Monday, July 28, 2008

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 07/30/08

Quick bit of linkage before we get started on the Post-Crisis Previews. Mental Magma sent me an email asking me to share the news of a contest they are currently running. It's called the I'm Not Not Batman contest and to enter, all you need do is name a real life celebrity that you think could be Batman and provide one or two sentences explaining your choices. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate for and you can go directly to the contest page by clicking here.

In preview news, this week is looking pretty good with a Jason Aaron penned Black Panther issue, more Old Man Logan, the consistently good Ultimate Spider-Man, two of my favourite DC titles, Blue Beetle and Catwoman, and several other comics.

Before I let you go, I'd just like to remind anyone that missed the posts on the weekend. I'm now accepting guest post submissions from anyone willing to submit a review, editorial or opinion piece. You can read more about that in the original post. An example of a guest post can be seen in the first of my five part guest post series asking other bloggers why they buy the books they do.

I've already had several people contact me about guest posts opportunities here at the Weekly Crisis and I'll be posting some more defined guidelines later this week. Also, stay on the look out for the upcoming one year anniversary on August 1st. I'll be running contests every day, starting on the anniversary, for a week and you can chime in now with any thoughts or ideas on possible prizes in the suggestion post I made on the weekend.

Lastly, there's a new poll up on the right asking you what you think the biggest news to come out of last weekend's Comic Con International. This poll allows multiple answers and I'm sure I probably left some big news out, but I tried my best to cover most of the major announcements. Personally, I love the new Wizard of Oz from Skottie Young and the Neil Gaiman on Batman announcement caught me completely off guard and was probably the best announcement to come out of the show. I'll post a breakdown of the voting in a pretty piechart for everyone at the end of the week, so get out there and vote and let your voice be heard!

Hit the jump to view this week's previews and be sure to let me know what books you'll be picking up, what you think of my choices or if there's anything you think I'm missing on my pull list.

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Jefte Palo

3-part tie-in to “Secret Invasion,” written by guest-writer Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE)!
When the Skrulls come to town, it's all-out war in Wakanda. The alien invaders have war ships, advanced technology, super-powered soldiers and an army that outnumbers the Wakandans ten to one. Cake walk, right? Think again. There’s a reason Wakanda had never been conquered – and the Skrulls are about to find out why…the hard way.

Kirk Says: Black Panther? What's that doing on my pull list? Ohhhh, Jason Aaron is writing it. That explains everything.

While it's still a Secret Invasion tie-in, the fact Aaron is involved is more than enough reason for me to give this issue of the much maligned Black Panther title a go this month.

Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

New series writer Matthew Sturges (JACK OF FABLES, HOUSE OF MYSTERY) comes aboard to kick off "Boundaries," with returning series artist Rafael Albuquerque! As Blue Beetle struggles to establish himself as the protector of El Paso and Cuidad Juarez, he finds himself thrown into the heart of the immigration struggle, made all the more complicated by the involvement of Intergang — and another, more mysterious, figure. Coming at you straight outta Texas, Sturges takes our hero into new territory as Beetle works out his responsibilities as both a hero in the DC Universe and a citizen of a border town.

Kirk Says: While the issues following John Rogers' departure from Blue Beetle have managed to maintain the fun and unique feel of the Blue Beetle title, it's been painfully obvious that the book was simply treading water with the fill-in writers unable to really progress any major or minor subplots on a book they were only doing one issue of.

That all changes this issue as Matthew Sturges takes over as the ongoing writer for this title. As far as I know, Sturges hasn't done any mainstream work, aside from finishing up Salvation Run when Willingham was forced to take a leave of absense.

However, with Sturges' work on Jack of Fables, I'm confident he has the chops to handle this book and look forward to some consistency and progression for the title now that a new writer has finally settled in.

Written by Will Pfeifer
Art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez

Catwoman's on the run in Gotham City once more. Can she stay one step ahead of Batman while trying to turn the tables on the man who's destroyed her life?

Kirk Says: I thought Catwoman "turned the tables on the man who's destroyed her life" last issue? Can't really recommend anyone pick this title up since it's already cancelled, but it was a fun ride and the book has been top notch since getting away from those forced Salvation Run tie-ins. Sad to see it go, but I'll enjoy these last few issues for what they are.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert

"GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN" Part 5 of 6! Hal and Sinestro continue to battle Abin Sur's killer, but will these two Green Lanterns become enemies before they become friends? And what strange secrets within Abin Sur's power ring concern the massacre of Space Sector 666?

Kirk Says: Wow, it's been five issues of Secret Origin and nothing has happened outside of maybe 4 new pages of story.

However, this solicit makes it sound like we're finally getting to the new stuff and Sinestro is always entertaining to read, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this issue far more than previous offerings.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jerry Ordway

"Welcome to Earth-2!" Power Girl has made a life for herself on our world, as a member and chairwoman of the Justice Society of America and as a hero in her own right.

But she's never stopped dreaming of one day returning to her Earth — the parallel world where the members of the Justice Society were the only heroes. Where her best friend was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman. And where evil was a little easier to fight…wasn't it? As her greatest wish comes true, Power Girl's about to find herself back on Earth-2, surrounded by friends she thought she'd lost forever.

Kirk Says: Not a huge fan of Power Girl and she has one of the worst "origins" ever, ranging from Earth-2 to Atlantis based nonsense that requires Wikipedia to make heads nor tails of, making it that much harder to even learn about the character, let alone like her.

Add to this the obvious T&A factor that serves no purpose other than as cheesecake and she's a very one dimensional character in every story I've read that has put a spotlight on her. Yes, even those Supergirl / Nightwing & Firebird issues.

Here's hoping Johns can put some shine and polish on the character with this return to Earth-2 that can make even someone as jaded as me think about picking up her upcoming monthly title.

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Barry Kitson

As the situation in the Negative Zone continues devolving, Ben and Johnny realize that their one chance to get back home resides with a criminal mastermind...trapped in Reed's prison for non-registered heroes and villains! It's the new Fantastic Four, True believers--the Thing, the Human Torch, Franklin, and Valeria--making one last-ditch attempt to save the Baxter Building from complete destruction!

Kirk Says: Issue one was very ho-hum, but issue two told a great story that shed some light on the Human Torch / Lyja relationship and set up a promising third issue. Still no real answers on Sue or Reed's role in Secret Invasion or what their current status is, but I haven't regretted buying these issues and have enjoyed them more than most Secret Invasion tie-ins.

Written by Greg Pak
Art by Ron Garney

Whose terrible stride shakes the war-torn wastelands of Sakaar? Whose blind Shadow Priest calls for the blood of babes? Whose barbarian horde rides monsters through your nightmares? Behold and lament, my beautiful son, for the Axeman Cometh!

Kirk Says: While that cover is stunning, I'm leary of picking this issue up based on what issue one offered us. Even Ron Garney let me down with that first issue, returning to a sketchy, over inked style compared to his recent Wolverine tenure with Jason Aaron.

While Skaar was far from terrible, it was far from good, too. Unless Pak works some magic on this second issue, I don't know if I'll be sticking around for much longer.

THOR #10
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Olivier Coipel

J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel’s unstoppable new vision of Thor barrels on stronger than ever! As the Asgardians returned to this life and Thor returned to Midgard, so came the ills that have plagued the gods and man for millennia. Now for the first time since their rebirth, Thor and his fellow hero-gods are venturing forth from the Shining City to confront the growing evils that amass on their horizon…and within their walls…

Kirk Says: Thor is arguably the best book being put out by Marvel and if it could meet a monthly schedule, I'd probably rank it above Captain America based on the last several issues of the book.

My only worry is that JMS will rush the Loki subplot and have him/her ousted from Asgard too soon, removing the most interesting character in the title and any future storyline potentials his manipulations and behind the scenes maneuvering holds with the current status quo.

Written by Cary Bates
Art by Paul Gulacy

Super heroes running a female fight club? Unbelievable perhaps, but it's a tale of depravity that will send shockwaves across the globe once the sordid details appear on a podcast uploaded by the TRUE BELIEVERS! Who are these counter-culture subversives with strange powers and abilities who have proclaimed themselves 'warriors of the information age'? The True Believers not only speak truth to power, they wield it like a weapon using it to root out lies and deception, cover-ups and conspiracies wherever they find them. Whether it’s S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Illuminati, HYDRA or Weapon X, the CIA or the CSA, no target is too big and no one is off-limits—including a wary superhuman community with plenty of its own secrets to hide!

Kirk Says: For how long that solicit is, I have no idea what this book is about. From what I gather, they are a blogger / trashy tabloid journalist team set in the Marvel Universe. The only reason I'm picking it up is based on that hilarious Reed Richards DUI cover for issue two or three. Anyone know anything about this title? I'll probably just flip through it at the shop before deciding whether to actually purchase it or not.

Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen

“War of the Symbiotes” rages on – as the Ultimate Beetle takes flight! Deep inside the corporate headquarters of Roxxon lies a vial containing the creepy black symbiote substance…or at least it did, until the Beetle stole it! Can Spider-Man capture this bug thug before disaster strikes, and what is Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s interest in the stolen material? The answers await in the book that has Ain’t It Cool News saying “It’s got excitement, emotion, action…I have such love for this book.”

Kirk Says: Ultiamte Beetle? Interesting. Makes sense with the Roxxon storyline. Anyone know if the Beetle appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game this storyline seems to be built around?

Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven

Logan owes the Hulk Gang. He owes them big, and they’re not the kind to let a debt slide, even for the guy who—50 years ago—called himself Wolverine. So Logan’s agreed to a crazy ride across America with the blind archer, Hawkeye, to deliver a package to the East Coast. First stop: San Francisco…but only if Logan and Hawkeye can make it past—the GHOST RIDERS. MARK MILLAR and STEVE MCNIVEN—the best-selling creative team of the 21st century—continue the biggest Wolverine story the future has ever seen! Part 2 (of 8)

Kirk Says: First issue of Old Man Logan was great. Really looking forward to more Millar and McNiven goodness. Come on, it even has the Spider-Mobile! What more could ask for?

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Eric said...

About the Beetle, he was in the USM and with the same or similar costume. He was a industrial spy of some sort and he stole samples of the Sandman and had something to do with Osborn. I also believe he might have been involved with Latveria(sp?).

Tyler said...

yeah he got away from spider-man by going to the latverian embassy

Andrenn said...

I'm getting Skaar and Wolverine this week.

I'm a little worried if Skaar will get better, or worse. While I enjoyed the first issue, the one year jump really ruined the momentum it was building. I'm hoping it will become worth it with this Skaar fight. Also that it is more than just a fight on 2 dragons. From the way the solicits sound, things won't really pick up until #3.

Ethereal said...

I'm going to read the JSA Annual, I re-read Kingdom Come today, and Justice yesterday, so I'm kind of excited for more big-team stuff from Johns. I hope you're right, and I'm happy they made this the annual.

I'm also going to be reading GL, as usual. After the news of Flash: Rebirth I'm curious as to what the quality of Green Lantern will be in the following months, obviously this whole Secret Origin thing is just follow-up, prologue, introductory stuff that should probably have been a mini-series, or the annual, but if the impending doom of the Lanterns is as good as I think it will be, I can't complain.

Not much else out there that really interests, maybe Wolverine but I'm still not convinced.

What's with the Thor cover? Looks like an 8 year olds coloring book.

Kirk Warren said...

@eric - I'm beginning to think more and more that the inclusion of this video game story is a bad thing. Bendis should have just started from scratch instead of the flashback / half the details story that makes me feel like I'm missing out on all kinds of information.

@andrenn - Agreed. It's building some interesting story momentum and then it just time skips a couple of times and it was very jarring.

@ethreal - I'm not seeing anything wrong with the Thor cover. The headstone, if I'm not mistaken, is a tribute to one of the colourists of the book that died, bu tother than the simplicity of it, I don't think it's any worse than other, now standard, single pose covers Marvel uses.

Dave said...

Can't wait for the next chapter of Green Lantern: Secret Origin! And, Ultimate Spider-Man!

ComicsAllTooReal's Chris said...

For some reason I thought Blue Beetle had already been cancelled... Is that book doing any good? I started reading it but left it because of all the rampant Latino clich├ęs. I thought it could have been good, though.

Now, Power Girl isn't such a bad character, isn't she? Her origin got finally streamlined to one that made sense to all of her incarnations. For once, I thought her presence in the Infinite Crisis was the most refreshing point of the entire series.

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