We are now back to a more normal schedule as books will again be delivered on Wednesday, which is easier for me as I find that I have grown accustomed to that type of timing. Also I believe I have finally purged myself of all the venom and bile I feel for the whole “One More Day” saga and surprised myself by doing three posts on it. I think that storyline has really put a huge nail in the coffin for my love of the character and that is a shame. This week’s numbers reflect how I assume most of 2008 will look with DC being the biggest number (17), then independents next (10) and Marvel last (5). And I’m getting the new Amazing Spider-Man because I have to see if I can care about the character at all.
52 Aftermath the Four Horsemen #6 (of 6) – This has been one of the more surprising mini-series from DC in the last year. It really had a “who cares” premise of the Four Horsemen coming back and Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman pulling to gether to take them out. I guess it was fitting for the big three to clean up a mess from WWIII as they all “missed” it. Keith Giffen (writer) and Pat Olliffe (artist) produced a well written and enjoyable series and I’m looking forward to the conclusion.
Bat Lash #2 (of 6) – The first issue of this series was well done. First off John Severin still draws great. His gritty realistic style is perfect for a western and his work is as good as it was from the sixties. The story is also well done as Bat Lash is getting in major trouble partially by courting the wrong young lady and pissing off the wrong person.
Green Arrow / Black Canary – Okay DC is really playing with my emotions with this book as they killed Ollie (again) which I was okay with, but now Connor is shot down! If they have killed Connor that just sucks, but Judd Winick and Cliff Chiang are producing one hell of a good fast paced comic that is starting out on the top of my best series list this year.
Countdown to Final Crisis #16 – DC has done what I thought would be impossible, which is to have me looking forward to an issue of Countdown. This issue Monarch and the Monitors war is coming to a head. The series is finally starting to be what it should have been all along. This maybe a good time for those of you who avoided or dropped the series to check it out again. The lead-up to final crisis finally appears to be here.
Green Lantern Corps #20 – Mongul is back. Actually I believe he is the son of the original Mongul, either way one of DC’s biggest and baddest villains. This series in now under the guidance of Peter Tomasi and still has Patrick Gleason on art and usually is a good read. I’m curious to see Mongul come back as I get the feeling he has a role to play in “Final Crisis”.
Infinity Inc. #5 – I do not see this series having a really long life. It is very quirky and it very much doing its own thing and just using the Infinity Inc. title as a banner. It is not a super-hero group book; it is more about what has happened to the team Luthor put together and it has a “vertigo” feel to it. I’m enjoying the series, but I do not see it as lasting.
JLA Classified #50 – This book comes out almost twice a month all the time. The new arc is by Roger Stern (writer) and John Byrne (artist). The official hype “The Justice League faces a new foe who seems to remember them well enough to want revenge. But when have they faced off before? Meet a mysterious new foe again...for the first time!” Sound like it should be a good arc. I appreciate the Classified books as you can just read a good story arc (usually) and not have to worry about any cross-continuity stuff.
Nightwing #140 – This is a great new team and gives me high hopes that this character may finally become a top flight series again. Peter Tomasi is the writer and as he was a long time DC editor. He is very familiar with the character and his writing on Black Adam was phenomenal. Add to that the great Rags Morales on art and you have a book that I want to read.
Salvation Run #3 (of 7) – This series has been fun so far. I enjoy seeing a large group of the DCU bad guys being marooned on a planet that the Suicide Squad thought was safe. Instead it appears to be a Darkseid ruled world and Desaad is just having fun “testing” the villains. I believe the outcome will be a group of villains who will be more dangerous then ever before once they get back to Earth.
Showcase Presents : Robin – Volume #1 – A mixed bag o f many Robin adventures over the years. These are easy buys as you get so much bang for your buck, now I need to find the time to read the 20 plus volumes that I have.
Simon Dark #4 – Steve Niles and Scott Hampton as writer and artist respectively have created a great new character for DC. This story of a “Frankenstein monster” type character in Gotham has been a joy to read and Hampton is doing some cool things with what appears to be placing his art over photoshopped backgrounds.
Spirit #12 – The last issue by Darwyn Cooke as artist and writer, which is a sad day as he really had a good feeling for this character, still the new team has potential and with Mike Ploog as artist in two issues time I’m looking forward to the art. My concern is that it has sounded like their might be some bad blood between Cooke and DC and I enjoy his vision on many projects and would hate to see him doing just animation.
Suicide Squad Raise the Flag #5 (of 8) – This series now appears to be almost caught up with current DC continuity as the team is put together. I’m a little confused how Nightshade is on the Suicide Squad and Shadow pact, but if Batman can be everywhere, she can have two places to be. John Ostrander (writer) and Javier Pina (artist) have made this an outstanding mini-series. I hope it gets the green light to be an ongoing series again.
Superman #672 – Part 2 of the Insect Queen story. I really enjoyed the first part and I’m looking forward to more from Kurt Busiek (writer) and Peter Vale (artist). By having the insects use Lana as a template we have Lana as the Insect Queen again as from the silver age, but we did not actually change the real Lana into a monstrous insect thing, so a win-win in my book.
Teen Titans – The Lost Annual – This project languished for years and is now finally seeing the light of day. Bob Haney could write some good stuff and some really goofy stuff, but I’m glad to see his last project finally is published. The official hype “Don't miss the TEEN TITANS LOST ANNUAL, featuring the original Teen Titans: Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy and Aqualad! Classic Teen Titans writer Bob Haney sends the Titans into space to rescue President John F. Kennedy in this story illustrated by Jay Stephens (The Land of Nod) & Mike Allred (Madman, X-Statix)! Meet new alien races, witness a startling betrayal, and more! It's a secret space adventure that couldn't be told...'til now!” And, a Nick Cardy cover.
Exterminators #25 – The resurrection of “AJ”. This was Henry’s drugged out Bug-Bee-Gone co-worker, so this should be interesting. Simon Oliver has a winning book on his hands and this is one of the better series on the market.
Scalped #13 – This is probably the best crime noir book on the market. Some would say Criminal, but I think Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera have crafted such a great book, that this tops even that series. This is the start of a new arc and is a good place to jump on. The official hype “Dead Mothers Part 1 of 5. The day after the grand opening of the Crazy Horse casino, the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation wakes to find that two women have been murdered during the night, leaving undercover FBI agent Dash Bad Horse to search for the killers and in the process perhaps come to grips with his own history and identity.”
Infinite Horizons #2 (of 6) – The first issue of this mini-series was well done and I’m looking forward to the second issue. It had an emotional resonance to the story that that is hard to put into words. This has been a great start to the updating of the Odyssey.
BPRD 1946 #1 (of 5) – I am only one mini-series back from actually being caught up on the BPRD stuff. I have read at least 20 some issue of this book and it really is a continuing series, just broken up into a series of mini-series for each story arc. Dark Horse has pioneered the idea of doing continuing series as series of mini-series. I believe this allows the creative teams to get the amount of time they need to produce the book and you avoid delays and/or doing fill-ins. It is not a bad model. Anyway the actual series about the Paranormal Investigators is a good one and they are fighting off some really big Lovecraftian type menaces.
Goon #20 – Always good to have the Goon back. My biggest regret is I was a little bit of a Johnny come lately on this book and missed the first hard cover collection. Eric Powell strikes the right notes of sarcastic humor, over the top monster madness and plot to keep this book a gem.
Savage Sword of Conan – Volume 1 – Trade paperback – This is reprints from the old Savage Sword magazine that was published by Marvel, but reverts to Dark Horse for reprint rights as they have the Conan license. This book is really late as Volume 2 was already supposed to be out. It is phone book sized at 544 pages, but is supposed to be in color, so that is pretty cool and is upping the ante in the oversized reprint game of Essentials and Showcases.
Fall of Cthulhu #9 – One of the best ongoing horror series on the stands from BOOM studios. Sadly at my store I’m the only person getting it, but for good subtle and overt horror this book is really well produced. The current arc is about the one bad guy gathering a group to together for reasons yet to be determined. The book really does have a truly horrifying feel to it.
Foundation #1 (of 5) – I loved the first issue of this book and Gwen and my review can be seen here. I think this book should do well as a movie or TV series as it has already been optioned.
Killing Pickman #2 (of 6) – A long time between issues. The first issue I thought had a strong story and I felt the artist was trying to go for a Ben Templesmith type style, but never quite made it. Still I decided to hang in there, but the wait between issues has made the ending to issue #1 a hazy blur.
Sheena #4 – A harmless and very light book about Sheena the Jungle Queen and her adventures. A mindless piece of fluff that I still enjoy for the fact that it is a change of pace type book. Again a long time between issues.
Grimm Fairy Tales return to Wonderland #5 (of 6) – I keep thinking it is a seven issue series, but with an issue #0, they maybe why I’m thinking that way. This has been an enjoyable series from Zenoscope, the home of the ultimate bad girl covers and multiple, multiple covers on their books. It is a shame that they focus so much on the covers, because the interiors can often be entertaining also. This story of Alice’s daughter going to Wonderland has been fascinating and gruesome at times.
Incursion #2 (of 4) – I believe it is a four issue mini-series. Platinum Studios has some books that are okay and the first issue of this was decent enough, but they have yet to hit a home run with any of their books in my opinion and I would not be surprised to see they have to sit back and try to revamp their business plan. Still Atlantis Rising, Ghosting and this have been entertaining, but in this market I think you need to be more.
Amazing Spider-Man #546 – The first issue of a “Brand New Day”. I can barely contain my excitement. I’m not sure why I’m trying it at all, but Dan Slott and Steve McNiven is a reason to at least look. I can’t support this book much past a couple more issues unless it just knocks my socks off with jaw dropping art and story.
Hulk #1 – Oh be still my giddy heart, the new “Red Hulk” is starting. Again another Marvel classic in the making that has my pulse racing. It is by Jeph (I can no longer write anymore) Loeb and Ed (I can draw big pictures well) McGuiness. Like anyone else after reading the train wreck called Ultimates 3 #1 – you have to see if this can be as bad.
Mighty Avengers #7 – The beginning of the Venom plague, which has already been resolved and is over in New Avengers. Still I hear Bagley has already completed this entire arc so maybe Marvel will publish it twice a month to get those books back in synch. With the same writer the Avengers books need to be synched up.
Nova #10 – Yeah, a Marvel comic I’m really looking forward too. I have enjoyed this series from Marvel a lot, every issue has at least been a good comic. This issue promises to have a Nova vs. Gamora face-off as she is now controlled by the Phalanx and Nova is still weakened by fighting off the infection in his blood stream.
X-Factor #27 – Oh that was short lived as X-Factor is mired in the ongoing Messiah Complex, which started off strong but I think has gotten weaker as the story progresses. No real pay off to this cross-over and it has frelled with the vibe that the series had.
Well as you can see my overall displeasure with the Spider-Man stuff is probably spilling across more of the Marvel stuff then is should. Still overall I do not like Marvel as much as I do DC and the independents. Not that Marvel does not have some good products, just that they are missing on a lot of their main players right now in my book. Now go out and vote for Ron Paul in a primary.