My name is Blake Northcott, and I have a comic book addiction.
And Image Comics is to blame.
It seems like every Wednesday, an Image title forces me to jump in my car and race to the comic book store, shotgunning Red Bulls while ignoring stoplights and pedestrians along the way. The action/drama set in an all-too-realistic dystopian future, Lazarus, is on my pull list. Breakthrough artist of the year Jon “˜Roc’ Upchurch makes newcomer Rat Queens a monthly must-read. Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals is one of the most unique books I’ve read in years. And Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy has become a personal obsession (with issue #3 being the single best issue of any comic I’ve read in 2013).
With that, here’s my 3 hottest New Comic Book Day picks for October 30, 2013.
This Wednesday, it’s Saga #15 (Image Comics – $2.99), written by Brian K. Vaughn, and illustrated by Fiona Staples. If you haven’t read Saga, you’ve certainly heard of it; it’s the sexy, funny, brilliantly moving space opera that transcends the genre. It’s one of those rare comics that you can lend to someone who doesn’t necessarily read comics themselves, and they’ll absolutely love it – and then beg you for the next issue.
I’m not going to summarize the first fourteen issues, or explain what’s coming up in the October 30th release. Just pick it up, and if you haven’t read any Saga yet, then go back and start from the beginning with Saga, Vol. 1 (also available for Kindle).
Kick-Ass 3 #4(Marvel Comics – $2.99) brings us to the halfway point in the final arc of the series. With Hit-Girl still incarcerated (and doing pretty well for herself on the inside), Kick-ass is left with the unenviable task of leading an entire super-group in her absence – and it’s going about as well as you’d imagine. Frustrated with the lack of dedication on the part of his team, Dave takes it upon himself to deal with one of the biggest offenders…but will the rest of “˜Justice Forever’ have his back?
And fresh out of the hospital, Kick-Ass’ arch nemesis, Red Mist, is about to receive an “˜education’ from the terrifying crime boss of the Genovese family. (BTW, in case you saw Kick-Ass 2 in theaters, but have yet to read any of Kick-Ass 3 the comic, there are some key differences – primarily, Red Mist is not legless and genital-less. Just sayin’.)
The Sandman: Overture #1(DC Comics/Vertigo – $5.99) features the return of Neil Gaiman for a 6-issue, bimonthly miniseries, in which he promises that 25-year-old secrets will be revealed, as well as the death of a main character in the first issue (he even went so far as to specify the exact page of the event – page 5).
As someone who has never read The Sandman (*gasp*! I know…) I’m a little intimidated at the prospect of picking up a title steeped in such a rich and complex back-story. With the exception of Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, very few books receive the praise and adulation from comic book purists that The Sandman does, so this will certainly be a must-read for the hardcores – but for a noob to the existing mythology, I’m not sure if I’ll appreciate this series to the fullest.
Either way, a new Gaiman title is too tantalizing to ignore, especially with the stakes being so high, so I’ll be picking this up and giving it a look (and will probably delve into the back-issues once I’m hopelessly lost and confused). [Start with The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes, available in paperback and Kindle, you won’t regret it. – Ed.]
Blake’s new project, the sci-fi/superhero novel Assault or Attrition, is currently available on Kickstarter, and features character design and illustrations by Marvel, DC, Image Comics, and Adventure Time artists, including Dave Johnson, Mark McKenna, Steve McNiven, “˜Roc’ Upchurch, Derek Laufman, Dan Panosian, and Natasha Allegri.