Second installment of How Sweet, Fresh Ink! This week DC launched four brand new #1's to replace the first four cancellations from their "New 52" from last year. I ended up signing up for three of them, World's Finest, Earth 2, and Dial H, based off of their respective creative teams. Ended up digging all three, but one more so than any of the others.
Also this week I picked up new issues of two of my current favorites from DC, Animal Man and Swamp Thing, as well as new issues of Daredevil, Sweet Tooth, and the Court of Owls is running rampant in Batwing and Detective Comics. Red Lanterns, Action Comics, Avengers vs X-Men, and Justice League International round out the pull list. Lots of good stuff, but here's what I thought was particularly fresh...
X-O Manowar #1 - Remember when Valiant was one of the biggest players in the funny book game? I sure do. At one time, I read almost every book they published. X-O was one of my favorites, so you bet your ass I'm excited to see that it's back on the racks. Just as before, it seems as if the focus with Valiant is going to be quality over quantity, and so far I'd say they're off to a great start. Being a first issue, this one's all set-up. We meet Aric, witness his people being attacked by the Roman Army, and then seeing the few survivors get visited by aliens who end up capturing Aric. As we all know, this is where he gets his hands on Shanhara, his signature blue and gold suit of armor. Really, really excited about this book.
30 Days of Night #7 - So you've probably read the original 3 issue series that inspired the movie. You might have even read some of the follow ups, including the not so great ones that original writer and creator Steve Niles had nothing to do with. I did. If that's the case, you may have skipped this new ongoing series from IDW, and understandably so. For a while it felt like they were just slapping a "30 Days" title on any book they published with a vamp in it. I weep at the amount of money I wasted. This ongoing has been good though, really good. Steve Niles is back in control of his baby, and he's been shaking things up big time. First, he killed off Stella, which sent Eben into a bloodlust that ended with him slaughtering everybody in Barrow. I mean, EVERYBODY. After that, he left the North, and is currently amassing an army of vampires all over the country with the intent of bringing humanity to it's knees. Crazy shit, right? I know!
Earth 2 #1 - Ok, I know, these "mulitple Earths/realities/realms/etc." stories are extremely hit or miss, and usually so damn convoluted that they'll break your brain if you attempt to make sense of them. To be honest, I signed up for this series based primarily on my love of the Earth 2 DCU. It's basically considered the Silver Age continuity, which is what us old timers like. James Robinson is writing, and he's as hit or miss as they come for me, I hated his Justice League but hold his Starman run in the highest of regard. After reading this first issue though, he's got my attention. For most of this issue, we get to witness the final battle of Earth 2's heroes as they fight against an invasion from Apokolips, which left the world without heroes. None survived, Batman was the last one, the one who brought an end to the invasion and saved the world, be even he died doing so. It looks as though this series is going to be about the "new" heroes of Earth 2, as we get brief introductions of Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, who of course are the "original" Green Lantern and Flash from the old continuity, pre-New 52. Confused yet? It actually makes sense, and even if you're lost, this issue is still easily enjoyable. I'm going to stick around and see where this is going.
Venom #17 - Disclaimer: I'm ONLY reading a book about Venom because Rick Remender is writing it, and if he writes something, I read it. I don't particularly like Venom, and when I do, I like him as a villain. Still, goddamn him, Remender has made this book a blast to read. Venom is no longer Eddie Brock, it's Flash Thompson, yep...THAT Flash Thompson. He's not a villain, he works for the government, and the symbiote is controlled by a dampening collar that will be exploded if it gets out of Flash's control. He even just recently joined the Secret Avengers based off a recommendation from Captain America. Venom is an Avenger. This issue begins the next big arc which will put him up against a group of the villains he's been tangling with in the book, who have joined up to become what is being called the "Savage Six", one of whom is Eddie Brock whom they've given a new symbiote to, and you just know this symbiote isn't going to like Venom very much. Should be fun!
That's it for this week's Fresh Ink, but dry your eyes friend, I'll be right back here on Saturday to get you all ready to head out to your local comic shop for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Oh yes, it's that time again! I'll be giving you the skinny on what you can expect to find, and which ones I feel like are worth picking up. You can't even wait, I can tell.