They all rise again this week.

*And I'm not talking Blackest Night #2.


The Events of 2005 (a never-published essay from three and a half years ago, trying to lay out just what the superhero 'event' crossover is, and how its market presence seem to override the necessity of, y'know, reading things)


Dark Reign: Zodiac #2 (of 3), The Boys #33 and Absolution #1 (of 6) (three cuts of superhero decadence, all different, fresh this week)

At The Savage Critics!


G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (the recent film, with other stuff)

At comiXology!

*Obligatory Readin' Dept: Dan Nadel offers up a double rarity: (1) a firmly negative review of Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter that (2) focuses squarely on Cooke's visual approach as both an instrument of adaptation and a means of storytelling. Many illustrations. Go look.

*It's not on Diamond's list or anything, but if you happen to run into The Comics Journal #299, remember: new Bob Levin.

Otherwise -


Starstruck #1 (of 13): Being the gala return to print of the Elaine Lee/Michael Wm. Kaluta classic, one of the most ambitious sci-fi comics projects to come screaming into early '80s being out of Heavy Metal, then the Marvel Graphic Novels, and then Epic Comics. It all sort of defies synopsis, so let's just call it a massively detailed feat of universe building, following scores of characters -- the luckless! the abandoned! the forsaken! -- across 'decades' (so to speak) of interstellar experience as a whirligig saga of power, exploitation and human comedy thunders around them, equal parts illusion and allusion, and so much more. I've gone into much more detail elsewhere, if you're interested, but it's probably best you just flip through this issue and soak in the dense imagination of the thing.

Fair warning, though: the story never actually finished, and this IDW pamphlet incarnation isn't quite going any further than before; I think the going estimate at this rate would see a proper ending around a prospective issue #40. So rather, the miniseries is taking the latter day, super-dense expanded content Dark Horse editions of the material (1990-91) and adding all-new colors by Lee Moyer, while Kaluta opens up the pages with expanded art -- including new drawing added to pre-existing panels! -- so as to give the stuff a grander feel. Each issue will also include new introductions, back-up humor stories from here and there (inked by Charles Vess, re-colored by Moyer, many previously unpublished), and a helpful ongoing glossary of terms. I have all this stuff already, and you bet I'll buy it again. It's $3.99 per issue, and it'll last ya longer than all the rest. For yet more education, with creator comments and preview images, consult Newsarama's three-part feature.

(And hey, if you're in Big Sur, CA this Saturday: live reading of the original play, to benefit Gene Colan.)

Dominic Fortune #1 (of 4): What the hell? This does indeed seem to be Underground Bridge Era Marvel/Epic revival week in the Direct Market, so buckle up for a MAX-rated outing for creator/writer/artist Howard Chaykin's acrobatic rogue of the 1930s, native to Marvel's non-Code, Warren-like b&w magazines of the mid-70s -- Marvel Preview, Marvel Super Action -- but really an offshoot of an earlier, pulp-influenced Chaykin period adventure hero, the Scorpion (published by the ex-Marvel, ex-Warren klatch of Atlas/Seaboard Comics, ironically enough). This new story promises old-timey Hollywood debauchery and Southern-fried intrigue, with the fate of a nation in Depression on the like; fitting that Fortune should return in a modern Mature Readers venue, still set apart from the superhero norm. Have a peek.

GrimJack: The Manx Cat #1 (of 6): Ok IDW, now it's just getting weird. John Ostrander & Timothy Truman return, for a $3.99 print edition of some 2007-08 material initially presented online at ComicMix.

The Marquis: Inferno: Guy Davis, where are you?! Aw, he'll be back to B.P.R.D. before you know it, but right now he's cooking up some new material for this b&w solo series about an 18th century inquisitor who becomes possessed with the power to gaze into the souls of the damned and conduct a little masked purification of the wild demons that spring forth. It's basically a vivid historical fantasy with lots of monster fighting, and now Dark Horse has seen fit to collect essentially all extant material -- including the two Oni trades, Danse Macabre and Intermezzo -- into a 336-page omnibus adorned with guest art, a 56-page sketch section and an introduction by Mike Mignola. It's $24.95; here's some samples.

The Big Kahn: A new original softcover from writer Neil Kleid and artist Nicolas Cinquegrani, exploring the familial fallout that occurs when a longtime rabbi is revealed to have never been a Jew; call it this week's literary comic possibility. From NBM, 176 b&w pages for $13.95; preview.

Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales: The Xeric Grant for self-publishing rides again as artist J.T. Yost (as Birdcage Bottom Books) presents a 56-page, $6.95 collection of monochrome stories, funny and downcast at once, I understand. Lots of samples here; worth taking a look.

Charlatan Ball: Book 1: Collecting Joe Casey's & Andy Suriano's surreal series-so-far into 160 color pages of swirling magical world-hopping. Look at this. From Image, $16.99.

Eerie Archives Vol. 2: Hm? You want your reprints from further back? Ok, how about a $49.95 hardcover with 240 pages of b&w horror comics from 1966-67? Features: Gray Morrow, Frank Frazetta, Steve Ditko, Johnny Craig, Neal Adams, John Severin, Reed Crandall, Gene Colan, Angelo Torres, Joe Orlando, and writing by Archie Goodwin. You know the drill.

The Sandman by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby: Further! Further! All the way back to the '40s likes of World's Finest Comics and Adventure Comics for 304 pages' worth of gold-hued fisticuffs in and out of dreams, which wiped away the gas mask and suit for a brighter brand of action. Also includes 1974's Sandman #1, a Bronze Age revamp and the very last Simon & Kirby collaboration. From DC, in their usual hardcover Kirby reprint format; $39.99.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1: I have it on good authority that some kind of plate-cracking world Event recently went down in Marvel's Ultimate line, resulting in people's heads getting shot open and/or squished like a can of tuna in the path an all-terrain vehicle, thus causing series to start over at issue #1 from the stress. I can't imagine this particular re-launch won't do pretty well in sales, since writer Mark Millar probably still has some goodwill stored up from his work on its prior incarnation (more or less), The Ultimates. Your $3.99 will get you the first of six parts in the opening storyline, with art by Carlos Pacheco. Preview. Also launching this week is writer Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, with art by David Lafuente of Patsy Walker: Hellcat.

Red Herring #1 (of 6): One of those random Wildstorm miniseries that crop up these days. David Tischman's story features aliens and corporate interests and politics and a pretty girl, but readers of this site will want to be on notice of art by the very fine Philip Bond. Hey, only $2.99. Preview.

Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle - Preview: Another one of Avatar's less-expensive ($1.99) sampler pamphlets related to an upcoming project, this one the third in writer Garth Ennis' series of works about a friendly Antichrist just looking to get by on Earth with his talking rabbit and his brain-damaged pal the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The first of these things (a miniseries) was decent enough, basically a reaffirmation of Ennis' feelings on how humankind needs to fend for itself in the world. The second, The Last Enemy (a one-shot) was hopelessly unnecessary. I dunno how six more issues of this stuff will go, although there's some added interest in the presence of artist Oscar Jimenez, a popular superhero guy from the late '90s who's been doing some irregular stuff for the publisher (like a few issues of Gravel); I think this is set to be his first longform work in a while. Expect preview pages in here, along with some sketchbook samples.

Punisher: War Zone: Also - a $19.99 collection of Ennis' & Steve Dillon's recent Marvel series, antic and such.

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #5 (of 8): That's right, back from hiatus. Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo. This. And don't miss special guest Gary Gianni on a MonsterMen backup.

B.P.R.D.: 1947 #2 (of 5): Oh, this too. Mignola, Dysart, Moon & Bá. Yeah.

From the Ashes #3 (of 6): After the fall, with Bob Fingerman. In this issue, religion pokes its head into the post-cataclysm landscape. Big week for IDW, eh? As usual, $3.99.

Abhay Khosla's Bram Stoker's Dracula #3 (of 5): Carried not by Diamond, but by the United States of the Internet. The action heats up, as Our Heroes face difficult choices: "Our final exam was on pain, and I wrote my answer in cold, hard semen." Weekly comics, man.

Wednesday Comics #6 (of 12): Man.

Mushi-shi: The Movie: This isn't a comic at all, no, but I think it's worth mentioning since big box retailers aren't getting it in for another two weeks - a $24.98 R1 dvd release of Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo's 2006 live-action movie adaptation of Yuki Urushibara's excellent Mushishi manga series, concerning a doctor/shaman who knows the secrets of primal, seemingly mystic organisms that affect humans in strange/wonderful/terrible ways. A FUNimation release; a larger, misleading horror movie trailer (from another company) is here. Seriously, Katsuhiro Otomo?