Monday, February 22, 2010

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 02/24/10

Light week on the comic side of things.  Blackest Night is finally resuming, so I guess that could be considered big.  I'm just a little unphased by it lately since most of the story seems to take place in Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps.  Might change now that the endgame is upon us. Very little else stands out, but I may be missing something. Hit the jump to see what Ryan and I will be buying this week and our expectations for each.

Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Weisman
Art by Luke Ross & Joe Quinones

As the Gauntlet rages on around him, the spotlight is on Peter Parker’s original archenemy-turned-best friend, Flash Thompson. Since losing his legs in service to his country, Flash Thompson’s not been deterred by his physical limitations. But even a hero can have his limits. Greg Weisman, one of the brains behind the smash TV hit Spectacular Spider-Man, teams with Luke Ross (CAPTAIN AMERICA) to bring a touching story of Flash Thompson coming to terms with his new life. Then, Fred Van Lente and Joe Quinones (WEDNESDAY COMICS) bring Spider-Man face-to-face with Morbius, The Living Vampire!

Kirk: This solicit doesn't fill me with hope for this issue.  Sounds like a "Flash is now defined by his handicap and can only be in stories that deal with it" story followed by a Morbius-that-isn't-anything-like-the-Punisher-version tale that is going on over in Frankencastle's little bubble of the Marvel Universe.  Would have been a pretty cool guest appearance if they worked that in here. I've been enjoying ASM the past couple months, so I'll give 'er a whirl, but this is the first time I've felt nervous picking up an issue.

Written Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

Only months into his new role as Batman, Dick Grayson faces perhaps the biggest threat of his life. In hopes of attaining his heart’s desire, has Dick instead unleashed a terror the likes of which the world has never seen? Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, Alfred and a recuperating Robin are at the mercy of someone both fearsome and familiar...

Ryan: Want to know what happens in this issue? Let me run it down for you: Most of the cast is written completely out of character, Morrison references issues that either no one has read in years or other writers have largely ignored because they weren’t any good, something weird happens for the sake of something weird happening, and thousands of people on the internet proclaim it is genius because Grant Morrison wrote it, even though they’d probably recognize it as nonsense and drivel if any other name was credited as the writer. Oh wait…I dropped this book? Then I probably didn’t need to do a write-up, huh?

Kirk: While not as embittered as Ryan on this one, I'm not exactly thrilled with how the title has progressed since the fun, All Star Superman-like take on Batman that was the first arc with Quitely.  Fridging Batwoman, even if she'll likely survive her "death", for no other reason than to fridge her really turned me off of last issue and that was before addressing any of the plotting or storytelling concerns I had. Hoping this issue turns things around for me.  Likely stick around for the next Quitely arc and call it a year for this title if things don't change.

Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Will Conrad


Ryan: What an incredibly informative solicitation. Whatever, it's written by JT Krul and that’s all I really need to know to be certain that I’m going to enjoy the dickens out of this one.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

As Nekron continues to wage war on life throughout the universe, Hal Jordan discovers the grim, true mission behind the villain's return. But the truth is so cosmically abysmal that it threatens to expose a secret that could tear the very universe asunder. You can't miss this stunning, penultimate issue to the year's biggest event!

Kirk: Been a while since we saw this event book. If you forgot what brought us to this point, might want to check out our Blackest Night in 60 Seconds image "recap" post.  Not sure what to expect here.  Most of the heroes that were turned into Black Lanterns a couple issues ago have been reverted to their normal selves in tie-ins already.  Nekron apparently stood around for a while doing nothing while everyone dealt with the Spectre, too.  We going to get some action here or is that all saved for the final issue?

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham

At the bottom of the world, there’s a mystery buried deep beneath Vostok station.

Ryan: Jonathan Hickman + Mystery + Fantastic Four + art by Dale Eaglesham = We all win. ‘Nuff said.

Kirk: Hmm, was expecting more on that Moloid civilization from last issue. Not sure where Hickman is going with this one.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March

The Riddler continues leading the Gotham City Sirens into a labyrinth of puzzling predicaments. Is Edward Nigma friend or foe? Whatever the case may be, the girls are going to get their revenge.

Ryan: The few fill-in stories for this series seem to have confused the solicitations. I’m assuming that this issue is going to start The Riddler storyline and I’m pretty excited about it. Dini’s new take on the Riddler has been a ton of fun and this series has been a surprisingly strong addition to DC’s publishing line-up.

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Pablo Raimondi

No one ever told the Inhumans that ruling the Kree Stellar Empire would be easy, but this is ridiculous! Assailed from all sides by threats foreign and domestic, the Royal Family battles to maintain order and retain the throne. But are they all pulling in the same direction? The power plays begin, the cracks start to show and the dynasty detonates.

Kirk: Where the Imperial Guard miniseries featured a huge upswing in momentum and interest on my part with the most recent issue, the revelation of Maximus being the same old 'evil for evil's sake' villain of the piece killed my interest in this series.  I'm sure it'll still read well, but unless there's a major swerve, I'm not enjoying yet another Maximus the Mad story.  It's like the only Inhuman tale anyone can write and has been reused in every story since they were first introduced. 

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli

Origins, changes…and an ending! This issue has them all! The story of how Strucker and Kraken rebuilt HYDRA. Fury's new direction for the kids...and one of our team members reaches the end of the road.

Kirk: Secret Warriors had a very tight and well paced opening six issues.  I loved every moment of it.  The Ares/Phobos arc was good, but felt like filler in comparison to the espionage/thriller aspect of the first arc, like it was put in for some kind of Siege related plot with Ares and maybe Phobos.  

The current arc has been much more like the first, but feels like it's all over the place with random plots and threads all converging on a point not yet clear to the reader (or maybe just me).  I hoping for some of clarity to be offered with this issue.  Some sign that we have a destination in mind for this arc other than a bunch of disjoint plot threads.  I'm also willing to concede I may have to re-read it to see if they flow together as a whole compared to just month to month singles reading.

Written by John Ostrander
Art by Jan Duursema

Wayland is a world overrun with Yuuzhan Vong flora and fauna—almost all of it hostile to humans. Cade and his friends have been separated, Deliah Blue has been captured, and they’re about to meet the source of all of the Vongspawn! Elsewhere, the Jedi, Roan Fel’s Imperials, and the Sith are preparing to converge on Agamar—revealing some unexpected alliances...

Ryan: I’m amazed at how complex and dense this storyline has become over the last few issues. Ostrander is tying things together that he has been developing since the first few issues of this series and its clear that readers are in for a huge payoff when this one comes to a close. I expect more of the same here.

Written by Felicia D. Henderson and Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett and Yildiray Cinar
The Teen Titans rush to rescue Static from the clutches of the sadistic thug Holocaust. Plus: Slave-girl Ravager — unleashed!

Ryan: I swore up and down that I was done with this series after the last abysmal issue and that I’d just pick up the Ravager storyline when it hits trades, but this is a really light week for me, so it might still make it home with me. If so, I’d really only be picking this one up for the backup as Felicia Henderson’s writing has been amongst the worst things to come out of DC Comics in years!

THOR #607
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Billy Tan

SIEGE BLOCKBUSTER TIE-IN!! Asgard lies under SIEGE! As the evil eye of Norman Osborn falls on Asgard, what happens to neighboring Broxton, Oklahoma? What unexpected enemies will be drawn to the scene like carrion to a carcass? And what unlikely heroes will rise to the town’s defense? The Asgardians face the battle of their lives…and the showdown that’s coming may end their new life on Earth as quickly as it began! Kieron Gillen and Billy Tan kick off their second spectacular arc!

Kirk: If Marvel is willing to give me more Kieron Gillen on Thor, I'm willing to keep buying it, even if it's a Siege tie-in that will take a miracle to be good.

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Ethereal said...

Batman and Robin, Blackest Night from DC. I'm going to start picking up Green Arrow based on the expectations from DC, and that there's a new writer on it and I don't have to read Dinah. Nothing bad there.

Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors, Marvels Project is what I'm getting from Marvel. I love the Deadpool variant for Avengers Initiative.

Boots. said...

Re: Batman and Robin and 'fridging' Batwoman I think its important to remember that Batwoman chose to die. She knew she wouldn't survive, but realised that there was a Lazurus Pit nearby. I don't think its quite fridging her if the hero is killed not because the BatMAN can't save her, but rather she uses her death strategically after considering all the other options in her mind (she's a military type, she's probably trained in how to handle these sort of situations on the ground in a short time frame).
Also, I think you guys are focusing too much on Grant Morrison's writing and not looking at it as the body in the car where Cameron Stewart's art is the engine.
That said, I'll say that his writing isn't up to his All-Star Superman quality and he's using his 'channel zapping' method which he used in Final Crisis. {as an aside, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that series)
If I'm rambling here, tell me.

Kirk Warren said...

@Boots - I understand the process in which Batwoman chooses the option, but at this point in time, the only purpose for her showing up was to kill her in a gruesome fashion (while not torn in half, I find the bones protruding from skin and other "minor" [by super hero standards] injuries to be more disturbing to look at than the oversensationalized versions). She may end up being key to this story, but at this point, she showed up, got a roof dropped on her and then "died". Nothing was added by bringing her in to this England romp when we had two English characters already guest appearing. That's just my stance on that one.

Cameron Stewart's art is the saving grace of this arc for me. I even spotlighted pages of it in the Moments of the Week just because of how good it was.

Scott Roberts said...

Its not overwhelming but still a pretty busy week for me: Batman and Robin, Blackest Night, FF, Flash Rebirth, Irredeemable, Secret Warriors, Star Wars Legacy, Ultimate Comics: Enemy, Walking Dead.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

I do believe the Fantastic Four are on their way to unearth John Carpenter's The Thing. Which, of course, I am 100% behind!

As for Secret Warriors, Hickman even as much admitted on Word Balloon that the middle arc was kind of filler and that he tried to bend himself to the Marvel method, rather than realising that they hired him to do the job because of who he is and how he works. He wants to, and thinks he is, get back to how he started the project. I am loving this latest arc, there's lot going on, but it's all very awesome.

Flip The Page said...

obvious issue with this temporary killing of batwoman by morrison is the effect it has on the crime bible's prophecies, which were supposed to be moot. if the twice named daughter of cain is actually killed then hey, religion of crime was right and they can fuck shit up some more.

or ive confused myself

brandon said...

Busy week for me - Star Wars, Blackest Night, Batman and Robin, Scalped, Muppets, Walking Dead....maybe X-Legacy or Warren Ellis' new title.

I wasnt aware that Ryan dropped Blackest Night. Interesting....I wish I had.

@Ryan K L - How cool would it be if the first page of FF had the Norwegian helicopter pass by?

Brandon Whaley said...

I don't think Ryan dropped Blackest Night...he dropped Batman and Robin.

Slow week for me...Green Arrow, Batman and Robin (I'll stick with it since the solicit for #12 showed its the final issue), Blackest Night and Fantastic Four. Pretty DC-centric week for me since I'm trade waiting Realm of Kings and Secret Warriors.

Ryan Schrodt said...

@Brandon - I didn't drop Blackest Night, I just missed it when I did my write-up last week. I'll still be picking it up!

Phillyradiogeek said...

It's official: I'm the dumbest comics reader on the planet. When Batwoman died last issue, I thought she wanted the crime religion to think she was dead, and that Dick and the others would let the crime relgiion think that, rather than her actually dying to be resurrected in the Lazarus pit. [slaps forehead as if to say to self, "You dumbass!"]

Anonymous said...

well that was an angry write up for Batman and Robin...

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