Trade Post: Harrow County, First Wave & Black Widow

Every few weeks I find myself requesting any number of trades from the local library system. They come in in spurts and I get to them as I can. I can’t think of much in the way of connections between Harrow County Volume 1, First Wave and Black Widow: The Finely Woven Thread, but I enjoyed them all, so there’s that, I guess!

harrow county vol 1Harrow County is a witchy horror comic by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook from Dark Horse. This first book — officially titled Harrow County Volume 1: Countless Haints — compiles the first four issues of the series which follows Emmy, a young woman who comes to realize that her fellow country denizens might want to murder her for being the reincarnation of a witch they killed about 18 years ago.

Packed with characters I want to learn more about, a slowly unfolding mythology and some amazingly creepy art by Crook (whose style reminds me a bit of Jeff Lemire’s, but with a more comic strip shape if that makes sense) I’m definitely hooked and want to find out what else happens to Emmy, her dad and the unusual creatures she’s come into contact with. In a way, it reminds me of a smaller-in-scope Hellboy with a young woman protagonist which adds a new, interesting angle that I’m sold on. Time to see if the second volume is available at the library!

first waveBack in my Wizard days, DC seemed to be snatching up random characters or rebooting old imprints and trying to incorporate them into the DCU with little success. They brought back Milestone and Tangent and also tried to bring the THUNDER Agents into the fold. I actually preferred what they did with First Wave, which mixed classic pulp-inspired characters like Doc Savage, The Spirit and Justice Inc. with non-powered DC folks like Batman and the Blackhawks into a new universe. Things kicked off with the Batman/Doc Savage Special by Brian Azzarello and Phil Noto and then moved into the six issue series called First Wave by Azzarello and Rags Morales.

I wasn’t very familiar with Doc or Spirit the first time I read these issues, but have read a few things since then. I think Azz does a great job of bringing in all these different characters and not only keeping them clear, but also giving them business that works for them. I had a little trouble keeping track of all the balls in the air towards the end, but I still enjoyed the pulp-y quality to the tale which was enhanced by Rags’ art which always excels at capturing facial expressions while also drafting solid action scenes. Reading this made me want to dig up the issues of the Doc Savage and Spirit series’ that launched out of this as well as the Batman/Spirit one-shot by Jeph Loeb, Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone which I remember being a lot of fun.

black widow vol 1 the finely woven threadFinally, let’s wrap things up with Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto. THis is the rare comic that I picked up just to check out the artwork. I like Edmondson and have interviewed him a number of times for Marvel.com and also dig Black Widow as a character, but you just don’t get enough Noto-drawn comics! I mostly see his stuff online and on covers, so getting to really dive into a book that plays to his strong suits — beautiful but dangerous women, great action — was a lot of fun and a treat for the eyes. I especially like how he outlines various elements in a spidery red that draws the eye from object to object.

Story-wise this book focuses on Black Widow’s desire to make amends for the bad things she did in her past by taking on various jobs around the world and using that money to support her victims’ families as well as a web of support around the world. The one-and-dones are a nice change of pace, but I admit to having trouble reconciling an international killer who is also a member in good standing with the Avengers. Then again, that’s probably just be getting too much in my own shared universe-loving head!

Casting Internets

Well, I wanted to stay a little more timely with Casting Internets, but with the holidays, I got WAY behind not just on doing posts, but also reading stuff. Over the past week, I got really caught up. Not much was worth linking to, but I do have a few here that were fun.

Even before hyping my own links, I’ve got to call out this amazing post from Topless Robot. My pal Rob Bricken tore through a Washington, D.C. news report about DC comic books not being appropriate for kids. Mind you, they are clearly labeled as not for kids. His indignation is palpable and amazing.

In addition to my daily posts over on Spinoff, I also wrote a really fun piece about Mattel and their DC action figures for CBR in addition to pieces about Hoax Hunters, Rebel Blood, Near Death, the Artifacts finale and I even helped out with the CBR Top 100 Comics of 2011!

I also wrote about Black Widow’s costumes for Marvel.com!Phil Noto drew Hellboy!

If you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan and saw the episode from a few weeks back, I highly recommend checking out the Puzzles website, especially the calendar and menu. Looks like quite the NYC hang out.

Whoa, there are 700 unreleased Thin Lizzy songs according to The Onion. They will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine. Maybe I should get the rest of their existing records, too. The Superman: Earth One book only looked interesting because of Shane Davis’ art, but the Batman version by Geoff Johns and the always amazing Gary Frank? I’ll buy that for some dollars. (via CBR)

I am definitely on board for this Bruce Lee documentary called I Am Bruce Lee. Like how they put it right on front street. (via /Film)