Monday, December 21, 2009
Just because it's the week of Christmas doesn't mean there are no comics and that means we have another Post-Crisis Previews for you to let you know what comics Ryan and I will be buying this week. As usual, we have our commentary on each of our upcoming purchases on what we expect from each and, as always, let us know what you'll be buying or what you think we're missing from our lists and we'll do our best to try and pick it up for a review. Hit the jump for the previews!
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Javier Pulido
The Sandman has vacillated between good and evil over the years, joining the Sinister Six and the Frightful Four...as well as becoming a reserve Avenger and a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack. But as of this issue, and forever more, he will always be known as a villain--one of the worst in the Wall-Crawler's Rogues Gallery--and it's all Spider-Man's fault! Find out the shocking reason why in this issue as ""THE GAUNTLET"" continues!
Ryan: Last issue left a lot of lingering questions about what Sandman has been up to, but it looks like this issue should be making a definitive stance on some of these outstanding issues. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by this series for the last few storylines, so unless something big happens to change my mind here, this could be my last issue for a while.
Kirk: I actually enjoyed the last issue. It wasn't amazing, but it hit a lot of the right notes, from Spidey's and Betty Brant's interactions to the fight between Sandman and Spidey. The art was excellent as well, which was the first for a while on this title.
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Butch Guice
Steve Rogers has returned, but Bucky Barnes is the current Captain America, and has come into his own in the role. Will there be two Captain Americas? Will Bucky go back to being the Winter Soldier? What will happen? Decisions, decisions, decisions…
Ryan: I’m really surprised by how Marvel has handled the return of Steve Rogers. First, this issue was solicited months ago despite the fact that Cap’s return was still “up in the air” (we knew it would happen, but the story had just been getting started), then a number of issues were released that referenced his return. Now, despite the fact that the Reborn miniseries isn’t complete, this issue is being released. As excited as I am for Steve to come back, this seems a little odd for the company that nearly halted its entire line of comics when Civil War was running late.
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
TRACY LAWLESS is tasked with solving the murders of several mobsters in the city, but his own self-destructive impulses are starting to get in his way. Women and Chinese Triad killers are here to complicate his life, especially the women. And remember, the single issues of CRIMINAL are filled with articles and extras that are not reprinted in the collections.
Ryan: It’s Criminal, so it’s a sure bet that this will be one of the best issues of the week. Enough said.
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Manuel Garcia
Ares and his men enter a suicide standoff! The God of War exposed his hand-picked H.A.M.M.E.R. cadets to intensive, real-world training in the field…by going up against a dark and deadly force from his distant past. But Ares got a deadly heap more than he bargained for, and his trainees are about to get schooled the hard way!
Kirk: If you aren't reading this series, you are missing out on some pure, good ol' fashioned fun. Easily one of the best miniseries of the year. I can't wait to see how Gillen and Garcia finish this one up.
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III
Co-feature art by Cully Hamner
Batwoman's origin story concludes here! In "Go!" part 3, Kate Kane becomes Batwoman and goes after a terrorist cell in Gotham, but all does not go according to plan. Plus, in the present, Kate confronts her father about her supposedly dead sister!
In the co-feature, the Huntress joins The Question in her quest to track down the leaders of the human trafficking ring. But finding them – and bring them to justice – will be harder and more dangerous than either hero thought!
Kirk: Batwoman's origin has been an excellent read and is something that should have been told long ago to dispel the whole lipstick lesbian nonsense that has followed the character since she was first introduced. JH Williams's art is just icing on the cake for this story.
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Pasqual Ferry
Ender has graduated from Battle School to Command School where he'll prepare for the approaching Formic invasion...but he refuses to go. Ender's done playing the games, he's done hurting people. So the military brings in the only person who Ender cares about to convince him to go...his sister Valentine. And in the outer reaches of space, Ender meets the man who will be his last teacher...
Ryan: Ender’s Game: Command School has been one of THE can’t miss comics of the year, so I have no reason to believe that it won’t be another great issue this week, especially as this issue tackles one of the most emotionally complex scenes of the entire original novel—Ender’s last meeting with Valentine before heading to Command School.
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by John Romita Jr.
"It’s almost here! JEPH LOEB and original WORLD WAR HULK artist JOHN ROMITA JR. bring you the set-up to the event of 2010. With the Hulk family growing exponentially over the past year, it was only a matter of time before things came to a smashing head. But what could set all of these characters into a rage that has them turning on each other, and on the world? Whose death starts this? Just what role do Skaar, A-Bomb, the She-Hulks and the Marvel Universe play in this story? One thing’s for sure—things are about to get incredible!
Ryan: I’ve really stayed on the fence about Fall of the Hulks with the handful of setup issues that I’ve read, mostly due to the fact that none have really filled me in on the status quo of the multiple Hulks that are out there at the moment. This issue should give me what I’m looking for and should help me decide if I want to stick around for this event.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Neil Edwards
All the Marvel cool kids show up at the bestest birthday party ever! We got X-kids, Power Pack, and Spider-Man in the house as Franklin celebrates his birthday!. Who cuts the cake? Who brings the best present? And who's the special guest of honor? It's Days of Future Franklin!
Ryan: I’ve never really cared for Franklin Richards, so its hard for me to get excited about this issue, especially since Dale Eaglesham won’t be handling the art chores. This story is going to need something special to capture my attention, but if anyone is up for the job, its writer Jonathan Hickman.
Kirk: Kind of disappointed that Eaglesham isn't on this issue either. For a new "ongoing" artist, he's only done the first three issues so far. Thankfully, Hickman has been holding his own as the new writer.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez
Catwoman takes charge as the other Sirens fall victim to their most dangerous challenge yet!
Ryan: What an informative solicitation! Since this one is starring Catwoman and is written by Paul Dini, I suppose I should be excited, but its hard to get too pumped when the solicitation is telling me absolutely nothing about the issue. This is, most definitely, the epitome of a fill-in issue. Vague solicitation, guest artists, no clear connection to previous or future storylines—yep, I smell filler.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ed Benes
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! John Stewart comes face to face with his greatest failures, the planet Xanshi and his wife and fellow Green Lantern, Katma Tui. Plus, what does Fatality truly want with John?
Ryan: I’m more than a little tempted to skip this issue. With all of the excitement built over the last few issues with Hal Jordan's and Sinestro’s Rainbow Lantern Army, it’s going to be hard to switch gears and get excited about this issue, especially since it focuses on John Stewart, the least interesting of all Green Lanterns. Plus, although I do like Ed Benes’s work, he is a far cry from Doug Mahnke. Let’s hope that I’m wrong, but I don’t have the best feeling about this.
Kirk: Seeing Ed Benes as the artist for this issue was a real let down. The shift to John Stewert, who hasn't been seen in several months, is a little disappointing as well. Not that I dislike Stewert, but we were kind of in the middle of something with the whole Nekron and multiple corps finally getting together. Seems odd to switch gears completely to check in with Stewert.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by Brad Walker
A REALM OF KINGS ISSUE! As the shocking true dangers of the Fault become apparent, the Luminals make an unregulated trip into the wild zone, and they've brought back something that threatens to exterminate all life on Knowhere! You guessed it, now it's up to our rag-tag band of misfits to save the universe.
Ryan: Last issue ended with a great cliffhanger that promised a lot of action in this week’s issue. As long as Abnett and Lanning make room in the struggle for some fun character work, this is going to be one of the frontrunners for the week.
Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Richard Corben
A nineteen-year-old girl is kidnapped and Hellboy tracks her down to a remote clearing in France where she’s about to be given to Asmodeus, in a strange tale of ghosts, demonic revenge, lost love, and King Solomon.
Ryan: I usually read my Hellboy stories in trade format, but its always hard to pass-up a one-shot. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a Hellboy story that I didn’t like, so I find it hard to believe that this will be anything short of awesome, especially since the solicitation promises “demonic revenge. Who doesn’t love demonic revenge?
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Various
The greatest threat the Image Universe has ever faced makes his first move toward world domination! 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: The first issue of Image United was a fun romp that showed how impressive the jam-style art was and introduced us to the main players. This issue should get into the meat of the story, which means that this is the make-it-or-break-it issue for the story. I know that it is going to look great, but how is it going to read?
Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Art by Reilly Brown & Rodney Buchemi
"ASSAULT ON NEW OLYMPUS," Part 2 (of 4) Hercules leads the New and Mighty Avengers against the overwhelming forces of Hera's New Olympus -- but these are no ordinary foes our heroes face, but the gods themselves! Can the superpredator Wolverine outfox an immortal Huntsman? Can Spider-Man out-webspin the divine Arachne? Can Henry Pym outgrow the giant Argus? And with his love Delphyne Gorgon prepared to slay his mentor Athena, Amadeus Cho must make a final, fateful choice!
Kirk: Assault on New Olympus has been good, but not really up to iHerc's typical lofty standards. It just doesn't feel like an epic, world altering showdown with the Atlas Corporation to stop their rollout of Continuum product, of which we know next to nothing about. I'm still a big Herc fan, but here's hoping something happens in this issue to change my opinion of this event.
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Greg Tocchini
In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. To keep this from the public, the government creates a distraction, installing a new currency system using digital charge cards. Enter Graham Brick, a career criminal never quite able to hit the big score. In a grand scheme, Graham intends to steal one of the charging stations, skip the country and live off unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But the media has leaked news of the anti-crime signal one week before it was to go live...and now Graham and his team have just a few days to turn the crime of the century into the last crime in American history.
Ryan: I’m really glad that the dudes at Radical Comics sent me a review copy of this one, as I’ve got a feeling that it is going to be a hard to find issue for most readers. This premise is simply phenomenal and Rick Remender is one of the most creative minds in comics, so the execution should be just as great. I’ve got a distinct feeling that this one is going to be a sleeper hit that will have the comics community buzzing for weeks to come.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli
One month later. Nick Fury's got an army. Hydra goes to war. Leviathan reveals itself. Things heat up and Young Gun Stefano Caselli returns to knock it out of the park!
Kirk: Not that I didn't enjoy the previous God of Fear/God of War arc, but it really felt like Hickman's heart wasn't into it. This return to the whole Hydra/Leviathan story and the return of Caselli to the book should mark a return to the Nick Fury-centric espionage story that defined the book's direction in the opening arc.
Written by John Ostrander
Art by Jan Duursema
After their narrow escape from their last piratical endeavor, Cade and the crew of the Mynock aren’t looking for another job. But when the pirate Rav surprises them with an amazing offer, it may be too good to refuse! Meanwhile, as the Jedi tentatively join the growing alliance against the Sith Empire, Master Wolf Sazen decides it’s time he look again for his wayward former Padawan—Cade Skywalker...
Ryan: I’m glad to see that we’ll be back to focusing on Cade and Company after a few fill-in stories. I’m also glad to see that we’ll see Cade’s former boss Rav show up—I’ve always felt that was one part of Cade’s history that was never fully fleshed out. With Cade’s former boss in crime and his former Jedi Master both looking for him, this could bring up some interesting ethical dilemmas for young Skywalker.
Written by JT Krul
Art by Joe Bennett
An unexpected BLACKEST NIGHT team-up! Ravager has sworn to kill her father Deathstroke. But what happens when they’re forced to fight side-by-side against their dead friends and relatives? Will they kill each other before the Black Lanterns do?
Ryan: The creative team blew me away with the first issue of this Blackest Night tie-in that finds Ravager and Deathstroke teaming up to take on Black Lanterns from their past. The great character work and awesome art should continue this week. I can’t wait to see how this plays out and what the relationship will be like between these two characters will be once this is all said and done—especially since Deathstroke will be leading a new team of Titans in 2010.
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Billy Tan
The invisible hand of Loki’s sly tricks has made plain the treachery that lay in store…and after the devastating events of THOR: DEFINING MOMENTS GIANT-SIZE and THOR 604, everything comes to a head! The volatile balance of power in Latveria is tipped, and all sides march toward all-out war!
Kirk: Thor vs Doom. Can. Not. Wait.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Yanick Paquette
In the deepest darkest dungeons of the Dunwich Sanatorium, the true nature of this maddest of all madhouses is finally revealed, but will the answer come too late for Wolverine to salvage what's left of his sanity? And just what is Dr. Rot building with all of those brains?
Kirk: This arc of Weapon X has been absolutely stellar. It's unlike any Wolverine or other mainstream comic book story you could imagine as we follow the insanity at the Dunwich Sanatorium and try to piece together what brought Wolverine here and what exactly is going on. Another title I can't wait to read this week.
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle
The Toyman has crafted the ultimate killing machine to protect himself from the Kryptonian menace, and Oracle has sent Supergirl and Batgirl to stop it. But when Supergirl faces off against the Kryptonite Man while the new Batgirl takes on Catwoman, they both find themselves in over their heads. This looks like a job for...
Ryan: After being underwhelmed by the first issue in this miniseries, I decided to give the rest a pass. However, the promise of the ever-awesome Jamal Igle drawing not only Supergirl, but also the new Batgirl is more than enough to pique my interest. I’m not 100% sold, but Igle is an artist whose work is certainly strong enough to convince me that this is worth picking up, even if I don’t care for the story.
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Clay Mann
The NECROSHA event hits X-MEN: LEGACY! Selene’s masterplan is clicking into place, but she got something she didn’t plan for when Destiny was brought back to life. A major X-Villain came back with Destiny and a who’s who of X-Men are sent to Muir Island to deal with them. Join Nightcrawler, Colossus, Psylocke, Rogue (if she makes it through #230 alive) and a new member (who’s so secret we can’t mention him here) as they dive into NECROSHA.
Ryan: I’ve decided to sit out Necrosha for the most part, but I’ll be checking this one out anyway as part of my usual pull list. After the rough previous arc (which just ended last week), hopefully Mike Carey can turn things around. He certainly has a good status quo and a great cast of characters to work with; it’s just a matter of finding the right beats for them. I’ll cross my fingers, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.