While I don't usually make mention or link to trades debuting on any given week, I just had to make an exception for the Marvel / Soleil Sky Doll Premiere Hardcover. If you missed this series the first time around, I highly recommend picking this collected version up. Few comics offer a true reading experience the likes of which this one does and fewer still warrant a second, or even third, reading. Sky Doll does both of these things and that much more. Easily one of the best books to be released this year and a must have for everyone.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on all of the books I'll be purchasing this week.
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
The man behind all the recent mayhem comes out of the Super-Villain closet. Meet the new Doctor Polaris and find out what else he has in store for Blue Beetle!
Kirk Says: I figure I'll give Blue Beetle another issue or two, now that the bad guy is revealed, to win me over again. While it isn't bad under Sturges, it's lacking the same charm that Rogers had while he wrote it and I'm beginning to think there are better books I could be spending my money on. Let's see if he can change my mind with these next few issues.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #43
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Luke Ross
Bucky has survived his first major trial as the new Captain America, but now a villain from his past - both as Bucky in WW2 and as the Winter Soldier during the Cold War - has come to the U.S. and he'll have to face his history just as he's finding his feet in the present. The beginning of a gripping war and espionage tale, with some familiar faces for long-term Cap readers, as the New Captain America moves further into the Marvel U. And for this action-packed three-part story, award-winning Cap writer Ed Brubaker is joined by acclaimed artist Luke Ross (Jonah Hex, Samurai).
Kirk Says: It's Captain America. Everyone should be reading it. With this arc, I hope we get more of the WWII flashbacks that the earlier arcs featured. It seems like a perfect fit with the vague solicit about an old enemy from WWII returning.
FINAL CRISIS #4
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco
It's one month after the Anti-Life Equation was released worldwide. Millions now toil as slaves of Darkseid, while the Justifier shock troops of Apokolips lay waste to the planet Earth and hunt down its protectors.
The remaining free humans and superheroes are stationed around the world, besieged within the walls of ten very familiar 'Watchtowers', as they fight a desperate, losing battle against the triumphant forces of evil.
While Green Arrow and Black Canary attempt to deliver the secret of humanity's last hope across America's blasted wastelands, the Outsiders brave the horrors of the Bludhaven bunker in search of Batman. The ultimate battle is coming…but which heroes will become villain – and vice versa? And what part do the Secret Society have to play in the dawning of this new Age of Evil?
Darkness is falling and death rules the day. Is this truly the end of the Age of Super Heroes? Don't miss FINAL CRISIS #4: "How to Murder the Earth!"
Kirk Says: Frankly, this is going to take one of hell of a story to have any chance of impressing me. At this point, it's just been way too long since the last issue, there hasn't been much in the way of tie-ins to expand the story (as good as Rogues' Revenge and Legion of 3 Worlds are, they aren't "tie-ins" or related in any relevant way) and I just don't care about this event anymore. Give me more of the unrelated tie-ins, which are some of the best stories of the year, and I'd be happier.
FINAL CRISIS: SUBMIT
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Matthew Clark and Norm Rapmund
In a world overrun by Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation and his relentless storm troopers, do you choose to SUBMIT? As the lines between Super Hero and Super-Villain become blurred, the ultimate odd couple of Black Lightning and Tattoo Man, in what could be their final adventure, battle against the odds to save a family from the great darkness.
Kirk Says: *note* these comments are from a few weeks back when this title was first scheduled to come out.
Why is this on my pull list? I'd almost completely forgotten about the whole Final Crisis debacle with this delay between issues (oh, sorry, "scheduled dramatic tension") and now Grant is back with a fill-in-the-blank story for us.
Maybe the downtime will give me some new perspective for this story and I might actually enjoy this issue more than I'm giving it credit. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley
FIGHTMASTER AND DROP KICK RETURN!
They’re back from the future to alter the past – can Invincible stop them – or will he be lost in the time stream forever? Also in this issue: Kid Omni-Man saves the day.
Kirk Says: It's so good seeing Invincible back on a regular schedule. Looking forward to seeing what Kid Omni-Man is up to after the non-sincere 'apology' to Invincible last issue.
NEW AVENGERS #46
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Billy Tan
SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!
The notorious Hood and his gang of the most powerful super-villains of all time need a leg up on the Skrulls. But to get it, the Hood will have to find the true secret to his powers. Who is the demon behind the Hood? Find out in this very special Secret Invasion tie-in.
Kirk Says: Ya, I recently bashed Mighty Avengers and myself for buying these tie-ins, but I honestly think this might be a worthwhile purchase, despite myself. I'm also a big Hood fan, so I want to see more of his crew, who may or may not have a big part to play in the post-SI world.
Written by Terry Moore
Art by Humberto Ramos
The Runaways are more scattered than ever! Barely surviving an attack by some of the few remaining members of Karolina’s alien race, the Runaways need to pull it together to be ready for the alien warriors when they get back. But it’s looking bleak! Brought to you by comic legend Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise) and Humberto Ramos (X-MEN, SPIDER-MAN).
Kirk Says: I don't get the release scheduling for this book. Won't it get lost in the shuffle with so many other huge releases this week? Wouldn't holding off another week lead to more sales as most will be spending a hefty amount on the event books as it is? I just don't understand the way they release comics. It's like they throw darts or spin the wheel to figure it out.
It's a shame, too, because Runaways, ignoring Whedon's run, has consistently been one of Marvel's better books and Moore is just hitting his stride on the title.
SECRET INVASION #7
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Leinil Yu
THIS IS IT!! The Marvel Universe versus the Skrull Empire – a battle of unity and spirit the likes of which the Earth has never seen. The comic event of the year starts its shocking conclusion.
Kirk Says: Please tell me the Skrulls nuke New York from orbit. I can't imagine any reason for them not to kill just about every hero on Earth with one simple planetary bombardment.
I'm actually a little concerned that, after all this time and as Bendis is wont to do, there won't be enough room in this issue to wrap this storyline up with a satisfying ending. Are the heroes just going to punch some Skrulls and they'll just leave Earth? "No More Skrulls"? Some fire fighters and policemen jump on Skrull Spider-Woman and she starts crying about how he doesn't love her anymore? Ah, well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL #1
Written by Geoff Johns, James Robinson and Sterling Gates
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal, Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalháes, and Pete Woods
A "Sightings" issue! "New Krypton" Part 1 of 9! The entire Superman franchise writing team joins forces, with art by Pete Woods and others, to formally launch the Superman event years in the making! While the current threat of Brainiac may have been forestalled in ACTION COMICS #870, the repercussions will be felt for a long, long time. Superman's greatest victory has lead to his happiest day – and his saddest. Gains are balanced by losses while Superman has to figure out what to do with 100,000 Kryptonians! Hold on to your capes as this story leads directly into SUPERMAN #681.
Kirk Says: This issue could upstage the two event books and has a very high chance of being my book of the week. Can't wait to read this one.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #127
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen
Carnage versus Venom for all the marbles! It's the big conclusion to the War of the Symbiotes as Eddie Brock returns to Midtown High after months away. He seeks out Peter Parker and demands that Peter either help him find the Venom symbiote that once was grafted to him or Peter's secret identity will be revealed. Who should show up at his doorstep but a very much alive blast from Peter's past!
Kirk Says: I just want this whole storyline to be over with. I'm really not digging it and its video game tie-ins. Very disjoint and "continuity heavy" storytelling that the Ultimate Universe is supposed to be shying away from.
WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Stephen Segovia
The X-Men have arrived in San Francisco—but Wolverine finds he’s left more than his heart there! Something happened in Chinatown more than 50 years ago…something that the people there still have not forgotten. And now Logan finds himself a marked man, pursued by fighters from every dojo in town--not to mention the mystical warriors of the criminal Triad and their merciless leader…who just happens to be Logan's ex-girlfriend. Guess you shoulda stayed in New York, huh bub?
Kirk Says: What's this? A sniktbub story where Wolverine is a marked man with Yakuza after him and has another ex-girlfriend out for blood? Why am I buying such a cliched story? Two words - Jason Aaron.
With how much I enjoyed his Wolverine work on Get Mystique!, I couldn't, in good faith, not pick this book up, even with my misgivings over the premise and its similarities to past Wolverine stories.