Friday, March 26, 2010

The Weekly Crisis vs. Solicits for June 2010

Every month, Marvel, DC, Image and everyone else in the comics industry submits their solicits for the upcoming months to Diamond and every month The Weekly Crisis picks out the comics that intrigue us, boggle the mind and then we, in general, discuss the future.  It is not a "future pull list" or any indication of what books we may or may not buy - merely commentary on the comics or trades that caught our eye as we went through the various solicits.

June sees the continuation of Marvel's and DC's latest publishing initiatives. At Marvel, there are more Heroic Age launches as well as more releases for their year long Woman of Marvel series of comics while DC continues on with their Brightest Day launches. The month also sees the release of several noticeable collections as well. Hit the jump to see what we thought stood out for this month's solicitations.


Amazing Spider-Man #634-636

Although I am really looking forward to more Joe Kelly written Spider-Man, I can't say I'm particularly enthusiastic about the story. Calling it "Grim Hunt" doesn't really inspire confidence that it will be particularly enjoyable. The hype in the solicits doesn't really doesn't help either. Nor the does the fact that Kaine is going to be starring in a back up strip that's promising "to explore an unknown confrontation between Kraven and Spidey's violent doppelganger Kaine...a battle which promises ramifications on the Grim Hunt itself." That said, I have a lot of faith in Kelly. He's easily the best writer to work on the title since Brand New Day so his involvement does a lot to overcome my doubts about the story. Not to mention the fact that Michael Lark and Max Fuimara are doing the art for the story arc. I think that Lark is probably going to be a fit for Grim Hunt since it seems to have a darker tone and Fuimara is just a wonderful artist so more from him is a plus, even if it's on a story about Kaine. I'm also looking forward to the Stan Lee and Marcos Martin two page back up strip since I really enjoyed their back up from Amazing Spider-Man #600.

Batman #700

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. I wasn't expecting more Batman work from Grant Morrison but I'm not complaining. Plus, it has art by Andy Kubert and Frank Quitely, always a good thing, even if Tony Daniel is doing part of the issue, which is something of a buzz kill. I do like the focus on the various Batmen instead of just one and I'm looking forward to Damian's story the most. I'm hoping that eventual Morrison will actually do a series about Damian as Batman. Either a new ongoing or a just a miniseries would be fantastic.

Daredevil by Brain Bendis and Alex Maleev Ultimate Collection Book 1

Sometimes I think Marvel actually does want me as a reader and the solicitation of this collection is one of those times. I have been waiting for something like this ever since Marvel released Grant Morrison's New X-Men run in this type of collection. By the time I got interested in Bendis's and Maleev's Daredevil run, parts of the series were out of print, since Marvel isn't exactly the greatest when it comes to keeping collections in print, and I couldn't afford the omnibus, which also went out of print as well. Although I have a lot of expectations for this run, I suspect it will meet those since not only has the run received massive amounts of praise but it is the type of series Bendis excels at. I can't wait to get my hands on this.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse Vol 1

This utterly confounds me. I mean, I love the anime series and new remake movies but, what the hell is this? And what in the world does it have to do with Neon Genesis Evangelion?! Aside from the reuse of some of the characters' names, it sounds like it has absolutely nothing to do with the anime series. And Dark Horse is going to have a whole line of NGE manga spin-offs and remakes? My mind is blown. I mean, wow.

I'm seriously tempted to buy this volume just to read it. I'd expect it to completely suck but I still have to see. Just to know. God, I think I'm going to get this. Hopefully, there is enough other stuff worth buying this month so I don't have room in my budget for this because, otherwise, I'm getting this.

Young Allies #1

I'm utterly at a loss as to why Marvel would launch this series as an ongoing. Do they not realize they just canceled S.W.O.R.D. and Doctor Voodoo after five issues? This isn't a knock against whatever quality this title may have but this isn't really a good time to try and launch new ongoings. Same thing with the new Atlas series from last month's solicits as well as Hawkeye & Mockingbird from this month's. The previous Agents of Atlas series lasted 11 issues and I'd be surprised if the new one made it to issue #12. Young Allies will probably be canceled with issue #5 and Hawkeye & Mockingbird might make it to issue #12. Might. Again, nothing against these three series but I can't believe Marvel actually expects them to catch on.

Personally, I'd love to check out Young Allies as I've always heard good things about Sean McKeever's writing, the cast looks solid and the Bastards of Evil sound amusing enough but $4 isn't really an "I'm curious and like to check this out" price, which Marvel has yet to figure out.


Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #1 & 2 of 4

I'm really not a Deadpool fan. At all. Sure, he's funny enough, in a small doses kind of way, and I have no problem that people currently want four different ongoing titles for him. I'd laugh heartily at those then buying a fifth title, this four issue mini, were it not for the writer involved. Duane Swierczynski surely has enough credits built up with me that I'll give this title a go. He usually knows how to make with the crazy, like he has with the Punisher, Werewolf By Night, his Iron Man short in The Indomitable Iron Man, and now he gets his shot at the craziest of crazy, DP. The reference to Charlie Wilson's War makes me laugh, and the cover is actually quite awesomely rendered by Jason Pearson. If the inside looks anywhere as good I'd be happy. The series will deal with some of the history of Deadpool, just in case you weren't sure of every minute of his life so far, and seems to think that Bullseye will be involved, and the thought of Swierczynski writing Bullseye does make me smile. I'm not completely sold on buying this, I may check preview pages, especially as this is $3.99 an issue, but the truth within me knows I'll probably get this in some form eventually. Sometimes you just have to give in to the guilty pleasures in life.

Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider Omnibus HC

I've read the first few issues of Aaron's run for ol' flamehead and they were damn enjoyable. He really sold it as being a Grindhouse spectacular with zany plot twists, insane characters, and plenty of awesome. I've been wanting to track down the entire run, eventually, so getting the entire run in one big shebang appeals to me greatly. Can't guarantee that I'll be able to make this happen directly upon release but this will be something to put down in the wishlist for later.

Secret Avengers #2

Yep, it's a $3.99 comic. That completely sucks, and yet the solicit sounds really interesting: "On a mission no one can know about and already betrayed by one of their own! Our Secret Avengers strike force finds a link between Roxxon's digs on Mars and a mysterious shadow group on Earth. But what evil will they face on the Red Planet itself, and will a hero fall?" I like the sound of all of that and then they hit me with the flooring punch; Marko Djurdjevic will be providing the covers for the series. He was solicited as the wraparound and variant cover artist for the first issue but I didn't assume he'd be on for more than one. He is! And so my pull list shuffles to finally accommodate a big franchise title, so long as when the characters are revealed they aren't a bunch of complete muppets.

X-Men: S.W.O.R.D. - No Time To Breathe TPB

Probably the last chance I'll get to bang on about S.W.O.R.D. so I'll take the opportunity. It's a great little series and it really does wrap up quite nicely. This trade would serve many a heaping dose of entertainment if they decide to pick it up. And it seems obvious Marvel want more people to pick up this collection of a canceled title because they put the X-prefix onto the trade dress to make it stand out just that bit better. Here's hoping it finds a better shelf life now it's gone.


Batman and Robin #13

See, this is the exact reason why I don’t care for Grant Morrison’s Batman run. He has been planting the seeds for the “return” of Thomas Wayne since he started. There is no reason for this whatsoever, especially not if you are going to make him a villain. I’m sure there is some sort of surreal twist (Batman on drugs! Batman in a Lazarus Pit! Batman’s schizophrenic double-personality!), but the premise of this alone is cringe-worth. Also, the return of “the ultimate Batman villain?” If you ask 10 longtime comic book fans, this means the Joker. If you ask Grant Morrison it is either A) a character that Morrison created and tried to pass off as more powerful and awesome than any other villain ever, i.e. The Flamingo or B) is a super-obscure character that Morrison is going to “reinvent” and try to pass off as more powerful and awesome than any other villain ever, i.e. pretty much every villain Morrison has written that he didn’t create himself.

Green Arrow #1

During the first DC Reader session on Twitter, Geoff Johns boldly faced my biting criticism of the current Green Arrow direction by saying that I needed to check back in June and that I’d feel much better about things. Does that mean that the era of the Emerald Punisher ends with this issue? I sure hope so. Green Arrow wasn’t broken before all of this, but now its up to JT Krul to fix him.

Hack/Slash moves to Image

I’m glad to see that Tim Seeley’s fantastic horror series will be moving over to Image where it can get the attention that it deserves. The only downside is that this is the death knell for Devil’s Due Publishing. After losing the GI: Joe franchise a few years back, Hack/Slash was clearly the only life-support that the small publisher had to keep it alive. So, good for Seeley and good for readers who will now have a better chance of getting the adventures of Cassie Hack in their hands (I highly recommend picking up the reprinted omnibuses), but a shame for a once heavy-hitting small publisher.


It’s about time that we get an update on Marvelman! Unfortunately…this doesn’t appear to be the Marvelman that everyone is expecting. I’ve been clamoring at the bit for the storied Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman runs with the character, so I was a bit disappointed to see the announcement that Marvel is starting with the original Mick Anglo reprints. The “Classic Primer” does sound interesting though. Between the interviews and the pin-ups, it’ll be a nice appetizer, but I’m ready for the main course!

Marvel Women

I’m glad to see that female characters are still getting the spotlight in June, but I can’t help but feel that some of these projects are stretching it a bit. When I see solicitations for something as nonsensical as Her-oes or even Heralds, all I can see is stuffing female characters into a loose plot just for the sake of them being there. I’m not complaining about female leads, I’d just rather see a good story put first and I’m not seeing that (though the Namora one-shot does look pretty awesome!).

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

I’ve been interested in this story for a long time, so I’m glad to see DC reprinting it. What I don’t understand, though, are the two formats. It is cool to reprint it at the original trim size, but then why bother with a standard size hardcover? And, if you are going to have extras like unpublished art, why wouldn’t you put it in the oversized and considerably more expensive book? I mean, if I can get the same story plus an extra 16 pages for half the price, why would I bother with the oversized format?

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Randallw said...

I can't be certain but judging by the fact it says Campus in relation to NGE it might be the alternate universe. I'm not a NGE expert but I do know there's an official alternate universe where all the NGE characters are at school. It comes from the original ending where it was all a dream of the main character.

Anonymous said...

Ryan S.,

First, It is completely appropriate considering B&R stars a completely new Batman that would require refreshed villains, as using old Batman villians would give the book little charachter, becuase these are obviously challenges Grayson has faced before and they would not be as complimentary to Dick Grayson as they were to Bruce Wayne.

Second, these "twists" are bold directions that can only be made with a 60 year old character. Even though they seem weird, how strange could they possibly be when they make references to older Batman stories that are just as strange or possibly weirder?

Third, the suggested solicitation is pretty obviously the Joker, considering that it's the start of the last arc of the series, the Joker hasn't appeared in about a year, and Morrison worked pretty hard to shift the role of the Joker like in RIP.

Maybe it's not what you are looking for in a Batman book, but it's not done for inane and arbitrary reasons like you imply.

Hooper Triplett said...

Shoehorning women into a story line? Really?

Maybe it's inane, but there is a lengthy tradition of doing this with male heroes. Read any issue of Marvel Team-Up, Two-in-One, DC Brave and Bold, World's Finest - these were long-running series based on the entire premise of stuffing heroes into a loose plot.

Do you really object to Her-os and Heralds simply because they're women?

Anonymous said...

More off base Morrison comments from Ryan. This is what we have come to expect from Ryan.

Batman will never be as great when Morrison leaves the book. Like X-men, he has elevated the characters and myth to levels we will never see again.

Eisners baby.

Anonymous said...

Quite negative comments today.

Dickey said...

@Ryan S.-I believe DC's Source blog was implying last week that it will move from an Emerald Punisher theme to a Robin Hood-esque, vigilante outlaw direction. Maybe the book will get a little lighter, but I don't think he'll be rejoining the JLA any time soon.

I have to laugh at some of the angry comment you get whenever you knock Morrison's Batman run. While I may not agree with you I don't see why other people's panties have to get in a wad over it. Dod he walk on water or perform some other miracle for comic fans that I'm not aware of?

Anonymous said...

I would take his criticism more seriously if he made points about the book that were actually thoughtful rather than just twisting the solicit to trash Morrison.

Matt Ampersand said...

If they were going to put an "X-Men" prefix to SWORD, they might as well have gone with "Astonishing X-Men", since this series is more tied with that, hell they even mention that it has the same cover artist. That way when they store the book, they would put it next to the other Astonishing X-Men trades.

Instead, now it's going to get lost among the other hundreds of X-Men books that are out there. Not to mention the other thousand books that being with the letter X. X-Factor, X-Force, X-Men, X-Treme X-Men, etc.

Lucho said...

Actually I loved Morrison´s run until last rites. Then the B&R book it just was somehow flawed. I´d would have loved that in the Batman comic book.

But now, Morrison is making all come together...

I just can´t wait to see what´s next!

Anonymous said...

I never understood why you guys are shunned away from some comics because they're $3 or $4. I'm just happy they're still in single Digits price range in this day and age. I can see when it'll come up to being a pain if you're buying a ton of comics at a time. But you can still grab 7 or 8 comics for $20 well I did before.

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