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The Walking Dead Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life



Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn



Publisher: Image Comics



$12.99 US (Paperback)



**** (out of five)











The Walking Dead Book 2



Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn



Publisher: Image Comics



$29.99 US (Hardcover)



**** 1/2 (out of five)



Rick Grimes and his companions live in a world of constant horror, where the dead walk around trying to eat the flesh of the living, but they never met true monsters until they reached the town of Woodbury.



It is while on a reconnaissance mission in this small town where their secret — the location of their loved ones in a well-fenced former prison — costs Rick and his two companions dearly. At the hands of the cruel town leader, known simply as the Governor, one member is mutilated, another raped and tortured and one simply forced to watch.



When the time comes and Rick and his friends make a break for freedom, the real horror begins, as one of the party members can’t leave until the Governor has paid for his crimes and proceeds to cash him in — in spades.



This series by writer Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Marvel Zombies) and artists Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn continues its brilliant examination of what happens to the survivors in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse and provides some of the most stirring, chilling and human stories in comics today.



Also available now is the deluxe The Walking Dead Book 2 hardcover, collecting the third and fourth softcover volumes, revealing just how the group of survivors came to make that jail their home and the high price paid for keeping it.









All-Star Superman Vol. 1



Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jamie Grant



Publisher: DC Comics



$23.99/$19.99 US (Hardcover)



**** 1/2 (out of five)



It was an all-star idea to put together dream teams and let them play in DC Comics’ toy box.



The biggest prize in the box went to writer Grant Morrison (We3, New X-Men) and artist Frank Quitely (We3, The Authority) as they got to cherry-pick the best elements of nearly 70 years of Superman’s existence and present the ultimate Man Of Steel.



The result are such stunning stories like Sweet Dreams, Superwoman, where Supes gives Lois his powers for 24 hours as a birthday gift; The Superman/Olson War, which sees intrepid young reporter Jimmy Olson forced to take on his hero, who’s been exposed to the personality-altering black kryptonite; and the brilliant The Gospel According To Lex Luthor, where reporter Clark Kent is sent to prison to interview Superman’s pontificating arch-nemesis.



Thanks to smart, sophisticated, yet easily accessible tales like these, All-Star Superman was my pick for top ongoing series last year and won the 2006 Eisner Award (comics’ top honour) for best new series. After just six issues Morrison and Quitely have elevated themselves into discussion as one of the best tandems to ever tackle the Man Of Steel.







John Constantine, Hellblazer: Reasons To Be Cheerful



Mike Carey, Leonardo Manco



Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics



$17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback)



*** 1/2 (out of five)



John Constantine is a daddy— and that’s as much horror as any Hellblazer book needs — but things are so very much worse than that.



After being tricked by the demon Rosacarnis into fathering three kids in the preceeding story arc, collected in Hellblazer: Stations Of The Cross, Constantine must now deal with the fallout — namely that they all want to kill him.



Worse that that, they all want him to suffer before he goes, so they begin tracking down and bumping off everybody the occult investigator ever cared about, or went to school with, or lived next to, or met, for that matter.



Thankfully Constantine’s got himself some pretty tough friends and family, who aren’t planning on going quietly when his demon spawn come calling. And he’s also gotten himself a mysterious and unexpected ally, one who’s got his own reasons to see John’s kids stopped.



Writer Mike Carey’s penultimate Hellblazer collection continues to build up the intrigue and sets the stage nicely for Constantine’s final showdown with Rosacarnis and their kids.








Batman: Snow



Dan Curtis, J.H. Williams III, Seth Fisher



Publisher: DC Comics



$17.99/$14.99 US (Paperback)



*** 1/2 (out of five)



It is hard not to feel cheated as you read the pages of Batman: Snow.



The art in this re-telling of the origin of the Dark Knight’s enemy Mr. Freeze is so detailed and eye catching, full of life and energy.



It is a painful reminder how much the comic book world lost with the tragic death of artist Seth Fisher in January 2006, when to fell seven stories off a hotel roof.



After catching fans’ eyes with his unique work in books like Green Lantern: Willworld, Flash: Time Flies and Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan, Fisher’s art was something to look forward to. It was refreshingly different.



Fisher could even make the blue-and-grey, 60’s style Batman and make him look cool.



Kudos to DC for making sure this standout story arc is collected for more people to read and appreciate what Fisher was able to give us in his mere 33 years.







Cover Girl #1 (of 5)



Andrew Cosby, Kevin Church, R.M. Yankovicz



Publisher:Boom! Studios



$3.99 US



*** 1/2 (out of five)



Alex Martin was just another B-list Hollywood actor until he pulled that woman out of a car wreck.



Now he’s A-list material, with studios tripping over each other to make him offers and his agent foaming at the mouth with plans to take him to the top.



Just one problem, the woman whose life he saved was run off the road on purpose and the people who did it aren’t very impressed with Tinseltown’s new "it" guy.



After he almost gets run down by a mysterious black truck, his agent decides it’s time for help and calls in Rachel Dodd, professional bodyguard.



Can Rachel keep Alex from getting flattened and still keep the press from figuring out the Hollywood hunk needs hired muscle?



Cover Girl is fast and fun stuff, courtesy writers Andrew Cosby and Kevin Church and artist R.M. Yankovicz.







Two Guns #1 (of 5)



Steven Grant, Mat Santolouco



Publisher: Boom! Studios



$3.99 US



*** 1/2 (out of five)



Bobby Beans and Mark Stigman have got the perfect plan to rob a bank.





There’s tens of millions of dollars, very little risk — they’ve got all the angles worked out.





Except one — neither man is who they claim to be.





So the questions are: Who do Bobby and Mark each really work for, which one is going to get away with $50 million and which one is getting a bullet in the gut?





Writer Steven Grant, with much help from artist Mat Santolouco, kick off this limited series with more twists and turns than a pretzel and set the stage for plenty more the rest of the way.







Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer #1 (of 6)



Nat Jones, Jay Fotos, Joshua Ortega



Publisher: Image Comics



$4.65/$3.99 US



*** 1/2 (out of five)



It’s hard not to look at Frank Frazetta’s masterpiece Death Dealer and wonder who exactly he is and where he came from.



Atop his ebony stallion, dressed in black, holding a bloodstained axe, with his face unseen and his eyes glowing red, the Death Dealer clearly means business.



Is he a man, a monster, a god?



With the blessing of the artist himself, the creative team of Nat Jones, Jay Fotos and Joshua Ortega will try to set the record straight in this six-issue miniseries, revealing how this mysterious figure appears in times of war and, without choosing sides, slays all in his path.



But how does this killing machine, now long unseen, tie into the murder of a young boy named Haden?



Slick art and a cool premise make this series one to watch.




jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
 
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