Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 09/14/11

Welcome to another edition of the Post-Crisis Previews!  We have far, far too many books on deck, including all of this week's offerings from the New 52, a plethora of Spider-Man titles, a couple of vampire comics, and a number of other miscellaneous books.  But don't take my word for it, hit the jump to see everything we've got this week!

Written by Dan Slott

Art by Humberto Ramos

The infestation has spread Big Time!  How can the heroes of NYC hope to contain millions of spider-powered New Yorkers?  A dangerous new role for Venom. And… is that a Six-armed Shocker?! All this plus: One of Spider-Island’s biggest mysteries revealed!  Who is this threat from Peter Parker’s past?!  And what is their involvement in all of this?! PHEW! This is a lot of comic!

Grant: I know I say the same thing about Amazing Spider-Man every time it comes out, but it's not my fault.  Dan Slott has delivered every single issue, and Humberto Ross has been absolutely superb since his return.  There's really very little to complain about.  Spider-Island is the kind of fun that I wish more comics could be, and even if I've bellyached about the fact that this book is $3.99 for 22 pages of story, the creative team puts so much heart and soul into this book that it is worth every penny.


Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Sean Murphy

Vampire hunters Felicia Book and Cash McCogan escape the catacombs beneath the Nazi castle as things come crashing down around them.
They’ve escaped with the rumored vampire cure, but will it work?

Grant: This mini-series is getting better with each and every issue.  As I've shown before, I have a difficult time saying no to more Scott Snyder.  The matter only gets harder when he's collaborating with the fantastic Sean Murphy.  His work on Joe the Barbarian with Grant Morrison really put him on the map in my mind, and the stuff he's doing here is only solidifying that position.  On top of all that, this one is definitely going to feature some serious vampire-nazi killing action, which is always a good thing.

Written by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Art by Ben Stenbeck

As Baltimore trespasses through a strange chapel he discovers a haven full of human sacrifices, vampire nuns, and their mysterious prophet!

Grant: The solicitation doesn't give you that much to chew on, but I was really impressed with the first issue in this new mini-series.  I love the setting that Mignola, Golden, and Stenbeck are creating here, that of a post-First World War Europe that has been brought to its knees through the potent combination of said war and a mysterious vampire plague.  The world Lord Baltimore lives in is dark, dangerous, and incredibly engaging.  The first issue was even better than I was expecting, leaving me with rather high expectations for this second offering.

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray

Battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together!
As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne’s past: His name is NoBody, and he’s not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil...

Grant: I'm strongly of the opinion that this title should have been ended when Grant Morrison stopped writing it.  Every storyline since he left the book has been rather lackluster, something that wasn't helped by the fact that the book went through a serious problem of musical creative teams.  While Tomasi and Gleason were supposed to take over after issue #17, they only managed to write three of the ten issues that came after Morrison's departure.  We'll see if they can string together a stronger offering and bring some stability back to this title.  Although I was a big fan of Dick and Damain, I'll be interested to see how Bruce and son get along, especially considering how much more the two have in common.  I'll also be interested to see if they address the fact that Dick is gone (I really hope they do).

Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III

At last! Batwoman’s new series begins, from the multiple award-winning creative team of J.H. Williams III and Haden Blackman!
In “Hydrology,” part 1 of 5, Batwoman faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City’s underworld – and new trials in her life as Kate Kane.Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government

Grant: After waiting this long, it hardly matters what the solicitation says, which is probably a good thing, considering that it cuts off in the middle of it for no discernible reason.  After so many false starts once Rucka and Williams finished their Batwoman run on Detective Comics, it was starting to seem like this book would never show up, and yet here we are.  I must say that I'm sad that Rucka won't be around to help usher Kate Kane back into DC continuity, because his wonderful writing will be missed.  That being said, I have high hopes for the Williams and Blackman writing team, and if nothing else, this book will at least be the prettiest thing on the stands, which will more than make up for any writing missteps.

Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips

It's the big finale of CRIMINAL's most ground-breaking storyline yet!  Riley Richards has committed crime after crime to get what he wants... Now what will he have to do to keep all the things he's killed for?  It's a twisted look at crime, comics, nostalgia, and obsession... all in the award-winning CRIMINAL style. 

Grant: This series.  Oh man.  I've talked it up as much as I can, because Brubaker and Phillips are doing some amazing things.  The solicit does a great job of summarizing what this book is all about.  It's an amazing crime story, a terrific comic book, and uses the elements of nostalgia and obsession to tie it all together.  I've loved the way this has played into a lot of elements that were criticized during the time of Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, going so far as to parody the wholesome style of Archie, while subverting it to tell the twisted story within.  I can't say enough good things about this book.  Give it a look if you haven't already.

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Paolo Rivera

No longer allowed to practice law in the courts, Matt Murdock finds a whole new way to help innocent men and women in desperate need of courtroom justice--and we guarantee it will surprise you! Daredevil's new life and new status quo begins here--and if Klaw gets his way, it'll end here, too!

Grant: Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera have been making some beautiful comics together.  I'm entirely behind their take on the Man Without Fear, which is a lot more fun and lighthearted than Daredevil has been in the past few years.  The tone of the book is perfectly reflected in the writing and the art, to the point where it feels like these two have been working together for far longer than the three issues they've had (well, two that I've read).  The only complaint I've had thus far is that Klaw was really underused last issue, but it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of him this time around, which makes me happy.

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Joe Bennett & Art Thibert

“Friends die, family disappoints, but a legacy... That lives forever.”
Slade Wilson is the best mercenary in the DCU, and he’s been doing this a long time. Some might say too long. But they’ll learn: Never turn your back on Deathstroke the Terminator. He won’t quit, no matter how high the stakes. Kyle Higgins (BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM) and Joe Bennett (TEEN TITANS) team up to bring you the finest in mayhem and gore.

Grant: This solicitation doesn't really do anything for me.  The quote to beginning doesn't do all that much to get me interested in the book, and the description following does an even worse job.  Regardless, I am interested to see what Kyle Higgins does without the guiding hand of Scott Snyder to collaborate with on the story planning (as was the case in Gates of Gotham).  If he can keep up the same type of writing, and make every issue worth reading (instead of writing for the trade), he might just win me over.  We shall see.

Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Diogenes Neves & Oclair Albert

Set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe, a barbarian horde is massing to crush civilization. It’s fallen to Madame Xanadu and Jason Blood, the man with a monster inside him, to stand in their way – though the demon Etrigan has no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than himself! It’ll take more than their own power to stop an army fueled by bloodlust and dark sorcery, and some very surprising heroes – and villains – will have no choice but to join the fray!

Grant: So I'm pretty excited for this book.  I think a book of DC heroes, both old and new, set in a fantasy Dark Ages sounds pretty interesting, but I said the same thing about a superhero team that has to fight the moon.  I wasn't terribly impressed with Cornell's efforts on Stormwatch, so I'm hoping he can make a better showing for himself here on Demon Knights.  I'm kind of hesitant because I've never been a huge fan of Etrigan, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Alberto Ponticelli

It’s Frankenstein as you’ve never seen him before, in a dark new series from acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Alberto Ponticelli (UNKNOWN SOLDIER)!
Frankenstein is part of a network of strange beings who work for an even stranger government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive! But can he protect the world from threats even more horrifying than himself? And since he’s vilified for who and what he is, will he even want to take on this mission?

Grant: As you know from reading this week's 52 Pick Up, Jeff Lemire's Animal Man was pretty much pegged as Book of the Week.  While Frankenstein sounds like a rather different book than one focusing on a superhero's family life, I'm crossing my fingers that Lemire can capture similar magic on this title.  I enjoyed his Frankenstein Flashpoint tie-in, and hope that it served as some good practice for his time on this ongoing version of the character.

Written by Mark Andrew Smith
Art by Armand Villavert

After finding old comic books in which the hero beats their parents again and again, the Gladstone’s cadets band together to go head to head against the old superhero in an effort to restore their parents’ villainous honor! Then things go horribly wrong...

Grant: We've spoken very highly of Gladstone's in the past here at The Weekly Crisis for the simple reason that this is a really exciting book that is enjoyable for all-ages.  It plays with a lot of the common tropes of superhero books, but approaches them from the other side of the equation, focusing its attention on the prep school for supervillain children.  Along the way, it's also thrown in a couple of mysterious plotlines, including the secret agreement between heroes and villains that their fights are scripted, with the heroes always coming out on top.  None of the children are aware of this deal, and it looks like they will be running afoul of it in this issue.  I'm eager to see how that plays out.

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy

The red-hot GREEN LANTERN team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke introduce an unexpected new Lantern.

Grant: Another pretty light solicitation.  I don't feel like it would do much to bring in new readers, but I've heard the buzz about what Johns and Mahnke have been doing of late in the Green Lantern books (I jumped ship around the time of Brightest Day), and am interested to see how things play out with a non-Green Lantern Hal Jordan and a newly returned Thaal Sinestro.  I'm not sure what they'll focus on in this opening issue, but I hope they eventually get around to explaining what they're going to be calling the Sinestro Corps...

Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by CAFU

The DCU’s most wanted man stars in his own series!
Cole Cash is a charming grifter few can resist. And yet he’s about to be branded a serial killer when he begins hunting and exterminating inhuman creatures hidden in human form – creatures only he can see!Can the biggest sweet talker of all time talk his way out of this one when even his brother thinks he’s gone over the edge?

Grant: I really liked Nathan Edmondson's work on Who is Jake Ellis? for Image Comics this past year.  I also really like CAFU's art.  I've never read any comics featuring Grifter (aside from Flashpoint books, which obviously don't count), so I'm quite intrigued to see what these two creators can do.  I don't have much of an idea of where this book will go, but I think it will be good.  We'll see.

Based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Written by Roger Langridge
Art by Filipe Andrade

Captain John Carter finds himself on a strange new world where he must fight for his very life - and for the heart of a princess! Edgar Rice Burroughs' legendary novels come to life in this actionpacked, all-new re-envisioned adventure! Meet the Tharks, terrible warrior race of Mars! See Woola, the scariest guard dog you'll ever lay eyes upon! Gasp as John Carter battles the great white apes of Barsoom! And hold your breath as he first lays eyes upon the woman who will change his life forever - the proud and beautiful Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium!

Grant: I don't know anything about this book apart from what the solicitation reads and the fact that Roger Langridge is writing it.  I've never read Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels and I haven't encountered Filipe Andrade's art.  The solicitation sounds pretty great (especially a princess of Helium?) and I imagine the art will also be pretty solid, but it really doesn't matter.  The important thing here is that Roger Langridge is writing more comics.  That's all I needed to hear.

Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Pete Woods

Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from annihilation. But when the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world that, for them, is the ultimate struggle to survive!
Don’t miss the start of this all-new LEGION series illustrated by Pete Woods – fresh off his spectacular run on ACTION COMICS – who is joined by writer Fabian Nicieza (RED ROBIN)!

Grant: I've never really understood the appeal of the Legion of Superheroes.  I've enjoyed them here and there, but have never stopped and thought how much I wanted them to have their own ongoing series (let alone two, counting the other one coming later this month).  However, I do enjoy Fabian Nicieza.  He writes a some good comics that have a good balance of seriousness and lightheartedness which I often find myself enjoying.  As for Pete Woods, I quite enjoyed his run on Action Comics with Paul Cornell.  All of which leads me to believe that this book could be far better than I am expecting.

Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Roger Robinson

The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in this new series from Eric Wallace (TITANS) and Roger Robinson!
Michael Holt is the head of a successful high-tech corporation and an institute that recruits and encourages the finest minds of the next generation to excel. As Mister Terrific he inhabits a world of amazement few others know exists, let alone can comprehend.

Grant: This book doesn't look good.  I've never connected with Eric Wallace's writing and I've never been particularly fond of Mister Terrific.  Their reinterpretation of the character hasn't done much to change that.  The only positive thing I have to add is that I've liked Roger Robinson's art in past books, but that alone will not be enough to sell me on this title.  It's going to have to really wow me to have any chance of me coming back for issue 2.

Written by David Liss
Art by Patrick Zircher

From dingy mob hideouts to the dirigible-filled skies of New York City, The Operative and his strange masked allies fight to blow the lid off a conspiracy that could bring the nation itself to its knees!

Grant: I've shouted praise for this book from the rooftops every time I've had the opportunity to do so, and I won't waste this chance either.  David Liss and Patrick Zircher are doing some amazing things over here, telling some fun and exciting stories that feel true to their pulpy roots.  I'm a little sad to see this book ending, but I'm confident it's going to go out on the same high note it's been riding since the first issue.

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return in their own series, battling against injustice in the most bloody ways imaginable!

Grant: I'm actually a pretty big fan of the Red Lanterns, and even I don't really see the need for this book.  As cool as Atrocitus is (and he's pretty cool), I can't see him and the rest of the random mooks that comprise the Red Lantern Corps sustaining their own book.  Geoff Johns made some strides in make Atrocitus a slightly rounder character, but you can only go so far when every single character in the book is filled with blinding rage that causes them to vomit acid blood.  Honestly, I hope the creative team can make this about more than a bloody gore fest, but I'm not sure if that'll happen based on what I've been hearing and seeing.

Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Fernando Dagnino

It’s the return of Mitch Shelly – and he’s still dead.
Resurrection Man can’t stay dead for long, though – and with each rebirth comes new and unexpected powers. But his many returns have not gone unnoticed, and forces are gathering to learn what’s so special about him – and to see which of them will finally stop Resurrection Man dead.

Grant: I'm still trying to figure out if I like Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, or if I only like them when they're writing the Guardians of the Galaxy.  I feel like if any title can help me figure that out, Resurrection Man could be it.  The premise of a hero whose powers change everything time he dies and resurrects sounds really neat, and I'm eager to see what they do with it.

Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Pepe Larraz

As the Society of the Wasps mobilizes an army to put a permanent end to ALL spiders, Spider-Girl to fight side-by-side with the Kingpin! But if Spider-Girl is Kingpin’s enforcer, where does that leave the Hobgoblin, and will he prove the deadliest threat of all? Paul Tobin (SPIDER-GIRL) and Pepe Larraz (WEB OF SPIDER-MAN) bring the battle of the bugs!

Grant: I've enjoyed all of Paul Tobin's Spider-Girl writing, and last month's issue of this mini-series was no exception.  I thought the choice to bring in the Kingpin was an interesting one and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

Written by Adam Glass
Art by Marco Rudy

They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide!
Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! Defeated and imprisoned, they’re being interrogated about their mission – and about who’s pulling the strings behind this illegal operation. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure?

Grant: I know that pretty much everyone on the internet has already explained to you why this book looks awful, but that doesn't make it any less true.  Harley Quinn looks absolutely ridiculous.  King Shark's transformation to a hammerhead remains mystifying.  And this is the poorest of replacements for Gail Simone's dearly departed Secret Six.  It definitely doesn't help that Adam Glass is on writing duties, because his Legion of Doom Flashpoint tie-in was among the worst comics I've ever read.  If he brings the same failed attempt at being edgy to this title, it'll be dead in the water.

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by RB Silva & Rob Lean

They thought he was just an experiment – and a failed one at that! Grown from a combination of Kryptonian and human DNA, the Clone was no more than a set of data to the scientists of Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. But when the scope of his stunning powers was revealed, he became a deadly weapon! Now the question is: Can a clone develop a conscience?

Grant: I'm about as excited for this book as I am for Suicide Squad.  This just strikes me as a terribly boring reimagining of the Superboy character.  Admittedly, he was kind of confusing and maybe not the greatest character in DC's roster, but I'm having a hard time seeing how this version is going to make things any better.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli


Grant: On the other hand, here's a book I'm really pumped for.  I know that, to a certain degree, the decision to make the new Ultimate Spider-Man the half-black, half-hispanic Miles Morales is a decision made solely to boost sales, but I'll be damned if the storytelling possibilities aren't fascinating.  It also doesn't hurt that the creative team is so strong with Bendis on writing duties and the talented Sara Pichelli on art.  Marketing stunt or no, I think this one is going to be good.


Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross & Vince Locke

In “On to Genesis” part 3 of 4, Tom goes to extreme measures to get to the truth about his father’s activities in 1930s New York – but it’s in the present day that the biggest revelations hit, when Tom comes face-to-face with a golden age Super Hero.

Grant: Mike Carey and Peter Gross's Unwritten appeals to the English Literature Major within me.  There's no way I could possibly resist a series that is about the power of words and storytelling - it almost makes my degree seem like it could be worthwhile!  In all seriousness, this series is an amazing combination of literature, comic books, and fantastic storytelling.  Every issue has been rock solid, and I can see no reason why that will be changing anytime soon.

So I clearly need to start buying less comic books.  There's no way that this can be good for my wallet, and at this rate, I'm going to be running out of storage space in the very near future.  While my willpower seems to be unable to exercise any degree of restraint at the moment, at the very least you get to benefit with my thoughts on a ridiculous number of the books coming out this week.  What are you looking forward to?  Could it possibly be a comic that I somehow didn't manage to talk about above?  Let me know!

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brandon said...

Lots this week: Unwritten, Scalped, American Vampire, GL, Red Lanterns (this looks like it could be a train wreck), Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Uncanny X-Force. Looking at Star Wars Invasion, Fly, X-Men Legacy and Hama's GI Joe.

Really looking forward to Criminal and Punisher Max the most though.

Klep said...

This arc on Criminal has been perfect, and obviously Batwoman has been very long-awaited. This should be a great week for comics.

John J said...

Agreed on Suicide Squad. But I'm stoked for Superboy, RB Silva is an awesome artist so the book will at least look good.

Grifter I think will be a sleeper hit. Mostly because of CAFU, the guy is dynamite and really needs a marquis book to show off his talents (War of the Supermen was him at his best).

CombatSpoon86 said...

Looking forward to Amazing Spider-man, American Vampire, Batwoman, Daredevil, Frankenstein, Journey Into Mystery, Uncanny X-force. oh and Unfortunately Fear Itself ugh, It's almost done thank god. It's one of those books that's so bad you have to see how it ends.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Grant - what a massive week of comics for you, damn. I'm really looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the John Carter book. I know this is my biggest week in ages.
American vampire: Survival of the Fittest #4 - look for my review on CBR :)
Criminal #4 - I can't wait to see how this one wraps up!
Daredevil #3 - still loving this
Frankenstein - after Animal Man, can Lemire do it again?
Gladstone's School for World Conquerors #5 - I'm loving this title, I hope a bunch of people get the first trade if they haven't checked it out.
Grifter #1 - Edmondson has bought credits with me after Who Is Jake Ellis?
Mystery Men #5 - this has been a tight and fun little series.
Scalped #52 - nuff said.
Uncanny X-Force #15 - the end of the last episode was perfect.
Fear Itself #6 - I just have to know...
Journey Into Mystery

And I think that's it...

pendrake said...

1. For Grifter... So they are fusing Voodoo's daemonite sight into Grifter? Would it not have been more interesting, if not better written, to simply have the sexy Voodoo be Grifter's partner?

2. For Red Lantern Corps... I agree that the Red Lanterns make better supporting characters rather than protagonists. RLCorps is unlikely to be able to sustain itself unless they include regular characters of the other spectrums.

3. For Suicide Squad... Poor Harley now should be renamed "Harlot" Quinn with her new "tramp-wear" look. My guess is that whomever did the redesign had a big 'thing' for Marvel's Typhoid Mary.

Steven said...

Pendrake - Voodoo is getting her own book in the new 52.

Red Lantern will be the best written of the Lantern books with Milligan on it. Johns has been disappointing for a long time now and Tomasi and Bedard are good but Milligan is on a whole other level.

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