With it being wednesday and all, I figured id put up a few of the comics from my pull list that i’ve been pretty damn excited about lately. DC’s “the new 52″ has really taken some of these characters to another level and revamped a lot of the personalities we know and love (but in a good way!) My favorites at this point being the new SWAMP THING and ANIMAL MAN, which have come a long way in a mature direction since their inception (i will try not to spoil anything)….
The new Swamp Thing series again follows scientist and slave to the green Alec Holland, who finds himself in an endless struggle against enemy to life itself “The Rot”. This cancerous evil is slowly spreading across the world, causing animals to drop dead and Holland once again finds himself summoned by the parliament of trees to utilize the gift he was granted and to save all life. This particular swamp thing series carries severely dark undertones (not that past themes weren’t dark) but presents them in an accessible yet modern fashion. Though i am a huge fan of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, I think that Scott Snyder is doing a great job with the book thus far!
Animal Man is another book that i have been glued to as of late. The adventures of Buddy Baker and his monotonous life as a family man, washed up movie star, activist, and ex super hero, are quickly stripped from him as he is forced to protect his family from the same plague that effects the Swamp Thing, “The Rot” (i smell a cross over). This rendition of the Animal Man story is extremely cryptic and presents Animal Man in a light we have not seen him in before, while still building on the character were familiar with. The first issue has tons to offer, family drama, horror, action, suspense, and the art style is just out of this world. Sketchy and spastic line work fill the pages of Animal Man, while also creating some of the most disgusting imagery to showcase the Rot’s disfigured sentries. If you like comic books Animal Man is a must have!
Marvel has also started another book based on the ex-marine vigilante Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Which, despite a lot of pretty weak books and series starring Castle in the past, this one is not so much a shoot em’ up action story but is more a psychological crime story following the detectives who are hot on castles war path. Though it does have a ton of blood, minimal use of gratuitous violence make this a more refined Punisher tale with a progressive story line. I might even go as far as saying this may be one of the best renditions of the character yet! Rucca’s Punisher is a cold and quiet executioner, who’s characterization is mostly summed up by his actions and lack of emotion. I foresee this book reaching great heights!
One book i still can’t put down (though it’s been a depressing/wild ride/fun read) is The Walking Dead. Though the book in my opinion is much different then that of the television show, i still feel the book has it’s moments where it really shows us what human nature really is and that through solidarity, humanity does have a chance (in a zombie apocalypse). I still really like the show, but have come to terms with its differences from the comic. Not all forms of media can really be interchangeable, so to some degree i understand the need to change plot lines and drag out certain parts. They are trying to make a television show about zombies (which has never been done before) and in my opinion, i think they’re doing a great job with it. However, the roots of TWD are in comic book form. I think anyone who hasn’t read the Walking Dead should honestly just buy the compendium ($60 new, amazon $34), it outlines issues 1-48 and is so good that any reader would be hesitant to put it down. It features some of the most memorable scenes in the book and really gives you that great character development that Robert Kirkman is known for. It’s also got a ton of action, gore, interpersonal drama, sex, more gore, and of course zombies! Kirkman really hit a home run with this series and though the more recent issues have slowed things down a bit i feel the new “A Larger World” story arc may resurrect the series for fans on the fence. The Walking Dead is a great story and if you don’t have it already, you really should find out what all the buzz is about!