Monday, October 25, 2010

This Week's Highlights @ Third Eye For Wednesday 10/27/10

SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE GRAPHIC NOVEL *THIRD EYE MUST BUY* - DC unveils a bold, new line of original graphic novels by critically acclaimed creative teams, and we could not be more excited about this week's SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE

This has gotta be one of the most highly anticipated books of the year for nearly everybody. Ever since DCU announced over a year ago their plans to begin the EARTH ONE imprint, which basically gives us self-contained, ground zero build ups of DC icons in a universe all their own, we've all been waiting eagerly to see this one in person.

The whole concept behind EARTH ONE is to tell sleek, high quality 21st century approaches to characters like BATMAN, SUPERMAN, and more, but with cream of the crop creative teams, and a streamlined continuity that puts these characters in the REAL WORLD, our WORLD, and helps cut down on the years of backstory and confusion that can sometimes occur in regards to the regular universe stories.

SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE is being written by J. Michael Straczynski, who is one of the most talented guys in the biz, and while we might not be totally wild about where he's been going with his OTHER Superman book, we have always been impressed on his work with books like SUPREME POWER, RISING STARS, THE TWELVE, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and MIDNIGHT NATION. And, judging from what we've already seen of EARTH ONE (we've gotten to read a little bit of this puppy already!), I'm amazed. THIS is Straczynski's ultimate tribute to SUPERMAN, and THIS is the book that shows us as a whole fanbase WHY Superman can be one of the most interesting and compelling comic book characters around when done right. We know, we know, there aren't as many good Superman stories out there as there are Batman, or Wolverine, BUT, when there is a good one: it's not just good, it's great, and SUPERMAN EARTH ONE is indeed that.

Paired up with artist Shane Davis (who is freakin' INCREDIBLE), Straczynski shows us the story of a young Clark Kent, who has been aware of his powers, but this is his first real coming out as Superman, and his decision to essentially enter a life of service when he could have been anything that he desired, he decides to sacrifice life as a wealthy athelete, researcher, whatever, to dedicate his life to helping people. We're going to see elements of the mythos explored that have never really been explored in depth before, and, of course, I'm sure we're going to see the re-creation and re-defining of Superman's classic villains.

The best description I've seen of the book is the one that was originally given on DCU's Source blog.. "Clark Kent is a man looking for meaning in a new city and an age of failing newspapers, hand-held devices and instant gratification. But, when you can fly through the sky and burn objects with a glance -- things become a tad more complicated. Doubly so when a fleet of alien ships arrive on your doorstep."

It's the first part that has me intrigued. Seeing the legend of Superman being born in the 21st century, amidst our shortened attention spans and obsessions with technology.

Really, there's not much more I can say about this one other than it's going to be one of the biggest books out this week, and will end up standing the test of time as a modern classic, just judging from what we've seen. Do not miss it this week here at Third Eye.

Click here for a preview of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE

INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES #1 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY* - Steve's Pick of 2009 returns in a fresh, new series this Wednesday. Apocalyptic, pulp noir from the masters of the form: CRIMINAL creators ED BRUBAKER & SEAN PHILLIPS.
Read this book!

Incognito was, without a doubt, my pick of 2009. And, you guys know we had some stiff competition for book of the year going here at Third Eye, but INCOGNITO won out. Everything about it just worked. Everything about it just clicked. Ed Brubaker's dark, bleak tale of a former super-villain henchmen who's been given a new life in Witness Protection, and the boss he snitched out to get that new life captivated me with every issue. And, when you factor in the superb artwork of Sean Phillips, you've got that rare pairing of story and art that makes for the perfect comic book experience.

Now, before we start talking about this new series kicking off, let me give you a little background on INCOGNITO. The original series was a 6 issue limited series, and is now available here at Third Eye in trade paperback. It featured the former henchmen of a notorious super-villain, Zach, and his troubles and turmoils of adapting to the normal 9-5 life that Witness Protection has given him. A man who's used to stealing thousands of dollars, reducing human beings to ash with ray guns, and just overall, being a bad dude, cannot handle the day to day mundane life he's been handed. And, so he starts to slip. He starts doing little things, not super-villain bad deeds, but bad nonetheless. After finding himself partaking in recreational drug use, he realizes the drugs have canceled out the power-inhibiting drugs his parole officer has him on, and decides to go out one last time in costume. And, he saves a woman's life... but, that's where everything goes wrong.

From there, we were taken through a six issue hellride of awesomeness that can only be described as the ultimate superhero crime noir. Mixing the pulpiness of old school crime and science fiction novels with modern day contemporary crime fiction, we're given a fascinating anti-hero that delivers the ultimate post-adolescent fantasy filled with bad guys and even-worse guys, witness protection plans for super-powered snitches, and damsels in distress who pack rayguns. This is a complicated world where there are no rights, and no wrongs, just different degrees of bad.

Now, it's obvious that I'm a big fan of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's work on CRIMINAL, and INCOGNITO, but I gotta tell you guys: even if you're not a fan of the heavy crime noir stuff, you should try this series. It's a modern day successor to the themes played out in series like WATCHMEN, and the pulpy serialized world of immorality and every-day terror that Brubaker crafts within is incredible.

Now, starting up this week, is Brubaker's INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCES. This new limited series continues Zach Overkill's saga, and Brubaker, in an interview with WIRED.COM, describes it as the mission that'll redefine Zach's life... if he can find a way to survive long enough. This series will explore more of the criminal underworld that was touched on a little bit in the original INCOGNITO, and shows us Overkill's descent deeper into that underworld than he's ever gone before.

Of course, the thrill in books this good is always the surprise, so we're avoiding many of the teasers in anticipation for this one.

If you haven't read any INCOGNITO before, we'd recommend snagging the first trade paperback this week, and giving it a shot. From the coloring of the book to the story, everything blends perfectly to make a fully realized underworld of pulp science career criminals.

Click here for the preview of INCOGNITO BAD INFLUENCES #1

ACTION COMICS #894 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY* - Neil Gaiman's DEATH of the ENDLESS appears in Paul Cornell's incredible Lex Luthor-centric ACTION COMICS run this Wednesday.

If you haven't been reading DR. WHO TV series scribe PAUL CORNELL's ACTION COMICS then you are seriously missing out on some of the best written comics coming out of either publisher right now. Beginning with ACTION COMICS #890, ACTION COMICS became solely focused on LEX LUTHOR and his ongoing quest to regain the Orange Lantern ring. Paul Cornell has used this as a platform to tell a series of single-issue stories that weave together into a bigger over-arching storyline that completely and totally flesh out not only Lex Luthor as a fascinating DCU character, but also explore the famous and infamous icons of the DC Universe.

The way that Cornell writes Luthor is perfect, and he's able to toy with us as readers so well that you find yourself rooting for Luthor. I've said it before, but there's a new definition of anti-hero being created in comics today with characterizations like Cornell's Luthor and Way's Daken, and it's pretty fascinating to watch it come to be.

Now, this week, ACTION COMICS #894 is a really big deal. Like, a majorly big deal. Like, probably going to a second print kinda big deal. Why? It's because Neil Gaiman's classic DEATH character of his Endless from THE SANDMAN series will be meeting Luthor, and showing him what it's like to be at Death's door.. literally. Of course, it's interesting to see this, because as we saw, there's still Black Lanterns out there (see ACTION COMICS #892), and we're curious to see how Gaiman's DEATH fits into this.

This also marks the first re-merging of major Vertigo characters into the DCU. Granted, there are some rules in place here, so don't expect to see Jesse Custer popping up in Streets of Gotham or anything, but, characters that've already been exposed or interacted with DCU, will be showing up within the pages of various DCU titles. John Constantine, Swamp Thing, ect. And, if you remember, we saw DCU characters show up in early chapters of the SANDMAN (Dr. Destiny). So it does make perfect sense. AND, this is all done with not only Gaiman's blessing, but the RUMORS are that Gaiman had a hand in writing Death's dialogue and parts in this one. :)

So, if you've been on the fence about trying Cornell's ACTION COMICS run, we can't recommend a better place to jump aboard than this week's ACTION COMICS #894. Trust us, you'll love it.

And, as a bonus: Nick Spencer, of MORNING GLORIES fame, is handling the back-up feature focusing on Jimmy Olsen, Smallville, and the recent addition of Chloe Sullivan.

Click here for a preview of ACTION COMICS #894 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY*

BEASTS OF BURDEN/HELLBOY ONE-SHOT - Mignola, Dorkin and Thompson deliver a double-dose of everyone's favorite four-legged Ghost Hunters and of course, Hellboy himself

Beasts of Burden was another shop favorite last year, and we were so stoked to see Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson's gang of cat and dog supernatural investigators get their own book. Okay, now before you're like "dude, that sounds WAY too cute to be cool.." we'll admit, it was pretty cute, but it was also damn funny and a lotta fun.. and the actual occult stuff that went down in the book, WOW, talk about dark.

Anyways, the Beasts of Burden Hill pair up with everyone's favorite: Hellboy this Wednesday in this kick-ass one-shot. See, the Beasts have lost contact with the Wise Dog Society (where they get most of their insight and advice), and are all on their own, as a series of unexplained ritual animal slayings have begun to occur. And, in steps the World's Greatest Paranormal Detective, Hellboy.

I'm telling you, folks, you know who HELLBOY is and what he's all about, and you know we love 'em, but if you've slept on BEASTS OF BURDEN, you need to give 'em try with this one-shot this week.

Click here for a preview of BEASTS OF BURDEN/HELLBOY

AVENGERS #6 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY* - THE FUTURE OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE IN 2011 REVEALED! Marvel's BLOCKBUSTER Avengers book delivers more over-the-top action with KANG vs. ULTRON and more

THE AVENGERS has been one of my top of the stack reads since it's launch, as Bendis and Romita JR are able to really deliver true blue over-the-top action-packed superhero awesomeness in a sleek, well-written package. Avengers recaptures all the bigger than life elements of comics you remember loving as a kid, and manages to still provide something fresh, and new with a little bit of an edge to it.

Anyways, the current storyline has been concerned with the alternate futures we've all known and love of the Marvel Universe (Age of Apocalypse, Days of Future Past, ect ect) being in danger of colliding with the present. We've been shown a future APOCALYPSE with future Four Horsemen consisting of Wolverine, Hulk, Scarlet Witch and Spider-man. We've seen a future Tony Stark, who's outlined a literal map of crucial events coming up in the Marvel Universe, and now, in this issue, everything comes to a head with an ending in store that's going to set up the next year's worth of Marvel events, from what we've heard and from what we can tell is coming.

If you're looking for a good Marvel series to follow, we'd recommend snapping up AVENGERS #1-5 and jumping aboard, as this book serves as the flagship of the Marvel Universe. Everything that happens within these pages has a ripple effect on what will be going down in the rest of the Marvel Universe in the future. And, it's the book that spotlights a team consisting of Marvel's major players.

Plus, it's really freakin' good!

Click here for a preview of

SECRET AVENGERS #6 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY* - Shang Chi, the Master of Kung Fu Returns in Third Eye's favorite Avengers book this Wednesday!

Secret Avengers has really marked it's place as my favorite of the big four AVENGERS books that Marvel is publishing right now. It might have something to do with the unique and interesting team that's been chosen (consisting of characters like Moon Knight, Black Widow, Valkyrie, Nova, and more working with Steve Rogers), or it might have something to do with the outstanding creative team of ED BRUBAKER (INCOGNITO, CRIMINAL, CAPTAIN AMERICA) and MIKE DEODATO (DARK AVENGERS, THUNDERBOLTS), but either way, I just plain like it.

With the first arc having ended, and the subplot of who the evil Nick Fury is revealed in last month's #6, we're moving forward into a brand new arc that looks to be pretty damn exciting. In fact, this is a perfect example of why I love SECRET AVENGERS. Brubaker is able to do these crazy, grindhouse-style over-the-top storylines with Steve Roger's shadow ops team and make them not only work, but work well. First, we went to mars, and dealt with the Serpent Crowns, now we're going into the grittiest, darkest corners of the Marvel Universe, and getting a story that should totally get those of you who dug Brubaker and Fraction's IRON FIST run stoked.

Yes, this week, folks, the SECRET AVENGERS are going into the depths of the Marvel Universe's underworld, and who's waiting for them? The Master of Kung Fu.. but is it Shang Chi?

Wanna jump onto the series? We've got issues #1-5 in stock still, so get caught up and check out why this is one of our favorite monthly books!

Click here for a preview of SECRET AVENGERS #6 *THIRD EYE MUST BUY*


The whole DC COMICS PRESENTS thing has been great, and has really been delivering some fantastic reads at low prices. If you're not yet familiar with the concept, DC takes highly demanded storylines that're no longer in print and collects them into these 100-page trade paperbacks for only $7.99. A freakin' 4-issue trade paperback for only $7.99? AND, it's all quality stuff? That's awesome.

Anyways, this week, we're getting another double shot of these kick-ass one-shots, with two highly requested fan favorites. The first being the DC COMICS PRESENTS YOUNG JUSTICE which collects the long out of print JLA: WORLD WITHOUT GROWN-UPS mini-series. The reason why this one is such a rad choice is because there is like zero YOUNG JUSTICE stuff in print, but I know that myself amongst many grew up with Young Justice as "our" Teen Titans, and with many of these characters having evolved into new roles in the DC Universe (Tim as Red Robin, Superboy's new direction, and of course, Impulse's stint as THE FLASH, after being Kid Flash), it's kinda cool to see where all of these guys got started. Plus, it's got some FREAKIN' Killer art from Humberto Ramos and Mike McKone.
Also hitting this week is the DC COMICS PRESENTS SUPERMAN #1, which collects four issues of in demand SUPERMAN arcs, including the kick-ass Geoff Johns story where Superman encounters the Royal Flush gang.

We've also got the previous couple of weeks worth of DC Comics Presents one-shots available as well, so check 'em out!

FANTASTIC FOUR #584 *THREE CHAPTER 2*- Even if you've never read a Fantastic Four comic in your life, you NEED to be reading Jonathan Hickman's FF run

The crazy amount of awesomeness that Jonathan Hickman has been packing into his Fantastic Four run is incredible. I don't think I've ever been this hooked on Marvel's First Family. I mean, I'm a HUGE Mark Millar fan, but as good as his run was, this still blows it out of the water. Hickman is channeling the energy and excitement of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's FANTASTIC FOUR in a big way, and it shows in every single issue which he manages to pack to the gills with crazy ideas and just plain simple comic awesomeness.

Of course, the big hype surrounding this current story arc, 3, is that it's going to culminate in one of the Fantastic Four dying. Yeah, I know, I know, dying doesn't always mean dead in the Marvel U, but check it out: this time it does, at least according to Hickman and Marvel. So far, indications are that it could be any one of the Four, but we're not sure who's a sure bet yet.

Anyways, if I go too into detail about everything Hickman's doing, it's going to make your's and my own brain bleed, so let me try to sum it up in a nutshell. First off, FANTASTIC FOUR #583 is a great part to jump on, as it's the first chapter of this current arc. Now, the actual Hickman FF run began back with FANTASTIC FOUR #570, and right from the beginning, the groundwork was laid for everything that's coming to light now.

Imagine this: Reed Richards consults with hundreds of other Reed Richards from other dimensions, including a High Council of three Reeds who're all sporting the Infinity Gauntlet. They all share the same mission: HOW to solve EVERYTHING. But, they're not exactly noble in their pursuits, as evidenced from how they've literally subjugated each DR. DOOM from their realities and turned the DR. DOOMS into a slave workforce to assist in the brainpower department.

Crazy, right? Well, hold up, 'cause it gets zanier. Meanwhile, the FF is dealing with the Lost Cities, ranging from the Mole Man's underworld kingdom, the Lost Kingdom of Atlantis which was unknown to many, and much more.

Oh yeah, and Galactus's corpse is floating around and the Silver Surfer is not happy about that AT ALL.

And now, as we speed toward the conclusion of all these things, we're shown that the 616 "our" Dr. Doom is suffering brain damage which has him operating at not full capacity, and has entered into a deal with the uber-intelligent Richards daughter, Valeria.

I know, it sounds wild, and almost too packed with awesomeness, but just try #583 and find out what I mean: this story arc has been freakin' fantastic, and is some of the best superhero comics I'm reading right now.

Wanna jump on? You can either hop on with FANTASTIC FOUR #583 (still in stock at Third Eye), or with the FANTASTIC FOUR by Jonathan Hickman trade paperbacks (available now at Third Eye), or if you prefer, we have ALL the back issues beginning with 570 that capture Hickman's run.

Click here for a preview of FANTASTIC FOUR #584


BRUCE WAYNE: The Road Home comes to it's end, as the Caped Crusader's return to Gotham is now evident. This series of one-shots has actually been really good, and done a great way of setting things up for the Return of Bruce Wayne. And, heck, after last week's BATMAN AND ROBIN #15, I cannot wait to see what direction things are going to go next.

Anyways, this week we've got BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME ORACLE one-shot, which spotlights one of Third Eye's favorite Gotham supporting cast members, and what her role will be as Oracle in the DCU with Bruce Wayne back.


Also dropping this week is the BRUCE WAYNE ROAD HOME RA'S AL GHUL one-shot, which shows us how his belief that the Detective wasn't down for the count is proven right, and his master plan can continue.


HOTWIRE: DEEP CUT #2 - Warren Ellis's Detective Excorcist continues to kick-ass in this cyberpunk-meets-Ghostbusters mini-series

We're big fans of HOTWIRE here at Third Eye, and if you're not yet reading this one, you really need to pick it up and give it a go. First off, it's being written by WARREN ELLIS (Transmetropolitan, Ignition City, Supergod, ect), secondly, it's got some of the best art we've seen courtesy of STEVE PUGH, and third: it's a kick-ass mix of Blade Runner style science fiction and good ol' fashion Ghostbusting!

See, Alice Hotwire, has a special skill, and in a future where paranormal activity has been accepted as scientific fact, she uses that skill as a Detective Excorcist. Police departments have various departments to handle the supernatural, and it's Alice's job to keep the undead from raining on everyone's parade. But, now, a team of private contracting ghost-hunters are looking to put Alice out of work, while working to keep her job and her life at the same time.

If you missed issue #1, check it out, 'cause this series is a gorgeously illustrated cyberpunk thrillride, and it delivers.

If you want more HOTWIRE, check out the first HOTWIRE trade paperback, in stock now here at Third Eye.

ABATTOIR #1 - RADICAL Comics and SAW & REPO! GENETIC OPERA director Darren Lynn Bousman deliver a chilling horror tale set in 1980s Middle America.
This one looks rad!

RADICAL's been putting out a lot of different stuff lately, and they've definitely put out some solid reads recently, but HOTWIRE and this upcoming ABATTOIR series are the ones that have me most stoked.

Written by Darren Lynn Bousman, the man in charge of the SAW franchise, and director of REPO! The Genetic Opera, Radical brings us this kick-ass horror story set in 1980s Middle America. After a brutal massacre takes place in a gorgeous house, real estate agent and family man Richard Ashwalt is assigned the impossible task of picking up the pieces and trying to sell the property. But, as Richard inspects the property further, he encounters a twisted old man who has returned to the house with a very sinister purpose.

One part '80s slasher flick, one part Amytville Horror, with the killer art and production values of RADICAL? This one is gonna rock.


Steve - BATMAN AND ROBIN #15 - This is it, folks. One issue that acts as a HUGE payoff for anyone who's been following the compelling web of storylines Morrison's told with the Caped Crusader. From start to finish, this one was awesome.

Trish - KICK-ASS 2 #1 - WOW. That's all I can say. I'm excited about KICK-ASS all over again, and I can't wait to see the next issue. The training sequence, the 'team-up', it was all awesome.

TORMA - CHAOS WAR #2 - Just consider CHAOS WAR to be my pick of the week every week it comes out 'cause it is so freakin cool. Galactus, Son of Satan, Venus... all on the new God Squad? This is too awesome.

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