All of the coolest comics arriving this week are reprints of classic material. But when that includes a Grant Morrison pop-art gem, Kirby at his spaciest and the weirdest Marvel mash-up ever, it's not such a bad thing. Read on for our recommendations.
The first great reprint arriving Wednesday is Doom Patrol Volume 6: Planet Love, which finishes Grant Morrison's 1990s run on DC's freakshow version of the X-Men, complete with very '90s themes like nanotechnology and Lewis Carroll-revisionism. Despite its dated qualities, there's a surreal pop joy to Morrison's Doom Patrol that makes it one of the best superhero books of the last twenty-five years, and something that's well worth searching out, if only for the Madchester-inspired appearance of the Love Glove midway through the run.
Talking of surreal pop joy, that's exactly what Jack Kirby's comics were made out of, making Countdown Special: The New Gods - an 80-page "best of" taken from his three 1970s Fourth World series New Gods, Mister Miracle and Forever People - easily the best use of $4.99 you're likely to find this week, especially if you've never come across this material before. Pitched somewhere between the most dynamic superhero comics you've ever read and crazy religious texts, with art that's both brutishly dynamic and exquisitely designed, these are visionary works that must be read to be believed. Plus, they were Star Wars years before George Lucas made his first million, which is always worth pointing out.
If you still have money left over after picking those two books up, then you might want to look at the oddest book of the week: Marvel's Essential Marvel Saga. Marvel Saga was a mid-80s series that reprinted old comic books by cutting them up and putting expositionary narration in to replace the boring bits, resulting in this weird mash-up history of the Marvel Universe. Putting this into the cheap, phone-book-sized Essentials format seems perverse (It's a reprint of a reprint, after all), but also strangely alluring. And in a week as quiet as this at the comic store, that's enough to make it worth picking up.
As for new comics, it's a very slow week. There's absolutely nothing worth pointing out from the independent publishers' output at all. Okay, there's the third issue of IDW's Angel: After The Fall series, plotted by Joss Whedon and following on from the cancelled TV show. There's also the second issue of the same publisher's high concept series Zombies Vs. Robots Vs. Amazons. But in terms of new books? It's pretty much a dead week from the smaller houses.
Actually, the same could be said for the larger publishers as well. Marvel Comics launches a revised version of their Sliders rip-off, New Exiles, while DC launches... actually, DC doesn't launch anything at all this week.