Monday, July 23, 2007

What I’m Getting Wednesday

A monster week to end the month. This week’s breakdown is 2 trades, one hard cover, and a lot of comics, 42 total items (ouch). In my market share report DC has a 45% (19) market share, Marvel 31% (13) and the independents a 24% (10) share. A lot of really potentially great books are coming out this week.

Amazing Spider-Man #542 – This book has lost it’s appeal for me, which is a shame as I was enjoying it, but the delays and endless promotions of what is coming out later has taken almost any edge off of this story.

Annihilation Conquest Star Lord #1 (of 4) – Star Lord was a off beat character from years ago and his return in the last Annihilation series was nice to see, so I’m looking forward to his mini-series. The first two mini-series tying into the oncoming mini-series (Wraith and Quasar) have been entertaining.

Fantastic Five #2 (of 5) – Really enjoyed issue 1 of this series and in fact it felt more like what I want out of a FF book then anything else currently on the stands.

Heroes for Hero #12 – Part 2 of the WW Hulk cross-over and I have to say this cross-over has worked out well. Instead of it being about the Heroes for Hire being smashed by the Hulk it is dealing with Hulk’s insect comrade and Humbug.

Iron Fist #7 – A stand alone issue that is focusing on a past Iron Fist. The official hype “Her name was Wu Ao-Shi, and she was known as the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay...and that all came after she left K'un-Lun and took the power of the Iron Fist with her.” At first having all of these other Iron Fist seemed a little lame, but I’m now enjoying the concept. I also like the idea of a breather issue after a major story arc, especially one that develops back story.

Incredible Hulk #108 – I wonder when this numbering will be merged with previous series to make it the right huge number issue. Amadeous Cho has formed a team of earth heroes who are on the Hulk’s side and this issue promises a face off against Hulk’s Warbound allies. Still amuses me that the regular Hulk comic is really the mini-series supporting the main story.

Iron Man #20 – A WW Hulk tie-in. The last tie-in issue was pretty bad and reiterated only what happened in the actual mini-series. I hope this issue actually brings it’s own story into play.

Marvel Masterworks Volume #80 – Containing Thor issued #141-#151. More of the great earlier Thor stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Without glancing an any of the art, I remember almost every page was a four panel layout of less. Kirby made this material larger then life and Stan brought a modern mythic quality to the work, while being very melodramatic. Great stuff.

Mighty Avengers #4 – This book is almost off my list, so far it has been marginal at best. The official hype (and I mean hype) “Ultron has taken over the world!! The Black Widow has taken over S.H.I.E.L.D.! The Sentry's life is changed FOREVER! And the rest of the Avengers are faced with the power of the new Iron Man unleashed!!” Yet, I bet they can make this boring.

Spider-Man Fairy Tales #3 (of 4) – Strictly a book I buy to send to Gwen. I read #1 and didn’t like it.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #44 – The Ultimate Silver Surfer and other madness. I want to like this book, but even Mike Carey has not made this work. The Ultimate FF may be doomed from my list soon.

X-Men #201- Okay last issue half the current team were traitors and they turned on the rest of the team, brought in additional players and appears to have offed Rogue. The problem I have is that this book still does not feel like the X-Men. By pulling out the big guns and putting them into Astonishing (or infrequently published) X-Men, it just never feels like we are actually following the X-Men.

X-Men First Class #2 – The unlimited series continues and the X-Men visit Monster Island without Prof. X tagging along. This is a great comic and is my current favorite series that features the X-Men. Modernized tales of the first X-Men, a concept I would not have thought works, but it does.

52 Trade Paperback Volume 2 – Since I never saved the actual series I decided to buy the four volume trades which include some background material on the series. I really enjoyed 52 and look forward to reading the entire series.

All Star Batman & Robin #6 – Wow a second issue of this comic in the same year. What are we three years into this series since issue #1 hit the stands and we have only six issues of this book? This book is interesting now only from the standpoint of how psycho can Frank Miller make all the heroes of the DCU. Maybe a few years from now and once I have a chance to read it as one story it will make more sense.

Batman #666 – So of course it has to be about the devil, I mean it is issue #666. This tale promises to be about a possible future where Batman’s possible son is now the Batman and he is fighting the devil. I’ll give Grant Morrison one thing, the scope of his thought process is always outrageous and often borderline genius. Also looking backwards on his work is often more impressive as he has brilliant ideas.

Blue Beetle #17 – God last issue was brilliant, when Eclipso made Jamie into his ultimate power fantasy and it was a dentist with a six figure salary I nearly laughed my a** off. This book should be a best seller as it really has been a great series and just gets better. This issue Jamie is back to trying and stop the “Reach”.

Countdown #40 – Countdown is a mortal lock for me to continue to get, but I really feel this series was best described as the DC newspaper. It gives you all the headlines of what is happening in the DCU, but is missing being it’s own story. Since I get all of the DCU anyway, this book is redundant and adds only the barest extras to what is happening. For this series to be worth getting they should have events happening in this book that have repercussions across other DCU books. I mean Lightray died and what?

Green Arrow Year One #2 (of 6) – Loved issue #1 and can’t wait for part 2. Diggle and Jock have proven to be a great team and this redefining of Green Arrow instead of being boring is so well done, it is like a great remake of a classic movie. The essential elements are all there, but it is updated and enhanced for a more up to date style.

Green Lantern Corps #14 – The Sinestro Corps are seeming everywhere and this issue shows one of my favorite new GLs in the cross hairs. Soranik has to fight for her life and the planet GL Mogo is being attacked. The Green Lantern part of the DCU has really been good over the last few months and is just getting better.

Hawkgirl #66 – The final issue as Kendra faces off against Hath-Set and tries to end the curse of the endless births and rebirths and Hawkman and Hawkgirl. In some ways if she succeeds she is also killing off a great romantic idea of endless love.

Teen Titans #49 – An Amazon Attacks cross-over issue as Supergirl and Wonder Girl appear to be on the side of the Amazons. This should be a decent issue, but this book needs a direction and with next issue I believe we will get one.

JSA Classified #28 – This issue focuses on Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt. A hugely forgotten and underutilized character. Of course Johnny Thunder was always supposed to be comic relief and now this character is more dramatic, yet a child, so it is hard to write stories that work. Based on the cover it appears they are trying to age Jakeem, which would be a great idea to make him work better in the JSA.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #32 – Tony Bedard came onto to this book and I had a high level of trepidation regarding his taking over, but I really enjoyed the first issue and look forward to the rest of this story arc, the official hype "The Quest for Cosmic Boy" begins! The Legionnaires have lost their longtime leader, Cosmic Boy — but was he captured by enemies or did he flee responsibility for his "war crime"? The Legion's newly elected leader makes a hard decision her first day on the job and sends out teams of Legionaires in search of Cosmic Boy. Will they be prepared for what they find?”

Showcase Present Martian Manhunter Volume 1 – If I can’t have an Archives of J’onn J’onzz at least I can have a showcase. These were often 8 page stories and eventually J’onn got a sidekick called Zook, who is such a bizarre little alien, that you can’t help but love the guy. I really want a Zook action figure. I also believe that many of the early stories J’onn was just acting as a Detective John Jones and seldom appeared as a “super-hero”. Really looking forward to this volume.

Superman #665 – A little bit of a breather issue as we have a story that focuses on how Jimmy Olsen first became a part of the Daily Planet. Jimmy’s visibility us been upped considerably as of late. I find it interesting as they can’t seem to define what age they want Jimmy Olsen to be. Still in Action and now in this issue of Superman Kurt Busiek is devoting a lot of pages to develop his character and with his role in Countdown it looks like Jimmy Olsen gets to be a major character for awhile.

Wonder Woman #11 – An Amazon Attacks cross-over as Wonder Woman is in the heart of the storm caused by what appears to be her mother going mad. Amazon Attacks has been a decent little series and this issue should be good. Still I’m really waiting for Gail Simone to take over this book.

Deathblow #6 – This book is a good read, but really suffers from what seems to be longer then one month between issues. Also Brian Azzarello is a master of never quite revealing everything that is going on. All that being said, I’m enjoying this series and this issue it appears as all the s**t hits the fan.

Wetworks #11 – I believe this book is over with issue #13. Still I have enjoyed it enough to follow it till the bitter end. The official hype “Ab-Death, determined to bring Mother One back from the Deadworld before her soul is beyond his reach, risks his own soul and, in the process, learns a terrible truth about who and what he truly is.”

Crossing Midnight #9 – DC is advertising this as a horror/fairy tale and should add with a Japanese influence. The hardest book to describe, that is one of the best Vertigo series on the shelves right now. The official hype “At the end of a quest that has bounced her from a mystical realm to the mean streets of Tokyo, Toshi faces her ultimate opponent: The Gleaner, one of the five faces of Death itself. But with a challenge that literally hits too close to home, does the impulsive Hara twin have any hope of succeeding?”

Hellblazer #234 – I cannot recommend this book enough. Andy Diggle has made this character shine like he has not in years. That is not to take away from the last few writers, who have kept this book entertaining; it is just a quantum leap forward under Diggle. Leonard Manco continues to deliver artwork that suits this book to a “T”.

Testament #19 – Really tempted to make the switch to trades on this book as so much is going with the parallel story lines across Biblical and a near future, but I’m afraid if I stop the monthly I may forget about this book all together. Not much of an endorsement, but this book has a different story telling style and I believe it would help if I knew more details of the past Bible stories he is referencing.

Invincible #44 – This book rules and flat out is one of the better super hero books on the stands. Kirkman lays groundwork and then seems to forget about it and then plays on it months later. I always look forward to this book.

Hiding in Time #1 (of 4) – Wonderful premise, the official hype “In the near future, the Witness Protection Program will relocate people throughout time to ensure their safety. But when hired assassins begin finding and killing them, Nathan Crew – a simple technician in the now-defunct Time Portal Division of the WPP – is forced to travel back in time to try and stop the atrocities!” Sound like a great old time science fiction premise. Hopefully it will be done well.
Hellboy Darkness Calls #4 (of 6) – To get back into the swing of this series has taken me more then one issue, but I’m starting to feel like I know some of what is going on again. Still it is hard to not love Hellboy and I’m just sorry I stayed away for such a long time.

Grendel: Behold the Devil #0 – A 50 cent one shot, that is a primer for the new series. I almost hate these books, because they are usually worthless for the fans waiting for the series. Still Matt Wagner back with Grendel is a good thing.
Fear Agent : The Last Goodbye #2 (of 4) – Continuing the origin of Fear Agent. I love this series and have been happy to see it come out on a more consistent basis. My only fear (pun intended) for this series is they have to keep it light. If it gets to plot heavy or serious it could take away from the fun in the book.

Black Summer #1 (of 7) – After reading issue #0, I have been waiting for this issue with bated breath. I really want to see where Ellis takes this story. I just hope he doesn’t try to resolve all of the questions he has started but killing everyone at the end.

Doktor Sleepless #1 – Another Avatar title that I’m getting and a new sci-fi series by Warren Ellis. The official hype “It is the near future. No one has a flying car. Everyone feels cheated. What America needs now is a Mad Scientist! A city with a secret is shocked out of its apathy by the return of a young technological genius who has reinvented himself as Doktor Sleepless. But perhaps he never left, and perhaps his planned 'new future' doesn't include the city.” Warren has been on such a roll lately that I think this should be another great series.

Star Trek :Year Four #1 – I seldom buy this type of comic, but I have to see what some writer’s idea is for year four as I never read any of the novels which probably covered the missing two years. I wonder if JJ Abrams project to revive the ST franchise will ever get off the ground.

Sheena #2 (of 5 ) – A Devil’s Due project. I almost want to drop this book after #1, because the art was marginal and the story was very cliché ridden. We shall see with issue #2.
Fallen Angel #18 – The last issue starting the team-up with Shi really floored me with how good it was, so I’m really looking forward to this issue. Fallen Angel has been an up and down book lately with many more ups then downs.

And that is a wrap for one huge week of books. A lot of reading and I have a really busy week-end next week they will make it hard to actually get around to reading everything.

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