Introducing the 2010 Kitschies

Graphic Novel Round-up: Series Business

Fables Long-running series - you're either "in" or you're "out". And there's nothing worse than being "out", unless it is being "in", because then you don't get the feeling of discovering a book for the first time...

Read on for reviews of the latest Fables, The Boys, The Walking Dead and The Losers. Nothing "new" here, but a lot worth reading.

Fables: Witches (Vol 14) (Willingham / Buckingham): After the masturbatory abomination that was the "Literals" mini-series and its multi-faceted crissity-cross-over with the sub-part "Jack" series, I was about ready to pull the plug on my long-running Fables fandom. Witches has pulled it back from the brink. A happily, classic Fables adventure - this combines the political maneuverings of the titular witches, a lot of rewarding tie-ins to previous storylines, the unlikely heroism of a flying monkey and a very good short story featuring the refugees of Haven. Skip directly here from volume 12, you'll be missing nothing, and be happier for it. (7/10)

The Boys: The Innocents (Volume 7) (Ennis / Robertson): After six volumes of learning that superheroes are evil bastards, it looks like something is finally about to happen. Some of the personal storylines (Wee Hughie and his doomed romance) are starting to come to fruition, and the Homelander actually seems to be doing more than evil pouting (for once). As far as plot goes, this isn't the best of the series, but the characters are finally starting to grow a little. (6/10)

Walking Dead The Walking Dead: Too Far Gone (Volume 13) (Kirkman / Adlard): Overshadowed by its presence on the almighty television is the fact that Kirkman and Adlard are still producing the best comic book series on shelves today. Rick and his band of un-merry men are holed up in their newfound post-apocalyptic utopia, but have they changed too much to fit in with polite society? Kirkman has always kept the focus on people, not zombies, one of the reasons that this series stays fresh, fascinating and relevant. (9/10)

The Losers (Volume 2) (Diggle / Jock): At only 32 issues, this is practically a mini-series compared to the others, but Diggle and Jock have done the right thing by wrapping up the storyline at at a high note. The lopsided battle between Clay and Max comes to a conclusion in this mammoth second volume. The good guys fight the bad guys all over the globe, culminating in a wacky, full-sized act of Bond-villainy in the Middle East. Skirting the edge between over-the-top and oh-so-serious, this is a well-written espionage action adventure that keeps everything bouncing along at a wild pace. (8/10)