Monday, December 03, 2007

What I’m Getting Wednesday

This week’s list is almost a breather after the last two weeks clocking in at 50 and then 40 items on my list. So a 32 books week almost seems like an after thought, but I’ll take a lighter week. There are some decent titles coming out this week, but it always feels like the first week of the month is also the overall weakest week in the month. I have not tracked that observation to actually see if it has any validity, but it does seem to be that way. My financial background almost makes we want to came up with a weekly rating system for next year to see how it plays out, but that’s seems too damn obsessive even for a comic book fan.

Atom #18 – Gail Simone and Mike Norton are producing a very well done super hero book that month in and month out is an enjoyable read. Watching Ryan Choi grow into the role of a super hero has been fun. The quirkiness of this book is a great element and I especially enjoy Atom’s floating head sidekick. This week is part 2 of Wonder Woman guest starting as the Department of Meta Human Affairs is trying to see what is going on in Ivy Twon.

Batman / Superman - The Saga of the Super Sons Trade Paperback – It is rumored that Paul Levitz (now publisher of DC comics) when he was an editor killed off the super-sons as he hated the concept. This was a Bob Haney invention and Bob had a lot of really whacky and bizarre stories. Over the years nostalgia set in and now I have fonder memories of how much fun it was to have these imaginary stories and Bruce and Clark’s sons carrying on the family business. In other words I may regret getting this when I actually get around to re-reading it.

Countdown to Final Crisis #21 – Last issue was not as strong as the previous two issues, but it was still a solid read. The pacing seems to have really picked up and the sense of impending doom is picking up.

Countdown Arena #1 (of 4) – I have mega-reservations about this book. First off it is a 4 week series, so I hope retailers were able to order this book with some level of return capability. Second it sounds like bad fan fiction where different versions of the same character fight each other. Third DC ran an online voting for who should win the battles, meaning the writer didn’t plot it out until he could choose a winner (last time we had to pay 50 cents a call to kill Jason Todd and they brought his a** back to life). Fourth the whole Monarch recruiting from all of these multiple worlds still is not working for me. It feels like they recreated the multi-verse and are frelling up half of the worlds immediately. It still feels like they are going to destroy the multi-verse again. So I signed up for this book, but going in with low expectations.

Infinity Inc. #4 – I heard a rumor that Max Fiumara (artist) was considered stylistically wrong for a super hero book. I’m not sure I would agree with that assessment, but I do understand the sentiment, except that Peter Milligan is writing this book and it reads more like a Vertigo super hero book. I think the series has been fascinating, but I also believe that finding enough readers for this book will be hard as it was marketed as a straight super-hero group book.

Jonah Hex #26 – I really look forward to this book every time it comes out. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray tell entertaining stories month in and month out. Usually one and done issues with a rotating artist crew. This month the artwork is by Giuseppe Camuncoli who has a very fluid and dynamic style that lend itself to super hero work very well and I wonder how he will pull off a more realistic book like Jonah Hex.

Justice League of America #15 – The solicitation says it all “It's the brawl of the century, delivered by writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League Unlimited) and artists Ed Benes and Sandra Hope, as the Justice League of America takes on the Injustice League in the final chapter of "Unlimited"!” McDuffie has really brought JLA back up to a top tier book.

Justice Society of America #11 – Continuing the “Thy Kingdom Come” storyline, that stars the Kingdom Come Superman. Last issue was a great read and wonderfully illustrated comic and I expect the same this issue. I know some people have an issue with playing off “Kingdom Come” but with Alex Ross listed as co-writer I have no problem with continuing that story in the “real” DCU.

Supergirl # 24 – Last issue had some up and down moments, but I’m seldom happy with this book and I confuse myself as to why I haven’t dropped it. The official hype “Supergirl's pursuit of a deadly new interstellar menace takes a sharp turn when she's confronted far from Earth with the ghost of Krypton! What new revelations from Kara's past will come to light as she pieces together her missing memories and seeks her true purpose?” Oh joy more revelations about her past. I have no clue anymore as to what her history is and she is only been around 3 years.

Robin #169 – Continuing the Ras As Ghul saga. It is really amazing when you realize that we have Countdown (which is weekly), this cross-over which is essentially a weekly comic and Countdown Arena (another weekly comic) and with Messiah Complex being a weekly book from Marvel. Add to that the plans to make Spider-Man a 36 time a year single story and you have the next wave in comics being the weekly serial that movies used to have. Anyway, this has been a good story and I look forward to each chapter.

Midnighter #14 – I’m not sure about this book either. I barely like it more then don’t care about it, but Keith Giffen is the writer and usually has some good stories to tell so I’m hanging on for a little longer. Also in issue #16 the art team from Highwaymen is coming on the book and they did a bang up job on that book.

Exterminators #24 – A one and done issue with the original series artist Tony Moore back on board. After the long arc that just concluded a nice one and done is a perfect pacing tool and the story sounds great as two of the Bug-Bee Gone boys get an assignment on a cruise ship with butterflies that apparently are creating havoc on a whacked out cruise ship. A really solid series.

Northlanders #1 – Now this book I have been really looking forward to. Brian Wood (writer) is doing a book on the era of the Vikings. The premise “NORTHLANDERS tells the epic tale of Sven, an exiled Viking prince who's been living the decadent, high life in Constantinople — the 11th century's answer to Las Vegas — but now must return to the desolate lands of his birth in the frigid islands of the North Sea to reclaim his vast inheritance. Intending only to take his money and run, he finds more than he bargained for as his former family and friends are enslaved at the hands of Gorm, his ruthless uncle. What follows is not only a bloody quest to free his people, but also a young man's struggle to discover where he belongs in a rapidly changing world…and what awful sacrifices it will take to make a Prince into a King.” Hope this book is a hit as it sounds terrific.

Vinyl Underground #3 - This book is still finding its rhythm and I’m still learning the characters who are occult detectives. So far this has been a decent series and has kept me wanting to come back for more, but I’m not ready to really sign up long term yet. Often Vertigo titles need a chance to establish what they are before really getting to be good books. Remember each series is creating their own universe and we have nothing to immediately latch onto as the shared super hero universes do.

Annihilation Conquest #2 (of 6) – The first issue was okay, but I’m not quite sold on this story yet, also I did not like Nova not being a major role player in this story. Still we have to see how Adam Warlock, the High Evolutionary and Quasar are all going to work out in this game and if a new race of Kree will become the inheritors of the Kree Empire once the Ultron lead Phalanax are stopped.

House of “M” Avengers #2 (of 5) – I “hear” that Marvel had good sales on House of “M” titles and that the bookstore side of the business wanted more and hence this series was born. If true, this proves that those of us that following monthly comics are an underwriting tool to produce the trade paperback. That being said the first issue was interesting but really an alternative origin story of Luke Cage.

Masterworks # 86 - Amazing Spider-Man – This contains issue #78-87 by Stan Lee and John Romita and I was very on the fence about buying this volume. I thought the book was not at its strongest during this era, but I believe the sales figures actually bear out evidence of the opposite being true. I guess the Lee/Ditko stuff was still really strongly in my mind and I never fully accepted Romita as a Spider-Man artist.

Uncanny X-Men #493 – Part 6 of 13 of the Messiah Complex. As I mentioned before this is a weekly comic book from Marvel for all intents and purposes and the story has been holding up fairly well. While not 100% sold on this series I’ll admit it has held my interest more then most of the X-books did before.

World War Hulk – Aftersmash – A book that appears to be resetting the status quo of some story points that the mini-series could not conclude. Not sure why I ordered this book, but hey you never know it could be good.

Resurrection #1 – A new series from Oni press by Marc Guggenheim (writer / creator) and Dave Dumeer. Another post apocalyptic themed book. I find it odd that I enjoy what happens to the human race after the end of the world. I believes what draws me to these stories is that it is a chance for one person to really make a difference or is maybe just that I like to see how a writer handles this classic theme. So I’m going in with high hopes. Marc Guggenheim is a proven and capable writer and Dave Dummer is unfamiliar to me but the preview art pages look good. The premise is an alien invasion occurs humanity goes and lives underground and ten years later the invaders leave. We now have a ruined and unknown world to reconquer.

Dynamo 5 #10 – This book is hands down one of the top super hero group books on the market. I like that the five team members are all related by the same super hero father who apparently had more kids with more different woman then a NBA player. The entire family that we didn’t know dynamic has worked really well and I believe Jay Faeber had these characters well profiled before he started to write out story arcs.

Infinite Horizons #1 (of 6) - The story is by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto, with Noto also on the art. What sold me was the official hype “Image presents a re-imagining of The Odyssey: A soldier's long journey home after years of war in the Middle East. In the not-too-distant future a small group of abandoned soldiers are lead home by one man: The Captain. To get back he will have to cross half the globe and endure deadly encounters with many enemies including the Cyclops, and the Sirens...but first he will have to survive the final hours of the war!” I mean come on Scott Summers in an Image mini-series – oh not that Cyclops. Seriously the premise is so clean and simple, but has such potential that I can't wait to read this first issue.

Overman #1 (of 5) – Another new series with the story by Scott Reed and art by Shane White and neither of them rings a bell for me, but it is again a premise sale. This is a sci-fi tale set about 100 years in the future. A hired assassin discovers a cryptic plot to destroy the human race. Sounded too interesting to me to pass up.

Invincible #47 – Wow didn’t this book just come out like three weeks ago. Last time I complained about late shipping and now I swear it was less then a month apart. How does that happen? Anyway what else can I say, it’s Invincible we are leading up to issue #50 and Robert Kirkman seldom disappoints. Last issue was a lot of plot development and I believe this issue will be the same, but I love how well all the small parts pay off in this book,

Lazarus #2 (of 3) – Three issue mini-series are really hard to get too deep into as it is over as soon as it begins. I have a feeling that Shadowline (the studio producing this book) has taken the marketing approach of doing three issue mini-series but telling the full story in at least six issues to try and prevent sales from falling off. We shall see if it works, with After The Cape it worked as the first series sets up who is the character. Issue #1 of this series was good enough for me to be here for issue #2.

Suburban Glamour #2 (of 4) – Jamie McKelvie as writer and artist. This book is coming out slower then solicited but I’ll wait for Jamie’s art. It is really a joy to behold and has such life to it. This is an outstanding book just for the artwork alone, a very distinctive and cool style. The actual story was interesting but a little slow building, still I anticipate this should be a great little mini-series.

Two Guns #4 (of 5) – Gwen actually has had the chance to read the series up till this issue and provides a review here. A really good read and if you are skipping the end chapters, get the trade and treat yourself. Another well done story under the BOOM banner.

Dominion #3 (of 5) – Another book from BOOM studios. BOOM was very ambitious and had a lot of books that got started and then never got published after a couple of issues. Whatever internal problems they have they seemed to be fixed and now we are seeing books come out and start to roll out like they should have.

Lobster Johnson Iron Prometheus #4 (of 5) – Set in the Mike Mignolaverse, this pulp fiction type tale set during the WWII era has been a blast to read. All of these books have a feel to them that make it feel like a mixture of fighting supernatural evil that the world does not thinks exist and an old time pulp magazine story.

Atomic Robo #3 (0f 6) - Last issue was a great story, action packed with a truly poignant ending. Atomic Robo faced the emotional crisis of realising he was out living all of his friends. This is a well written and well drawn book, with high productions values from Red 5 Comics. Plus this book will be monthly as all six issues were completed before it was ever solicited.

30 Days of Night Beyond Barrow #2 (of 3) – Steve Nile and Bill Sienkiewicz bring you more of the 30 Days of Night world. This has been one of the most successful small press franchises ever. I think that after the flood of 30 Days product that hit with the movie, we will see a drop off of material.

Black Summer #4 (of 7) – This series by Warren Ellis examining what happens when the good guy takes out the bad guys, but the bad guy is an elected government is excellent. I’m already signed up for the trade and if gets any better I’ll get the hard cover if Avatar even has that option.

As you can see a smaller list then what had become almost normal for me. What really was surprising was the breakdown of where the books came from DC was 14 and the independents almost matched it with 13 and Marvel was down to only 5. Maybe I will pick up Ultimate 3 #1 (of 5) and ratchet up my Marvel Experience.

Also while I was initially almost raining on my own parade with a dour assessment of most first week of the month books, after really checking out this list I’m more excited about what is coming out then my first blush at the list.

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