Monday, November 23, 2009
It's the end of the month, so that means Marvel and DC have overloaded this Wednesday, and this editon of the Post-Crisis Previews, with a billion books in some convuluted plot to garner more sales. All I know is I'll be taking home a child crushing sized bag of comics, including the likes of Blackest Night, the conclusion to JMS's run on Thor, Detective Comics and even some Incredible Hercules, among half a dozen or more others.
Hit the jump to find out what Ryan and I will be purchasing this week, our thoughts and expectations for each and, as always, feel free to suggest any books you feel we may be missing out on or just let us know what you think of the books coming out this week.
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Paul Azaceta
THE GAUNTLET continues! His electric abilities waning and waxing uncontrollably while the power of his fame grows, Electro turns to an unexpected ally to seek a cure for his condition!
Ryan: Mark Waid and Company took this series in a very strange direction last week by pushing Electro as the new “hero of the people,” because he is standing up for the disenfranchised during the recent financial crisis. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting, but I was really hoping we’d see more superheroes versus supervillains action from this Gauntlet storyline.
Kirk: I'm in the same boat as Ryan. Not a terrible outing last issue, but was expecting some actual super heroing instead of Spider-Man getting beat up by New Yorkers for the umpteenth time while the villain looks on.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis
The moment you’ve hungered for finally arrives! Who controls death in the DC Universe? NEKRON - Lord of the Undead! The dark being behind the undead Black Lanterns makes his presence and purpose known, and our heroes discover they’re not only fighting for their lives, but their after-lives as well. Don’t miss this game-changing issue from superstar writer Geoff Johns and stellar artist Ivan Reis!
Ryan: This could be the defining issue for the entire Blackest Night event. We’ve already seen the shock, the reaction, and now the reveal—but now it is time for the purpose. If Johns and Reis don’t nail this one, it could cast a negative light on the entire event. Considering the fact that so few people know anything at all about Nekron, they’ve got their work cut out for them!
Kirk: With Nekron so promently displayed on covers to the Blackest Night: Flash miniseries, I wonder if he's going to show up and quickly get written out of the main event title to go play with Barry and leaving the main event for Black Hand and the Spectre story to unfold. Would be an odd decision, but the Blackest Night title has been far from essential compared to Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps in my eyes. Hell, no Green Lanterns even showed up in the last issue and it's their event. However, maybe this is the issue where the rest of the DCU is told to get out of the way and let the Green Lanterns finally shine as we find out more about Nekron and his true purpose.
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Manuel Garcia
The mission becomes personal -- and the stakes get real! Ares gets the opportunity to right one of the great wrongs of his past...and he takes his hand-picked squad of elite troops along for a training exercise. But can even the hardest and sharpest of Norman Osborn's crack H.A.M.M.E.R. troops handle themselves in a battle among gods? Watch a pack of grunts dropped into a clash of the titans, in the explosive new mini-series by Kieron Gillen (BETA RAY BILL: GODHUNTER) and Manuel García (SPIDER-MAN: BREAKOUT)!
Kirk: First issue was excellent and did for Ares what Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter did for Beta Ray Bill. Gillen seems to get what makes these characters tick and writes a story perfectly suited for each. Ares hasn't been this fun to read since he was rebooted in his Ares: God of War miniseries from a few years back.
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III & Cully Hamner
Batwoman's origin continues! In "Go!" part 2, Kate Kane is outed and forced to leave West Point. When she lands in Gotham City, she meets officer Renee Montoya and has a fateful encounter with The Dark Knight that will forever change her life!
The case may be closed closed, but questions remain in The Question's co-feature. And Renee won't stop until she has the answers! When a new lead points to the Sicilian mafia, The Question turns to an expert for assistance. But can she trust the Huntress to be professional when family rears its ugly head?
Kirk: There aren't enough adjectives to describe how good Detective Comics has been with Rucka and Williams III on the book. Batwoman's origin story, while only one issue in, is compelling and informative. Should be another great issue from this team.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Neil Edwards
Adventures on Nu Earth! Ben and Johnny have big plans for a much needed vacation in the company of refugees from the future - booze, ladies, misadventures...and two stowaways named Franklin and Val.
Ryan: Jonathan Hickman’s debut arc was an instant classic, so this series has a ton of momentum going into this issue. When you add in what sounds to be a great plot, the only downside to this one could be the fill-in artist, especially after Dale Eaglesham did such great work on the previous issues.
Kirk: Hickman's and Eaglesham's first Reed Richards-centric story arc put the fantastic back in Fantastic Four. Was it a fluke? Can this book really be the "world's greatest magazine" again or will we fall back on familiar tropes and cliches? I'm hoping it's the former.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March
Now that Mr. J’s secret is out in the open, will the girls’ reaction take them to the point of no return? And will Harley Quinn ever be the same?
Ryan: Last month’s issue was easily the best yet for this title, with the twist reveal of Joker’s long-forgotten sidekick Gaggy being the one who attacked Harley being handled really well. I look forward to seeing Harley’s reaction this week, though I’m really hoping we might get a cameo from the real Clown Prince of Crime.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! Agent Orange and his Orange Lanterns face off against the Black Lantern Corps, and Larfleeze finds himself wanting something he never has before: Help. Meanwhile, Saint Walker comes face-to-face with the one being in the universe he has no patience for – Sinestro!
Ryan: Larfleeze has been one of my favorite new characters to spin out of this event and I’m really excited to see the character taken out of his comfort zone. He’s a character that deserves some depth added to his personality. Plus, after the last few issues and how great they’ve been for the development of his character, I’m simply pumped to see what’s next for Sinestro.
Kirk: Larfleeze and Atrocitus fight over the Orange Lantern. I don't really need to know much else about what goes on in this issue. Green Lantern has been absolutely stellar during Blackest Night and there's really not much else to say other than you should be buying this book.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Brad Walker
A REALM OF KINGS story! The Guardians have been to hell and back on a desperate quest to save the past, present and future of the universe itself. But after their monumental efforts and terrible sacrifice, could it be that—due to the end of WAR OF KINGS and the creation of The Fault—the universe is an even more dangerous place than before...and they just don’t realize it yet?
Ryan: The last issue of Guardians of the Galaxy featured the shocking deaths of a number of major players, so I expect that we will see the reactions of the survivors in this issue. This title has excelled through wit and charm, but we should see a whole new side in this week’s issue. Thank goodness a capable artist is back on board after the simply horrible work from Wes Craig on the last few!
Kirk: Really want to read this issue to find out what happens after half the team was killed by Magus last issue. Are they really dead? More time travel to fix it? Magus is set to return in the future, so I hope they all didn't die in vain. I also don't want a convenient resurrection for everyone either, but I can't imagine how they'll continue "business as usual" with so many key players, including Adam Warlock, dead.
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Various
THE CROSSOVER EVENT OF THE CENTURY IS HERE! The heroes of the Image Universe are united in order to fight the greatest threat the world as ever faced! You can’t miss this historic event as the original Image Founders draw all the characters they made history with. Each page is an amazing jam piece – it’s a story told in a way never before attempted in comics!
Ryan: I think it goes without saying that this is the big release for this week. I haven’t read a comic featuring a lot of these characters since the initial Image boom, so it will be interesting revisiting them. I’m trying to keep my expectations for this one low so I’m not disappointed. I am, however, applauding the awesome jam-style approach to the artwork. If nothing else, it’s a bold and exciting move.
Written by Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak & Jeff Parker
Art by Rodney Buchemi & Gabriel Hardman
ASSAULT ON NEW OLYMPUS: Part 1 (of 4) A battle of god-like proportions begins...right now! For months, the signs have been all over the Marvel Universe... The tension has been rising... All pointing to a single question: "What is CONTINUUM?" The answer turns out to be so deadly, so horrifying, that it will alter the course of the MU forever -- unless Hercules and the New and Mighty Avengers can stop it in time... but standing in their way is the fighting-mad ARES, God of War! "And, in our backup tale, there's no love for Venus as Aphrodite's rain of pain continues to pour on the Agents of Atlas!
Kirk: The Assault on New Olympus one-shot was good and read a lot like an issue of Incredible Hercules and failed to really drive home that this is an event you should be reading. However, I'm still pumped for more Hercules and highly recommend taking a chance on the book. Easily the best book Marvel is publishing and probably only behind DC's Secret Six for the best overall.
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley
The BLACKEST NIGHT darkens the skies over the Justice League in this important tie-in issue! Can the team get it together in time to survive the return of the undead Dr. Light? Or will his now-shadowy evil strangle everybody where they stand?
Ryan: James Robinson and Mark Bagley’s debut on Justice League couldn’t have gone much worse than it did, but I’ve been suckered into picking this issue up for the final Blackest Night promotional ring. It’s going to take something seriously impressive for this issue not to be ranked towards the low-end this week.
Written by Brian Reed
Art by Mark Robinson
The War of The Marvels is over, but before Carol Danvers can deal with it’s aftermath, she must brace herself as she faces down the biggest mistake she made before her apparent death…promising Spider-Man she’d go out with him. Brian Reed teams with Mark Robinson (SKRULL KILL KREW) to bring you THE AMAZING SPIDER-DATE!
Kirk: I've read Ms Marvel in the past and enjoyed the few times she's interacted with Spider-Man. I even have the issue where they make their informal date that is slated to take place in this issue and it is the reason I'm picking up this random issue of the series.
Written by Joshua Ortega
Art by Mel Rubi
The story of Sonja’s march to the throne continues as writer Joshua Ortega and artist Mel Rubi weave an incredible tale of intrigue and power in the ancient lands of Hyboria!
Ryan: Mel Rubi is one of my favorite Red Sonja artists in recent years; his art on this series is really the biggest draw for me. Considering this solicitation really doesn’t say much about what is happening here, Dynamite is assuming that it will be reason enough for me to buy it. They’re probably right.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Vitti
The time has come to settle all accounts. What was the deal Fury struck with Ares concerning his son? What does the future hold for the God of Fear? A hall of Gods and the judgement of Phobos...and of course, plenty of that super hero spy stuff you're used to...
Kirk: I'm not exacty sure what's going on with Secret Warriors and this God of War/Godof Fear storyline, especially with what went down in Thunderbolts. I still enjoy it, but welcome a return to the Hyrda storyline and the espionage and Nick Fury focus the book had in its opening arc.
Written by Tom DeFalco & Howard Mackie
Art by Todd Nauck
Who is the man called Kaine and what does he want with Peter Parker? Will his deadly endgame mean the end of one Spider-Man...and the birth of another? Plus: baby makes three for Mary Jane and Aunt May's life hangs in the balance! All that...and one haunting ghost from the past returns as Marvel's most controversial book keeps fans guessing!
Kirk: I think most, or at least those that have read it, have been surprised that Spider-Man: The Clone Saga wasn't the train wreck of a story many expected it to be. However, that doesn't mean it's been great either. It's sort of meandering about at the moment, stringing together various plots from the original in an jarring manner. I'm in it for the long haul, but I hope things the dots start connecting and this story starts going somewhere new to warrant the retread.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gar Frank
So long, Smallville; hello, Metropolis! Join Geoff Johns and Gary Frank as they explore a very different Metropolis from the one we currently know – one that has yet to experience life with Superman as its protector. Witness the transformative power one person can have on a city as young Clark Kent joins The Daily Planet, and Superman takes to the skies and gives everyone a reason to look up. Over the years, Superman has come to mean everything to Metropolis, but be here to learn why Metropolis means everything to Superman!
Ryan: I’ve been reading a lot of complaints about this story from various other reviewers, but personally, I’ve been loving it. I can’t wait for this week’s issue, especially with the approach that Metropolis was a very different place before Sueprman became its protector. This is a pretty unique spin on this part of Superman’s origin and I’m very excited to see how it plays out!
Written by JT Krul and Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett and Yildiray Cinar
It’s a return of the teenage dead in this BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in issue! There’s certainly no shortage of dead Teen Titans, so when the Black Lanterns come a-calling, old teammates return with a vengeance! It’s a Titan’s worst nightmare come true!
Ryan: Its pretty insane that there have been so many dead Teen Titans that they can fill not only a couple of tie-in issues, but also its own miniseries (Blackest Night: Titans). JT Krul did an awesome job with that miniseries, so I’m hoping he can bring more of that magic to the main series. At the very least, I know it will be better than Felicia Henderson’s horrible work on the last few issues.
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Marko Djurdjevic
Have the events of this arc not been shocking and gut-wrenching enough for you so far, dear readers?! All bets are off as the curtain falls – will friendly faces and a new, long-lost ally make all the difference for Thor? What are Loki’s treacherous plans for the Asgardians in their new home of Latveria…and does the scheming Dr. Doom have an agenda of Doom’s own? How will the humble, Earth-born Bill aid Balder, Asgard’s rightful ruler…and at what cost? You won’t want to miss this landmark issue of the critically acclaimed, mega-hit, Eisner-nominated THOR!
Kirk: Defining Moments Giant-Size? What is with the title of this issue? Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? They need to take him out back and beat him with a sock full of pennies. In regards to the story, it really feels like things are coming to ahead too quickly after the lumbering pace JMS employed for the first dozen or so issues. I'm really not sure how any of the current plots will be resolved by the end of this, but I imagine, with the behind the scenes nonsense regarding the upcomign Siege and JMS not wanting any part of it, that I may be disappointed with the answers to my concerns.
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Carlos Pacheco
These ain't yer momma's super heroes! The streets of Paris will never be the same after America's super-soldier faces off with the darker side of conflict resolution: the mighty AVENGERS!
Ryan: I’m really on the fence about this one. I like the concept of this story and I’m interested in seeing how Captain America can take down the new group of Avengers, but their debut last issue really didn’t wow me and this series has yet to show that it is worth $3.99 an issue. I want to know what happens, but I might have to take a pass on this one.
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Greg Land
Magneto’s return has stunned the X-Men, but that’s not the only surprise they’re in for as a herd of Predator X’s come hungry for mutant tar tar. The hits just keep on coming, but can the X-Men, still nursing their wounds from UTOPIA, deal with all this?
Ryan: I’m really at war with myself over this one. On one hand, I really like the X-Men and I think that Matt Fraction is setting up some good ideas. On the other hand, its traced by Greg Land, so I know that my enjoyment is going to be killed by the art. I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this one up, but I am sure that is one of the single worst covers of the last decade.