Tag Archives: howard the duck

Review: Howard the Duck #5

howard-the-duck-5THE EPIC CONCLUSION! A cosmic battle to end all battles with Howard in the middle! Can he put an end to THE COLLECTOR once and for all with the help of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Silver Surfer? Seriously, I’m asking you. I’m on, like, page 12 o this script and I. Am. Stumped.

There are some comics that are released these days that, while superbly excellent, are still on the darker side of the medium (Old Man Logan springs to mind, as does 21 Pulp‘s Imposter). That’s not Howard the Duck #5.

This is a brilliant story that, on the surface, is a light hearted slice of fun.

I’ve been a huge fan of the series since it began early last year (yes, I am including the other issues numbered 1 through 5 from before Secret Wars  reset the numbering on almost everything), and a large part of that is the almost innocently chaotic nature of Chip Zdarsky‘s writing.

Howard the Duck #5 has been out for a week now, and while it’s not an ideal jumping on point for new readers (in fact, it’s probably the worst place for a new reader to start – the conclusion to a five part story arc? It’s probably far more enjoyable being read from start to finish, but I might be wrong in that assumption), it’s still a great conclusion to the opening story arc. Zdarsky has never shied away from including comedy into Howard‘s adventures, and while some of his characterizations of the numerous guest stars this issue may read to some as caricatures of the more standard appearances, for me that worked – but I can easily see why it may not be as successful for others.

Overall, while this may not be the best jumping on point (and next issue is the second part in a two part crossover with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6, so that may also not be ideal unless you also read that issue…) it’s a fitting conclusion to a story that has been the right kind of madcap crazy fun sprinkled with a deceptive ability to get you right in the feels.

Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artist: Joe Quinones
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

descender11_CoverArtWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Voracious #2 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – If you had a time machine would you make a T-Rex burger? If you could read a comic about a time traveler opening a restaurant where he does just that, wouldn’t you? The first issue had the right balance of humour and a genuine ability to get you in the feels. Voracious is a series to pay attention too.

Detective Comics #50 (DC Comics) – The last two issues have been exactly what I have been looking for with Jim Gordon as Batman, and after only picking them up last week, I`m pumped to get a copy of #50, which s the first time I can say that honestly for Detective Comics since the mech-suit Batman debuted.

Haunted Mansion #1 (Marvel) – My wife is a big Disney fan, so I’m actually being a good husband and picking this up for her… however I am also really curious how the ride will be adapted into comic form, myself. Could be fun.

Howard the Duck #5 (Marvel) – There’s something hilariously ridiculous about Howard the Duck being given the Power Cosmic. That it`s actually being handled well is just mind blowing.

Ninjak #13 (Valiant) – The concluding part to what has been a terrific arc so far. Not the best place to start, but I can’t wait for Operation: Deadside’s finale.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Mockingbird #1 (Marvel) – I have to admit, I love Bobbi Morse.  When it was revealed she was taken by Skrulls and held hostage for years in Secret Invasion, I was thrilled to see her back.  It was a great return; her seeing her ex husband Hawkeye again (and teaming up in their own book, that sadly didn’t last), having her back with the Avengers, then Secret Avengers; then giving her a twist by getting the Infinity formula from Nick Fury when she needed blood to survive an attack.  But, as usually happens, liberties were taken with the character (false memories, lost memories, thinking she WAS the woman who was her cover) and Bobbi faded back into the shadows.  WELL now she’s back, and I am excited.  I’m guessing this will be based more off the Bobbi from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.  Not that I don’t like her tv counterpart…but I’m hoping for an exciting new take on a character I’ve liked for so long.

The Mighty Thor #5 (Marvel) – Thor vs. Odin!  Take a seat kiddies…this is going to be fun.

Uncanny Avengers #7 (Marvel) – I am only looking forward to this because it is a tie-in to Standoff, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Avengers get involved in this.

The Vision #5 (Marvel) – If you are not reading this book yet, what the heck are you waiting for?  One of THE best of the new Marvel titles and I can’t wait to see the consequences when the secrets hiding in this book come to light.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Descender #11 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics on the market right now. The sci-fi story is solid and the art is absolutely beautiful. Every issue has delivered and then some.

The Bunker #15 (Oni Press) – Its felt like a while since the last issue, but every issue is fantastic. The series blends the future and present as we see individuals scramble to prevent (or is it make sure) a devastating future happens.

Legend of Wonder Woman #3 (DC Comics) – This is the Wonder Woman series we’ve been waiting for. Each issue has been fantastic so far.

Mockingbird #1 (Marvel) – In recent times Marvel has had mixed success when it comes to Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird. Her use at times has been great, and at other points so-so. With a higher profile on television it’ll be interesting to see what this series it like.

Voracious #2 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The first issue of this series caught me off guard and what I found was an entertaining series that has some fun with the whole celebrity chef/interesting eating phase that’s going on. I’ve been looking forward to seeing what the second issue would be like.

Review: Howard The Duck #4

howard-the-duck-4She’s obsessed, she’s powerful, she’s ALMOST the new herald of Galactus! And like the rest of the universe, SCOUT is after Howard. But with an eye to ending the hunger of the Devourer of Worlds!

After four issues, we finally get an answer as to what in the blue hell happened to cause the very first scene in this series. The scene, in case you haven’t been reading the comic, was of Howard the Duck surfing through the cosmos chased by innumerable ships (okay, I could probably count them, but the issue is in a long box right now and I’m lazy… so innumerable it is. It also sounds more dramatic, right?) on a certain silver surfboard.

I’m not lying.

Howard The Duck has become easily one of my most anticipated comics currently being released each month, and a large part of that is because of Chip Zdarsky. He’s funny without making this a comedy book – while I’m laughing away each issue, the story would be good without the laughs, there’s an underlying emotional core here that’s exploring the depths you’d go to for a friend that makes each issue a pleasure to read. That it’s funny on top of that is the icing on a very beautiful cake.

I’ve been told that this series couldn’t measure up to Steve Gerber‘s run, and while that may be true, I have no basis for comparison. I’ve never read that run but I have no reason to disbelieve that at all, and so while this volume of Howar the Duck is ongoing I have no intention to pick up the Gerber run on the off chance it ruins my love of Zdarsky‘s Howard.

One day, maybe.

But going back to this issue, another huge plus for me this issue is the fact that there’s no back up strip any more. While I enjoyed the Gwenpool strip – it was a decent story – I’m not unhappy that there isn’t a second new Gwenpool story starting up as I get the feeling that she’s a character to be enjoyed in small doses. I’m also quite happy that the comic has dropped a dollar in price (and with the Canadian dollar where it is right now, that’s not a bad thing).

When all is said and done, there were some great comics released last week, but for my money Howard the Duck #4 was among the best of the bunch.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Joe Quinones & Joe Rivera
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

JR4_Cover B by Keith BurnsWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Mr. H

Top Pick: Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics) – Finally Miles Morales in his own stand alone book in the Prime Universe! Very excited for this one. With Peter Parker as his mentor will the old Parker luck rub off on our hero? Or will he reach new heights? Maybe an internship at Parker Industries awaits? Come and see Web heads!

Action Comics #49 (DC Comics) – Did Clark survive his Kryptonite overdose? Can he stand up to Vandal Savage? Find out here…

Green Lantern #49 (DC Comics) – The race to 50 is on.. is Hal ready for the coming of Parallax?

We are Robin #8 (DC Comics) – More like we are Joker this month. Let’s see how the social media treats a gang of villains rather than the fledgling heroes. One question needs to be asked “Why so serious?”

 

Ashley

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 3 (Image Comics) – Initially thought to be a low arc due to the use of guest artists, the “Commercial Suicide” arc ended up being a brilliant and heartbreaking arc that focused more on the other characters we don’t get to see as much of in the bigger scheme of WicDiv. Exploring issues of fate, misogyny, pop stardom, cultural appropriation, and death, this experimental arc demonstrated WicDiv’s staying power.

Batgirl #48 (DC Comics) – There’s only two things I know about this issue. One, Black Canary is back in town and teaming up with Babs. Two, BABS TARR FINALLY GOT TO DRAW A LUCHA BATGIRL. Kalisto is US Champion, Lucha Underground is back, and there is an actual Luchador Batgirl costume now. What a time to be alive.

Captain Marvel #2 (Marvel) – Exhale everyone, Carol is just as lively and hardheaded as ever in the hands of Butters and Fazekas. Not to mention those abs by Anka. While it hasn’t made me cry yet, the series has me intrigued with its new use of Alpha Flight and the mystery reveal of the skeleton crew from the last issue. It’ll be interesting to see just what is in store for Carol at this “desk job.”

Pretty Deadly #8 (Image Comics) – I have a special place in my heart for the Deconnick/Ríos/Bellaire supernatural western, but this arc has been breathtaking both in story and art. Now, we finally get to meet the Reaper of War and maybe figure out just what his deal is.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot #2 (Marvel) – The first run at the Rocket Raccoon comic was an absolutely uproarious affair that made it one of my favorite Marvel titles. Skottie Young and Filipe Andrade seem to be taking a slightly different route this time with Rocket not knowing who he is after his death in Secret Wars, but the humor still seems to be there.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Johnny Red #4 (Titan Comics) – I love this series, and I’ve been counting down the days to each issues release. It is a fantastic World War II era story that highlights the struggles faced in Russia around that time, coupled with some truly stunning visual techniques.

Howard The Duck #4 (Marvel) – If not for Old Man Logan, this would be the only Marvel book I’d be reading, and that’s thanks in a large part to writer Chip Zdarsky’s occasional digs at Marvel’s reboots and events over the past year or so. I’ve been told that this series doesn’t hold up quite as well as Steve Gerber’s first volume, but if you don’t have that basis for comparison (and I don’t, yet) then the current run on Howard The Duck will be highly enjoyable.

Klaus #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Talking about visually stunning, Klaus is fantastic. It may be billed as an origin story for Santa (and it is), but this comic is so much more than that. There’s a warmth here that you really must experience.

Swamp Thing #2 (DC Comics) – When I was initially getting this list ready, it never occurred to me that Swamp Thing #2 would be one of my top five picks this week. But then I saw the comic listed on Previews website a coming out and I got unreasonably excited to read it after I remembered the slower paced, modern feeling with almost classical twist of the first issue. Who’da known?

X-O Manowar #44 (Valiant) – I wasn’t, honestly, all that impressed with the last issue of this series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as it has been lately. Hopefully it was a slower start to the new arc and not something indicative of a trend. This issue will go a long way to assuaging my fears, so I’m eager to get a chance to read it.

 

Madison

Top Pick: Pretty Deadly #8 (Image) – Pretty Deadly is one of my forever favorites. Emma Ríos’s art is otherworldly, and I’m excited to see where the story goes as they continue to develop the new arc.

Batgirl #48 (DC Comics) – This week’s Batgirl looks especially promising–it has both the return of Black Canary and one of the cutest covers possibly ever.

Paper Girls #5 (Image Comics) – Paper Girls might take an issue or two to really get into–the action starts quickly and doesn’t stop when four girls are attacked on their paper route. However, as with most Brian K. Vaughan stories, it’s worth seeing through.

Shutter #18 (Image Comics) – Shutter is a great subversion of the adventure genre, but the real draw for me was the art. If you haven’t read Shutter, you might recognize Leila Del Duca from the recent and absolutely gorgeous Morrigan-centric issue of The Wicked + The Divine.

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #2 (Marvel) – A-Force is assembling and I’m excited to see them together again.  True, it won’t be no holds barred like it was in Secret Wars, but it looks like it’s going to be a fun ride; and I’m really enjoying seeing things from Singularity’s point of view; she wants her friends back and is doing what she can to find them, even with a big bad energy monster on her tail.  To paraphrase Iron Man, she’s bringing the party to them!

Scarlet Witch #3 (Marvel) – I’m not all in on this title going into the third issue.  Yes, I love Wanda.  She is one of my favourite characters.  The debut issue was alright, and issue two was less than that.  So why is this on my pick of the week list?  I’m holding out hope this title picks up, and I do have a soft spot for Wanda.  There are some good ideas here, and I hope it gets a little more interesting.

Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel) – It’s no secret to many how I feel about this title.  So why is it on my list?  Gambit is on the cover.  That is the only reason I’m looking forward to it this week.  I’m curious to see what role he’ll play with the team and with Rogue.

The Vision #4 (Marvel) – Still the surprise hit, for me, from the All New All Different launch.  Vision just wanted to live a life with a wife and kids, what could possibly go wrong?  The reader is given very grim hints that plenty goes wrong.  Not to mention Vision’s own wife and kids have things happen to them, which they keep from him, that show us that they are a lot more like us then people would think.  It’s a great read that I highly recommend.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Sheriff of Babylon #3 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Tom King has had the Midas Touch, as anything he writes turns into liquid comic book gold.  This militaristic detective story is a solid read.

Bad Moon Rising #5 (451 Media) – The end is near. Only two issues left in the series. It’s Werewolves versus full automatics and Silver Bullets. I got five to one odds on the Biker Werewolves.

Paper Girls #5 (Image Comics) – I’m just waiting for one of the Paper Girls to be like, “I want my two dollars!!” They deserve a little more, after all that they’ve been through so far.

Unfollow #4 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Bruce Lee’s Game of Death meets Social Media as the Chosen gather together to thin the herd. Or will they rise above their human faults?

The Walking Dead #151 (Image Comics) – Who cares that  I am front running on the Zombie genre.  A real war is coming as General Rick builds his army.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Johnny Red #4 (Titan Comics) – This seriously has gotten better and better with each issue and has been filled with action and a lot of touching interaction of the characters. Garth Ennis is knocking it out of the park with this series focused on an English pilot leading a Russian squad in WWII. The story is good, and the art is even more amazing. Some of the two page spreads are just jaw dropping.

Last Man: The Chase (First Second) – Such a fun graphic novel series. I’m excited to see more and more as the world is expanded upon and we learn what’s going on. It’s a hell of a mystery so far with small clues that make you scratch your head.

Nailbiter #20 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite series. This arc has some of the cast in Georgia trying to catch a serial killer who may have ties to Buckaroo. Just a fun comic about serial killers.

Princeless: Raven Pirate Princess #5 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Somehow this spinoff series has surpassed the original it came out of. Raven is one of my favorite new characters of the past few years and the fun flows off the page. Every issue has delivered.

Tomboy #3 (Action Lab: Danger Zone)Princeless for adults? This series has a teenage girl turned vigilante. The first two issues blew me away and I can’t wait to read the third. This is one that was one of my favorite debuts of 2015.

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

Marvel has started the year announcing numerous sell-outs and new printings. The publisher has announced that Secret Wars #8, Amazing Spider-Man #6, Howard the Duck #3, NOVA #3, Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1, Spider-Man 2099 #5, Spidey #2, and Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 have sold out at the distributor level and will all get new printings.

All the comics will return for second printings on January 27.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

SwampThing_001_cvr_Jones_56240e9bab2e83.86181442Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #43 (Valiant) – A new year, and a new story arc. After the last gut punchingly brilliant story, Exodus, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Aric of Dacia. Plus, Ninjak… there’s something special about seeing those two characters interact, so my expectations are pretty high for this issue.

Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – This series swept me off my feet after the first issue, and the love affair has shown no sign of slowing down. I love everything about this series.

Spidey #2 (Marvel) – I enjoyed the last issues look at the earlier days in Spidey’s crime fighting career, because it hearkens back to a time before Parker was a globe trotting playboy with a super powered body guard (that sounds familiar…). That it’s also drawn by Nick Bradshaw? Definitely something I’m keeping my eye on.

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Sabretooth trying to turn hero. I intend to pick up the first issue to see whether the idea is as interesting as I hope it will be.

Brett

Top Pick: Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s co-creator returns to write this brand new limited series. There’s been solid runs on the character lately, and I’m excited to see what Len Wein does with this series.

Johnny Red #3 (Titan Comics) – I’ve really enjoyed Garth Ennis’ take on this classic character and war comic. Each issue has delivered in every way and a series that has completely caught me off guard in how good it is.

The Last Contract #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’m a sucker for a story that has a hit-man returning to his profession to get revenge. The first issue is a solid beginning, and it’s a series that could be a lot of fun if you’re in to that sort of story.

Nailbiter #19 (Image Comics) – I love this series. Focusing on a small town that has created a crazy amount of serial killers, the story has shifted to Atlanta, and I’m dying to know how it ties in to the bigger storyline.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #15, Star Wars #14 (Marvel) – The next two parts of Vader Down? Yes please!

 

Elana

Top Pick: Bitch Planet #6 (Image Comics) – It’s the best sci-fi left wing comic of the year. So obviously we buy it.

A-Force #1 (Marvel) –  G. Willow Wilson is writing and Nico Minoru isn’t wearing that atrocious outfit anymore.

The Fade Out #12 (Image Comics) – It’s the final issue of the best noir and mystery comic in ages. Of course you’re buying it.

Midnighter #8 (DC Comics) – I have had moments of concern and moments of praise for this comic but think this book is on an upswing and with former Catwoman artist David Messina coming on to the book I think it’s going to be great.

Weirdworld #2 (Marvel) – One of the most promising new titles at Marvel. It delivers on the All New All Different promise in a way very few comics have. Latina teenager (yay!) gets trapped in a far-out world of sword and Sorcery.

 

Jason

Top Pick: Howard the Duck #3 (Marvel) – Zdarsky’s second run of Howard comics definitely improves and builds upon excellent foundations and it wasn’t surprising that my one of my favourite series also had one of my favourite issues of the year by far. Finally Howard and Tara come to face to face (or more accurately Bill, face, muzzle and bill) with Shocket and Linda and I can’t wait to see the interactions between them as they try and shake off the annoying advances of The Wizard and the ever looming threat of The Collector. This title along with Squirrel Girl, which it will soon cross over with, always deliver the prefect mix of humour and heart. Once again the talented Mr Quinones is back to regular art duties after the wonderful single issue by guest artist Veronica Fish last month.

Doctor Strange #4 (Marvel) – Continuing a whole week gorging on All New All Different Marvel is issue four of the Bachalo and Aaron’s run on the Sorcerer Supreme. While last issue felt like somewhat of a re-tread of the first issue in terms of plot it’s still a series I’m enjoying. The slow burn of the whole science versus magic story that the duo have been building over the last three issues, with Strange discovering in the last issue that fellow Sorcerer’s are being killed along with places of magical power. Bachalo’s artwork is gorgeous, in particular the way he presents the astral planes and Strange’s unique view of New York City, teaming with mystical parasites. The washed out planes with splashes of colour are simply striking and hint at even greater artistic flourishes to come.

Rocket Racoon and Groot #1 (Marvel) – Spinning out of the pair’s excellent solo books the gung-ho raccoon and his monosyllabic companion are finally back together in one book, once again written by Skottie Young, also contributing covers for the series. The addition of new artist Filipe Andrade made me sceptical at first after seeing his one off issue from the last volume. The previous two volumes divided art duties between Young and Jake Parker, both of whom did a delightfully adorable Rocket!

It was the only issue I didn’t like, and for me the artwork seemed jarring against the other two artists more cutesy and cartoony take. While a great style in its own right it was just too serious and seemed out of sync with Young’s quick paced, witty script. However I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong and Andrade seems to have tweaked and softened his style slightly for the new series bringing back in some of the cute. The preview pages have definitely renewed my interest in the title. I eagerly look forward to seeing the mix of his art and Young’s comical hijinks as this issue opens with the pair being mourned by their fellow Guardians!

The Vision #3 (Marvel) – King and Walta’s eerie look at the Vision and his new family continues to spiral out of control as they struggle to stick together as a ‘normal family’ despite the secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Truly the strangest and most gripping book that Marvel are putting out at the moment, even with the post-secret wars shake up putting the Vision in suburbia to explore humanity and normality is really bold and it completely pays off. Despite the title, the standout character of this series for me is Virginia. While all this is going on she battles with her own identity and place in the world. Haunting and shocking in equal measures.

 

 

Patrick

Top pick: Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo) – The first issue was a perfect demonstration of establishing a compelling plot and interesting characters. The acclaimed writer of The Omega Men and Grayson explores post-invasion Iraq in this story about the search for justice when no justice system stands.

Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham #6 (Marvel Comics) – Many people probably don’t realize how lucky they are to be living in a world where Miracleman gets to see the light of day. The classic hard-to-find story is nearing the end of its reprint, making the greatest superhero-as-god story ever written available to everyone.

Paper Girls #4 (Image) – Four teenage newspaper-delivery girls struggle through an otherworldly invasion. You don’t even need to be able to read to enjoy this nostalgic sci-fi series. Cliff Chiang’s art makes each page a rich, intoxicating experience.

Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – Swamp Thing’s original writer brings botanical terror to readers in this new series. If that isn’t enough for those looking for back-to-roots horror, this story is illustrated by the amazing Kelley Jones (Batman: Red Rain, Venom: The Madness).

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #1 (Marvel) – This was one of my favourite titles during Secret Wars, so I’m very excited to see some of the ladies of the Marvel Universe brought together again in “our” world.  It’s going to be fun to see what role Singularity will play in the present universe, and how these heroes will be brought together.

Uncanny X-Men #1 (Marvel) – I’m interested in the team line up in the this book (hoping Psylocke is put to better use after that terrible Vol. 4 stint of X-Force), but I’m definitely getting an X-Force vibe off this book after reading the premise.  I hope Magneto is still as compelling in this book as he was in his solo and this offers a lot more then just a lot of scowling, snarling and blood shed.

The Vision #3 (Marvel) – This is the All New All Different title that has been exactly that for me.  I wasn’t even going to give this title a shot, but I am so glad I did; what a pleasant surprise!  Vision has made himself a family to live a quiet ordinary life…and it has been anything but!  The experiment is not going to end well, and I highly recommend picking this title up to see where it all leads.

Review: Howard The Duck #3

howard the duck #3The entire universe is after Howard! Is it because he’s very handsome? Charming?  Yes! No, wait. Of course not. Sorry. Howard is actually very difficult to be around sometimes. Also, it’s hard to tell if he’s handsome since he’s a duck. Join Chip & Joe for … DUCK HUNT! The storyline created just so we could use that title! Plus the conclusion of the Howard/Gwenpool backup!

We’re back with Howard again, after the second issue’s touching look at the origins of the gender altered clones of Howard and Rocket RaccoonLinda and Shocket. And, as i usually the case with this series, it’s exactly what I hoped.

Howard The Duck is one of the most entertaining comic book series being published right now, and as you may have noticed from the glowing reviews and praise I heap onto the title. I’m an unashamed fan of this series, and if you want a fun comic, then you should be reading it as well.

Why, you’re probably asking?

Well I’ve said for several issues now that writer Chip Zdarsky isn’t afraid to take subtle pot shots at the All-New relaunched numbering, and the Marvel Universe in general, but he does it in a way that never feels malicious. There’s a dry humour here that I love, and while some of the jokes don’t always make me laugh out loud, I’m usually smiling to myself a couple of times an issue (case in point Howard‘s description of space travel). On top of the the story is engaging with enough of an emotional twinge to it to make you genuinely care about the characters.

Joe Quinones artwork suites this comic perfectly, his facial expressions on the anthromorphic animals are fantastic, as he gives a sense of innocent simplicity to the series that helps the comic distance itself somewhat from the tonally darker stories that had been taking place in the Marvel Universe without being expresly aimed at younger readers. This is a fun comic, but not one you’d give to a younger reader, unlike Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

This issue also features the conclusion to the backup Gwenpool strip, and while I enjoyed it for what it was, I’m not going to miss it next issue so long as the price drops back to the $3.99. The strip was anything but filler, but I think this is  character that will only work when paired with certain Marvel heroes (Moon Knight, for example, would probably prove a disaster), and even then I think only in small doses.

When all is said and done, there have been some great comics released this week, and for me, this ranks right up there among the best.

Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artist: Joe Quinones & Joe Rivera
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.25 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Immigration And Comics

ck-rocket-from-krypton-croppedYou’d have to have been living under a rock to have avoided the refugee and, to a lesser extent, the immigration discussions occurring these past few months.

As an immigrant myself, it’s a discussion that I’ve been paying some attention too.

First things first, though, is that I should clarify that my situation in no way resembled the plight of those from Syria. As a white man immigrating from the United Kingdom it would be offensive to those refugees to say that I know what they’re going through. I don’t.

I genuinely hope that I never will.

Indeed, I have been present in my new country when people start talking about “the immigrants” taking their jobs because they didn’t consider me an immigrant.  This was shortly after asking about my accent. I may be a white guy, but my accent sure isn’t from this side of the pond. That’s about as much prejudice as I have ever encountered on my end, directly, and while I found it exasperatingly funny at the time, it does go to  show the general sense that a (very) few have toward immigrants (at least in my experience, but as I said, mine is not the same as the Syrian refugees. Not even close). Even comparing a refugee to an immigrant is a slippery slope; while some immigrants such as myself arrive in a new country of their own volition, some undoubtedly feel forced out of their homes, due to escalating conflicts or tensions at home. But either way, the immigrant has a little more freedom to make the decision. A refugee has no choice in the matter; they just want their family to feel safe.

And the type of safety that the Syrian refugees are currently seeking, and the scale of the horror’s they are running from is something that many of us have no personal experience with.  Hopefully we never will, but that doesn’t preclude us from having some empathy for them, either.

My family have lived in England for as long as I am aware (my Aunt traced my grandfather’s line back to around the 1700’s, give or take), so I can’t knowingly claim that there is any immigration within my family’s past (myself aside), but that’s not necessarily true of people living on this side of the pond.

There are millions of people in North American who can trace their families back across the years and the oceans to other countries, when their ancestors left their home lands for fear of persecution or simply to hope for a better life.

This is especially true when it comes to some of the early and/or influential members of the comic book community.

The Thing KirbyIndeed, many of the greatest names in American comics are often the first generation born in the new country, such as Art Speigelman (the author of Maus), Bill Finger (co-creator of Batman, Green Lantern, and many many others), Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the men who created Superman). Even Bob Kane‘s (Batman‘s other co-creator) parents were of Eastern European Jewish descent. The point I am attempting to make here is that the sons of Jewish immigrants created some of our biggest super heroes, and some of our greatest stories.

And what of their creations? 

Superman is an alien from another planet who’s family sought refuge for their only child from the end of their world. He is far from native to any country on Earth, yet he has chosen to make the planet his  home. Far beyond just simply moving from country to country, Superman is an interplanetary immigrant that kick started the modern superhero comic. 

And he’s not the only immigrant in comics, either; Supergirl, the Martian Manhunter are but two of the early inter-planetary examples, X-O Manowar is both a geographical and chronological immigrant (it sounds confusing when typing it like that, but the character is as rich and deep as any other on this list). Howard the Duck has been trapped in a world that he’s slowly become accustomed to, but was never his own; and Thor Odinson has been protecting our world for centuries – and even without his hammer he continues to do so. The idea of a hero from the stars come to save humanity (or in the case of Howard the Duck to simply work amongst us) is an idea that as comic book fans we’re all enamored with , and in many cases these interplanetary immigrants have become some of the most beloved, and powerful, characters in the comic book reading world.

Giant-Size_X-Men_Vol_1_1In terms of the more traditional Earthbound type of immigration, the of moving between countries, look at almost the entire second team of X-Men; BansheeColossus, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Storm and Wolverine are all from countries other than the US. You know what that makes them, eh?

If  these characters were ignored because they were immigrants, both of the interplanetary and Earthbound nature,  would comics, nay, popular culture, even have the same face? The Superman symbol is an internationally recognized symbol of truth, justice, and the American Way, and Wolverine is arguably one of the most popular characters to ever appear in a comic book. What if the parents of the previously mentioned creators, and the numerous others I haven’t named who are also descended from immigrants, were trying to escape their living conditions to provide a better life for their families today? Would we still want to turn them away?

If it wasn’t for the sons and daughters of refugees and immigrants the comic book landscape, and perhaps even our way of life would be drastically different than what we’re used too. Before you add your voice to those who say we should close up our borders, take a long hard look at your family history, at the characters you love, and tell me where you would be if the country you call home had refused to admit any new immigrants at any point in the past two or three hundred years.

Would you still be sat here reading this, if your ancestors hadn’t had the opportunity to live a new life in North America?

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Giant Robot Maintenance CrewWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Howard The Duck #3 (Marvel) – This series is probably my most anticipated comic every month because it doesn’t take itself even remotely seriously. It’s like a shining beacon in the sea of dark and gritty comics that I otherwise read.

Lobster Johnson: Glass Mantis (Dark Horse) – It’s only the second comic I’ve read featuring the Lobster, but he’s a character I’d love to learn more about, and what better way than this one-shot?

Seduction Of The Innocent #2 (Dynamite) – I’m liking the feel of this comic, and the cover is a fantastic homage to the crime comics of old.

 

Brett

COPRA Round Three (Bergen Street Comics) – The best superhero comic on the market right now. This indie comic has delivered with every single issue. It’s so good I buy them in singles and trades. Just has to be read to really be appreciated, no words will do it justice.

Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew (Cosmic Times) – I loved this when it was in single issues. It focuses on the folks who help make those giant robots actually function when the pilots go into battle. You won’t look at giant robots the same way again after reading this twistedly funny comic.

The Omega Men #7 (DC Comics) – Tom King consistently deliver in this critically praised series.

Squadron Supreme #2 (Marvel) – This “dark” Avengers comic brings all of these characters into the regular Marvel Universe, and their brand of justice isn’t going over well. Should be fascinating to see where it goes.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 (Marvel) – Marvel has been knocking it out of the park with their Star Wars comics and I expect no less from this one.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Black Canary #6 (DC Comics) –  In the words of Led Zeppelin “It’s been a long time, been a long time, Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since issue 5”. Are the members of Black Canary the Queens of Noise or will they be shot through the heart by their former singer? Like Alice Cooper I Love it to Death.

Top Pick: All-New Wolverine #3 (Marvel) – The best it is what it does: being a superhero comic that’s actually All New All Different. Laura Kinny is Wolverine.

Black Magick #3 (Image Comics) – We were promised a witch noir and a witch noir we have! Artist Nicola Scott’s best drawn and moodiest work to date coupled with Greg Rucka who’s always an awesome writer.

Jughead #3 (Archie) – Genuine and tongue in cheek humor at the same time. My favorite Archie series gets better with each issue. I love the character’s voice now. I’m a total Archie newbie and I’ve fallen for it.

Ringside #2 (Image Comics) –  Do ya like wrestling, kid? Seedy backstage wrastling drama. General grittiness and industry weary eyes. Big cliffhanger at the end of last issue.

 

Javier

Top Pick: East of West #23 (Image Comics) – I didn’t read #22 … oh wait … I didn’t have to. There was no dialogue. After that epic failure in the last ish all that Image hints at in the next installment is that “Revelations and Retribution abound.”  Can’t wait to find out what exactly that means.

Last Sons Of America #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Another dark and dystopian sci-fi-ish BOOM! title by a relatively unknown writer (Philip Kennedy Johnson). This one centers on human trafficking, and the monetization and exploitation of children. Dark and bleak it is, infused with kidnappings, drug cartels, and guns.

Ragnarok #7 (IDW Publishing) – I’ve been a fan of Walt’s work since the 80s. After forty odd years in the industry, he still has the magic touch. Thor (totally unrelated to Marvel’s Thor) is the Last God Standing about to do battle against Regn, the Black Elf Assassin.

Six #2 (451 Media) – Written by the team of George Pelecanos (of HBO’s The Wire fame) and Andrew Ewington, this title pits Mercs versus Drug Cartels. Another guns and action title, if that’s your thing.

Welcome Back #4 (BOOM! Studios) – I jumped on this one late in the middle of issue #3.  Glad I did; I was able to snag first print copies of #1 and #2.  I doubt I could find these now. Originally this one was slated to be a mini-series, but Boom has now extended it as an ongoing title due to its well-deserved popularity. Word of mouth spread quickly on this violent story of battling reincarnated assassins, so first printings are now a rarity; but you can probably snag some second or third printings to catch up (by the way I was enjoying Sebela’s run on Dead Letters too, but for some reason after #9, subsequent issues have been released digitally but not in print; what’s up with that).

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

The Marvel Universe is charging forward with bold new status quos and blockbuster new stories. Don’t get left behind as your favorite characters and creators explode on to the scene with some of the hottest new titles in the industry! Marvel has announced over 15 Marvel titles will return to local comic shops in January for second printings!

Sorcerers supreme, teenage wallcrawlers, a young girl & her prehistoric pal, a brand new day for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and so much more await you in the recharged Marvel Universe.  Be there when All-New, All-Different Avengers #2, All-New Inhumans #1, All-New X-Men #1, All-New Wolverine #2, Carnage #2, Daredevil #1, Doctor Strange #3, Extraordinary X-Men #3, Hercules #2, Howard the Duck #2, Invincible Iron Man #4, Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #1, Nova #2, Spider-Woman #1, Spidey #1, Star Wars #13, Totally Awesome Hulk #1 all return to comic shops in early 2016!

ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158851)
ALL-NEW INHUMANS #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158850)
HERCULES #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158852)
MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158853)
SPIDER-WOMAN #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158854)
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158855)
FOC – 12/14/15, On-Sale – 1/13/16

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158856)
DAREDEVIL #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158857)
DOCTOR STRANGE #3 SEC PRINT (OCT158858)
HOWARD THE DUCK #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158859)
HOWARD THE DUCK #2 GWENPOOL SEC PRINT (OCT158860)
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #4 SEC PRINT (OCT158861)
FOC – 12/21/15, On-Sale – 1/20/16

 

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158862)
CARNAGE #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158863)
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #3 SEC PRINT (OCT158864)
NOVA #2 SEC PRINT (OCT158865)
SPIDEY #1 SEC PRINT (OCT158866)
STAR WARS #13 VDWN SEC PRINT (OCT158867)
FOC – 12/21/15, On-Sale – 1/27/16

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