Monday, December 17, 2007

What I’m Getting Wednesday

Actually the title is a lie this week as I’m off on a vacation as of Tuesday and will be gone until Thursday of next week. Still in order for me not to fall too far behind my comic book store owner is shipping my books off to my vacation spot, otherwise I would be so far behind as to never catch up again. Although with only 26 of monthly format books coming out it would not be too bad. Still you may see less of my handy work on this blog for a little while, but I will still have access to a computer. A relatively smallish week with 15 from DC, 8 from Marvel and 8 from the small press publishers.

Batman and the Outsiders #3 – This issue is where I believe Chuck Dixon has finally gotten to where he can start laying the foundation for the book and how it will be in the future. From the little bit I have read between the lines the first two issues where turned into throwaways due to editorial mandates. I have high hopes that this book can get started now.

Birds of Prey #113– Sean McKeever comes on as the new writer with this issue. In Titans he started out with the future Titan storyline and I have enjoyed it, but many others have felt this was a poor start. I can understand that by going to that type of story line your first time out it can seem like you have no clue for where you want to take the group. This issue of Birds of Prey guest stars Superman and I think that might be a mistake as Oracle and Huntress are now the core of the book and staying with them may have been a better idea. All in all I’ll give Sean six issues to get his direction set on this book.

Catwoman #74 – Due to timing of issues we know Selina will end up on the Prison Planet from Salvation run, but last issue we were left with a cliff hanger as Selina was drugged and about to be captured by the man who has been stealing everything from her. This series is a top ten series for 2007. Always a good read and terrific artwork by David and Alvaro Lopez.

Checkmate #21 - The official hype from DC “Written by Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann; Art by Chris Samnee; Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky The sensational 2-part story "Mademoiselle Marie" begins! Long before World War II, a legendary French spy network was born - and now a kidnapping in Africa has turned the Mademoiselle Marie legacy against its latest standard-bearer, the Black Queen's Knight!” I’m looking forward to this as Marie was one of the only female heroes from the war comics I read as a kid, so she was always memorable.

Countdown Arena #3 (of 4) – The whole premise of this book is silly to me, but I have hung around for no good reason other then the Scott McDaniel / Andy Owens artwork. Also as it comes out weekly, the pain of this series will end soon.

Countdown to Final Crisis #19 – This book has been a disappointment. It has had its moments from time to time, but all in all having what Didio called “the spine of the DCU” sounded better on paper then it did on execution. I have to admire taking this big of a gamble and I’m sorry that it has essentially failed. Still as we get closer to the end I’m sure it will be more exciting.

Countdown The Search for Red Palmer Superwoman / Batwoman – The gender bender world of the DCU, with the cool Superwoman and Batwoman and the really wrong Wonder Man. The last issue of this book on the Red Son world was a good story and it actually advanced the search enough to keep the overall story moving forward. Hopefully this will be another good issue.

Detective #839 – The final chapter in the “Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul”. No matter how you cut it, the final chapter is always the chapter that makes or breaks any story. I have enjoyed this cross-over as it is self contained in just Batman related titles and it has not been overly long, still this chapter decides if it is a great, good or just okay story.

Justice League of America #16 – The publishing schedule for so many comics is skewed lately. Sometimes we wait six weeks and then two or three weeks later we see the next issue. Now I don’t track that stuff closely, so I’m going strictly on memory and with the size of my list I could be wrong. Still wasn’t it only a couple of weeks ago #15 showed up? Anyway the “Tangent” universe’s Flash shows up. I think a lot of core DC books are starting to build to the Final Crisis.

Legion of Super Heroes An Eye for an Eye Trade Paperback – I tried not to get it, but a hard cover version of this time frame in the Legion does not appear forthcoming. Reprinting the first six issue of the 84 series by Levitz, Giffen and Lightle.

Shadowpact #20 – A fun series that never seems to get much play. The official hype “Nightmaster learns some new tricks while trapped in the Nightshade Dimension - and the full extent of his powers has yet to be revealed! Plus, the Blue Devil fights an army of wizards but gets help from a most unlikey source - one from back in the Day of Vengeance!”

Superman #671 – Beginning the three issue arc of “Insect Queen”. Lana Lang was a lame a** super-hero in DC comics in the sixties known as Insect Queen. I only remember her in some early Legion stories. Today it seems lame and silly, but it was pretty neat to a young child. This promises to be an updating of the character and I’m looking forward to Busiek reinventing the Insect Queen.

Superman / Batman #44 – A six issue arc begins called “The Search for Kryptonite”. One thing I have to give DC credit for is that Kryptonite has not become so common as mugger’s carry it their pockets, which was a problem in the sixties. Curious to see the why behind this arc.

Hellblazer Trade Paperback – The official hype “Collecting two pivotal storylines and a one-shot from acclaimed writer Garth Ennis. Reprinting HELLBLAZER #49 (featuring a very special Constantine Christmas), #52-55 ("Royal Blood," which pits Constantine against the demon Calibraxis), and #59-61 ("Guys and Dolls," which sets the stage for the final showdown between Constantine and the First of the Fallen).” Classic stories that deserve a place on a book shelf.

Programme #6 (of 12) – Continuing the maxi-series about a world where the US and USSR developed super people as WMDs and never used them. Now years later they are waking up. A solid story by Peter Milligan and terrific art by CP Smith.

Iron Fist #11 – I’m pretty sure that my friend Rusty is going to be picking this as his book of the year. While I also believe this has been a good series that length of the story line is knocking it back a few notches in my mind. All in all the Aja artwork is pulling this book up higher then the actual story deserves it to be. Still this is a very good series and one of Marvel’s most consistent books.

Incredible Hercules #112 – I will drop this book like a ton of bricks unless this issue really comes through as entertaining. I really dislike that we are trying to almost created a Hulkverse while Marvel runs this “Red” Hulk story line. I do not believe this is the third arc that Greg Pak had talked about in interviews for the Hulk. Hercules in the Hulk’s title, a Warbound mini-series and the “Son of Hulk” stuff just reeks of derivative nonsense. Still spin-offs can sometimes be better then the original product so I will try this book out and I will try the Red Hulk series, but Warbound is eminently passable.

Mighty Avengers #6 –They call it the shocking conclusion to the Ultron sage. I’m not so sure if just delaying books for months on end or wrapping up a story line as an Annual as the comic itself marches on is better, bottom line both suck. I am in “Who Cares” mode on this story line.

Marvel Masterworks Volume 87 – The Rawhide Kid – Volume #2 – This is some great western material from Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Jack Davis. For me though two volumes of this material about the Rawhide Kid is enough. Bring on Kid Colt, Two Gun Kid or the First Ghost Rider if you want to continue to buy the Western material, otherwise Rawhide Kid Volume #3 is not one I will buy.

New X-Men #45 – The Messiah Complex Part 8 – Marvel has done a good job of sucking me into this story line and making each book truly part of the larger whole so that I’m buying New X-Men. The story started strong, although the art has suffered at times, but lately the last chapter and a half has felt rather blah.

She-Hulk #24 – This is a make it or break it issue for me. I like Peter David and I like She-Hulk, but the first two issues have been very pedestrian. I will try out one more issue, but right now I’m leaning to dropping this title. I’m just not getting a good vibe from this book.

Terror Inc. #4 (of 5) – A gruesome and over the top action adventure. The official hype “Start with one cursed, eternally decomposing hero, 15 and a half centuries old. Remove the mystical left arm keeping him alive. Add his gorgeous, brainy, sexy, classy executive assistant, throw in the leader of a worldwide terrorist organization, stir in hundreds of assassins, and sprinkle liberally with spare body parts. Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, stir vigorously for five issues, and serve in a chilled martini glass. By David Lapham (Stray Bullets) and Patrick Zircher (IRON MAN). Goes well with olives.”

X-Men First Class #6 – Listed as coming out, but I think this is a reprint as the first time it came out it was almost put out in random order.

Circle #2 – The first issue was great and I’m looking forward to see what happens next. The official hype “A stringer for MI6 has stumbled into a continent-spanning battle between the deadly mercenary group The Circle and Agent Y, the rogue CIA assassin who hunts them.”

Madam Mirage #4 (of 6) – The last issue really brought me into this series. I needed more background and was pleased that Madam Mirage really is a cartoon character and not a woman really built that way. All in all this tale of one woman seeking justice and revenge is a decent read and I’m looking forward to this issue. I find it amusing that they are calling this Season 1, just state it is a planned series of mini-series.

Walking Dead Hard Cover Volume 3 – I love this series and now that I’m getting the monthlies the hard covers are a nice pick-up to add to my bookshelf. One day I’ll get around to re-reading this material.

Grendel Behold the Devil #2 (of 8) – The first issue was a great coming home party and I’m looking forward to this issue. We know Grendel can’t really lose, but that does not mean we cannot see an aspect of the Hunter Rose character that we have not explored before. Matt Wagner has another hit on his hands.

Scream #2 (of 4) – Issue #1 was interesting and I thought Peter David had crafted a unique little story. Bart Sears reigned in his over rendered work enough to keep me enjoying this comic. How will the Scream continue to wreck havoc in this small town?

Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #4 (of 6) – This is a quirky little book and has a unique feel to it. Last issue we started to get more into the heart of the story and I hope it does not degenerate into a normal super hero book. The more I think about it, the more it feels like the “Doom Patrol” when it was at its quirky best.

Action Philisophers Vol. 3 Giant Sized Thing TP – Collects the last three issue of one of my favorite all time comic books. Anxiously awaiting Action Presidents.

Robotika Few a Few Rubles More #1 (of 4) – Really go out and buy this book on Wednesday and do yourself a favor. Skip Countdown Arena or Incredible Hercules. See a review here.

Well that puts the wrap on a relatively quite week for comics. I expect the next two weeks will not be “big” weeks either as the holidays can sometimes slow things down.

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