Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday night means another Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews, whereby Ryan and I spotlight the books on our pull lists for the week and what we think and/or expect from each title. As always, feel free to give us your thoughts on these books or the titles you'll be picking up for the week and, as always, suggestions for books you think we're missing out on for the week are always welcome. We can't guarantee we'll pick up anything you suggest, but we'll definitely do our best to explain why we aren't or make room in the budget for it.
Movers and shakers this week are few and far between. Cosmic Marvel is in full swing with both Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy dropping, making that a tough one-two punch to beat. There's also the conclusion to the Old Man Logan storyline, which has lost any and all momentum it had before the countless delays. On the DC side of things, there's Geoff Johns's and Gary Frank's Superman: Secret Origin debut. I'm not sold on this re-re-re-re-re-telling of Superman's origin, especially so soon after Birthright, but it's easily DC's biggest book this week.
Hit the jump to see our thoughts on these books and more.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #606
Written by Joe Kelly
Art by Mike McKone
Look out, Spidey! Hot on the heels of his old girlfriend’s trip home, The Black Cat’s back (and front!), sexier and more dangerous than ever! The deck is STACKED as the one woman that loves Spider-Man more than Peter Parker is up to some devilish shenanigans…and nothing bugs Spidey more than shenanigans! BRAce yourself for danger, Spidey! It’s gonna be …umm…sexy?
Ryan: Two week's ago, Kirk brought up how disgustingly tacky this solicits are for this issue (since the Spidey solicits got mixed up somewhere in the midst of Red-Headed Stranger), but I think it is worth pointing out exactly how tasteless this is. It’s lame and childish and not at all funny, but most importantly it ruins a lot of my excitement at seeing how Black Cat’s return plays out. Poor choice Spider-Office, poor choice.
Kirk: Ugh, this solicit again. Was it not bad enough the first time around? I'm hoping this is just the marketing department and completely unrelated to the creative teams at the Spidey officies. This is just terrible on every level.
DARK X-MEN: THE CONFESSION #1
Written by Chris Yost
Art by Bing Cansino
Emma Frost’s secret dealings with the Cabal come to light and her life will never be the same. ...CLASSIFIED...
Ryan: I’m really on the fence about whether or not I’ll be picking this issue up. I’ve never been a huge fan of Emma Frost and haven’t understood why she has remained so central to the X-Franchise simply because she became a pet-character for Grant Morrison and Joss Whedon. I may pick it up just to see what Craig Kyle and Chris Yost are setting up for future stories, but it’ll all depend on how this looks on an in-shop flip through.
DETECTIVE COMICS #857
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III
Co-feature art by Cully Hamner
"Elegy" part 4 of 4! Batwoman faces off against Alice in an attempt to stop the villainess from unleashing a toxic death cloud over all of Gotham! But Alice has more up her sleeve than just poison, and Batwoman's life will never ever be the same again.
Plus, The Question's search for a missing girl leads Renee to a human trafficking ring, and the Question suddenly finds herself in way over her head.
Kirk: I've been losing a bit of interest in the actual story for Detective Comics, as it's focusing on the more absurd aspects of the Crime Bible stuff (mutant people and other non-Batman street level things), but JH Williams's art is just too damn good to pass up and the story is never bad, just not nearly as good as the opening issues of the run.
FANTASTIC FOUR #571
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham
Reed continues his quest to right all wrongs while Ben and Johnny prepare for a trip to Nu-Earth. Val figures out what her dad is up to and Sue wants to know "is that an ultimate nullifier in your pocket?" All that and a world-eater before breakfast! Part two of SOLVE EVERYTHING.
Ryan: I was really impressed with the debut for Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham as the creative team for this series, which has set the bar high for this issue. Last time we got to see the pan-dimensional collection of alternate Reeds, so hopefully this issue will unveil what exactly their plan is for “solving everything.” With Hickman at the helm, you can expect it to be high-concept and, in all likelihood, highly awesome.
Kirk: Hmm, a 'defeated' Galactus cover. Those are always a tad cliched. Wait, is that Reed Richards with the Infinity Gauntlet towering over Galactus's body? Why yes, yes it is. Now that isn't something you see every day. Combined with how last issue ended with the multiversal Mr Fantastic Corps (my name for it) recruiting Reed and several of them wielding their own Infinity Gauntlets, I'm actually very interested in seeing if this cover actually reflects the contents of the issue or not.
GI JOE #9
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by SL Gallant
The Joes invade Castle Destro only to find no one home but the biggest, baddest killer robot ever and the encounter turns deadly for the team. We also pay a visit to the ultra secret Section Zero—COBRA’s arctic lair where Destro must make the M.A.S.S. Device perform or die. And Mainframe and Snake Eyes on a road trip to… Springfield?
Ryan: Just in case the strength of the first 8 issues of this series wasn’t enough to get me interested enough to pick up this week’s issue of GI Joe, they throw in a trip to Cobra’s arctic lair and (and I quote) “the biggest, baddest killer robot ever.” How could you not want to read this one after knowing what waits inside the issue?
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #18
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig
Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? In the wake of the War of Kings, the 31st Century is hit by wave after wave of temporal distortions! Rocked by this lethal and uncertain era, a handful of surviving Guardians must confront faces from the future that you should find very familiar! Yes, it’s another unpredictable chapter in the series that Wizard says “spans every genre to deliver the best space-based Marvel tale this side of the Milky Way.”
Ryan: The solicitation and cover for this week’s Guardians of the Galaxy do imply that there won’t be any appearances by Rocket Raccoon, which is disappointing. However, considering this series rarely ever has an off issue and tends to get better the more “unpredictable” the plot gets, I’ve got faith that, once again, this is going to be the book to beat this week.
Kirk: I'm not sure about the whole solicit for this issue, but I hope the Magus/Warlock stuff gets touched upon in some way. That is by far the most engaging and interesting development in the cosmic Marvel Universe right now and I'm looking forward to finding out more about it.
IMMORTAL WEAPONS #3
Written by Rick Spears & Duane Swierczynski
Art by Timothy Green II
The legends say that if you’re an orphan, a runaway, one of the forgotten, and you get lost enough – you will find your way to the Under-City. As British warships pound China’s shores during the thick of the first Opium War, scores of orphan refugees keep themselves warm at night with stories of the Under-City and its champion, their protector – Dog Brother #1! Hero to all the strays on all the streets of the world! But with orphans mysteriously disappearing from the streets, are the boys’ stories of Dog Brother just that…and does anybody exist who will help them? Don’t miss this action-packed one-shot spinning out of the pages of IMMORTAL IRON FIST!
Ryan: This is another book I’m unsure about. I’m not very familiar with Rick Spears and Dog Brother #1 isn’t the most interesting of the Immortal Weapons. Still, I didn’t expect much from last issue’s look at the Bride of Nine Spiders and it turned out to be a really great issue. This will be another book that I’ll decide on after flipping through it, especially considering the main story will have its work cut out for it by having to make up for the abysmal Iron Fist back up story.
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #135
Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Art by Rodney Buchemi
AMADEUS CHO is MASTER MIND EXCELLO! Heroically parachuting behind enemy lines! Bravely rescuing beautiful secret agents imprisoned inside the death traps of a mad Nazi genius! And discovering for the first time what the real nature of his powers are as his secret origin continues -- at last the truth can be revealed here!
Kirk: A guy could get used to this Incredible Hercules twice a month deal. While the Amadeus Cho focus isn't as good as the Hercules centered part of these twice monthly adventures, it's still good reading. I wonder how they'll collect these stories though. Despite being the same title, the Cho and Hercules stories are unrelated (at this point). I'd imagine they'd put the stories together, despite that making the issues out of order in the trade.
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Kevin Sharpe
“Starstalker” part 1 of 2! How has the aftermath of the War of Kings affected the newly reborn and viciously battered Nova Corps? When the universe is changed, who is left to protect and serve the innocents? Out of the devastation—and from Marvel’s cosmic past—strides a mysterious new threat...and an unexpected ally! Find out who in the latest issue of the series that ComicPants.com calls, “a consistently entertaining and enjoyable read…If you haven’t been reading Nova you are missing out on one of Marvels best written books.”
Ryan: Hmmm…what to expect from the new issue of Nova…Oh yeah! The same thing you can expect from every issue of Nova—brilliance!
Kirk: I sound like a broken record here, but, mirroring Ryan's comments, it's Nova, it's going to be good, so there's not much else to say about it except I can't wait to read it.
Slightly off-topic, but how the heck does ComicPants.com keep getting quoted in these solicits from Marvel? No offense to them, but they aren't exactly the biggest comic site on the net. IGN, CBR, Newsarama, etc never get quoted as often as ComicPants does. Just always find it odd when I read a solicit and they are quoted that often.
Written by Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka
Art by Jamal Igle and Jon Sibal
Continuing from ACTION COMICS #881 – "The Hunt for Reactron" part 2! Can Supergirl rely on her seemingly unstable childhood friend to help her track down her father's assassin? Or will she ultimately get burned by Flamebird?
Ryan: The last time I tried to read Supergirl in the midst of a crossover without reading the other books in the story was a bit of a disaster. With that in mind, I considering skipping this week’s issue, but a confrontation between Supergirl and Flamebird could be pretty interesting. Between that and the art by Jamal Igle, I have enough reasons to pick this issue up, even if I’ve resigned to the fact that I’ll be pretty lost on the story.
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Batman makes a shocking discovery with possible Kryptonian origins that places the duo in certain doom - unless Superman makes the ultimate sacrifice...
Kirk: I've been enjoying Superman/Batman since picking it up a few issues ago, in no small part due to Albuquerque's artwork. It's far from essential reading, but it's definitely been fun, no strings attached light reading so far.
SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #1 (OF 6)
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal
Hot on the heels of their acclaimed run on ACTION COMICS, superstars Geoff Johns and Gary Frank reunite to present a 6-issue event that spells out the definitive origin of Superman for the 21st century – and it all starts with a gigantic 48-page issue! Chronicling Clark Kent's journey from the cornfields of Smallville to the skyscrapers of Metropolis, you'll witness a whole new look at the beginnings of Lex Luthor, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Lois Lane, Metallo, Jimmy Olsen, the Parasite and more! It's a look at the mythic past of the Man of Steel with an eye toward the future!
Ryan: While I do agree with a lot of the vocal critics of this miniseries over the fact that we really don’t need to revisit Superman’s already iconic origins considering how many times it has been told over the last 70 years, I think these folks are missing the real selling point of this miniseries—the reunion of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank (my choice for Best Penciler in 2008). Frank’s take on Superman and his supporting cast is probably the best in comics today, so I think it is well-worth putting up with a story you already know and the inevitable retcons just to see it through Frank’s gorgeous art.
Kirk: I would fall into the category of 'vocal critic' of this miniseries. I see no point to it. We just had a retelling of Superman's origin by Mark Waid and Leinel Francis Yu with Superman: Birthright and they completely ignored any small changes it made to the mythos. Geoff Johns may be the Golden Boy at DC these days, but with how well known and unchanging Superman's origin is, nothing short of him being revealed as not really being from Krypton will make this a "secret origin".
At the very least, if this is "important", they could have put this in the main title instead of as a miniseries. Would have been a much better option if they had kept Johns and Frank on Action Comics or World of New Krypton instead of the subpar artists they've been using of late.
UNCANNY X-MEN #515
Written by Matt Fraction
Tracings by Greg Land
...CLASSIFIED... The effects of UTOPIA are felt here! One of the original X-Men makes his exit! ...CLASSIFIED...
Ryan: The issues of Uncanny X-Men that have featured Matt Fraction focusing on Beast have been some of the best books in his run, unfortunately, having Greg Land draw this issue does kill any excitement I might have had. I’ll be picking it up for the writing, so I’ll just pretend that any cash-flow created from my purchase goes towards the brilliant writer and not the pathetic tracer.
WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN GIANT-SIZE #1
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven
This is it! The moment you’ve been waiting for! Prepare yourselves for the most brutal battle in the history of comics as Wolverine returns— and unleashes a tidal wave of bloody revenge! It’s Wolverine versus the Hulk Gang to the death! Don’t miss the flesh-rending final chapter to the greatest Wolverine story ever told by the peerless Mark Millar and Steve McNiven! Plus—you won’t be able to tear yourself away from the gallery of covers, background material, behind-the-scenes extras, and all-new pinups that fill out this GIANT-SIZE SPECTACULAR!
Ryan: While I am a bit miffed about the delays this book has faced and the momentum that it this final issue has lost because of it, I’m glad that we are finally going to see one of the strongest Marvel books in years reach its conclusion. The only thing I’m not real happy about on this is the price. It’s one thing to have a comic be delayed for months and months and months, but it is something else entirely to nearly double the price on the conclusion. Yes, we are getting a lot of extras, but I still can’t help but feel like readers are kinda getting the shaft on this one.
Kirk: "Momentum lost" is one way of putting it, Ryan. To me, I'm buying this issue, but have lost all interest in the book. Going in, all I really can remember about the storyline is the generic and cliched way it's unfolded over the past few issues and rushed conclusion to get Logan back to his farm and dead family. This will be pretty to look at and feature lots of Hulk vs Wolverine-like fights, but I'm not sure if that will be enough for me to look past the delays and other problems.