Rottingly good comics!

Before I get to this week’s comics, I’d like to take a second to talk about what it means for Vertigo comics now that Karen Berger has left as an editor. Vertigo has been in a bit of a decline for a while. Not in quality, oh god no. American Vampire, which has just gone on a hiatus while Scott Snyder gets ahead on his other books, never fails to be one of my favorite comics to read all month. Sweet Tooth, which ends this month, has always been a fascinating read. It’s the main reason I was so excited to see Jeff Lemire on Animal Man! Punk Rock Jesus, the six-issue mini series I’ve been recommending (while not reviewing, because it would just be a paragraph of me flailing about how good it is), also ends this month. And then there’s Vertigo’s longest-running book, Hellblazer, which ends in March in order to bring John Constantine into the DCnU proper. While Fables and its spinoff Fairest are still going pretty strong, what else is there? I’ve read that the series Voodoo Child hasn’t been the best seller, but neither is The Unwritten. The Unwritten, however, has a very strong presence on bestseller lists as a collected trade rather than a single issue comic, the same may prove true for Voodoo Child. Still, Vertigo used to be a proving ground for new creators. If you could make it there, then by damn, you could make it anywhere! So, what happened? Well, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, my big theory involves money. Mainly, how non-cape books just don’t as well as cape comics. DC used to have an imprint called Minx. Graphic novels for girls! Yeah, that ended after 12 books, and a sequel to one of them, The New York Four, was published in single-issue format under the Vertigo banner. And now that many of the big character names are traveling into the DCnU, what will become of this formerly proud imprint? Something to think on.

It’s almost over! I’m not saying that happily, not really. Minutemen has been a pretty good part of Before Watchmen. The best part, really. After all, the original Watchmen book didn’t really touch on them at all. I don’t really have much to say about this fifth issue, other than, wow. Looks like we’re going to learn what ended up happening to Hooded Justice next issue.

Detective Comics is perfectly skippable. You’re not missing any important Death of the Family info. I just wish I’d known that before I blew $4 I didn’t have buying it.

The journey of Alec Holland continues! After fighting William Arcane, Alec loses Boston to the Rot…sort of. Deadman possessed William, giving Alec the chance to get away and head towards Gotham. Sadly, he’s a bit too late to reach Batman, though just in time to meet Barbara Gordon all Bat-serum’d up, a true Girl-Bat! The more interesting portion of this issue, to me, are the sections with Abby Arcane. What was her final fate in this world of the Rot? Actually, a better question would be, why is her uncle so determined to keep her under his control? He’s seen what her powers can do when she lets loose, and frankly, she’s more powerful than he is. It just makes no sense.

HOLY CROW! No, seriously. I’m sorry, Francis Manapul. I love you to death. But the opening pages of this month’s Animal Man were the best use of gorillas in the New 52, hands down. Aside from Grodd and his warriors, Mallah and Brain are used! They still exist! Oh, you’ve got no idea how pleased that makes me. I don’t know much about DC’s version of Frankenstein, but the second I saw him riding into battle with his patchwork army I thought to myself, yeah. That makes sense. The guy made of corpses is either going to be the most powerful Rotling of all, or completely immune. While Alec Holland is heading to Gotham over in Swamp Thing, Buddy and his Red Team are headed for Metropolis. And…they make it in one issue. Wow, go Team Red. Seriously, you get so much more done when you’ve got a necromancer’s army chauffeuring you around. I don’t want to spoil the big reveal at the end, but let me say this: I don’t recognize the guy. That means I’m going to be spending a bit of time on Wikipedia and Comicvine until I figure out just who our mystery hero is! On the flip side, we’ve got what could be the end of Maxine’s story. When last we saw Buddy’s Little Wing, she had just met up with William Arcane. Dang, that kid gets around! In any case, the little shit played his role quite well, leading her into a trap by the Hunters Two. What has become of her?! Well…let’s hope the world doesn’t end, because I’d like to find out next month!

And that’s this week in comics. On the Marvel side, the fifth issue of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is out today. It’s a great series, and I really do recommend it! Hope to see y’all back here next week when I tackle…well. It’s all Bat-books next week! Batman, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, and Suicide Squad for Death of the Family, and the new Ame-Comi Girls issue, starring Duela Dent!

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