The 5/21 Comics Stack: Wanna See My Pale Vicar?


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turn 30 (and they’re still living with their dad, the bums), while someone out there keeps these X-Factor comics in circulation.

God bless you.

Also: what’s going on in the Bat-books this week? I don’t care because I’m horrible and only feel joy fitfully and possibly by accident, but I’m sure someone out there has a very strong opinion. I’d rather check in with the rather cool-sounding Black Canary/Zatanna team-up OGN which sounds kind of bonkers.

Star Wars – Darth Maul: Son Of Darthomir #1 (Dark Horse)

Are we going to confront the fact that his dad was named “Darthomir” or just let that slide? Wait, look at me being patriarchal – Darthomir could be his mother’s name.

Anyway, does it feel like Disney is somehow running a side game of trolling Dark Horse? First they grab the Star Wars license, casting the publisher’s long-running relationship with the comics in doubt, then they announce plans to bring the license in-house to Marvel, and more recently, they’ve said that all of those comics you’ve been reading at Dark Horse don’t count.

Thankfully for Dark Horse, this is being billed as an offshoot of the Clone Wars Season 6, which is canonical. So… Maybe robot legs Darth Maul is still a thing?

All New X-Factor #8 (Marvel)

I grouse a lot (like a LOT A LOT) about the Big Two: from the overall quality (and sheer quantity) of their output, to the relentless cycle of hype and promotion where every major event makes none of them feel all that major at all.

And then there’s X-Factor, the oft-unloved, perpetually returned-from-the-dead book that only its editor, writer Peter David and I seem to love.

The book’s never really moved the needle in terms of sales, but critical support (and admittedly a loyal handful of fans) seems to have kept it in rotation for the better part of the last decade.

Look at me, here, calling out a company for catering to a small (ever-narrowing) pool of fans when that’s just the thing that causes my semi-annual corporate comics freakout. Make of that what you will.

Ordinary #1 (Titan Comics)


I had a little laugh when I read the synopsis for Rob Williams’ Ordinary. Then again, I am simple and there might be a gas leak in my apartment, so… your mileage may vary?

As pitches go, this one is a solid double (I don’t know sports): a plague gives everyone on Earth superpowers, and to stop billions of super-powered assholes from ripping the planet apart, one normal guy who seems immune to the plague may have to give himself up to science.

Brief digression/sidenote: I’m reading Sergei Lukyanenko’s Twilight Watch which deals with this very plot point and I just wanted to point that out because 1., the book is very good, and B., I sure would like to see a Twilight Watch movie already.

Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell OGN (DC Comics)

I have nothing to back this up, but I bet the existence of this book is owed solely to the fact that both characters rock fishnets.

Weirdly, I’ve read plenty of great Black Canary stories and not a single one featuring Zatanna that I can recall (she’s a magic lady who hangs out with Batman – she should be a favorite character). Anyone out there have any good (or bad) word about her Seven Soldiers mini or short-lived Vertigo series?

TMNT 30TH Anniversary Special #1 (IDW)

I’m a sucker for a good jam book, and even as someone without a huge affinity for the Ninja Turtles, my interest is piqued with IDW’s release, particularly since it reunites series co-creators Eastman and Laird.

IDW has been doing right by the license over the last few years, particularly when it comes to the original comics, which they’ve been releasing in gorgeous, deluxe hardcovers with commentary from the creators.

Plus, the release can begin another round of what I like to call “Remember when the Ninja Turtles were so much better when I read/watched them; what’s with all of this terrible new stuff in the movies/comics/TV show?”

Sinestro #2 (DC Comics)

Forget everything I said before: Sinestro should be the Lantern in any proposed Justice League movie.

Lantern fatigue would dictate that I not even give this a second look, but the combination of Dale Eaglesham (Justice Society of America) on art and Cullen Bunn on the script has me interested. Try-curious, if you will.

It’s got something in it called the Pale Vicars (obvious British dick joke, amirite), and Sinestro’s big-ass dome recruiting the Yellow Lanterns to go up against them.

He’s the one character in that whole corner of the DCU who seems to be worth anything when it comes to all of the will/fear nonsense, a character with a clear sense of direction and purpose who also doesn’t bore me to utter tears.

Plus, he’s one of the few characters who looks right with a mustache and what I’ve always read visually as a high-top fade. You can’t tell me different.

Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?