Last serials for 2011: The Flash, American Vampire. . . .

Here it is, folks! The last Wednesday's brought a new set of comic book serials for the year 2011. And what a Wednesday it is. My sister gave me a giftcard for Chicago's local chain, Graham Crackers Comics, so I've taken the opportunity to try out a few funny books I wouldn't have otherwise. Today we're looking at not two, not three, but five titles. Let me know what you think.

American Vampire #22
by Snyder and Albuquerque

Dig that cover! Rafael Albuquerque returns to American Vampire and the word from the bird is, he's cookin'! Continuing with the vampire in American history, Snyder tells the first of the four-part story of a teenage rebel with a cause: hunting down the vampires in his area. Also, he gets a malted milkshake. Oh god, I love America in the 50s.

Albuquerque's inks aren't as polished in a few panels, as much as I'd like, but still refreshing to read. Snyder presents a "bad-boy-whom-the-parents-won't-approve-of" story and makes a plot twist -- with vampires! I'm definitely sticking around for next ish.

Captain America #5
by Brubaker, McNiven, Camuncoli and Leisten

I'm dropping the title with this issue, and I say good riddance. Cap and the gang beat up the bad guy, while the other bad guy escapes to sow more discontent and doubt in Cap's mind.For five issues, the conclusion is more simple than I'd like it to be, and the issues don't seem interested in providing much more story. Without much of a story value, and without the art from Steve McNiven, I'm not enough of a Cap fan to stick with the $3.99 title.

Captain America & Bucky #625
by Asmus, Brubaker and Francavilla

But I'd still rather read about Captain America. There's some blogosphere hype surrounding Francavilla, and the title's still reasonable at $2.99, so I picked up the new storyline. It turns out Phineas Horton, the creator of the android Human Torch, also made a second android: Adam II, who went on to create its own droids. Cap investigates with the grandson of William Naslund, the man who succeeded our Cap and was killed by Adam II. CLIFFHANGER: Oh snap is that android Bucky Barnes?

There's a lot of backstory to wade through, but the craft is competent enough that I'll check out the next part. Did you get this issue? What did you think?

Daredevil #7
by Waid and Riveras

 This came out last week, but I decided not to visit my shop last week. Paolo Rivera returns for a one-shot, in which Daredevil sherpherds a bus-full of blind kids to safety in a snowstorm. The ending is particularly inspiring, but, well, I work with 1st- and 2nd-graders, and it'd be grand to think they'd do that on a field trip (they wouldn't).

Normally I'd recommend Daredevil furiously, but I don't think anyone would enjoy this issue unless they've been keeping up with it to begin with. Consider the Spider-Man crossover next month -- I will be picking that up. Also, what happened in the last page of this issue? Did somebody dig up Jack Murdock's grave?

Flash #4
by Manapul and Buccellato

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow. Manapul takes some cues from Batwoman's J.H. Williams III, and makes some insane layouts to frame flashbacks and stories within the main story. There's a lot of it in order to explain Manuel Lago's backstory, and it looks fucking fantastic. Barry Allen gets the last few pages in order to show us how he survived a bullet to the head, and the entire sequence, words and images, is nothing short of glorious.

Pick up this title! Best new title of 2011.

Stats a-go-go