If you've got a comic book collection, then you probably have a few stacks of unread books. Over the past few years, I've slowly fallen behind on reading the new comics I get every month coupled with the back issues I've also picked up. I've kind of been resigned to the fact that I would never catch up - ever - but then, what do you know? A global pandemic can stop almost all comic book production in North America.
The last full week of comics shipping from Diamond distributors was at the end of March, and Diamond recently announced that they would start shipping once again for books that go on sale May 20th. That means we've got about two months with only a few new comics coming out - DC managed to get a few books to stores in April through some new distribution channels - and I actually got to the end of my "new comics" pile a few days ago.
Because there's not much else going on, I thought I'd share a few titles that I've got lined up to read during these interesting times.
The last few books I read from my "new" stack were DC's oversized 80th anniversary titles that just came out: Flash, Wonder Woman and Robin. I was surprised to find that the Robin issue was the best of the bunch. DC obviously had a hit with Action Comics and Detective Comics #1000, and now they're doing it with every book they have. Ah well.
The first new books to come out after the March shutdown were the Walmart DC Giants in the middle of April. I'll admit that I was somewhat comforted when I found them in their usual place at the checkout line. Our Fighting Forces, in particular, was actually pretty good. Oh, and the Batman: Caped Crusader Giant was actually a Target exclusive from a couple months ago, but I only found it recently (before we all went on lockdown).
I finally took the time to complete my run of Route 666 from the now-defunct Crossgen Comics. I came very late to the Crossgen party when they were up and running; I started reading El Cazador and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, just about a year before the company went belly-up in the early 2000s. Route 666 is something of a PG horror story; I'm enjoying it, even though it gets repetitive at times.
Any suggestions for other Crossgen titles I should pick up? I've got my eye on Negation. I know this company crashed quite spectacularly back in the day, but I appreciate their willingness to try out different genres.
The X-Men's Beast had a short run on Amazing Adventures back in the '70s - this is where he first changed to his furry form, although he's grey in this series. I don't know what possessed me to pick up his appearances in this title; I'm not a great fan of Hank McCoy or the X-Men in general, but I guess he's only in seven issues and only the first is a bit pricey. It's pretty much what you'd expect - overwrought superhero drama that tends to be a bit over-expository. But the covers are nice and it was an interesting change for the character that has seemed to stick.
Back in November, at the Rhode Island Comic Con, I found and bought the entire "Just Imagine Stan Lee" line of DC titles. It interested me when I first saw it, about 20 years ago, but there were too many titles and the prestige format meant a price tag that was too hefty for me at the time. Luckily, these books have not held their value at all, so I was able to get them all for a pretty cheap price. These books are currently in the on-deck circle, so to speak (remember sports?). I don't have great expectations for any of these, but the art on most of these looks great, and it's an interesting concept, at least.
Lastly, we've got Friday, a new digital series from Ed Brubaker and Marcos Martin, published by Panel Syndicate. I don't have any great interest in digital comics, especially ones that I know will eventually be printed. But I enjoy Brubaker and absolutely love Martin, and other books from Panel Syndicate have been top notch, so I got this first issue. And what do you know? It's great. I highly recommend it. You can download it here: http://panelsyndicate.com
Well, that's it for now. I hope that everyone is safe and continues to, you know, stay inside and read comics. What are you reading these days? Leave a comment and let me know!