Written by Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art by Harvey Tolibao
SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!
"The Only Good Skrull..."
With the NEW AVENGERS and the MIGHTY AVENGERS trapped in the Savage Land, it's up to the AVENGERS INITIATIVE to face off against the first major strike of the Skrull Invasion! There, on the field of battle, the cadet with the biggest secret has to choose how red (or green) his blood really is. Heroes will fall. Heroes will die. And one shall rise. All THIS and: A new cowardly low for ANT-MAN! A new danger for WAR MACHINE! And 3-D MAN gains a "killer" new "krew"!
Kirk Says: Holy crap, a Skrull "homage" cover that actually makes sense in the context of the issue it adorns. That's got to be a first for Marvel since they started spamming these
Written by Greg Rucka & Ed Brubaker
Art by Michael Lark
Part 3 of "Cruel and Unusual" with special guest co-writer Greg Rucka joining the acclaimed DD creative team! Daredevil and Dakota North have investigated all angles of the brutal murders that Big Ben Donovan sits on Death Row for, and all they've come up with is more questions and conspiracies. Why does Big Ben want to be executed for a crime he probably didn't commit? And why does the government want Dakota and Matt Murdock off the case? Find out these answers and more!
Kirk Says: I hope this stint on Daredevil convinces Rucka to do more Daredevil with Brubaker in the future because this storyarc has been the best the title has been since Devil in Cell Block D, way back when Brubaker first took over for Bendis. Anyone know what kind of, if any, contract Rucka is under over at DC (not sure how he's working on a Marvel book as it is since I assumed he was a DC exclusive)?
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #26
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason and Drew Geraci
It's the action-packed conclusion of "Ring Quest"! Kyle, Guy, Sodam Yat, Arisia, Soranik and other members of the Green Lantern Corps wage an all-out battle against Mongul and the mysterious Mother Mercy.
Kirk Says: Ring Quest went in an odd direction, but it's finally come back to what I had been hoping for from the start - Mongul kicking Green Lantern ass. I imagine the ending of this issue will lead to that promo image of Mongul holding the Star Sapphire ring (or was that a Red Lantern ring? Colouring looked pinkish to me) and I'm curious to see what leads him to seeking out more rings instead of solidifying his Sinestro Corps leadership position.
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #17
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Travel Foreman
“The Mortal Iron Fist" part 1 of 4
Marvels’ kickingest, punchingest, kung-fu-iest book just got bigger! Following the character-redefining, critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite events of “The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven,” the all-new IMMORTAL IRON FIST creative team of Duane Swierczynski (CABLE) and Travel Foreman (ARES) takes it to the next explosive level! Think you know everything there is to know about the traditions of the Immortal Iron Fist? If you do, then why’s Danny sweating bullets over an inescapable legacy that’s haunted the Iron Fists for centuries, huh? Tell us that, if you’re so smart. What was the deeper meaning of Xao’s ominous threat? And what incredible new adventure are Danny’s fellow Immortal Weapons embarking upon?
Kirk Says: One chance, that's all Duane "I write Cable" Swierczynski is getting as the new Iron Fist writer and that is only because I loved Brubaker and Fraction's version so much. If this ends up as bad as I'm expecting, I may have to write an angry forum post or say mean things on the internet about Marvel.
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottely
New costume! New beginning! New home! New Partner! Everything is all-new starting with this issue. Featuring an all-new cover by comic book super-star JIM LEE! If you’ve ever thought about reading INVINCIBLE this is the jumping-on point you’ve been waiting for. The next fifty issues start here!
Kirk Says: I find it hard to believe Jim Lee could draw something so hideous (okay, it's not that bad, by normal standards, but this is Jim Lee for chrissakes!). It doesn't look anything like a Jim Lee drawing either. Did he throw that together at a convention sketch session?
As for the new costume, I'm not a fan. I believe it's an attempt at recapturing the dynamics of the Spider-Man black costume switch over back in the 80's, but Invincible had one of the best looking new costumes in all of comicdom and the primarily yellow colour scheme was both striking and memorable - something this new version is most definitely not.
I'm sure I'll love the comic still, which seems to be coming out on a monthly basis again, and the introduction of his brother as a sidekick should be interesting, but I'll miss the old costume and I'll keep hoping this is just a short term and very temporary thing.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #44
Written by Jim Shooter
Art by Francis Manapul and Livesay; Variant Cover by Neal Adams
On planet Velmar V, the invincible Ikilles has already trashed Timber Wolf and Shadow Lass. Now, the Legion's last hope is — Invisible Kid?! Meanwhile, while the rest of the weary, wounded Rimbor Team fights an army of heavily armed Science Police, Atom Girl squares off against the vicious Commodore. And on Earth the mysterious M'Rissey awes everyone with his unexpected power!
Kirk Says: While I don't expect this version of the Legion to survive past Legion of Three Worlds, I'm still enjoying every issue of Shooter's run on the title. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely filling that team super-hero adventure / drama gap in my pull list and it's a tonne of fun to boot.
NEW AVENGERS #43
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Billy Tan
SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!
SPIDER-MAN VERSUS CAPTAIN AMERICA IN THE JUNGLES OF THE SAVAGE LAND! But who is who and what is what?? At least one of these people isn't who they say they are. Plus a huge chapter in the Secret Invasion story as more information as to how the Skrulls set their major plans in motion is revealed...
Guest-starring Ka-Zar and Shanna and featuring spectacular artwork from rising star Billy Tan.
Kirk Says: I'm guessing this will consist of Spider-Man making, "are you a Skrull", jokes and the fake Captain America Skrull acting like he's the real deal even though everyone and their mother knows he's not. Oh, and there won't be a lick of actual story content or Secret Invasion revelations found in this issue either.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista and Cam Smith
The events of "Batman R.I.P." carve a path of destruction through Tim's life, threatening to rip apart the entire foundation of what made him choose to take on the role of Robin in the first place.
Tim's on the run and, with Batman's life at stake, he can't afford to make one misstep. Don't miss Part 1 of a shocking 2-part story that will irrevocably change Tim Drake's present as Robin…and his hard-won future as Batman.
Kirk Says: If this is anything like the Detective Comics' RIP tie-in, I'm going to be extremely disappointed with DC, especially after seeing the death of Jason Todd cover homage they are using here.
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Fernando Blanco
SECRET INVASION strikes Thunderbolts Mountain as Captain Marvel attacks! But when you're dealing with the Thunderbolts, it's never quite clear who's the villain and who's the hero...Also, another unexpected visitor shows up, threatening to tear the T-Bolts apart from within! Can Norman Osborn hold his team of damaged psyches and tortured souls together, or is this the end of the Thunderbolts as we know them? Part 1 of 4.
Kirk Says: Odd. I know Ellis is off Thunderbolts now, but I thought these Secret Invasion tie-ins were going to be in a mini-series and outside of the Thunderbolts title proper.
Regardless, while I like Gage as a writer, I'm not confident in his portrayal of the over the top Ellis version of the Thunderbolts team and adding an SI tie-in into the mix only compounds my worries. However, Gage did wonders with the WWH: X-Men tie-in, so this could just as easily work out in his favour.
ULTIMATE X-MEN #96
Written by Aron Eli Coliete
Art by Mark Brooks
X-Men vs. X-Men! After their attack on Alpha Flight, Colossus and his team are wanted fugitives! Worse, they’ve become addicted to the insidious drug known as Banshee! Now it’s up to the other X-Men to take them down. Yes, it’s mutant vs. mutant! When the X-Men go to war with each other, who wins? Plus, the startling revelation of Jean Grey! Where did she go after defeating Apocalypse? Find out here!
Kirk Says: Coliete has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the struggling Ultimate X-Men title, which hasn't been good since around the Magnetic North storyline several years ago, and I've had nothing but good things to say about this title since he took over for Kirkman several months back. While I'm leary of seeing the mention of the abyssmal Apocalypse storyline that recently ended, I'm still looking forward to seeing what Coliete has in store for us this time around.
UNCANNY X-MEN #500
Written by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction
Art by Terry Dodson
Tracing by Greg Land
“SFX”, PART 1!
Sentinels? What? And Magneto? And is that the Master Mold? What the hell is going on in San Francisco now that the Uncanny X-Men have relocated there? They’ve got a new Headquarters and a new status quo as the gauntlet is thrown for a new era of mutantkind. It’s all here in the double-sized anniversary issue that sets up the plotlines that will be developed over the next year in UNCANNY. And it’s all brought to you by the hot writing team of Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction (Immortal Iron Fist) and fan favorite artists Greg Land (ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY) and Terry Dodson (SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT, Wonder Woman). New creators, new home. The future begins now.
Kirk Says: On one hand, we have Brubaker and Fraction, former co-writers on Immortal Iron Fist, partnering up on Uncanny X-Men for the first time and the promise of Magneto's return.
On the other, we have Greg "I trace for a living" Land on the art chores. Also, Brubaker's UXM has been average, at best, compared to his other work at Marvel and Fraction will have to work a lot of magic to make me a believer in following Uncanny every month again.