Friday, February 19, 2010
As the image in the crystal ball is made visible for the comic solicitations for the month of May, we here at The Weekly Crisis find that we have many thoughts to share. The manner in which we share these personal thought bubbles has evolved and changed and we hope you all like the new format. We have picked out a few select morsels of interest and discuss them each after the jump. We hope to elucidate why these presented solicitations are important to us all and make you think a little about them, too.
Last month I was very excited when I saw that Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo were working on Amazing Spider-Man #630. I have been very impressed by their work on the title so them working an arc together was definitely I was looking forward to reading. My only problem was that I didn't know how long their arc would be but Marvel must like me this month since they are doing a four issue arc. Bachalo is one of my favorite artists so him working on a character I like(Spider-Man), on a story about character that suits his style(the Lizard) and with on the better writers to have work on this particular title(Wells) is something I simply can't pass up.
I've been trade waiting Batman and Robin since, well, I'm a trade waiter but also because it's being released in oversized hardcovers, which are a little on the pricey side, so I haven't been double dipping on the series, which I was very tempted to do, but this is something that I simply have to buy in singles. Aside from the fact that both Chris Sprouse and Frazer Irving are doing the art for the first two issues, and I assume similarly great artists will finish up the series, and that I have been missing Grant Morrison's Batman saga, the real reason I'm interested in this series? F$%&ing Pirate Batman. Or, in the case of these solicited issues, f$%& Caveman Batman. Superhero comics, particularly Batman comics, have been too caught up in the "real world," grim & gritty style of story telling that doesn't seem to be able to die, so this is very much a breath of fresh air, much like a lot of Morrison's other superhero works. And, I have to say, if Pirate Batman doesn't get you excited, I have no idea why you would read superhero comics in the first place.
I, Zombie #1
My main interest in this series comes from Allred's art, but the premise is intriguing all on it's own. Add in the fact that's it from Vertigo, whose output I've been very impressed with of late, and this is a must buy for me. It's only a $1 so there isn't any reason why you should pass it up either. And you can check out a seven page preview of the series here.
Superman: War of The Supermen
Although DC kind of got me hooked with the premise behind the series, I can't say I'm expecting this to be any good. The solicits for the four issues don't inspire confidence of any kind but, the premise is still keeping me slightly interested. The idea of a four issue, 100 minute long is a very good and intriguing one, especially when it's the Earth against an army of Kryptonians but the Superman books haven't produced anything of interest for me since Geoff Johns's and Gary Frank's Brainiac arc and I don't think Sterling Gates and James Robinson will be the ones to convince me otherwise. Personally, I would love for this to be written as one, 88 page story that's just divided into four comics but I suspect it's written as four 22 page issues with arbitrary cliffhangers at the end of each issue. I know haven't been very positive about this series, and I can't say that I'm eagerly anticipating it, but it does have a strong premise and May is looking like a light month for me so I may just get anyway. And who knows, I've been surprised by comics that I've though would be bad before.
A God Somewhere/Revolver
These two comics are new OGNs from DC's Wildstorm and Vertigo imprints and I wanted to mention them simply for that fact, but also they look like very good comics in their own right. A God Somewhere, from Wildstorm, is by John Arcudi, of B.P.R.D. fame, and I've always heard good things about his work so that's enough for me to check this out, even if it didn't have the endorsements of Mike Mignola and Dennis O'Neil. O'Neil also states that is a superhero story told as a classical tragedy so I'm looking forward to see how that works out since I think the two genres could work really together. Revolver is by Matt Kindt, another writer who I've heard a lot of good things about have never personally read any of his. Much like A God Somewhere though, the premise alone is enough to get me interested in the comic.
RYAN L'S THOUGHTS
Cowboy Ninja Viking #6
Lesson One in 'How To Annoy Fans And Alienate Them': Bring out an awesome series. Get people into the story and do some great setting up while also laying on the laughs like it's diamonds on a rapper's grill. Get everyone oiled up to the right temperature; then, announce the trade, last month, of the first arc that will feature all sorts of cool extras like a pin up gallery and an index, not to mention more. That'll really show those fools that support you in and out of every month in your formative issues. They'll have to double handle your title to get that good stuff or simply miss out. Then you can start the next arc, because your series was so successfully ordered by those monthly fools that it's now an ongoing instead of a mini, and you can set the price up to $3.99. If you do this right anyone that was a fan will find they are taking a long hot minute to reconsider the relationship and how valued they feel. Postscript: this is an awesome title. It's probably the funniest thing I pick up currently, but I'm not laughing at being screwed out of an awesome trade and then being made to pay more for the next arc when I assume it'll be cheaper in trade and I'll just get more goodies with that format as well. Let's hope the title survives with one less monthly reader.
Daredevil: Cage Match One-Shot
I know, who would have known it possible? I'm keen for a Daredevil comic. Though it saddens me that there is no main DD solicit for May, I am happy to take this one-shot as a fill-in while I wait calmly and sensibly. Antony Johnston (who is also co-writing the current DD arc, The Left Hand Path) has scripted this tale of Daredevil and Luke Cage's past. It teases of some brutal shared experience that has created a respect that may be shattered by the upcoming Shadowland, whatever that be; mini-event, arc title, hotel for H.A.M.M.E.R. P.O.W.s, or B&B from the D&D? I have been interested to see what Johnston will bring to the DD title and that he's keen enough to also create a nice little tale from back in the day makes me trust him even more. It should also go without saying that Marko Djurdjevic always does a brilliant DD cover. I love the composition on this one, and Luke Cage looks perfect. I'd love to see any photo reference he had of someone with sideburns in a tiara, ha.
I hope this series isn't released in a fancy trade or HC with sketches, pin ups, essays, and everything the monthly fan would most want but will never get. I am in love with this series. Some of the smartest written comics around from the Brazillian duo of Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. It's literate, well plotted, gorgeous, and most certainly something different. When this is trade collected I wonder how it will go; there's 10 issues, so will they lump them all together or put 5 and 5 over two trades? Each issue stands alone, though each strand of the story that we get, generally over one day in the life for main character Bras, weaves together to create a tapestry that is masterfully presenting itself and impressing me greatly. This cover is just a beautiful example of art within comics. It's not all about clouding out the feet and tracing from money shots. Sometimes it's about composition and emotion. Sometimes a comic should hit you in the heart, not the notoriously fickle fanboy gland.
I honestly worried that I would never see the day. I bought the Gødland Celestial Edition many moons ago and I loved it. I really didn't want to finish off the series with paltry trades shelved next to the majestic Celestial HC that I loved so much. So, I've waited and I've pined. I've complained and I'd given up. And now I've been insanely surprised. I'll have a matching piece of the puzzle soon enough in 2010. Godland is Joe Casey and Tom Scioli's answer to what's missing now that Jack Kirby isn't riding the four colour melt anymore. They set up their cosmic hero, Adam Archer, well but it's the supporting cast around him that makes the world rich and the ideas and concepts presented that create a denseness that will have you reading a Celestial Edition for hours on end. The Cosmic Fetus Collective. Maxim, the alien super dog. Friedrich Nickelhead. But most importantly, I am looking forward to catching up with my old friend, Basil Cronus. He's one of the funniest characters created, ever; a skull floating in a head-jar of fluids on a mission to find the ultimate high. This is going to be one wicked read.
Spider-Woman Hardcover w/ Motion Comic DVD
I hate to add more rage but this might be the second lesson from the previously mentioned curriculum. I have supported this title from the start, and from sales it looks like not a grand amount of others have, and yet what is my reward? The HC collection will feature a DVD of the Motion Comic series, and this tale is made all the more bitten by the fact that down here in Australia this series was not available through iTunes. I watched the first one, or maybe it was two, on YouTube when Marvel made them available for a short time only, and I honestly would have bought them all just to support Alex Maleev and see if the format was any good. But now I get my chance to buy them and I'm not going to because I already have all of the single issues, and they've been paced slower than a snail's nap anyway. I'm saddened to see that those of us who toil in the weekly LCS trenches really are just cannon fodder for the big sales of trades.
Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1
It should not surprise anyone that I am excited about this book, since I have stated my love for Jason Aaron, and his work with Wolverine, many times. Add Andy Kubert to the mix, and this book is bound to be incredibly engaging. The only downside? This book is going to be a $3.99-for-22-pages series, just like Wolverine: Weapon X. This clearly doesn't affect my excitement over this book, but I can see many, many people not checking out this series because of the price. The high price is probably the only reason why Aaron's run on Wolverine is not selling better, as it stars an incredibly popular character and is critically acclaimed by just about everyone that reads it.
Age of Heroes #1
A new anthology book from Marvel, and they had me at "MI-13". I loved that series, and I have been eagerly awaiting the characters to make appearances in other books. Not only are they joining and becoming more involved with the rest of the universe, this story is by the original creative team of Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. As if all this wasn't enough, the rest of the book has an impressive pedigree, a mix of "superstar" talent like Kurt Busiek and Marco Djurdjevic, with many of the up and coming talents that Marvel has been grooming in the last couple of years, like Rick Remender and Chris Samnee. This is how an anthology should be done.
Well, I guess it is confirmed that Hercules is indeed going to die, but it doesn't look too permanent. In the mean time, we get a mini series starring Amadeus Cho as the new Prince of Power. It is the same creative team as Incredible Hercules, and it is basically going to be a continuation of the stories going on in that series. We have already seen that Cho's adventures can be just as entertaining when he is alone, so I am not worried about a drop in quality of entertainment. Hopefully the "Heroic Age" banner and title will add some extra readers to this series, as Incredible Hercules was doing dangerously low in the sales chart before.
Green Lantern Corps #48
Talk about change, this issue marks not only a change in creative team, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are leaving, but it also seems to show a change in focus of the book. Tony Bedard and Ardian Syaf are jumping on to the series and it will center around Jon Stewart, which seems to be is the least popular of the four main Green Lanterns, and Ganthet. I can see many readers jumping ship, especially considering that Tomasi is going to be doing Brightest Day instead. I'm going to stick with this title's new status quo for at least an arc, to test the waters and see how the new creative team works.
Now this is a strange and bold move by Image. The creators, all of them literal unknown factors, hail from Italy, and they are given the reins to the same book that Brian Michael Bendis wrote many years ago when he was still just an indie comics creator. Is Todd McFarlane hoping to hit gold twice, or will this crash and burn? I don't know, but I'll certainly be on the lookout to see what kind of waves this book makes with the critics, as I doubt it'll set the charts on fire. Anyway, I am glad more international writers are joining the American industry, and I hope they act as a breath of fresh air.