Dude, How Are You Not Reading This!

Because of the sheer volume of comic books that ship weekly, it’s not uncommon for readers (including myself) to miss picking up a title.

Which is why a recent “hot streak” of four amazingly executed Marvel titles prompted me to write this blog.

Captain America: Patriot (Kesel / Breitweiser / Breitweiser)

Captain America: Patriot #1

Captain America: Patriot #1


As confusing as this sounds, it’s actually quite simple (and covered in the book).

Steve Rogers is one of many men who have fought as Captain America.  He did so during World War II and then was thought to have been killed in action (we as readers know he would later resurface from a state of suspended animation  in the early 1960’s).

This story starts during WW II and after Steve Rogers was presumed dead the US Government needed someone to fill the costume and continue fighting as the Sentinel of Liberty.  This is the story about one of the men who answered the call; Jeff Mace (formerly The Patriot).

This story captures the heart of what men like Steve Rogers and Jeff Mace did to serve our country during a time of war and post-war.  Ordinary men who are put in extraordinary situations and how they adapt and overcome.  Karl Kesel is a skilled writer and is able to give this story all of the action you’d want in a WW II era book as well as providing emotion and touches of romance.

The art by Mitch Breitweiser (pencils/inks) and Elizabeth Breitweiser (colors) is breathtaking and rounds out the package as a great looking book that keeps you reading.

Hulk 25 (the new creative team of Parker / Hardman / Breitweiser)

Hulk 25

Hulk 25

The strength of the Red Hulk as a character is his personality.  He is a disciplined man with a rage inside of him that has helped him perceiver across the challenges he’s faced in his life and pushed him to fight all his life against forces that he was never quite in a position to properly challenge or win against.

But now that he has the power of the Hulk, he can.  He has the strength to finally fight back and position himself to win.

Which is probably why the entire super hero community has been trying to shut him down.  He’s been eluding them up until now and it’s there that this story starts.

The things that Jeph Loeb did to make a great Red Hulk book were infusing both attitude and size/scale.

Jeff Parker seamlessly steps into the writing duties for this title and picks up all of the character notes that Jeph Loeb established and build upon them with a “high adventure” action story that makes Michael Bay movies look like Filmation cartoons.

A huge order to fill, certainly and the only reason this comic book even works is that artist Gabriel Hardman is able to execute on one of the most knock-down-drag-out fights I’ve ever seen between two super powerhouses like the Red Hulk and Iron Man.  Of note is the work of Elizabeth Breitweiser on colors and her contributions in setting the tone and mood for this book.  Her palette contributions work to make this one of the nicest looking book on the shelves.

This is the team that was on Atlas (another great book).  Reading this book got me excited about waiting thirty days for the next issue and issue #25 is the perfect jumping on point for new readers.

* note that issue #26 shipped yesterday, but I have not read it yet…

Taskmaster (Van Lente / Palo / Beaulieu)

Taskmaster #2

Taskmaster #2

Writer Fred Van Lente takes the cult classic character of the Taskmaster and throws the entire Marvel Universe at the poor bastard and because it’s comics, he can make this book big in scale and not have to worry about things like budgets or casting.  It’s just everyone that he can think of – dogpile on Taskmaster.

Which puts the Taskmaster on the run from virtually every evil organization you’ve heard of, and a few that Van Lente created for this mini-series.

Don’t cry too much for Taskmaster though, this is a guy who has photographic reflexes.  If he watches someone do something, he can then do it himself.  Throwing Captain America’s shield.  Done.  Hitting a bullseye like Hawkeye.  Done.  Acrobatics like Batroc the Leaper.  Done.

So, he’s up for the challenge.

Between all of the massive insanity of fighting, drawn by Jefte Palo, is a very emotional story of a man trying to reclaim his identity.

Oh, and there’s lots of skulls.

Uncanny X-Force (Remender / Opena / White)

Uncanny X-Force #1

Uncanny X-Force #1

The game that any kid who reads comic books plays is picking the team, and this team is a winner.  When you’re publishing a comic book that is essentially the X-Men “Black Ops” team, this is the team you’d want.

Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex and Deadpool are a perfect combination for the types of covert missions that this book will lend itself to.

This book has action.  Large scale crazy action that Jeremy Opena does such a great job at illustrating (damn this guy can draw) and the colorist, White, uses this very soft and smooth purple and grey palette that adds a tone to this book that I wasn’t expecting, but like quite a bit.

Of note, and this is a huge note, Remender does something with how he writes Deadpool in this book which is probably the most inspired interpretation of the character since Gail Simone.  Won’t ruin it, but you see it twice and it’s hilarious to the reader and annoying to the other characters and is just damn brilliant.


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