WLG #406: Mission Accomplished

A column article by: Matt Spatola

Mission Accomplished.

That should be the phrase flying around the Marvel Studios offices this past weekend following the US debut of The Avengers. It’s broken a few records and as I’m writing this is on target of making $200+ million during the premier weekend of its US release. That will bring it to an amazing $642 million in just 12 days. Marvel Studios’ previous biggest seller, Iron Man 2, made $623 million during its entire release period.

Like many of you I’ve seen the movie a couple of times already. I saw it at a midnight IMAX showing on Thursday as well as in good old fashioned, ‘regular’ 2D on Sunday. And I join the chorus of fans and moviegoers who are giving the movie nothing but praise. I loved it. Whedon and company did an excellent job under difficult circumstances. And they did it in a way that it didn’t seem like he was going down a checklist of scenes or things that needed to be included in the movie and then connecting it all together.

As has been mentioned in many of the reviews Whedon mastered balance with this movie. He balanced the use of the characters, giving everyone their own screen time as well as their own part of the overall storyline. The individual characters and their personal stories were all served and at the same time left in place for their upcoming solo movies.

I don’t want to take up much more of the column but just will say that I am very impressed with what Marvel Studios has done from the beginning up to the Avengers and I’m both curious and excited as to where they will be going next with these characters and with any new additions to their cinema universe.

With so much attention focused on the big corporate owned Avengers characters right now, I thought that with this week’s column I’d go the opposite direction and throw some attention on creator owned books and share my thoughts on some of those shipping this week.


Higher Earth #1 $1 (Sam Humphries & Carlos Magno)

You Are Illegal On This Earth. Space is dead. Why conquer other planets when there's a perfectly good Earth in the universe next door? Heidi, a girl born in garbage. Rex, a soldier gone rogue. The only thing between them and their destiny is an empire of a hundred different Earths, across a hundred alternate timelines. One majestic planet dominates them all: Higher Earth. Created and written by Sam Humphries (Fanboys Vs. Zombies) Higher Earth is his sci-fi follow up to last year's indie hit Our Love Is Real, a fast-paced epic of infinite possibilities. 

Humphries is the latest ‘creator to watch’ to hit the mainstream comics market. After just a year from his initial self publishing success  with Our Love Is Real and Sacrifice, he’s now writing Marvel’s The Ultimates- with a few other projects in the pipeline there- and starting this new ongoing at BOOM!

And I’m the perfect customer for BOOM! with this book. I always try to support new creators and titles. Plus I never turn down a $1 comic.


Fatale #5 $3.50 (Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips)

The surprise hit of 2012 continues! Fatale's first arc veers dangerously toward its crushing end... all the pieces are in place, Josephine and her lover are prepared to execute their plan, but only one of them knows what kind of men (or demons) they're dealing with. Nothing will go as planned, and there will be blood. And remember, FATALE is packed with extras - text pieces, art, paintings - that are only included in the printed comics, so don't miss an issue!

If there is any creative team in comics currently that can be labeled ‘a sure thing’ it most certainly should be Bru & Phillips. Just look at their history- Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito and now Fatale.  They are the pedigree for pulp noir graphic fiction. So if you are not already reading this series I’m not sure what has been stopping you.

Also I’m big on extra material and they include a great deal of extras in their books to really make the cover prices ‘worth it’ to monthly readers. And by only including those extras in the comics and not the collections they reward the regular Wednesday comic shop customers.

Thanks guys for recognizing the importance of the comic store customer when it seems that many publishers are putting their eyes more on the bookstore and digital customer.


Takio #1 $3.95 (Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming)

 Bursting from the pages of last year's best-selling graphic novel! From the Eisner Award-winning creators of POWERS comes this all-new, all-ages superhero adventure for a new generation! Taki and Olivia are sisters with superpowers! In fact, they are the only ones in the world with superpowers! So obviously, they have to become superheroes! But is the world ready for real-life superheroes? Are the girls ready for the challenge? And will the accident that made them who they are reveal secrets that will change their lives forever? The answers are no, no and yes. This is a brand-new all-ages adventure. A new book for comic-book fans of all ages. A book you can share with your kids or just enjoy for yourself. TAKIO is on the 2012 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens List!

Before the graphic novel came out last year I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy from Brian that I immediately shared with my 10 year old daughter. And she, after reading it, immediately shared it with several of her friends from school, boys and girls.

So when I told her that a few months back that the book was now going to be a series they were all very excited. Now my daughter is not much for the normal monthly comic book format, she really did prefer the smaller hardcover almost-digest size of the original book. But she doesn’t care of the format she just wants to read it. And that’s the excitement for comics-in any form- that we all need to be supporting.  Buy a copy a copy or two, read them and pass them on.

Well that’s my picks for What Looks Good this week. And to not upset a few of you by my ‘ignoring of some of the comics from the bigger publishers, here are a few of those that you should also check out while at the store:

  • Wolverine and the X-Men #10- oh yeah, there’s this little thing called Avengers vs. X-Men going on I heard…
  • Batman #9- more Owls and Bats, and a special back up starring Alfred!
  • Captain America #11- McNiven, Davis and now Zircher…good book, always great art
  • Fury Max #1- Nick Fury written by Garth Ennis; kicking ass…to the max!

Thanks everyone. Feel free to share your comments on my choices or some of your own ideas on What Looks Good. See you all in a couple of weeks.

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