Monday, July 16, 2007

What I’m Getting Wednesday

Week #3 in a four week month and it is a one hardcover and the rest regular comic books week. From DC (which includes Vertigo and Wildstorm) we have 18 titles, Marvel had 9 titles and the Independents have 10 titles. So in my world DC has a 49% market share, Marvel has a 24% share and the independents have a 30% market share. I don’t have a problem with that split because it is probably a fair representation of my taste. I used to think DC had superior writing and Marvel had better art, but I think that has changed as Marvel has some solid writers and DC has some really great artists. At this point DC wins because they have yet to destroy my love for their characters as much as Marvel has over the years. I used to love the FF, Spider-Man, X-Men and some of the others. The FF is okay right now, but has yet to be what it was, Spider-Man is pointless and the X-Men have been horrible since Grant Morrison left the book. Wolverine especially has been so overused that I cringe when he comes into a book and I know almost anyone will hand him his a** anymore. If I had to give up all but one of the three groups I would stick with just the independents though as they have the widest selection of stories and have more stories that have a beginning, middle and an end.

Goon #19 – This book ahs been missing off the shelves for a while (not counting Satan’s ***** Baby). I was a johnny come lately on this series, but now look forward to each new issue when ever Mr. Powell can produce one. Not for everyone, but certainly a fun and goofy book.

Strange Embrace #2 (of 8) – David Hines has named this story appropriately as the first issue was definitely off kilter. This will probably read better as trade, but I’m curious to see where this story will take us.

Weapon #2 (of 4) - Picked this up on a whim and because the writer is the writer of Action Philosophers. It drew me in enough to want the next issue and was not the typical martial arts action book I was expecting (which is a good thing).

Conan #42 – The Rogues in the House story has started and I really enjoyed the last issue. I like this book when we follow Conan’s career in chronological order and have the “Born in the Battle Field” for the fill-in, but lately it had been too many later year stories and they should be in other mini-series.

Zero Killer #1 (of 6) – I have been looking forward to this new series a lot. The official hype is “The creator of Rex Mundi presents his vision of a shattered alternate future, as brutal gangs struggle for supremacy in a New York City ravaged by nuclear war. All that remains of the once mighty city are skeletal, irradiated skyscrapers, inhabited by thugs who abide by their own twisted rules. While crime lords vie for power and amoral paramilitary forces torment survivors of the devastation, one skilled outcast—the mysterious Zero—uses his strength and wits to stay a step ahead of everyone. Working for anyone while pledging allegiance to none, Zero is a bounty hunter who hunts the dregs of a ruined society . . . he is the Zero Killer.” I have heard good things about Rex Mundi and the premise when done well has always been an intriguing one as I enjoy good post apocalypse stories.

Breathe #4 (of 4) – This has been a nice little series, but it feels more like a chapter in a story as opposed to a complete story of any kind. Still I love the art work and look forward to this issue and I will be back for any future mini-series on this character especially with this artist.

Cover Girl #3 (of 5) – This is another flat out fun series. The premise of the girl body guard with cover girl looks protecting the actor who has no real clue why people are trying to kill him has been a good one.

Fall of Cthulhu #4 – Well since I missed issue #3 (in all the years my store has been handling me orders they have only missed me on two books and both have been this year since I started blogging). So while I have been interested in the story I will have to wait to read this issue to get back on track as to what is happening.

Hunters Moon #2 (of 5) – The first issue I thought was interesting a black father loses his son while on a hunting trip. The fact that he is black is apparently an essential element to the story and is why I mention it. Still the prospect of having your child stolen is frightening to any parent, add into being away from your home territory and it makes it even harder.

Lone Ranger #7 – This will be a turning point issue for me with this series, because the origin story in six issues was okay, but if every arc is shows they are going for the six part story ever time for the hard cover and trade stuff, then I will probably drop this baby.

Action Comics #852 – Part 1 of the 3 part Jimmy Olsen story that ties into Countdown. Now while I’m disappointed that I have to what will seem like forever to see the end of the “last Son” storyline, this is a fill-in that is by Kurt Busiek and has Brad Walker on the art, and so these type of fill in stories are absolutely fine.

All Flash #1 – This cover does not work 100% for me as it is difficult to capture the proper expression for anguish. I’m assuming this story is about the Flash legacy and the recently returned Wally finding out that Bart has died. With Mark Waid writing this should be a really good issue. Can’t wait.

Amazon Attacks #4 (of 6) – I have no truly coherent reason for way I’m liking this series, so Will Pfeifer and Pete Woods must be doing a great job. The premise seemed a little on the stupid side, but so far this series has worked for me and I’m curious to see is this is Hippolyta or not.

Aquaman Sword of Atlantis #54 – I have gone from hating the new direction to now enjoying this book. Tad Williams has a lot going on and the deeper we get into the book the more stuff is happening. I hope we have some resolutions along the way, but this is a good book. Shawn McManus’ cartoon like style is still a little off putting for me, but I very slowly getting used to his new style.

Birds of Prey #108 – Oracle fights Spy Smasher to regain control of her operation. I believe this is Gail Simone’s last issue on BOP, so why I really am looking forward to this issue. Also I am sad to see her leave a series that she made so great.

Black Canary #2 (of 4)- The first issue was very enjoyable and I was pleased to see Sin (her adopted daughter) get in the picture. Tony Bedard wrote a great story and Paulo Sequeira did a beautiful job with the art. Looking forward to this issue and like that it is coming out every two weeks.

Brave and the Bold #5 – DC looks to have a great line up of books coming up this week and this book is no exception. Batman and the Legion of Super Heroes written by Mark Waid with art by George Perez, what could be better. B&B has been a great re-launch and this book has been a terrific read every time out.

Checkmate #16 – Sasha and Mr. Terrific deal with their love affair and if it can ever happen again now that she is the Black Queen and he is the White King. Checkmate is a really solid series and Greg Rucka has done a beautiful job keeping this book rich in political intrigue and action.

Catwoman #69 – The previously mention Will Pfeifer has made Catwoman into one of my favorite series. The official hype “The conclusion of the "Catwoman Dies" storyline! The identity that Selina Kyle built for herself to protect her baby daughter is being destroyed at the hands of Hammer and Sickle, and that's just the beginning. With supervillains and the Gotham police hunting for both Selina and her replacement, Holly, drastic measures are needed!” Of course if you follow Countdown you know Holly has ended up in Metropolis and in an Amazon Center for Women, but where this leaves Selina is still unknown.
Countdown #41 – My love for this book is slowly ebbing as it is too many silhouettes of what is happening in the DCU and not enough actually happening in the book itself. Still this book has left more plot threads dangling then almost any other series I have ever read. It almost has too many ideas to follow up on. I mean in 52 many elements were wrapped up very fast in the WWIII cross-overs and how did Hawkgirl get small again? This book needs more storylines that are just in Countdown and we need more things happening in this book earlier, rather then later.

Justice League of America #11 – Only one more issue written by Brad Metzler – yah! A one and done issue with Gene Ha as artist. Brad is a very good writer, but he is almost too sentimental about these characters and the stories become maudlin.

Robin #164 – Dodge is putting together a group of bad guys to come after Robin. I have really enjoyed this series a lot and like that Dodge is becoming an arch-enemy for Robin. A classic bad guy who blames Robin for all his problems that were really caused by his own carelessness.

Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives Volume 2 – I love the archives series and still believe that the quality of the reproductions in these books are the industry standard (although EC Archives are also really well done). This is some pretty obscure stuff from Leading Comics #5-8 in the Golden Age. One day I will get around to reading this and Volume #1.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #4 (of 4) – Jeff Smiths continues his unique view of Captain Marvel. Jeff Smith has a wonderful style of art and this has certainly been a light story, but ultimately I have not really enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would. I have never been able to deal with Billy being a six or seven year old kid in this book.

Spirit #8 – Darwyn Cooke is back as writer and artist. The official hype “Time Bomb! The Octopus has trapped the Spirit and Silk Satin in a water tower with a ticking nuke! The good news is Satin can disarm it. The bad news is she has amnesia. Can the Spirit jog her memory before Central City is destroyed?” A very good series, captures the essence of what I believe the Spirit should be, I think Eisner would be happy with this book.

Superman / Batman #38 – The last issue was a decent read, so I’m interested to see how this arc plays out. The hype indicates a return of a major villain, so let’s see who that would be.

Highwaymen #2 (of 5) – Side note an odd week for me as not a single Vertigo book is on my list but Hellblazer was due out this week and did not make it. This book rocked in the first issue and I’m anticipating another good chapter in part 2, the official hype “The explosive miniseries continues as the Highwaymen, after surviving an ambush at their secret desert HQ, head south of the border to retrieve the package they were hired to transport: a college co-ed named Grace Anderson. But what's so special about her that this pair of retired couriers are willing to face off against biologically enhanced CIA agents and the entire Tijuana police force?”

The Programme #1 (of 12) By Peter Milligan and C.P. Smith. An interesting premise is raised by Peter Milligan in this story. The USSR had a secret program that utilized super powers as a weapon of mass destruction and now the weapon has apparently being activated by mistake.

Annihilation Conquest : Quasar #1 (of 4) – Part 1 in another chapter of the Annihilation Conquest stories leading up the actual mini-series. I liked part 1 of the Wraith and the Nova story had a shock ending, so I hope this continues the trend of good stories leading into Annihilation Conquest.

Avengers Initiative #4 – Last issue was okay, but I’m far from sold on this series, plus it is being dragged into WW Hulk, which I think hurts new series when they are trying to find their rhythm.

Captain America #28 – Continuing the “Death of a Dream” storyline. This has been a really good story so far and I’m convinced that Cap comes back by the end of the arc. I have no problem with Cap still being alive; I just want a solid resolution of how it was pulled off. Brubaker is doing a definite run on this book.

Giant Sized Marvel Adventures Avengers #1 – I’m only getting this book because it has the Agents of Atlas in it. Why they are in it and how (if at all) it plays with continuity, I don’t care; I love the Agents of Atlas and want to see their adventures anywhere I can. It is a big plus that Jeff Parker who wrote the mini-series is the writer on this issue.

Legion of Monsters: Moribus – Also contains a Dracula/Lilith backup story. The monster books have been okay, but not as good the Western series done or even the old time “regular” monster series done before the Westerns. Still I enjoy seeing new stories on these almost unused characters.

The Order #1 – What was going to be “The Champions” until another small publisher reminded Marvel they owned that name for a comic book. I like Barry Kitson as an artist, but the characters on the cover have not excited me. So I’m going into this book with low expectations.

Ultimate Spider-Man #111 – The final pages in the Bendis/Bagley run and welcoming the new penciller Stuart Immonen. If anyone can pick up from Bagley and still make the book his own it is Stuart, who has more styles then any other artist I know and does them all very well.

World War Hulk X-Men #2 (of 3) – Christos Gage passed a tough writer test by taking a tie-in mini-series that is about a small element and delivered a good story for part 1, I hope this is as good.

World War Hulk #2 (of 5) – Okay issue #1 was really well done and watching Iron Man get his a** handed to him was fun. How far can they take this story and still make Hulk a viable character for the Marvel Universe. How can he fit into the post Civil War Marvel Universe – Nova couldn’t and left the Earth. Looking forward to this series.

That’s a wrap for this week’s books. A heavy amount of comics this week, but for me when it is only one hard cover it is at least not a killer week for the bank account.

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