Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Weekly Crisis vs. Solicits for May 2011

Another month, another round of Solicitations for us to go through. We know you probably don't have the time to go through all of them yourself, so we do the arduous job of reading all of them (yes, ALL of them), and telling you all the good stuff you don't want to miss out on. Hit the jump to see what caught our eyes for the month of May.

Ryan L's Thoughts

The Best Thing In May

Robert E Howard's Savage Sword #2

You need to be reading this magazine. Seriously. It's a mixture of new content (good) and old reprint material from the original Save Sword magazine (great) and the variety of quality and creators and characters is astounding. The first issue shipped a while back, in 2010 actually, but the wait is definitely worth it. A magazine like this is a labour of love and rushing it won't make it better.

The best part about this title is that it takes you some time to read. As it should for the $7.99 price point but it's still nice to sit down and and really immerse in a book for a full afternoon. You walk away knowing you got your money's worth. It's not often a comic reading experience is a time consuming enterprise.

The Worst Thing In May

A Short Month

Hrm. Each month the solicits come out and I write up my list of what I'm purchasing. It keeps me organised and on budget but right now I'm looking through my list and seeing that there's not much there. Mostly, my Marvel purchases are down by nearly half. I can see this is because I'm dropping a few series, which is sad, but it's also because I had been buying a stack of minis (Ultimate Cap, Osborn, etc) and they are all ending, and in this month of May we won't be seeing any Icon books, or Uncanny X-Force, or any Daredevil, or S.H.I.E.L.D. It's alarming to see such a thin buy pile but at least what is there all really excites me. I guess it truly is about quality over quantity, huh, who knew?

The Coolest Things In May You Need To Check Out

Strange Adventures

This one is a no-brainer. It's an anthology title with content from all your favourite Vertigo creators. I'd just about pick this up for Scott Snyder's inclusion alone but the rest of it looks quality. It's got the first part of the new Azzarello/Risso Spaceman tale, which you can follow up in its own title, and I'm hoping the rest of this book is all just stand alone business that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Mystique Ultimate Collection HC

You might be wondering why I would want to spotlight a HC collection of 13 issues of the Mystique ongoing from way back when and you'd be right to question it. And my response need only be 3 letters - BKV. That's right, Brian K Vaughan wrote this series a long time ago and only now am I afforded the chance to read it. I might wait for the slightly cheaper trade collection but at least now I know it's in the pipeline. It seems like Marvel are really pulling some random stuff off their back catalogue and collecting it - and for this I thank them.

Matt's Thoughts

The Best Things in May

PunisherMax Back on Track

If you are like me, you have been eagerly awaiting for the return of Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's gloriously violent and violently funny take on PunisherMAX. You might remember that the series ran into quite some heavy delays a couple of months back. Those issues have finally been coming out, and now a new arc is set to begin in May, simply titled "Frank". If you haven't checked this series yet, maybe because you don't think anyone can top Ennis' run, then do yourself a favor and sample it. It might not be exactly like Ennis' take on the Punisher, but Aaron has been doing incredibly nonetheless.

Opening the Gates of Arkham

There's two Arkham Asylum-centered series coming out in May. The first one is by Weekly Crisis-favorite Scott Snyder, about the mysteries of the Asylum. This might feel like the kind of thing that is touched upon quite a lot (and it is), but I trust Snyder to deliver a thrilling tale. The other project is Arkham City, by Paul Dini, and promises to bridge the gap between the Batman: Arkham Asylum game and the upcoming Arkham City one. I came into the game quite later than everyone else, but I devoured just like any other fan, and I am excited to revisit the slightly different world.

The Worst Things in May

Holding the Line?

Sometimes I really don't get DC, and get the impression that some of their campaigns are decided as an afterthought. First, in January we had a big announcement that all the titles would be priced at $2.99, in the process screwing up many plans laid out for the back-ups (such as the Jimmy Olsen and Commisioner Gordon back-ups in Action and Detective Comics respectively). Now we get Flashpoint #1, which is priced at... $3.99. Which, admittedly, is 40 pages long according to the solicits. What I don't get is why go through all the trouble of launching the "Holding the line!" campaign, only to go back on it as soon as the next big event shows up around the corner.


If you hear the name "Mark Millar", and you immediately think "I wish he would write a romance comic!", then the Marvel solicits have good news for you! They are reprinting the mini series from some years back, before Millar was the star he is today, in a collection. Widely regarded as one of the worst stories from the nu-Marvel era, it was originally intended to be a retcon for Peter Parker's origin, having Aunt May actually be his (teenage) mother, only to give the child for adoption to her sister and... you know what? Screw this, it's as stupid as it sounds. The only reason you might want to check this out is because of Terry Dodson, who handled the art duties for the whole thing.

The Coolest Thing In May You Need To Check Out

Crime Does Not Pay Collection

Dark Horse is releasing a "Best Of" collection of the mythical Crime Does Not Pay comics of the 40'. You might remember that these played a large role in the creation of the (recently deceased) Comics Code Authority and the research of Frederick Wertham. It's going to be interesting to get to read these comics (which as far as I know haven't really been in print, have they?) and compare them with more modern output of comics. I've heard they are quite good on their own right, so the historical relevance might just be an added bonus to the whole package.

Avengers Academy: Giant Size #1

Third time's the charm, right? This material has been solicited two times before, so no one would blame you if you accidentally forgot to order it. First it was going to be three annuals for different series (Young Allies, Avengers Academy, and Spider-Girl), then it was going to be it's own mini series, and now finally it is going to be collected as one "humongous" package. It's 80 pages for $7.99, which is quite a good deal, and it's by Paul Tobin and David Baldeon. Should be some good, clean, old-fashioned fun!

That's what we had to say for the May 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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Michael said...

Is that Ultra the Multi-Alien on the cover of Strange Adventures? Color me intrigued.

krakkaboom said...

I believe that DC stated that the $2.99 price point only applies to their ongoings.

"With the exceptions of oversized comic books, like annuals and specials, we are committed to a $2.99 price point."

"Going forward, mini-series and special events may feature a different price point and page count to best allow writers and artists the flexibility of format and story pages they need to tell their stories best." -Dan DiDio, 10.7.2010

Matt Duarte said...

@krakaboom: Thanks for the explanation.

Michael said...

And conveniently for any crazed Flashpoint completists, DC's said that only the main book will be $3.99, everything else will be $2.99.

And this is the end of me sending like a DC press release.

krakkaboom said...

@Matt: No problem. I thought I remembered them specifying about the prices and thought I'd pass it along.

James said...

Trouble was IMHO actually a pretty decent book. Above average for a teen romantic dramedy and very much in the Kirby/Simon romance comic vein. The only bad thing about it was the stupid Spider-Man retcon and that was never explicit.

monopoly said...

The month DC announced they were "holding the line", they released Weird Worlds at 3.99 for 40 pages.

It's also likely that because of lead time, Flashpoint was developed before the "hold the line" promotion was conceived.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@James - I can't believe anyone even thought maybe possibly in a funny way that Trouble could sub as a Parker origin story. It's so dumb as to be scary that it was even considered. If Aunt May was Peter's father, and I'm fine with that idea, how did she have him as a teen and then become a cryptkeeper looking old hag by the time he was in high school. It just was not thought out. I'll be avoiding this story - well, also because I only hear that it was pretty damn terrible.

Anonymous said...

The Scott Snyder Batman series is about Gotham city history (families like the Waynes, Kanes, Elliots, etc) not Arkham Asylum specifically.

twobitspecialist said...

I wouldn't call AA:GZ #1 at $7.99 a good deal when apparently DC has put out stuff with the same page count at $5.99.

However, I'm going to bite the bullet anyway, as AA, YA, and SG are my three favorite comics right now.

Matt Duarte said...

@Twobit: Yeah, I guess that's true. I remember some of those 80-Page giants being cheaper. However, when compared to a normal comic, it's still a good deal with the page count/price ratio.

Michael said...

@Ryan I'm no so much concerned at Aunt May's rapid aging as I am concerned at her being Peter's FATHER! ;)

Jon Q. Citizen said...

Am really excited to see PunisherMax back to normal schedule! Great book!

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