Monday, July 7, 2008

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 07/09/08

July is kicking into high gear after a slow first week with the release of comics such as Secret Invasion #4, JSA #17, Nova #15 and the first of several planned Final Crisis tie-ins with Requiem, the Martian Manhunter tribute book.

I couldn't find confirmation, but I think Booster Gold #1,000,000 is due out this week, too. If it comes out, I'll be picking that up as well.

Be sure to let me know if you think I've missed anything you think I should be reading and enjoy the previews!

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal

In "Brainiac," Part 2 of 4, Brainiac arrives in Earth's orbit as the specter of death begins to close in on Superman. The Man of Steel has fought Brainiac many times before, but he's utterly unprepared for his old foe this time. And if that weren't enough, thousands of invader probes have been launched with the sole mission of destroying all technology on Earth! Dramatic changes are ahead for Superman, and it all starts with this attack!

Kirk Says: "Brainiac" started off with a lot of promise last month and it looks like Johns will be picking up the pace with this issue.

One thing that I hope happens is that this supposed invasion and destruction of all Earth's technology is reflected in scenes showing other heroes stepping up to help. I can't imagine the JLA or JSA not taking notice of something like this.

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Kevin Maguire

Batgirl and Catwoman keep crossing paths and wrestling over a notebook stolen from Commissioner Gordon. But who's the mysterious third party involved? And where's he pointing that big gun?

Kirk Says: I've been loving Fabian and Maguire's arc on Confidential and am really looking forward to more of the same in this month's issue. Does anyone know what Maguire's been doing lately? I can't think of any comics he's done besides this one outside of a random mini-series or what have you. I'd love to see him return to a monthly comic again, like Booster Gold or JLA.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs

A "Batman: R.I.P." issue — and part 1 of the 5-part story "The Return of Hush!"

Readers who were surprised by Catwoman's return last month haven't see anything yet as Hush makes a dramatic return to the life of Batman. What will this mean for Bruce Wayne? This epic story kicks off the countdown to DETECTIVE #850!

Kirk Says: I don't see this issue having anything, whatsoever, to do with Batman RIP, especially after Grant Morrison has said he has no clue what these tie-ins are about and that his story is self-contained in Batman, but I like most of Dini's Detective run and am always a fan of Catwoman and Batman together, so I'll be picking this up to see what happens.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

A very special FINAL CRISIS one-shot honoring the passing of a great hero who's been a staple in the DC Universe for years. All that remains is one final memory that the League experiences together as they must fulfill his last wishes or die trying.

Kirk Says: I'm only buying this because of Tomasi and Mahnke, who last teamed up for the amazing Black Adam mini-series last year. I have no interest in the Martian Manhunter and I'm completely indifferent to the fact he was "killed" by Grant Morrison in Final Crisis, so I'm mostly relying on the creative team to make this interesting for me and I'm confident that Tomasi and Mahnke can do just that.

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Paul Pelletier

Beware the return of…Starhawk! First it was the recovery of a ceratin world-famous shield…and now the enigmatic Starhawk reigns death from above! How and why is this original Guardian of the Galaxy here in our reality, and what does his ominous arrival mean for our motley crew of freedom fighters? The mysteries continue to deepen and the craziness comes hot and heavy in the book that raves “packs more awesome than the rest of Marvel and DC’s lineup combined.”

Kirk Says: I'm liking Guardians of the Galaxy and it's definitely one of the best new titles to come out this year, but I'm still a little put off by the narrative and a few other quirks in the title. Thus, this title has yet to grab me like Abnett and Lanning's Nova title, but it's still a great title in its own right.

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvador Larroca

Iron Man’s new ongoing series soars to armor-melting speeds! New fans, get in on this one now, ‘cause the getting is good! Longtime Iron Man readers, strap in, because Tony Stark’s about
to face a shocking new menace…one that’s oddly familiar! Is this all part of Ezekiel Stane’s
unstoppable plan to destroy his sworn enemy, Iron Man?! Has Tony’s incomparable intellect, genius technical acuity and vast business acumen finally met their match in the brilliant young Zeke? How’s ol’ Tony gonna get out of this one? Written by Matt Fraction (IMMORTAL IRON FIST) with mind-blowing art by Salvador Larroca (UNCANNY X-MEN)!

Kirk Says: With Director of SHIELD going down the toilets and more than likely being lined up for cancellation now that the Knaufs are off it, I'm going to either have to start liking Fraction's movie-like Invincible Iron Man if I'm going to keep getting my Iron Man fix in the future.

It's not that Invincible is a bad title. It's more that it's so different from the Knauf's take and much more simplified, in terms of Tony's personality, Extremis and his present day continuity, that it feels like I'm reading a new Ultimate version of Iron Man instead of the 616 iteration and it's just been rather jarring for me. New readers should love this book, though.

Written by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham and Prentis Rollins

In Part 2 of "Gog," the Justice Society of America is split down the middle as their allegiance to the being known as Gog has disrupted the team. Are Gog's motives on the level, or is it all some insidious plot to destroy mankind?

Kirk Says: After one of the slowest paces in any story I've ever read, the whole Thy Kingdom Come thing is finally starting to go somewhere with Gog revealed and seemingly a good guy. Hopefully Johns will keep this story moving and not throw away any of the momentum he's finally started building in these last few issues.

NOVA #15
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wellinton Alves

Face-to-really-big-face with Galactus! He’s attempted to save evacuees, he’s tried to bring down a horrifying serial killer, he’s even gone one-on-one with the Silver Surfer…but now our lone space cop must take his plight directly to the Big G himself! But the question is: will this universal force of nature even listen? It’s got Galactus, Silver Surfer, Nova, crazy twists and pretty art—so don’t you owe it to yourself to check out the book that Ain’t It Cool News says “knocked my socks off with each and every issue”?

Kirk Says: Odd solicitation for this title. I was under the impression Galactus was done with the planet since he destroyed it last issue. Probably an outdated solicit, but the cover even has the Big G and Silver Surfer on the cover, so I guess their part of the story isn't over yet. Nova's one of the best book's on the market and this arc has been one of the best.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Leinel Yu

The world has turned upside down! The Skrulls have taken the Earth as part of their empire, the Avengers and Initiative are scattered...but there are two people who want some answers. One has a hammer and one has a shield.

Kirk Says: I can't believe it's only the 4th issue. It feels like this event has been going on for ages and we're only half way done. On top of that, nothing has even happened yet. It's been three issues of set up and Bendis dicking us around with "who's a Skrull?" and over the top action scenes that lack any substance or impact. Maybe the introduction of Nick Fury last issue will finally be enough to "start" this event.

With two of the faster workers, Bendis and Yu, on the title, Marvel really should have considered a bi-monthly schedule. Oh wait, silly me. You can't cash-in on 8 months of tie-ins that way.

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: *note - this is just copy and pasted from last week's previews since it was pushed back to this week

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.

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan

"Ends of the Earth" Part 3 of 4! Trapped on a world where her powers have betrayed her and brutal combat rules the day, Wonder Woman struggles to survive long enough to complete her unholy quest. But will victory cost Wonder Woman her soul? Featuring the long-awaited return of some of the most savage characters in DCU history, not to mention all-out war between Diana's Gorilla Knights and the Department of Metahuman Affairs!

Kirk Says: Wonder Woman has been one of DC's best since Gail Simone took over and she's made me a fan of a book and character I've typically hated and avoided at all costs over the years.

This Ends of the Earth storyline seems to be building to something important and has been entertaining so far and would make a good jumping on point for anyone interested in giving the character a shot or trying out a new book.

Related Posts


themaimedman said...

Hey at least somebody else is reading Nova. And I meant to comment in your T-Bolts review to agree wholehardedly about Ellis/Sampson ongoing, Brilliant!

Ethereal said...

Guardians of the Galaxy is only at issue 3, little typo there :P.

I havent started on Invincible Iron Man and don't really plan to. I got interested in the Knaufs version because Tony finally had a personality, Fraction hasn't give him one yet.

Nova looks promising, but I have no idea how Galactus is going to stay with this storyline, unless Silver Surfer pulls a Deus Ex and goes in to save Nova from the dead planet. Oh well, can't complain really.

I'm hoping JSA doesn't have too many Final Crisis tie-ins, but that it's being edited properly for the Final Crisis event, ex: why is Hal in the solicit?

I'm happu that Morrison is keeping Batman R.I.P self-contained, as I have no interest in picking up tie-ins.

You totally missed out on the Captain Britain and MI 13 Preview. Here's the solicit:

It's Science Fiction versus Fantasy as the war machines of the unstoppable Skrull army invade the magical realm of Avalon. Can Pete Wisdom and the rest of MI 13 keep the Skrulls from taking control of the world's magic? Will this be our heroes' finest hour? Or has the sun finally set on the British Isles? And what is Spitfire doing to that Skrull on the cover?

I think we might get a little more info into Spitfire being a vampire (maybe introduction of Blade this issue?). I don't really get the whole Skrulls into Avalon thing, but I like the character cast.

Eric said...

I'm glad I am not the only one underwhelmed with SI. I was expecting a lot more since the build up in NA pre-CW was some of my favorite work on the title. I was also shocked when SI wasn't announce as bi-monthly because I thought there was no way for the book to maintain its momentum for 8 months.

I am enjoying Wonder Woman but the current arc seems dull to me for some reason. Its good but boring which is kind of weird to say the least.

Cat said...

Booster is out this week according to Diamond. Also check out Marvel's shipping updates:

Millars Wolverine #67 delayed 1 week
Millars FF #559 delayed 2 weeks (pushing the nest 2 issues on a 2 week delay too)
Hulk #5 delayed a week
Iron Man Viva Las Vegas #2 delayed again another week

DC has one recent delay: All Star Superman #12 (delayed 2 weeks till 8/20

Anyways...enough of my griping.
I also agree SI would have worked better bi-weekly.

Kirk Warren said...

@themaimedman - Nova's a great book and I'm hoping the trade sales are high enough to make up for the "low" (think it's like 30-40k range, which is near Marvel's cutoff, DC has lower cutoffs for series it seems) sales. Shame more people don't pick it up, but comics are damn expensive and I can understand the desire to "not break runs" or follow your favourite character, even through rough spots.

@ethreal - *quickly edits GotG* What typo? I don't see any typo. Ahaha, =p

I loved that about the Knaufs' run too. Tony wasn't just a strawman used to be the villain with no personality or character development like in other books. Only Captain America and DoS seemed to portray him fairly and the current Invincible book just seems like a different character to me.

About Nova, I'm thinking Surfer might save him too, but it could be interesting to see if DnA introduce some conflict with Galactus because of it.

I saw Captain Britain solicited, but I can't get any copies of issue 1 and 2 and was just going to wait and buy the eventual trade.

@eric - Ya, the buildup to Secret Invasion was horrible. Just consisted of Bendis telling, not showing, us the event was coming and important. So, when it finally got here, it just seems like it came out of nowhere and my interest is next to none and everything seems to be happening because Bendis says it will, not because the story dictates it.

Really don't see this thing maintaining fan interest over the course of the next few months, but the introduction of Bucky/Cap, Thor and Iron Man in future issues might be enough to spark some interest.

@cat - I wasn't sure about Booster 1 mill because DC had it listed for like 3 or 4 weeks time, which seemed a big difference with Diamond's listings.

Were those delays officially announced or are they simply catalog updating, whichsees "delays" quite a bit due to Marvel and DC being lazy with their release lists?

I only ask because the Wolverine delay seems odd since it's a second issue and the Fantastic Four is equally odd as they announced they were like 8 or 9 issues in the can already.

Eric said...

@Kirk: For some reason Bendis's work has dropped in quality since Civil War, aside from USM. The conspiracy from his early NA work was something I was really looking forward to but ever since he has started the SI build up I just want to get over with. Its really disappointing.

Cat said...

@Kirk: They aren't official delays announced by Marvel. I guess I'm wrong calling them delays. They are books that were solicited at a point then resolicited with a later date. Looks like a delay to me.....especially Iron Man Viva Las vegas :-)

andrewsaltz said...

Not to brown-nose, but your take on GotG is great. It takes a very sophisticated critic to say "I don't care for it, but it's worth reading". Keep up the good work.

Oh, and you have yet to comment on the ending to Cable...if you read it sober, avoid sharp object and firearms.

Kirk Warren said...

@eric - Hmm, it's hard to say if it's dropped since Civil War. He's never really excelled at the group / non-street power level super hero genre in the past and I think SI might just be too ambitious a project for him.

To be fair, he wanted it to be an Avengers event, not a summer blockbuster like it's swollen up to be.

His Powers, when it actually comes out, is still good and USM, as you said, is always great.

@cat - Heh, ya, it's kind of arguing semantics with delay vs pushed back / rescheduled, but I've been looking at previews for the past year every monday or so and everytime I do advanced previews (like copy and paste everything for the next several weeks), it ends up having a bunch of random books "delayed" because the Marvel and DC sites were just not updated until the books are practically in the shops.

That's the only I asked if these were "offical" delays or just chagnes on the respective websites. I know Vegas has been delayed and is quickly turning into the Kevin Smith Daredevil / Bullseye 2 parter.

@andrew - I dropped Cable a while back (like issue 2 or 3, forget). It was just too painful to read. I read spoilers on it and saw some scans, but do you mean the fact the time machine that was broken in the first couple of issues wasn't broken and Cable was just a retard when he tried to use it earlier?

Ya, that makes me want to bang my head on the wall and fills me with nothing but fear at how bad Iron Fist is going to get next month.

Salieri said...

Damn Dini and his stupid 'ruin all of Grant Morrison's stories' mission. They should really just do for him the same as Marvel did for Claremont - shove him on his own little book where he can't do any more harm. A 'Harley Quinn' ongoing, perhaps. Or a continuation of 'The Batman Adventures'.

quelonio said...

It seems to be a weird conspiracy to make me drop Fraction related comics:

The Order: Cancelled

Punisher War Journal: Chaykin

Immortal Iron Fist: Swierzynski

Zeromus said...

This is an awesome week!

And yeah, pretty much nothing has happened in Secret Invasion, but I'm enjoying it as a summer-blockbuster-action-comic-with-pretty-pictures sort of thing. :p

Salieri said...

Ditto, Zeromus. The presence of LF Yu alone is enough to tempt me towards future purchase of the trade.

Girl Friday said...

Are you picking up "I Kill Giants" from Image? I think you should.

And Tomasi and Mahnke are the only reason I'm grabbing Requiem too. Speaking of Black Adam, how about they get put on an ongoing monthly about him?

Okay, fine. An 8 issue mini?

Kirk Warren said...

@quelonio - I hear you. I feel the there's some weird conspiracy going around with the mass cancellations or creative team shifts in most of my must read books lately.

@zeromus - Oh, I agree. Secret Invasion is very much the Bad Boys or Transformers or other summer blockbuster movie of the comic world this summer. I imagine it will probably read a hell of a lot better when it's all said and done, but it's just hard for me to get emotionally invovled or interested in it for some reason.

@girl friday - Ohhh, I've heard of I Kill Giants. That's by Joe Kelly, isn't it? I'll keep an eye out for it at the shop on Thursday (I know comics are delayed in America due to July 4th [even if it was last week], not sure if us canuckleheads will get them on wednesday or not).

And, yes, Tomasi / Mahnke Black Adam ongoing. Make it happen DC!

mq1986 said...

Hehe, I'm a bit of a loser, but I love reading literature so Johns' "Justice Society of America" has just been really great for me, despite the admittedly slow momentum which has been turning people off. But I still love it.

As with a lot of Marvel titles, "Guardians of the Galaxy" started strong and then ended up being disappointing or losing focus.

And yes, "Wonder Woman" has been excellent. Gail Simone is definitely one of the second-tier writers at DC, besides the first-tier Morrison, Johns. I don't know why they don't get her to write more.

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