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Butch Baker, The Righteous Maker among new comic reviews

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As always, I've been sifting through an ass-load of comic books lately. Here are a few quick looks at some recently released titles:

Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker No. 1: Writer Joe Casey is back with a new satirical superhero comic that is sure to please scrotum fans everywhere ... and that's about it. What I mean by that is ... well, the first issue of Casey's new series features an ultra-close shot of a dude's nuts on the cover, and then inside, we're treated to more phallic goodness — but not much in the way of story. And the art by Mike Huddleston is so stylized, you're either gonna love it or hate. Guess what? I hate it.

Axe Cop No. 2: Here's the high concept for this wild new limited series by Dark Horse Comics: It's "written by a 6-year-old and drawn by his 30-year-old brother." And as I read the first few pages, the high concept is incredibly — and wonderfully — evident. I mean, how else can you explain captions that read: "At the National Museum of Diamonds ... the Chicken-Brain Robots snuck in to steal the white diamond ... the white diamond was worth a tyranotillion dollars, which is the highest number in the universe." The whole comic goes on like that — and it's brilliant and exuberant and filled with brain-bursting ideas — sort of like Grant Morrison on crack. Axe Cop is truly one of the best comics to be published so far this year — and, really, one of the best comics in a long, long time. Hurry and get a copy.

Dungeons & Dragons No. 4: OK, so you're not a gamer geek. Neither am I. But who doesn't have a memory of Dungeons & Dragons? The latest series sporting that moniker is being published by IDW, and it successfully draws upon those latent memories of the property — resulting in a fun sword-and-sorcery comic. Sure, it reeks of Lord of the Rings, but so did the role-playing games and animation back in the day. The story (by John Rogers) is breezy and fast-paced, and the art (by Andrea Di Vito) is crisp and tight. I suggest picking it up.

Annihilators No. 2: You've gotta give it up to writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning for keeping the cosmic side of Marvel Comics alive. I'm not in love with the inconsistent art by Tan Eng Huat, but the stories — including a backup feature starring Rocket Raccoon and Groot from the now-defunct Guardians of the Galaxy — are action-packed and funny as hell.

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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