Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 10/20/10

Post-Crisis Previews time?  Post-Crisis Previews time.  Hit the jump to find out what Ryan and I are picking up this week and read our general thoughts and expectations on each.  And, as always, feel free to let us know what you'll be getting or suggest a book you think we should be reading or talk comics in general.

Written by Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin
Art by Phil Noto

Pilot Season Begins anew as a 6 Week Event in 2010! Ex-pat turned mercenary John Bishop is mortally wounded, but spared from Hell by a renegade demon seeking redemption. The price of John's salvation? He's reborn as the demon's personal assassin and charged with ridding humanity of our worst criminals, sadists, and murderers...with a seven-day deadline for each kill. Redemption can take a lifetime. John Bishop only has 7 days.

Ryan: Remember when the Punisher was an “avenging angel?” Well, that would have been so much cooler had the story followed this premise instead. With a very solid premise and promising creative team, this last entry in Top Cow’s Pilot Season 2010 could potentially top my personal favorite, Asset from Week 2.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazer Irving

In the final chapter of ""Batman Must Die,"" all is lost and everything has gone to pieces! Is Dick Grayson alive? Will Damian make a pact with the devil? And what will happen after the final confrontation with Dr. Hurt?

Ryan: My comments on last week’s Return of Bruce Wayne caused a passionate reaction from the loyal Morrison-ites; could this week be a repeat of that? Morrison’s recent output has always favored conclusions and if Frazer Irving’s work is amazing when he is “on” (I’ve been a bit underwhelmed in this storyline), so there is a good chance that this book could make a run at the top spot. The key for this book is going to be focus and clarity—if its got that, we could be in for a treat. Although, seriously, what is with Damian’s hair on the cover of this book? For shame, Quitely!

Kirk: The preview of this looks amazing.  Frazer Irving has been doing some of his best work on this arc.  That opening Joker/Damian sequence in the preview is worth the price of the book for me.  It can only get better from that.

Written by Derek Fridolfs
Art by Peter Nguyen

The last time Selina Kyle saw Bruce Wayne, she was lying in a hospital bed, her life having just been saved by the man she loved. Can Catwoman handle Bruce's return after having mourned his death?

Ryan: While I’m perfectly familiar with Derek Fridolfs as an inker, I have never read anything he has written, which makes this issue a major wildcard this week. Peter Nguyen’s art is always serviceable, so I have a feeling that this issue is going to live-and-die at the output from the writer. I just hope that Fridolfs can tackle the highly emotional end of this story without shortchanging Selina’s capability as a character. Catwoman is a highly complex character, especially in her relationship with Bruce, but it seems like many, many writers miss the mark by treating her two one-dimensionally in this regard.

Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Szymon Kudranski

For several months now, Commissioner Jim Gordon has known he's been working alongside a ""different"" Batman. But with Bruce Wayne now returned, what will that mean for the future of Gotham City and their own crime fighting chemistry?

Ryan: I know that Adam Beechen takes a lot of flack for some of his more controversial storylines (some editorially mandated, mind you), but I’ve always been a big fan of his character work, especially during his run on Robin. Hopefully he can work that magic in this one-shot, as I have no idea what to expect from artist Szymon Kudranski.

Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Clayton Crain

CARNAGE IS BACK! The fan-favorite villain returns to rock the Marvel Universe, with the Amazing Spider-Man and the Invincible Iron Man first on his hit list. But just why - and how - has Carnage returned, and how many of Marvel's heroes will it take to stop him? Superstar creators Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, NEW MUTANTS) and Clayton Crain (GHOST RIDER, X-FORCE) team up for the Spider-Man epic that'll leave jaws on the floor! Literally!

Kirk: Zeb Wells has been my favourite writer on Amazing Spider-Man for the Brand New Day era (he did the Lizard revamp in Shred and that snow ninja/demon team-up with Wolverine) and I loved his Dark Reign: Elektra miniseries.  While Carnage doesn't interest me all that much, I have faith Wells has something interesting to tell us with this story.  Clayton Crain's art on X-Force was showing signs of being rushed and looked dark and washed out to the point you could barely tell what was going on, but he blew me away with his recent Ghost Rider one-shot for Shadowland.  If it looks half as good as that issue did, I'll be in half a mind to frame most of this issue. 

Written by Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak
Art by Khoi Pham

The premiere event of the fall continues! When the greatest threat the Marvel Universe has ever seen lays waste to reality and brings Earth's mightiest heroes to their knees, who you gonna call? That's right: the all-new, all-different, all-divine GOD SQUAD! The fan-favorite team from SECRET INVASION returns, led by Thor and Hercules. And check out the cosmic heavy-hitters they choose to round out their sacred strikeforce: Galactus, Silver Surfer, Venus, Sersi and Hellstorm! Plus: After the shocking death of a major Marvel character last issue, you'll never believe who the Chaos King has next on his hit list!

Kirk: The first issue of this didn't impress me.  Too much recap, a lot of grand standing, but no major draw or even the humour and action that made the regular Incredible Hercules (and Prince of Power miniseries) one of my favourite books.  Hoping this issue is a return to form for the title.  

Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Yildiray Cinar

The first storyline ends here after issue #5's shocking last page! (Didn't see that one coming, didja?) Legion leader Cosmic Boy makes a drastic decision, that will affect the next year's worth of LEGION stories. And the quest to build up the 31st century Green Lantern Corps continues!

Ryan: After the shocking revelation that Earth Man has been having an affair with Shadow Lass, this issue has a lot of questions to answer. Again, I have to fall back on the fact that Paul Levitz has done a brilliant job of making this series accessible in my recommendations on it. I’ve never been a huge Legion fan prior to this, but Levitz and artist Yildiray Cinar have made this one of my absolute favorite comics. I expect nothing less than awesomeness.

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Joe Eisma

While the rest of the Glories prepare for their first day of classes, Jade finds herself trapped in the Nurse's office and about to undergo a ghastly procedure. But when she attempts to make her escape, she stumbles across the deadliest secret yet found within the hallowed halls of Morning Glory Academy!

Ryan: I can’t stress enough how awesome I find Morning Glories and how excited I have been to jump into this issue after the incredibly shocking final page of issue #2. Nick Spencer is building a brilliant mystery here and Joe Eisma’s art is fine fit. After just two issues, its clear that you’ll never know what is coming with this series and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is definitely the frontrunner this week.

Written by Christos N. Gage
Art by Stephen Segovia

Rory Regan has long struggled to reconcile the burden he carries as the Ragman, protector of society's forgotten, with his own strained faith. Could the souls he has consigned to redeem themselves within his mystic suit have the answers he needs about what lies beyond — and about the mysteries kept from him by his own father? Christos Gage (STORMWATCH: PHD, Avengers: The Initiative) and Stephen Segovia (Wolverine) provide a look inside one of the DCU's most peculiar Super Heroes in this standalone one-shot!

Ryan: Ragman is definitely one of DC’s most unusual, interesting, and underused characters, so I’m glad to see that he is getting a one-shot this week. While I really wish that one of Ragman’s biggest fans, Phil Hester, would be involved one way or another, Christos Gage is sure to do Rory Regan justice here. I’ve yet to see a character that Gage can’t write well and he has certainly been on a roll lately with his Avengers Academy work…

Written by Jim Zubkavich
Art by Edwin Huang

The Skullkickers are on the hunt for a famous corpse, and the twisted trail they follow is littered with troubles aplenty — grave diggers, patchwork zombies, horse thieves and dark magic. Trust us, skulls will be kicked. If you like D&D or Hellboy, SKULLKICKERS is waiting for you.

Ryan: Skullkickers #1 was an awesomely irreverent comic that took me completely by surprise. It’s clear that Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang are running on an “anything goes” mindset with this series, much to my enjoyment. I’m really at a loss for words on how to describe this series, but I can say that I loved the first issue and I’m super pumped for this one.

Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle

Showdown at Bizarro World! How can the Girl of Steel defeat a threat that has already taken down an entire planet of Bizarros? And what about BizarroGirl – can Supergirl trust her twisted mirror self to help out? Well, if Bizarros are opposites, and Supergirl is noble, brave and heroic...uh...good luck defeating the monstrous intergalactic foe by yourself, Kara!

Ryan: When reviewing last issue, I complained that it ended with Kara speeding away from Bizarro World to get help from Superman to save the planet, as I felt that I undermined the character’s abilities. I really feel that this a chance for Kara to come into her own as a hero (even if she has to rally the Bizarros) outside of Superman. It’ll be interesting to see how Sterling Gates resolves this issue and if the conclusion is detrimental to the character as I fear it will be.

Written by Josh Williamson
Art by Ale Garza

Something evil is haunting Supergirl! But whatever's causing the disturbance is nothing compared to what she's about to run into in Gotham City when she seeks help from the new Robin, Damian. Can these two get along long enough to stop the nightmares plaguing Metropolis? Find out in this special Halloween issue!

Ryan: With my ever-expanding pull list, I rarely randomly pick up the odd issue of a series I don’t normally ready, but the idea of two of polar opposites Supergirl and Damian team-up should be a lot of fun. Plus, I dug Ale Garza’s work when he drew Supergirl a few years back. This should be a fun done-in-one.

Written by Bryan J.L. Glass
Art by Tan Eng Huat

Thor's first year on Earth continues as the public gets its first view of the God of Thunder, and also experiences the horrors wrought by the terrible trickster Loki! For centuries, the God of Mischief endured righteous punishment for his many crimes, and yet blamed his hated half-brother for his own torment. Learning of the Odinson's awakening, the God of Lies engineers his escape, to wreak havoc and nightmare upon those whom Dr. Donald Blake loves! Meanwhile, when Heimdall attempts to block an angry Thor from regaining entry to Asgard, we discover if his sword is a match for the power of the mighty hammer Mjolnir! The legend reborn continues with Harvey Award-winning writer Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) and acclaimed artist Tan Eng Huat (SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME)!

Ryan: The retelling of Thor’s origins continues this week, apparently focusing on Loki’s relationship with the titular hero. I was really impressed with Bryan J.L. Glass’s complex, yet accessible retelling of Thor’s first appearance in the last issue, so I’m excited to see how this plays out. I was a bit underwhelmed by Tan Eng Huat’s work, but the strength of the writing is more than enough to have me pumped for this.

X-23 #2
Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Wil Conrad

X-23 has never been a normal teenager, but with a demonic Wolverine on the loose, her dreams of becoming that normal teen seem less possible than ever. When the images this imposter Wolverine has been filling her head with become real, who can she turn to? And where is the real Wolverine in all of this? Find out as the series you've been waiting for continues!

Ryan: The debut issue of this series was a nice introduction to X-23’s new status quo while establishing some interesting new threats via her visions. Marjorie Liu will need to delve into something more concrete with this issue, but as long as she retains the strong sense of voice that was developed in the first issue, this should be a great read. This series certainly has a tremendous amount of potential.

Kirk: I liked the first issue.  Finally gave some character development to Laura that she hasn't seen since New X-Men ended.  Was great seeing the entire cast of that book return and confront Laura over her X-Force "job" and see the effect its had on her.   Let's see if Liu can keep it up with the second issue.

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Akylle said...

I'd be much more excited in the Gordon one shot if it wasn't for Beechen...I didn't mind him too much until Batman Beyond happened...

twobitspecialist said...

I'm getting Daredevil #511 and Chaos War #2. I admit I wasn't too thrilled by #1, but hopefully Van Lente will do something awesome this time around. Also, what character that got killed are we talking about here? Nightmare? He was a "major" character?

Also, I'm waiting on the reviews before getting Carnage #1. It could potentially shape up to be a great mini, but Wells is not one of my favorite writers. The very same stories that Kirk referenced are the ones I point to when I bemoan BND Spider-man.

Jank said...

Why would the Punisher need to be an avenging angel? Isn't that Ghost Rider's MO?

The Dangster said...

whats wrong with damien's hair. it's just growing. his LONG neck is what's bothering me.

I'm not a huge fan of Morrison, but i love his work now.

Stephen Segovia, is a great artist, he's like lenil francis yu when he did birthright.

The Dangster said...

i mean, i hope he gets back to that style.

btownlegend said...

This issue of Batman and Robin will either be the finale of the best story arc in 2010 or be a bunch of new questions that may never be answered. No middle ground.

Ivan said...

Not a fan of Clayton Crain. His art looks...I don't know..."plastic" in all the wrong ways to me.

Ivan said...

Oh yeah, and which "major" Marvel character died in Chaos War #1?

Anonymous said...

can we have kirks review of batman robin. with respect I dont think many people would want a negative review when many beg to differ plus the reviewer does not even like the run

Anonymous said...

no brightest day this week?

ENrique G.

Kirk Warren said...

@Enrique - I gave up after the first few issues. Didn't interest me and felt like I wasg etting enough of the story elsewhere. I've heard its improved a lot since those early issues though.

@Anonymous 9 - While I'm quite pleased with the current Morrison Batman output, Ive probably be far harsher than Ryan on other parts of the run. Resurrection of Ra's, Batman RIP, Jason Todd Batman & Robin arc, etc were reviewed unfavourably by me.

Jikorijo said...

Hey Ryan! Any chance of you voting for the next Legion of Superheroes Team Leader? Better hurry!


Ryan Schrodt said...

@btown - I agree. I tend to like Morrison's conclusions more than his buildup, so I'm hoping this issue will salvage things for me.

@jikorijo - I voted this morning! I'd love to see Lightning Lass take the lead. It would make for an interesting dynamic with the three "foounders."

Anonymous said...

Ryan, if you're unfamiliar with the artist on the Commissioner Gordon one-shot, you need to get to DCU's blog and look at the preview (or wait a few hours and pick up the book). It's gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

@ kirk yes we all know they were crap but to be fair they were fillers. Im just saying that the story that is years in the making should be reviewed by someone that has been enjoying it

Ethereal said...

Chaos War, Daredevil, Steve Rogers from Marvel. There's a bunch of books in there that I'm interested in, but nothing I'm willing to commit to.

Batman and Robin, Brightest Day, and GLC from DC. Same thing going as Marvel here. Good week for everybody.

twobitspecialist said...

I am amazed at all the people who think Morrison's Bat-titles should be reviewed by someone who can only say positive things about the title. To me, that reads like bias. We should all learn to accept diverse viewpoints, and between Kirk and Ryan S., I think we got all angles covered.

inb4 two-bit you're idiot the site hates you stop kissing up

Jank said...

lol @twobit. Ah, don't you love the internet?

And twobit's right. Disagree with Ryan's reviews all you want, but the site would lose a lot of credibility in my eyes if only positive reviews were pumped out. Dissenting reviews have their place. After all, one man's gold is another's trash.

Jikorijo said...

@Ryan I love Ayla too! But, I voted for Sun Boy because I'd love to see how he'd run the Legion and to see him eat his words about the election in earlier issues. Plus, he's one of my favorite Legion members.

jenna said...

Its not bias . Its just all of the comments were negative and it was clear that ryan was not understanding some parts of the story instead saying that morrison was just adding plot points out of nowhere plus ryan was upset (shown on his twitter) it just does not seem worth the grief.

kinda confused by your last comment :S

Anonymous said...

@ Jenna.

I agree with you.

Ryan can't give a fair review of Morrison's work because he doesn't pick up everything or discuss everything in the title or view the title as a smaller part in a larger epic storyline.

Have you see the extensive reviews and analysis fans and reviewers have been doing online for each and every individual issue of Morrison's work so far?

PMMDJ said...

Carnage is a 'fan-favorite villain'?

Kirk Warren said...

@PMMDJ - I was going to say the same thing in my thoughts, but ended up deleting it. I'm guessing 90's popularity and non-comic reading fan knowledge = fan favourite?

Matt Duarte said...

@PMMDJ: Carnage (along with Venom) is ridiculously popular among people that are more casual fans. They've been in a bunch of Spidey's video games, which I think has something to do with it.

Also, people are still butthurt about the Return of Bruce Wayen review? We dish out negative reviews on a weekly basis, and it's only the Morrison fans that get so up in arms about it.

Anonymous said...

we got up in arms as many of the long plot points were considered random

no need to be hostile

Anonymous said...

Hey I love most of the morrison comics! but yeah some times is is good to read reviews of people who thinks it is not as good as we think.

Grat reviews TWC staff!

Enrique G.

Ryan Schrodt said...

Hey y'all--I think this entire Morrison situation got out of hand. Things got heated both here and on Twitter from both sides, but that is no reason to say that there is no room for dissenting reviews. I've trashed plenty of comics over the years with relatively little flack until I started criticizing Morrison's Batman. No one was upset when I ripped on Felicia Henderson's Teen Titans run for months on end. Y'all took that patiently and I ask that you do the same when I review all comics. We are all entitled to our opinions and my reviews have never claimed to be more than that. We all come to Weekly Crisis because its a fun comics site written by and for people who love the medium. Let's not turn into the new home for mudslinging just becausewe disagree.

Plus, seriously, I haven't even cracked open this week's Batman and Robin. Who knows, maybe I'll love it!

Anonymous said...

But teen titans is bad . Im not even a morrison fan but it seemed from everyone that you were saying morrison was just throwing plot points when aparantly from a lengthy 40 readers begged to differ

Akylle said...

Why do these things always devolve into Morrisonites vs the world? lol.

Jank said...

Harassing Ryan isn't going to make him change his opinion of it. We can point out to him how everything fits together and isn't necessarily a plot hole, but we can't make him enjoy it. Let's keep in mind that it's not wrong for him to not enjoy something we like.

Different strokes for different folks. I have nothing against Ryan and respect his passion for comics, but to be honest, I figured out a long time ago that my likes/dislikes didn't match up with his. As a result, I've basically stopped reading his reviews. Why read something I disagree with all the time?

I'd suggest that others who find themselves disagreeing with his reviews frequently to just skip over them as well. If you can't do that, at least remember that a review is just one man's opinion. It only holds power if you let it. Let's not disrespect the people that do the hard work of pumping out the goods on TWC.

Ryan Schrodt said...

Well-said, Jank, though I hope you stop by the reviews from time-to-time. Despite taking things a bit too personally this week, I always welcome criticism and differing opinions. I've definitely given more than a few comics a second look based upon the comments I've recieved and I've been turned onto a number of books I would have otherwise skipped as well.

That being said, I look forward to the reactions I get from my review of Batman & Robin this week!

Jank said...

@Ryan No problem man. Like I said, I have much respect for you and the rest of the crew here. Personal attacks against you (or anyone) for a difference of opinion are uncalled for.

Dennis N said...

Is there any name besides Morrison that gets comic fans so riled up? Millar maybe? Maybe you should do an article about the most polarizing writers in comics today or the past ten years. Hell, I'll write it if you don't want to.

I think Carnage #1 could turn out to be good. From interviews it seems that the writers have recognized that Cletus Kasaday was rather one-dimensional and boring, and so they're trying to fix that aspect with this new host.

I'm picking up Loki #1, just because I really liked the Loki mini from 2004.

Power Girl #17 is going to have a lot of Batman in it.

And it goes without saying: Walking Dead #78

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Dennis N - maybe it would be better if someone outside wrote that article. Please go ahead, email it in, I'll run it.

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