Monday, June 30, 2008

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 07/02/08

After eleventy billion comics last week, both Marvel and DC have pretty much blown a tire and the releases have sputtered to a stop this time around, making the Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews pretty light by normal standards. I have Ultimate Origins on the list, but I think it might be delayed (only one not on Diamond's tentative upcoming releases, which doesn't update to confirmed releases until tonight), so take that one with a grain of salt.

Anyways, enjoy the previews and be thankful your wallet gets a rest this week!

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Simone Bianchi

It’s the book you’ve been waiting for. The superstar team of Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi are ready to take the X-Men to the “Second Stage”! “Messiah CompleX” pulled the X-Men team together, “Divided We Stand” tore them apart. Now the X-Men are back to business -- with a new look, a new base of operations, and a mystery to solve that will take them into previously uncharted territory and test them to their core!

Kirk Says: I like Warren Ellis. I like the X-Men. I hate delays. I should probably wait for the trade on this. However, I'm a glutton for punishment and impatient, so I will just take my lumps and pick this up now. The previews for it look great and I think Ellis should be able to deliver something unique alla Grant Morrison's New X-Men run (well, maybe not that insane).

However, I know I'm in the minority when I say this, but I really dislike Bianchi's art. Something about it doesn't click with me. I know it's good art and will be praised by everyone, but I just can't describe what it is about it that rubs me the wrong way.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea

Part 3 of "Batman R.I.P."! Batman's mysterious adversary has won. All is lost for the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne is now deranged and dissociated, wandering homeless in the alleys of Gotham City. Is there a chance that Bruce can rebuild his Batman identity from scratch, or is this truly the end for one of the world's finest heroes?

Kirk Says: By all accounts, I shouldn't even be picking this issue up. I absolutely hated the last issue and don't honestly expect this issue to change my opinion of Morrison's Batman RIP storyline.

However, with so little coming out this week, I thought I'd take a chance on it and see if Morrison can pull something together with this chapter of RIP to wash the bad taste from last issue out of my mouth.

Written by Will Pfeifer
Art by Davide BaldeĆ³n and Steve Bird

Guest writer Will Pfeifer (CATWOMAN) returns — and he's brought monsters with him! What's a Beetle to do?

Kirk Says: Blue Beetle has been merely good since Rogers left as opposed to one of the best books on the market when he was at the helm. I still enjoy the comic and the characters, but it's lost that spark that made it truely special. Hopefully when the new writer finally takes over, we can see some long term plans and development take place as opposed to the done-in-ones that the guest writers have put together since Blue Beetle #25.

Written by Jim Shooter
Art by Frances Manapul and John Livesay

While Science Police search parties ransack The Legion's headquarters, two away-teams of Legionnaires fight like cornered wolves against vicious enemies. Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 sells out the Legion's greatest secret! New villains, stunning action and the LSH is shut down!. Plus, the introduction of Ikilles and Cazhmir! The Ikonns! The Peril Men! And more!

Kirk Says: Never was a big Legion fan, but Shooter has made me a believer with his return to the franchise. Others dislike the slow burn he has going here, but I find it perfect for new readers, like myself, to get into and actually get to know the large cast of characters. Just a fun title for me at this point.

Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Michael Gaydos

Drawn deeper into the politics of a missing-persons mystery, Manhunter calls on local heroes — and even villains — to navigate the twilight world of the U.S.-Mexican border, invoking the wrath of Director Bones and the DEO!

Kirk Says: Manhunter is awesome. It just came back. Last issue is a perfect jumping on point. Hell, even this issue should be. Go buy it, there's not much else coming out this week and you owe it to yourself to buy a book this good!

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer and Sandu Florea

Nightwing confronts Talia and the evil Doctor Creighton at a deserted castle on the banks of the Hudson River. Strange alliances are formed and new enemies are made as "Freefall" comes to its unbelievable and tragic conclusion.

Kirk Says: All I can say is I'm happy this Freefall story is coming to a conclusion. Nightwing has been a fantastic read since Tomasi took over, mainly for the characterization and treatment of Dick, but the actual plot with the stealing of corpses and what not has been rather uninspired. Still a great title, but it can definitely improve on the plot aspect.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Butch Guice

Revealed: The secret history of the Ultimate Universe! For the first time in 70 years, a strange object within Project Pegasus has awoken – as bit by fascinating bit, the long buried mysteries are being exposed! Journey back to World War II, and discover that the deadliest threat to young Steve Rogers was not the Nazis, but an ancient threat from worlds beyond! The dream team of Brian Michael Bendis (SECRET INVASION) and Butch Guice (CAPTAIN AMERICA,) continue the Ultimate series of the year that is a must-read lead-in to ULTIMATUM!

Kirk Says: The first issue didn't really offer up much story in my opinion. At least, not enough to justify the price. It also read incredibly fast, like under 2 minutes, easily. I gave it an Avoid It verdict, but it was more on principle than the actual quality of the book. You just weren't missing anything by not picking up that issue. Mutants were created by evil Canadians with Wolverine as the first mutant, Nick Fury was a super soldier test subject and that's all you need to know about last issue. Two pages and the rest was all, basically, filler.

So, while I was disappointed with the first issue, I'm hoping the second will follow up on those two major happenings with some actual story and content this time around. For those still wary, I'd wait on the trade to save yourself some money.

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Zeromus said...

It breaks my heart that you're not enjoying RIP. :(

Have you tried going back and going through all of Grant Morrison's issues and then reading it? It is so good, Kirk it is so good :( :( :( :(

Kirk Warren said...

I've reread the entire run and enjoyed all of it up until Resurrection of Ra's and then it's like the wheels fell off the wagon for me. Don't know what happened or why it just went to hell for me. =(

Eric said...

I agree with about Bianchi's art, at least on the X-Men. I do love his art but putting him AXM is strange to say the least. I think he is a complete mismatch for the book.

Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat interested by the new Squadron Supreme series. I'm not very familiar with the writer though (i've heard his name before, i just can't remember reading anything by him)

Kirk Warren said...

Supreme Power writer is Howard Chaykin (spelling?). He did American Flagg back way back when but is mostly doing art these days, if I recall correctly. He was the guy responsible for those horrible Wolverine / Lazerus artwork and Immortal Iron Fist Annual with the giant chins.

Not sure how he'll do on SP2, but I kind of lost interest when JMS just gave up on the series a while back.

Ethereal said...

I'll try out Astonishing X-Men, I don't have high hopes for the title, however I do like bianchi's art (from what I've seen, I haven't seen much). Wait and see I guess.

I'll be reading Batman and Nightwing, I dropped Robin with Dixon leaving (Wow that sucks ;/). I don't think R.I.P is as bas as you say it is, but I was definitely looking for it to be better. Are we going to get a bunch of bad issues because of the movie coming out?

I think I'll be trying out Manhunter this week. She's got me interested and with the amount of books I've been dropping lately I'm a little excited to pick up something new.

Speaking of Manhunter; have you added her Volumes to your Amazon store? Maybe add the Astonishing X-men ones too. Might be good for relaunching titles ;)

Cat said...

I know what your saying about Bianchi's art...not a fan.
I hated the Ra's storyline in Batman but RIP is ok. My big problem is his trust in this "girlfiend" seemed to come out of nowhere but I'm guessing there is more to it than we know.

Ultimate Origins is next week.
You know what's funny? Invincible Iron Man #3 is next week...and we still have even yet to see Iron Man Viva Las Vegas #2....Imagine that....a big time director and Adi on the book = about 2 issues a year. LOL.

Rich said...

Wow. Last week was an avalanche of comics, and this week only one on my pull will be released (Avengers/Invaders #3). I bought the Wondermark hardcover at HeroesCon too, and it's fun.

I am excited that the Darwyn Cooke issue of Jonah Hex is coming out.

Salieri said...

I'm feeling a little worried about Ellis' AXM run, for one reason: in interviews, Ellis talked about how the estimate of '198 mutants' might be wrong, especially as there are countries in the turmoil of war who wouldn't admit how many mutants they have. Now, the thing is...couldn't they just use Cerebra to find all the mutants?

Kevin T. said...

"Howard Chaykin (spelling?)"

No worries, that's how it's spelled.

"I'm somewhat interested by the new Squadron Supreme series."

I was a huge fan of Straczynski's squadron, but from what the solicits tell me, they don't really appear, and it looks like Chaykin's pushing his own squadron with Nick Fury and those astronauts. The art certainly doesn't do Gary Frank justice, but if it turns out well, I think I might get the trade.

Also: I'm on a trial run on Manhunter thanks to you, Kirk, and everyone else should give it a try as well!

Kirk Warren said...

@ethreal - I have Manhunter there, but must have forgotten Astonishing. I'm going to have to take a look at the store and update the listings again. I've let other work pile up and keep me from getting back to it since I putthe store together.

@cat - the girlfriend does feel forced and is one of the major problem I have with RIP. I'm hoping they at least try and pass it off as some brainwashing trust issue and make her aa badguy in the end.

@rich - Hmm, Darwyn Cooke is a favourite of mine, but never got into Hex.

@salieri - It's been said lots of times that 198 is just a made up number to drive home the point of how few mutants there are. It sounds better than "a couple hundred" and they never intended there to be only 198. Mutant Zero is just one instance of it.

Now, how Cerebra cant' find the exact number is a bit odd, but I wouldn't put the blame on Ellis unless he balloons the population up into the 1000's or something.

@kevin - Glad to see you giving Manhunter a shot! It's definitely worth a look and I'd recommend the first trade (which is like $10 or so) to anyone else unsure if they want to commit the $3 to a single issue and not get a full story arc.

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