Top of the Pile – Week of April 18 2018

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Here we are again, a little later than normal because I was out of town. For this installment of top of the pile I had to make some hard choices to limit the list to three. Of course the big book of the week, Action Comics 1000,  made the cut, now let’s see what else did.

Future Quest Presents #9 – The Herculoids

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Writer – Rob Williams
Penciller – Aaron Lopresti
Inker – Matt Ryan
Colorist – Hi-Fi
Assistant Editor – Michael McCalister
Group Editor – Marie Javins
Gloop Wrangler – Joey Cavalieri

The Future Quest line of Hanna-Barbera comics have been some of my favorite comics that DC has published recently. The Jeff Parker maxi series from 2016 – 17 was dynamite. It brought the Hanna-Barbera characters into the modern age and combined them all into a fantastic story seamlessly. Future Quest Presents is an anthology series where the different issues focus on specific characters back in their normal settings.

The first few issues were a Space Ghost story written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Ariel Olivetti. That was followed up by a Space Ghost and the Galaxy Trio one shot, also written by Jeff Parker and drawn by the one and only, super friendly, Ron Randall. The next story-line was three issues of Birdman, written by Phil Hester with art by Steven Rude. Finally we got a one shot with Mightor written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Steve Lieber.

The big difference between the Future Quest series and the other current Hanna-Barbera titles is that the Future Quest stories are fun adventure stories in the same vein as the original cartoons.  The Flintstones was also similar to the source material, but contained subtle and excellent social commentary. Scooby Apocalypse, while awesome, is a zombie apocalypse story with the characters from Scooby-Doo. The other Hanna-Barbera books focus on using old characters as vehicles to tell modern stories with heavy social commentary. None of that is meant to be a complaint, it is just how the titles differ.  The Herculoids are probably my favorite of the Hanna-Barbera characters and I am stoked for this series.

Mister Miracle #8

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Writer – Tom King
Pencils, Inks, Colors – Mitch Gerads
Letterer – Clayton Cowles
Associate Editor – Brittany Holzherr
Editor – Jamie S. Rich

Mister Miracle created by Jack Kirby

It is a well known that Jack Kirby wanted creators to be original and not tell the same stories that have been told before. I think that “The King” would be pleased with what Tom King has done in his Mister Miracle series because there is no denying that it is something different. The series has been extremely popular, based on how many printings each issue has seen. The art has been amazing. King and Gerads are quite a duo having worked together previously on the Sheriff of Babylon and Batman.

The story so far features Mister Miracle and his wife, Big Barda, trying to deal with their own life on Earth and an ongoing war between New Genesis and Apocalypse. I honestly think there is more to the story. I think King has been building to something. We have not seen any of this war, we’ve only heard about it through interactions that Mister Miracle has with Orion, Light Ray and the Bug. Along the way amazing things have occurred but always with a little bit of a question (at least in my mind) of “is this really happening?”

I really believe that all the events so far may not be real. That Mister Miracle is trapped somewhere and that he is trying to escape. I think it is possible that he is a prisoner on Apocalypse and that everything that has happened is in all in his head. It might be some kind of defense mechanism he is using to keep himself sane while plotting to free himself, or I could be completely way off base. Either way the story has be very entertaining and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Actions Comics #1000

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Creators – An all star line of writers, and artists too numerous to bother listing

This is it. This is the big one. The one they have been building to for months. The beginning a of new era of Superman.  Along with the amazing lineup of writers and artists this issue also kicks off the Brian Michael Bendis era at DC and on Superman. It has been hyped for months with “Bendis is Coming” ads that are a nod back to when the original King of comics broke ranks with Marvel and came to join DC. This is it, the Bendis run begins now.

For all my trepidation about what Bendis is going to do with the character and my wishing that Jurgens and Tomasi had been allowed to continue their great runs on the Rebirth Superman titles I am looking forward to this comic in particular. There is a lot in it and lots of great talent so it should be a good time. It had better be at eight dollars a whack.

Last Week’s Picks Revisited

Immortal Men #1 – This was a bit of dud. The art was only okay, the story left me confused and I don’t know who anyone is. I’ve got the next couple of issues on order but if it doesn’t get better quickly this might be the first new era book I drop.

Robocop #1 – The first issue was fun and I am looking forward to what happens in the series.

The Flash #44 – The Grodd finale was fun and satisfying. Like the rest of the stories that Williamson has done in this series the story wraps up but leaves plenty of room for more to come later.

Thanos #18 – The story ended well and unbeknownst to me it was the last issue of the series. Cates writes at the end that the series was not cancelled, it is just ending and that Thanos is moving on to other stories, namely the new Infinity Countdown mini series. This was disappointing to learn, I like Thanos having his own comic.

I’ll wrap up this week saying that there were a lot of other books I wanted to put at the top this week including Black Hammer Age of Doom #1, Daredevil #601 and Superman #45. It is going to be a good week of comics with all these great issues out.

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