Upcoming 4/6/2011

This week’s installment of Bookshelf Briefs covers a number of imminent manga arrivals from Viz. My Pick of the Week is also from Viz, Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist, which I reviewed here. And if you’re wondering about the slate of boys’-love titles coming out this week, look no farther than the latest BL Bookrack for guidance. So what does that leave on the ComicList? Not a ton, to be honest.

I like the sound of one of Tokyopop’s debuts for the week, Yu Aikawa’s Butterfly. Melinda Beasi offered the following verdict:

As weird as this series is, it’s also really interesting. The characters are all filled with dark little nooks and crannies they’re struggling to hide from everyone else. And the story behind Ginji’s brother’s death is more than spooky. Even Ginji’s odd James Spader-type best friend has some kind of mystery lurking beneath. It’s just the strangest little story, but I really can’t wait to read more.

Hey, it’s about psychics, fake ghost busters, and emotional dysfunction. What more could you want? This five-volume series originally ran in Gentosha’s Comic Birz.

In another corner of the comic shop, there’s the fifth issue of Avengers: The Children’s Crusade from Marvel. It’s about a group of young super-heroes who are trying to find and rescue the mother of two of them. Mom is a disgraced, mentally unstable super-heroine in her own right. (A writer decided to give her a bad case of baby rabies, which of course leads the average person to kill several of her friends.) As with many of my favorite super-hero comics, this one spins on an axis of soap opera. The kids are almost certainly the product of Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, though they have demonic intervention working in their favor rather than a stint at a boarding school in a pocket dimension where one year apparently passes in the span of one month our time. There’s a lot of romantic geometry, including a totally adorable pair of gay teen super-heroes. And there’s the strong whiff of one writer (Allan Heinberg) creating an entire mini-series to correct and hopefully undo an ill-advised narrative decision by another writer (Brian Bendis).

Of course, it’s got a Ph.D.-level quantity of back story in play, and at least a dozen characters seem to spontaneously arrive in each issue, so I don’t know if I’d actually recommend anyone pick this up at random. For example, do you have any idea who the glowing guy on the cover might be? I know, and I know why he’s annoyed and apparently crisping up the rest of the cast, but I’m weird that way. The comic makes me happy, though.

What looks good to you?