The Ettatorial for the Week of 5-21-08

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A huge week of releases this week, and pound for pound, one of the best in recent memory. A full compliment of books, ranging from a multitude of publishers, and the quality was at a high. While my individual write-up for each may prove a bit shorter for each than usual, just know that these were all good books, and there were a bunch more that almost made the cut. So, read on for my picks of this week.

First for this week, is Avengers the Initiative #13. I know, I know, it’s a perennial pick here at the site, but once I get a bad issue, I’ll let it go. This issue proves to be a bit special, as writer Dan Slott takes it off and leaves it in the capable hands of co-writer Christos Gage. The issue itself is a one-off, focusing on some new recruits to the Initiative, and one in particular. The focus is on what basic is like for the heroes, and how one would deal with not being able to complete it. Truly heartfelt, and creative in approach, the issue is proof that it’s not just Slott whose genius is what guides the book, but Gage’s as well.

Next up is Godland #23. For those that love cosmic storylines, this would be the book I recommend . Godland is easily the closest thing today being published that reaches for the glory of the classics from the 1970s Marvel books by Starlin and Englehart. This issue takes a slight diversion from the previous arcs, instead giving an altered reality, caused by one of our main character’s sisters. Easy to read without having read the previous issues, it would be considered a nice jumping on point for new readers. Truly entertaining, with fantastic visuals by artist Tom Scioli, Godland deserves your attention.

Our third pick this week is Amazing Spider-Man #560. While there could be a whole other column about the book’s current status, I’ll shorten it here and say that while I was initially against the change to our title character, it has proven interesting. While I still wish that Spidey was married, it’s not like anyone’s stories never happened (with the only exception being the annual in which MJ and Spidey were married), and the creative teams have promised to get into that. That seems to be the case here, as MJ looks to be central to where the book is going. Now that I have that all out of the way, while I’ve enjoyed the book the past few months, it’s not gotten the love as pick of the week-until now. The reason? Dan Slott takes his turn as writer again, this time with Marcos Martin on art duties. The pair is my pick for permanent creative duties. While I almost always enjoy Slott’s scripts, they’re beautifully realized here by Martin’s art. A cross between Tim Sale and Steve Ditko, the art is spectacular for the series. This is the book I want every week. New characters, classic characters, an interesting supporting cast, fun and creepy new villians, some twists on Peter’s job (that are so believable in today’s age that it’s surprising nobody has done it before) and some fun and classic Spidey action, this is a book that defines Spider-Man.

Finally, the last of my picks for the week is Brave and the Bold #13. While online talk of the book recently have been about it’s sales, I’m not going to go into that here. Suffice to say, while I loved the first arc on the book, the second wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea-but it still was better than haf the crap put out every month. Here, the book starts with a single issue story instead of building a multi-issue arc, and it proves to be a strength. The book sees Batman teamed up with Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash. An interesting pair, and thats what makes the book work. It’s nice to see Batman teamed up with a hero that isn’t either terrified of the man, or totally outshined by him. The generational divide is played with to great effect, but not necessarily in the way one may think. Waid once again shows his immense knowledge and love of the DC heroes, and even without Perez on the book, Veteran talent Jerry Ordway proves he’s more than able as his replacement. Brave and the Bold is a book you can give to anyone, young or old, and they should appreciate how well-done it is.

There you have it, my picks for the week. Plenty of goodness for everyone this week.

Next week will be a bit different, as my wife and I will be in the process of moving to our new house. Fret not though, as I’ll still have something up for you. While it will be impossible to have my comic picks up, I will have a specially prepared trade-paperback or graphic novel selection (I haven’t chosen which just yet) all ready instead. So while you’re reading the Ettatorial next week, just remember I’ll be lugging and unpacking boxes while you’re enjoying my selection I’ve picked for you.

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