The Longbox Short-List - Week of July 15, 2015

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Welcome back to Critical Blast’s weekly look at what new comics you should check out each week.   Just a warning, I make these picks pretty much a week BEFORE I actually get to read any of these comics, so if something is a stinker, I take no blame on that.  Let's get to it!  

Comics shipping this week

HAWKEYE #22 - I don't really like Matt Fraction's work all that much. To me, HAWKEYE was a bit overrated. I hate that work, but it's the only way I can describe it. Even though ALL-NEW HAWKEYE has been out for months, the last issue of Fraction's HAWKEYE run is just coming out this week. I am not buying this one, but I did think it was worth mentioning, I know a lot of people enjoyed the "Hawkguy" run.

SECRET WARS - It's kind of hard to believe that there are still more SECRET WARS books coming out. For the new books, I am looking forward to HAIL HYDRA (I like the new Nomad), CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE MIGHTY DEFENDERS, and GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE. On top of that, we get issue 3 of PLANET HULK and WHERE MONSTERS DWELL which are among my favorite SECRET WARS books! 

SECRET SIX #4 - Thankfully, it seems like this book is finally getting back on track. I loved the reveal at the end of issue 3 that Elongated Man seems to be operating undercover as part of this new Secret Six team. I've really enjoyed this series, even though it's been a little slow on the release.

THE BLACKLIST #1 - I am a huge James Spader fan. I have been for a real long time. How big? I refused to watch any STARGATE spinoff even though I loved the first movie because they recast James Spader's role. So big that because of his role in the season finale of the seventh season of THE OFFICE that I ended up watching the whole series just to catch up in the hopes he would have a bigger role (which he did in season 8). So when they announced he was getting a new series in THE BLACKLIST, I pretty much had to watch it. And it is one of my favorite shows, just because of Spader's performance. I will admit, some of the plots of BLACKLIST can be kind of lame, but Spader more than makes up for that. So I will definitely be picking this comic up. And the first cover features a cover by Alice X. Zhang, who is pretty much my favorite painter.

BLACK CANARY #2 - I was a little turned off by the concept for this book, but I kind of liked the preview and ended up checking out the first issue. Which was actually great! Part of me worried that this series was such a departure from anything we had seen with Black Canary before, but it turned out this was just the shake-up the character needed. I do think of it seems a little inspired by SPIDER-GWEN, but I guess there are far worse things to be inspired by...

POSTAL #5 - POSTAL is a pretty creepy series. It's about a town of criminals looking to start new lives for themselves while the FBI has them under surveillance. Each issue has added new twists and turns, and it's quickly become one of my favorite Image series And unlike a lot of Image series, it really feels like everything moves forward each issue and not on a wait for trade mentality. Definitely worth checking out.

TREES #11 - Ironically, the whole reason I started picking up TREES was because I saw a recommendation for it from another writer in one of these lists a few months ago. It is another Ellis comic, about how the world would be impacted by the arrival of an alien species. Each issue features lots of interesting characters and plot twists. I am glad I got turned on to this series, and hopefully I can do the same to someone else by making this recommendation.

LETTER 44 #18 - Add this to the list of terrific books that aren't Marvel or DC. I seem to be hitting on quite a few of those this week. LETTER 44 starts with a letter from a Bush-like President to his successor warning him that an alien structure has been spotted not far from Earth. This story has gone in a lot of different directions, including the Earth erupting in a World War.

BOOK OF DEATH #1/ BOOK OF DEATH LEGENDS OF GEOMANCER #1 - Valiant has been doing some terrific crossovers the last few years. And I am especially excited about this one because it features the return of Master Darque. Master Darque hasn't had a huge presence in the reborn Valiant Universe, so I have been waiting for this to happen for a long time now! THis should be a hell of a story.

ANT-MAN ANNUAL #1 - I typically don't like Ant-Man all that much, but Nick Spencer has done a great job with the current series starring Scott Lang. This annual is basically just a way to capitalize on the ANT-MAN moving coming out next week, especially since it features Pym and Lang, but since Nick Spencer is writing it, I will definitely pick it up anyway.

MEGA MAN #51 - Last week, I had recommended SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #274 because it seemed like Chun Li would be bringing the Street Fighter crew into the story...but they decided to make it just a tease. Hopefully it will finally happen in MEGA MAN #51. If not, I might have to drop this crossover just because I feel like I'm being taken advantage of here. WORLDS UNITE needs to start moving forward real soon!