Were Money No Object on November 30th With Doc Bizarre MD, Vertigo’s Sgt. Rock & Morning Glories
by James Fulton on November 30, 2011

The Book I Want to Buy:

Doc Bizarre MD

by Joe Casey and Andy Suriano; Image, $17.99

Joe Casey has been having a good year.  His Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker is probably the craziest comic on the stands.  It plays around with the super soldier genre of comics, while also embracing drug fueled excesses in story and artwork.  It’s wonderful.  At Marvel, Casey has been writing Vengeance, which is probably the best book that company is publishing right now.  It stars a number of obscure characters and explores corners of the Marvel U rarely seen, while staying intelligent and a little obscure.  Also, Casey is taking over Haunt starting this week – a Todd McFarlane character I know very little about, but am suddenly very interested in.

He also has this original graphic novel coming out.  Now, Doc Bizarre M.D. looks to have a great deal in common with Godland, Casey’s missing cosmic saga which was supposed to have ended by now.  I think that his collaborator on this book, Andy Suriano, is the same person who drew his Charlatan’s Ball, which I will admit I didn’t like as much as everything else I’ve written about above.  Still, I figure with the year he’s had, Casey deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I think this is a Kirby-esque comic about a Dr. Strange type character (although I’m sure anyone reading the book’s title can figure that out – I should start reading solicitations for the books I’m going to write about here).  Anyway, it should be fun.

The Books I Think You Should Buy:

Vertigo Resurrected:  Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place

by Brian Azzarello and Joe Kubert; DC/Vertigo, $7.99

I just read this recently, and was pleased with it.  Now, it’s being re-released for only $8.  The Vertigo Resurrected line is really pretty great, in that it gives ‘forgotten’ titles a second chance of attracting some new eyeballs.  Here’s my original review:

It’s November of 1944, and the American Army, in the form of the 22nd Infantry, is working its way through the Hürtgen Forest on the border between Germany and Belgium, on their way to Berlin.  The going is slow, as they have to deal with mines, artillery, German patrols, and towns with Tiger tanks and active machine gun nests.

Right in the thick of it, as always, is Sgt. Rock and Easy Company.  They’ve been saddled with some very green replacements, and later with four German officers who they wish to take in for interrogation.  During an attack, three of the Germans end up dead, and the other goes missing.  Now suspicion is falling on every member of Rock’s usual crew.

The comic is well written, but the reason why anyone is going to come out for it has to do with Joe Kubert’s art.  Kubert invented Rock, and its nice to see him working on one of his most famous characters once again.  He hasn’t lost any of his skill, but he is drawing things much looser these days.

There is a nice blend of character moments and action, and there are no annoying sound effects in the book.  It falls into a lot of the usual war comics tropes, but it’s still a very good read.

Morning Glories Deluxe Collection Vol. 1

by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma; Image, $39.99

Morning Glories can be a little frustrating when read as a monthly comic.  Nick Spencer has a vision for this book, but he is playing it very close to the vest, portioning out information and hints at a slow pace.

The Morning Glory Academy is a strange private school, with a stringent admissions standard.  When the book opens, six new students are admitted into the school, and quickly learn that what looked like a wonderful opportunity is really a death trap run by teachers who have a secret agenda of their own.  This volume collects the first twelve issues of the series, and gives a new reader a strong sense of who these six kids are.  The character interactions are excellent, and become the driving force of the comic.  I think, were the characters not so compelling, I might have given up on the series, which remains a little obscure.

The best way to describe this book is to say it’s a cross between Lost and the Runaways, set in the school that the old Marvel villain Arcade might have built.  I always vacillate between being frustrated with the sheer weight of the unknown in this comic, and my utter enjoyment of slowly piecing together the pieces that make up this mystery.

It’s really a very good comic.  If you’ve only read Spencer’s work for Marvel and DC, this is something you should check out.

So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?



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