I recently got some comic books cheap through the mail from a collector getting rid of his collection, plus some cheap at the Gail Borden Library comic book convention. In fact, I acquired enough to do another top 10 new comic books list! Of course the “new” part is only relative to my owning them…
1. The Power of Shazam! #10 (12/95) – Oh yeah! I was only four issues away from having a complete collection of this title for the past 14 years – and now I’ve got them all! This gem was hard to wait for, the missing chapter in the big first year story arc, with the never-before-or-after told origin story of the wizard Shazam in it! Woo!
2. Kirby Genesis #2 (2011) – This title was on my radar two years ago, but two things stopped me from getting it then: a) I’d already mostly retired from buying new comic books and b) Alex Ross projects disappoint me more often than not because of their dark pessimism. None of which is on display here because Kurt Busiek wrote it. Kurt understands more than most comic book authors how to be reverential to Kirby’s properties and he makes me care about every one of them…even if the plot is an awful slow build…
3. Doctor Who #10 (10/2011) – Other than the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover, I didn’t know IDW even had an ongoing Doctor Who comic book until I saw this, again, two years too late. It’s great because I can now see “new” adventures with Amy and Rory long after they left the show. I’ve never heard of Tony Lee, but he writes well.
4. Kirby Genesis #4 (2011) – I already raved about Kurt, and it’s nice that this issue seems to have more panels of Alex Ross art, but even the main artist, Jack Herbert, is really good.
5. Doctor Who #11 (11/2011) – Can’t say the same about the art here, though. Matthew Smith tries really hard to be Mike Mignola and largely fails. His Matt Smith looks right because Matt Smith himself has exaggerated features, but he makes Amy Pond look ugly and that should be against the law.
6. Kirby Genesis #3 (2011) – Kind of a slow issue compared to 2 and 4…did I mention the plot builds really slow? But I’m still excited!
7. Archie & Friends #140 (4/2010) – You know, every Free Comic Book Day, I’m pleasantly surprised by the Archie entry, but I can never bring myself to start collecting them. And it’s not like they save their best stuff for the free book because this was a regular issue (pretty reasonably priced at $2.50 too). It’s a fairly complex 23-page story about Jughead and the girlfriend he almost had once. It’s nice that Jughead’s parents are real characters and not just around to be the butt of jokes, like I remember Archie comics being like when I was growing up. And it’s inked by Marvel veteran Al Milgrom!
8. Danger Girl #1 (1/2012) – Yeah, it’s cheesy, but this sexier send-up of James Bond is a lot of fun and I’m glad to see IDW revived it. I own six of these Danger Girl comics now. Chris Madden is no J. Scott Campbell, but it still looks good and maybe Chris was able to make deadlines.
9. The Power of Shazam! #42 (9/98) – The story, as I understand it, is that Mike Carlin was ready to pull the plug on this great comic book with issue #41, but he made writer Jerry Ordway a Faustian offer. Mike would kick loyal, long-term Shazam artist Peter Krause off the book and let Jerry have six more issues if Jerry took over the art chores. Jerry must have wrestled with his conscience and lost on this one and it shows in the darker feel of the book for the last six issues. BUT, this issue still has lots of nice touches, like the deft characterization of Bill Clinton, as well as lots of stuff about Billy, Mary, and Freddy just being really likable young people, growing up and doing stuff.
10. The Power of Shazam! #45 (1/99) – In addition to getting dark, things were also getting really rushed in these last few issues. A big Black Adam storyline was being told in about half the space it would have had at the old pacing, and is hurt by it. What could have been an epic Black Adam vs. Orion of the New Gods battle lasts just a page. Such a waste, Mike Carlin…