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Blood in the Gutters: New Crime Comics for October 19th, 2011
Blood in the Gutters is your weekly Criminal Complex look at everything good ‘n’ criminal rolling into your local comic shop for new product day. Armed with this list and a fistfull of dollars, you can’t miss for sequential noir. This week: crime novelist Duane Swierczynski’s second installment of his very first DC book; Garth Ennis continues the origin of the leader of the Boys, Billy Butcher; Zorro continues to plague those lispy-accented Spanish; Deadpool gets another go-round in Marvel’s MAX universe.
Birds of Prey #2—Duane Swierczynski’s run on this quasi-Bat book for DC is still getting underway, but after the first action-packed issue, I’d say we’re still in good hands. I haven’t read this title since Chuck Dixon left, and I’ll give anything Swierczynski does a go, and I’ve rarely dropped one of his comics. At the end of last issue, there was an explosion in an otherwise high-security airport terminal, and it will be something to see Black Canary and Starling try to wriggle their way out of this patented Swierczynski-brand dead end. Good luck, ladies.
The Boys: Butcher Baker, Candlestickmaker #4 (of 6)—In the continuing backstory of Billy Butcher, leader of the black-ops group in charge of taking down rogue superheroes, the shit is right about set to hit the fan. Readers of the regular series know that it’s the rape and subsequent death of Butcher’s wife that leads to his vendetta against superheroes, but it has yet to be depicted, and anybody with even a passing familiarity with Ennis’s work can guess that it will not be pretty. It looks like it might not be this exact issue when that happens, but still…oh, man. There’s a monster at the end of this book.
Zorro Rides Again #4 (of 12)—Having been raised on reruns of the old 1950s Zorro, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be at all interested in a comic featuring this kinda cornball old crimefighter. But Dynamite has been doing really well at investing these old characters with some relevance (see also their Lone Ranger series by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello), and giving this book to Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) was a giant first step in that direction. In what is sadly Wagner’s final run on this book, Don Diego continues his investigations into the machinations of the evil Alcalde, which will probably lead to Zorro scarring Sgt. Gonzales with the mark of the Z yet again.
Deadpool MAX #1 (Vol. 2)—The Marvel MAX Universe is quickly becoming much like Marvel’s Ultimate imprint but with more swearing. Like the Ultimate Universe, the MAX Universe allows for updated versions of your favorite characters, versions which are far more realistic. In this series, Deadpool is still an insane lunatic who only imagines that he and his allies and enemies are superheroes/villains. His handler for the CIA, Bob, keeps him in line by allowing him to think they are battling the forces of the evil terrorist group HYDRA. Writer David Lapham is well-known to crime-heads for his self-published (yet unfinished) opus, Stray Bullets. Though I’ve always thought the guy’s work was hit-or-miss, this book has been wall-to-wall good, especially with Kyle Baker turning in some the best art he’s ever done in his long career. Make mine Marvel MAX.