Monday, June 14, 2010

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 06/16/10

Monday's mean it's time for the Post-Crisis Previews.  On tap for this week for myself is a double dose of Amazing Spider-Man.  No, the thrice monthly comic hasn't gone twice weekly - at least I hope not.  It's hopefully a one-time thing.  I'm also contemplating Batman Beyond #1.  I discuss more on that in the previews.  Let me know what you think.  On Ryan's plate is a lot more with him sampling New Avengers #1, picking up the second issue of the new Birds of Prey and a handful of other titles.  

Before we get to the previews though, just a friendly reminder that you can keep in touch with us all on Twitter (our Twitter names are all listed on the sidebar to the right) or ask us questions on our Formspring account.  Not sure what Formspring is?  No problem.  Matt had a handy guide to Formspring posted about a week ago with a list with links to comic creators and insiders that all use the social media site.  Feel free to ask us a question any time about anything and we'll do our best to answer them for you. 

That said, hit the jump for the previews!

Edit: Apparently Diamond has Batman Beyond #1 listed for June 30th. DC had it listed for this week.  You can feel free to comment on my discussion of it if you like, but it's moot for another two weeks.

Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Chris Bachalo

“SHED” CONTINUES! The new brutal, reptilian reality threatens to take down Peter Parker and the very man who set these violent wheels in motion. The Lizard as you know him is gone…in its place something even more dangerous. The “Grim Hunt” can now begin…

Kirk: This arc started exceptionally strong, but took an odd turn last issue with the "new" Lizard.  It's still good, but little disappointed at the direction it took.  Hoping it will finish strong. 

Written by J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Kelly & Stan Lee
Art by Max Fiumara, Michael Lark & Marcos Martin

GRIM HUNT PART 1: A SPIDER-MAN EPIC TWO DECADES IN THE MAKING BEGINS! Several years ago, one of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies, Kraven the Hunter, stalked his last prey, dying with a violent, misbegotten honor. Now, two women claiming to be his wife and daughter have tracked Spider-Man, through the urban jungle, weakening him through the Gauntlet while they prepare to attempt an unholy resurrection. They’re hunting Spiders…and Spider-Man’s friends and namesakes are in their sights. Written by Joe Kelly and drawn by Michael Lark (DAREDEVIL) this is only the beginning of a Spider-summer that will be talked about for years to come. 

ALSO BEGINNING THIS ISSUE: TWO EXCLUSIVE FEATURES! Original Spidey creator Stan Lee returns with Marcos Martin for a 2-page Spidey Sunday Feature that brings the real world into Spidey’s world! PLUS: J.M. DeMatteis, author of the classic “Kraven’s Last Hunt” returns to the Amazing Spider-Man with Max Fiumara to explore an unknown confrontation between Kraven and Spidey's violent doppelganger KAINE…a battle which promises ramifications on the Grim Hunt itself.

Kirk: This issue will be worth getting for the Stan Lee and Marcos Martin back-up alone (yes, even for only 2-pages).  Add DeMatties and Kelly with Fiumara and Lark and it has me expecting big things from this issue. 

Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Gabriel Hardman and Ramon Rasanas

The new Era of Atlas kicks into high gear! The mystery of the former Avenger known as 3D-Man deepens - why does he remember working with Jimmy Woo's team in the 1950's when he wasn't even born yet? What is this strange presence that wants him dead? And what has The Uranian been hiding from his friends?

Ryan: I was very impressed with the first issue of this series, despite the fact that I really don’t care for 3-D Man. Of course, it helped that Jeff Parker was rocking the character work, which melded perfectly with the atmospheric art of Garbriel Hardman. With a strong first impression, I’ll be back for this week’s follow-up, but it’ll take an equally strong second issue to earn this series a spot on my regular pull list as it battles against the slew of other strong new titles that Marvel has released since Siege.

Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Ryan Benjamin

Terry McGinnis – the Batman of the future – and an elderly Bruce Wayne – the original Batman – are the sworn protectors of Neo-Gotham. But when someone targets The Dark Knight's old foes, the new Batman must begin a case that reaches back into Bruce Wayne's past and puts Terry's future directly in danger!

Don't miss the long-awaited return of the popular Batman Beyond franchise in this 6-issue adventure from Emmy Award-nominated animation writer Adam Beechen (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and artist Ryan Benjamin (BATMAN & THE OUTSIDERS). And be sure to check out the SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL #4 from writer Paul Levitz and artist Renato Guedes starring the Batman Beyond characters!

Kirk: I'm conflicted.  I want to see some good Batman Beyond comics since it's highly unlikely the television show will ever return to the air.  DC's giving him a new comic, so I should be all over it, right?  Wrong.  Two words.  AdamBeechen.  It's like they don't even care.  Throw us a bone and keep up a copyright on the character with a series and few appearances they have sabotaged from the start.  So, do I buy this issue to show I want more of Batman Beyond or do I let it rot on the vine to show I want a good comic?

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Various

Flying out of BRIGHTEST DAY, the Birds of Prey are forced to ally themselves with the worst of Gotham City's mega-criminals while they struggle to save his life from the unspeakable horror that hunts them all!

Ryan: Gail Simone hit the ground running with an incredibly impressive first issue for the new volume of Birds of Prey. With the team having to defend a villain against the threat of the White Canary (who I still think is probably an older version of Sin), I’m super pumped to see where she takes the Birds in this second issue. I’d definitely say this issue is the frontrunner for Book of the Week (which would be two weeks in a row for Simone after Secret Six #22 took the top spot last week!).

GI JOE #19
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Alex Cal

The M.A.S.S. Device tips the balance of power in the COBRA's favor in a big way. And Destro is a guest of Major Bludd in the COBRA gulag known as Section Ten. But Destro has a plan and that means a rising body count on the Siberian tundra.

Ryan: A Destro-centric issue? Win. Of course, as per usual with this series, the art is going to determine how much of a win it really is. If Alex Cal can pull of the quality of Robert Atkins, this could easily be a Must Read issue. On the flipside, if Cal’s work is closer to that of the wildly inconsistent SL Gallant (the book’s other regular artist), its going to be at total crapshoot.

Written by James Patrick
Art by Joe Quinones

Top creators lend their talents to a new installment of THE JOKER'S ASYLUM — a special month-long, weekly series of one-shots starring the greatest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. Each issue is narrated by The Joker and tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of The Dark Knight's greatest adversaries! This batch of tense tales spotlights The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Mad Hatter, Clayface and Killer Croc! Can you stand the madness?!

Ryan: Ever since her debut in Batman: The Animated Series, I’ve been a huge fan of Harley Quinn and I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of her appearances in comics (which is why I’m totally annoyed that DC only released the one hardcover trade of her ongoing series!). Harley alone is a strong enough selling point for this one-shot, but what has me really excited is the art by Joe Quinones, who really impressed me with his work on the Green Lantern story in Wednesday Comics. This should be a lot of fun.

Written by Jesse Blaze Snider
Art by James Silvani

The Electric Mayhem arrive home to find they have an unexpected house guest — Snow White, who instantly has an amorous admirer in Animal! Then an open audition for a seventh member, ""Grumpy,"" has unexpected results, all the while Queen Piggy schemes to become the fairest one of all!

Ryan: I’ll openly admit that I fully expected the first issue of this book to be horrible, but Jesse Blaze Snider took me totally by surprise with his ability to capture the spirit and voices of my beloved Muppets. Now I’m definitely excited for the second issue, though I’m curious to see if Snider can top last issue’s Electric Mayhem reworking of “Heigh Ho” to the tune of “Blitzkreig Bop!”

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen

Find out who the New Avengers are, where they call home (gotta see it to believe it!), which Dark Avenger has joined their ranks, and just who the interdimensional demonic threat to our existence is! These heroes have gathered to take on the threats too dark, too dangerous, and too bizarre for any other team of heroes. The New Avengers are back!! And Bendis & Immonen are back with the Siege & Secret Invasion colorist Laura Martin!! You didn't really think Marvel was going to cancel their number one ongoing title did you? Heck no!!

Ryan: With the first issues of Avengers, Secret Avengers, and Avengers Academy, the post-Siege direction of Marvel’s premiere super team(s) is now 3-for-3 in terms of quality comics. Will the debut of New Avengers this week make it 4-for-4? With a lineup of characters from other teams (Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and The Thing), I’m not exactly sure what the premise of this project is going to be, but I do have a lot of faith in the creative team. This has potential to be a great comic, but it needs to have a strong hook from the get-go to convince me that I need to pick up a 4th Avengers ongoing.

Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Ibraim Roberson

The X-Men are losing the battle against the Nimrods and Cyclops knows it. Desperate times call for desperate measures and no measure is more desperate than enlisting a mutant with multiple personalities, each possessing its own power. That's right, Legion is let out of prison to fight on the X-Men's side.

Ryan: Unleashing Legion is certainly a bold move and is a solid response to how high the stakes were made in the last issue of the Second Coming crossover last week. I’m still not 100% sold on Zeb Wells’s writing, but he’s got some great concepts to work with here as Second Coming gets closer to its conclusion. I’m not his biggest fan, but I can’t imagine Wells doing anything to derail the momentum the story currently has behind it.

Written by Mark Schultz, Michael Uslan, and FJ DeSanto
Art by Moritat and Justiniano

FIRST WAVE takes a break this month but THE SPIRIT marches on! Angel Smerti has delivered The Spirit into the deadly grasp of the Octopus, and the only one who can save him is...Angel Smerti?! Can The Spirit possibly warm her icy heart with a knife pressed against his throat?
And in THE SPIRIT: BLACK & WHITE co-feature, Michael Uslan and F.J. DeSanto deliver a tale of treason on the airwaves, stunningly illustrated in rich graytones by Justiniano!

Ryan: Moritat and Justiniano both drawing The Spirit in this issue? That is reason enough to pick up this issue, let alone the fact that the first two issues have been absolutely top-notch. I’ve been really impressed with the charm and swagger of this series and I suspect I will see nothing less than the same in this issue. I think this series is flying under a lot of readers’ radars, which is a shame as it has been a lot of fun so far.

Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Arthur Adams

The mystery of Ultimate X continues! With the world recovering from disaster, a select and special few try to figure out their place in it. What connects a mysterious winged guardian in Chicago with a hardworking cop? What is the true nature of this shadowy figure? And what does it all have to do with the ULTIMATE X?! Eisner award-winning writer JEPH LOEB and iconic illustrator ARTHUR ADAMS bring you the next thrilling chapter in this critically-acclaimed series!

Ryan: When Jeph Loeb left DC for Marvel, he seemed to be at the top of his game; unfortunately, the quality of his work took a sever nosedive the moment he arrived. That is, of course, until Ultimate X, which has been Loeb’s strongest work in years. The first two issues were excellent character studies with awesome art from Arthur Adams. I’m expecting more of the same in this issue, though I’m hoping that more of a plot begins to develop as we meet more of the Ultimate X squad.

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The Dangster said...

i'm lovin, Ultimate X. it ships every two months, but im willing relax if it means good loeb quality work.

I don't care for Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin. that's like comic poison. Benjamin's artwork on the Return of Ras al Ghul, was atrocious.

David said...

No love for the Black Widow? #3 comes out this week.

Kirk Warren said...

Apparently Batman Beyond #1 is not due until the 30th according to Diamond. I've edited the intro to let people know. Comments still appreciated on it since I'm still going to consider picking it up when it does come out.

Brandon Whaley said...

I'm torn like you, man. I really want to support a Batman Beyond book, but with this team its like they are throwing it out there to get fans to shut up, yet giving it a good excuse to fail so they can say "Ok, we gave it a shot and it failed, so its gone."

I'll probably Byrne it.

Ethereal said...

Good week, lower tier books for me. DC gives me REBELS and Magog, which I've been picking up since they started ( I still believe everyone and anyone should be picking up REBELS, especially with Lobo on his way...). Also picking up Birds of Prey, the first issue was awesome, and I've never been disappointed with Gail Simone.

Nothing from Marvel. Small week all around.

Steven said...

Seriously, what's with all the heat on Adam Beechen? He did a decent run on Robin, a decent arc on Teen Titans and a couple other things that weren't bad. Plus he has written a ton of tv cartoon stuff.

Not sure where all the hate is coming from. Eric Wallace, JT Krul and Felicia Henderson all have regular gigs and they are awful. Heck Zeb Wells has two high profile books in this very preview and he's extremely mediocre.

Ryan Schrodt said...

I'm with you Steven. I actually really like Adam Beechen. His Robin run was great, his Titans were solid, and he wrote last week's episode of Generator Rex, which was by far the best one yet.

Beechen is actually the only reason I'd consider picking up the Batman Beyond mini (never watched the show, never cared for the idea).

Kirk Warren said...

Zeb Wells has done some excellent comics. Dark Reign: Elektra and his current Shed arc on ASM are well above average. He's not top tier writer and can be hit or miss, but isn't terrible either.

Beechen destroyed Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) and his Robin run was absolutely terrible on all accounts. It wasn't "decent". His other works include the afforementioned mediocre Teen Titans and Countdown.

The Dangster said...

* his titans run was only good because Geoff Johns left him the plot to finish up.

* tv writing is different, you have a staff of writers who all contribute, a group process, the person's name who appears on the episode's credit is mostly the person who pitched the idea.

*i don't think i can find a positive review for Countdown.

*Beechen just has a problem with writing interesting arcs, his arcs are kind of sloppy and his conclusions are always rushed.

twobitspecialist said...

Whoa. I didn't realize Avengers #1 was good. I probably need to pick it up along with Avengers Academy #1 and New Avengers #1 (already have Secret Avengers #1). I am excited about New Avengers. Jessica Jones is supposed to be back as Jewel, but I hope that's in the first issue and not down the road.

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