Cover to Cover: Hook me up with a plane ticket to Slovakia

New year means new banner! Swing up top and check it out. It's a panel from some issue of Peter Parker: Spider-Man. New year also means tons of new comics news, so let's go over what's already happened in. . . 13 days of January!

The Birds are back! Hawkaaaaa! Us here at the blog - me - have a longtime affection for the title, especially riproarin' pilot Zinda Blake.

Marvel pwns DC. I am really impressed at Marvel's strategy here. Previously, I figured DC's marketing for the Blackest Night rings was brilliant, because it was a great way to sell some stragglers on the top 100 charts, but Marvel's offer 1-ups them! I think it's completely appropriate in a capitalist society like America, and I think it'd be amazing if it really did work out.

It really is an exciting year to be in comics. Let's look at what I got this week.

by Chad Lambert and David Miller

Every time I pick up a Bloodrayne comic, I feel the need to get the video game. For this one-shot, I really should have, because it draws on a lot of plot points there! The first few pages have no context and are hard to get into. Within panels, Rayne gets a random urge to go to Slovakia! It eventually turns out to be a quest for her memories, an infiltration into a former Nazi base, and then a confrontation with a busty surgeon who totally bathes in the blood of virgins and wields hacksaws made of bone.

Video games and comic books have moments where they crash into each other to make a perfect skidmark of insanity. Bloodrayne is that skidmark. It's just a shame that the artwork is awful. David Miller is another one of those dudes who was way too influenced by Marc Silvestri, and does his own inking. The result is a messy, over-drawn affair. The coloring needs work too, since the only reason I knew about the bone hacksaw was that the commentary said so.

Ultimately, in Slovakia, Rayne is shaken into her darker self, "Darkrayne," blows up the Nazi base, and a horde of zombie Nazi bodies is seen thummp!ing from the sky into the forest. That is the purest definition of a comic book right there guys.

by Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara

Wow. The story is centered around a reformed Rhino, Aleksei Sytsevich, trying to earn an honest living after prison. Add Norah Winters, ace reporter and her photo monkey, Peter Parker, then a Rhino 2.0 out to kill Aleksei, and drama ensues! This is the kinda stuff I read Spidey for. The emotional hits from Kelly are strong, and the action is big. Dude freakin' busts a horse open on Aleksei's head.

Even better, I can't stop looking at the art. Inking is thick when it needs to be and thin when it should. I'm typaing andd it's ahard fori me to just look away! There is no misplaced line, no stroke without purpose! Fiumara does a great job of capturing Aleksei's solemnness. There's a sense of tragedy to this guy now. He's found love, and all he wants is to live his life in peace!

The action scenes are just as impressive. His anatomy is wild and crazy and fresh and just what Spidey needs. Each panel is so kinetic and paced excellently with the dialogue, that reading through them is a breeze. Kelly brings a lot of heart and humor to Aleksei and Peter Parker and makes it fresh. The only problem with the issue is that it ends. I don't want it to end. I wanna see Spidey kick Rhino 2.0's butt right now. I wanna see Aleksei happy right now. This issue is definitely a high point in the New Day stuff. This issue made me remember why I read weekly comics. Wednesday can't come soon enough!

So if you'll excuse me, I think I'll take my leave now. I need to go to Slovakia.

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