Weekly Hit (and Miss) List 11/28/2011

by Ben Peirce

The Weekly Hit (and Miss) List is a rundown of the best and worst things I read this week regardless of their original publication date. It doesn’t have to be new – just new to me.

THE HITS

Fear Agent Vol. 3 | Dark Horse | Rick Remender (w), Tony Moore (a)

There are a lot of comics out there.  In fact, there are a lot of very good comics out there. And yet amidst the vast sea of opinions that is the internet, there are only a handful of comics talked about as being the best. Scalped, Fables, The Walking Dead, I’ll even include mainstream books like Batwoman and Amazing Spider-Man – these are titles worthy of discussion when the words “best book on the shelves” come out. With the release last week of it’s 32nd and final issue, we say goodbye to one of these titles in Rick Remender’s Fear Agent. Though plagued by delays late in it’s run, Fear Agent – the story of hard-drinkin’ down-on-his-luck space ranger, Heath Huston – remained one of the most critically-acclaimed books of the last decade. Remender packs each issue with rich world-building, complex characters and an action-packed narrative that never lets you catch your breath. Tony Moore and Jerome Opeña, who trade off art duties with each volume, are two of the best storytellers working today–period. In reading the 3rd volume, which flashes back to tell the story of the Earth’s fall to alien invaders, I was struck by the complexity of the story and how tightly woven the plot points are. Events, which we saw in a previous volume are revealed to have taken place right on the heels of world-altering moments shown now for the first time, making them all the more heart-rending. Sometimes I’ll meet people who have just started watching Lost or havent read up to date in The Walking Dead, and I’m always so jealous of what they still have in store. With 3 volumes yet to explore, I will cherish every page of Fear Agent that I have left.  BUY IT

Morning Glories Vol. 2 | Image | Nick Spencer (w), Joe Eisma (a)

We discussed the first volume of Morning Glories at length on our March 2011 edition of Comic Book Club, and my opinion of the series hasn’t changed much since then. Morning Glories is supernatural mystery/thriller set at an elite boarding school. The writing by Nick Spencer is strong and the story has enough twists and turns to keep me coming back for more. The sequential art, on the other hand, is about as average as it gets and keeps this extranormal story planted firmly in the mundane. Still, it’s a page-turner that reads great in trade, and the covers by Rodin Esquejo more than make up for the shortcomings of Joe Eisma’s interiors. BUY IT

THE MISSES

Avenging Spider-Man #1 | Marvel | Zeb Wells (w), Joe Madureira (a)

Problem: Spider-Man is on 3 different teams and appears in about 8 titles every month.  Solution: put out one more Spidey title that tries to make sense of it all. That’s the logic behind Avenging Spider-Man. The debut issue, which teamed Spidey with Red Hulk in a battle against giant robots, subterranean monsters and swarms of moloids, wasn’t terrible. If they set up Avenging Spider-Man as a done-in-one Marvel Team-Up-style book, I could probably get on board with it. But a last page cliffhanger, makes this look like yet another ongoing Spidey title in an already-saturated market and I just can’t see it having much significance. The book isn’t without an upside though, namely the awesome art of Joe Madureira which is kinetic and exciting, but could have benefited from the services of an inker. That, plus the free digital copy included with this issue, probably makes it worth checking out even if it did land at the bottom of this week’s stack.

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