Catching up on comics: late July’s best of the bunch!

Hey Folks! I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a week’s vacation (Hey, it’s summer! I gotta get some fun in the sun in some time!), which led to much relaxing and quite a bit of catching up on comics. I managed to pound through all the books from the last two weeks of July that had been piling up on my desk, so I figured I’d drop my top recommendations from the past half month now that I’m caught up (ok, ok…I’m actually still a week behind after missing last week, but give me a break and just read the recs!)…

Ambush Bug: Year None #1 (of 6)
It’s Keith Giffen—have I mentioned I’m a big Keith Giffen fan? No? Well, I’m a big Keith Giffen fan!—and it’s some good, irreverent fun, with some snazzy, old school interiors to boot!

Joker’s Asylum: Scarecrow
Wicked cool interiors from Juan Doe alongside a classic slumber party horror scenario make for a classic and spooky look into the Bat-rogue’s world. With this issue added to Jason Aaron’s Penguin story and J.T. Krul’s Poison Ivy tale, this series is doing justice to the one of the main things that make the Dark Knight one of comics’ top sellers: his villains!

The Exterminators #30
This book has been one of my favorite reads for a while and it’s conclusion two weeks ago was amazingly bittersweet: I’m bitter because I want more, but man, what an ending! If you haven’t checked out the story about city pest control bad asses and their battle against a killer swarm of bugs bent on bringing back an evil Egyptian insect god, now you can go scrounge up all 30 issues and indulge! Get on it!

Blue Beetle #29
Jaime Reyes is hands down my favorite character in the DCU, so I was super pleased to see his book pick up again with a larger storyline after Will Pfeiffer’s one-shots (they were fun, but one-shots…not much gravitas). Now, if you read the cover, you might have expected not only the return of the radical Rafael Albuquerque on art, but also writer John Rogers (the man responsible for The Reach story in BB, known for its massive amounts of pure awesomeness), and if you didn’t read the internal credits you would never have guessed the series has a new full-time scribe in Matthew Sturges. Take the one-shots out of the picture and it easily could have been mistaken for a continuation of Roger’s run—and that’s a distinctly good thing!

The book’s definitely got a new voice on the insectoid-monnikered hero with Sturges, but one so inline with everything that Rogers did that I’m really excited to see where Sturges takes things. He’s already got the most important part—the characters—down, so I’m psyched for the rest of his stories.

The bottom line: if you haven’t read Blue Beetle before, there’s no better time to start enjoying the adventures of El Paso’s superhéroe numero uno (but seriously, go back and read everything from issue #1 onward if you have the time and funds—you won’t be sorry)!

Teen Titans #61
It’s a Blue Beetle and Kid Devil-centric issue (more importantly Blue Beetle, read above), need I say more?!

Ok, Sean McKeever’s got a good handle on this team. It may not be the coolest incarnation or the most-seminal run ever, but it’s darn fun and it’s got my boy in blue rockin’ alongside Robin here and there, so you know I’m in!

Black Panther #39
One of my favorite writers, Jason Aaron, takes the reigns on the king of Wakanda’s book for a three issue tie-in to Secret Invasion.
And. It’s. AWESOME!
It’s war epic meets superhero story mashed together with a classic sci-fi alien invasion, and it features plenty of Skrull decapitation, so yeah…awesome!
(I chatted with Jason recently—mostly about Wolverine: Manifest Destiny but a smidge about BP‘s SI tie-in—so check that out here if you feel so inclined!)

Skaar: Son of Hulk #2
If you saw my review of Skaar #1 then you not only know that I am a huge fan of Greg Pak’s Hulk work, but also loved issue #1 of the third part in his big, green epic! Issue #2 just keeps things rolling on what is set to be one of my favorite weekly reads for a long time coming!

I also really enjoyed Fantastic Four: True Story and Immortal Iron Fist #17, but you can read more about my thoughts on those books here (FF) and here (Iron Fist)!

Well, that’s it for this round of “Best of the Bunch!” Hope those recommendations help out a few of you readers in need of some comicky goodness!

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