THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS @ THIRD EYE FOR WEDNESDAY 5/4/11

FEAR ITSELF #2 – The Follow-Up Issue To The Biggest MARVEL Storyline Since CIVIL WAR Arrives This Wednesday

Right on time, the second issue of the red hot FEAR ITSELF storyline hits this Wednesday, and lets face it, folks: we CANNOT wait to read this one. The first issue of FEAR ITSELF floored us, and left us wanting more, as it proved to be a VERY good set-up issue, which dropped some exciting promise of more to come.

And, now, with issue #2, we’re expecting to see some HUGE revelations. When we spoke to Matt Fraction a few months ago about the series, he had made mention that there were certain issues of the series that would really shock readers, and we have a feeling that issue #2 may be one of those. Heck, just looking at the cover is an indication that we may be on our way to something very big with FEAR ITSELF #2.

What is FEAR ITSELF? Fear Itself is a major Marvel storyline which spans the entire Marvel Universe, and will have lasting ramifications on the entirety of the Marvel Universe. The actual story centers around the Red Skull’s daughter, Sin (who has replaced him and become the new Red Skull), and her recent discovery of a secret dating back to World War 2. See, the Red Skull discovered an ancient entity who was higher in the Asgard pantheon than Odin himself… and, Sin has decided to wake this entity up. And, now he’s sending his Mjolnir-esque Hammers out across the entire Marvel Universe, and selecting various Marvel characters (like Sin herself, and from what we can tell, characters like Juggernaut, The Hulk, and maybe Colossus) to be his Hammer-wielding Avatars of Fear.

It’s up to Steve Rogers, who looks like he’s on his way back to returning to his role as Captain America, and the assorted heroes of the Marvel Universe to not just fight the threat of this ancient evil, but to also keep Odin and the Asgardians from tearing thesmelves apart in the process, as well as to keep the fear-filled masses of the Marvel Universe sane.

Why You Need This? It’s probably the biggest Marvel comic on the stands this year, and it lives up to every bit of the hype. Immonen’s art looks vibrant, and pops off the page nearly every panel in. Fraction brings his complete and total A game, and is telling an exciting story with enough substance behind it to keep us interested in the long-term effects.

More importantly: it’s fan-favorites like The Hulk, Juggernaut, and many more being turned into hammer-wielding Asgardian demons, and being unleashed on the Marvel Universe.

How can it not rock?

Missed issue #1? We’ve got copies of it in stock, along with all of the other FEAR ITSELF tie-ins that have been released so far. Snag a copy of issue #1 and the Prologue this Wednesday and get caught up to this week’s #2

Click here for a preview of FEAR ITSELF #2

Click here for the official THIRD EYE FEAR ITSELF Checklist

STUFF OF LEGEND VOLUME 2: THE JUNGLE TRADE PAPERBACK ARRIVES THIS WEDNESDAY! SNAG YOUR COPY THIS WEDNESDAY AND BRING IT IN ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY TO HAVE ARTIST CP WILSON III SIGN IT!

One of the biggest indie hits of the last decade, STUFF OF LEGEND, came out of nowhere a few years ago, and took the world of comics by storm. It quickly blew up the sales charts, sold out multiple printings, and went on to become a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Seriously. This book is THAT good.

And, now, this Wednesday marks the release of the second STUFF OF LEGEND trade paperback, which collects the entire second STUFF OF LEGEND series, THE JUNGLE.

We’ll have STUFF OF LEGEND co-creators, MIKE DEVITO and CP WILSON III this Saturday for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, so get your copy Wednesday and then bring it by on FCBD to have ’em sign it!

Not familiar with STUFF OF LEGEND? Well, here’s the skinny: Imagine TOY STORY meets SAVING PRIVATE RYAN if it was directed by HELLBOY director GUILERMO DEL TORO. Set against the backdrop of World War II, a young boy is kidnapped by the Boogeyman, and taken into his realm. It’s up to his faithful toys to go in and rescue him, and that’s where it gets interesting: the toys turn into real versions of their toy forms, so the teddy bear becomes a giant, blood-thirsty grizzly bear, the soldier becomes a real soldier, ect… and from there, we’re taken on one of the coolest urban fantasy tales we’ve read in a very long time.

This is a great read, folks, and is the kind of story, much like Jeff Smith’s BONE, that has a universal appeal to folks of all ages, whether they’re younger or older, it’s just a great story.

And, Wilson’s artwork is AMAZING, and is a big part of why this series pops off the page so well, with the dreamy world he creates.

Haven’t read the first STUFF OF LEGEND yet? Snag yourself a copy this Wednesday, and get caught up in time to meet the creators on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY this SATURDAY!

MOON KNIGHT #1 – BENDIS & MALEEV, the team behind one of the best DAREDEVIL runs of all-time, SCARLET, and last year’s cult favorite, SPIDER-WOMAN series, reunite for what will be the BEST Moon Knight comic.. EVER!

We’ve always been big fans of MOON KNIGHT here at Third Eye, and there’s been many incarnations of the character that we’ve enjoyed. Whether it’s the old school ’80s stuff that really kicked off with a bang, or the early DAVID FINCH run from a few years back, MOON KNIGHT has always been the kind of character that is ripe for good stories and loads of potential for kick-ass comics.

But, I gotta tell ya, we haven’t been this excited about a MOON KNIGHT series in a long time. In fact, we think that this is going to be the one that really takes Marvel’s psychotic Batman-esque vigilante and shoots him to the big time. Why? ‘Cause the creative team helming this new MOON KNIGHT series is OFF THE CHAIN.

Brian Michael Bendis (writer of AVENGERS, DAREDEVIL, SCARLET, SPIDER-WOMAN, SIEGE, TORSO, SECRET INVASION, ect ect) and ALEX MALEEV (SCARLET, SPIDER-WOMAN, and DAREDEVIL) together on Moon Knight? That’s huge. These guys are the kings of gritty street-level storytelling, and after their epic 60-some issue run on Daredevil, they’ve proven they can take an underused character and remind us all of just how cool they can be. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, but the Bendis/Maleev run on DD may even top the Miller run on the character for me. That’s how good it was.

And, now Bendis and Maleev are bringing their unique blend of noir-influenced superhero writing to the dark world of MOON KNIGHT. Who is Marc Spector, otherwise known to all as MOON KNIGHT? Okay, picture this: if Batman was a psychotic who had an Egyptian death god telling him to cut off the bad guys faces and sacrifice them to him, then he’d be MOON KNIGHT.

For years, Moon Knight has been one of the Marvel Universe’s most mentally unstable heroes. Early on in his career, Spector used the Moon Knight identity as a way to distance himself from his past as a mercenary. And, as a result, he developed a dissociative identity disorder. What makes MOON KNIGHT so interesting is that the world of super-villains has no idea what angle he’s coming from. Is he trying to be the big and bold hero like in VENGEANCE OF MOON KNIGHT, or is he going to bury a crescent-shaped shuriken in their head ala the David Finch run?

As we begin with MOON KNIGHT #1 this week, we see a Marc Spector who has reached an uneasy peace with the various personas taking up space in his head. And, instead of being tortured by these various voices telling him what to do, he’s embracing it, and almost enjoying it.

I have a lot of faith in the creative team on this one, and the preview pages I’ve read look amazing.

Make sure you check out MOON KNIGHT #1 this Wednesday.

In the meantime, click here for a preview of MOON KNIGHT #1

X-MEN: PRELUDE TO SCHISM #1 – THE LEAD-UP TO THIS SUMMER’S BIG X-MEN STORYLINE BEGINS! IN SCHISM, THE X-MEN WILL SPLIT INTO TWO TEAMS: WHO WILL SIDE WITH CYCLOPS? WHO WILL SIDE WITH WOLVERINE?

There’s been rumors for quite some time about an eventual split in the X-MEN teams, and with the way that the character of Cyclops has been developed over the course of the last few years, it looks like Marvel is finally kicking that direction into high gear for the X-Books.

Much like Endangered Species was the prologue to Messiah Complex, PRELUDE TO SCHISM is the lead-up to the X-MEN EVENT of 2011. In this limited series, we’re going to learn what it means to the X-Men to be a leader? And, just what does that burden do to a person?

Personally, I think this looks kick-ass, and if you’re looking for a fresh X-MEN storyline to jump on with, you should start here. The rumors have led us to believe that the X-MEN will split into two teams, one that shares Magneto’s philosophy, and one that shares Xavier’s… and, one team will be led by Cyclops, and one team will be led by Wolverine. The question is which team shares which philosophy?

Click here for a preview of X-MEN PRELUDE TO SCHISM #1

BRIGHTEST DAY VOLUME 2 HARDCOVER HITS THIS WEDNESDAY COLLECTING THE NEXT MASSIVE SLAB OF BRIGHTEST DAY AWESOMENESS!

BRIGHTEST DAY may hae ended last week, but, for those of you following along in collected format, the story continues to rage on. And, let me tell you guys, after the ending of last week’s BRIGHTEST DAY #24….. you are going to love how this one ends out. An epic read from beginning to end, and one of the best DCU stories in some time, we cannot recommend the series enough.

Geoff Johns, after his work on BLACKEST NIGHT, followed things up with what’s essentially been DCU REBIRTH. He’s taken a handful of classic yet forgotten DCU characters, and literally built them up all over again from the ground floor. And, by doing so, he’s given us an exciting new DC UNIVERSE to see more stories told in.

This week, the second hardcover collection of BRIGHTEST DAY arrives, collecting issues #8-#16.. and, if you can’t wait after finishing this one to jump onto the series, don’t worry: we’ve got all the  back issues, including 17-24, in stock and available to catch you up to the finale of the series.

If you haven’t already read the BRIGHTEST DAY stuff before, we highly recommend either snagging the first hardcover (collecting 0-7), or the back issues, and giving the series a shot. We think you’ll be really impressed with how good this one is, Third Eye Faithful!

FEAR ITSELF: FEAR ITSELF SPIDER-MAN #1 (of 3) AND FEAR ITSELF: HOMEFRONT #2ARRIVE ALONGSIDE FEAR ITSELF THIS WEDNESDAY TO FLESH OUT MARVEL’S BLOCKBUSTER EVENT

We’re totally jazzed up about all the FEAR ITSELF stuff we’ve read so far, so we’re pretty stoked to see the first issue of the FEAR ITSELF SPIDER-MAN tie-in, which looks to be pretty kick-ass, if I do say so myself.

Immediately after the events of FEAR ITSELF #1, but before the events of FEAR ITSELF #2, Manhattan is thrown into a violent panic. Peter Parker has not slept in days. Abandoning his friends and family, Spider-man’s only mission: save those who need to be saved. As the city of New York prepares to rip itself apart from the inside out, Spider-man must face his own worst fears. And, we can only wonder…. is this where the hammer will land this Wednesday?

Click here for a preview of FEAR ITSELF: SPIDER-MAN #1

Click here for our official THIRD EYE FEAR ITSELF CHECKLIST

Much like the CIVIL WAR:FRONT LINE titles, HOME FRONT gives us a very cool, on the ground perspective of FEAR ITSELF, and we really dug the first issue of this. A lot of that could have to do with the fact that Christos Gage has had a hand in writing it, and lets face it: the dude can write!

Focusing mostly on Speedball, due to his experience of being the scapegoat for big, universe-changing events, we’re shown the effects of the Serpent spreading amongst the populace, and Speedball is left in the most hostile territory imaginable: Stamford, Connecticut, whose people blame him for six hundred detahs. And, it’s about to get worst, as he’s about to face one of the Serpent’s elite vanguard alone.

Meanwhile, the AGENTS OF ATLAS must venture to Europe, as the Marvel Universe feels the effects of FEAR ITSELF all over.

Click here for a preview of FEAR ITSELF HOME FRONT #2

GLADSTONE’S SCHOOL FOR WORLD CONQUERORS #1 HITS THIS WEDNDESDAY – A KILLER LOOKING NEW IMAGE SERIES THAT READS LIKE A MIX OF BRIAN K. VAUGHN’S RUNAWAYS and SCOTT PILGRIM

Here’s another new Image series that really caught our eye when we were going over this week’s new titles, GLADSTONE’S SCHOOL for WORLD CONQUERORS. The art’s got a real unique style to it, and the way the book reads is really fun. A must for fans of stuff like THE INTREPIDS, PERHAPENAUTS, and SCOTT PILGRIM.

What’s the scoop on this one? Well, the Gladstone School for World Conquerors is a top-secret academy for the children of the world’s greatest super-villains to learn their parents trade. And, in this series, we get to watch as the likes of Kid Nefarious, Mummy Girl, Martian Jones, Ghost Girl, and the infamous Skull brothers unearth the hidden past of both their parents and the school itself.

I read about halfway through the first issue of this one, and I gotta tell ya: I REALLY dig it. It’s a lot of fun, with some clever writing, and a strong balance of humor and strong plotting.

Click here to check out the preview of GLADSTONE’S SCHOOL FOR WORLD CONQUERORS #1

UNCANNY X-FORCE #9 – IN THE SERVICE OF MAGNETO? MARVEL’S BEST X-BOOK CONTINUES THIS WEDNESDAY!

Rick Remender continues to dish out one of the best X-Books, month after month after month, with UNCANNY X-FORCE. If you’re not yet reading this series, I’m telling you, folks: pick up the first hardcover collection (in stock now at Third Eye), or snag the Marvel Must-Have with issues 1-3 for only $4.99 (also in stock now), and give this one a shot. You WILL be impressed. Remender brings the same kind of energy the X-Men had when you were a kid and went crazy over them, but with a very contemporary twist.

Anyways, moving forward, this week’s issue brings the original X-Villain himself, MAGNETO, to the forefront, as he discovers the existence of Wolverine and his commando unit of killers. The only way he’ll agree to keep the secret of X-Force is if they assassinate a mysterious figure from his past, so now the question is: Who is so important Magneto would employ such methodology? And, why can’t he do the deed himself? The answer is buried in a terrible secret from the ashes of World War II, and the Uncanny X-Force are going to come face to face with it.

Click here for a preview of UNCANNY X-FORCE #9

THE PUBLISHERS OF ATOMIC ROBO DEBUT A BRAND NEW SERIES WITH MOON GIRL #1THIS WEDNESDAY… IMAGINE “MAD MEN” MEETS “THE DARK KNIGHT” IN THIS 1950s PULP ADVENTURE PERIOD PIECE

We’re major fans of RED 5’s ATOMIC ROBO series, and are always willing to take a look at anything new they’ve got coming down the pike, and when we saw the preview pages filled with gorgeous painted artwork, we did a double-take on this new series.

Set against a pulp fictiony NEW YORK in the 1950s, MOON GIRL has been a fixture in the eyes of the world as a champion of the counter-culture and social revolution. And, now, she looks into how she can do more…. but, she finds herself forced back into action when fanatics, inspired by her adventures, begin enforcing their own brand of justice.

It reads a lot like the TV show MAD MEN mixed with a bit of THE DARK KNIGHT with just a hint of the high-flying retro adventure of a series like THE ROCKETEER, and is a pulpy blast.

Click here for a preview of MOON GIRL #1

DMZ VOLUME 10: COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT ARRIVES THIS WEDNESDAY AT THIRD EYE! A NEW DMZ TRADE? YOU KNOW WE’RE HAPPY ABOUT THAT!

We’re HUGE fans of Brian Wood’s incredible Vertigo series DMZ, which reads like a very politically-charged ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, and chronicles the adventures of a young photojournalist who finds himself shot down in the no man’s land that is Manhattan, set against the backdrop of a United States that’s been ripped apart by it’s second Civil War.

And, going 10 volumes strong, and nearing it’s end, DMZ continues to keep us intrigued, and coming back again and again for more.

In this 10th trade, collecting issues 55-59, characters new and old, will have to weather the storm of a brutal ‘shock and awe’ bombing campaign on the DMZ. There’s an awesome story in here about one of my favorite characters, Wilson, that really makes this trade a stand-out volume.

If you’re not already reading DMZ, we can’t recommend the series enough, and suggest checking it out. Snag yourself a copy of volume 1 for just $9.99, and find out why this is one of our big favorites here at Third Eye!

GARTH ENNIS’S JENNIFER BLOOD #3 – THE WRITER OF “THE BOYS”, “CROSSED” and “PREACHER” CONTINUES HIS VICIOUS STORY OF A HOUSEWIFE TURNED MURDERING VIGILANTE!

We’re huge fans of writer GARTH ENNIS here at Third Eye, and we pretty much dig everything he puts out, but his latest series, JENNIFER BLOOD has really gotten us hooked. If you were a big fan of his work on PUNISHER in PUNISHER MAX, then JENNIFER BLOOD is a MUST-READ for you.

What’s the scoop on this one? Ennis tells the tale of a Jen, who by day, is the perfect wife and mother, but by night….. she ventures out to become the murderous killing machine JENNIFER BLOOD. The way this one’s written reminds of a mix of the television show MADMEN (in terms of the juxtapoz of normal every day life, and dual identities), and Ennis’s own PUNISHER MAX. It’s bloody, it’s brutal, and it’s unrelenting, but at the same time, Ennis lays out some very interesting layers of story, and gives us a protagonist that we’re compelled to learn the back story of.

In other words, it’s another great, and glorious ultra-violent tale by a master of the form, Garth Ennis.

Missed the first two issues? We’ve got copies in stock to catch you up to this week’s #3, which looks to be the most brutal of the series yet.

DEADPOOL ANNUAL #1 CONTINUES THE STORY FROM AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #38 LAST MONTH! WRITTEN BY “CHEW” writer JOHN LAYMAN… SO YOU KNOW IT’S GOOD! 🙂

We’re huge fans of the IMAGE hit, CHEW, and when we heard that CHEW creator, JOHN LAYMAN, was going to be serving up a three-way dance involving SPIDER-MAN, DEADPOOL and the HULK… we knew it was gonna kick-ass. I mean, Layman has a knack for taking the ridiculous and managing to meld it in with a solid plot, and making it all work as a story, and lets face it: nothing is more ridiculous than a Spider-man/Deadpool/Hulk crossover.

But, after reading the first chapter of this one, we totally dug it, and now we’re stoked to see what Layman can do with everyone’s favorite Merc With a Mouth this Wednesday.

Missed the first chapter in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #38? Don’t worry, we’ve got copies in stock to catch you up!

Click here for a preview of DEADPOOL ANNUAL #1

BLUE ESTATE #2 ARRIVES THIS WEDNESDAY, SERVING UP THE SECOND ISSUE OF THIS KICK-ASS NEW POST-MODERN CRIME NOIR SERIES FROM IMAGE COMICS!

Man, IMAGE is knocking homerun after homerun out of the park with all their new series lately. Quality stuff all across the board, and so many different genres being represented… it’s awesome.

Anyways, BLUE ESTATE #1 was one of those books that really blew us away. We thought the first issue was not just an incredible looking book, but a fine read as well.

You know, the closest comparison I can give to BLUE ESTATE is the novels of ELMORE LEONARD. He’s a crime novelist who’s been around a long, long time, and was responsible for the books that movies like JACKIE BROWN, and GET SHORTY were based off of. Blue Estate is kind of a modern day successor to those kinds of stories, but in comic book form, and you know what; that’s a very good thing. It reads like a comic book version of something like Pulp Fiction, or Jackie Brown, and we freakin’ love it.

And, the art is very interesting as well. You don’t see things like this done often, but in BLUE ESTATE, there’s four different artists who lend their styles to different scenes, but manage to meld together so well that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story at all.

Pure pulp crime, that goes a little light on the noir, a little heavy on the violence, and is steeped in a modern sensibility.

You need to read this series, if you haven’t already, so snag yourself a copy of BLUE ESTATE #1 this Wednesday, and give the book a shot.

Click here for a preview of BLUE ESTATE #2

FROM THE CREATORS OF RETURN TO WONDERLAND, NEVERLAND, and GRIMM FAIRY TALES….. THE DREAM EATER CROSSOVER BEGINS!

The folks at ZENESCOPE always do a fine job of putting a dark spin on familiar fantasy worlds, like that of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, PETER PAN, and GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES, and now they’re going to be bringing all of these various realms together in one big epic crossover event called the DREAM EATER SAGA.

That’s right, Third Eye Faithful, Belinda, calie, the Piper, Baba Yaga, Anna Williams, the Queen of Hearts, and over a dozen more are in grave danger and nothing and no one can be taken for granted. The Dream Eater is coming and it will stop at nothing to take what it desires.

The folks at Zenescope always do a fine job of blending horror, and classic stories, and their stable of top notch artists, and the dark approach to their storytelling always has us looking forward to more stuff from them.

Check out this special prelude issue this Wednesday, and hop aboard for the DREAM EATER SAGA!

GREEN WAKE #2 – ANOTHER IMAGE MUST-READ DELIVERS IT’S SECOND ISSUE THIS WEDNESDAY! MISSED #1? WE’VE GOT COPIES AVAILABLE TO CATCH YOU UP

Joining BLUE ESTATE this Wednesday is another recent breakout hit from IMAGE COMICS, the second issue of GREEN WAKE. This one is a freakin’ RAD new horror series from the artist of COWBOY NINJA VIKING and PROOF.

If you missed it last month, fear not, Third Eye Faithful, we’ve got more copies of #1 due in this Wednesday to get you caught up to this week’s #2. What’s the scoop? GREEN WAKE crafts a tale of emotion and murder against a dreamy backdrop of mystery and metaphor. This is a pitch black crime noir tale of a man investigating a strange new world around him while also trying to find the truth at the heart of himself, and perhaps the human condition itself.

Green Wake is a creepy town where everyone is sad, and alone. It’s a world where nothing happens because the people can no longer handle action or interaction. And, then a spate of brutal killings begin to litter the landscape of this hollowed out town, and throws the stagnant place into disarray.

Imagine David Cronenberg or David Lynch put into comic book form, and that sums up GREEN WAKE.

Check out issue #1 this week if you haven’t already, and snag #2 while your’e at it.

MOUSE GUARD: THE BLACK AXE #2 – MORE AMAZING ARTWORK AND SOLID STORYTELLING FROM DAVID PETERSEN’S FANTASY EPIC!

We’re big fans of the surreal, and dreamy world of MOUSE GUARD that David Petersen has crafted, and while it might take months between issues sometimes, it’s ALWAYS worth the wait. His art looks that good, folks.

Anyways, this brand new series, THE BLACK AXE, keeps up the track record of a high quality book that the past MOUSE GUARD series have. In the BLACK AXE, we jump 40 years back before the present day of the current MOUSE GUARD time-line, and watch the story of a very young Celanawe, working as a fresh-faced rookie instead of the grizzled, older warrior we know from the FALL 1152 and WINTER 1152 series.

This prequel to the MOUSE GUARD books is a great way to try out the world of MOUSE GUARD, and folks, we can’t recommend it enough. It’s just plain good comics.

Missed issue #1? We’ve got it in stock, as well as the trade paperbacks collecting FALL 1152 and WINTER 1152, and also LEGENDS OF THE GUARD.

THIRD EYE STAFF PICKS

Steve – VENOM #2 – Venom vs. Kraven? I swear, between this and X-Force, REMENDER is THE MAN right now. He knows how to channel that kind of energy from comics you got when you were a kid into something sleek, modern and fun.

Trish – WALKING DEAD #84  – Too freaking good.

TORMA – FF #2 – Probably my favorite Marvel title right now. Hickman is delivering in a MAJOR way on this one and I love it.

Tony (Prince Frederick) MIGHTY THOR #1 – Even if you’re not a major THOR fan, you’ll love this one. It’s heavy on the Marvel Universe stuff, a little light on the Asgard stuff, and awesome all the way around.