Tug's Pick of the Week

BATMAN: HARLEY & IVY #1 ó Click for a Larger ImageBatman: Harley & Ivy #1

This week Iíve decided to focus the entire "Tugís Pick of the Week" section on one publisher ó DC Comics!  While there certainly isnít anything wrong with the books the rest of the companies are putting out this week, DC simply has a lot of really great stuff happening this Wednesday, and I think they deserve a little recognition for it.

Donít worry, Marvel folks, Iím sure that thereíll be a Marvel-focused pick someday.  (Hmm, donít they have that "X-Men Reload" thing coming up soon?)  But, as they say in Highlander, ďThere can be only one.Ē

Pick of the Week, that is.  And this week, itís Batman: Harley and Ivy # 1

Iíve always been a big fan of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon.  I donít think there has ever been a truer vision of Gotham City and its protectors and villains than in that show.  I even think the current Batman Adventures comic (based on the ďanimatedĒ Batman world) is the best Batman book coming out right now.  This new three-issue mini-series written by Dini and pencilled by Timm (plotted by both) reunites them with the two villainous ladies whom they made into their own dynamic duo ó of sorts.

Shane Gilnes's Ten from BATMAN BEYOND ó Click for a Larger ImageThe basic story of any Harley and Ivy romp is this:  Harley messes something up, Ivy gets mad, they make up, and it starts over again.  You really would think that it would be old by now, but itís not.  Dini and Timm are both master storytellers, and you wonít find a more well-executed book on the shelves.  Also, in inker Shane Glines, they have really found the perfect guy to lay ink over Timmís pencils.  (Psst. I like that Glines guy.  Check out this cool picture that he drew for me of Ten, a character he designed from the Batman Beyond animated series.)

In the world of comedy, there has always been the straight man/funny man duo, and with this series, Abbott and Costello, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and Penn and Teller can count Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy among their number.

THE FLASH #209 ó Click for a Larger ImageFlash # 209 ó Geoff Johns continues his amazing run on this book.  In this issue, you get the Justice League and a Flash/Superman race!  This isnít the typical ďHello, old chum, letís see whoís fasterĒ race.  Believe me, this issue will absolutely break your heart.  Not to mention the fact that Howard Porter gets to draw the JLA again ó and this time, he really does it right.

GREEN LANTERN #176 ó Click for a Larger ImageGreen Lantern # 176 ó Ron Marz returns to Green Lantern!  Kyle comes back from his misguided trip to space to find that his homecoming isnít quite as glorious as he had hoped.  (Heck, it isn't even the slightest bit pleasant!)  Iím also looking forward to seeing more of Luke Rossís artwork, because it looks terrific and is a really great fit for this book.

BATMAN #626 ó Click for a Larger ImageBatman # 626 ó Judd Winick begins his run on Batman with penciller Dustin Nguyen in this issue, and I have to admit, at first it looks like Winick is going to follow form from his Green Arrow run and make Batman fight demons.  Thankfully, that doesnít turn out to be the case.  After all, who needs demons when youíve got a rogues gallery like Batmanís?

SUPERMAN #204 ó Click for a Larger ImageSuperman # 204 ó Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot to mention this little ditty by some writer named Brian Azzarello and artist Jim Lee (whoever that is).  Iím sure itís something that none of you will be interested in ... .  Ah, Iím just kidding!  Seriously, DC didnít send us a preview copy of this issue, and Iím certain that had I read it, it would have been my "Pick of the Week."  But hey, I probably donít have to tell you that itís going to be good.  After all, youíre smart enough to read this column.

See ya Wednesday!

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