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Wednesday Is New Comics Day

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Psychestrike Horrorist Attacks
Mom-eating octopuses
Casanova Quinn, agent of E.M.P.I.R.E. (and also W.A.S.T.E.)
Meet the new Captain America
Say farewell to the Last Man on earth

Every Wednesday we run down the 5 most interesting comics or graphic novels coming out for the week.

5. NARCOPOLIS #1 (of 4)
Written by Jamie Delano; art by Jeremy Rock
Avatar Press
32 pgs | $3.99

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Fans of the heyday of DC's Vertigo comics line will remember writer Jamie Delano as one of the first wave of British authors that took the comics world by storm in the late '80s as the original writer for the long-running John Constantine series, Hellblazer. Delano returns with a 4 issue sci-fi series about a utopian city called Narcopolis, where - as you might guess from the name - it's citizens are lulled into complacency and never question or look outside of themselves or their beloved city. Except for our hero, Gray Neighbor, an average joe who is awakened to a higher state of consciousness by a "psychestrike horrorist attack" (huh?) and urged to fight against the status quo of Narcopolis.

Very Matrix-y in concept, yes, but expect some biting wit and social commentary from Delano as well as some slick and intricate artwork from newcomer Jeremy Rock.

Read more about the series from this interview with Delano.

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4. AMULET BOOK ONE: THE STONEKEEPER
By Kazu Kibuishi
Scholastic
$17.59

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Here's one for the kids from Japanese comic creator Kazu Kibuishi, perhaps best known for his work in the Image Comics anthology Flight or his popular webcomic, Copper. In this first volume of Amulet, we're introduced to young Emily, who has already lost her father and is about to lose her mother when they move into a new house haunted with strange octopus-like creatures. Only a powerful amulet and Emily's long lost great-grandfather can save her mother from death and return Emily's life to normal.

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3. CASANOVA VOL1: LUXURIA
Written by Matt Fraction; art by Gabriel Ba
Image Comics
144 pgs | $12.99

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One of my favorite new books of the past year is now out in a very affordable, softcover format. Steeped in the look and feel of 1960's British spy movies, Casanova is one the craziest, mind-bending books out there. It's hard to encapsulate what it is about without getting caught up in the labyrinthine plot contrivances that are purposefully out there and meant to keep you just hanging on for the ride. The main character, Casanova Quinn, is a bit of a young Mick Jagger look-a-like who is an agent for a spy organization called E.M.P.I.R.E. but winds up in a parallel timeline in which he is supposed to be dead and must work as a double agent for both E.M.P.I.R.E. and it's rival, W.A.S.T.E.

There's lots of kooky sci-fi technology, over the top action, sexy and dangerous women, characters breaking the 4th wall and stylish 2 color art by Gabriel Ba.

Go ahead and read the first 28 pages here.

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2. CAPTAIN AMERICA #34
Written by Ed Brubaker; art by Steve Epting; cover by Alex Ross
Marvel Comics
32 pgs | $2.99

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Marvel Comic's most interesting and engaging storyline over the past year has been the Death of Captain America. The seeds of the overarching plot that writer Ed Brubaker devised were planted long before Cap's actual death and began back in Captain America #1 with the introduction of the Winter Soldier. Now at issue #34, everything Brubaker has been working towards is beginning to come to fruition as we finally get a new Captain America for today's America. Oh yeah, and he packs heat.

Recently, I've actually read through Brubaker's run starting from the beginning and if you haven't tried it yet you're really missing the most sophisticated and exciting book Marvel is publishing right now.

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1. Y: THE LAST MAN #60
Written by Brian K. Vaughan; Art by Pia Guerra & José Marzan Jr.; Cover by Massimo Carnevale
DC Vertigo
48 pgs | $4.99

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I'm going to be honest with you - it's hard for me to tell you much about this particular issue except to say that it's the final issue of Brian K. Vaughan's highly acclaimed sci-fi series and since I personally am reading it in it's collected trade format I am currently avoiding spoilers like they were a plague that could wipe out every man on earth.

Y: The Last Man has a huge following and it's great to see the conclusion to this great series actually get some mainstream press from the likes of CNN and USA Today. Personally I'm afraid to read those articles in case they spoil something from the last few issues and there's no way I was going to look around for preview images so you're on your own with this one.


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1 Comment

Waiting for the trades... tsk, tsk!

Since I don't feel like I was ready to say goodbye to Yorick and company, I don't know that any finale would be great enough to encapsulate and bookend such a great run, but I will say: It ends perfectly.

As for Cap... I'm not sold on Bucky as Captain America (seems needlessly gritty and yet another example of Marvel getting more and more neo-con in their thinking), and I'm certainly not sold on the idea of Cap packing heat (not to mention knee-capping opponents), I'm going to agree with you and say that Brubaker's run has been stellar so far.

said alphamonkey on January 31, 2008 9:51 AM.
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