On a personal interest level, I'm happy to be finally be able to pick up NYX and Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane again. Manhunter is also coming out, rounding out my most anticipated list of items this week.
In other news, don't miss out on the One Year Later Anniversary Giveaways I've been running all week to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Weekly Crisis! You can find links to each of the contests on the sidebar to the right, directly under the RSS feed and Search boxes.
Each contest runs for one week and winners will be announced starting this Friday, so sign up before it's too late!
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Secrets shared years ago between Bruce Wayne and Tommy Elliott begin to have dangerous repercussions in the present. Why is this mystery driving Hush to destroy Batman's life? And what part does Catwoman play in Hush's plans?
Kirk Says: If this is anything like the last issue, this is about as far from a Batman RIP tie-in as it gets.
However, the first part of this Hush story was actually fairly decent and added some much needed fleshing out to the rather flakey motivation and origin of the Hush character.
For what it's worth, it was good enough to make me want to see this story through to the end.
FINAL CRISIS #3
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones
Batman missing in action! Superman immobilized! Green Lantern on trial for his life!
A shadow is falling across Earth's super heroes — and now it's Wonder Woman's turn to face the Evil Gods!
What bizarre warning from beyond awaits Frankenstein, The Question and the agents of S.H.A.D.E. in the shadows of the Dark Side Club? What grim fate lies in store for The Human Flame? What happens when the Anti-Life Equation hits the internet? Can the Fastest Men Alive outrun The Black Racer — Death himself? And who are the Justifiers?
The answers are all here as the unstoppable rise of evil continues in FINAL CRISIS #3 by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones.
Kirk Says: My predictions for Final Crisis #3 - Grant Morrison will give us another issue filled with questions, contradictions and other continuity gaffs without ever explaining anything until the last page when the Anti-Life Equation spills out into the world and 'evil wins', leaving us with a couple months of "planned" downtime *coughdelayscough* before we come back for a timeskip in FC #4.
Whether this is enough to give this event the kick in the pants it needs to get going or not remains to be seen. Here's hoping the layoff between issues doesn't lead to people just giving up and moving on to other things.
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #4
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Salvador Larroca
Iron Man and Zeke Stane have been dancing around one another like pieces on a chessboard, and it’s been all Tony Stark can do to hold on. After one of his closest allies is critically injured, Tony aims to put an end to the games with some serious upgrades. But while Iron Man readies himself, Zeke makes his most audacious assault yet, in an attack so stunning you have to see it to believe it. THE FIVE NIGHTMARES continues, and it only gets worse from here for THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN. By Matt Fraction (UNCANNY X-MEN) and Salvador Larroca (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN).
Kirk Says: We're already three issues into Invincible Iron Man and not much has really happened. I suppose it makes for a great introduction to Iron Man, but it's not like he's a new character. Panders too much to the movie crowd, too, but it's bringing in more readers than any other Iron Man book has ever managed. I'll have to learn to love it, I suppose.
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Michael Gaydos
Manhunter finds a shocking link between the disappearances of immigrant workers and big business – and that means attorney Kate Spencer's going to court, if she doesn't become a target first!
Kirk Says: It's Manhunter, that's all the reason I need to pick this up.
Make sure you sign up for the OYL Manhunter Vol 1 TPB Giveaway Contest if you haven't yet!
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer and Sandu Florea
A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Two-Face hits New York City – but when he takes a bite out of the Big Apple, he finds it rotten to the core. He'll make Nightwing and all of New York pay for their crimes…unless Nightwing can save one of Harvey Dent's old flames from an assassin's bullet!
Kirk Says: I get the feeling the use of Harvey Dent here is primarily to cash in on his higher profile post-The Dark Knight. I know he and Nightwing have a lot of history from his Boy Blunder days, but we'll have to wait and see what Tomasi has planned for this appearance and whether or not it is actually a worthwhile story or cheap cash-in attempt.
I know the Batman RIP "tie-in" part of this issue will more than likely be a throw away, but Tomasi should be able to at least put some meat on the story for us.
NYX: NO WAY HOME #1
Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Kalman Andrasofsky
There’s no place like home—just ask young mutant KIDEN NIXON. She’s survived the hard streets of Manhattan, and she’s built a home—and a family—for herself, with her friends TATIANA, BOBBY SOUL and his LI’L BRO. But with fewer than 200 mutants left on the planet, Kiden’s become a target—and when somebody strikes at one of her friends, Kiden’s going to find out just how much farther she can fall! Don’t miss the breathtaking return of this beloved series, by NEW YORK TIMES best-selling writer MARJORIE LIU (the DIRK & STEELE SERIES) with stunning art by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY!
Plus—a special behind-the-scenes gallery!
Kirk Says: No idea how this will turn out, but I loved the first NYX and preview artwork and cover look fantastic, so I'll definitely be picking this up.
PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT #2
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by David Lafuente
Iron Man’s one-woman Initiative team for Alaska finds herself in WAY over her head. Patsy Walker, Hellcat, is thrust into a world of magic, witches, rally-cars and demons of all shapes and sizes, and all she thought she was going to do was rough up a few lumber-thieves. Do not miss this mini-series, by soon-to-be stars KATHRYN IMMONEN (MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS) and DAVID LAFUENTE that will be talked about for years to come.
Kirk Says: First issue was a light and entertaining romp. While some might consider the story to be a bit too much fluff, I thought it was charming and the art was unique and captured the flippant nature of the story.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista and Cam Smith
A "Batman: R.I.P." story! The shocking conclusion that will start of the rest of Tim Drake's life — or is it the end? With Batman missing, Robin becomes the new Dark Knight. It's Robin and Spoiler in an all-out brawl with Gotham City's underworld — but with Batman's trail growing cold, the end of this fight will decide the future of the Bat family!
Kirk Says: DC's listing this as a Chuck Dixon story, but I'm pretty sure it should be Fabian. They did the same thing for the last issue. Their strict book keeping abilities must prevent them from updating their website more than once a month.
I enjoyed the last issue and it was a decent Batman RIP tie-in, too. Doesn't veer off into drug induced storytelling like Morrison's Batman, but it does show how the events are affecting Robin in a meaningful way.
SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE #1
Written by Terry Moore
Art by Craig Rousseau
At long, long, long, looooooooooooooooong last, SHE’S BACK!
Mary Jane Watson, in her very own adventures! Superstar writer Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise, upcoming RUNAWAYS) supplies story (and covers!) and artist Craig Rousseau (The Perhapanauts) brings his best for this all-new mini.It’s the beginning of a new high school year. MJ finally feels like she’s got her life in order. Good friends, good classes, good relationship with a certain Wall-Crawler…but is there someone behind the scenes that’s got it in for our rambunctious redhead?
Kirk Says: All I can say is, "about time". I'm not sure what they were waiting for (must have been some marketing 'wait x number of months before relaunch for a 2% gain on the #1's sale' strategy), but I'm glad the wait is over.
Previews are a bit weird though. Not the storytelling or dialogue, but with the colouring of Liz Allen's hair, which is black instead of blonde. Another disappointment is that this is listed as #1 of 5. I thought this was an on-going...
ULTIMATE ORIGINS #3
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Jackson Guice
Wolverine…Nick Fury…Captain America…Magneto & Professor X…how are they all connected? Witness the first meeting between Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men, and Eric Lehnsherr, the mutant who will come to be known as Magneto!
From the muddy battle fields of World War II to the steaming shadows of the Savage Land, Brian Michael Bendis (Secret Invasion) and Butch Guice (Captain America) continue the shocking story that finally reveals the buried truths of the Ultimate Universe!
Kirk Says: Ultimate Origins has been nothing but a disappointment since so far yet I find myself still picking it up. I'm such a putz sometimes.
It's not that the art or writing has been terrible or anything, but the stories are inconsequential. They serve no purpose other than to fill-in gaps no one cares about. The only thing that has happened was the last page of the first issue in a throwaway scene where they tell us Wolverine was the first mutant and developed by Canadians (we rule!) through genetics instead of evolution.
That's pretty big news, but nothing was done with it, the story doesn't revolve around it and they didn't need 44 pages (over two issues) to tell us that. Issue two just retold 616 Captain America's origin with barely anything new or out of the ordinary.
This issue might fill-in some of the gaps in how mutants came about based on the Magneto cover and the solicit, but, somehow, I doubt that. Expecting 22 pages of filler again.
VENOM: DARK ORIGIN #1
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Angel Medina
On the unlikely day when an embittered, washed-up journalist met a spurned symbiotic organism from an alien planet, one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies was born – a force of evil and vengeance like no other in the Marvel Universe – VENOM! But is it as simple as that? Discover the true, twisted roots that gave rise to a lifetime of malevolence for Eddie Brock…AND the symbiote! Writer Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and artist Angel Medina (SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN) shed a little light on one of Marvel’s darkest monsters!
Kirk Says: Anyone know what this is about? Is it a new story? Just a reprint / alternate retelling of Venom's history? I'm a big Venom fan (hate the current version, despite the awesomeness that was Thunderbolts) and will probably buy this for the Eddie Brock version alone, but if it's just some rehashed origin, I might just skip it.
WOLVERINE: KILLING MADE SIMPLE #1
Written by Chris Yost & Todd Dezago
Art by Coy Turnbull & Steve Kurth
Wolverine’s hard to kill, sure—but if one guy knows how to do it…it’s WOLVERINE himself! X-FORCE co-writer Christopher Yost and superstar Koi Turnbull have all the answers as Wolverine faces down NANNY and ORPHAN-MAKER and lets former NEW X-MEN member TRANCE in on all his secrets… And in a special bonus tale, TELLOS writer Todd Dezago and NEWUNIVERSAL’s Steve Kurth send Logan to the Arctic Circle, and show us that there’s always one more way to die…
Kirk Says: Just to fill the required Wolverine appearance quota, Marvel has seen fit to grace us with random one-shots every other month for the past year featuring the little runt. Some have been decent, others not so much.
I'm only really picking this one up for the Yost and Dezago names on the book. Yost because I'm a big fan of his New X-Men and other mutant work and Dezago for my nostolgia factor, having read a lot of his work in the past.
Here's hoping they make this worth while.