Thursday, February 15, 2007

Marvel Solicitations May

Lee: Well, now that DC is done… time to review the Marvel books. And, I must say, YUCK. There’s some good stuff but whoever did all the DC covers seems to have done the Marvel covers too. Lots of stuff in the middle of story arcs and lots of trades I’m not interested in. Could be a light buying month… The good news, the worse the selection, the more books I can ridicule!!!
Jim: I thought May would have more new stuff from both companies looking to get us pumped up for the summer months, but with comics being market for 20 plus year olds (or older) maybe summer isn’t the big deal it used to be.

Lee: I think this is a great idea. Maybe it will bring some new readers into the hobby. I remember when First redid Classics Illustrated a couple of years ago and that was some great stuff. Hopefully this will do well. My only problem… from ad-copy “Plus-delve into the history of the man known as Hawkeye in a special bonus story!” Uuuummm, I never read the story so the only Hawkeye I know is the member of the Avengers. If they shoe horn a back story about him (or his great-great-great Uncle) then this immediately goes in the trash. Bottom line, won’t be buying it but interested by it.
Jim: Classic Illustrated was great stuff (and I remember the originals). Back then they were one and done cliff notes with pictures. Still I’m signed up for this book. Side note to Lee – it ain’t that Hawkeye.

Lee: Not at all interested in this book but the cover… seriously, what is the Invisible Girl doing??? Since when did super smart Sue Richards (or Storm if they aren’t married yet) become a porn star??? Is it to much to ask that the artist use “reference material” that has real (non-silicon) people in it? This gives fanboys a bad name.
Jim: Greg Land produces all of this type of crap. Hell I’m embarrassed to leave certain comics on my coffee table for fear of being looked at as a pervert. This type of stuff only lends credence to the complaints of how exploitive comics can be of females. Plus it takes away from any merit the story may have.

Lee: WHY??? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY DO THEY PRINT THIS CRAP???? Anway… won’t be buying this either.
Jim: Actually my daughter (who is 24) enjoyed the X-Men Fairy Tales and I’m getting this for her. It is just another riff on Willingham’s success with Fables. True I could care less, but it could still be good.
Lee: HOLD ON!!! WOP WOP Danger Will Robinson!!! Personal information alert. You’re daughter is 24??? OMG THAT MAKES YOU…. FRIGGIN OLD AS DIRT. I thought the white hair were highlites to make you look… I don’t know, wise and sopiss, sophtic, …smart or something.

Lee: Seriously, who is that on the cover? Sure doesn’t look like Blade? Not ANY of the incarnations of blade that I am familiar with at least. Apparently DC fired the cover coordinator and marvel hired him.
Jim: It Luke “Blade” Cage. Remember when covers were the selling point of a comic?

BLACK PANTHER #28 Spinning from the pages of the mega-hit MARVEL ZOMBIES!
Lee: Enough with the Zombies already. There in what??? 4 books this month. Let it go. Please. BUT, I do like looking at how they decompose marvel heroes every month. Unfortunately, that too will be old in a month.
Jim: I hate when anything has success anymore, because if you liked it once, you will like it a thousand more times until you are sick of it. Plus I just started to get FF again for Dwayne McDuffie taking over writing it, do I now have to pick up Reggie’s crap version of the Black Panther book too. I don’t think so.

INCREDIBLE HULK #106 Written by GREG PAK, Pencils and Cover by GARY FRANK
Lee: The return of Gary Frank is very cool. The Hulk back on Earth is very cool. The very obvious mega crossover that’s coming… not cool. I will get the book because I am interested to see where it goes but my hopes aren’t high.
Jim: I think the Hulk character is worn out. I would prefer to leave him married and on his planet and out of continuity for awhile. I mean he has no supporting cast and you can only go so far with this character.
Lee: WHAT??? Peter David made this character work for 10+ years. Sheesh, now you’re old and senile. Tough day in posting world J-.

Lee: Ok. Not buying the book. Don’t care about the book. BUT THE COVER!!! This is so tongue in cheek, it’s awesome. On Cap’s head, “France”, on Thors hammer, “Whosoeverrth findeth this hammer. If she be hot, shall wield the power of the gnarly Thor.” That’s too funny.
Jim: This is a very funny cover. It does make you wonder what is going on, but it is a firm pass.

Lee: Once again not buying it. Why talk about it then???? Because I love Marvel monsters and because I will be picking up the deluxe HC, one month after the last issue is published and read it that way. And, I shall save a buck or two. At least the covers look interesting.
Jim: I will be buying it and then I may buy the hardcover. I prefer to see if what I get in a hardcover is worth it and if the stories really suck I’ll pass on the hardcover.
Lee: Someday we are going to have to debate the floppies v. tpb v. HC thing. But, until then, you're wrong wrong wrong with this attitude. And as a prempitve... because I know how you argue... ARE TOO! ARE TOO! ARE TOO!

Lee: Let’s have the argument… Is it a swipe if uncredited or just a homage? In case you couldn’t figure it out, this is a SWIPE from the 50’s b-movie “Attack of the 50 ft Woman.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s well done but shouldn’t you give some credit somewhere??? I call swipe and lazy artist.
Jim: I call it a swipe and almost illegal. I have no problem with paying homage to great poses and stuff, but for gosh sakes at least credit the people you are ripping off.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #3 Frank Cho drawing Tigra!! Did you hear us? FRANK CHO DRAWING TIGRA!! Which Avenger is Tigra dating? Prrrrr!!
Lee: Speaking of giving fanboy’s a bad rap. Sheesh, did you read this? If your main selling point is Cho drawing Tigra and not the story then this is a sad, sad day. What crap.
Jim: It’s sounds prrrrfect. I have to agree and I don’t want to even borrow your copy of the book if this hype is what sold you on the book.

WOLVERINE #54 It's time for round five!
Lee: You know what I love about this… “It’s time for round 5”! Ummm, round 5 this week. It’s more like round five thousand. You complained on the show about issue 50 being a waste and what luck, it continues until issue 54 with no end in sight. Soooooo not buying this.
Jim: Plus Loeb’s writing has been uninspired lately. What crap when your best shot on a character is to redo what has been done over and over and over again. Wolverine used to be an incredible cool character, but he has become a caricature of himself.

Lee: One of the few bright spots this month. I can’t wait to read this. But, I am surprised there isn’t a HC to go along with it. Especially with all the rave reviews, I expected a HC.
Jim: The series has been good, not great and at times I think actually a little weak. I think this is a series that will get better with time and I’ll wait for the 12 issues hard covers anyway.

Lee: Honestly, how many times can I get the same material? I have the Masterworks HC’s. The series has been reprinted three or four times in single issue format. The series has even been reprinted as a Essential. What more do they want from me? Honestly, I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, *deep breath* really, want this but can’t see forking the money out. Especially, since the only new thing I would get is the 18 letters pages. Someday, it will show up on eBay at a 60% discount and I will get it then.
Jim: I really, really, really, don’t want this as I’m content with the Masterworks version and the Silver Surfer was really a boring character in many of these stories. The soliloquies that he did were so over dramatic. This material did not age well story wise, the art was fine.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INCREDIBLE HULK VOL. 4 Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK (Vol. 2) #103-110 and ANNUAL #1. Lee: This bad boy is coming home! Great stuff and Severin’s ink over Trimpe’s pencils… SWEET! Classic stuff from Marvel peak!
Jim: I agree, this was an easy decision. I have all the Masterworks but it is getting hard to sometimes decide to buy each one, but this is a no brainer.

Lee: Warren Ellis does the Ultimate Galactus. I just don’t know. The individual mini-series kinda faltered but collected… will it work better? Will it read better? Jim, an opinion?
Jim: I skipped all of this stuff and based on the Cosmic Comics panelist’s review of this stuff I think it was Warren Ellis’ worse work in a long time. I’m skipping it.

Lee: I like newspaper adventure strips. They hold a certain charm and appeal. That said, you would think I would be all over this. But, Spidey dailies from Jan 1977 to Jan 1980 don’t do it for me. I like the **OLD** strips because of the fact that they are **OLD**. I can learn something about the mores, and values, and lifestyles of the 20’s and 30’s by reading those strips. It’s interesting. And besides, the strips I like are the classics that impacted life and became cultural icons. Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Peanuts, all had lasting impacts and tremendous influence in society. This was just another avenue to cash in on Spiderman. More for the Spiderman/Romita Sr completist than the casual reader.
Jim: Well hell if you are passing on this who the hell will buy it?

Lee: Now this is classic Fantastic Four. Great, great stuff. BUT, the Masterworks series just completed up to 104. Do I wait for the color version or do I just get this now??? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Jim: No decision, it’s mine and it’s home. The Fantastic Four Masterworks are going to be on the slow track now that the Lee/Kirby stuff is done. I would prefer some nice soft cover color reprints, but I’ll take what I can get.


  1. Marvel's output is the weakest it's ever been. It's pretty sad when the things you get most excited about are collections of older stuff. What happened to the House of Ideas? Are they waiting for the end of Civil War or what?

  2. I don't think the Ultimate Gah-lak-tus trilogy was Ellis having a weak writing stint. Instead I challenge it took him awhile to get into the groove at Marvel.

    He did UFF and then this. From there he went on to do NEXTWAVE, NEWUNIVERSAL, and THUNDERBOLTS.

    I'd say he's gotten used to superhero comics again.

    And the SUE STORM is one bad and naughty girl...mmm...

  3. Me. I'll be getting the Spidey newsstrip HC. I love that stuff. I still have strips of the Peter/MJ wedding in my desk drawer. I'd love to see the Star Wars strips reprinted in their original B/W (color Sundays) form in a HC too.

    I think y'all are over reacting to that Marvel Adventures Avengers image. That picture is so iconic, it obviously an homage. Who knows who the original artist is...can an image be part of the public domain? This is a great book, which I mentioned on this week's show. Jeff Parker is a new writer to me, but I found his stories in the first digest to be very action packed, character driven, funny and ingenious with lots of fresh plot ideas. I may have to reconsider just getting the digests and start getting the monthly. Rusty called this the Kiddie Avengers book. Compared to what's part of the "mainstream" Marvel U, I guess that's true, but these are not dumbed down stories. They are a little lite, but not as much as DC's JLU series and it's the only real "new" Avengers stories being published right now.

    I've already pre-ordered the Spider-man Omnibus and I'd love to get the Silver Surfer one too. His battle with Thor in issue 4 is great. I first read a few issues when it was reprinted in Fantasy Masterworks, while in traction back in 1980. More than just letter pages, another perk to the omnibus is that it's colored to match the original. A lot of times nowadays they'll update the colors. That may make things better or it may ruin the nostalgia for you (think Lucas mucking up his original trilogy films).

    I really need to get up to date on the Hulk masterworks. I really need to budget my money to get more HC's. Of course, we'll probably get a Hulk omnibus next year - I can wait for that.

    Looking forward to your floppies/trade/HC post.

  4. Matthew - The Spider-Man Omnibus was a no brainer for me, even with owning the Masterworks. I loved the Lee/Ditko Spidey stuff.

  5. Jeff-
    Part of the problem with Marvel & DC for that matter is I (&Jim)have been reading this stuff for 20+ years. There's only so many times I get excited about this month's Thanos lite attempting the destroy the universe. Part of the appeal of the older stuff is... well simply that's what I grew up on.

    That said, Marvel hasn't had a very good couple of years, I agree there.

    Finding a groove at Marvel??? What are you talking about, he wrote Cap'n America under the 2099 banner, Hellstorm, and Druid. He's been in/out of Marvel since '99. AND, based upon your semi slight, I shall be staying away from the Gah-Lak-Tus HC.

  6. Matthew-

    I agree about the Star Wars strips hc.. Mostly for the Williamson v the story. It's taken me years to appreciate Williamson but now that I "see it"... I can't get enough.

    As for Spidey... just don't know. Stan's writing is sooooo clunky. And while I like Romita, a whole book? The truth is, I will wait until I see it before commiting.

    >>That picture is so iconic, it obviously an homage. >>
    The original image comes from the old 50's movie poster so most like it is in public domain, but still. I speak for Jim here too, but recently there seem to be alot of "homage" covers. There's a point where enough is enough, draw something original. That was more the issue than anything else. This book just happened to be the offender this month.

    >> another perk to the omnibus is that it's colored to match the original. >>
    Is this true? The mastworks aren't even close to original colors. I mean, not by a mile. In some cases they added backgrounds bad. I may have to reconsider this purchase if it is original coloring.

    I will say too, that HC's are becoming very collectible. There was a point when they were just nice-to-haves but more and more people are getting them as investments. You should seem some of the prices for back issue HC's on ebay. Crazy.

  7. The worst part about Greg Land's cover is the disconnect between it and description of the comic:

    "The awesome heroes of two universes continue their epic clash over the results of young Reed Richards’s meddling. When the smoke clears, will either Earth survive? It’s the Squadron Supreme versus the best of the Ultimate Universe. It doesn’t get much better!"

    Unless this "epic clash" is an all-girl pillowfight, it is NOT appropriate. Not ALL fanboys are sex-starved wankers!

  8. I was of course talking about the last decade Lee.

    The other Marvel work you mention was early 90's.

    He worked DC for over ten years before returning to Marvel for superhero stuff. UFF and the ULTIMATE trilogy was his first superhero stuff in quite a few years that was work for hire.

    He wasn't "in and out" of Marvel. He left after a bad row with Marvel and return over ten years later because of Joe Q.

    I wouldn't call DRUID or DOOM 2099 superhero fare. Though his short, brief stint on THOR was amazing.