Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Weekly Crisis vs. Solicits for April 2011

April is just around the corner, and it's time to look at what comic book companies are putting out in that month. Fear Itself is the big ticket item, which kicks off in April, but there's plenty of other stuff that looks good, a few groaners, and some items that you might have missed. Hit the jump to see our thoughts on April Solicitations. 

Ryan L's Thoughts

The Best Thing In April

Fear Itself

Call me a sell out, ai don't mind. I'm surprisingly pumped for this event to kick off. This is Fraction's opportunity to win me over with his Marvel work. I dug nearly all his early stuff but his tentpole Marvel work just hasn't hit a nerve for me. Maybe he'll bring something else to his event comic. I kind of doubt it, which is a shame, but I just have to know for myself. Not to mention it's drawn by Stuart Immonen. You know no matter what, it is going to look pretty.

Then there's the fact it's 56 pages for just $3.99. That's a smart choice for this debut issue, bravo Marvel, you'll suck plenty of people in with that sort of value.

The Worst Thing In April

Secret Avengers Point One Issue by Nick Spencer

I don't want anyone to think this is me bagging Nick Spencer. The man seems like a very cool creator, and he's certainly shredding up the scene, but if I'm going to buy a Secret Avengers issue in the middle of Brubaker's run then I want it written by Brubaker. This is like when an Annual is shipped with some random creative team. I don't really want something that's not part of the wholistic package the regular writer is offering. If it's a creative handover, I can handle that, and if it's a side mini I would probably even get on board with that, but when it's a major jumping on issue then it's not helpful to have it be written by someone else. It doesn't make me, a Secret Avengers reader, want to jump in and it sells something completely different to the new reader.

The Coolest Thing In April You Need To Check Out

Dark Horse's Supernatural Noir

A while back, Dark Horse released a book called Noir, and it was a stack of pulp tales from pretty great creators. It was also a whole mess of fun and this seems to be in a similar vein of production and yet a whole new genre. It's not as cheap, $19.99, but it is about twice as long, 336 pages, and it's lined up some very cool talent in the likes of Joe R Lansdale, Brian Evenson, Caitlin R Kiernan, and more.

An anthology like this is the sort of thing i like to see a publisher experiment with. There's the opportunity for tales to be played with and some you might love and some maybe hate but that's the experience of reading a collection of disparate tales. You never quite know what you're going to get. These tales are about darkness without and within and I think it'll definitely be something to watch for this April. It's 16 original tales and hopefully a whole stack of fun.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine: Another Fine Mess #1

This $4.99 behemoth collects the first 3 issues of this mini series by Jason Aaron and Andy Kubert. I didn't get in on the ground floor the first time so I'm definitely in on this one. Especially because I read the first issue for free months ago when ComiXology offered it for free. It was a great debut and I've heard usually good things about the title so I want to check it out.

It also helps that buying the first 3 issues at this price, and then picking up the other issues at the usual price, will culminate in an overall price probably below what a trade will set me back. And it's Jason Aaron, I'm probably going to get the trade at some stage, let's be realistic. I like that Marvel offers things like this sometimes. It's appreciated.

Matt's Thoughts 

The Best Things in April

Kieron Gillen Takes Over the World

April is the month that Kieron Gillen decided to show all those other lazy bums of writers and take over, roughly, half the Marvel production. Alright, I might be exaggerating a bit here, but the man's output for this month is only rivaled by that of Nick Spencer. He is writing Generation Hope, Journey Into Mystery, and three issues of Uncanny X-Men. That's a whole lot of books, and I couldn't be happier, because I've enjoyed all of his work so far.

Joe Kubert Reprints

DC seems to be reprinting a whole lot of Joe Kubert's books in trade paperback, and they sound really interesting. Well, "Jew Gangsters" sounds like the punchline of a joke, but you know what I mean. They are not your typical superhero fare, most of them sound based on real events (even if they are not non-fiction) and I'll be looking forward to checking them out.

The Worst Things in April

Planetary/Batman Deluxe Edition HC

I haven't actually read this story, but the rest of Planetary was great, so I doubt this would be any different. What I am calling shenanigans on is that this is priced at $22.99 even though there's only about 50 pages of story. The trade in total is 96 pages, but part of that is the script for the story by Warren Ellis. Again, I am sure that it would be great, but I am of the belief that such a thing should be extra content, not half the package. And yes, it is extra trim sized, so the John Cassaday art will look great. One thing you should keep in mind, is that in ComiXology this same issue (sans the script) costs only $1.99, a difference of 1050% in price.

Marvel Double Dipping

It's not the first time that this has happened, but Marvel is making reader double dip quite a lot this month. A considerable number of series are releasing two issues for April, either because of their Point One initiative or annuals. Uncanny X-Men (written by Kieron Gillen, see above) has two regular issues, plus a Point One issue! Straining reader's wallets is never a good idea, because fans may just drop another title to make space for the extra issues.

The Coolest Things in April You Need To Check Out

Dark Horse Presents #1

One of the most important anthologies of the 80's and 90's is back. For those of you playing at home, it was in Dark Horse Presents where series like Concrete and Sin City first made their appearance. It's good to see Dark Horse trying something different, and I hope people will check it out. It's 80 pages of new stories (without ads) from some quality creators like Richard Corben, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, and more. The only thing that I'm not fond of is the price: $6.99 seems a bit on the pricey side, but it might just be the first issue that is priced like that.

iZombie #12

The series by Chris Roberson and Mike Alred has been pretty well received so far, but what really caught my attention for this issue is that it is NOT drawn by Alred. Instead, the guest penciller is none other that Gilbert Hernandez (of Love & Rockets fame)! That seems like a pretty big deal, and I haven't seen many people talking about it, so I thought I would mention in here in case there are any fans that didn't notice. You are welcome, by the way. 

That's what we had to say for the April solicitations. What has caught your eye? What do you think are the best, worst and the can't-miss parts of them? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Anonymous said...

I might have been VAGUELY interested in Fear Itself, but once Marvel admitted that it would have something to do with vampires, I lost all interest.

Now if it was the second great Annihilation wave, that I could get into.

krakkaboom said...

I'm sick of Marvel putting some titles out twice a month. Hardly any of their titles are worthy of the bi-weekly treatment in their current states.

Also, I'm sold on one thing about their .1's a cash grab. I don't think I'll be buying any of the issues.

Had Marvel utilized the .1 concept by adding a .1 to the end of any issue's number that marks the beginning of a story arc WITHOUT adding an unnecessary issue, I would be praising them. Instead, it's yet another way for them to swindle money from completists.

Aaron K said...

I don't understand the complaint that Marvel is putting out more content monthly. If they're putting out more books than you want to buy, buy fewer. I understand the felt compulsion to be a completist, but the fact that a publisher is giving you *MORE* of what you want is hardly a complaint that holds much water.

Midnight Monk said...

@Anom#1 I too find myself tired of Vampires. The entire Fear Itself event does have my interest somewhat anyway. Fraction current stuff with Thor just hasn't been all that great in my opinion. Things like the foolish resurrection of Loki * odd return of Odin then killing off of Baulder just don't sit write with me

I was exciting in the beginning when I heard Brian Bendis would have nothing to do with Fear Itself but not I feel sorta iffy about it

Atleast there Uncanny X-force and Spidey Big Time to hold me over :D

Matt Duarte said...

@Aaron: It has to do with budget than being a completist, more than anything. Imagine that you have 60 dollars to spend every month of comics, and so you create your pull list accordingly, to the 20 series you like, knowing that they fit perfectly in your budget. You know every month you are going to spend a set amount.

Then a series ships twice one month. Three (or four) dollars more is not going to send you into bankruptcy, but they DO add up when it's a lot of them. It's not the first time this has happened. Look at this post from 2009...

In that case, if I wanted to buy all the issues from the series I liked, my budget almost doubled.

Anonymous said...

Fear Itself, I'm definitely interested in. And I usually don't get involved with the Marvel Events but, if it involves the Hulk, I'm there!

It's great to see Concrete coming back. I remember looking at a comic of his when I was a kid. I'd like to see a team-up with him and The Thing! "It's clobberin' time!"

Eric in Ottawa said...

Just to be sure, are the .1 books just reprinting the same book with a little extra material or a completely new issue altogether?

If it's the latter, I wouldn't quite call that "double dipping" since it's new material; the term usually applies to having to buying the same item twice.

Nevertheless, I take your point about having so many issues to buy every month. Personally, I just recently cut my monthly books from 18 to 13 (sorry $3.99 Marvel books!).

Matt Duarte said...

@Eric: Completely new material, as far as I know. Yeah, perhaps double dipping was a bad term.

Aaron K said...

@Matt - There are lots of products in the world that I can't afford on my budget. I don't get upset at the manufacturers for not delaying the product until I can afford it. Quite literally, you are complaining that Marvel is putting out too many comics that you want to purchase. Besides, comics don't have an expiration date; you can always buy them later.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Aaron K - where's your sense of entitlement, mate? YOu need to start demanding the world comform to your wants and desires otherwise you'll never make positive change, ha ;)

As for the double shipping annoyance, I think it warrants a bit of annoyance on our behalf because comic shipping is something that is generally set in stone, we know what to expect, so messing with that schedule, putting two in the one month or delaying another comic by months, throws us out. Us fanlads budget heavily, or at least should, and so we need a routine we can stick too. Probably helps our OCD, too ha.

Matt Duarte said...

@Aaron: I think flooding the market IS a problem. If you put three issues of Uncanny X-Men out in the same month, it means that people are going to either drop UXM or other titles to afford it. I understand that the Point One issues and what their purpose is, but there's no need to put them all together in the space of two months.

And the way my comic book shop works (which, admittedly, is not how most work), I have to pre-order everything that I want by putting it on my pull list, or else they won't order it at all. So I can't buy them later, off the rack, as most people can. Stuff sells out, or is hard to track down later, and ordering back issues from sites like Midtown Comics mean lots of shipping charges.

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