It was a pretty Happy Independence Day weekend for all of us at the Triple Shot headquarters, so let’s start off Monday right where we’re packing the explosive comic reviews like Venom #37 featuring war hero Flash Thompson, ‘50s Sci-Fi TV murder mystery Satellite Sam #1 from Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin and eventually we’re kicked out of a dark bar with Jim Zub’s Dark Skullkickers Dark #1.

WRITER: Cullen Bunn
ART: Pepe Larraz
Publication Date: July 3, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Marvel Comics
UPC: 75960607565203711
Buy it HERE

It is hard to believe that symbiotic veteran and #1 Spidey fan Flash Thompson has been carrying this Venom book for nearly 40 issues.

That’s meant as the highest compliment to the writing efforts of Rick Remender and now Cullen Bunn.

The reimagining (though not in the traditional sense of the word) of the Venom character as both a government weapon and a way of empowering the disabled veteran with a black licorice suit and body armor has gone literally to hell and back.

The alcoholic Thompson struggles with his demons, the loss of his relationship to Betty Brandt and his father’s death with a geographical relocation to Philadelphia, where he has a job as a gym teacher and fights bad guys at night.

While reading the latest,Venom #37, it dawned on me as to what I find appealing in these stories. I’ve gone hot and cold but month after month (week after week!) continued to buy Amazing Spider-Man. Now with Peter Parker out of the picture in Marvel NOW!, Bunn is providing me with the fix that I was chasing with Spidey.

Cullen Bunn is telling the best Amazing Spider-Man stories right now in Venom. The ol’ Parker luck, the survivor’s guilt, the power, the responsibility, tangling with reporters—it’s all happening in the black suit book! I don’t mean for that to sound reductive or to frame Flash Thompson as someone with Peter’s same situations.

The Philly backdrop of the school, his barren apartment and the nosy Katy Kiernan (Daily Inquisitor) are not Spidey in NY. Venom’s own set of rogues give the settings a different flavor, a darker tone. If Peter ever comes back, please let Cullen write the book. There will be a time thatSuperior seems silly or another version for a video game, like Spider-Man 2099 (perhaps it does already to some). Peter Parker will have to be swinging around eventually. This is the guy to write it.

WRITER: Matt Fraction
ART: Howard Chaykin
Publication Date: July 3, 2013
Price: $3.50
Publisher: Image Comics
Buy it HERE (DRM FREE. Your format of choice.)

The newly designed Image Comics website is fortunate to have with it’s launch a delightful launch of a new title written and drawn by industry heavyweights Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Invincible Iron Man) and Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!), respectively.

The book is set in 1951 on a live television set, as was the style of the time.

The star of the Sci-Fi show Satellite Sam hasn’t shown up at call time, and is in danger of ruining the bit. The space hero is supposed to enter the screenplay right at the end, and when he doesn’t show, the cast and crew improvise.

This is a sendoff to Golden Age television and the personalities that made up the new media era, post-radio. This is also a murder mystery with dark uncovered secrets hidden in the victim’s closet. Can the man that was murdered have been involved with a seedy underground sex and porn ring? Tune in next time!

Great stuff here from an unlikely, but perfect creative team. Like early television, the story is told in black and white with the signature Chaykin line and zip-a-tone. Some might disagree, but Chaykin uncolored by modern techniques services the look and is easier to read. G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds by Chaykin was colored by the computer and therefore made the storytelling suffer.

Who knows what Fraction has up his antennae for this, but I look forward to a long story and getting to know more about the family and cast involved. Parts of the cast interaction off-screen called back to Silk Spectre scenes in Watchmen.

Going in too deep with this—is Fraction using ‘50s Satellite Sam as a metaphor for the comic book industry today? Is radio the floppy comic book of the past that will take a backseat to television? Are DRM Free digital comics and the like the future of our comic book entertainment? Can the digital marketplace exist alongside floppy comics like TV and radio exist? Drink your Ovaltine and find out next month in Satellite Sam

WRITER: Jim Zubkavich
ARTIST: Edwin Huang, Jim Zubkavich
Publication Date: July 3, 2013
Price: $3.50
Publisher: Image Comics
UPC: 70985300895802311
Buy it HERE

Good Ol’ Zub, at it again, encouraging retailers to boost hisSkullkickers comic with a new new new Number 1 that is not only Dark, but Dark Dark!

The issue number should actually be about….23. That was a good year for me. I got kicked out of a lot of bars, but never for not paying my tab.

The Dwarf, Kusia and Rex find themselves at a bar in the conclusion of the Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island story arc.

An Elf explains to Kusia that they are in a dimensional hub tavern, so when The Dwarf is picked up by the scruff of his neck and out into the snow for not paying his tab, he could wind up anywhere.

All of this happens over a backdrop of Rex and Red Haired Rex trashing the place and fighting goblins.

If this all sounds familiar, it should be, the moral of this particular issue is that of archetypes. Lots of poking fun at comics, Sci Fi and sword and sorcery in these books. And a ton of humor.

If you like your comics fun (we know you do) and want to pick up a new number one issue nearly every month, Skullkickers has what you need.