Scott Pilgrim, volumes 1-4: A slow starter, but once it hit its stride it really hit its damn stride. Following the adventures of a dimwitted Canadian slacker bass player (who just happens to be one of the greatest fighters in the world) as he deals with less-slackery friends, jobs, past relationships, and a new girlfriend who just happens to come with Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends, the Scott Pilgrim books are by turns, smart, sweet, funny, and possibly just a little to into 80s video games. They, like Scott, have a nigh-irresistible charm, and I’m looking forward to reading more.
The Umbrella Academy, Apocalypse Suite: Created and written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, this book starts off the way more comics should: with superkids battling national monuments and famous zombies. That’s the sort of mad and beautiful idea that Alan Moore cited as being so wondrous about comic books, and more and more that’s exactly the sort of thing I want out of the comics I read. Sadly, there’s a tonal shift early on, and we find ourselves in the midst of angsty superpowered thirtysomethings who seem quite certain their lives suck because daddy never loved them. As such, the rest of to book disappointingly fails to live up to the promise of those first pages, just as the Academy’s adult lives failed to live up to the potential of their early years. How very, very meta.
Atomic Robo: I got this comic through interlibrary loan, and purchased my own copy the next day. Created by Tesla in 1923 and getting himself neck-deep in high weirdness ever since, the title character is reminiscent of Hellboy without being outright derivative. The art is similarly influenced by Mignola, but both the writing and the palette have brighter tones. The comic is thoroughly excellent: action-packed, witty, laugh-out-loud funny, and even poignant. Great stuff; more please.