Picks of the Week for 11/20/13 and 11/27/13

It turns out I missed last week’s post due to some business that had to be taken care of but here are the picks of the week for the last two weeks of November. What better way to kick off December than to post last month’s best books? Essentially this is a double-sized edition and it is organized by writer, and then sub-organized by week of release. Here we go.

Picks of the Week

11/20/13 and 11/27/13 Double-sized edition:

Batwoman #25 – The fact that we know the story to come and the actual origin of Batwoman is an important piece to the success of this story, but it’s not essential. We know her troubled childhood trauma. We know she ends up with Maggie in the end. And we know that cousin Bruce becomes Batman and cousin Bette becomes Flamebird. But what we don’t know, which this issue singlehandedly accomplishes, is that we should care. To be completely honest, I’ve only been getting this title for the artwork. J. H. Williams III is a superstar and Amy Reeder is great and all of the other talented artists on this book make it a visually impressive read each and every month. But Marc Andreyko’s arrival ushers in a new realm of possibility for the first time since Greg Rucka left his recreation: Actual characterization, actual plot advancement, and actual storytelling. The good art staying good is just a bonus. Mark my words, once everyone gets over this “controversy for controversy’s sake” mentality surrounding DC Comics editorial decisions, this will be the book to watch. If it isn’t already. Welcome aboard, Mr. Andreyko. You’re right where you belong. – Jeff Hill


Justice League Dark #25 – For the first time since its debut, I am enjoying this title. Adding J.M. DeMatteis to the writing slot was a stroke of brilliance for fans of the old DC Universe (remember his legendary Justice League run with Keith Giffen?) as well as fans of the new DC Universe (the guy is rocking it with The Phantom Stranger right now). And, as per usual, Mikel Janin’s artwork is phenomenal. Add to this great creative team the concept of a crossover-within-a-crossover, featuring solely magic and supernatural-based characters, and you have a recipe for automatic success. Now that the story has truly officially begun, Forever Evil: Blight is looking like it’s going to be just as much fun as the main Forever Evil event. – Jeff Hill

The Wake #5 – I already reviewed it but what can I say, I’m a complete sucker for Snyder’s work. It’s got moments of visceral, psychologically affecting horror steeped in folklore and mythology that is absolutely flooring. Sean Murphy illustrates all of this using the claustrophobic, dark nature of the ocean to effect that it spooks, terrifies, and leaves the reader emotionally distraught. I can’t think of a better book to have come out on the 20th than this one. – Julien Loeper

Black Science #1 – I admit I was completely skeptical on this one. The last thing of Remender’s I liked was his Venom run and Captain America and Uncanny Avengers have done nothing for me. But this, this is perfect. I have nothing but nice things to say about the pulpy sci-fi and wildly fun stories coming out of this. I love the dark science meets Reed Richards tone of this, and Scalera’s art is suitably colorful and steeped in equal parts reality and science fiction. The first issue has me sold already – Julien Loeper

Uncanny X-Men #14 Uncanny X-Men #14 was just too great, it really blew away my expectations for the issue. Just like with the last issue of All New X-Men, it’s dark and grim, yet comical and warm at the same time – you couldn’t possibly strike a more perfect balance for an X-Men comic in this day and age. Single issues of Uncanny X-Men generally work well on their own anyway, and this one especially takes you on a nice one issue journey, making for a very satisfying read. ~ Scorpio Moon

All New X-Men #19 – I still stay up some nights wondering what the end game is with this time displaced first class of X-Men, but it’s hard to worry too much about it when the writing is so good. Sure it’s easy to sum up the plot with – they fight the Purifiers and find X-23 – but what’s going on for each character through it, it’s so dense, there’s a lot in here and plenty enough to be worth it. ~ Scorpio Moon

Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #1 – I have always loved Battlestar Galactica in all of its forms. This mini-series goes back to where it all started, with the original series and tells the tale of the origin of Starbuck, the roguish womanizer and gambler of the Colonial Fleet. With his beginnings as an orphan saving the life of Adama, Starbuck has a unique relationship with the members of Adama’s family that binds them pretty closely. I really enjoyed this sort of VH1 Behind the Music look at Starbuck. The story was well written and it answers a lot about why Apollo and Starbuck act almost like brothers. This is a book that I will read through to the end. – Aaron Clutter

The Maxx Maxximized #1 – I love Sam Keith’s art and it was awesome to see the top quality publishing of the remastered edition of The Maxx from back in the 1990’s. The story of a purple and yellow creature with little memory of his past is intriguing. Throw in some little black Smurf-looking monsters that rape women and you have a winner. This is a strong story, great character development, and, of course, really cool art. Check it out. – Aaron Clutter

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