Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Series to Try Out This Wednesday: S.H.I.E.L.D. Infinity, PunisherMAX #12, and Batgirl #20

Another Wednesday, another three series I'd love for you folks to give a shot to.  This week we're going to recommend some crazy historical fiction, crazy bloody vigilante action, and crazy cute girl superheroics!

SHIELD Infinity
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Nick Pitarra, Zachary Baldus, Kevin Mellon, and Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Price: $4.99

SHIELD is boldest book being published by the Big 2 today.  It reads like a indie book that takes crazy chances, plays with monstrous ideas, and delivers satisfying, layered plots in which readers can catch different things with each subsequent read-through.  The first volume is out soon and I can't recommend it enough.  It combines historical figures in inventive new visages and intertwining actual history with Marvel staples.  SHIELD Infinity is an anthology that fleshes out the backstories of many of the characters.  It also is going to offer a glimpse to his new creator-owned series Red Wing as one of the stories will feature art by collaborator  Nick Pitarra and the same colorist as will be on Red Wing.  It looks like this is going to be a very interesting issue that should tide us over quite well until the next volume of SHIELD comes out.  Check out the preview for this issue here.

PunisherMAX #12
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Steve Dillon
Price: $3.99

Marvel's MAX line is a wonderful opportunity for creators to tell stories unbridled by the constraints of needing to adhere to 616 decency standards.  Unfortunately, Punisher MAX is the only book to be taking advantage of this label.  But, man has it been a satisfying read.  Aaron has put Frank through the double wringer of MAX Bullseye and MAX Kingpin and broken him physically and mentally.  One of the arguably justified criticisms to the run so far is the lack of focus on Frank in favor of developing his villains.  It seems that Aaron has heard those gripes and this next arc seems to be about the character of Frank as he's trapped inside federal prison.  I can't wait for the inevitable flare-up of violence and character work that will be brought about this arc.  It looks like a full-scale prison riot is on the verge of breaking out any moment in the preview pages seen here.

Batgirl #20
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artist: Ramon Bachs
Price: $2.99

This book is adorable.  It has a cute, young superhero who's generally having fun doing her thing.  She's got an upbeat attitude, sees the best in everybody, and wants to do the right thing.  In a world of morally ambiguous heroes doing questionable acts in the name of heroism, it's refreshing  to find a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed hero that just wants to change the world for the better.  On a side note, how great are those Dustin Nguyen covers?  If he doesn't get at least an Eisner nom for those next year, I'll make the nominating committee eat their hats.  But anyways, Miller and co have been doing a bunch of entertaining one-offs recently so it's going to be fun to see how they handle their first overarching storyline in some months.  Check out the preview for this book here.

And that's another set of Tuesday recommendations!  What books are you guys most looking forward to this week?  Let me know in the comments below!

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