Top 5 Comics For 31 July 2013

Batman Annual #2

In a new feature that replaces the Top 20 Comics of each week, Milo, aka “Bane of Kings”, hones down on 5 specific titles, allowing more time for an explanation as to why they’re included – featuring books from DC, Vertigo and Marvel Comics. 

Okay, you’ve probably noticed something quite different about this. There’s going to be no more The Top 20 Comics… post each Wednesday, rather – a look at the Top 5 Comics that you should be checking out each week. They’re going to usually be the titles that I’m picking up as well – so you know that I’m actually going to be getting them rather than listing a load of comics and I’m actually barely getting half that amount. This list allows me to hone in on the titles that I look forward to the most, and I can also explain why I picked these titles. Of course, like always – you can see the full list here, and my personal pulllist here (along with Captain America #9 from last week).

It’s an extra week in the month – as you may have noticed, and that means that you’ll be getting plenty of Annuals from DC – and despite the fact that just one’s featured here, there’s more where that came from. Vertigo have some pretty impressive titles lined up, as do Marvel – I’ve decided in the end to select one from DC, two from Marvel and two from Vertigo to present to you – but what I want to know is what titles you, the reader – are  picking up. Feel free to let me know in the Comics section below.

BATMAN ANNUAL #2

Batman Annual #2

Story: Scott Snyder, Marguerite Bennett | Pencils: Wes Craig | Inks: Craig Yeung, Drew Geraci | Cover: Jock | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $4.99

A special ZERO YEAR tie-in!

Bruce Wayne’s first year as the Dark Knight has just barely begun…and already dangerous elements are coalescing, leading Bruce toward his final destiny.

WHY? Hands down, my favourite comic book series currently being published is Scott Snyder’s Batman. He just knocks it out of the park with each issue, and continues to excel with everything that he does on the title – so how was I going to pass off an extra, Annual-sized issue? The only downside to this is Greg Capullo is not doing artistic duties, but this time round he’s replaced by Wes Craig, who I haven’t heard of before – but can only assume that he’s got to be pretty good in order to replace Capullo – even if it’s just for one issue – so it’ll be interesting to see where this goes and how it ties into Zero Year. The only downer is the slightly more expensive price, but I’ll be picking this up regardless. This is probably my most anticipated title of the week – more of the Caped Crusader is always good in my book – even if Snyder may be assisted by a newcomer, Marguerite Bennett – who I understand is another student, along the likes of James Tynion IV – and if Bennett can excel as much as James Tynion IV has done in the main Batman backups and Talon so far – then I may have another writer to watch out for.

COLLIDER #1

Collider #1

Story: Simon Oliver | Art; Robbi Rodriguez | Cover: Nathan Fox | Publisher: Vertigo Comics | Price: $2.99

It started small: temporary gravity failures, time reversal loops, entropy reversals. With much fanfare a new government agency was formed with a mandate “to prevent and protect.” Its official title: The Federal Bureau of Physics. Humans, if nothing else, adapt to the changing parameters of their existence. What was extraordinary soon became ordinary, a part of people’s daily lives. They move on and do what people have always done: survive. But even that new status quo is now under threat. Things are getting worse, and it falls to Special Agent Adam Hardy and his FBP team to figure out what’s going on, before it’s too late.

WHY? Okay, I’ll admit – Collider is one that I’m a little on the fence about it. Not because it’s a weak title or anything it’s a first issue that actually looks pretty good, with an interesting premise. It’s from Vertigo, who have given us excellent comics like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and more recently, Scott Snyder’s The Wake – so I’m pretty interested to seeing where this goes. However, I didn’t reserve this at the store last week as I didn’t know much about it – so I’m not quite sure if this title will be picked up or not – I can only hope that the store has a copy in stock.

DAREDEVIL #29

Daredevil #29

Story; Mark Waid | Art: Javier Rodriguez | Cover: Chris Samnee & Javier Rodriguez | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $2.99

• The minor demons of Matt Murdock’s past lead to some Daredevil sized present problems. 

WHY? Daredevil, despite being launched before Marvel Now!, is a recent addition to my pullist with #24 and this series has quickly become one of my favourite Marvel Now! ongoings – Mark Waid is knocking it out of the park and he brings something near to perfection to the book each time. It looks set to be a great issue, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

THE WAKE #3 (of #10)

The Wake #3

Story: Scott Snyder | Art: Sean Murphy | Cover: Sean Murphy | Publisher: Vertigo Comics | Price: $2.99

A new species has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean, and as a result people are dying. Is it the missing link? Or a link to something even bigger? Marine biologist Lee Archer and her crew have to find out before things get much, much worse…

WHY? I’m not normally a fan of horror comics, but Scott Snyder has produced some fantastic issues with #1 and #2, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here. Snyder is my favourite DC Comics writer right now so I’m very glad to see him bringing something fresh to the table with a creator owned issue that proves he can write horror just as well as anybody else – and truly deserves to have two comics in the Top 5 spot this week, at least in my opinion anyway. If you’re not reading this book already then I highly recommend you jump on board whilst we’re still three issues in.

X-MEN #3

X-Men #3

Story: Brian Wood | Art: Oliver Coipel & Mark Morales | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99

• The X-Men find out what Arkea is capable of, and the phrase “rampaging horde” comes to mind.

• Can Arkea be defeated? Can the X-Men take down one of their own, if that’s what it takes?

• Meanwhile, what’s up with Sublime and Rachel? What’s up with Bling and Cipher? What’s up with Jubilee and Bling?

WHY? The only $3.99 comic on this list, X-Men #3 gains this spot because of Brian Wood’s incredible writing ability. Two issues in, and X-Men is already in my Top 10 favourite series of comics at the moment, and I’m loving what he can bring to the table with an all female cast. I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here – but one thing’s for sure, I can’t wait. Another book that I reccomend that you jump on if you haven’t already – like The Wake, it’s only 3 issues in, so there shouldn’t be too much catching up to do.

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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