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Comic Book Fetish Favorites – July 2014

Overall July was a better month than June in terms of what came out and the average quality (although no Sex Criminals is…criminal). For this list I’m going to expand to include the 15 books I read in July. A few notes: there were four all-new number ones in my reading pile this month: Black Market, Death Vigil, Low, Storm and Grayson, the latter of which reminded me that I don’t need a faux spy title while the excellent spy series Velvet is around.

So, without further ado …

1. Velvet #6 (Image) 5.0 – some of the finest character + story work this century, Brubaker & Epting at their best.
2. Cyclops #3 (Marvel) 5.0 – can’t stress enough the high quality of this series under Rucka’s pen and Dauterman’s pencil.
3. Southern Bastards #3 (Image) 4.5 – Southern-fried justice served up with a big stick (literally)…can’t help but root for ol’ Earl Tubb.
4. Lazarus #9 (Image) 4.0 – satisfying end to this extended world-building second arc.
5. Saga #21 (Image) 4.0 – has rolled three 4 stars in a row, not normal, will it ever match its first 18 issues?
6. The Wicked + The Divine #2 (Image) 4.0 – a slight slippage from the stellar debut, but not by much.
7. Black Market #1 (Boom!) 3.5 – earns its rating with its strong premise, high concept and pacing.
8. Outcast #2 (Image) 3.5 – impressive bounce back from the underwhelming debut, now I care.
9. Veil #4 (Dark Horse) 3.5 – wicked and vivid and really sets up a big payoff in the finale.
10. Rat Queens #7 (Image) 3.5 – weakest issue of this stellar series yet, pains me to say.
11. Rise of the Magi #2 (Image) 3.5 – and now merges the fantastic with the urban.
12. Storm #1 (Marvel) 3.5 – the windrider’s first “ongoing” series gets off to a good start (see the rather glowing CBR review).
13. C.O.W.L. #3 (Image) 3.5 – great concept still unfolding, would make great television.
14. Hawkeye #19 (Marvel) 3.0 – Clint Barton is deaf, so half the issue is quiet and using sign language; executed well by David Aja, but overall a weak issue for this series.
15. Low #1 (Image) 3.0 – the best I’ve seen Tocchini illustrate, and the concept is quite interesting with good world-building, but Remender’s script was a problem for me.
Notable pickups:

Trees #3 (Image) 3.0 – the pivotal issue to make or break the series for myself and many, even stated so by the author himself Warren Ellis; I think I’m out (although there’s only a few more “trial” issues left before it goes on a decision-making hiatus).

Grayson #1 (DC) 2.5 – another failed attempt getting into and caring about the DCU by me; just not my thing.

Death Vigil #1 (Image) 2.0 – spec buy during a light week, didn’t hold my interest.

August brings new promise in Brubaker & Phillips’ The Fade Out and the seventh issue of #SexCrims. Until then . . .

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Comic Book Fetish Favorites – June 2014

Rough month considering Rat Queens, Velvet, Lazarus, Southern Bastards and Veil did not ship as solicited. Naturally my read list is still Image-dominated, but I did manage to read an anomaly of a Marvel title. Just as May was led by the much anticipated returns of Rat Queens and Saga, June was led, of course, by the triumphant return of Sex Criminals as well as a certain promising debut. However, there was one debut this month that was rather sleepy.

Read List for June 2014
  1. Sex Criminals #6 (Image) 5.0 – Excellent return.
  2. The Wicked and the Divine #1 (Image) 4.5 – Intriguing debut.
  3. Cyclops #2 (Marvel) 4.0 – Best X-book in a while.
  4. Saga #20 (Image) 4.0 – Is the luster fading?
  5. The Private Eye #7 (Panel Syndicate) 4.0 – Still wishing this was on paper. 
  6. Rise of the Magi #1 (Image) 3.5 – Promising.
  7. C.O.W.L. #2 (Image) 3.5 – Getting there.
  8. Red City #1 (Image)  2.5 – See my review here.
  9. Trees #2 (Image)  2.5 – Oddly, the first issue was better.
  10. One-Hit Wonder #3 (Image)  1.5 – Speculation buy, what can I say?

Dishonorable Mention: Outcast #1 (Image) 1.0 – I was disconnected during the entire read


Read List for May 2014 (last month’s Fetish Five in bold)

  1. Rat Queens #6 (Image) 5.0
  2. Velvet #5 (Image) 4.0
  3. Saga #19 (Image) 4.0
  4. Cyclops #1 (Marvel) 4.0
  5. Southern Bastards #2 (Image) 4.0
  6. Veil #3 (Dark Horse) 3.5
  7. Rocket Girl #5 (Image) 3.5
  8. Rise of the Magi #0 (Image) 3.0
  9. C.O.W.L. #1 (Image) 3.0
  10. Trees #1 (Image) 3.0
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Linkage: From Horse to Mouse – Speculating the STAR WARS Comics Transfer

Over at is an article I wrote speculating on Star Wars comics life after Dark Horse, wondering Marvel which writers could be a good fit to try their hand at penning the further adventures of Luke Skywalker and company. At the end of the article, I ask: Who do you want to see writing Star Wars comics for Marvel?

Check out the article via this linkage

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Broken News: Dark Horse Comics Publisher Mike Richardson on Loss of Star Wars License

Press Release via Dark


All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.

For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.

It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of theStar Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.  — Mike Richardson

(end of press release)
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Broken News: STAR WARS comics to Leave Dark Horse in 2015 for Disney/Marvel

We all knew this day was coming even before the ink dried on the contract that turned over ownership of LucasFilm (and subsidiaries) to Disney, the House of Mouse that also owns Marvel Entertainment/Studios/Comics from a previous acquisition some four-plus years ago. I feel bad for Dark Horse Comics and all who work on the comics there. I’ll have more to write on this sea change at a later date. For now, I will repost the official announcement for archival purposes below.

Press Release (via Star

Disney’s Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment Join Forces to Publish Star Wars Comics and Graphic Novels
January 03, 2014
Jedi, Sith, and the Rest of the Star Wars Universe Come to Marvel Comics in 2015
The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces to bring new Star Wars adventures to readers across the galaxy, with Marvel granted exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels beginning in 2015.
The agreement marks a homecoming for the Star Wars comic books. Marvel Comics published the first Star Wars comic book, Star Wars #1, in March 1977, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Marvel Comics published its Star Wars series for nine years. In 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the license, publishing fan favorite titles like Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy. Last year, Dark Horse released The Star Wars #1, an adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay for the film, garnering rave reviews and national media attention and ranking among the top-selling Star Wars comics of all time.
“Dark Horse Comics published exceptional Star Wars comics for over 20 years, and we will always be grateful for their enormous contributions to the mythos, and the terrific partnership that we had,” said Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.”
“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Warscomic books and graphic novels,” said Marvel worldwide publisher and president, Dan Buckley. “The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.”
“We’re incredibly excited by this next chapter in the Star Wars saga,” said Andrew B. Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Bringing together the iconic Lucasfilm and Marvel brands to tell new stories will allow us to continue to thrill lovers of the original Star Wars comic books and entertain generations to come.”
Marvel has continued to push comic book publishing forward with innovations and experiments like motion comics and digital-only releases, in addition to its deep, ongoing catalog of monthly series and graphic novels created by some of the industry’s most gifted artists and writers. All Star Wars, all the time.

(end of press release)
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1st Issue Fetish + Linkage: Robot 6 FURIOUS Interview with Bryan J.L. Glass & Victor Santos

Dark Horse Comics has been amping up things as one of the go-to independent publishers for creator-owned properties. I know it’s in no small part due to Scott Allie’s appointment as Editor-in-Chief (whom I’ve met through a friend who happens to be DHC’s Director of Marketing). Allie’s a sharp guy and a brilliant editor and DHC has really been benefitting from his leadership. This one looks to be pretty interesting. Furious #1 will be released January 29, 2014. Clicky the link to check out the interview with the creators. 
LINKAGE: Comic Book Resources’ Robot 6 Blog