Monday, September 28, 2009

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 09/30/09

Mondays mean it's time for another edition of the Post-Crisis Previews. As you may well know, the Post-Crisis Previews come after the previous week's crisis of what books to buy and act as our place for commenting on or giving general thoughts about the comics on our pull lists for the upcoming week.  Readers can also let us know what comics they'll be picking up, comment on our thoughts or suggest comics they think we should be reading.

On the comic side of things, this week's biggest release, for me at least, has to be Spider-Man: The Clone Saga #1.  I was a big fan of the Clone Saga and defend it to this day.  It was never perfect, but nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be.  I'm genuinely looking forward to the remake and can't wait to read it.  However, my most anticipated title has to be Wolverine: Weapon X #5 and the conclusion to The Adamantium Men.  If it's anything like the previous issues of this fantastic debut arc, it'll be a picture perfect finish.

I won't bore you with too much preamble, so hit the jump for both Ryan and my thoughts on the upcoming week's comics.

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?

Kirk: Jesus, someone fire whoever writes the solicits.  This is just getting ridiculous.  This is like the 3rd time this same, horribly written pre-pubescent trash has been the solicit for an issue of Amazing Spider-Man and they STILL haven't decided what issue it belongs to nor realized there's something wrong with a solicit that looks like it was written by a couple of 13 year old boys. 

Ryan: Black Cat’s return might have been overshadowed by Norah Winters’s “debatable” racist/not-racist-but-still-mean comments about Peter’s roommate last week, but that doesn’t mean that her return won’t mean big things in this issue, especially after Mary Jane saw her kissing Spider-Man on a jumbotron. Last issue didn’t exactly wow me, so let’s hope that Joe Kelly tightened up his script for this issue and the aforementioned “big things” are more interesting than pointless fights between reporters and roommates.

Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter

Titan-on-Titan violence! Black Lantern Hawk has his talons set for the female Hawk and Dove! Meanwhile, Red Star faces a frightful family reunion with Black Lanterns Pantha and Wildebeest, and Donna Troy faces her worst possible nightmare! Plus, Black Lantern Terra terrorizes Beast Boy! Continuing the 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Ryan: Last issue of Blackest Night: Titans was a solid mix of action and character work, with the creative team really impressing me with their take on Hawk and Dove. I suspect we are in for more of the same this week. The Titans have had one of the worst track records in comics for dead family members, so there are plenty of Black Lanterns to choose from. As long as the creative team doesn’t overdo it, this could be one of the most compelling issues of the week.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March

Bruce Wayne has always been considered the quintessential ladies' man. But he's never faced ladies quite like this before! Has Gotham City's playboy prince finally met his match?

Ryan: As long as there isn’t another bait-and-switch on this series like there was last issue (instead of the promised Harley/Hush-as-Bruce Wayne story, we got a fill-in issue about the Riddler), I’m pretty excited about this issue. Hush has big time history with Catwoman and Harley, so there are a lot of intriguing story possibilities that could arise out this situation. I look forward to seeing how Dini plays this one out.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

BLACKEST NIGHT continues! For months, Mongul has wrested control of the Sinestro Corps. Now Sinestro wants a word with him. And Hal wants a word with Sinestro. But in the midst of BLACKEST NIGHT, they'll all become the hunted as the fallen Sinestro Corps members rise. What will happen? Here's a hint: Sinestro gets some serious payback.

Kirk: Quickly losing interest in Blackest Night because of its Secret Invasion-like pacing and all-action-no-plot story.  Really hoping the return of Mongul to the titles will ignite this War of Light and give us something different from the constant stream of 'Black Lantern shows up, says mean things, rips out a heart, rinse and repeat' issues we've been getting since this started.

Ryan: The biggest problem with the Blackest Night story being so centered on the Green Lanterns is that it puts the two ongoing series in the precarious position of picking up leftover story beats that couldn’t make it into the main series. I’m not saying that the Mongul vs. Sinestro vs. Hal vs. Black Lantern Sinestro Corps members isn’t a story that I’m excited about, because I am, I just feel like this series has gotten a bit haphazard since Blackest Night began.

Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Tonci Zonjic

When Angelica ”Firestar” Jones' battle takes a turn for the worse, Patsy “Hellcat” Walker makes a deal with the Son of Satan to save her friend's life. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Monica “Photon” Rambeau’s gotten ahold of one of the world's most powerful occult objects – but does she have the will to control it? Meanwhile, Felicia “The Black Cat” Hardy slips back into her black bodysuit (and her old life of crime?)…putting her into direct conflict with her on-again-off-again flame, the Puma! It's the brawl for it all, folks, and someone's getting their face messed up!

Kirk: Marvel Divas, initial reactions to the solicits and prejudice aside, has been a fairly good comic.  It's not great nor terrible.  The cancer subplot for Firestar seems out of place with the tone of the series, but I'm actually enjoying the comic, so am more than happy to stick it out 'til the end of this miniseries.

Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Sara Pichelli

The unbelievable conclusion to “Homeschooling” is here. And someone comes back.

Ryan: I’ve been waiting for months for this issue! Gert was always my favorite of the Runaways, so her return here is incredibly exciting for me. It is really the only thing that is making for the fact that this is the final issue of the series until it returns from hiatus (which is stupid because the book was finally getting good again!). If this is a swerve, though, I will be one incredibly unhappy camper.

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Vitti

Nick Fury and a long-dormant spy now reactivated continue their top secret mission while the kids get in way over their heads as they go up against members of the Dark Avengers and the Thunderbolts...and while no one else is looking, HYDRA's grand plans continue to unfold. All that and Ares is finally reunited with his son - watch the sparks fly! It's GOD OF FEAR. GOD OF WAR. Part two of four!

Kirk: Kind of leary going into this one.  Still getting the feeling we'll be seeing a rehash of the last issue of Thunderbolts, just from Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors point of view.

Written by Tom DeFalco & Howard Mackie
Art by Todd Nauck

You’ve been asking for it…and now it’s here: THE CLONE SAGA!!! Marvel’s most controversial event of all time returns with a vengeance, presenting the Clone Saga as it was originally intended to be told! From the minds behind the crossover that changed comics forever and the artist that introduced Spider-Man to President Obama, it’s six issues of twists and turns that will shock fans old and new alike! Be here as Peter Parker’s worst nightmare begins again…now with an ending you have to see to believe!

Kirk: Call me a bad person if you must, but I'm going to be first in line to buy this comic.  I enjoyed the Clone Saga.  A lot.  It had its share of flaws and is commonly referred to as the worst point in Spider-Man's history, but many of the people that proclaim this have never even read the comics from this time period or lump the abysmal post-Clone Saga stories (Gathering of Five, Final Chapter [aka return of Aunt May], Howard Mackie/John Byrne reboot, etc) or earlier 90's comics (return of Peter's parents, the whole "I AM SPIDER" grim and gritty stuff, etc) in with the Clone Saga when that just wasn't the case.

I know it's not the perfect Spider-Man era or even close to the best, but I know it isn't the worst and that many of the better aspects of the storyline, before editorial and accounting prolonged it into oblivion, were and are still good and worth re-exploring in a miniseries like this.  Brian Bendis proved the concept could work in the Ultimate Universe, so, at the very least, this should be interesting to see how they re-do the entire saga as a miniseries. 

Written by Felicia D. Henderson
Co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson
Co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar and JĂșlio Ferreira

Come celebrate our gala 75th issue with an all-star cast of Titans past and present! Joining this issue for the extravaganza is new ongoing writer Felicia D. Henderson, a co-executive producer on TV's hit show Fringe! Don't miss this start to a fresh new take on DC's premier teen team!

And in the Ravager co-feature, Rose lies nearly dead in the Arctic when a horrific discovery chills her even more!

Ryan: I may never understand how being a co-executive producer on a hit-TV show is a qualification for anything except co-executive producing more TV shows. Regardless of her qualifications, new writer Felicia Henderson looks to be hitting the ground running with her run on Teen Titans by writing her way through an “all-star cast of Titans past and present.” This should be a good gauge of how well she will do writing this series and whether or not it will end up that I’m only picking up this series for the Ravager backups.

THOR #603
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Marko Djurdjevic

The people of Asgard are fractured, as Loki’s scheming plans start to bear poisonous fruit. In Latveria, Balder and his loyal followers have a home at the tender mercies of Victor Von Doom. Out in the wide open world, Thor and his followers in exile roam without a country. As Loki puts the final calculated moves in play…will the spirit of Asgard itself be destroyed? Don't miss the critically acclaimed, fan-favorite, multiple-Eisner-nominated THOR!

Kirk: How long has it been since the last issue of Thor?  I can barely remember it.  I remember Bill fighting some Asgardians, but that's about it.  I'm sure I'll enjoy this issue, but I really wish it would come out more often. 

Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Carlos Rodriguez

This is it, the finale to writer Andy Diggle’s run! Who is Scourge? What is Black Widow II’s game? Who answers Songbird’s cry for help? All the answers are supplied here, in the latest shocking installment of the book that calls “Bold and awesome…One of the best books Marvel puts out. Period.”

Kirk: From what I understand, this issue is actually a fill-in by Rich Remender and Francesco Mattina.  Doesn't really make sense to me, what with the Secret Warriors crossover, but everything I see online lists this as a fill-in with the Heroes 4 Hire, Luke Cage and Ironfist, somehow being recruited by Norman Osborn.  Here's the new solicit:
Meet the newest Thunderbolts...Power Man and Iron Fist?! Norman Osborn, in need of a powerful duo to send on a to secret mission, makes the former Heroes for Hire a deal they can't refuse!

Luke Cage and Danny Rand have no choice but to become Osborn's personal assassins! What could have caused all this?

Something funny going on here.  The old solicit and cover indicated the original Thunderbolts were coming back.  Now we have a fill-in in the middle of a crossover.

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ron Garney

“THE ADAMANTIUM MEN” The saga of "The Adamantium Men" comes to its heart-stopping and flesh-slicing conclusion. The Chief Executive of Blackguard wants Wolverine dead, and he has a whole squad of laser-clawed super soldiers ready to do the job. When a final confrontation is set-up, how can Wolvie resist the chance to show up and take them all down, even if it's a fight he can't possibly win? Part 5 (of 5)

Kirk: The Adamantium Men is easily shaping up to be a frontrunner for the Best Storyline or Event for this year (Iron Fist's Seven Capital Cities of Heaven tournament arc won it last year).  Aaron and Garney have been doing some incredible work here and I can't wait to see how this one ends.

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Eric Rupe said...

Kirk, you are a very bad person though, honestly, if just aboyut anyone besides DeFalco and Mackie were writing it, I'd probably be buying Clone Sage as well.

Rawnzilla said...

T-Bolts #136 & #137 switched contents. #136 will have the original T-Bolts while #137 will have Power Man & Iron Fist. Also, the solicit for Amazing Spider-Man was only for one of those issues, ASM came out 4 times this month so they only had room in previews for two solicit information

Radlum said...

Am I the only one who liked Alex Wilder in Runaways? I was kind of hoping to see him again, but I guess Gert isn't that bad (though sometimes she was too annoying for me)
Also, I'm looking forward to the Clone Saga miniseries, since I never read the original one (didn't want to get near to it because of all the negative comments) so I'll give this one a try.
And, dammit, I want to see the classic Thunderbolts again.

Klep said...

If you get to like the Clone Saga, I get to like The Other :)

Parallax207 said...

I really hope that Gert isn't who comes back... I think it going on hiatus with Alex Wilder making a return would be a bombshell...

Andrenn said...

My only comic this week is ASM #607 and while you may have disliked the last issue i loved it so I'm excited for this one.

Clone saga has me interested and I'm still regretting dropping Weapon X.

Kevin said...

I'm with you Kirk. I like most of the Clone Saga and thought it was a good storyline. My biggest problem was the ending which left a sour taste in my mouth since I really like Ben Reilly and thought it was a bad move making him Spider-Man and not keeping him as Scarlet Spider. He was great as Scarlet Spider but Marvel screwed that up.

Ethereal said...

No Marvel pulls this week. I had dropped Thor due to delays, and I'm iffy on Secret Warriors. I'm waiting for reviews on both books, along with Thunderbolts. I cut both X-Force and X-Factor from pull my list. I feel like X-Force keeps making me read worse books, so I'm skipping it. X-Factor just isn't as interesting as I'd hope. I don't look forward to it, so I dropped it.

My only pulls from DC are Green Lantern and Superman. I dropped Justice Society of America, I don't like where the franchise is going, in exception to where Magog is. Superman has been sub-par at best. GL looks promising because of the return of Mongul.

Zdenko said...

The last issue of New Avengers ended with Luke Cage surrendering to Norman, so, that explains that Thunderbolts solicit...

Ryan Schrodt said...

@Parallax & Radlum - Alex returning would be a major bombshell, especially with this being the last issue of the hiatus. I'd agree that Alex is the way to go if it weren't for the fact that I am such a huge fan of Gert.

Nathan Aaron said...

"Quickly losing interest in Blackest Night because of its Secret Invasion-like pacing and all-action-no-plot story." I'm really surprised by this, as I'm enjoying it right now. I honestly can't remember what your thoughts were on the Sinestro Corps War; but I thought THAT entire storyline was NOTHING more than a big "let's punch one another for twelve issues" so I actually think this storyline is about par for the course for Geoff John's GL crossovers (but I think it's WAY more fun than SCW ever was. - Sacrilege, I know!)

Anonymous said...

Bringing back gert sounds ridiculous, it may have picked up the series (not sure, haven't been readin it myself) but it just detracts from the emotional impact of BKV's run, which should be read and enjoyed again and a again. Fair enough Mavrel wouldn't leave a hit propetry like Runways unused but the writers sould respect what made Runaways work so well back when it was a one of series.

And Whedon's which I think read as a trade is as good as BKV's; introduced a new chracter. I'd rather have her fleshed out more than have a reserrectuion just to brign back intrest in the series.


Ryan Schrodt said...

@Anonymous/L - I don't think that bringing back Gert is in any way disrespectful to BKV's runs on the title. She was a fan favorite character and great stories were told after her passing--if she comes back, it could just mean more great stories. I'm not sure that is something that BKV would have a problem with, especially since, as you said, you can always go back and reread his great run.

As far as Whedon's run goes, I've read and reread it several times, but it still hasn't gotten any better to me. He seemed to have a lot of trouble understanding the characters and how they interact. The introduction and inclusion of Klara as part of the team was a failed experiment. Whedon couldn't make it work and neither could Moore or Immonen. I'm sure she'll stick around even after Gert comes back (or Alex or Xavin if the cover is a swerve), but I don't think there is much more that can be done with her without a complete character overhaul.

Kirk Warren said...

@Nathan Aaron - The Sinestro Corps did have lots of big explosions and fighting, but the plot progressed, there were character moments and different events each issue. Sure, people died, but it didn't read liek Blackest Night or Secret Invasion currently are.

Both SI and BN consist of a plot-less main event book (currently, BN could change) that simple does the same thing from issue to issue.

In SN, it was 'are you a skrull?", "no, are you skrull?", "i dont trust you", fight, one of them revealed as Skrull, rinse and repeat while the actual plot and reasons for the invasion happened in other tie-ins.

Similarly, BN is shaping up the same way. Big, widescreen popcorn movie-like action int he main book while the actual plot adn character moments are revealed and progressed in other titles, specifically Green Lantern and GLC. It's mostly been 'Black Lantern appears, says mean things, evokes emotion, kills someone, that person becomes BL, rinse and repeat'. If you're only reading Blackest Night, this may not be as apparent, but reading the tie-ins, this regurgitated plot just saps any enthusiasm for the same story over and over again.

In short, it's like they cut the story bits out of Blackest Night, put them in GL and GLC, and focused on shock killings and action scenes in the event book. It's just hard to care about what's happening with the story broken up like that.

Mike El said...

Ben Reilly Spider-Man was the event that brought me into comics, so I have a warm fuzzy place for it. Honestly I enjoyed where it was going, I really liked Dan Jurgens on Sensational, and it's got to be commended for attempting to do to Spider-Man what wasn't successfully done until JMS and Ultimate Spidey came about: that is, get him out of the crap funk he had been in since Harry Osborn died and make him fun and lighthearted again.

However, I am not particularly thrilled that they're retelling this, because it's already clear what the saga was "supposed" to be through the notes and interviews in "Life of Reilly" - that is, Ben was supposed to somehow become Spidey permanently. So whatever alternate ending they have in store is obviously not going to be the "intended" ending, as it's being solicited as.

Furthermore, I really hope they're not seriously planning on tarnishing the Ben Reilly name by making him a serial killer, as is being hinted at in ASM... although I'm seriously leaning towards Kaine being the murderer in question. If it IS Ben... come on! Isn't it enough you killed him, now you've got to ruin the character too?!

Kirk Warren said...

@Mike El - I think the serial killer thing is a throwback to Kaine framing Ben way back when (Lost Years? Forget the name, was a great miniseries with JRJr art telling Kaine and Ben's backstory).

The Life of Reilly is required reading for anyone,e ven those with no interest in the Clone Saga, for the behind thes cenes commentary and eye opening look at what goes on with internal discussions regarding one of comic's biggest characters. I know Ben was supposed to be the real deal based on that, but I never actually thought he'd be the real one while reading. It was a time before the internet spoiled everything and you knew what was happening (there were a few pockets of comic book interest stuff in ~1994, but really hadnt taken off at that point), so I figured Ben was just goingto be Spider-Man's sidekick or the Azrael fill-in for a time and then back to basics later on.

As such, it doesn't bother me if they retell it with a modified ending this time around. I'm just happy to see Scarlet Spider, Kaine and several others from that time period back in action.

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