Upcoming 6/8/2011

As we noted over in the current Pick of the Week at Manga Bookshelf, this is a positively crushing week for new releases from Viz. As it is at Midtown, so it is with the ComicList. As a result, I’m limiting my Viz picks to one, but it’s a doozy.

Yes, at long last, it’s time for the 57th volume of Eiichiro Oda’s smashing pirate adventure, One Piece. When we last joined would-be greatest-pirate-in-the-world Luffy, he was desperately trying to save his older but considerably less ambitious brother from execution. Along the way, he inadvertently staged a massive prison break and raised pirate-navy tensions to perhaps their highest pitch in the history of the series. An alternate title to this book could be “How to Succeed in Chaos without Really Trying.” As always, I’m enjoying it enormously, but I miss the heck out of the rest of Luffy’s crew and am eager for their return.

Vizalanche aside, there are a couple of pamphlets I’m eager to purchase. First is Adam Warren’s second Empowered Special which asks Ten Questions for the Maidman from Dark Horse. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, Maidman is one of the few peer superheroes who treats our titular heroine with anything resembling courtesy and respect. I fully expect another outing packed with equal parts satire and sincerity, plus a reasonable amount of equal-opportunity cheesecake.

There’s unlikely to be any cheesecake in Veronica 207, the first issue of the Kevin Keller miniseries created by Dan Parent for Archie Comics. Kevin, as you may recall, is Riverdale’s first openly gay character. As Brigid (MangaBlog) Alverson noted in this piece for Publishers Weekly, Kevin is one of the reasons that Archie has reasserted its relevance over the past couple of years and become, dare I say it, kind of cool for possibly the first time in its sturdy but fairly safe-and-steady history. I just like comics about gay people, provided they aren’t Chick Tracts.

What looks good to you?