By Sam

 

     So right off the bat, I realize this isn't a comprehensive list of awesome September comics, what with September having a whole new week of product out on the 25th, but it's been a good enough month I feel like pointing out some of the better series and individual issues the 9th month of the year has bestowed upon us thus far.

 

DC COMICS 

      I'm gonna start this one off with some DC stuff, because I want to get it out of the way to chat about other things happening. DC has had problems recently, which should be a shocker to absolutely nobody paying attention to the numerous missteps, blunders, and pr disasters they've allowed to accumulate around themselves and the executive staff. And so these recommendations are not coming with a side helping of "DC is great and everyone should read all of it all the time," it's more like a garnish of "these books are pretty good despite the awful environment being fostered by DC at their HQ at the moment." With that in mind, the villain's month issues I can cautiously point you towards because of quality in art, writing or both are:

1. Two-Face - One thing that Mysterious Zeitgeeks Third Founder Nick believes, and that I believe as well, is that the best Two-Face stories are really about Harvey Dent, and this one is exactly that. Harvey is conflicted, Harvey is unsure, and Two-Face's coin makes it all better, so to speak. Grab it if/when you get the chance. It's not only a pick for being surprisingly good, it's also the best Villain's Month issue I've had the chance to read so far. Two-Face is by Peter J. Tomasi and Guillem March.

2. Lex Luthor - This issue is hampered by being a more direct tie-in to Forever Evil, specifically a series of events in the first issue, but it's still a nice showcase that Lex hasn't had just yet in the rebooted DC Universe. We get to see just how he plays the long game and the lengths he'll go to in order to establish himself as humanity's savior. Lex Luthor is by Charles Soule and Raymund Bermudez.

3. Ra's al Ghul - If there's a recurring theme you notice about my picks here, it's that they're all related to Forever Evil only tangentially, and serve as more of a "where are they now" style of story instead of a tie-in to an event. We find out a quick digest-version history of the League of Assassin's and what Ra's was up to during Batman, Inc, and we get to see The Demon's Head at his most boastful, and why the heroes of DC should take those boasts more serious. Ra's al Ghul is by James Tynion IV and Jeremy Haun.

4. Solomon Grundy - This issue is notable because it's a nice little lead-in to Grundy's triumphant return to the pages of Earth-2 after being launched to the moon at the beginning of the book. We see his backwoods origins, his ties to the swamps, and to the earth itself, and my favorite part of this character, his "born on a monday" poem. Solomon Grundy is by Matt Kindt and Aaron Lopresti.

5. Mongul - This issue is a complete intro to Mongul. As far as I can remember, we've not seen hide nor hair of the golden alien warlord yet, and with Starlin on writing, it's a hell of a meeting. His story much more closely dovetails that of Thanos, but personally I don't mind a whole lot, because I feel like American superhero comics could use some more complex alien overlords. Mongul is by Jim Starlin and Howard Porter.

     That does it for DC, but I will say to avoid Joker and Darkseid like the plague. Not even giving 'em digital links. A hearty boo all around on those. 

 

 AND THE REST (mainly Marvel and Image)

I know it didn't actually start in September, but I can't recommend the Infinity event enough.  It's got Thanos, it's got Black Bolt, it's got Thanos versus Black Bolt, what more could ya want?! Oh, it's also being written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver, and Jim Cheung. Get on that mess!! As far as series recommendations go, you should know that I'm a massive, unapologetic Joe Casey fanboy. Both The Bounce and Sex are just phenomenal, and are always high on my recommendation list. September saw recent issue releases, which is how I'm justifying including them on this list. For the last week of September, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are releasing Sex Criminals, a preview of which I believe can be found here, in Images free (free!) What's Next collection. Now for individual issues (presented in the order which I thought of them):

1. Thor: God of Thunder #13 - It's a new story arc, picking up after the God Bomb arc, with Thor back on earth, and Malekith escaping his prison in Hel. If you want something to catch you up on Marvel's Dark Elves, this is it. Also, Ron Garney's art kicks ass, as usual. This issue is by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney.

2.  Zero #1 - It's Image starting up another  new series, this one a refreshing take on spy thrillers. Most of the issue feels like a normal setup for a Bourne-style adventure, and then takes a neat turn around the last couple pages. Zero is by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh.

3. Quantum and Woody #3 - I'll be honest here: it's getting a recommendation from me, but only  if you've not read the original Chris Priest and Mark Bright series. It's genuinely funny in parts, but if you're at all familiar with the original work, it will leave you wanting. Quantum and Woody is by James Asmus and Tom Fowler.

4. Captain America NOW! #11 - Outside of Frankencastle and The End League, Rick Remender leaves me cold. I don't like him enough to put up with John Romita, Jr. for Zolaworld or whatever arc. I do like him enough to give the new arc a shot because Carlos Pacheco is taking over art chores, and this first issue isn't bad. It's good enough to tell you to check it out, see if it jibes with your leanings. This issue is by Rick Remender and Carlos Pacheco.

5. Eternal Warrior #1 - In the interest of honesty, I'm not that well read on any of Valiant's properties. I've recently flipped through Shadowman's current series and am reading Quantum and Woody, but that's it. I gave this a shot, and it was pleasantly Conan-tastic enough for my tastes to recommend it to others, without it feeling like a blatant copy of either of Dark Horse's currently ongoing Conan series, King Conan or Conan the Barbarian. Eternal Warrior is by Greg Pak and Trevor Hairsine.

That about does it for September. If you've stuck around this long, I really appreciate it! I'm gonna try to do these as weekly as possible, and they're not all going to be massive infodumps like this one. And to sign off, here's a couple of my recommendations that come regardless of month or week: East of West by Hickman and Nick Dragotta, which is just outstanding, and Wonder Woman, which month by month proves wrong any naysayers that believe a movie of her is impossible or too tricky to make. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang disagree with your assertions!!

 

Posted
AuthorSam Hurt
Categoriescomics