Going back and looking through previous Hack Issues posts, I noticed unsurprisingly that there haven’t been a lot of picks from the “big two” of the comics industry. Thanks to the Vertigo imprint, DC has the nod over Marvel, but it’s Image, Dark Horse, and Indies that usually get the spotlight treatment. I say that because this week, there’s one book from DC that I’m genuinely excited for, and two from Marvel that sound like they could be interesting, and while this won’t be the norm for Hack Issues by any means, this week’s spotlight we are going to look at some books from the comic book equivalent of “the man”.
I arrived at the Hellblazer party admittedly kind of late, during the Ennis run following the original writer Jamie Delano. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with DC’s professional bastard occult investigator. I followed along throughout the lengthy Vertigo run, enjoying stories from some pretty high caliber talent, including Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Andy Diggle, Peter Milligan, and others. To be honest, while there was the occasional nod to Swamp Thing, Hellblazer felt like a book that existed all on it’s own in a dark corner of the DC Universe, which is where it belonged, and I never thought for a second that it would end. Other Vertigo books, Preacher, Transmetropolitan, even Swamp Thing, came and went, but Hellblazer just kept on going. Then, tragedy struck and the book ended at issue #300, and even worse, John Constantine was going mainstream, entering full fledged into the regular DCU. Thing even went so far as the put him on a team of other supernatural-type DC characters, calling themselves the Justice League Dark.
As it turned out, it wasn’t quite as bad as I’d expected, and I actually enjoyed what Ray Fawkes, Peter Milligan, and JM DeMatteis did with Constantine during his stint in regular DC continuity. It was still dark, just lacked the adult content and language. Following DC’s latest event, Convergence, Constantine is getting another refresh, once again sporting the “Hellblazer” name, while remaining outside of his Vertigo home, which is personally where I prefer him. The creative team this time around is made up of writer Ming Doyle, who I’ve only ever known for her artwork, and artist Riley Rossmo of Cowboy Ninja Viking fame. The two are interesting choices for Hellblazer to say the least. I’ll be going into this new book with nervous anticipation. Here’s hoping for a more traditional Constantine, who just so happens to swear less.
Solicit from DC:
The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across – his own dark history!
Turning our attention to Marvel, yet another big event is currently happening, known as Secret Wars. Similar to DC’s Convergence, Marvel’s version of the Multiverse is at war with itself, and as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there are some interesting comics coming out of it. First was Where Monsters Dwell, by Garth Ennis which was a fun read, this week we get two more that I’m looking forward to getting into, Marvel Zombies #1 and Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commando’s #1.
Marvel Zombies unfortunately isn’t being written by the original series writer Robert Kirkman, and looks like it’s going to be continuing in the vein of latter entries into the series, instead of the first few outstanding runs. By the end, the whole thing turned into a pretty convoluted mess, still fun but the quality was nothing like when it first started. That said, I’m a bit of a Si Spurrier fan, not so much his X-Force stuff as I’m not a big “X” guy, but his Judge Dredd was very good. Joining Si on this new series is Marvel Zombies 3 alum Kev Walker. To be honest the last time I thought Marvel Zombie was truly good was 3, with the Machine Man stuff.
Solicit from Marvel:
- Elsa Bloodstone is stationed on the Shield, burdened with the Sisyphean task of keeping the zombie hordes from rampaging through Battleworld.
- In those moments where she’s not enrapt in the throes of battle, she meditates on her deceased father… how everything he taught her gave her the means to fight the zombies, but all the love he didn’t give her is what motivated the self-destructive actions that landed her on the Wall in the first place.
- But when she sees a human child caught in the middle of the zombieverse, she’ll muster every ounce of determination she has to throw herself into the zombie horde to rescue the girl.
- And once Elsa finds her, she’s going to have to fight her way back out!
If you’re keeping up with the newest Deadpool series, you’re already aware that Deadpool is married to a vampire. If you aren’t keeping up with it, you aren’t missing much. In Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commando’s, she leads the other residents of Monster Metropolis into battle. I’m into this one for one reason, and it isn’t Mrs. Deadpool. I love it when Marvel actually does anything with their monster characters. In this case the Howling Commando’s are made up of The Living Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, Marcus the Centaur, Man-Thing, and my personal favorite, The Werewolf by Night. This will hopefully be a monster mash of epic proportions. Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan will be writing, with artist Salva Espin who i’m not familiar with.
Solicit from Marvel:
- She is Shiklah – undisputed Queen of the Monster Metropolis below Manhattan!
- In the world that was, she married Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth…
- …But nothing on Battleworld is quite as it was.
- Now, she commands the Howling Commandos: Werewolf By Night! Frankenstein’s Monster! The Living Mummy! Man-Thing! And Marcus the Centaur!
- What would her late husband think of that???
Other notables this week include a brand new Steve Niles series named Disciples, issue 2 of Cullen Bunn’s Harrow County, the fourth issue of Grant Morrison’s Event Horizon-esque Nameless, Re-Animator #3, and a new Brian Wood series named Starve, which pits different types of chefs in battles to the death for the amusement of the rich and famous.
Also out this Week:
- Coffin Hill #19
- Crossed Plus 100 #5
- Disciples #1
- Harrow County #2
- Lady Death Apocalypse #5
- Legenderry Vampirella #5
- Midnight Society: The Black Lake #1
- Nameless #4
- Re-Animator #3
- Robocop #12
- Starve #1
- Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Drawing of the Three: House of Cards #4
- Strange Sports Stories #4
- Walking Dead #142
- Zombies vs Robots #6