We should have a few independent book reviews coming up and hope to continue to do a few interviews.
Atom #19 – This continues to be a solid series and this issue we have a guest writer Keith Champagne with guest art by Jerry Ordway & Trevor Scott. Nice to see Jerry Ordway back on the drawing board, also Keith has proven to be a competent writer. When you have a “fill in” issue like this I have no problem as keeping the book coming out monthly is important to fans that only get a few titles a month.
Countdown Lord Havok and the Extremists #3 (of 6) – In discussing this book recently the wisdom of this series was questioned and I cannot really disagree with the assessment that this series is not really needed. Now having said that it has been fun to get the background material on these “heroes” and as long as they are players in Final Crisis it maybe worth having this type of background.
Countdown to Final Crisis #17 – Ray Palmer has been found and everyone seems to want him. I’m glad we have had some resolution with Ray being found but boy is that one convoluted explanation as Ray has been on Earth 51 for years and years and yet they could never find him. ANd had Ray Palmer been gone that long? So time travel explanation should have been added.
Countdown to Mystery #4 (of 8) – Not truly a 100% Countdown book as Dr. Fate has nothing to do with Countdown. I hope Steve Gerber gets his lung transplant and then recovers and we get to see him write Dr. Fate as a monthly book as this has been an excellent start up of a new Dr. Fate. The Eclipso story has been brilliant also and it appears if poor Bruce Gordon will be pulled back into being Eclipso.
Detective Comics #840 – Paul Dini is joined by Dustin Nguyen as the new regular artist. I really appreciate that DC continues to try and bring “A” level talent to Batman and Superman. This issue apparently a new menace raises it head called the “Globe” as Batman is still dealing with Ra’s As Ghul being back.
Jonah Hex #27 – Written by Gray & Palmiotti with art by Jordi Bernet, whose work I just really enjoy. I love the premise for this issue as Jonah faces off against a killer of just lawmen and they are calling his a “Star Man”.
Metal Men #5 (of 8) – This has been a very dense series with so much happening and so many convoluted pieces floating around that it has been an effort to following this story monthly. I have enjoyed it, but think it will be a better trade.
Supergirl #25 – I have a few books that I buy and read and cannot really justify why I do it. This is my big one from DC (New Avengers is my Marvel title of this ilk). I mean look at the official hype “Supergirl and Superman must work together to defeat the nuclear menace of Reactron! But when Superman tries to teach her the hardest lesson of all, he learns that Supergirl has something to teach him! And wait until you see the startling new direction the book takes!” ANOTHER NEW DIRECTION! I’d be happy if it had a direction.
Teen Titans Year One #1 (of 6) – I have been really iffy on this book from the first solicitation, but I want to try an issue before I cancel it. The artwork just looks odd based on the covers.
Northlanders #2 – I really enjoyed the first issue and look forward to this issue. The last issue started off well with us being introduced to Sven who is trying to claim his inheritance back from his Uncle. This issue Sven is gathering an army to take it back. Viking adventures appeals to me and Brian Wood (writer) will give us more then just Viking adventures.
Vinyl Underground #4 – I’m not as sold on this series after 3 issues as I was on Northlanders after 1, but the book has potential and the “Occult” detectives are an interesting bunch. Plus we have strong artwork form Simone Gane and Cameron Stewart on inks (who maybe carrying the book).
Midnighter #15 – Wildstorm has crashed and burned so I never really have to cancel much of anything, but I have hung on to Midnighter as Keith Giffen always has some good stuff in his work. This issues official hype sounds good “Midnighter's battles with Anthem comes to a head as he must decide between a past he doesn't remember and the complete annihilation of a town he doesn't even like.”
Wildstorm Revelations #1 (of 6) – Apparently all of these Armageddon stories have been leading up to this mini-series. I have no clue what Wildstorm is doing with their Universe and unfortunately neither do they. Still I will check this out to see if they can get something going with this Universe.
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures #7 (of 12) - I had almost forgotten about this book. I think after this 12 issue arc is over I may drop this title. I have found the story to be entertaining but the characters are not compelling enough to keep me reading.
Annihilation Conquest #3 (of 6) – This has been a decent read and with Abnett & Lanning as a good writing team and Tom Raney is a solid super hero action artist. Still the series itself needed more of Nova in it to suit my taste, but the latest iteration of Adam Warlock is an interesting addition.
Essential Power Man & Iron Fist Volume 1 – "Sweet Christmas" this is a book that is long overdue. But seriously this was an interesting team-up. Iron Fist book was failing and they folded it in with Power Man (who I guess may have been having sales issue also) and they managed to make it work well enough that Luke and Danny are still strong friends in the Marvel Universe to this day.
Thunderbolts #118 – It feels like this is almost a bi-monthly series anymore and I have to try and remember what the heck was going on. In fact this issue was solicited for sale in October. Nothing can take the steam or buzz off a book for me more then late shipping and slow production. I was really jazzed about this book, but feel it needs a monthly rhythm. Some books are so good whenever is okay (All Star Superman), but some books need the pacing of monthly chapters to keep it going.
Ultimate Human #1 (of 4) – Warren Ellis as writer and Cary Nord as artist with Iron Man vs. the Hulk. The appeal of the creators over rode that boring premise enough for me to try out issue #1. Ellis is a great writer (usually) and Nord’s work was great on Conan. He is not big on backgrounds, but his work is nice.
Uncanny X-Men #494 – The Messiah Complex rolls on. Last issue we left Bishop about to shoot Cable and/orl the baby. As we have the solicitation for a new Cable series and the baby is with him, I’m guessing that does not happen. Others I talk to have been more impressed than I am on this series, but the resolution can make or break it.
Dynamo 5 #10 – This is one of my favorite new series and if you enjoy super hero groups this book is one to check out. This issue Myriad and Scatterbrain get in a fight and I’m sure it is due to Myriad’s actions when he posed as Scatterbrain.
Overman #2 (of 5) – The first issue started off really well and then the main story was bizarre and seemed to have no rhyme or reason as to why it was so whacked out. Still I’m giving the second issue a shot and see if the book can redeem itself or if I will be dropping this title.
Shark Man #1 – I have heard that this is some older material that has been re-worked a little and they are trying to make a go of the series again. The premise sounded interesting enough for me to want and try it “Utopia. The quest for it has destroyed the lives of many men. Alan Gaskill has created a beautiful new city, New Venice, at sea off the coast of California: a place with sun, with no crime and with no worries. But that is about to change. A cancer has slowly been growing inside the city, threatening its very existence. Alan won't let that happen - he's willing to put his life and those of his family at risk to stop it.”
Sorrow #3 (of 4 ) – This book is late, but the Rick Remender & Seth Peck horror story has been good and I more annoyed because I have been looking forward to parts 3 and 4 then annoyed that it is a couple months late.
Strange Embrace #7 (of 8) – The penultimate chapter of David Hine’s seminal story. This story as compelling and rather twisted as it is, is so well structured that you can see why it got Marvel’s attention and they have given him a few writing assignments (Son of “M” and Silent War). I now look forward to seeing his name as the writer of a book.
Doctor Solar Archives Volume #4 – This archive is the old Gold Key Doctor Solar stuff and while interesting I’m now more of the opinion that 3 volumes of the material may have been enough. Dark Horse always have high quality production values so at least you know you are getting a good buy for your dollar.
Lobster Johnson Iron Prometheus #5 (of 5) – The final issue of this nice little mini-series from the Mike Mignolaverse. The story had a very pulp fiction / Saturday matinee feel to it that has been great fun.
End League #1 – This book I have really been looking forward to reading. Written by Rick (Fear Agent) Remender and art by Mat Broome. The official hype sounds interesting “A thematic merging of The Lord of the Rings and Watchmen, The End League follows a cast of the last remaining supermen and women as they embark on a desperate and perilous journey through a world dominated by evil, in hopes of locating the one remaining artifact that can save humanity-the Hammer of Thor.”
Doktor Sleepless #4 – Warren Ellis’ pseudo science fiction cyper punk future story, that is failing to really grab my interest. This issue will be my deciding one as to whether or not it is worth hanging in there or not.
Gravel #0 – Another Warren Ellis Avatar project and this is about a “Combat Magician”. Whatever that is suppose to be. I never read any of the other material about this character, but I will try it out for the zero issue.
Okko Cycle of Water Hard Cover – I read two chapters of this and was unsure if I could get the other two parts, then decided to wait and get the hardcover. This is by Hub. It is beautifully illustrated and a very involved Japanese themed tale. The official hype “Year 1108 in the official calendar of the Pajan Empire. This turbulent age, often called the Asagiri Era, or the Time of Mists, saw the great clans wage decades-long wars in attempts to seize power. Far from the fields of battle, Okko the ronin heads a small group of demon hunters, wandering the realms of Empire. He is accompanied by Noburo, a mysterious giant who hides his face behind a red mask, and the whimsical monk Noshin, the saké lover with the power to summon and commune with the spirits of nature. When Tikku’s sister Little Carp is kidnapped by pirates, the young fisherman enlists the group’s help in finding her. But the quest will have a price, and will lead our four heroes much farther afield than they’d ever imagined.”
North Wind #1 (of 4) - This was a nice beginning to another post apocalyptic word story. For mine and Gwen’s full review go here.
So begins a new year. January is a five week month (yeah) and we have Final Crisis and the Secret Invasion to “look forward” to from Marvel and DC. Also it is the 70th Anniversary of Superman and 50 years for the Legion of Super Heroes. I personally hope and expect to see bigger market shares for Image and Dark Horse and I thing 2008 could be the year BOOM Studios starts to really make its mark.