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Captain Kirk’s Pick of the Pulls: V-Wars #1

It’s a short list this week but it’s got some titles that have a lot of interest and a lot of promise, I’m really pleased to say. Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

The picks for this week are:

Marvel Comics

The Amazing Spider-Man #1

DC Comics

Batman Eternal #4

Dark Horse Comics

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #4

Top Cow Productions, Inc.

Tales of Honor #2

IDW

V-Wars #1

The Amazing Spider-Man #1

amazing-spider-man-1
(Marvel)

Nothing short of a major publicity stunt. This $5.99, over-sized monstrosity is an amalgamation of short stories that deal with the after-effects of Peter Parker returning back to his body and ousting Doctor Octopus back into the nether-verse … or wherever it is his soul will go.

But here’s the thing – it could have been so much better. I actually liked this storyline. I thought it was a very innovative scheme while at the same time providing for an avenue of security for Peter Parker to return. They already killed Parker off in the Ultimates universe, right? They couldn’t do it again. Plus, everyone likes Peter Parker – he’s the behavioural standard that comic-geeks adhere to when faced with a moral dilemma: what would Peter Parker do?

The initial pages of Peter dealing with his return to his life: discovering he has a new industrial conglomerate to run, a healed Aunt May and so forth (I’m trying to retain a spoiler-free piece here) are eclipsed by the collection of other vignettes about other character ramifications in this issue. While I appreciate the stratagem of the teaser, I think it would have been best to have dropped one page hints about these other characters and develop them in independent storylines later on in future issues. It just seems to me that would allow for guaranteed sales in the future.

Still, to be fair, I’m glad Parker is back in his own body. But will his new-found wealth and status change him from the appealing moralist we knew and loved?

Batman Eternal #4

Batman-Eternal
(DC)

I’m not so sure what the aim of this comic is. Perhaps if I’d paid more attention to it earlier on, I’d get a better idea. But let’s face it: Batman comics are in the thralls of over-proliferation. If DC isn’t careful, this publishing effort is going to dilute the value and appeal of the character over time. Look at Marvel’s X-titles and Wolverine. Just because a character is doing well, don’t over-promote it.

However, with that said, not a bad independent storyline. It would be nice if it fit more into the regular continuity of the DC universe, but the strained dynamism between Batman and Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) surrounding the incarceration of her father in Blackgate Prison was pretty entertaining. So, in the end, not a bad story to pick up.

Tales of Honor #2

tales-of-honor
(Top Cow)

Okay – I’m not crazy about the art. Structurally, it’s sound and aesthetically pleasing, but the choice of poses for the characters are a little stale. Honor Harrington stands and points at other characters at least four times in the same position. It’s a little repetitive.

However, as a devotee of the Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower novels, this is an absolute must for me. I love this novel, written by David Weber. I’m really pleased to see it take form in this medium. I think I read these years ago, but it’s rewarding to see the ‘Honor-verse’ remain popular. It’s a great read and I think this should to be added to your lists, particularly if you aren’t familiar with this novel series.

As a side note – I haven’t seen a lot of Top Cows floppies these days. It’s good that they’re getting back in the game, and that they’re leading with a solid story teller like David Weber.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #4

serenity-dark-horse
(Dark Horse)

I get the feeling that Zack Whedon is stretching this out. Too little is happening for my tastes. Maybe I’m being impatient, seeing as I’m just happy to see Firefly continuing in some form that can be considered canon. I’m personally hoping for a cloned return of Shepard and Wash (I’ll settle for Wash), but hey – I’ll take it. I’m starved for a Whedon-esque universe. I’ll definitely continue with this story for sure.

VWars #1

VWars-IDW
(IDW)

I’ve been anticipating the debut of this comic. It’s the creation of horror writer Jonathan Mayberry and it’s definitely fun to read. I love the premise – just truncated enough for everyone to immediately jump into the story and start having a great time. Mayberry does a great job of setting up the plot and giving us characters that are worth following. Jay Fotos’ colouring work is right on the ball – fresh off the job from another of IDW’s publications, Locke and Key – one of my favourites. He adds the right amount of zest for a bloody and battling comic like this one. It’s a fun romp through a vampire-infested war zone that represents itself truly. It is what it is – and you’ll be doing yourself a favour to pick up a copy.

… And thus endeth the pick of the pulls for this week. My pick?

IDW’s V Wars!

What a great debut. Full of action and starts off the bat with a lot of splash and attention-grabbing art. That’s what you want in a debut comic. Initially, I thought Tales of Honor would have vied for top spot on my list, but it the subdued art gave me pause. Both are excellent comics and I’m sure Tales of Honor will definitely make me reconsider my list status again, but for this week, the honour goes to V Wars. Well done, Messrs Mayberry, Robinson and Fotos! I look forward to the next issue!

That’s it for me! Remember that Free Comic Book Day is happening this weekend. You’ll also get a chance to pick up V Wars #0 as a freebie, so keep an eye out for that!

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About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.