Berserk Vol. 1-2

By Kentaro Miura
224 pages, black and white
Published by Dark Horse

There are books out there that you sometimes know you shouldn’t enjoy, but can’t put down. A guilty pleasure, if you will, or a sick fascination. For whatever reason, there’s something about the material that just enthralls you for wanting to see more. And for whatever reason, that’s what Kentaro Miura’s Berserk is to me. I’ve read two volumes now, and I can’t wait to see the third installment hitting stores later this week. Even though, y’know, it’s not something I should be enjoying.

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Wildcats Version 3.0 Vol. 2: Full Disclosure

Written by Joe Casey
Penciled by Dustin Nguyen
Inked by Richard Friend
144 pages, color
Published by WildStorm/DC Comics

A few years ago, Joe Casey took over the revamped Wildcats series and I was happy with the results. A year later, I was utterly hooked with what Casey was doing with one of the most unorthodox “superhero teams” out there. Now the book is named Wildcats Version 3.0 and I must say how completely impressed I am: it’s not many people who could turn a superhero book into one about a new corporation going up against the business giants of the world and make it so utterly enthralling.

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Blood Stream #1

Written by Adam Shaw and Penny Register
Art by Adam Shaw
32 pages, color
Published by Image Comics

Pacing is an important aspect of comics. It’s true of almost every creative medium, of course, but for some reason comics are where I see it the most-abused these days. In this day and age, more and more people seem to be envisioning their comic as eventually seeing life as a single volume, and that’s great. Just don’t lose track of the readers who are reading it in its original serialized method of delivery.

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Deep Sleeper #1-2

Written by Phil Hester
Art by Mike Huddleston
32 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

A few years ago, Oni Press published Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston’s The Coffin, a mini-series that took the old comic book standby of suits of armor and turned it on its head into something far more interesting and different. Now they’re back with a brand new project, Deep Sleeper, and what could have been a very standard tale of journeying spirits seems to have that same spark of something more.

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Alias Vol. 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Michael Gaydos, Rick Mays, Mark Bagley, and Art Thibert
176 pages, color
Published by MAX/Marvel Comics

Alias was the first ongoing series in Marvel’s MAX Comics imprint, books intended for older readers. After 28 issues it came to an end, although a non-MAX version continues in the form of The Pulse. What’s interesting to me is not so much that creator Brian Michael Bendis chose to end the book, but in the manner he did so. Sometimes, you see, that fourth wall is there for a reason.

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Sand Land

By Akira Toriyama
224 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

It’s no secret that Akira Toriyama is easily best-known for his 42-volume Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z epic. Wisely swearing off anything of that length ever again, a couple of years ago Toriyama created Sand Land, a one-volume story about demons, deserts, and tanks. And while Dragon Ball might be the more popular story, I think there’s a lot to recommend Sand Land.

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Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix

Written by Martin I. Green
Art by Bill Sienkiewicz
128 pages, color
Published by Penguin USA

This is going to be heresy to a lot of people, but I’ve never been a fan of Jimi Hendrix. Oh, I respect that he was an influential musician and how for a lot of people he turned music upside down… but it just never did anything for me. When a copy of Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix fell into my hands, though, I found myself wondering if perhaps this could show me just what I was missing.

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Moth Special

Written by Gary Martin
Penciled by Steve Rude
Inked by Gary Martin and Andy Bish
56 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse

The cover boldly asks the question, “Who is… The Moth?” That’s a dangerous question, though, and perhaps publishers should really keep from putting rhetorical statements on their covers. You see, the problem is, the reader just might decide to be a smart-alec and answer it with something like, “Who cares?” Never, ever let your cover result in a reader talking back at it.

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