This week, crime comics next big thing is back... click on covers for a preview, where my cursory googling could find one
Hit: 1957 #1, written by Bryce Carlson, art by Vanesa Del Rey, colors by Nikos Guardia, letters by Ed Dukeshire
Hit was one of my favorite books from 2013, a worthy, if a stylistically stilted, entry into the crime comics genre drawn by then-new comer Vanesa Del Rey, whose super thin line and hyper awareness of shape was the real attraction. Set in Los Angeles, it's got clear vibes from Chandler and Chinatown, which could have been a real stretch, but the book worked, enough that I think it's one of the great crime comics of the last few years. Having retroactively titled that book Hit: 1955, Boom's brought the series back as Hit: 1957, I guess with the idea being that it'll move forward in time, sort of a Mad Men gimmick. As before, even if this genre doesn't do it for you like it does for me, take a peek for the sake of Del Rey. I could look at her art forever, and comics can only be better when such a talented artist is a proven sale.
The Autumnlands #5, written by Kurt Busiek, art by Ben Dewey, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Comicraft
The Empty #2, by Jimmie Robinson
They're Not Like Us #4, written by Eric Stephenson, drawn by Simon Gane, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Fonografiks
The Wicked and the Divine #9, written by Kieron Gillen, drawn by Jamie McKelvie, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles
A quartet of quality books from Image this week. Autumnlands has been quietly very good, particularly since Busiek dumped some of the details that were a little too cute from the first issue. A sprawling fantasy piece of the first order, it's worth a looksee if you like Redwall or a politically oriented, vaguely retrofuturist kind of fantasy. The Empty is worthwhile, although the first issue was a little inconsistent and very on the nose; I'm interested to see where it goes. They're Not Like Us is a neat deconstructionist riff on the X-Men, and, although it's surprising to say this since superhero deconstruction is thirty years old, it's pretty fresh. I've been wanting to write about a particular physical element of that book that I really love, so maybe this week's the week I do that, and it may also be the week I write about how crazy issue #8 of WicDiv was. After largely avoiding the formalism that made Young Avengers so interesting, Gillen and McKelvie went all out last issue. Even if this book doesn't feel as vital as their work sometimes does, I'm all in here, particularly if they're headed back towards forward formal thinking.
Past Aways #1, written by Matt Kindt, drawn by Scott Kollins, colors by Bill Crabtree
Something sort of fun from Dark Horse, a sort of Booster Gold-style time travel story, with an exploring the past kind of angle. Parts of it seem a little trite, but Scott Kollins's art is simple and slick, and the colors are bold. Writer Matt Kindt is always best when he's working as his own artist (and his art is really something), but its good to seem him get work like this.
Nemo: River of Ghosts, written by Alan Moore, drawn by Kevin O'Neill
New Alan Moore is always news (did you hear we're finally going to see his million word novel Jerusalem? Can you imagine holding the damn thing?! In hardcover?! Coming 2016). I'm really pleased that he's still playing in the League of Extraordinary Gentleman sandbox; in some ways, Moore's real talent is for taking the elements of mainstream superhero comics, tearing them down to their base parts, moving them around or redressing them, and then turning something recognizable and also somehow unrecognizable back out into the world. I would have figured that he was bored with that by now, but there's something about doing patchwriting with literature that keeps him going, and I'm very glad for it.