M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #4

Written by: Jordan Blum/ Patton Oswalt
Pencils by: Scott Hepburn
Colors by: Carlos Lopez
Letters by: Travis Lanham
Published by: Marvel Comics

Kicking off this week's countdown is a book that I have been hooked on since issue one. With the possibility of a somehow forgotten family lingering in M.O.D.O.K.'s giant head, he has been dead set on finding out who, what, when, & why these memories are randomly haunting his brain. It's taken unlikely team-ups and even an assassination via gwenpool to get george to this final chapter of quite possibly my favorite mini-series Marvel has produced all year, so far.

Finally, M.O.D.O.K. has found the source of where his memories are coming from, thanks to the help of Gwenpool. when george arrives in butterville, Ohio, he finds himself face to face with his "father", or the man that engineered him originally. When he learns that the potential of tracking down any loved ones from the past that his "memories" have been deceiving him with was all just a fail-safe program installed, well, George goes all out M.O.D.O.K. on his dear ol' dad.

I absolutely loved that we got a bit more backstory of this incredibly underappreciated villain. You can truly tell that Blum & Oswalt appreciate how undervalued George is by finally giving us fans just a bit more history as to what he is and where he came from.

not only was there obvious heaps of love put into the story, but this book was visually spectacular. Hepburn and Lopez backed up the first three issues with a finale that solidifies this as the most artistically appealing series I can recall reading from marvel in a while. The amount of detail without being overbearing was perfectly balanced. The ability to somehow show M.O.D.O.k. as a menacing figure, and not a parody of a villain like so many tend to do when drawing him, really validated that I wasn't the only reader that had respect for the giant murder head. I've always felt that the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing has always been underappreciated in the marvel universe, and i hope that future creators find this series as proof that just because his appearance isn't easy to take seriously, he truly is one of the most capable characters in the 616.

This run has been nothing short of fun from the start, and it has only primed me even more the upcoming hulu series that blum and oswalt are working on. If there is one thing this mini has brought to light, it's that M.O.D.O.K. is to be taken very seriously.

Detective comics #1035

Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Pencils by: dan mora
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: aditya bidikar
Published by: dc Comics

NExt up in the countdown is a book that recently went through some changes with it's creative team.

the start to a new story arc from a fresh creative team kicks off in an impressive way. since coming onto this title, tamaki has been nothing but true to the "detective" name by putting bruce deep into a classicaly twisted gotham City Murder Mystery. Now that bruce is no longer gotham's most spotlighted billionaire, the city's other obscenely rich citizens' wealth seems to have become a target of interest. batman finds himself in a sticky circumstance, thanks to mayor nakano and some poor eye witnesses that spotted bats at the scene of the found body, where he is blamed for worth's daughter's death, setting him up to eventually have to confront a very angry father that vows to seek vengeance on the bat.

Beyond a promising setup to the new team's first story arc together was how this issue stood out visually. Getting two masters like mora and bellaire together on this title was a big deal, and it shows that the two of them are taking the job seriously. Every panel was worth taking the extra time to admire and analyze due to the incredible amount of attention to detail they put into each frame.

This issue had a promising first appearance, an enticingly dark story setup, and was hard to even blink at due to the stunning imagery of the artistic masters behind each panel.

Snatched #1

Written by: sheldon allen
Pencils by: mauricio campetella
Colors by: warnia sahadewa
Letters by: matt bowers
Published by: scout comics

Directly in the middle of this week's countdown is a promising new indie title out of scout comics.

Truthfully, i had no idea what I was getting into with this series, but due to scout's amazing track record with me taking chances on books outside of my normal interest, I gave it a chance and added it to the ol' pull list. I was immediately pleased with the pages as i attentively flipped through them. Allen does a tremendous job of balancing several different intro stories and setting up an incredibly dark, but real take on a trafficking market very few acknowledge, human hair. Involving as many different cultures into the mix of this story as allen does is dangerous, but he impressively pulls it off with incredibly grace.

This book was intense all the way through, and the art of campetella and sahadewa does an incredible job of intensifying the very dark and often overlooked trade that is human hair trafficking . Their ability to make sure I felt as uncomfortable as I did was commendable to say the least.

I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, but I can say that it definitely has me anxious to see where this incredibly unique suspense goes from here.

brzrkr #2

Written by: matt kindt/ keanu reaves
Pencils by: ron garney
Colors by: bill crabtree
Letters by: clem robins
Published by: boom! studios

Runner up on this week's countdown is an issue that caught me by surprise.

With the first issue of this incredibly hyped up series showing some real promise, the bar for the follow up was set high. Not only did Kindt and Reaves clear that bar, but I believe they may have raised my standards for the next issue even higher after devouring this incredibly metal backstory of this enigmatic and brutal being birthed as a weapon by the gods to defend his helpless people against any threat civilization could possibly throw at him. This second issue flexes the other arm hard after being so heavily artistically driven in the first issue.

Although this issue didn't rely as heavily on the art's brutal and shockingly violent tendencies of the series intro, there are still no punches pulled in the follow up. Garney and crabtree have no trouble reminding us readers that this book is creatively ultra-violent and not for the squeamish.

One of the most commercially hyped up and industry shattering comic books of all time (and I can't think of any comic book hype this mainstream since dc "killed" Supes) is somehow living up to those "Keanu Reaves" level expectations and I couldn't be happier to be wrong.

robin #1

Written by: joshua williamson
art by: gleb melinkov
Letters by: alw's troy peteri
Published by: dc comics

I may have had high expectations for this series, but I honestly didn't think on a week this dense with amazing reads I would be boasting this as my most recommended read of the week.

It's been far too long since the "boy wonder" has had a solo series to call his own. Damian Wayne has strayed away from the way of the bat, at least temporarily, to seek out the "League of Lazarus" tournament. along the way he meets some promising new faces in the future dc mythos. After defeating King snake, Bane's father, rather easily in a cage fight, he finds his way to the opening ceremonies of the coveted tournament and determined to not make any new friends along the way. Damian's favoribility to win once his entrance is announced seems to be intimidating to most to the other fighters, except one fearlessly confident contestant by the name of flatline.

Williamson started this series out with a bang that gave me confidence that not only does this title hold the promise of longevity, but the characters in which he is introducing will be a part of many future nerdy debates and "Who would win" arguments. This opening arc showcased not only a spotlight on the most polarizing of all the robins, but did it in a way that has me unexpectedly invested in damian's excitingly lethal journey out of the batcave.

When it was announced that melinkov was going to be behind the art on this book, I knew that there was a 100% chance that I would enjoy 50% of a damian-driven solo title at the very least. Thankfully, this title didn't have to lean on the art in the slightest, but if williamson did decide to lean, he would have been in incredible hands thanks to both dynamic and enigmatic first appearance entrances, headed by a showcasing of awesome action sequences.

This all-star team of creatives delivers an incredibly deserving intro to this highly anticipated and vastly overdue series.