GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — Batman, Rocket Raccoon, Teen Titans, Hatter M, and Archie!

Rocket Raccoon  Image: Marvel
Rocket Raccoon. Image: Marvel.

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, I laugh along with Rocket Raccoon, Corrina takes a dive into more Batman Eternal and Teen Titans, Lisa shows us the way through Hatter M, Rachel gets excited about Jughead and Archie, and Helene jumps in to tell us about how Free Comic Book Day has turned her into a comic book reader!

Dakster Sullivan — Rocket Raccoon written by Joe Caramagna and art by Adam Archer

Rocket Raccoon was the book I was most surprised by on Free Comic Book Day this year. I read Guardians of the Galaxy, so I’m familiar with the character and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting something kid-friendly out of this one-shot story.

The art should have given it away that this was not going to be a “Blam! Murdered you!” Rocket. Instead, the issue was filled with subtle Star Wars references and character building. It wasn’t a book I was recommending that kids pick up on Free Comic Book Day and now I wish I had—especially to a 10-year-old girl who wanted something funny, but non-superhero themed.

What makes me sad is that while this one-shot for Free Comic Book Day was kid-friendly, it doesn’t look like the ongoing series that starts in July will be.

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Corrina —

Future’s End #1 written by Jeff Lemire, Brian Azzarello, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen and art by Patrick Zircher

It’s another big event from DC Comics that will “forever alter” the DC Universe. But if this first issue and the Free Comic Book Day edition represent the quality of the story, then I’d prefer if DC just hit a random reset button. Kyle Reese, er, Terry McGinnis AKA Batman Beyond travels back to the past (which is five years in the DC universe future) to stop Skynet, er, Brother Eye from taking over the world and turning the world’s greatest heroes into spider-robots. There’s a random massacre with a moment right out of The Walking Dead, explosions, a short sex scene, and the “death” of a hero who assuredly won’t stay dead. It’s obviously all very familiar and not very interesting.

If you love Batman Beyond, better to check out the superior Batman Beyond Universe.

Batman Eternal #5 written by Tim Seeley, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, James T Tynion IV, and Scott Snyder and art by Andy Clarke

The weekly event in the Gotham-verse, however, is working on all cylinders still. The story shifts focus to include Harper Row (destined to be the hero Bluebird) and her brother Cullen, with an assist from reporter Vicki Vale and Tim Drake (Red Robin). I was in love with two pages in this issue, about how investigative reporting has changed for the worst. As a former reporter, I want to cheer at the accuracy. And then a few pages later, after being so smart, Vale does something really dumb and silly and I wanted to bash my head on the desk. Ah, well, a minor frustration.

Teen Titans Annual #3
Cover to Teen Titans Annual #3 copyright DC Comics.

Teen Titans Annual #3 written by Scott Lobdell and art by Kenneth Rocafort

At one point, this comic features an attacking giant DNA strand. And not ironically. Thus ends what has to be the absolute worst Teen Titans run ever. The only good result is that it appears the two new characters introduced will stay alive, hopefully to be placed in the hands of a much better storyline rather than this random, ridiculous, and heartless version. The Teen Titans have been featured in two Cartoon Network shows and they appear more or less intact in the Young Justice cartoon as well. And yet this is the comic version DC thought readers would buy? Ugh.

Lisa Tate — Hatter M Vol. I: Far From Wonder written by Frank Beddor and Liz Cavalier and art by Ben Templesmith (Free Comic Book Day Reissue)

One of the things I love about Free Comic Book Day is it not only introduces me to new comic titles, but it allows me to discover stories I may have missed over the past year. This was the case, when I grabbed the first volume of the Eisner-nominated Hatter M miniseries.

I first picked up Beddor’s prose novel The Looking Glass War last year, and immediately found myself searching for the final two volumes in the trilogy. Being able to see one of the story’s key figures, royal bodyguard Hatter Madigan, in graphic novel form was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Image: Automatic Pictures Publishing
Image: Automatic Pictures Publishing

This story finds Madigan displaced from both his hat (the weapon of choice for the royal “Wonderland Millinery”) and his home-world. Getting his hat back before it falls into the wrong hands is just one of his problems. Madigan is a far-reach from any other Hatter interpretation, be it book, movie, or television. Any signs of “madness” in this hatter aren’t displayed by any stereotypically crazy, happy-go-lucky, and slightly deranged lunacy, but by sheer over-the-top focus with doing his job and a few dryly delivered barbs.

The character himself feels like an amalgam of several other of my favorite characters: a mix of Batman, Shadow, Sherlock Holmes, Deadpool, and Wolverine, with some Bruce Lee-era fighting skills wrapped up in a Gothic Victorian film noir.

Beddor and Cavalier deliver an intriguing tale, while cleverly blending both horror and humor elements into it. Fans of Templesmith’s darkly appealing work in graphic novels, such as 30 Days of Night, won’t be disappointed in his contributions to this story, either.

The first four volumes of this title’s five-issue run are available with the final issue, Love of Wonder, coming soon. Thanks to the Free Comic Book Day re-introduction, I’m ready to read them all.

Rachel Cericola — Jughead and Archie Double Digest #1 written by Craig Boldman and art by Rex Lindsey, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, and Barry Grossman

This year, I participated in my very first Free Comic Book Day—and scored some free Archie Comics! However, that was going to have to wait, since I had just received this new Double Digest edition. Despite being a whopping 160 pages, it took me all of two days to get through this issue. I haven’t picked up Archie Comics in a little while, but it’s good to see that he’s just as entertaining as ever.

Jughead Archie Double Digest  Cover Art: Rex Lindsey, Rosario "Tito" Peña
Jughead and Archie Double Digest cover art by Rex Lindsey and Rosario “Tito” Peña.

One of the things I love about Archie is the same thing that I loved about Archie when I was a kid: You can pick up any issue any day of the week and not miss a beat. Perfect for all ages, this newly released book plays like a highlights reel. It’s comics for the short-attention span and I loved every minute of it. The retro artwork really pops and the stories are on par with what you’d expect from Archie Comics.

The book kicks off with “Label Fable,” which finds Jughead using an embarrassing photo of Archie in order to win a lifetime’s supply of soda. There are plenty of other lighthearted adventures that have Archie wooing Veronica, Jughead losing his hat, Jughead thinking he turned Archie into a bee, the gang trying to roller-skate, Archie worrying about homework, and much more. Betty sort of gets short-changed here, but what it lacks in Betty, it certainly makes up in Jughead.

Overall though, it’s a really awesome pick for anyone looking to get back into Archie Comics. Double Digest #1 is fun, funny, and super colorful. It also leaves you wanting more. Now, onto my FCBD Archie Digest!

Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this title.

Helen Barker — Free Comic Book Day

I’ve admitted here before that the world of comics is quite new to me and although I’ve been enjoying my forays into comics, I’m still very much taking tiny steps. When I saw that Free Comic Book Day fell on my birthday, I thought that was a good sign and something that I ought to take advantage of.

I was lucky enough to be on a family trip to London on the day and made it to the brilliant Gosh! London just as it opened at half past ten. The queue snaked right around the corner and although lots of the comics were gone by the time I made it through the door a few minutes later, there were still some good ones left.

My favorites are Archaia’s Mouse Guard, which includes both a Labyrinth and a Farscape story, along with other fantastic weirdness. It’s hardcover, too!

I also really enjoyed Frank Beddor’s Hatter M: Far From Wonder, which was intriguing and certainly made me want to read more. I really enjoyed the expressive art and the huge range of sound effects, with “fshk” being my favorite.

My daughter also enjoyed her haul of comics, particularly Hello Kitty and Friends, as well as Don Rosa’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck story, A Matter of Some Gravity.

I’m now compiling a shopping list, which means that the day certainly had the required impact on me.

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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All-Star Western Vol. 4 Gold Standard TP
Aquaman And The Others #2 New Series
Astro City #12
Batman Eternal #5
Batman Superman #10
Batman Vol. 3 Death Of The Family TP
Batman Vol. 4 Zero Year Secret City HC
Batwing #31
Detective Comics #31
Earth 2 #23
Fairest #26
Godzilla HC
Green Arrow #31
Green Lantern #31
Green Lantern Corps #31
Hinterkind #7
Justice League 3000 #6
Movement #12 Final Issue
New 52 Futures End #1 New Weekly Series
Saga Of The Swamp Thing Vol. 6 TP
Scooby-Doo Team-Up #4 Kid Friendly
Swamp Thing #31
Teen Titans Annual #3
Trinity Of Sin The Phantom Stranger #19
Vampire Diaries #5
Wake #8 (Of 10)
Watchmen International Edition TP
Watchmen TP
World Of Warcraft Dark Riders TP
Age Of Ultron TP
All-New X-Factor #7
Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 New Series
Amazing Spider-Man Who Am I #1
Annihilation Omnibus HC
Black Widow #6
Castle Unholy Storm HC
Cyclops #1 New Series
Deadpool Vs Carnage #3 (Of 4)
Fire HC
Indestructible Hulk Vol. 2 Gods And Monster TP
Iron Fist The Living Weapon #2 New Series
Iron Man Fatal Frontier HC
Loki Agent Of Asgard #4
Magneto #3
Miles Morales The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 New Series
Miracleman #5
Moon Knight #3
New Warriors #4
Original Sin #1 (Of 8) New Mini-Series
Punisher #5
Savage Wolverine #18
She-Hulk #4 GeekMom Recommended
Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 The Good The Bad The Inhuman HC
X-Men Days Of Future Past Prose Novel HC
X-Men No More Humans HC
X-Men The Adamantium Collection HC
X-Men Vs Hulk TP
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Amelia Cole And The Hidden War GN
Black Dynamite #2 (Of 4)
Crow Pestilence #3 (Of 4)
G.I. JOE A Real American Hero Vol. 9 TP
Gabriel Rodriguez Locke And Key Artist’s Edition Portfolio
Illegitimates #5 (Of 6)
In The Dark A Horror Anthology HC
Jinnrise #10
Maxx Maxximized #7
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Vol. 4 TP
Other Dead HC
Powerpuff Girls #9 Kid Friendly
Rocky And Bullwinkle #3 (Of 4) Kid Friendly
Sinister Dexter #6 (Of 7)
Tales Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 4 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics Vol. 2 #7
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures Vol. 2 TP Kid Friendly
Alley Oop The Complete Sundays Vol. 1 1934-1936 HC
Angel And Faith Season 10 #2
Bad Blood #5 (Of 5)
Conan And The People Of The Black Circle HC
Emily And The Strangers Vol. 1 HC
Grindhouse Doors Open At Midnight #8 (Of 8)
Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 AD Archives Vol. 3 TP
Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #11
S.H.O.O.T. First TP
Star Wars Omnibus Dark Times Vol. 2 TP
Terminator Salvation The Final Battle #6 (Of 12)
Trigun Maximum Omnibus Vol. 3 TP
True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys Limited Edition HC
True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys TP
Veil #3 (Of 5)

Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback

Dakster Sullivan is a network administrator by day and a cosplayer by night. She loves discovering new books to read, tech to play with, and ways to express her herself. She has anxiety and depression and strives to educate others about these invisible illnesses.