Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jumping On Points 04-27-2011

This column looks at the best access points in comics for new readers, and old readers looking for new titles. You must read this article before you hit your LCS this week to see what you can slip on into. Hit the jump to see why you don't need continuity, background knowledge, or prior love to buy and enjoy Superman, some Avengery Point Ones, and those damn dirty apes.

It’s hard to get new readers into the comic stores and when you do stage a coup and get them across the threshold there so rarely much that seems approachable. Most superhero comics have continuity longer than anyone can reasonably chase down, and many indie comics are going the same way. However, there are jumping on points to be found and this column is going to highlight them. Sometimes it might be a new number one, other times a creative team change or new direction. No matter what, we’re dedicated to finding perfect points for you and your friends to try new comics without being weighed down by too much.

Action Comics #900


Superman returns to ACTION COMICS just in time for the title’s historic 900th issue, which clocks in at 100 pages! Everything Paul Cornell and Pete Woods have been building to over the last year culminates here in the ultimate Superman vs. Lex Luthor battle! But that’s not all - this story will lay the grounds for an insanely epic story coming out this summer in the pages of ACTION!

Plus, an incredible roster of guest talent help us celebrate this landmark issue, including the screenwriter of The Dark Knight, David Goyer; famed Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner; the co-creator of Lost, Damon Lindelof; and the creative team behind the hit DC UNIVERSE ONLINE game!”

Superman isn’t my homeboy, that’s just not how I roll, but I love two things; anniversary issues (because all sorts of fun tales come out of the woodwork), and Damon Lindelof. I’m massively interested to see if Lindelof can deliver the goods with his tale, and I also don’t mind giving Superman the periodical chance to win me over. Let’s see how he goes.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Superman is an alien being, who looks remarkably like an Earthling, who gets his powers from our yellow sun. What are his powers? Well, his ever-evolving and growing power set includes just about anything you need, seriously, but he is susceptible to magic.

Avengers #12.1

Pencils & Cover by BRYAN HITCH
START READING with this Point One Issue!

Prepare for the upcoming high-stakes Avengers event with a battle between the Avengers and the Intelligencia, the return of SWORD, and the dissapearance of Spider-Woman!. Bendis and modern master Bryan Hitch Join forces for this very special, all-new Avengers story that is not only an explosive action-packed self-contained thriller but a prologue to an Avengers saga that will rock the entire Marvel Universe next year. Guest starring the New and Secret Avengers!”

This Point One issue holds two key points of interest. It’s a Spider-Woman centred tale, a sell for me, and it’s also got plenty of hints for an upcoming Avengers story that is currently planned to just be in-title but may become the next event (we’ll just see how badly Marvel needs the sales kick when they get to publishing this one).

Prior Knowledge Needed – Brian Michael Bendis has written more Avengers comics than anyone else. His narrative isn’t just canon, it’s definitive.

The Mighty Thor #1

Pencils & Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL

It’s a shining, golden, new age for the Thunder God and Matt Fraction and Olivier Coipel are back to lead the charge! Thor and Sif dive deep into the heart of the fractured World Tree to reclaim an artifact from beyond time and space, an artifact that attracts the attention of the Silver Surfer. And when a herald such as he arrives on Earth, the arrival of his master is certain to follow. Prepare for the return of the World Eater…prepare for the return of Galactus! Fans can’t miss an all new behind the scenes look at the highly anticipated major motion picture with a sneak peek at some of the art!”

It’s a relaunch number one for all those people pouring straight out of cinemas and into comics shops. You know those people, they’re keen, but not enough to pick up issue #622 so they need a clear and accessible point of entry and here they get it. This doesn’t even tie into the massive Marvel event, and Matt Fraction penned comic, Fear Itself, which is a critically smart decision.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Fraction pulled this stunt with Invincible Iron Man and it garnered him sales and an Eisner. Can he go two for two here? He’s done some magnificent Thor work in the past, though probably not on the start of this run that kicked off in the 600s and continues here with a new #1. Oh, yeah, and if it comes up, Loki is a little boy now. Okay?

Planet of the Apes #1

“Written by Daryl Gregory
Drawn by Carlos Magno

Get your hands on these damn dirty Apes! Beginning an all-new series that takes place before the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie in the continuity of the first five films! Ape society has reached a new golden age. But there are ripples of dissent in both the ape and human ranks. Tensions will rise and soon all will be caught in chaos! And amidst all this uncertainty, what is the fate of…The Lawgiver? Written by award-winning novelist Daryl Gregory!”

This book is going to fit into movie continuity but here we open well before the first flick. I’m definitely interested to see a comic adaptation of this series and BOOM! have some real quality in their stock so hopefully this one joins it.

Prior Knowledge Needed – The main thing you need to know is a spoiler from the movie so I’m not giving you that one. How about…these apes can talk…just in case you didn’t know that.

Secret Avengers #12.1

“Written by Nick Spencer
Penciled by SCOT EATON

THE SECRET IS OUT! Word of Steve Rogers' clandestine operations has leaked to the world, kicking off a global race by the Secret Avengers to save compromised superhuman assets before they can be taken off the board! Behind it all: a mystery man in familiar garb, who'll force the Super-Soldier to confront some very hard realities about his new role as a general.”

This jumping on point is not Ed Brubaker. Consider yourselves warmed, but also be a little excited because it is new Marvel exclusive writer, Nick Spencer. He’s taking over the title for this Point One issue, and then a three issue arc, before Warren Ellis jumps into the hot seat with a six issue set of one-shots.

Prior Knowledge Needed – These are the Avengers no one knows about, or should know about. They go on the secret missions, natch, and so espionage is a high flavour on offer. Brubaker’s run was cool, pretty good, but never reached complete greatness.

Strange Case of Mr Hyde #1

“Cole Haddon (W), M. S. Corley (A/Cover), and Jim Campbell (C)

Sometimes good police work just isn’t enough, as Inspector Thomas Adye of Scotland Yard finds out when he’s assigned to the Jack the Ripper case. He’ll need the guidance of imprisoned madman and amoral libertine, Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose mind-splitting serum Jack might be using to commit his bloody murders. Written by Cole Haddon and illustrated by M.S. Corley, part 1 of Hyde sets in motion events that will pit London’s two greatest monsters against one another. Will Adye —and his soul—survive intact?

• Thrilling Victorian horror written by exciting newcomer Cole Haddon.
• Weaving together the Jack the Ripper legend with the elements of the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde.”

This is the sort of idea that sounds pretty nifty. So it all then comes down to execution. I’m hoping this one does well so am happy to wait and see.

Prior Knowledge Needed – Jekyll and Hyde didn’t actually take place around the time of Jack the Ripper. Well, I’m not certain about the timing of it all but I know Jekyll and Hyde were fictional, Jack the Ripper was all too real.

If you pick any of these up throughout the week please let us know what you thought of them in the comments.

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nf said...

If you look at the numbers when they launched Invincible Iron Man when the movie came out, all that happened was that the fans went to the new book and eventually they had to fold his previous book. I doubt Thor will be any better able to sustain two books. Movies just do not seem to bring customers in whether there is a new #1 or not.

twobitspecialist said...

Would Action Comics #900 really be a good jumping on point? The solicits make it sound like you need to be keeping up with Cornell's Lex Luthor arc.

Midnight Monk said...

Never been a huge fan of Point One Issues and Secret Avengers has lost some of its original spark in my opinion and I've never been a huge fans of Avenger simply because I can't get past Romita's Art and Bendis bad dialouge but Avengers Poit One does seem interesting so i may check it

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