Looking ahead to Marvel July 07
CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 - DIRECTOR'S CUT Written by ED BRUBAKER Pencils and Cover by STEVE EPTING Go behind the scenes on one of the most important issues in Marvel history! The events in CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 have been covered in news outlets nationwide, and this bonus edition brings you closer to the tragedy than ever before. Reprints CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 in its entirety and featuring Ed Brubaker's complete script and other extras. 64 PGS
Lee: The only thing that is remotely interesting here is to see how close the script is to final execution. AND, I would be more interested in first or even second draft of the script to see how it changed from concept to execution. I wonder if the people for paid big bucks on ebay for the “death” issue are pissed at all the reissues yet?
Jim: Somehow I’m already tired of Captain America being dead. The storyline is supposed to be nine months long. I have ignored these special editions because if I really like the story and art I will get a collected edition and hopefully it will have the extras. But I seldom read them or watch all the special things on a DVD. Who the heck has time to watch 12 hours of specials about making a 2 hour movie.
HALO: UPRISING #1 (of 4) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Pencils and Cover by ALEX MALEEV Blah blah video game tie in yakkety yak yakMicrosoft, Bungie, the Bungie logo, Halo, the Halo logos, the Microsoft Game Studios logo, Xbox 360, the Xbox logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries and are used under license from owner. © 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Lee: So Marvel branches out into the world of video game tie ins. Not the first nor the last. The interesting thing… all the legalize after the hype. There is almost as much junk for MS as there is for anything else. Not even King’s Dark Tower had this much copyright info on it.
Jim: You wonder with all the owners who is making any money off of this puppy.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #111 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Penciled by MARK BAGLEY & STUART IMMONEN The artistic baton is passed from longtime penciler Mark Bagley to stunning new ongoing artist Stuart Immonen, of Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four fame! Peter and his Aunt May have perhaps the most important conversation of Peter's life. It's a gut-wrenching, emotional roller coaster you'll never forget. And on the lighter side, we introduce the latest addition to the Spidey villains gallery-say hello to Ultimate Spot! We kid thee not.
Lee: Well, Bagley is gone but what a great run it was. He shall be missed. BUT, in with the new and the Ultimate Spot? You have got to be kidding me! Talk about a through away villain from 1986. Well, it goes to show that Bendis knows and loves his Spidey history.
Jim: I just feel like the hype is almost disrespectful to Bagley. I like his Spider-Man and think he has been a big reason why this book is a success. Never late and probably can produce 15-18 books a year. This guy is a throwback and will be impossible to replace.
ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST - STAR-LORD #1 (of 4) Written by KEITH GIFFEN Penciled by TIMOTHY GREEN ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST - WRAITH #1 (of 4) Written by JAVIER GRILLO-MARXUACH Art by KYLE HOTZ ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST - QUASAR #1 (of 4) Written by CHRISTOS GAGE Penciled by MIKE LILLY
Lee: Another Annihilation wave. The first mini/maxi series did well enough that it’s gets another round of adventure. AND, I must say it looks interesting. Art by Tim Green and Kyle Hotz should be great. Giffen and Gage are proven writers. Should be another strong start.
Jim: The Gae and Giffen as writers with Tim Green on art are tough to pass up on. Now I think Kyle Hotz is a decent artist, but I think his style is not a mainstream style and will be a harder sell. Star-Lord is an easy yes as I have a fondest for that character – the other two I don’t know.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #28 Written by ED BRUBAKER Pencils by STEVE EPTING & MIKE PERKINS Meet the New Serpent Squad, their leader -- Sin, the daughter of the Red Skull!
Lee: Fine, fine this is all well and good but Brubaker is playing loosey goosey with CA continuity here. I hate to casually mention but the Serpent Squad has villains that are all based on… ready for this… snakes. Sin leading the group is kinda… I don’t know… counter to the concept of the group? I wonder if Bru was thinking “Oooh. Haven’t used the Serpent Squad yet. Next issue it is!” I am sure the story will be fine but it’s a definite shoe horn of the villains.
Jim: I have to agree. Sin is not a snake. I wonder is Snakewoman could be loaned from Virgin comics?
THE CHAMPIONS #1 Written by MATT FRACTION Pencils and Cover by BARRY KITSON Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN THE CHAMPIONS introduces the all-new and Los Angeles-based crown jewel in Tony Stark's FIFTY-STATE INITIATIVE. A team of Stark-branded and created super heroes, these young actors, athletes and models are infused with tremendous powers and even more tremendous fame, reborn as the First Super Hero Team of Tomorrow™ -- THE CHAMPIONS. Here the same ol'-same ol' means hooking up at the Standard, drinks at SkyBar and a death-duel on Sunset Blvd. against some villain too stupid to realize that, in Hollywood, the good guys always win. The catch: you can be fired at any point along the way. And every inch of your life will be subjected to intense public scrutiny. And if you survive all that for a whole year, you'll face mandatory retirement. And there's no guarantee you'll live to see that retirement. If you had one year to save the world, what would you do?
Lee: And this month’s pointless mini-series goes to… drum roll please. The Champions!!! This seems like a concept that has been done in any number of ways. Fraction could make it interesting but it isn’t new.
Jim:I think this is an ongoing. Also Marvel has some issue to resolve as they don’t own the rights to publish a comic with the name Champions. Based on a Newsarama article Heroic Publishing owns that right. Now the group can be called Champions, just not the title. Along the same lines why DC calls any Captain Marvel book Shazam. So far though Marvel is not backing off the title. Nice to know they can be bullies when they want to. I hate to see Kitson wasted on this concept. I’ll try it, but I’m going to be a hard sell. Maybe the can call the book the West Coast Avengers.
SHE-HULK #21 Written by DAN SLOTT Penciled by RICK BURCHETT Cover by GREG HORN THE MOST IMPORTANT MARVEL COMIC YOU WILL READ ALL YEAR! "ANOTHER ME, ANOTHER U" Ever notice how in some Marvel comics, characters who are SUPPOSED to be dead show up with NO explanation whatsoever? Or in the wrong costume? Or acting in a way they NEVER have before? Well guess what, True Believer, there was a reason. And that reason is going to have She-Hulk and her friends working on some of their STRANGEST cases yet! Don't miss it-- 'cause this is the issue that fixes 90% of Marvel's continuity problems-- from NOW ON!
Lee: I love this!!! Because I have wondered why the heroes act out of character! And I sure Slott’s reasoning should be completely ridiculous. What can I say, I am looking for to it.
Jim:I hope that this book signals Slott making this title fun again, because the whole Civil War has drained the life out of this book.
SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP/M.O.D.O.K.'S 11 #1 (OF 5) Written by FRED VAN LENTE Penciled by FRANCIS PORTELA Cover by ERIC POWELL While the heroes are away fighting World War Hulk, the villains can play...M.O.D.O.K., sick of being hunted and hounded by A.I.M., gathers together an eclectic team of Marvel's Most Wanted to pull off one last, big score. But news travels fast along the grapevine of villainy -- and pretty soon every bad guy in the Marvel Universe is gunning for the Big-Headed One's unspeakably powerful prize. Executing their heist may be the easy part, because getting away with their loot alive is going to be the real challenge for M.O.D.O.K.'s 11!
Lee: Speaking of re-hash. Wasn’t this done like two years ago with “The Imperfects” or something like that? Great cover, blah otherwise.
Jim: I don’t remember the imperfects but this feels like total drek.
THUNDERBOLTS: DESPERATE MEASURES Written by PAUL JENKINS, Penciled by STEVE LIEBER Norman Osborn has his own agenda when it comes to directing the Thunderbolts. But will he go too far when he sends Penance on what could be a suicide mission against the brutal, rogue law-enforcer, Americop? It's Thunderbolt against Thunderbolt in a battle of fists and wills in this special issue by the masterminds behind CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE.
Lee: And, speaking of overexposure. Apparently Ellis’s Thunderbolts has sold very well because here we have the first pointless one shot. I wonder if Marvel realizes that the book sold well because of Ellis and not because of the characters or concept. Jim: Still Paul Jenkins is a decent writer and Penance was his creation (I think). So I will pick it up, but my mind says this will suck.
THOR #1 Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI Pencils and Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL Not a clone! Not a robot! Not an imaginary story! The God of Thunder is officially BACK! You've waited for it, you've demanded it…and we say thee YEA! The Odinson comes roaring to life in this highly anticipated ongoing series by red-hot superstars J. Michael Straczynski (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Olivier Coipel (HOUSE OF M)! But how does a god return from Ragnarok? And what place will he find in a world torn by CIVIL WAR?
Lee: Ooooohhh boy. Where to go with this??? How about Thor doesn’t wear sleeves.
Jim: I want this to be good, but it is JMS and Olivier Copiel. Copiel can be very good, but JMS really did not do any justice to the FF and I fear his Thor will be boring also. I think I will buy this and then realize I should just re-read the Lee/Kirby stuff and then read Simonson’s run.
UNCANNY X-MEN #488 Written by ED BRUBAKER Pencils and Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA "The Extremists" The X-Men (re-united with Storm) take to the tunnels to discover why the Morlocks have been erupting with violence. It ain't going to be pretty. Also, Professor X goes off in search of a VERY IMPORTANT character from X-History. Do not miss this tale brought to you by the white-hot team …
Lee: So, to parse the hype, we’re looking for a VERY IMPORTANT character from X history. That effectively narrows it down to… all of them according to X-history. AND, some we haven’t heard of yet, re: retcon The newest Summer Brother introduced last year… what’s his face. BUT, please note, this isn’t by a “RED HOT” creative team, this creative team is “WHITE HOT”! Whatever.
Jim: So if they are white-hot is that better then red hot and if white hot is the top then does that mean any other writer/artist team is not as good.
WOLVERINE: ORIGINS ANNUAL #1 Written by DANIEL WAY Pencils and Cover by KAARE ANDREWS "Return To Madripoor" Double-sized issue! Madripoor. A dirty town custom-made for dirty work. A long time ago, one man ruled this place with an iron fist, a wicked grin…and a patch over one eye. That man is back, and he's looking for answers. Problem is, the answers are dying faster than he can ask the questions. Is there a new player in town…or is it the same old game? Don't miss Logan's long-awaited return to Madripoor, a twisted tour leading from the blood-streaked gutters of Lowtown to the glittering, razor-sharp spires of Hightown and back again. 48 PGS
Lee: Ummmm should we mention that Annuals have always been double sized??? This months review is becoming more and more “look at silly hype” instead of look at cool books. But, if I were to care about the content… well I wouldn’t really care because I never liked the Madripoor location anyway.
Jim: This is a snooze alert and called save your dollars for the independent reviews to come.
DEADPOOL/GLI - SUMMER FUN SPECTACULAR Written by DAN SLOTT Penciled by FABIAN NICEZA & VARIOUS MAGNIFICENT ARTISTS Cover by PAUL PELLETIER Wisconsin's only greatest heroes team-up with the world's most annoying deadliest merc in this slightly larger than average super sized special! Marvel as DEADPOOL and the newly--crowned GREAT LAKES INITIATIVE face off against hitmen, ninjas, and the POWER OF THE GODS! Swoon as the scintillating SQUIRREL GIRL is reunited with her first love, ROBBIE BALDWIN! And prepare yourself as DEADPOOL trains a GLI'er in one of the deadliest killing arts of all time!!! Ye gods, man! What are you waiting for? This thing's got time travel, strange bodily functions, and NINJAS? Did we mention the ninjas? Sick of ninjas yet? We thought so. That's so 80's, right? Forget about the ninjas. (They are there, though.)
Lee: Uuummm This is double sized! Wonder why they didn’t mention that??? Maybe because it was only a spectacular and not an annual. Something to ponder long after you are done reading this! BUT, this plays to all of Slott’s strength’s. Silly characters, silly heroes, silly villains, the should be a boat load of silly fun!!!
Jim:I may have to buy this as where else can I get my squirrel girl fix from.
POWERS ENCYCLOPEDIA VOL. 1 Written by TIM DANIEL and BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Penciled by MICHAEL AVON OEMING Cover by MICHAEL AVON OEMING THIS IS IT: THE DEFINITIVE POWERS HANDBOOK! The most requested Powers item has finally arrived!! Heroes glide through the sky on lightning bolts and fire. Flamboyant villains attempt daring daylight robberies. God-like alien creatures clash in epic battle over the nighttime sky. And on the dirty city streets below, homicide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim do their jobs. Now, an in-depth look at the Eisner Award-winning series in this all-new volume! Featuring bios on Christian Walker, Deena Pilgrim, Retro Girl, Captain Cross, Queen Noir, Millenium Guard and many more! Plus: all-new character artwork and cover by Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming! The legacy of Powers is laid out before you like never before. Including entries for characters who have yet to make their debut in the series itself.
Lee: Wow oh wow is that crappy. Last line of the entry… “Including entries for characters who have yet to make their debut in the series itself. “ Uummm so I need to buy this to know what’s going on? Crap crap crap.
Jim:Is this is lieu of actually producing a comic. I dropped off during the great monkey saga. I keep thinking I should start getting this as a trade and get back into this book.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE MIGHTY THOR VOL. 6 HC Written by STAN LEE Penciled by JACK KIRBY Enter one of the most beloved baddies in all of the Asgardian entourage-The Wrecker! The decidedly mortal Thor must battle to his very last breath against this crowbar-wielding wingnut, who himself is powered with Asgardian might! And we'll warn you now, the last note is a tragic one as Thor faces his ladylove, Sif-in the body of the undefeatable Destroyer! It's drama as only the Masters of the Marvel Age can make it! Collecting THOR (Vol. 1) #141-151.
Lee: A MUST HAVE!!!! This run on Thor is some of Kirby’s absolute best bar none. And the books with the battle between the Wrecker, closely followed by a battle with the Destroyer. It’s a silverage lover dream come true.
Jim: I’m giddy just remembering reading these books when they came out. I could happily just buy this type of reprints forever. I love pulling these things off the shelf and just breezing through the art.
DEVIL DINOSAUR BY JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS HC Written by JACK KIRBY Penciled by JACK KIRBY No gods from outer space could beat THIS Devil! Jack Kirby crossed into a new cosmos with this crimson carnivore and his faithful sidekick Moonboy! Now, for the first time, Marvel collects the King's saga of Devil Dinosaur in his prehistoric prime! Collecting DEVIL DINOSAUR #1-9.
Lee: After speaking of Kirby greatness, we come to Devil Dinosaur. Uuummmm, well it’s good natured fun and will look great as a HC. Might not be the best read but it’s a ton of fun.
Jim: I ordered it, but this is my Kirby line. After this timeframe I really can not justify buying his other later stuff. Much of it (as this was also) is unreadable.
NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. VOL. 2 - I KICK YOUR FACE PREMIERE HC Written by WARREN ELLIS Penciled by STUART IMMONEN Collecting NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. #7-12.
Lee: One of the greatest series of the past year. There isn’t a lot that needs to be said about this that hasn’t already been said.
Jim: I’m holding out for the full series hardcovers. I like the 12 issue format hard covers the six and sometime four issue hard covers are not my cup of tea. I want something with a little heft to it.
THE HOOD PREMIERE HC Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHN Penciled by KYLE HOTZ Cover by KYLE HOTZ With great power ...comes great opportunity. Nineteen-year-old Parker Robbins couldn't afford college, but he was able to buy a ski mask and a Lorcin .380 handgun. After dropping out of high school, he hoped to follow in the footsteps of his late father, a soldier in the Kingpin's vast criminal empire - but life in the mob isn't always as glamorous as the movies make it seem. With a pregnant girlfriend, a demanding mistress and an institutionalized mother to care for, Parker can barely make ends meet. So when the small-time crook finds mystical apparel that grants him strange powers, he elects to forgo organized crime ... for the more prestigious and financially rewarding world of costumed villainy. Collecting THE HOOD #1-6.
Lee: I thought I heard rumor that the Hood was going to become a major player in the Marvel U. As mini-series went this was fine. Worth the money for a fancy HC… only if you love Hotz art.
Jim: I can’t do it – pass.
UNCANNY X-MEN: RISE & FALL OF THE SHI'AR EMPIRE HC Written by ED BRUBAKER Penciled by BILLY TAN & CLAYTON HENRY Cover by BILLY TAN A brand-new era for UNCANNY X-MEN begins here! Fresh off X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS, Ed Brubaker takes the helm of Marvel's mighty mutants. Young Guns Reloaded artist Billy Tan and Clayton Henry join Ed for a story that won't just affect Earth, but will rock the foundations of the entire galaxy! Vulcan is out for revenge and has his sights set on the Shi'ar Empire! Get ready for the ride of your life! A perfect starting point for any new reader! Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN #475-486. Lee: A full year of X-men under one cover. The entire Space soap opera all in one place. I do like the idea of collecting the entire series. It will look nice on the bookshelf. Someone else’s bookshelf because the storyline was “ok” but it will still look nice.
Jim:I agree this can look great on someone else shelf. Again we have material not deserving of a hard cover treatment. So much great older stuff should be done and this crap hits the stands first. Ugh!!
INVADERS CLASSIC VOL. 1 TPB Written by ROY THOMAS Penciled by FRANK ROBBINS, RICH BUCKLER, DICK AYERS & DON HECK Cover by FRANK ROBBINS COLLECTING INVADERS #1-9, GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #1 and MARVEL PREMIERE #29-30.
Lee: This is a fanboys wet dream. I cannot wait for this to get here. Love the Invaders! Love the Robbins art. I am so looking forward to this. As always, I wish it were a HC.
Jim: Ditto to every word.
HULK VISIONARIES: PETER DAVID VOL. 4 TPB Written by PETER DAVID &BOB HARRAS Penciled by JEFF PURVES & DAN REED Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK #355-363, and MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #26 AND #45.
Lee: I wonder if they are going to keep releasing these PAD trades. It made sense when it had McFarlane art. But Purves? A passable artist but one largely forgotten after what Keown and Frank did later. A great series but not the high point…
Jim: But I love having this in sequence and enjoyed the first five to seven years of PAD’s run on this book.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WAR & REMEMBRANCE TPB Written by ROGER STERN, JOHN BYRNE, DON PERLIN & ROGER MCKENZIE Penciled by JOHN BYRNE & JOE RUBINSTEIN Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA #247-255.
Lee: Another gotta have trade. This is some of Byrne’s best work after X-men! Cap fights Brother Blood, Mr. Hyde, and a great battle with Dragon Man. Good, good stuff. It’s only a matter of time until the get to the Byrne Marvel Team Up. It’s coming!!!!
Jim: I have this trade already (I may have sent it on to someone) and it is well worth owning and it should be done as a hard cover and then I could buy it again.
ESSENTIAL DEFENDERS VOL. 3 TPB Written by LEN WEIN, CHRIS CLAREMONT, STEVE GERBER, BILL MANTLO, MARY SKRENES, TONY ISABELLA, JIM STARLIN, DON MCGREGOR, ROGER SLIFER, GERRY CONWAY & SCOTT EDELMAN Penciled by SAL BUSCEMA, KLAUS JANSON, VINCE COLLETTA,MIKE ESPOSITO, FRANK GIACOIA, JOHN TARTAGLIONE, SAM GRAINGER, JIM MOONEY, GIL KANE, JIM STARLIN, DAN ADKINS, DON NEWTON & DON HECK Cover by ED HANNIGAN There's nothing the non-team can't handle when mutants, gods, demons and miscreants of the 1950s all get their crack at the sensational super heroes of the seventies! With Luke Cage! The Guardians of the Galaxy! The Son of Satan vs. the Sons of the Serpent! Brain transplants, foreign intrigue and the tumultuous terror of Tapping Tommy! Daredevil, Yellowjacket, Bambi! And introducing...an Elf!? Featuring the first appearance of the ever-reliable Wrecking Crew! Collecting31-60, and Annual 1
Lee: This is another must have. Giffen’s art on this series from late 30’s thru 50 is spectacular. And issue 53 where 4 artists (including Mike Golden) each do 3-5 pages so the book can be done on time… maybe current editors should take note.
Jim: This was not the best comics ever done, but the fun for the buck in this material makes it worth it.
ESSENTIAL SPIDER-WOMAN VOL. 2 TPB Written by MICHAEL FLEISHER, J.M. DEMATTEIS, CHRIS CLAREMONT, STEVE LEIALOHA, ANN NOCENTI & STEVEN GRANT Penciled by STEVE LEIALOHA, JERRY BINGHAM, MIKE ESPOSITO, ERNIE CHAN, FRANK SPRINGER, JIM MOONEY, BRUCE PATTERSON, AL GORDON, TERRY AUSTIN, BOB WIACEK, BRIAN POSTMAN, CARMINE INFANTINO, DAVE COCKRUM & JOE RUBINSTEIN Collecting SPIDER-WOMAN #26-50, MARVEL TEAM-UP #97 and UNCANNY X-MEN #148. Lee: Just a fun collection with some great art by Steve Leialoha. Marginal stories but classic by early 80’s standards.
Jim: A real pass for me. I got the first collection and that was enough of this material for me.