Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 07/22/09

This week's Post-Crisis Previews are packed full of comics thanks to Marvel's and DC's log jam of a release schedule for this Wednesday. With how many books Ryan and I are picking up this week (Ryan is getting 20 while I'm up around a dozen), we've trimmed down the number of books we'll spotlight in the previews. However, that doesn't mean we won't be reviewing all our books and Ryan even plans to have a two part special edition of his Power Rankings for all your review needs.

Written by Bob Gale, Marc Guggenheim, Joe Kelly, Stan Lee, Dan Slott & Mark Waid
Art by Mario Alberti, Marcos Martin & John Romita JR.

The greatest Marvel super hero of all celebrates his 600th issue with the biggest all-original issue of Amazing Spider-Man EVER! This one’s got it all! The return of Doctor Octopus, Daredevil, a wedding you never predicted, and the return of one of the most important people in Peter Parker’s life in a giant-sized lead story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Doc’s back in town, but it’s only a prelude to darker days ahead as Spidey unknowingly prepares for a gauntlet he can’t even see coming.

On top of all that, witness the return of one of Spider-man’s creators, Smilin’ Stan Lee (along with Masticatin’ Marcos Martin) as he presents a story of unbridled passion, drama and angst as Spidey reflects over his many, many years of adventures. But that ain’t all…as the rest of the Spidey Web-Heads bring you several short features showcasing some rarely explored aspects of both Spidey and Pete’s life, drawn by some of the greatest artists in comics. Plus, several other surprises and NO REPRINTS! 104 pages of goodness brought to you by some of the best creators that have ever worked on Spidey!

Kirk: This being summer and all, I think I'm going to take another dip in the pool that is Brand New Day era Spider-Man and this 104 page anniversary special seems like as good a place as any to do so. The whole, "NO REPRINTS", JRJr art and promise of some Brian Bendis written 616 Spider-Man backups to go along with the Mary Jane-centric stories coming up also make this a promising issue to jump on with.

Ryan: At 104 pages, there is bound to be a lot to like here, especially with the main story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr., the return of Doctor Octopus, and the conclusion of the Aunt May wedding storyline (I’ll be happy to see it go). On the flipside, at 104 pages, there is bound to be a lot not to like here as well.

Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

December, 1957. Atomic Robo and the Science Agents of TeslaDyne are on a mission to stop the build up of the most devastating arsenal in the history of the world. But first they've got to make sure the Shadow from Beyond Time doesn't destroy the future and the past!

Kirk: It's Atomic Robo. Hellboy with robots and SCIENCE instead of freaks and magic. This one features the Cthulhu monster trying to devour the world. Buy it. You'll thank me later.

Written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Rags Morales, Chris Sprouse, Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke and others

In this 3-issue miniseries, writers Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) reveal the secrets behind the Lanterns of BLACKEST NIGHT! Bear witness to Blue Lantern Saint Walker's pilgrimage of hope, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris' sacrifice for love, Green Lantern Kilowog's courageous beginnings, Red Lantern Vice's source of rage, Orange Lantern Blume's bizarre creation, and the first appearance of the mysterious Indigo, leader of the Indigo Tribe!

Kirk: Solicit is the same for all three issues of this for some reason. I'm not sure if DC just got tired of writing them or marketing wasn't sure what stories would be in each issue or not, but this one, based on previews, looks to be a lot 'meatier', for lack of a better word, than the first issue. It features short stories for Carol Ferris and her initiation into the Star Sapphires, that giant floating head Orange Lantern and Red Lantern Bleez (the female Red Lantern with the huge tracks of land and bat wings on her head).

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Leonard Kirk

“VAMPIRE STATE” The final battle with Dracula is here! Can what’s left of MI13 possibly defeat the most brilliant military strategist alive (or at least undead)? Who is Gloriana and what role does Dr. Doom play in this whole thing? Do not miss this cataclysmic conclusion! Part 6 (of 6)

Kirk: Can't wait for this one. It's the conclusion to what has been the best event (if you can call a self contained six issue story in a book already slated for cancellation an event) this year.

Written by Marjorie Liu & Daniel Way
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

“THE PRINCE” From the pages of DARK AVENGERS, the journey of WOLVERINE’S son continues! Just as Daken’s Machiavellian plans begin to take shape, he hits a snag. Or rather, four of them. Guest-starring THE FANTASTIC FOUR! Part 2 (of 3)

Ryan: Marjorie Liu and Daniel Way took me by surprise with the first issue of this re-branded title last month. The strong characterization and surprisingly likable titular character made it one of June's best reads. With Daken and the Dark Avengers set to confront the Fantastic Four this issue, I've got high expectations for their follow-up.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by George PĂ©rez and Scott Koblish

This is it! The time-stopping finale to this FINAL CRISIS tie-in arrives as Superman, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl battle Time Trapper while Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains engage in an all-out war with the Legions! Leading into the all-new ADVENTURE COMICS #1!

Kirk: To be blunt, I'm buying this to complete the series. Collector mentality for the lose. I'm not proud of that and hate the practice of buying books I don't like, but that's the short and long of it. While I like the things this miniseries has accomplished so far (Conner and Bart being back is awesome), I just can't stand the execution of it and the whole thing feels like, well, Secret Invasion - widescreen action with no real focus or direction. Just a bunch of splashpages, "shock" killings and the odd bit of exposition to move the story to the next reveal that may or may not make sense, but seems to give the fans what they want.

Ryan: As much as I have enjoyed this miniseries thus far, I can't bring myself to be that excited about the final issue. The massive delays have completely ruined the momentum built by the returns of Superboy and Kid Flash.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March
Tommy Elliott, a.k.a. the villainous mastermind known as Hush, has escaped the confines of Batman's headquarters and is wreaking havoc throughout Gotham City all under the guise of Bruce Wayne. Will the loose assemblage of Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn be enough to stop the madman's rampage? Or are Gotham's femmes fatales doomed to fail before they even begin?

Ryan: The solicitations promise that the titular characters will be taking on Hush in this issue, making it a surprise tie-in to the events of last week’s Streets of Gotham. Much like Sirens, that issue was off to an uneven start, but it did show a lot of promise in its second issue. I hope that Paul Dini can bring that same magic to this title this week.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

"Blackest Night" continues! As Hal Jordan and Barry Allen investigate a bizarre crime in Gotham City, they come face to face with one of their oldest allies – J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter! But their old friend is not there for reunions; he's come for much more. Meanwhile, Sinestro seeks to rebuild his army and take his revenge on the being who would usurp it – Mongul!

Kirk: Was weak and looked at previews of this. Looks amazing. Why the heck is Mahnke so underrated? He's easily DC's top artist that can draw a monthly book right now.

Oh, and the story from the preview looks great, too. Looks like it'll answer some lingering questions as to the nature of Black Lanterns. Promises in the solicit of some Sinestro vs Mongul action just makes this that much better.

Ryan: Geoff Johns is wasting no time picking up on threads from last week’s Blackest Night #1, with this issue focusing on the confrontation between Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and the Black Lantern Martian Manhunter. This issue should be a good indication of how the rest of the event will go, as I suspect we will get greater insight into the powers and personalities of the Black Lanterns. Now that the shock value and event excitement of last week have paced, I’m interested to see how this plays out.

Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig

The future begins—and ends—here! Caught between the Shi’Ar and the Kree, and desperate to stop a conflagration that could implode the universe itself, Star-Lord leads the Guardians on their most reckless and deadly mission yet! But does the “Future Tense” of the enigmatic Starhawk and the original Guardians really hold the secrets our ragtag team seeks...or is it a really, really bad idea? Be there for a key War of Kings chapter in what CBR.com says is “... the one book that delivers every month.”

Kirk: This is a "key War of Kings chapter"? Based on how it ended last time and this solicit, it sounds like the Guardians are off doing their own thing now; not involved in War of Kings anymore. Either way, GotG has been firing on all cylinders lately. Should be another good outing this time around.

Written by Jason Aaron & Duane Swierczynski
Art by Travel Foreman

Out of the pages of IMMORTAL IRON FIST! Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE) and Mico Suayan (MOON KNIGHT) plus an all-star roster of guest artists kick off IMMORTAL WEAPONS in this double-sized issue! Fat Cobra! No man has fought more heartily, consumed more mightily, or lived life more fully! Fat Cobra! Master of the sumo thunder stomp and the devil’s skullcrusher! Fat Cobra! Immortal Weapon from the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven! But to this day, no man has known the story of Fat Cobra’s life…including the Cobra himself! Discover the shocking origins of this boisterous brawler and witness his decades of adventure! Meanwhile, Danny Rand embarks on his own mission of search and adventure, in a special bonus story by IMMORTAL IRON FIST writer Duane Swierczynski running through all five IMMORTAL WEAPONS issues!

Kirk: This cover makes me miss the Brubaker/Fraction/Aja run on Iron Fist. Thankfully, the fact this is written by Jason Aaron and about Fat Cobra does nothing but bring a smile to my face and washes away any and all doubts about how good this is going to be.

Ryan: While the final issue of Immortal Iron Fist might have left a bad taste in my mouth, this spin-off miniseries could be the perfect palate cleanser before the inevitable relaunch of Iron Fist in some other capacity. Kicking things off with Jason Aaron on a Fat Cobra story is a great way to do just that.

Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak
Art by Ryan Stegman

They've battled rampaging gods, enraged Eternals, sinister Skrulls, Avengers Dark and Mighty, armed-to-the-teeth Amazons, and literally gone to Hell and back together. But now, after all this time, and all those adventures, the team-up between Hercules and Amadeus Cho may be...no more! What shocking secret is revealed in this issue that could ruin their friendship forever? Find out here, then come right back next month for a MAJOR change in status in the title that will always be "INCREDIBLE"!

Kirk: Incredible Hercules has been a favourite of mine for a while now, but, while I'm enjoying the character moments of this arc, I'm kind of hoping they move on from the whole 'trial in Hel'. It's just not doing anything for me.

Ryan: Ryan Stegman closes out his stellar run on the title with this issue, which also concludes the trial of Zeus. This is the last chance for the writing team of Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente to convince me to pick up the series full time, but even if they don't, the art alone should justify my purchase of this issue.

NOVA #27
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Andrea Di Vito

Rocketing into the thick of the merciless cosmic action, Nova Prime battles to rescue the novice Corps centurions caught in the crossfire! Most of all he’s desperate to save Robbie Rider, who’s missing in action! But the danger’s coming from all sides: Ravenous! Blastaar! Strontian and the Praetorians! Not everyone’s going to walk away from this clash, so pull on your helmet and find out why ComicsBulletin.com calls NOVA “...one of the best titles being produced by Marvel right now.”

Kirk: Okay, Nova 25 brought Richard back. 26 held back on the action and had Richard evacuating the fledgling Nova Corps from all the hotzones. While those two issues were good, DnA had best be giving us some kind of action to reflect that cover and solicit or I'm going to have to hurt somebody.

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner

It's the striking conclusion of the first arc from the fan-favorite writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (JONAH HEX, TERRA) and artist Amanda Conner (JSA CLASSIFIED, TERRA)! Power Girl battles Ultra-Humanite! And things get ugly as the two powerful beings come to blows!

Ryan: This series is the perfect answer for any jaded fan that complains about comics not being fun any more. Between Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s old school approach to storytelling and Amanda Conner’s lively and gorgeous artwork, this is quickly becoming a can’t miss series. Plus, what’s not to love about Power Girl beating down a giant super-intelligent ape?

Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Sara Pichelli

“Home-Schooling” One has fallen. The life they’ve built is coming apart at the seams. Can the kids hold themselves together and make it through this? Who is Hunter Stein and what is in the mystery box that he’s after? Part 2 (of 4)

Ryan: Kathryn Immonen's and Sara Pichelli’s debut on this title last issue was incredibly bold and well-crafted. Despite having killed off a fan-favorite (Old Lace), they brought Runaways back to the level of quality it was known for during Brian K. Vaughan’s run. This week, we’ll find out if that was just a fluke or if they really can make this Marvel’s best book once again.

Written by Garth Ennis
Art by John McCrea

The first-ever Boys spin-off mini-series features the pairing of Ennis with Hitman artist John McCrea and covers by Boys artist and co-creator Darick Robertson!

The occasional death at Herogasm isn't that unusual, but how one member of Fantastico checks out is nothing short of spectacular. In the resultant chaos the Boys make their move- on a target that may not be all he seems.

Hughie, meanwhile, runs smack into Black Noir in the worst possible way, while Jack From Jupiter spills a few more secrets to A-Train. And speaking of secrets, what does the man from Vought-American want with Vic the Veep...?

Ryan: This is the make-it-or-break-it issue for this spin-off miniseries. I'm trying my hardest to remain a completist with The Boys, but the amateurish art, haphazard plot, and pointless excess of this miniseries has me doubting that stance. If Garth Ennis can't produce a good reason to continue on in this issue, it'll be my last.

Ryan's Complete Pull List

DC Comics

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5
Gotham City Sirens #2
Green Lantern #44
Power Girl #3
Supergirl #43
Tiny Titans #18
Wednesday Comics #3


Red Sonja #46
The Boys: Herogasm #3


GI Joe #7

Marvel Comics

Amazing Spider-Man #600
Dark Wolverine #76
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Immortal Weapons #1
Incredible Hercules #131
Nova #27
Runways #12
X-Force #17

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Rawnzilla said...

The Bendis/Quesada story in ASM 600 got delayed into 601. Sorry.

Kirk Warren said...

Ya, I know it doesnt start til 601. I said the promise of those with the MJ stories coming up made 600 a good jumping on point.

Daringd said...

I'm looking forward to Spider-man 600 this week. FC:Lo3W I'm glad it's ending. I only really liked the first issue. Can't wait for Green Lantern #44. so I might as well put this up here.
Pre ranking for 7/22/09
5. Lo3W
4. ASM #600
3. Invincible #64
2. Wednesday Comics #3
1. Green Lantern #44

The Dangster said...

Yay finally Atomic Robo gets a mention again!

I love Mahnke. Is it just me or did the last 3 Green Laterns come out within 2 weeks?

Kirk Warren said...

@The Dangster - I always miss it in the diamond list for the week's comics. It's tucked away at the bottom in a big mess of indy books. Shame the main distributor of comics cant organize a list by publisher.

And the last 3 GL's were 2 week gaps in between each I think. One was with Tan, then Mahnke's first issue and now his second. I assume he had some lead in time and it looks like an army of inkers for this issue.

Ryan Schrodt said...

Mahnke had solid lead time--he was announced a while back--but he is also a bit of a workhorse. As long as there are enough inkers to meet his demand, he should have no problem keeping up a good pace for this series. Plus, I imagine sharing an office with Green Lantern Corps artist Pat Gleason (who also handles deadlines well) will help keep him on track as well.

Daniel Woburn said...

@ Kirk - you probably already know, but midtowncomics.com has weekly solicitations (which come out before Diamond's do) that are organised by publisher. i've actually taken to going there instead.

Kirk Warren said...

@Daniel - When I first started doing previews, I noticed that doing them early always ended up with me having books that were pushed back a week or rescheduled somehow. Diamond's on Monday are always accurate, despite poor organization of the list. Of course, that was about 2 years ago and I've noticed Marvel and DC have both made strides to get their listings accurate online, so maybe it's time to start skipping Diamonds in favour of someone with a nicer layout.

Ethereal said...

Supergirl, Green Lantern and Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds are what I'm getting from DC. Supergirl has been up and down but I'm sticking with it based on solicits and what not. Green Lantern is obvious great stuff, and the only reason I'm getting Legion of Three Worlds is for completion sake.

Marvel is huge this week. ASM 600, Guardians of the Galaxy, Incredible Hulk 600, Nova and X-Force all on the pull list. Especially looking forward to Pak back on Hulk.

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