Monday, October 26, 2009
So...many...comics! Seriously, this week's pull lists for both Ryan and I are bloated beyond reason. We're probably going to be dropping more cash than a small country's annual GDP. Biggest movers and shakers for the week include Blackest Night and Green Lantern, as well as Tony Daniel's return to Batman, for DC and all things cosmic from Marvel with Guardians and Nova dropping this week. There's also a couple of Dark Reign: The List one-shots on hand that I've been looking forward to. Hit the jump to find out what Ryan and I are buying and expecting of all the books we're getting this week!
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel
BATMAN double-ships this month with Tony Daniel returning to the series as the new writer and artist after his best-selling BATTLE FOR THE COWL miniseries! With Batman pounding the pavement in search of Black Mask, Penguin on the run, and the completion of the new Arkham Asylum looming close, Gotham City has reached a boiling point! Guest-starring Catwoman and the Huntress and featuring the return of Gotham City’s most notorious crime family!
Ryan: Tony Daniel impressed me with his work as a writer with Battle for the Cowl, so I’m hoping that he will breathe some life into this series after the utter failure of the recent Judd Winick/Mark Bagley run. This issue sounds awfully ambitious with the number of guest stars and subplots described in the solicitation; I’ve got my fingers crossed that Daniel won’t be aiming a bit too high with his first issue.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis
Summer’s hottest event explodes in this critical issue! Hold on to your power rings, because the secrets behind the Blackest Night finally stand revealed! While Earth is evacuated, Hal Jordan embarks on a brave journey to the darkest depths to uncover the truth behind the Black Lanterns! You won’t believe what he uncovers!
Ryan: Considering the solicitations revealed that Nekron is the main bad guy behind the Blackest Night a few months ago, I’m really hoping that isn’t one of the big secrets that Hal is going to uncover in this issue. That being said, it does sound like the story is finally going to get kick-started in this issue and I’m looking forward to where Geoff Johns takes it now that the initial shock of the undead characters has worn thin.
Kirk: Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps have both been strong of late, going so far as to renew my faith in this event. Would like to see Johns turn this story on its head and break out of the 'dead hero/villain shows up, kills someone' song and dance its been doing since issue one (and repeated in a dozen or so other tie-ins).
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Ed Benes
With their backs against the walls of a battered Titans Tower, the few remaining Titans face their dead former teammates who have now become Black Lanterns! Meanwhile, one Titan discovers a secret weapon...but at what price? Don’t miss this finale from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
Ryan: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how strong this miniseries has been, especially in regards to how compelling the female Hawk and Dove have been. J.T. Krul has taken two characters I really couldn’t have cared less about and made me want to read more stories starring them. I expect more of the same quality here.
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Manual Garcia
Ares – the God of War! His relentless brutality and his bloodthirsty drive to attain victory at any cost earned him only scorn from his fellow gods in the Greek pantheon, and exile from Olympus. After thousands of years living as a man and fighting in man’s bloody, petty conflicts, Ares joined the ranks of Earth’s mightiest heroes – the Avengers. Now Norman Osborn – the new head of the corrupted Dark Avengers and director of the paramilitary intelligence agency H.A.M.M.E.R. – wants the finest fighting force the God of War can provide. He charges Ares with hand-picking an elite squad of soldiers and beating them into the hardest, sharpest warriors ever to wield an M-60 in each hand. And that’s exactly what Ares will need, when the goddess Hera provides him with a fighting chance to regain his standing in the pantheon’s eyes. And Ares is taking his men with him into the battle of their lives…
Kirk: I'm picking this series up purely because Kieron Gillen is writing it. He stepped up big on the Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter miniseries, which had no right being as good as it was, and I've been a fan of his since the first Phonogram series.
Written by Rick Remender
Art by John Romita Jr
Frank Castle has disabled much of Norman Osborn’s criminal underground, tarnished his well-groomed public image and attempted to assassinate him. Today Osborn returns the favor. With Frank still torn apart from his battle with the Hood, Osborn dedicates himself and every single HAMMER resource to one goal: killing The Punisher. To make sure they don’t fail, The Dark Avengers are going with them. Somebody has to die. Somebody will. Legendary artist John Romita Jr. returns to The Punisher, joined by regular series writer Rick Remender for this, the most ferocious battle of Frank Castle’s life. Plus, a preview of the next exciting chapter of the Punisher.
Kirk: I've been interested in picking up Rick Remender's Punisher since it started appearing in our Moments of the Week on a regular basis. This seems like a good spot to get my feet wet as I'm familiar with the List "event" and this might actually end up being the death of the Punisher seeing as the whole RIP arc is coming up. John Romita Jr art is a nice bonus, too.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Esad Ribic
The power mad Norman Osborn wants control of the Weapon Plus program. The eternally-surly Wolverine wants to stop him. The artificially-evolved super-sentinel Fantomex wants to shoot everyone in the face and zip away in his kick-ass flying saucer. The Kree warrior Marvel Boy just wants the hell out. And the all-new Weapon XVI wants to bring the world to its knees. And you should want to read it. PLUS: Jason Aaron’s never-before-reprinted first Wolverine story, from WOLVERINE (first series) 175—and more!
Kirk: Jason Aaron writing, Esad Ribic art, Wolverine, Fantomex, & Marvel Boy. I don't see how anyone isn't buying this issue.
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III
Co-feature art by Cully Hamner
The shocking and tragic origin story of Batwoman begins here! In "Go" part 1, young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate's life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same! Plus, the mystery behind the villainous Alice is at last revealed!
Then, in The Question co-feature, Renee's search for a missing girl comes to a bittersweet end, leaving Renee with more questions and an even bigger mystery for her to solve. As long as she can survive the night, that is…
Kirk: I didn't realize Batwoman did not have an origin until reading this solicit. She just sort of showed up and they never really explained it. Should make for a great second arc for Rucka's and Williams's Batwoman run.
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Mahmud A. Asrar and Guests
CHANGE IS HERE! In the wake of Father Gideon's devastating attack, Maddie's darkest secret is revealed – and it will change Dynamo 5 forever! Featuring 45 pages of all-new material, including five back-up stories by guest artists TIM SEELEY, FRAN BUENO, ANDIE TONG, MATEUS SANTOLUCCO and JOE EISMA each of which examines a different aspect of the changes that take place this issue and laying the groundwork for the future of the series!
Ryan: This series has been spinning its wheels for much of 2009, so I’m hoping that this oversized special issue will breathe some of the missing life back into the book. If nothing else, it will be awesome to see some new intepretations of the characters; I’m especially looking forward to seeing what the incredibly underrated Tim Seeley has in store for us.
Written by Jonthan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham
This is the shocking conclusion to dramatic first arc from Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham that spins Marvel's first family into a bold new era of adventure. Be there to see Reed Richards SOLVE EVERYTHING.
Ryan: The Hickman/Eaglesham-era of Fantastic Four has been off to a great start so far with a brilliant mix of inventive sci-fi and awesome character work. I can’t imagine that the conclusion to this story can be any bolder than what we’ve seen already, but the one thing about a Jonathan Hickman book is that you should always expect the unexpected.
Kirk: Wow, conclusion already? I hope we see more of the Reed Richards Corps (okay, that's not their actual name, but it's what I refer to them by) over the course of the run. Also, curious as to how the other members of the Fantastic Four react when they find out what Reed's been up to.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March
Harley Quinn takes center stage this issue as the girls deal with the after effects of Hush’s deadly manipulations over the last few months. Plus, don’t miss a surprise guest-star!
Ryan: This series has really yet to find its focus and, while I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far, the gimmick of the unlikely team-up of the main characters is starting to wear thin. I’m hoping that the Sirens face off against the Joker in this issue (he attacked them at the end of last issue) will help Paul Dini find that focus.
GREEN LANTERN #47
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The war between the Blue Lanterns and Agent Orange implodes as the universe darkens! But a strange turn will send this epic battle in an unexpected direction when Larfleeze has something he desperately hordes taken away from him!
Ryan: Finally! I’ve been waiting (somewhat) patiently for months for someone to pick up the story thread of Larfleeze’s attack on the Blue Lanterns, which has been largely ignored since Blackest Night began. Of course, after Larfleeze found himself surrounded by the Black Lantern versions of the “Lanterns” he’s killed to make his constructs last issue, I’m guessing that things won’t bode well for the Orange Lantern.
Kirk: You and me both Ryan. I can't believe it's taken, what, six issues for that "minor" subplot to be followed up on. In the end, I see it just fizzling out and the orange constructs dissipating as Larfleeze deals with the Black Lanterns.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig
Will Kang Conquer the Guardians? Rocked by the aftershocks of War of Kings, Star-Lord’s team – now castaways across shattered timelines – are desperate to find a route home before all possible futures fuse into one dark nightmare! Guest-starring the original Guardians of the Galaxy (sort of) and the infamous time-traveling despot who may be their only hope!
Ryan: The time-and-space-traveling squad of Guardians have been a bit rougher than the more stationary team, but that isn’t say a whole lot since even the weakest issue of Guardians of the Galaxy is considerably better than most books. I imagine the inclusion of Kang the Conqueror into this week’s issue is only going to make things that much quirkier for our heroes, which bodes well for readers.
Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Art by Rodney Buchemi
The epic Secret Origin of Amadeus Cho concludes! He learns his connection with the original MASTER MIND EXCELLO and the identity of who really killed his parents! And once Amadeus knows this, will he look to reunite with Hercules... or destroy him?
Kirk: While I'm starting to warm up to the Amadeus Cho centric issues of Incredible Hercules, it's going to be a tough task to follow up on the Thorcules vs Hercuthor battle from last issue. Still looking forward to it, though.
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Tonci Zonjic
All your questions will be answered here, True Believers! When the real intentions behind Daimon Hellstrom's indecent proposal come to light, does it mean that once again, Patsy Walker is going to Hell? Also, now that Monica's helped Doctor Voodoo obtain the dread monkey's paw, does that means HE now owes HER? After Felicia's fight with the Puma last issue, is there any way their relationship can survive? And when a blast from the past re-enters Angelica's life, will it be at the moment of her greatest triumph or most crushing defeat? All bets are off in the heart-stopping conclusion of this high-buzz mini-series!
Kirk: I've got the first three parts of this series, so I'll finish it out with this concluding chapter. I really, really hope they don't resort to some magic cure/deal with the devil solution to Firestar's cancer.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Kevin Sharpe
“Starstalker” Part 2 finds Nova and his fledgling Corps pitted against a threat from another dimension, forced to team up with the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunter, and coping with a blast from the past! Find out why AintItCoolNews.com calls NOVA, “bar none, one of the consistently best comics Marvel puts out."
Ryan: It’s Nova and he’s going to be fighting something awesome, so that pretty much makes this a Must Read issue already. I really don’t need to hype something this good; you should be buying it anyway.
Written by Joshua Ortega
Art by Mel Rubi
RED SONJA LIVES! Dynamite Entertainment presents a bold new direction for the mother of all warriors, Red Sonja! Under the direction of writer Joshua (Death Dealer) Ortega, QUEEN SONJA #1 also features the return of artist Mel Rubi!
Sonja finds herself with more than she bargained for as she takes the throne of her homelands! This first issue also features bonus pages of Red Sonja material, including a reprint of a classic Red Sonja story!
Ryan: Queen Sonja is one of several books this week that will be an in-store decision for me. I dropped the Red Sonja series for financial reasons a few months back, but this relaunch and new direction has been wooing me for a while now with the promise of Mel Rubi’s return to the character and the awesome preview pages. It’s going to be hard for me to pass this one up.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Viti
GOD OF WAR. PART THREE OF FOUR! Nick Fury's secret base is infiltrated by Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R., and with Marvel's super spy on a top secret mission, the kids have to fend for themselves. It's Ares, Bullseye and Iron Patriot versus the Secret Warriors. GOD OF FEAR.
Kirk: I'm still trying to figure out how these Ares/Secret Warriors stories all link together. He's met and approved of what his son is doing in Dark Avengers, sat by while Norman called for his son's head in Thunderbolts, teamed up to help Nick Fury in the recent List one-shot and is now going to fight the Secret Warriors here. I'm not blaming Hickman for the discrepencies, but I'm hoping to see some kind of clarification on the matter before this arc ends.
Written by Howard Mackie & Tom DeFalco
Art by Todd Nauck
Ben Reilly: carbon copy or the real deal? It’s only issue two and already we’re letting this genie out of the bottle! Find out what the architects of the original Spidey epic REALLY had in store for poor Peter Parker as the sensational series that has everyone talking ramps up into high gear!
Kirk: I'd call this a guilty pleasure, but the first issue was actually a pretty solid opening. Nothing mind blowing, but not the unmitigated disaster everyone was expecting either.
Written by John Ostrander
The Galactic Alliance’s Rogue Squadron is on a mission to rescue a group of Mon Calamari refugees, but the Rogues may be forced to retreat when both the Sith and a Mandalorian bounty hunter create complications. One of the Rogues, Hondo Karr, takes center stage on this risky job—from which at least one member of the squad will not return...
Ryan: It looks like Star Wars: Legacy will be taking a break from Cade Skywalker, once again, to return to the fate of the Mon Calamari and their ongoing conflict with the Sith. These stories have been incredibly uneven fill-ins, but I’m hoping the recent upswing in quality for this series as a whole will bleed into this story.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
In this second issue, readers will witness young Clark Kent’s initial journey into the late 30th century as Superboy and see how meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes shapes the Superman he will one day become! Plus, more on the beginnings of the young Lex Luthor!
Ryan: All you really need to know about this is Geoff Johns + Gary Frank + Superman = Awesomeness.
Written by Felicia D. Henderson and Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett and Yildiray Cinar
Guest-starring Beast Boy and Raven! With the Teen Titans unraveling at the seams, two former members must return to Titans Tower to help Wonder Girl right the sinking ship! If only it were that easy...
And in the Ravager second feature, Rose uncovers a horrific black market. And she deals with it the only way she knows how: with blood.
Ryan: Felicia Henderson’s debut as writer for this series last month was majorly disappointing and I don’t have a tremendous amount of faith in the idea that adding Beast Boy and Raven to the team is going to help her cause any—especially after how horribly shallow her take on Beast Boy was last issue. The good news is that Sean McKeever’s Ravager story has been excellent, though I’m not sure it’ll justify the $3.99 cover price on its own.
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Carlos Pacheco
THE SEARCH FOR STEVE ROGERS CONTINUES! From the mad minds of MARK MILLAR (ULTIMATES 1 & 2) and CARLOS PACHECO (X-MEN), Nick Fury assembles a new team of deadly operatives to track down the renegade Captain America! But what will the Avenger’s resident marksman HAWKEYE have to say about Fury’s tactics and will these new faces make the cut when the %^&( hits the fan?
Ryan: This is the make-it-or-break-it moment for this series for me. I’ve enjoyed the series thus far, but the story is moving awfully slowly and I’m not really sure if it justifies the higher $3.99 price tag. The debut of Nick Fury’s new team of “deadly” Avengers is going to have to be big or this will be my last issue of this series.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Yanick Paquette
“INSANE IN THE BRAIN” PART 1 (of 4) Welcome to Dunwich Sanatorium, where the only people weirder than the patients are the doctors in charge. The newest resident is a man known only as Patient X, a poor confused soul who doesn't remember who he is or how he came to be here. He only has vague memories of living with wolverines and traveling to the moon and killing lots and lots of people. Lucky for him, he came to the right place. The good Dr. Rot knows everything there is to know about the human brain. Including how to remove it... This issue begins an all-new arc unlike any Wolverine story you've ever read.
Kirk: Disappointed to see Ron Garney off the title, but hopefully he'll be rotated in for different arcs with Jason Aaron in the future. However, I've been looking forward to this arc since it was first announced. It just sounds like something completely different than the usual fair.
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Julian Lopez
After tracking down a threat to The Man of Steel – and all of Metropolis – Red Robin must team up with the new Kryptonian Nightwing to end this mysterious threat and rescue Flamebird. But is all this just a red herring to distract the heroes from an even bigger threat to Gotham City and New Krypton? Be here to find out in this 4-issue miniseries from rising star writer Sterling Gates (SUPERGIRL) and artist Julian Lopez.
Ryan: I think the premise behind this miniseries—a “new” member of the Superman family teams up with a “new” member of the Batman family in each issue, forming a much larger story—but with the huge haul this week, I’m not sure if an “introductory” miniseries will make the cut. It’s going to take a strong showing during the in-store flip through to sell me on the necessity this one.
Written by Various
Art by Clayton Crain and Ibraim Roberson
Death has come to the X-Men. The one true Black Queen has returned, and she wants nothing less than every soul of mutant-kind…dead or alive. And everyone that's ever crossed Selene is going to pay. The dead rise, familiar faces haunt mutants across the world, and Selene takes her final steps into becoming a god. It all begins here in a full-length X-FORCE extravaganza, and continues in the pages of next month's issue of X-FORCE...but the shockwaves of this terrifying event will be felt in NEW MUTANTS and X-MEN: LEGACY as well, and those reverberations begin here in two all-new bonus tales
Ryan: I can’t say that I’m tremendously excited about the X-Necrosha event. It’s a bit too much like Blackest Night for me and, honestly, I’m still not 100% sold on X-Force and I’m not reading New Mutants. I really hate to be forced into picking up books I wouldn’t normally in a crossover I’m not thrilled about to begin with. I may pick this up just to see if I can be sold on X-Necrosha, but signs are pointing towards me avoiding it altogether.
Kirk: I'm going to give this a shot. I've read enough of the X-Force series to have the backstory for it and, based on what's been said in interviews, each book (X-Force, X-Men Legacy and New Mutants) will tell their own stories and do not continue into each other in any way. So I'll probably pick up X-Force and the various one-shots for this event starting with this one. For thsoe interested in the event, check out my primer/Top 10 Tuesday post on it.
Written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Art by Mike Choi
The Facility created X-23 to be the ultimate killing machine, an assassin for hire that would never stop until her target was dead. And now they want more of her. But X-23's got a new target now…them. HAMMER Agent Morales is about to see a side of X-23 that only two people have ever seen...and lived to tell about it. PLUS...Wolfsbane is reunited with X-Force just as Selene's forces descend on the X-Men. To be continued in the X-FORCE/NEW MUTANTS: NECROSHA ONE-SHOT!
Ryan: Much like the X-Necrosha one-shot this week, I’m really on the fence about this one. I like the character work by Kyle and Yost, plus Mike Choi’s art is always awesome, but my lack of investment in the story could mean that this one might get chopped to ease up my already bloated pull list.