So, I'm a little behind in picking up my pull this month as the issues trickle in, but it's been a stellar week for reading nonetheless. I only just decided this week to start collecting the New 52 Green Lantern. The introduction of Simon Baz last year had me intrigued, and I jumped in with issue #12. I kept pulling back issues off the shelf whenever I wandered into the shop, and the character was keeping things interesting. Johns had, once again, made a valuable and worthy addition to the GL mythos, and I was loving it. So when I went in this week I picked up #14-16, in which Simon singlehandedly gives the entire Justice League a run for their money, finds the bugger that put him in this fix in the first place while using a basement full of homemade explosives to fend off an alien army, and does the impossible with his ring. Johns' writing is solid as always, and Doug Mahnke's art carries the sort of vibrant vitality appropriate to this title; I wouldn't settle for less, honestly. I decided it was high time I added this title to my monthlies, ironically just days before it was announced that Johns is leaving the title...that, however, is another story. For those of you as yet unfamiliar with Simon Baz, I must recommend you pick up Green Lantern and give it a shot.
After paging through a Marvel: Now preview book I decided to jump on the bandwagon and give it a go. It's been a while since anything new by Marvel really caught my eye, so these first few issues have been a rather pleasant surprise. Secret Avengers #1 is brilliant, a move from the team we gaped in awe at on the screen to a much more covert initiative. A little less explosive, and a lot more shadows. It feels like a crime comic rather than a supers story, which is a move I've been hoping to see marvel make with S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while. It's happening, and it's happening in style. Also from Marvel: Fearless Defenders #1, which is shaping up to be a wild ride. Those of you who know me or have read the little bit of stuff I've written should know that I take a pretty academic approach to comics literature. Part and parcel to that is numerous discussions on feminism in comics, and this series is going to become a major part of that tradition. Our protagonists are exclusively female (thus far), badass, wily, and lesbian. The dialogue is flawless and the panels are just a blast to look at. I'm looking forward to seeing where this story is going on a large scale, but also to hearing the response from the feminist comics scholars among us. Joss Whedon would be proud.
And then there was the random and entirely pleasant discovery of F.J. DeSanto's DC miniseries Insurgent. This wasn't even on my radar until a few days back when I picked it up on a whim at the shop. I am ever so glad I did. The art might not be everybody's cup of tea, but the writing is rock-solid. There are so many terribly written comics on the market today, being able to sit down with something this well-scripted is truly a breath of fresh air. The story presents a gritty look into a drastically dystopic future where cybernetics have turned people into weapons against their will. And then shit hits the fan. I won't say much more than that; you're just going to have to read it for yourself. I believe the first two issues are out, four still to come. It's a shame something this solid is only being presented as a limited run; there's a ton of potential here for a quality story that would outstrip most of what DC is publishing these days. Ah well. You can't win 'em all.
On the webcomics front (an area in which I am woefully behind), I was introduced yesterday to Nimona, the whimsical genius of illustrator Noelle Stevenson. It follows the adventures of wannabe supervillain and shapeshifter Nimona in a hi-tech yet medieval world inhabited by...you know what, nevermind. Screw the synopsis. There are political intrigues, dragons, jousting, and biomechanical arms. Now go read it.