Back to a four week month, this should mean four decent size weeks. It used to be that the summer time was the time frame for all the big events and while DC and Marvel have promised “earth shattering, status quo busting changes” in Flash #13 and New Avengers #31, that lead into the mega events of 2008, this summer seems to be a little quieter. Although WW Hulk and X-Men Extinction agenda are floating around and Countdown is an event itself, it feels quieter then was the norm.
Atom #12 – So the hype for change begins right with the Atom. The official hype “Beginning a sweeping 4-part story arc that will change the history of the Atom! Ryan Choi makes the fateful decision to proactively seek his predecessor and learn where he went at the end of IDENTITY CRISIS!” For me it is enough that he is going to find Ray Palmer, but the extra hype is just to me hyperbole and is best ignored. I find the over blowing of these types annoying because they raise expectations that can’t be met. The search for Ray Palmer and the fact that the source wall (in Countdown) said Ray was important is hype enough. Still all said and done, I’m looking forward to this issue.
Birds of Prey #107 – The final showdown between the Secret Six and Birds of Prey. This has been a great story arc in what is consistently a very good series. Love this book and hate that Gail is leaving it for Wonder Woman.
Countdown #47 – They are playing around with Mary Marvel, which is both cool and worrisome. She has been too under used for years and is a character with great potential, so seeing Mary get some attention is cool, but I don’t want her too dark, a little more mystery and depth is okay. I’m really enjoying this series and think it continues to build on itself and feels like it could be great soon.
Detective #833 – This is one of those comics where it will be hard for me not to love it. Paul Dini as writer, Don Kramer as artist and a two part story co-starring Zatanna. What is not to love. Also how cool is it that a book can still be doing great stories on issue #833.
Jonah Hex #20 – The enemies he made last issue are out for revenge on Hex. Hex certainly has the ability to tick off anyone, and some of the people who made mad are definitely nasty people. This is another great series. So far this week is looking like a real winner.
Nightwing #133 – The official hype “A new story arc exploring the lost year of Dick Grayson's life, after he dropped out of college and before the New Teen Titans formed! It's the year that changed his life, during which he made a fateful decision. Now a friend, a foe, and a love from the past have returned from the darkness to haunt him!” Certainly sounds like a decent story idea and Marv Wolfman is doing okay on this book, but we need someone to make Nightwing more then he is being shown here. An okay series at this time.
Outsiders #48 – Part 4 of the Outsiders/Checkmaate cross-over. This story has been well done and the Outsiders remains a consistently exciting book and one that is always subject to a change of mission/pace and cast.
Supergirl #18 – After last issue I’m ready to drop this book, but this maybe the “good” issue after the really bad issue. DC’s most inconsistent series.
Superman #663 – Continuing Busiek and Pacheco’s run on Superman. I have been enjoying the Camelot Falls storyline, but the gaps in time between issues have hurt the pace of the story. Still when Busiek and Pacheco do an issue it has been a good book.
Midnighter #8 – Written by Christos Gage, who has become one of my favorite writers of late. The last two issues of this book have really blown chunks, so let’s see if Gage can do a decent Midnighter story.
Welcome to Tranquility #7 – Gail has pretty much won me over on this book and I actually find myself looking forward to how life in this bizarre little town will continue now that the first and opening arc is out of the way.
Exterminators #18 – The best Vertigo book that enough people are not talking about. Vertigo has Fables, Crossing Midnight, Hellblazer and this book as their best series right now.
Jack of Fables #11 – At long last the second part of the Jack Frost story line. I’m not sure why they screwed up publishing it the way they did, but this story I have been looking forward to the conclusion of for months.
Scalped #6 – Opps - Add this to my list of best Vertigo series right now. The grand opening of the Casino is the starting point for this arc. Good tough drama about crime, undercover cops at an Indian reservation.
Avengers Initiative #3 – I don’t know about this book. This issue the Initiative team is hunting down Spider-Man. It just seems when the big two try to tie their universes together it never feels right. I mean isn’t the Thunderbolts supposed to hunt down the unregistered heroes? The glaring inconsistencies are not an issue when you are not stressing the one universe thing. Growing up I read Spider-Man and Batman in multiple titles every month and never sweated the details, but once you push for me to buy into your new order, then a level of consistency needs to be maintained.
Iron Man #18 – As much as I have grown to really dislike the omnipresent Iron Man, his own book has been interesting and last issue we had an aberration where the story line slowed down too much, but the hype for this issue is pushing the “Ten Rings of Power” so the Mandarin story appears to be front and center again. This has been a decent series of late.
Irredeemable Ant-Man #9 – The four week month following a five week month brings out a lot of strange timing and last issue of this book just came out two weeks ago. Still the last issue keeps me coming back. I’m very ambivalent about this series, but Kirkman is a good writer and this character is growing on me. His new girl friend’s off kilter behavior is a new twist also.
New Warriors #1 – I will usually try out almost any new book, but I do not know the writer at all, Paco Medina is an artist whose work I cannot recall off hand, the New Warriors is a lame concept, made worse by Civil War. Given all those negatives the book will have to shine for me to really like it. The plus is lowered expectations.
Omega Flight #3 (of 5) – A waste of Michael Oeming and Scott Kolins. If an unlimted, maybe this series had a shot, but as a mini-series, we are on issue #3 of 5 and nothing has happened.
Uncanny X-Men #487 – The 12 part maxi-series is over, let’s see if the book can get less boring and tell a story in under a year. Plus put together a group of x-people I care about.
Alien Pig Farm #2 (of 4) – The official hype “Put yer head between yer knees and kiss yer sister goodbye! Them green-skinned sumbitches is hungry fer pig innards and horny fer farm girls! But don't nobody fondle the cousins while eatin’ bacon ‘cept Johnny Ray and Elvis! Consider the can of whoop-ass open!” What’s not to love. A fun series.
Dynamo 5 #4 – The last issue was just two weeks ago. Lot of that going on. Still when I really enjoy the series, two issue almost back to back is great. Last issue a siting of Dynamo was made by the kids, so is their Dad dead or alive. A truly excellent new series by Jay Faerber & Mahmud Asrar.
Invincible #42 – A recap issue and the start of a new story line in this $1.99 issue designed to generate new readers. For those of us who have been there, the way it is presented will be the key to whether this issue is entertaining or a waste of the faithful fans money.
Strange Embrace #1 (of 8) – A decidedly different type of book, but this was David Hine’s signature work and I have enjoyed Silent War and House of M, so I’m giving this a try. I have heard Hine is not the strongest artist in the world. Still I’m curious to check this out.
Ward of the State #2 (of 3) – A twisted tale of foster children forced to kill people. Now two of the kids are trying to get away and a killer is after them. Odd and interesting story.
Fear Agent The Last Goodbye #1 – The first Dark Horse issue. This property is being handled as a series of mini-series. Really a good series that is a lot of fun. Hope the switch to Dark Horse indicates a positive step forward.
30 Days of Night Eben and Stella #2 (of 5?) – The first issue was well done and with Niles as a co-writer, the story is solid and the art was very nice. The franchise continues.
Black Summer #0 (of 7) – Warren Ellis and Avatar press present Ellis’ take on a super hero story. This could be very, very good or it could be a Warren Ellis special (every one dies).
Lone Ranger #6 – It seems like a long time between issues, but the origin story concludes. I have enjoyed this series to date and hope the continuing adventures are as well done as the origin has been so far.
Hopefully Breathe #2 and Fall of Cthulu #3 will make it in, as these are already out but my store had to get my copies later.
That’s a wrap with zero hard covers or trades this week, which I will pay for later in the month with the two hard cover or more weeks.