
* ^ JOHN ROMITA SR.'S AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: ARTIST'S EDITION
Romitaphiles: this $125 IDW reprint of six of his best late-'60s issues (and some covers) is a gorgeous thing, reproduced directly from his original art at what I believe is the original size.
% SERGIO ARAGONÉS FUNNIES #7
I wonder how long it takes Aragonés to write and draw one of these suckers. I have a mental image of him wandering the streets, having wacky adventures that he can recount twenty or thirty years from now, then getting home, realizing that it's 4:15 PM and the new issue is due by 5:00, having a cup of coffee, taking care of a little bit of laundry, then finally pulling out a stack of Bristol board, knocking out 22 pages in six and a half minutes, and grimacing when he realizes he's gone way over his best time.
* V FOR VENDETTA WACKY WOBBLER
Creators should not be afraid of their publishers. Publishers should be afraid of their creators.
^ % ¢ XOMBI
John Rozum and Frazer Irving's fine short-lived series from last year--two Zs in the creators' names, none in the title--gets collected. If this thing had been part of the New 52, y'all would be lapping it up like it was Frankenstein
, at least. Instead, it lasted six issues before getting the hook. Super-powered Catholic nuns! Incredible color technique! How did you miss this? Because you did.