Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 03/31/10

Blackest Night concludes this week and it looks like it scared away all the other comics for the 5th Wednesday of March.  DC's "summer" event is finally at the end game and I suspect more people are interested in what happens next than what happens in the actual issue.  Other noteworthy releases include Roger Stern's return to Amazing Spider-Man, the X-Men's newest event, Second Coming, and Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four.  Oh, and Atomic Robo may or may not be out.  I'll be getting it if it is, but I left it off the previews since I included it last time to no avail.  Hit the jump to see what Ryan and I are picking up this week and what we think of each!

Written by Ian Edginton
Art by Stjepan Sejic and Patrick Reilly

After his descent into the mysterious caverns for the sorcerer Qassim, the thieving rogue known as Aladdin has reappeared in the city of Shambhalla. He is no longer a pauper but a rich and decadent prince, transformed by the power of the Djinn of the Lamp! However, when Qassim exposes Aladdin and kidnaps the lovely Princess Soraya, there's only one man Aladdin can turn to: Sinbad, the mariner of legend. With Sinbad's help, Aladdin must journey to the hidden depths of the city to parlay with the world's deadliest sovereign. She'll help the duo track Qassim...but for a price far beyond even Aladdin's imagination.

Ryan: I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost and the folks at Radical Comics were kind enough to shoot me the newest issue for review. This issue looks to be where writer Ian Edginton breaks away from conventional versions of the Aladdin story, taking a darker route and bringing in new twists on the mythos. This could be a lot of fun if handled properly.

Written by Roger Stern
Art by Lee Weeks

"SOMETHING CAN STOP THE JUGGERNAUT! PART 1" When a pounding Spider-Sense headache leads Spider-Man to the comatose body of his biggest, toughest foe, he realizes that something -- or someone -- can indeed stop the Juggernaut! But who? How? And who are they coming for next? Can Spider-Man find out before it's too late? And will Peter Parker ever get to have dinner with Carlie Cooper? Roger Stern and Lee Weeks (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #580) return to unravel the mystery in the first part of the Spider-Man/Juggernaut Trilogy.

Kirk: Roger Stern. Juggernaut.  Amazing Spider-Man.  I don't think anything could prevent or dissuade me from buying this issue.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

The extra-sized conclusion to the most talked-about event in comics is here, and the results will change the course of the DC Universe for years to come. Earth has become the final battleground for life versus death, but how will our heroes fight back against the darkness of sentient space itself? And what does the future hold for Green Lantern, The Flash and the rest of the world's greatest heroes and villains? Find out here as the stage is set for the next epic era of DC Comics!

Ryan: And so Blackest Night finally reaches a conclusion. The big question, as it is with all event-comics, is what happens now? Will the DCU be the same after seeing millions of its dead loved ones return from the grave? With the concept of death be fundamentally altered from now on? Will Sinestro remain the White Lantern? And what will become of those troublesome Guardians whose continual screw-ups are constantly leading to the downfall of the universe? Will any of these questions actually be answered?

Kirk: It's the end of an event.  We know what to expect (carebear stare, good guys win, etc), so it's more about finding out where we go from here and how it all ties into Brightest Day.

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham

On the Blue Area of the Moon, the Fantastic Four discover that the history of the Inhumans runs much deeper, and richer, than previously believed. It's big adventure on a cosmic scale, its Prime Elements part three: Universal Inhumans!

Ryan: So, we’ve already seen a new race of Molemen and a new subspecies of Atlanteans…now we see new Inhumans? It looks like Jonathan Hickman is just working his way through the Fantastic Four mythos as he tries to recapture the sense of sci-fi mystery and discovery that permeated the original Lee/Kirby run. If it were any other writer, I’d be cautious but Hickman has more than proven that he has the chops to tackle high-concept stories while keeping things focused on the characters. This should be exciting.

Kirk: It's become a given for me if Hickman is at the helm, I'm buying it.  Add Eaglesham for the art and it's almost guaranteed to be worth every penny.  I love me some Inhumans, so looking forward to this one.

Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March

Is The Riddler friend or foe? One thing's for sure – he definitely isn't making life easy for Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn!

Ryan: Gotham City Sirens has progressively been improving since day one and the more that Paul Dini writes The Riddler, the better it is going to get. That’s really all I have to say (sorry guys, the solicitation doesn’t give me much to work with here!).

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Pablo Raimondi

No one said ruling two interstellar empires would be easy! Now Crystal and her unlikely husband Ronan the Accuser discover exactly how dirty your hands can get in defense of the realm! There are dark threats all around, but who is the true enemy, and who is pulling the strings? And do the ends sometimes justify the means? It’s statecraft, intrigue, action and a serious bad hair day for one of Marvel’s all-time classic group of characters!

Kirk: Another Realm of Kings miniseries comes to an end here.  Realm of Kings has been odd, to say the least. I've enjoyed everything falling under that banner, but I actually thought it was going to be an event.  It's more just a banner tangently tying books together in theme more than an event of any kind.  Something like the Initiative or Dark Reign banners.  RoK naming aside, I'm sure I'll be quite pleased with how this turns out, especially after a satisfying swerve for Maximus's character last issue.

Written by John Ostrander
Art by Jan Duursema

Cade Skywalker's vow, ""No one dies for me,"" is put to the ultimate test. Cade, who has long been on the run from his family legacy, has reached a crossroads with heavy personal consequences no matter which way he chooses. Meanwhile, an opportunity for peace has turned into a three-way battle between Jedi, Sith, and the Imperial Knights!

Ryan: It amazes me how complex the world of Star Wars: Legacy is becoming. It is getting the point that Dark Horse may want to consider either releasing a Legacy Encyclopedia or annotated versions of each issue to help readers keep everything straight. While this can be overwhelming at times, the complexity has also made this series all the more compelling. I expect nothing less than the usual from this one.

Written by Felicia D. Henderson and Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett and Yildiray Cinar

The Teen Titans are reunited with Static, but can they survive the power of Holocaust? And will Static stay with the Titans if he survives? Plus, Ravager's nemesis forces her to make a decision: Is her life worth the lives of a dozen innocent girls?

Ryan: Once again, I’m torn with Teen Titans. Felicia Henderson may, in fact, be the single worst writer working for DC Comics at the moment and her lead stories have been unbearable. Unfortunately for me, Sean McKeever’s Ravager story has been one of DC’s strongest, so I’ve been plopping down my $4 a month simply for the shorter co-feature. As much as I’d like to say I won’t be suckered in again, I can’t make any promises.

Written by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle
Art by David Finch

MANY WILL BE WOUNDED. SEVERAL WILL DIE. The climax of four years of X-Men stories is the X-Event of 2010! What started in HOUSE OF M with the Decimation of mutantkind and erupted with the first new mutant birth in MESSIAH COMPLEX finishes here. In the epic crossover SECOND COMING, Cyclops' faith pays off when Cable returns to the present with Hope, the girl he believes to be the mutant messiah. But will she be the savior or destroyer of mutantkind? We may never know, as she is the target of an initiative for mutant eradication unlike anything the X-Men have ever experienced. Many will be wounded. Several will die. Is Hope worth it?

Ryan: My love/hate relationship with the current direction of the X-Men continues this week as I give the line one more shot with the start of Second Coming. After Messiah CompleX, I though the X-Department could do no wrong, but over the course of the stories that followed, I went from reading every single X-Men title to reading none. That’s not a good sign. Here’s to hoping that Second Coming can make up for it and bring me back to the franchise I once loved so dearly!

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Nathan Aaron said...

Roger Stern AND Lee Weeks! Lee Weeks! WHY oh WHY is this man NOT on a monthly title? I LOVE his artwork!

And apparently I'm like the only one who is not impressed with Hickman's current Fantastic Four run. I don't know... the first storyline had promise, and then after that it just fell apart. I finally just dropped the book. Maybe one day I'll see what everyone else does! :)

Dickey said...

Pretty strange for me with Blackest Night ending this week. That series has been a constant in my life since it pulled me back into the scene last year. The only question is, since I definitely won't be picking up Mr. Bi-weekly Brightest Day, what's gonna fill that black hole in my heart?

Oh wait, SHIELD with Isaac Newton in a crazy battle suit? You had me at Isaac Newton. Maybe this means I should start picking up Secret Warriors too.

Nathan Aaron said...

Hmm... (I haven't seen people complaining about this online yet, but maybe I just missed it) anyone else notice that as of June 2010 Amazing Spiderman goes to $3.99 an issue? (That's 3-4 issues a month, at $3.99 a pop! Ouch!)

Radlum said...

Finally the ending to BN; I liked the event in the GL books but it has gone for too long.
Regarding Second Coming, I like that if finally gives Messiah Complex some relevance, but I am really annoyed by the rumored death of an X Man...spoilers maybe?

Everyone is saying that Nightcrawler is going to die early on the event and the previews sort of support that theory, which is something that upsets me since Fraction hasnt given the character any use since he started writing the book.

Aaron Kimel said...

@Nathan - I noticed that Thor was also increasing in price to $3.99. Combine that with the many, many one-shots and miniseries that all seem to be $3.99 and I imagine that the majority of Marvel titles are in that price range now. By volume of sales, I'm sure it's an overwhelming majority too. (What's the highest-selling book that remains at $2.99? And where does it rank in terms of sales for Marvel?)

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