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Pick of the Week10-17-2012
Daredevil #19 by Mark Waid & Chis Samnee
Daredevil's life has been falling apart lately, but is that even anything new? In the past, it was always Matt Murdock who was his own undoing. But a well executed plot by a past villian has ol' Hornhead hallucinating, doubting his sanity and on the outs with longtime partner and best friend Foggy Nelson.

A physical exam by Dr. Hank Pym reveals a radiation abnormality in Matt's brain, a clue that leads him to the baddie responsible for all of the chaos in his life recently. What Daredevil doesn't see coming (yeah, I know he's blind!) is a D-list villian who has upped his game to get the best of him with a cliffhanger ending that will make you lose your head!

Daredevil is a title that I look forward to every month and Mark Waid is the man responsible for that. He has given us a fresh take on the character while also harking back to his silver age sensibilities without being retro. Complimenting Mark's vision is artist Chris Samnee who gives Daredevil a vibrant and sleek look. Especially enjoyable is his imagining of Daredevil's radar sense, showing us how Matt 'sees' the world.

WARNING: If you read this issue, don't flip ahead to the last page. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T DO IT!!!

- Eddie deAngelini
www.collectorscomic.com

Pick of the Week9-26-2012
The Punisher #16 by Greg Rucka & Marco Checchetto
I've never been a huge Punisher fan. Although I enjoy him as an adversary in other books like Spider-Man or Daredevil, in his own series he comes across as a one note character. Greg Rucka has now converted me into a fan with this current series and his writing in this recent issue hits some heartbreaking character moments after the brutal violence of last issue.

Frank Castle has been waging his war against a crime organization known as The Exchange in this series with a female partner, Sergeant Rachel Alves, a widow whose husband was killed on their wedding day. She has been bent on revenge since and when finally confronting the responsible people, she accidentally shoots and kills a police detective during the chaos. In this issue, she snaps out of the Punisher-like haze that she's been in and is crushed by the guilt of what she has become. She's ready to do something rash, but The Punisher isn't about to loose one of his best soldiers.

I've often described this series a watching an episode of Law and Order with The Punisher thrown in and it echoes the greatness of Greg Rucka's previous series Gotham Central. The world of this series contains a well fleshed out cast that are interconnected and couldn't exist without each other. Alongside Sgt. Alves, The Punisher manages to stay one step ahead of police detective Ozzie Clemens and reporter Norah Winters. Marco Checchetto's Art and Matt Hollingsworth's colors give the book cool steely edge that perfectly reflects The Punisher and the cold world he lives in.

- Eddie deAngelini
www.collectorscomic.com

Pick of the Week11-23-2011
Secret Avengers #19 by Warren Ellis & Michael Lark
I was upset when Ed Brubaker left as writer of Secret Avengers, but Warren Ellis is doing a fine job of making me say "Bru who?". Ellis is continuing to make Secret Avengers the best Avengers title out there right now and the new art chores have now fallen on Michael Lark who is proving to be a fine match.

The team in this issue is Steve Rogers, Sharon Carter, Black Widow and Marvel's new resident nutjob Moon Knight. They are undercover in the dreary East European country of Symkaria (just south of Latveria for you geography buffs) to bust up what their intel tells them is an illegal super soldier drug ring. The real truth is something even more sinister and unthinkable.

So far, Ellis' stories have been quick but effective one and done issues. This is a refreshing change from the unending story arcs that sometimes fail to satify. Perhaps he has a bigger story up his sleeve down the road or maybe his intent is to keep the book as fast in and out missions for the characters. Either way, I'm totally in. We're talkin' 'must read'!

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week8-31-2011
Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee
It all starts here as the first of the new DC 52 titles hits the racks today. Expectations are high and does Justice League #1 deliver the goods? Yes and no. There will be criticisms as well as praise for this debut issue and while they may be valid they will be harsher than warranted.

This issue gives us a Batman and Green Lantern team up to take down an alien life form that plants a strange device under Gotham City. The vast differences in their temperments and villian-fighting styles makes for humorous conflict, as Green Lantern's cocky "I can anything" zeal doesn't sit well with The Dark Knight's more cautious and stealthier approach. They suspect the alien device might be tied to another extraterrestrial in blue and red and track down the Man of Steel himself for answers.

Geoff Johns' story and dialogue move briskly without being rushed and Jim Lee fans will not be disappointed with the artistic beauty evident on every page. The main complaint I expect to hear is that despite the name Justice League on the cover, Bats and Lantern are the only two team characters present and Superman makes only a brief appearance at the end of the book. While this may be a valid criticism, it's not realistic to think a complex origin of one of the greatest comic book teams could be unfolded in only one issue. Johns appears to be taking the time to explore every story angle and character nuance leading up to the formation of an alliance of such different and individual heroes. I'm willing to stick around to see how he builds off of the team's rich history and launches it into a new era. The new 52 isn't starting with a big bang, but rather a solid opening shot to signal that something huge is on its way.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week8-17-2011
Daredevil #2 by Mark Waid & Paolo Rivera
Is it possible to love a comic book? And I mean more than overly enjoying a series, but falling deeply in love with it. Daredevil has gone through his share of creators and soap opera drama and now the character is in the caring hands of Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera and for me it’s definitely love at first (and second issue) sight.

Continuing from the fantastic first issue, hornhead is confronted by Captain America to answer for his actions in Shadowland (ugh). A fight between two heroes of similar skill levels turns into a fun romp where their tools of the trade are switched. Cap usurps Daredevil’s billy club and wields it like an expert while DD fends off the attack with Cap’s legendary shield. The secondary story thread involving the new Assistant D.A. and the failed Jobrani case unravels a bit more as Daredevil attempts to learn who is behind the legal and physical scare tactics.

When people talk about the best of Daredevil, Frank Miller’s name is always mentioned and rightfully so. But before Miller was re-inventing the character, he was being invented the first time around by the greats Stan Lee, Wally Wood, John Romita Sr. and Gene Colan. This series takes Daredevil back to his roots without retreading (not yet at least and I hope it stays that way). I’ve been fond of Mark Waid’s work since Captain America: Man Out Of Time and similarly of Paolo Rivera’s art from his recent work on Amazing Spider-Man. Throw in one of my all time favorite characters and that fondness has now turned into full blown love. Now excuse me while I go find a mountaintop to shout it from.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week8-10-2011
Detective Comics #881 by Scott Snyder, Jock & Francesco Francavilla
The current ongoing Jim Gordon Jr. storyline comes to a palm sweating conclusion in this issue, making Detective #881 a satisfying end to the book's current run. Scott Snyder has transformed the title in the best current Batman series and has put the 'detective' back into Detective Comics. My feelings about the big 52 reboot are still hesitant and the main reason is because I hate to see Snyder and Francavilla's enjoyable run come to an end. Thankfully, DC had the foresight to put Snyder on the upcoming Batman series, so I'll definitely be jumping from this to that.

In the previous issue of Detective, Jim Gordon Jr. kidnapped Barbara Gordon in an attempt to prove his superiority stemming from his lack of empathy and human emotion. In his twisted mind, he also believes that Dick as Batman is the weakest man in Gotham City because he cares too much for people. Holding Barbara hostage in an unknown location, he exposes the depth of his twisted thinking and what he believes is coming for the future humanity of Gotham City.

The reaction to DC's big reboot seems mixed at the moment among those I've talked to. Excited for it or not, there's no doubt that the creative groove that Scott Snyder and Jock and Francesco Francavilla have been on on this title will be a sad casualty of the looming cancellations.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week8-3-2011
Flashpoint: Knight of Vengeance #3 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
**SPOILERS!!!** If you haven't yet read the shocking second issue of Knight of Vengeance, don't blame me if you continue reading this! You've been warned!!!

Picking up right were the mind blowing second issue left off, Knight of Vengeance #3 reveals the twisted tale of Flashpoint's version of The Joker. Azzarello unfolds an origin story that show us the depths of madness that Martha Wayne sinks into after the death of her only son. The immense pain that she experienced that night in crime alley transformed her and pushed her to explode that pain back out onto the world around her. How does Batman stop his greatest nemesis when she is the woman he once loved?

With this third and final issue, Azzarello and Risso have crafted a tale that tops the list of all the Flashpoint minis. At this point in time, I'll even say that it bests the main series as well! If you're picking up the main book but swearing off the minis, you're doing yourself a grave disservice by not jumping on this one. This one delivers the goods in quality storytelling and art as well as an emotional impact that feels like a solid punch in the gut. And that's a good thing, trust me.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week7-20-2011
Daredevil #1 by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera & Marcos Martin
This fantastic first issue is a big comeback for Daredevil, who has long been known as Marvel's emotional dumping ground. After losing his career, secret identity, countless lovers and even his soul to a demon, the only thing left that can befall our Man Without Fear is a normal life. That's exactly what Matt Murdock strives for here despite the roadblocks being thrown in his way. This new Matt Murdock seems more than just optimistic, he might actually even be happy.

After foiling a kidnapping of a mobster's daughter, Daredevil shifts back to Murdock's legal caseload. His efforts to rebuild Nelson & Murdock are continuously rebuffed by accusations that he is Daredevil despite his unending denials. This constant focus on his life costs him his current legal client, but a rooftop meeting with a new Assistant D.A. leads matt to question the mystery behind his lost case.

A short back up story, also written by Mark Waid and illustrated by the amazing Marcos Martin, shows Matt taking Foggy for a walk through the streets of New York City in an effort to get Foggy to open up to all of the wonderful sounds, smells and tastes that lie within the Big Apple. After all that he's been through, Matt assures Foggy that it's in these little things where he has learned to find happiness. Martin gives us a mesmerising two page spread that shows us the city through Matt's senses from every flapping bird wing, window sill flower pot and sidewalk dog dropping.

Mark Waid, Rivera and Martin have done something that I hoped they would, even if I doubted they could. They've created a fresh and exciting Daredevil that strives for and reaches the greatness of master Daredevil Storytellers Stan Lee, Wally Wood and Gene 'The Dean' Colan. This is a fitting tribute to the character's past and a huge leap forward toward his future.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week7-13-2011
A lot of comics came out today, but no one book begged to be the pick of the week. However, that doesn’t mean that no worthwhile books were released this week. Just the opposite, fellow fanboy! Here’s a short list of the new issues on our racks right now that are worth your time.

1. American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2
A recent Geoffrey’s Pick of the Week, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy give us a second issue of what’s shaping up to be a fantastic side series to the main vampire title. We were promised nazi vampires and we sure got ‘em!

2. Batman: The Dark Knight #3
David Finch’s story has yet to grab me, but his artwork is stunning! This is definitely the most beautiful Batman book I’ve seen in a loooooong time.

3. Detective Comics #879
Scott Snyder has put the ‘detective’ back in Detective Comics and has easily made it the best Batman series out right now. Helping to make this possible is Francesco Francavilla’s powerful art and eerie colors.

4. Red Wing #1
Jonathan Hickman gives us the start of an interesting time travel saga where a war with no real beginning or end rages on throughout all of Earthly time. Not sure where this is going, but I’ll be there for the second issue to find out.

5. Ultimate Fallout: Spider-Man No More #1
A touching funeral issue, focusing mainly on Aunt May as she deals with the loss of Peter and how much he meant to the general public.

Pick of the Week7-6-2011
Trailblazer (one-shot) by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Jim Daly
I'm a sucker for time travel stories and who isn't? Many of us comic geeks were raised on the Back To The Future movies or raised by parents who were raised on the Back To The Future movies. Perhaps it's something ingrained in us, maybe we're all lost souls born in the wrong time, or maybe we all just love a fun fantasy tale like Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Trailblazer.

Jacob Mills is an ex Navy Seal turned professional killer. When he's caught by the F.B.I., he is forced to testify against a deadly mob boss and all of his associates in exchange for witness protection. However, where the F.B.I. plans to hide Jacob is not a 'where' but is a 'when' thanks to their Trailblazer program, a time machine only capable of placing a person one hundred and forty-two years in the past. Jacob restarts his life in the old American West of 1866, but it doesn't take long for his past (or future) to catch up with him.

Leave it to the writing team of Jonah Hex to deliver a fun western tale with a catchy twist. Pair that with Jim Daly's art, a clean visual style that easily captures both the present and the past. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable story behind a beautiful Dave Johnson cover.

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week6-29-2011
The Goon #34 by Eric Powell
Sparkly vampires? Not on The Goon's watch! I'll admit that I'm late to jumping on The Goon. Believe it or not, there's more good books out there than even a comic shop employee can read! As a late comer, what I've found was a beautifully illustrated and cleverly written series that takes the comic medium seriously without taking itself seriously. Eric Powell give us both that beauty and clever humor in this issue.

The first five pages are worth the price of the entire book as The Goon stumbles into a baseball game being played by a gang of high cheekboned, pouty lipped Twilight-style vampires who are "too pretty and too stupid for their own good". The Goon has no idea what to make of the preening bunch. "I don't know even know where to begin, so I think I'll just start punchin' the lot of ya!"

A hefty part of The Goon's appeal is his crusty, no-nonsense way of saying and doing what we all would love to but don't or can't. He's a simple character who's sarcasm packs as much of a wallop as his fists, so you better not rip his vintage Fish-Canners jersey!

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week6-22-2011
Ultimate Spider-Man #160 by Brian Bendis & Mark Bagley
SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!! MAJOR BIG-ASS SPOILERS!!! DON'T SAY WE DIDN'T WARNED YOU!!!

We knew this was coming. The Ultimates line had that huge 'Death of Spider-Man' banner on the top of all their books for months now. I even joked with people in the shop every time a new issue came out. "Is he dead yet?" "Nope, still alive." Longest death ever. All of this still didn't stop me from having a "HOLY CRAP!" moment when I read the issue. They did it! They really did it! Those bastards!

This issue is all fight and all emotion. Don't try to intellectualize it because it's all gut. Spidey makes his last stand against the Green Goblin to save his loved ones and he does it with honor, pride and great responsibility. His last words beautifully sum up everything that Spidey was about and stood for. Go ahead, you can cry. I won't tell anyone.

Bendis has been hit and miss for me on his other current Marvel titles, but Ultimate Spider-Man is as stong as the day it began. He knows and loves these characters and he makes us love them too. When something of this magnatude happens to them, we can't help but feel the sting of the blow. I question where the series is heading now that the news is a new Spider-Man will take Peter's place, but if Bendis's writing on the series remains this strong there's little to worry about. Goodbye and rest well, Peter. You did good, kid.

My one complaint: Marvel, the 1990's called and they want their polybags back. Seriously, enough with the cheap gimmicks!

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week6-8-2011
American Vampire Survival of the Fittest #1 by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy
I know what you're thinking. That time machine you've been building in your basement over the past year finally works! But instead of going back to 1938 to buy up every copy of Action Comics #1 you can find, you've only gone back two weeks to my review of American Vampire #15. I'm sorry to tell you that there's no way you'll make a time machine out of that old microwave and this is a new review for American Vampire Survival of the Fittest #1. It can't be that suprising that I'd pick this when almost every customer that walks through the door at Geoffrey's Comics has been forced to listen to me rave on and on how good this book is (my thanks to regular customer Steve Stout for turning me on to the series).

The start of this five issue mini focuses on Felicia Book, a vampire killer working for a secret organization based underneath New York's Museum of Natural History. The year is 1941 and America is only months away from being pulled into the greatest of all wars. Woven underneath the United States we recognize are the hoardes of vampires that have infiltrated our government and media, working to reshape the country's course to their liking.

Scott Snyder is quickly becoming one of my favorite modern writers and it's easy to see why in this issue. There is a sincere authenticity to the 20th century history in his work that gives both this issue and the series as a whole a wonderful depth. If you're still not convinced to pick up this mini, I have two words for you: NAZI VAMPIRES. 'Nuff said!

- Eddie D

Pick of the Week6-1-2011
Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
This Flashpoint Batman mini-series is brought to you by the creative team behind the legendary series 100 Bullets. Of course this is going to be the Pick of the Week. Do I even bother going through with actually writing a review?! For those of you underprivileged comic readers who haven't experienced the greatness of 100 Bullets (for shame!), here is what you can look forward to in Batman Knight of Vengeance.

By day, Thomas Wayne runs his many Gotham City casinos. By night, he brings justice to the streets. He does both with the same ruthless vengeance. Gotham's top madman The Joker has kidnapped Harvey Dent's twins and Gotham's homeless are disappearing. Are these horrors connected? Batman is on the trail to find out, which leads to a chilling underground sewer showdown with Killer Croc.

Brian Azzarello's shining dialogue reminds me why I loved and miss 100 Bullets and Eduardo Risso's stunning artwork is in top form as always. I love that these two are on a major superhero title and I'm definitley looking forward to more.

- Eddie D

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