Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 09/28/11

Welcome to this week's Post-Crisis Previews!  As we round out the month of September, this means it's the last week that I'll be picking up every comic DC is releasing for the New 52 (and thank goodness for that).  Fortunately, you can also find my thoughts on a few other books, including Amazing Spider-Man #670, Secret Avengers #17, and more!  Hit the jump to see what I'll be getting and why.

Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Moritat

Even when Gotham City was just a one-horse town, crime was rampant – and things only get worse when bounty hunter Jonah Hex comes to town. Can Amadeus Arkham, a pioneer in criminal psychology, enlist Hex’s special brand of justice to help the Gotham Police Department track down a vicious serial killer? Find out in this new series from HEX writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with lush artwork by Moritat (THE SPIRIT)!

Grant: I don't really know what to tell you about this series.  Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti seemed content to plug away at a new Jonah Hex story ever month, and even with the New 52, it doesn't seem they'll have to stop doing that any time soon.  I never really fell in love with the book, even if it was just a bunch of one-shots, which I'm usually all over.   I just wasn't feeling the Western style they had going on.  I guess we'll see if Gray and Palmiotti can win me over with their continued adventures of Gotham's first protector.

Written by Dan Slott
Art by Humberto Ramos

"Spider-Island" PART FOUR
Nearly 50 years in the making, the story which MUST BE READ: J. Jonah Jameson: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAYOR?!! ‘Nuff Said?
Almost, because if that wasn’t enough, a long running member of the Spidey cast has to make the ultimate sacrifice…

Grant: Is there really anything else I can say about this book?  Dan Slott has made Amazing Spider-Man one of the most fun and exciting books on the stands, week in and week out.  His books are incredibly well constructed and paced, and they are always a joy to read.  Having Humberto Ramos on art duties only adds to the fun, as he is doing some absolutely stellar work on everyone's favourite wall-crawler and that island of spiders.  You should really be reading this series.

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jordi Bernet

AMERICAN VAMPIRE flashes back to the early 1800’s for a “Lost Tale of Skinner Sweet!” Learn about Skinner’s involvement in the brutal Indian Wars, and an ancient evil hidden in the heart of the Old West. Plus, more about the man Skinner used to call his best friend – James Book! Featuring art by the legendary Jordi Bernet (Torpedo, JONAH HEX).

Grant: I think I've shown quite clearly that I am among the followers of Scott Snyder.  I'll give anything he's writing a chance, and I'll always be there for the next issue of American Vampire, the book I first encountered his writings within.  This series has been a rollercoaster of emotion and action, and I'm intrigued at the sudden decision to jump back in time after 18 issues of slowly moving forwards.  It will be interesting to see if it plays into the ending of issue #18 at all.  (See also: that is definitely the cover for last issue, but the solicitation doesn't seem to have anything else to offer.  Odd). (Thanks for the link, Maxy!)

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

The superstar creators from BLACKEST NIGHT and BRIGHTEST DAY reunite to take AQUAMAN to amazing new depths!
Aquaman has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but the sea will not release Arthur Curry so easily. 
Now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges… The Trench! A broken race of creatures that should not exist, an unspeakable need driving them, The Trench will be the most talked-about new characters in the DC Universe!

Grant: I think I would be more excited for this title if Geoff Johns was doing it shortly after his revitalization of Green Lantern, when it seemed like everything he touched turned to gold.  At this point, Johns has offered some pretty lackluster showings in the Flash, Blackest Night, and Brightest Day.  I'm not really holding my breath on this series being all that great.

Written by David Finch
Art by David Finch & Richard Friend

The Dark Knight struggles against a deadly – yet strangely familiar – foe in this phenomenal debut issue from superstar writer/artist David Finch (BRIGHTEST DAY, ACTION COMICS)!
As a mysterious figure slinks through the halls of Arkham Asylum, Batman must fight his way through a gauntlet of psychos, and Bruce Wayne faces the unexpected legal ramifications of Batman Incorporated!

Grant: I must admit that this solicitation actually looks kind of interesting.  However, I am a tad hesitant since David Finch's previous Batman: The Dark Knight book suffered from terrible delays, and more importantly, was kind of lackluster in terms of storytelling.  We'll see if Finch has learned anything from his previous attempts, but perhaps DC should have brought on another writer to help him along instead of another artist...

Written by Mike Costa
Art by Ken Lashley

Welcome to a world waging a new kind of war that’s faster and more brutal than ever before. It’s fought by those who would make the innocent their targets, using computers, smart weapons and laser-guided missiles. The new enemy is hard to find – and closer to home than we think.
Between us and them stand the Blackhawks, an elite force of military specialists equipped with the latest in cutting-edge hardware and vehicles. Their mission: Kill the bad guys before they kill us.

Grant: I'm not going to lie to you: I feel like this update to the Blackhawks is a tad poorly conceived.  I'm not really sure what a team that was original a group of fighter pilots in World War Two has to do with whatever this solicitation is supposed to be about.  However, I'll be along for the ride nonetheless, hoping that Mike Costa can bring some of the talent that I've been hearing about from his work on G.I. Joe to what sounds like a somewhat questionable book.

Written by Ed Brubaker & Marc Andreyko
Art by Chris Samnee

The Invaders caught behind enemy lines, and only Bucky can save them -- but what can one normal kid to do save four superhumans?! Marvel's newest hit book keeps hitting!

Grant: I've enjoyed every step of the ride thus far in Brubaker, Andreyko, and Samnee's recent take on Captain America and Bucky.  The writing team is making Bucky far more interesting and sympathetic than I ever would have imagined possible, and Chris Samnee is doing the great things that Chris Samnee can do when it comes to the art side of things.  Seriously, I could look at his pages for hours they're so purty.  It's worth noting that Bettie Breitweiser, who is on colours, has been doing a great job as well.  Simply put, this is an all-around great book.

Written by Tom Waltz
Art by Xermanico

Duke Nukem has traveled back in time to World War II in order to knock heads with an extraterrestrial threat in the form of a hot Vril babe named Maria and her twisted menagerie of alien monsters. Duke’s out to prove he’s a dangerous man with a great big gun—in more ways than one! Bullets fly, bombs explode, and the sh• t hits the fan… literally!

Grant: I haven't yet gotten an opportunity to take the time to review one of the issues of this Duke Nukem mini-series, but I am having the most fun flipping through these pages.  The story barely hangs together and the character work is near paper thin, but I'm willing to turn a blind eye because this book lets me see a ridiculous action hero doing ridiculous action hero stuff, including killing nazis, killing aliens, and killing alien nazis.  If you're looking for more than that, I don't really know what to tell you.

Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul

The Fastest Man Alive returns to his own monthly series from the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato! The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who really can! As if that’s not bad enough, this villain is a close friend!

Grant: I'm not entirely sold on Francis Manapul doing the writing on this book, and bringing on Brian Buccellato, who also doesn't appear to be a writer by trade, doesn't really reassure me on that front.  But at the same time, I've been hearing so much good buzz about this book that I am eager to give it a gander.  Manapul seems to have really elevated his game, and while the writing may not be quite as good as it could be, it sounds like the art is going to be out of this world.  I cannot wait to see how this turns out.

FF #9
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Steve Epting

This month in the FF, the EVIL Future Foundation is caught in the middle of the War of Four Cities. Watch as the war expands to encompass the entire Marvel Universe.

Grant: If I'm being honest, I'm not entirely sure what it is I'm sticking around for with this title.  I jumped onto FF to see what all the fuss was about, and while I've enjoyed lots of small moments throughout, I still have the nagging feeling that I don't quite know what's really going on for all of these characters.  The War of Four Cities certainly seems like kind of a big deal, and this solicitation insists that it will encompass "the entire Marvel Universe" (which is a pretty big boast, by the by), but I'm just not seeing it.  Is there some specific secret that I'm missing out on, or do I really just need to go through the entirety of Hickman's run on Fantastic Four to be able to truly know what's going on?  We'll see if FF #9 can provide any answers, I suppose.

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Tyelr Kirkham and Batt

Kyle Rayner has assembled the most powerful team in all the universe, selected from the full spectrum of corps. But can he even keep this volatile group together?

Grant: You'd think that, if I continue to ask what's the need of more than one Green Lantern title, one of them would finally step up and give an answer.  I wasn't convinced by Red Lantern or Green Lantern Corps, and while I would normally be pretty dismissive of Tony Bedard, his Blue Beetle last week was a pleasant surprise, so I'm holding out hope that lightning can strike twice.  As ridiculous as the concept is for this book, maybe it'll end up being something special.  Admittedly unlikely, sometimes a guy wants to hang onto some misplaced optimism.

Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

For hundreds of years, vampire Andrew Stanton kept mankind safe from the horrors of the supernatural world, thanks to a truce he made with his ex-lover Mary, the Queen of the Damned. But now that truce has reached a bloody end and Andrew must do everything in his power to stop Mary and her dark forces from going on a killing spree – and she plans to start with the heroes of the DCU!

Grant: I recognize that this is by no means an original complaint at this point, but honestly, DC, a vampire book?  You guys are, like, six years too late.  Seriously, what were you thinking?  I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed at this point.  It also doesn't help that this solicit sounds pretty terrible.  There just isn't very much to sink your teeth into (zing!).

I'm sorry for that pun.

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Mikel Janin

The witch known as The Enchantress has gone mad, unleashing forces that not even the combined powers of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg can stop. And if those heroes can’t handle the job, who will stand against this mystical madness?
Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Zatanna and John Constantine may be our only hope – but how can we put our trust in beings whose very presence makes ordinary people break out in a cold sweat?

Grant: Is it just me or is Deadman getting a huge push in the New 52?  This is the third title that he is appearing in by my count, which is quite a boost from his pre-reboot numbers of Brightest Day.  However, this is a team book, so it probably won't be the Deadman show (although that does have a certain ring to it...).  In all seriousness, I'm not sure what to make of this Justice League Dark title.  I feel like it's biggest problem is the title itself.  I'd actually be more into this if it was a new Shadowpact book or whatever, but JL: Dark just sounds really dumb.  But who knows, maybe Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin will surprise us and produce a quality book, despite the title.

Written by Tony S. Daniel
Art by Philip Tan

Carter Hall’s skill at deciphering lost languages has led him to a job with an archaeologist who specializes in alien ruins – but will the doctor’s latest discovery spread an alien plague through New York City? No matter the personal cost, Carter Hall must don his wings and become the new, savage Hawkman to survive! Witness the start of a new action series from writer Tony S. Daniel and artist Philip Tan that will take Hawkman where no hero has flown before!

Grant: A month ago I never would have given this title the time of day, but after seeing what Tony Daniel managed with his debut on Detective Comics, I'm intrigued to see what he can do with a reimagined Hawkman.  While I wouldn't immediately peg Daniel as the man who could detangle Carter Hall's awful continuity problems to provide us with a comprehensible character, after seeing what he can do with the Caped Crusader, I'm willing to give him a chance.

Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Kev Walker

MI:13 receives intelligence that people are being abducted from villages in the former Yugoslavian region -- but the British government refuses to act on it. Secret dangers summon Secret Avengers, but even the added strength of War Machine and Valkyrie are not going to prepare them for the next level in bioterror...

Grant: The first issue of Warren Ellis' run on Secret Avengers was a pretty enjoyable done-in-one tale of superspy superheroics.  Based on that knowledge and the solicitation above, it really seems like we'll be getting more of the same in this issue, which is fine by me.  My only complaint is that Jamie McKelvie isn't on board for this one, as I quite enjoyed his work last time around.

Written by George Perez
Breakdowns by George Perez
Art by Jesus Merino

The new adventures of Superman begin here! What is The Man of Steel’s startling new status quo? How does it affect Lois Lane and The Daily Planet? There’s no time for answers now, because Superman must stop a monstrous threat to Metropolis – one that he somehow is the cause of!

Grant: Call me a heretic if you must, but I'm not particularly excited for this book.  I recgonize that George Perez is a big name and that he's done great stuff in the past, but I don't know if I'm all that eager to see his interpretation of the Man of Steel.  I'm not one hundred percent sold that this is the best creative team to reintroduce Superman to comic book readers everywhere, but I'm willing to come in with an open mind and see how things go.  Here's hoping that Perez and Merino prove my doubts wrong.

Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Brett Booth & Norm Rapmund

Tim Drake, Batman’s former sidekick, is back in action when an international organization seeks to capture, kill or co-opt super-powered teenagers.
As Red Robin, he’s going to have to team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash to stand any chance at all against a living, breathing weapon with roots in another world! They – along with a few other tortured teen heroes – will be the Teen Titans in this new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men) and artist Brett Booth (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Grant: So yeah.  The two other books that Scott Lobdell worked on were either boring or terribly offensive.  Remind me again why this guy gets to write three books to write while many other, more deserving writers were passed over?

Written by Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone
Art by Yildiray Cinar

Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond. These two high school students are worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super-science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The dark secrets of the murderous Dog Team and its Firestorm Protocol force them to put aside their differences to confront a threat so terrifying that it may lead to a new Cold War! Welcome to a major new vision of nuclear terror from writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone with astonishing art by Yildiray Cinar!

Grant: There was a time when I was really excited for this book.  After having read every single brand new book DC has released this month, I'm having a hard time mustering the same degree of enthusiasm.  It's not that I feel like the book will be any better or worse for me having read all those other comics, it's just hard to understand why so many of these books were deemed necessary and worthwhile endeavours.  Hopefully Simone and Van Sciver can combine for a refreshing look at Firestorm that can revitalize my waning interest.

Written by Rick Remender
Penciled by Tom Fowler

Project Rebirth has been infested – and Venom’s going under DEEP cover to start exterminating some bugs starting with Anti-Venom! Tom Fowler (AGE OF HEROES) and Rick Remender (X-FORCE) bring you all the heart-stopping action and heart-wrenching drama as this summer’s Spidey Crossover continues!

Grant: I've really enjoyed every moment of Rick Remender's Venom since the series' beginning.  Tom Fowler has been a great addition on art, and the team's Spider-Island tie-in has actually been really interesting.  I can't wait to see how Team Venom gets out of the mess they got into last issue.  I imagine the addition of Anti-Venom won't make things much easier for them.
Written by Ron Marz
Art and cover by Sami Basri

Who is Voodoo? Is she hero, villain – or both? Learn the truth about Priscilla Kitaen as she leaves a trail of violence across America. Discover the new DCU through her eyes, because the things she sees are not always what they seem…

Grant: I don't quite know how DC keeps outdoing themselves, but it really seems like Voodoo might be the worst book they'll be releasing this month.  Catwoman and Red Hood both had some very serious issues with their representations of women, but this book sounds like it's not even going to bother trying.  From what I've gathered, the main character, Voodoo, is an exotic dancer (read: stripper) who has that profession so that artists can draw her in suggestive (and sometimes far more than suggestive) positions.  There's probably also the semblance of a story in here, but even that might be asking for too much.

And on that note, we bring our previews to a close!  It seems that an entire month of reading every single book that DC has published is really starting to get to me.  I'm not going to lie, it's not something I would recommend to others.  But enough about me, what books are you picking up this week?  Any that you're particularly excited for?  Are you looking forward to this week's crop of the New 52?  Let me know with your comments!

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Klep said...

I'm only grabbing JL Dark from DC unless something else gets really rave reviews. I have no interest in yet another superhero who's been stripped of his spouse because being married is "boring," so Superman doesn't get my money.

From Marvel I'll be grabbing FF and Secret Avengers as well as Annihilators: Earthfall, which I've been looking forward to.

mutant1985 said...

does anyone else think that the sloicitation for the new Blackhawks series sounds suspicously like G.I. Joe?

brandon said...

Getting New Guardians and Firestorm. I have low expectations from both. So far the only DC books I plan to pick up next month are Batman and GL. Potentially Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Batgirl or GLC (maybe 2 of the 4). The reboot has not been very good IMO.

Also getting American Vampire, Kick-Ass, Elephantmen, Abe Sabien and maybe Wolverine or X-Men.

CombatSpoon86 said...

Grabbing Amazing Spider-Man, American Vampire, FF, Justice League Dark, Journey Into Mystery, and Venom.

@Grant: Yes, To be honest, You have to read the entire Fantastic Four Hickman Run in order to understand whats going on in FF. Everybody says you can jump right in to FF without reading the earlier run, but it's not true. You need the early run to enjoy the series more. I for one have been enjoying all of Hickman's run from the beginning except for the 2 space issues off FF. Also starting November, Hickman is doing both an FF and F4 book, both 2.99. If you're not enjoying in singles by November trade wait. You will be very lost and would appreciate Hickman's run if you start from the beginning.

Maxy Barnard said...

i'm fairly sure they have brought on a writer for Dark Knight. Paul Jenkins is writing the series from issue 1. Solicits just didn't include him at the time because of his exclusive contract to a certain other company at the time.

ah here's a link to confirm http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=34132

and also cause i'm super nice I went as far as vertigo's actual website to find the cover you want:

I'm a good little engine

monopoly said...

"Is there some specific secret that I'm missing out on, or do I really just need to go through the entirety of Hickman's run on Fantastic Four to be able to truly know what's going on?"

Definitely. Hickman's overarching story springs almost entirely from the first 3 stories he did: 2 about the Bridge(the source of the "evil" Reeds) and the War of the Four Cities issues. He's writing a story about Reed, and without the context of the Bridge/4 Cities issues I'm surprised you're even bothering at all. It's pretty obvious the only reason he killed off Johnny was because he wasn't interested in writing about him, which makes Marvel's marketing push a pretty obvious cash in on a story that isn't really suited for new readers.

Grant McLaughlin said...

@Combat and monopoly - Hmmm. That's too bad, because moments of the book have been quite fun, but more often than not, it seems like major plot points are going over my head.

@Maxy - Fair enough! Thanks for the info!

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