Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We've got a full plate of comic book goodness on our pull lists this week. I won't waste time listing them all here, so hit the jump for Ryan and my thoughts and expectations on the books we'll be buying this week!
Written by Joe Kelly, JM DeMatteis & Stan Lee
Art by Michael Lark, Max Fiumara & Marcos Martin
The Grim Hunt continues as many Spider-powered characters find themselves prey of the Kraven Family! Guest starring Kaine, Spider-Woman, Araña and Madame Web. Plus Spidey Sunday Feature and Kraven backup stories!
Kirk: I was a little overzealous in my last review as I rushed to get it out that night, though still had doubts about the fate of Spider-Man in the issue. I'm really, really wondering how the hell they intend to pass Kaine off as the substitute Spider-Man for the sacrifice in that issue, as I am now almost 100% sure they are going to have it revealed as. Simply drawing someone to look completely different to fit a story, as Kaine is far larger and muscular than Peter due to his failed clone status. Just having him randomly pick up a costume between panels and imitate Spider-Man without anyone noticing, particularly a bunch of hunters that have stalked their prey for months, annoys me a great deal, despite how much I've been enjoying this story so far. Kelly has some 'splainin to do this issue.
Written by Allan Heinberg
Art by Jim Cheung
The Young Avengers return in an epic, bi-monthly Marvel maxi-series by series creators Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung. When Wiccan's reality-altering powers begin to rival those of the Scarlet Witch, the young hero sets out on a quest to find her that spans the Marvel Universe and pits Wiccan against both the Avengers and the Young Avengers. But will Wiccan's desire to solve the mystery of his parentage be his salvation or his undoing? This self-contained Marvel maxi-series reintroduces and redefines the Young Avengers and the Scarlet Witch for the Heroic Age and is essential reading for any Avengers fan.
Kirk: This series has been a longtime coming. I still remember reading the Young Avengers trade for the first time and instantly falling in love with the characters. Beautiful art, excellent story with some original (or as original as Avengers templates can be) characters that didn't just feel like junior versions of the Avengers. It was saddening how long they've been kept on the shelf or rolled out for a random one-shot or miniseries or playing background parts in events as Marvel waited for Heinberg to have time to write a follow-up, but I'm hoping this will be worth it now that it's finally here. Only thing that bugs me is it's bi-monthly.
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazer Irving
Thomas Wayne — a man believed murdered over 20 years ago — has returned with an incredible tale to tell, and he's claiming the entire Wayne fortune! He's slyly demanding that Bruce Wayne must return if Bruce wishes to oppose the claim! Plus, the long-awaited return of the ultimate Batman villain!
Ryan: This is the issue I have been dreading for months now. Just when it seems like Batman & Robin is back on track, we get Thomas Wayne returning from the dead. Morrison has been building towards this for years and, clearly, there is going to be a swerve in here, but the entire premise just isn’t sitting well with me. I just feel like certain stories are best left lie and the story of Thomas Wayne is one of them.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Alex Cal
Ripcord joins the series as he leads Scarlett and a team of Fobbits on a jump to a faraway tropical island. But it's no day at the beach because COBRA owns this little slice of paradise and means to keep it. Also, Shipwreck and his crew of pirates in action against the Dreadnaught; COBRA's gigantic submarine-cruiser. It's a perfect storm of action and suspense!
Ryan: I really liked the introduction of Cobra’s secret island in the last issue and I’m always happy with Scarlett as a lead character (she is definitely amongst my top Joes). I’m also really interested in seeing how Shipwreck is handled and if he’ll show up dressed like one of the village people. This issue definitely has a lot going for it, with the only real wild card being the art of Alex Cal, who I’m not familiar with (of course, I believe he has been solicited for a few issues that ended up being SL Gallant, so who knows if he’ll be drawing this issue).
Written by Jim McCann
Art by David Lopez
Hawkeye & Mockingbird are back in action together--but so are their two greatest foes! Who is the all-new, all-deadly Phantom Rider? Crossfire once took Hawkeye's hearing from him – what will he take from him now? Plus: what secret has Clint uncovered that could destroy everything that he and Bobbi are fighting for?
Ryan: I was impressed enough with the debut issue of this title to come back this week with hopes that lightning can strike twice for McCann and Lopez. The new Phantom Rider should be an interesting twist, especially given Mockingbird’s connection with the villainous legacy of the title, though I’m more interested in the dark secrets that Mockingbird is keeping from Hawkeye.
Kirk: First issue was an average issue, but didn't really capture the fun that I had with McCann's New Avengers: The Reunion that leads into this series. The focus on more continuity heavy aspects of Mockingbird and Hawkeye's past is also a bit disappointing. I was hoping for more Mr & Mrs Smith style action and quips, but there was a lot more time spent on backstory and introductions than I cared for. Hoping the second issue remedies some of these problems.
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To
Red Robin vs. Robin! When Damian discovers that he's on Red Robin's potential ""hit list"" of bad guys to apprehend, the new Robin goes about proving how wrong Tim was by trying to beat the crap out of him! Meanwhile, Tim's plans begin to flourish, starting with a new role at the Wayne Foundation and a new love life.
Ryan: There are few better writers for Tim Drake than Fabian Nicieza and he showed absolutely no signs of rust in his first issue back with the hero last month. This week we’ll see Robin’s hunt for villains begin in earnest, which should be exciting, though I think that the conflict between Damian and Tim will definitely be the main draw of the issue. Chris Yost made this one of DC’s best titles and Nicieza is not going to squander that momentum at all.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING, POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world…A woman who decides to stand up and fight back…A woman who will not back down…A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!! In the vein of Alias, Powers, and Jinx, Scarlet debuts a fascinating new comics character that, with every issue, reveals new things about herself against a completely original backdrop of intrigue and drama. Get in on the ground floor of the first creator owned series by Bendis since Powers, and the first creator owned series by Maleev…ever. (and, yes, the trademark obnoxious Bendis letter column will be here too)
Kirk: While I haven't been impressed with Bendis's Avengers related work of late, I'm willing to give Bendis a chance on this creator owned title. I still enjoy his Powers in trades and this seems more up his alley in terms of style.
Written by John Ostrander
Art by RB Silva
Guest writer John Ostrander (SUICIDE SQUAD) brings you a story about men who choose to hunt the most dangerous game in the world: The Secret Six! The Six are tricked into traveling to a secluded island where they're trapped in a fight for their lives. But the Six are nobody's prey!
Ryan: Secret Six is normally the last title that I want to see a fill-in creative team on, but considering last year’s Deadshot issue by John Ostrander was amongst the single best issues of the year, I think we could be in for a treat here. RB Silva could be a wild card, but with the preview pages that are circulating the ‘net, I think that we could be in for yet another strong pinch-hit for the best comic put out by the Big Two.
Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Billy Tan
Matt Murdock Dared Evil…and Lost! The battle for the soul of a hero begins! Pushed beyond his limits, Daredevil faces off for a final time against his deadliest foe--Bullseye-- in their most brutal battle ever with more than just Hell’s Kitchen is at stake. Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Punisher and more join forces to stop a war that is breaking out throughout New York, with Daredevil at the center. This event will change the streets of New York City—and the heroes that protect it—forever. Plus, a jaw-dropping final page that will have everyone talking for years to come!
Kirk: The preview for this has me pumped for this issue. Considering I was already at a fever pitch, what with our Hype Machines and other Shadowland related posts, it's hard to believe I'm actually more excited about this issue now than I already was.
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Dale Eaglesham
Steve Rogers was America's first Super-Soldier - Captain America - and he's fought for his country since World War II. Now a face from the past reappears, a woman that cannot be alive because Steve watched her die! Steve has fought for so long, and lost so much -- is his past coming back to haunt him now? Or could this be the plot of an old enemy who controls nearly everything he touches, including Steve's mind? From multiple Award-Winning Captain America scribe Ed Brubaker and acclaimed artist Dale Eaglesham comes a mini-series no Cap or Avengers fan will want to miss!
Kirk: Guess we know why Dale Eaglesham's been off and on with Fantastic Four almost from the very start of his "run" on that title. Despite my disappointment over his shakey attendance record for Fantastic Four, I'm actually quite interested in seeing how Ed Brubaker handles Steve in his new Director of SHIELD role and Eaglesham's art is always a plus. I know Bru has Steve in Secret Avengers, but that's a team book and I'd like to see the spotlight on Cap in this new status quo that this miniseries should provide.
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Chris Samnee
He's banished, he's mad, and he wants to FIGHT. ROGER LANGRIDGE (Muppet Show, Eisner and Harvey Award nominee) and CHRIS SAMNEE (SIEGE: EMBEDDED, The Mighty) re-imagine the God of Thunder in THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER! THRILL as he battles robots the size of cities! GASP as he tames the mightiest sea creatures! SWOON as he rescues damsels from the vilest villains! It's Thor as you've NEVER seen him, hammering his way into your hands TWICE this month!
Ryan: There is no comic I’m more excited about this week than Thor: Mighty Avenger. I really dig Thor, but cannot seem to get into the current ongoing, which means that this continuity-less take on the God of Thunder should be perfect for me. Plus, the art is by Chris Samnee, who is perhaps the most exciting young artist in the industry today. If you’ve seen some of his design sketches for this series, you’ll know why this comic has me giddy with anticipation.
Written by Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle
Art by Mike Choi
The final battle begins here! It's X-Force's last stand in the future and the X-Men's last stand in the present. Bastion has been one step ahead of the X-Men the whole time, but one X-Man's sacrifice could turn the tide! Don't miss the penultimate chapter of the X-Event of 2010!
Ryan: Despite the fact that it could have been easily trimmed by two or three issues, Second Coming has been a major success for the X-Franchise in my book. You’ve had some great character moments, some strong action, and a lot of quality creators really stepping up their game. This issue could definitely tip the scales towards total success or potential failure, however, as Bastion’s endgame is definitely going to influence how this story should be read as a whole. It has a strong creative team and great momentum, though, so I expect this to remain in the win column.
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Paco Medina
When a suicide bomber strikes in downtown San Francisco, it gets the immediate attention of the X-Men. But this is not your garden variety terrorist – and he's not acting alone. Vampires from around the globe are descending en masse on the City by the Bay, staking a brutal claim for the patch of land the X-Men call their home. What is their agenda? Who is their mysterious leader? The X-Men are about to find out, as they brace themselves for a war of the species that will wrack the Marvel Universe.
Ryan: Let’s break this down: A new X-Men series with renewed focus spinning out of an epic crossover? That’s a win. A quality creative team led by one of Marvel’s most acclaimed ‘new’ writers? Win (though to be fair, Gischler has had a successful writing career outside of comics). A new threat emerging that is a depature from the usual X-Men brand of villains? I’ll give that a win as well. The fact that these villains are vampires? Big loss, as vampires are totally overdone these days. These villains will usher in guest appearances by loads of non-X characters? Another huge loss, as the X-Men should definitely be able to stand on their own after Second Coming’s boost. That leaves us at a stalemate before I’ve even cracked open the issue. This could get interesting…
Written by Sean McKeever
Art by David Baldeon
Still reeling from the events of last issue, the Young Allies are desperate to hunt down the Bastards of Evil by any means necessary--even if it means taking on their parents!--while the Bastards are up for a little hunting trip of their own…
Ryan: I was pretty cautious heading into the first issue of Young Allies, despite the strength of the creative team, and found myself pleasantly surprised by how awesome its debut was. I’m still not sure if there is room on my pull list for this title to stick around for the long haul, but if this issue is as charming and exciting as the first was, I might just bump another Marvel title to make room for this one.
Kirk: This title had a very strong debut issue. Interesting characters, well written, solid art and a nice team dynamic built up without the team even officially having formed made for a great read from something I wasn't expecting much from. As Tom Brevoort stated on Twitter, and I'm paraphrasing, this was the kind of writing you expected from Sean McKeever's Teen Titans run. Not sure if he just has more freedom at Marvel or didn't "get" the Teen Titans, but it was like a completely different McKeever than the one that signed exclusively to DC after his excellent Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane work. Looking forward to reading more of this series.