Monday, May 10, 2010
We've got some previews to kick off another comic week for everyone. Siege #4 is probably the biggest title of the week and is going up against DC's Return of Bruce Wayne #1. We've also got the oddity that is Wolverine #900 - a number seemingly chosen at random - and several other titles from Marvel and DC on tap from Ryan and myself. Hit the jump to see which books we'll be getting and what we expect from each.
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Chris Bachalo
“SHED” CONTINUES AND YOU NEED TO BE THERE!! As the deadly Gauntlet nears its end, Spider-Man and the Lizard battle to a standstill with family all that stands between Curt Connors and the greatest mistake of his life.
Kirk: Really enjoyed the return of the Lizard. A standard plot that everyone that's read a Lizard story has read before, but well executed and with inspired art by Bachalo.
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett
The Calculator plans to exact his revenge on Oracle by first unleashing a nanovirus upon the citizens of Gotham City that will turn them into mindless techno-zombies! The next step in his plan? Killing everyone close to her – including Batgirl!
Ryan: It’ll be interesting to see how Calculator’s daughter, Wendy (of Wendy and Marvin), plays into this story. She has been in the background of this series since day one as Barbara Gordon’s personal project (just as Batgirl is Oracle's). I look for her to play a major part in this issue as she should be central to Calculator’s plot.
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Guillem March
Only one month until BATMAN #700! As the anniversary issue nears, Dick Grayson's life as the Dark Knight inches dangerously closer to the edge! With the Falcone crime family and The Riddler creating havoc in Gotham City, Batman is completely occupied with no idea what shocking surprise awaits him in the near future!
Ryan: While I wasn’t blown away by Tony Daniel’s debut storyarc as the new mastermind behind this title, I did enjoy it. Unfortunately, last issue (his first writing for a different artist) was really underwhelming. To me, the Riddler is character that didn’t need fixing after Paul Dini did a great job of reinventing him over the last few years, which is a major stumbling block when it comes to my enjoyment of this story.
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Sprouse
The most anticipated series of 2010 is here! Superstar writer Grant Morrison tackles his most ambitious project to date with THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, a special six-part series that chronicles the return of the original man behind Batman's cape and cowl! Each issue spans a different era of time and features the dynamic artwork of one of today's artistic juggernauts, starting with Chris Sprouse (TOM STRONG) on the extra-sized issue #1!
Ryan: I’m really not sure about the premise behind The Return of Bruce Wayne. Aside from my major trepidations regarding the quality of Grant Morrison’s work in the last several years, the premise alone of this series doesn’t work for me. It sounds more like a loosely connected set of Elseworld’s stories than anything else and it is going to take a rock solid underlying plot to keep it from becoming just that. Unfortunately, I don’t know that Grant Morrison can pull that top of plotting off with his fast-and-loose approach to storytelling these days. Needless to say, my expectations are not high, but I’m hoping to be surprised!
Kirk: While Batman and Robin has had its ups and downs during its first year, I'm enjoying all the hints at Bruce's return in the most recent arc and following the bread crumbs Morrison has left for us. As such, I'm pumped for this event and, come on, Caveman Batman? Pirate Batman? Pilgrim Batman? All of these fall under the singular category of awesome and I'd be buying them just for the concept of Batman in time.
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes
Soaring out of BRIGHTEST DAY, the Birds are back in town! Because you demanded it, fan-favorites Gail Simone (WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX) and Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE, GREEN LANTERN) reunite to reinvent the book where they made their explosive debut as a team. Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk all return to Gotham City where they belong – and they've brought a couple of new friends (or are they foes?) along with them! Guest-starring a major Bat-villain and the first appearance of the most dangerous, most twisted new Birds villain ever!
Ryan: I was a HUGE fan of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey, which has me majorly excited about this issue, even if I’m cautious about Ed Benes’s involvement (his non-stop T-and-A approach to art doesn’t exactly gel with Simone’s lady-power writing). My biggest concern is how well Hawk and Dove can be folded into the team. Then again, I can’t imagine a world where I don’t love a Birds of Prey comic written by Gail Simone. I just hope that Misfit shows up somehow—I miss her “dark vengeance!”
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Rags Morales
The Golden Tree bears bitter fruit! The Blackhawks are after The Spirit. Doc Savage is after the Blackhawks. Anton Colossi is after William ""Johnny"" Littlejohn. And only Rima, the eyes of the jungle, knows what the heroes do not: something glorious and terrible has risen in the darkest corner of Hidalgo!
Ryan: The first issue of the First Wave miniseries was a nice “aerial view” introduction to this universe and its characters, which was a lot of fun in its own right, but needed a bit more meat to really win me over. It sounds like this issue should develop the plot more now that the introductions are complete, which has me very excited as my expectations for this miniseries are quite high.
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Francis Manapul
BRIGHTEST DAY shines its light on the continuing saga of Barry Allen – The Fastest Man Alive! The Flash continues his investigation into the ""Dastardly Death of the Rogues"" as the case takes a dramatic turn and Barry corners a suspect...and can't believe who it is!
Ryan: While I had my reservations about the new Flash series because of how dreadfully boring Barry Allen had been since returning during Final Crisis, the first issue won me over thanks to its strong pacing, great character work, and gorgeous art from Francis Manapul. With future-versions of the Rogues (as time traveling cops!) catching up with Barry Allen at the end of last issue, this one should start off with some interesting twists and I can’t wait to see how they play out.
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Ibraim Roberson
Nothing is going right for Cyclops, as he tries to prepare his army for war. The X-Men are falling apart at the seams. Schisms are forming regarding Hope and her importance while Bastion's spy continues to terrorize them from inside their own home.
Ryan: The Second Coming crossover turned a corner with the last installment as the X-Men mourned the loss of Nightcrawler (and ignored the loss of Ariel), so the next “act” in the story will be kicking off in this issue. I approach all Zeb Wells comics with caution, but at this point, the story has so much momentum that I can’t imagine Wells doing anything to derail it at this point.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Steve Dillon
Frank Castle is reeling, wounded and on the run like never before, all thanks to the psychotic assassin known as Bullseye. What insanely murderous lengths will Bullseye go to in order to bring down his target? And just how far over the edge is Frank willing to slip to stay alive?
Kirk: Still not sold on Bullseye in the Max Universe. Felt too super villain-like and out of place compared to how well Kingpin made the transition. Still enjoyed the last issue, but will reserve judgement on the whole Bullseye thing until I've read more of him.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Olivier Coipel
THE MARVEL BLOCKBUSTER OF THE YEAR!! This double-sized finale brings the Dark Reign to a shattering conclusion and brings with it the bombastic new HEROIC AGE. Every single page of this book is a shocker: Lives are changed. Heroes fall. Deaths. Revenge. Villain comeuppance. And when the dust settles, who will be in charge of the Marvel Universe?? You will find out here and only here. This is the one they will be talking about.
Ryan: Here’s the thing, we already know that coming out of Siege that Norman Osbron will no longer be the center of the Marvel Universe, the Dark Avengers will be disbanded, Captain America is taking on a new Nick Fury-type role, and that several new Avengers teams will be created. That pretty much covers the big picture of the story’s finale, which only leaves who-punches-whom and who-does-Sentry-throw-into-the-sun for us to ponder.
Kirk: Well, may as well finish this flustercluck of an event out. I wonder if we'll see any backgrounds in this issue.
Written by “Classified”
Art by Tom Raney
The SIEGE has ended and taken its toll on both sides of the battle field. The event seven years in the making has claimed many lives, and in this, its final chapter, a universe comes together to mourn (CLASSIFIED). The shocking death that ended the fight and gave birth to a new Heroic Age is remembered as a writer (CLASSIFIED) returns to lead the farewells.
Ryan: Well, we can be certain that the dead character isn’t any of the new Avengers team members, which narrows this list down to about 5% of Marvel’s roster, as just about everyone else gets a slot. My guess? We’ll be looking at the death of either Nick Fury, written by Ed Brubaker, or the Sentry, written by Paul Jenkins. I know it will ruin the end of Siege for me, but I’ll be flipping through this one in the shop before I make the decision to shell out the cash or not.
Written by James Robinson and Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle
The Battle for Mars! With Superman having left the Kryptonian military to try to stop the war, General Zod needs a new Commander El – enter Supergirl! As Zod's army gets closer to Earth, the battlefield shifts to Mars where Superman must confront his cousin! Neither wants to fight, but both will do what they must for the sake of what they think is right! Meanwhile, Superboy knows what he must do to stop this war – even if it means becoming hated by both planets!
Ryan: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed last week’s issue of this four part miniseries, especially given my annoyance at the constant crossovers with in the Superman line. That definitely raises the bar for this issue, especially with Supergirl’s shocking defection to General Zod’s Kandorian forces at the end of last issue. I was very unsure about this miniseries from the start, but now I’m really looking forward to the newest installment.
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino
It's a new team and direction for the Titans! Deathstroke and his mercenary team including Cheshire, Tattooed Man and other surprise members burst out of BRIGHTEST DAY #0! Get in on the ground floor here as the team is hired to assassinate The Atom! And for this team, failure is not an option!
Ryan: I’m really not sure how interested in this series I actually am. On one hand, Deathstroke is one of my favorite characters in the DCU and I’m really excited that Osiris will be part of this book. On the flipside, I’ve never read any comics by this creative team and, quite frankly, Tattooed Man may be the lamest character in the DCU ever. That’s right, even lamer than Crazy Quilt and Kite Man…combined.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Lafuente
It's the end of the road for Miss Kitty Pryde as the law comes to Midtown High School to take her away. Will she go quietly into the night or will Peter Parker and his amazing friends come to her rescue? The answer will surprise you. Plus: the return of the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson, and the debut of an Ultimate villain that will take over Peter Parker's life in every way, shape and form. Don't miss the action as this fan favorite series kicks into high gear!
Ryan: Brian Michael Bendis has a frighteningly good take on teenage dialogue and relationships, which has made this series the best comic produced by Marvel in the last year (outside of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s cosmic books). I expect nothing less than awesomeness as Kitty’s fate is revealed in this week’s issue (and I hope it goes well, because I really like Ultimate Kitty!).
Written by Various
Art by Various
X-Man. Avenger. Soldier. And that's just the HALF of it. In this atomic-sized special, superstar David Finch leads a platoon of comic's most talented creators in giving the Canadian killer a 21-gun salute. Ninjas, bar-room brawls, Morlocks and pirates (yes, PIRATES!): this issue sees the most marvelous mutant of all put through the paces. And if five-all new tales of Snikt-tastic action wasn't enough, there's classic reprints featuring some of Logan's greatest hits!
Ryan: I really don’t get the point of this “anniversary” issue, especially with the ludicrous numbering (then again for all I know, there is a chance that Wolverine actually has had the starring role in 900 issues by this point given his prominence in Marvel’s publishing catalogue). The solicitation doesn’t offer much insight on what to really expect from this issue, but as a fan of the character I feel that it is worth an in-store flip-through. Who knows, this could be a great tribute to one of Marvel’s most popular characters and not just a ridiculous marketing ploy.
Kirk: Not buying this, but can't help but comment on the absurdity of this. Deadpool's shenanigans were funny for the whole fourth wall breaking aspect of it, but why does this one even exist?