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Saturday, March 7, 2009

SPOTLIGHT: Graphic Novels of March 2009

Welcome to the March 2009 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly Spotlight for Graphic Novels. Previous spotlights are listed at the end of this article. Please note that the following is not a comprehensive list of graphic novels released throughout the month, but rather a list of titles that I’m personally interested in or that I believe readers of speculative fiction might enjoy. Also, please be aware that unless specified all of the releases dates listed are taken from and that readers might be able to find the titles at an earlier date online or at your local comic book store:

The Stand: Captain Trips” written by
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four”. Illustrated by Mike Perkins (Captain America). Covers by Mike Perkins & Lee Bermejo (Joker). Release Date: March 11, 2009. Published by Marvel.

On a secret army base in the Californian desert, something has gone horribly, terribly wrong. Something that will send Charlie Campion and his wife and daughter fleeing in the middle of the night. Unfortunately for the Campion family—and the rest of America—they are unaware that all three of them are carrying a deadly cargo: A virus that will spread from person to person like wildfire, triggering a massive wave of disease and death, prefacing humanity's last stand...

The Stand: Captain Trips” is an epic apocalyptic battle between good and evil based on the classic bestselling novel by master of horror, Stephen King, and collects issues #1-5.
Official Stephen King Website
Official The Stand Website
Order “The Stand: Captain Trips
HERE (Tales of Wonder)
Read “The Stand: Captain Trips Issue #1
NOTE:The Stand: Captain Trips” Premiere Hardcover comes in two different covers and will be available exclusively at Comic Book Stores and online at
Tales of Wonder on March 11, 2009. For more information, click HERE. “The Stand: Captain Trips” is the first of six miniseries adapting The Stand. The second miniseries is titled “American Nightmares” with issue one dropping on March 11th.

Britten and Brulightly” by Hannah Berry. Release Date: March 17, 2009. Published by
Metropolitan Books.

Private detective Fernández Britten is an old hand at confirming the dark suspicions of jealous lovers and exposing ugly truths of all varieties. Battered by years of bearing ill tidings, he clings to the hope of revealing, just once, a truth that will do some good in the world. It is a redemption that has long eluded him.

Then Britten and his unconventional partner, Brülightly, take on the mysterious death of Berni Kudos. The official verdict is suicide, but Berni’s fiancée is convinced that the reality is something more sinister. Blackmail, revenge, murder: each new revelation stirs up the muddy waters of painful family secrets, and each fresh twist takes the partners further from Britten’s longed-for salvation. Doing good in the world, he discovers, may have more to do with silence than truth.

A haunting story of love and grief, sharply written and luminously drawn, “Britten and Brülightly” is sure to establish Hannah Berry in the front rank of graphic novelists...
Order “Britten and Brulightly
Read A Preview HERE
Read Reviews via
TimeOut London
NOTE:Britten and Brulightly” was first published in the UK on April 3, 2008 (Jonathan Cape).

Soleil: Samurai” written by
Jean-Francois Di Giorgio. Art & cover by Frédéric Genêt. Release Date: March 18, 2009. Published by Marvel. Writer Jean-Francois Di Giorgio and artist Frédéric Genêt tap into the rich mythology of the noble Samurai, creating a nuanced look at the fabled Japanese warriors:

Having become a samurai, Takeo feels strong enough to confront his past. On the borders of Japan, a terrible plan is being plotted: General Akuma, one of the Empire’s most influential figures, seems to be dead set on betraying the Emperor to his own advantage. However, a grave secret links the two men—the 13th prophet. Meanwhile, Takeo hopes to discover who he is. Why did he grow up in a monastery? And why was he abandoned by his brother ten years earlier? His quest will put him in deep torment, placing him in the middle of the dark destiny of the Empire and the 13th prophet...

Presented for the first time in English, this Hardcover Premiere of the European bestseller collects “Soleil: Samurai” issues #1-4.
Order “Soleil: Samurai
Read A Preview

Wild Cards: The Hard Call” written by Daniel Abraham (Long Price Quartet, Hunter’s Run). Illustrated by Eric Battle (Batman, Green Arrow). Release Date: March 25, 2009. Published by
Dabel Brothers.

In 1946, an alien virus is accidentally unleashed that changes the world forever. Most of those infected die horribly, said to have drawn the Black Queen as their fated card. Ninety percent of those who survive mutate into Jokers—deformed, broken, hated, and feared. But a handful are lucky enough to become Aces, gaining superpowers that allow them to achieve almost anything the mind can conceive—both in dreams and in nightmares.

Sixty years later, an Ace named Croyd Crenson, better known as the Sleeper, is framed for the murder of a young nurse in New York City’s Jokertown. As Crenson investigates the killing to clear his name, he has to fight to stay awake, or else his unusual ability will change him into something else entirely.

Meanwhile, a group of teenagers in Whiteoak, Colorado, accidentally activate the dormant wild-card virus, wiping out nearly the entire town. As the teens are sent to the Jokertown clinic, they discover that not all Jokers are bad and not all Aces are good...

Set in the world of the novels edited by
George R. R. Martin and featuring a brand-new set of characters as well as appearances from many old favorites, “Wild Cards: The Hard Call” is an original story written specifically for comics that will enchant new readers and old fans alike.

This Hardcover collects “Wild Cards: The Hard Call” issues #1-6 and also includes an introduction by series creator
George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), plus an original Wild Cards short story by Melinda Snodgrass (The Edge of Reason).
Official Wild Cards Website
Official Daniel Abraham Website
Official Eric Battle Website
Order “Wild Cards: The Hard Call
Read Previews
NOTE: This Hardcover is a
Previews exclusive. The regular Del Rey edition will be published on July 7, 2009.

Anna Mercury” written by Warren Ellis (Crooked Little Vein, Transmetropolitan, Planetary). Illustrated by
Facundo Percio. Cover by Felipe Massafera. Release Date: March 25, 2009. Published by Avatar Press.

Dancing amid the spires of a city called New Ataraxia, there is a woman who can cloud men's minds, leap across buildings as if weightless, unerringly fire twin automatic pistols in the most insane conditions, and disappear in a crowded room. She fights against the political repression of an insane technocratic society, and she comes from a place that no-one in New Ataraxia has ever heard of. And she's got one hour to save the city from itself.

A high-octane blend of The Shadow, Tomb Raider, retro-punk science fiction and 21st century Weird Pulp Action, “Anna Mercury” is a headlong adventure serial about a beautiful and mysterious spy-adventurer who is not what she seems...

Anna Mercury: Volume 1” collects all five of the original issues with art by all-new talent
Facundo Percio as well as a special super-sized cover gallery. Comes available in a standard Softcover and a limited edition Hardcover of just 2000 copies, both with fully-painted covers by Felipe Massafera.
Official Warren Ellis Website
Order “Anna Mercury
HERE (Hardcover) + HERE (Softcover)
Read A Preview

Fallen Angel Omnibus: Volume One” written by Peter David (Tigerheart, The Incredible Hulk, Babylon 5, Sir Apropos of Nothing). Illustrated by Various Artists. Release Date: March 29, 2009. Published by
IDW Publishing.

Gliding through the streets of the fate-filled city of Bete Noire, the Fallen Angel has been a force both for good and evil. But her origins have remained as mystery-cloaked as the Angel herself . . . until now. See the truth of her background unfold for the first time, learn about the city Bete Noire that shapes the world, meet the dark characters who call Noire home, and shudder the dangerous forces at work to overturn it all...

This 500+ page softcover omnibus collects the first 21 issues of the ongoing “Fallen Angel” series by the New York Times bestselling author Peter David.
Official Peter David Website
Order “Fallen Angel Omnibus: Volume One

Locke & Key” by Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box, 20th Century Ghosts) and Gabriel Rodriguez (The Great & Secret Show). Release Date: March 29, 2009. Published by
IDW Publishing.

Written by New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill and featuring astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez, “Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them . . . and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...

This is the Softcover edition of “Locke & Key” which collects the six-issue limited series, “Welcome to Lovecraft”.
Official Joe Hill Website
Official Gabriel Rodriguez Website
Order “Locke & Key
Read Reviews via
Blog Critics, Crime Critics + Dread Central
Watch the Book Trailer
NOTE: The hardcover edition was published on October 8, 2008. “Welcome to Lovecraft” serves as a prologue to the actual story, which is broken up into three Acts. Act One, a twelve-issue arc entitled “Head Games”, is currently being published now. A film adaptation of “Welcome to Lovecraft” is being developed by
Dimension Films.

Resident Evil: Fire & Ice” written by
Ted Adams and Kris Oprisko. Art by Lee Bermejo, Shawn Crystal, Carlos D’Anda and others. Cover by Lee Bermejo. Release Date: March 31, 2009. Published by Wildstorm.

Umbrella agents attempt to dominate the world with their Zombie Virus, and S.T.A.R.S.’ Charlie Team is the only force capable of standing in their way. But are they prepared to battle an entire circus full of zombie-fied freaks?

Timed for release with the all-new
Resident Evil 5 video game and limited to 5,000 copies, “Resident Evil: Fire & Ice” collects the 4-issue miniseries plus stories from WildStorm’s Resident Evil magazine.
Order “Resident Evil: Fire & Ice

Previous Spotlights:

October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009


Best Fantasy and Science Fiction said...

I never used to enjoy graphic novels until I started reading more children's books with my daughter. Sad and interesting at the same time eh? Anyway, Jonathan Hickman's “Pax Romana” really did it for me back in January! This is the graphic novel that turned the "genre" on to me. Now Im always checking and the publishers websites to see when the next great ones are going to be published! Thanks for the monthly run down! I am now a follower of your blog, keep up the great posts!

Anonymous said...

No Starman Omnibus Volume 2?

Robert said...

Welcome Best Fantasy and Science Fiction :) I'm glad your daughter was able to help turn you onto graphic novels. They're great and you won't regret reading them! I noticed your from Washington. Any chance you'll be at Norwescon?

Sorry Anonymous. I tend to avoid anything superhero-related from Marvel & DC unless it's something that really catches my eye, like Neil Gaiman writing Batman...

Anonymous said...

That's too bad. You're missing out on arguably one of the best superhero comic runs ever.

Robert said...

Well at the moment, I'm more into comics that aren't superhero-related. If I get time though, I'll check out some Starman...


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