Sunday, January 1, 2012

On the Coffee Table: Treasures from Big Planet Comics

As explained in my DC in December post, My Wife and I went to Big Planet Comics during our recent trip to Washington. I've been wanting to go on a comic shopping spree for a while now and Christmas money provided a good opportunity. Following is a rundown of the treasures we found. I'm thinking that at some point, I may subscribe to a few books or start a pull list at a local shop. Thus, I'm in search of titles I expect can hold my interest long-term. And so...

New 52

I'm down to two titles of interest from DC Comics's New 52 relaunch: Green Lantern and Justice League. It is not lost on me that both series are currently being written by Geoff Johns, clearly the most compelling creative force in the DC Universe. Unfortunately, I think the fourth issues are the end of the road for me with both.

Image via RazorFine Review

Green Lantern is still my favorite of the New 52 stories and if I were to keep one foot in the DC Universe going forward, I would place it in the GL world. Sinestro's a keeper and the idea of his own people turning on him after he's bestowed temporary rings upon them is almost enough to hold me. But I foresee more brawling and I've officially had enough. I realize the ongoing battle royale is a major draw for the mainstream comics audience just as hockey fights are crucial for NHL diehards. I need more...or, rather, less.

Image via RazorFine Review

The same goes for Justice League. Now that all of the major characters have been introduced, I don't have sufficient interest in the Darkseid story to continue. Aquaman is still my favorite character (My Wife's, too, interestingly), just as he was when I was a kid. I'm glad to see that he's less of a jerk in issue #4 than he first appeared to be in #3.


Image via Civilian Reader

Day 2 of our DC adventure was espionage-themed and, on Mock's recommendation, I picked up a couple of spy titles: Cold War and Frenemy of the State. Both were fun but I preferred Cold War. I bought issue #1 of The Michael Swann Dossier, entitled "The Damocles Contract." I liked a lot of things about this book: the long, non-verbal opening; the traditional, Bondesque set-up and the closing cliff-hanger. I'm genuinely curious about the next installment. There's definite long-term potential here.

Image via League of Comic Geeks

Frenemy of the State #5, while also enjoyable, was less appealing to me. I appreciate the idea of a 21st century update on the spy concept, but it emphasizes aspects of our contemporary culture which I find annoying, namely cell phones and texting. A female lead is a nice change, though.

Science Fiction

Image via wikia

As part of my anticipated expansion into the realm of science fiction, I have sought out comic books from that genre. The pickings are surprisingly slim, especially for books which don't have movie or television origins. One series I've avoided to this point is Star Wars. I should have known better. I have been obsessed with the galaxy far, far away since I was four years old and the past 34 years have done very little to sate my curiosity.

Image via Big Shiny Robot

My devotion, though, is to the original film trilogy and I tend to be skeptical of any variations. Thus, for my original venture into Star Wars comics, I thought I'd try the two series I could find with strongest ties to the characters I know and love. I grabbed Star Wars: Agent of the Empire - Iron Eclipse #1 and Star Wars: Crimson Empire III - Empire Lost #1. The first pre-dates the original trilogy and feature Han Solo and Chewbacca in cameos. The second takes place after the trilogy and features Leia. Both were good enough to convince me that I may have been missing out on something all these years. I wonder, in fact, if the DC titles I bought suffered somewhat in comparison. As interesting as I find the Green Lantern story, it pales in comparison with my love for Star Wars.

Image via Comics And...Other Imaginary Tales

A while back, a shop clerk suggested Sweet Tooth as a book to try so I grabbed issue #28. In short, I didn't care for it at all - quite grotesque. I won't be following that series any further.


Image via

As discussed before, I am a Marvel man at heart and a Wolverine fan most of all. I bought the Marvel Comics Presents: Wolverine compilation and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just as in the DC books, there's plenty of scrapping with Wolverine but it's always tied to a broader sense of character and I appreciate that.

Image via iFanboy

I thought I'd try a couple of Marvel characters I don't know as well: Thor and Iron Man. Unfortunately, neither The Mighty Thor #9 nor The Invincible Iron Man #511 did much for me. Thor isn't actually featured very much in this book. There's a lot more Loki. While Thor stories pique my curiosity about Norse mythology, they don't do much to inspire me to read comic books. Meanwhile, I see some potential in Iron Man but the idea of a business mogul superhero is less than inspiring to me.

Image via iFanboy


Definitely one of the hot titles in comics right now, I figured I'd give Fables #112 a try. I like the concept a lot but the broader story wasn't particularly compelling to me. I enjoyed the book but I don't think this is one I'll follow long-term.

Images via Five Comics a Week

My Wife

As I've written before, I often feel that My Wife tends to order better than I do in restaurants. I find myself very curious about her Big Planet buys, though I haven't read them yet: Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers and The Drops of God, Books 1 and 2, a Japanese manga series about wine.


  1. Just got back from Earth Prime. They had never held Cold War for me. I got an email last week about preordering thhe collection on Amazon, but soooo prefer the individual issues when I can, so I grabbed 1, 3 and. 4....very excited to read.

  2. You could always do Fables via trades from your library!

  3. I have issue 2 of Cold War. I'll pass it on to you once I've read it.

  4. Are you saying there's something you're keen to trade for? You've been very generous. I'm happy to just give you stuff you want.