The beginning of two four week months back to back and we start off with a relatively light week. I’m not sure if the slow purging of my list has taken it’s toll or it is just the sporadic publishing schedule of the independents but I only have (I know only) 32 items on a DC dominated week. On a side note the numbers for the last month came out for estimated sales and Marvel had 46% and DC had 38% of the market. Between the two companies they controlled 84% of the market, a shame with so many great independent books that are out there. Anyway this week DC has 19 (59%), Independents 8 (25%) and Marvel has 5 (16%) for my market share report.
Atom #20 – This concludes Gail Simone’s run on the book. I give a lot of credit to Gail who wrote almost all of the first 20 issues and she really set the tone for Ryan as the new Atom. I enjoy the quirky nature of Ivy Town and have watched Ryan grow from novice hero to one who has slowly gotten accustomed to being a hero. Looks like this third generation Atom is here to stay. I will miss Gail, but look forward to Rick (Fear Agent) Remender coming on board.
Batman Confidential #12 – The conclusions of Michael Green’s take on the Joker’s origin and Batman’s role in his creation. I have enjoyed the story and Denys Cowan’s art on this story, but it has had some moments that are so far removed from Batman canon, that I cannot consider this other then an alternative world version of the beginning of the long war between these two. Michael Green is a good writer, but probably unfamiliar with certain things and I think a good editor controls that from happening.
Countdown to Final Crisis #12 – After last issue’s ending with Superman-Prime ripping open Monarch and destroying Universe 51, this issue will be quite in comparison. January’s issues of Countdown were very good for at least upping the action level. Now this series needs to be starting to set the table for Final Crisis, but hopefully will continue to have some of its own end points.
Detective #841 – Scarface and the new Ventriloquist return and it guest stars Zatanna. Paul Dini (writer) has crafted a great run on this book and I look forward to Detective comics every month. The new series artist Dustin Nguyen has a different style, but I enjoy his depiction of Batman. The one quibble I have is that in Gotham Underground we have seen the Ventriloquist basically knocked out of the crime scene by Tobias Whale. I know continuity doesn’t have to be that tight, but there was no overwhelming reason to have the Ventriloquist wasted in Gotham Underground. I know it is hard to juggle all of the books in the DCU, but still.
Diana Prince : Wonder Woman Volume 1 – This is a 176 page full color trade for $20 that is reprinting issues #176-#184 and Lois Lane #93. This is when Wonder Woman gave up the super hero role and was essentially Diana Prince. I have wanted to re-read this material for a long time. If memory serves it was very much a product of its times from the sixties/seventies era. I have a feeling it will be dated, but Denny O’Neil and Mike Sekowsky as writer and artist, respectively produced some fun material.
Infinity Inc. #5 – This is the conclusion of the first story arc. I’m going to hang on with this book for a little while longer as Peter Milligan (writer) usually has some good ideas to explore. My issue is this book really is such a different take on a group of super powered people that I can’t imagine it is finding a very big audience.
Jonah Hex #28 – I’m so pleased that this series has lasted for 28 issues already. Palmiotti and Gray have told some terrific one and done stories. The rotating artists have allowed us to see a wide variety of styles. While often they are relying on Clint Eastwood as a model, the essence of the character has been captured very well. If you are not buying this book, try out an issue and see if you don’t like a good western for a change of pace.
JSA #12 – The official hype “"Thy Kingdom Come" explodes as Jakeem Thunder returns! The Justice Society reaches out to the next wave of legacy heroes: the new Mr. America, Judomaster, Amazing Man and more! Plus, another face familiar to the Kingdom Come Superman makes his presence known.” The hype exposes the one problem I’m having with this book, I love the team that has been put together for this book and we hardly have given them enough time and we are rotating another group of characters into the mix. I trust Johns enough to give him more rope to see how this plays out, but I want more of the main characters who make up this group.
Metal Men #6 (of 8) – A flawed series by writer/artist Duncan Rouleau. The story has been overwritten, which is a shame as Duncan’s art is perfect for this book. Also the plot is so complex and jumps back and forth in time that it will really read better as a trade.
Nightwing #141 – This series is going up the charts. Peter Tomasi has proven to be a strong writer after years of being a DC editor and Rags Morales is one of my favorite artists. Since Nightwing is one of my favorite characters, I’m already pre-sold with this matching of talent and character. Last issue was a little bit of a slow build, but it gave me the impression that Tomasi has a long term plan for this book and that is good news. Rags continues to impress and his work has such a great fluid feel to it as well as a great weight and dramatic touch.
Supergirl #26 – Another new beginning as shock follows shock and we find out that Kara Zor-el is in fact a clone of Superman that was changed to female and then sent back in time to Krypton. Kal-el’s aunt was impregnated with the clone unbeknownst to her she assumed she got pregnant the regular way. ------------- Okay she is fighting Reactron, but still this series has been a constant disaster and I still keep buying it. WHY???
Teen Titans Year One #2 (of 6) – This almost felt like a Johnny DC book, but it was fun and amusing and while the art was on the cartoony side, it was also well done. I’ll count this as a well written and well drawn book that is a light hearted breath of air in an often stale super hero world of angst.
Exterminators #26 – The official hype “Laura learns an age-old lesson in how power corrupts — and how the only thing worse than power is finding out you never really had any. When she realizes that the Koribati Islanders have been manipulating her all along, Henry's wayward ex-girlfriend begins a harrowing descent into madness.” This book is one of the better series on the stands and is always a solid read.
Fables #69 – The conclusion of the 9 part “Good Prince” arc. Fables is the one series every comic reader should be getting as a monthly or a trade. It combines fantastic characters that are familiar from our childhood, with story lines that speak to each of us as adults. This is destined to be one of the all time series.
Northlanders #3 – After giving so much love and praise to Exterminators and Fables, hard to believe that Northlanders is also an excellent book. This book only has two issues under its belt, but Brain Wood (writer) has done a good job of giving us a portrait of Sven, our central character. This is one of the best Viking adventure comics in the market today with great art by Davide Gianfelice. Okay it is the only Viking Adventure book on the shelves today, but it is good.
Scalped #14 – Wow, this is a great week for Vertigo titles. Four out of four series and each one is as good as the one before. Exterminators about fighting bugs in modern America one bug at a time (with a lot of other strangeness), Fables classic fairy tale characters in the “real world”, Northlanders a Viking adventure and Scalped a crime noir book that is as hard hitting, nasty and compelling as any book that I have read.
The Vinyl Underground #5 – Here we have a Veritgo book that is not wowing me, but is good enough and has a very interesting casts that it has hooked me into following it for now. Si Spencer (writer) is an unfamiliar name to me and I get the feeling he is still getting his feet underneath him on this series. The book is getting stronger and I’m curious to see if it can be as strong as the other four series from Vertigo that are coming out this week. Great week for Vertigo fans.
Midnighter #16 – Lee Garbett debuts as the artist on this series and after his work on Highwaymen I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do on this book. Either way unless this arc gets really good I’m almost ready to drop this title.
Wildstorm Revelations #3 (of 6) – They should call this book lack of revelations. I will ride this mini-series out, but the Wildstorm Universe is really losing my interest.
Circle #3 – Now this book I’m looking forward to reading. Brian Reed (writer) and Ian Hosfeld (artist) have crafted a great action/adventure/spy story. The Circle is trying to stop the insane Agent “Y” and “Y” is really nuts. Fast paced fun and excitement, well written and very strong art.
Crawl Space XXXombies #3 (of 4) – So many of the independent titles always make me want to start off with “this is a fun book”. I believe that the ability to do something you want to do is fun for the artists and writers and that their joy is almost infectious. That is not to say the super hero material is not fun at times, but it is more dramatic in its needs. But seriously what else can you say about a comic that mixes the porn industry of years gone by with a Zombie plague. If that isn’t fun, what is? These are the people responsible for this outrageous riot, story Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer & Tony Moore and art Kieron Dwyer.
Overman #3 (of 5) – I want to like this series and see what the end point is, bit truth be known all I can recall about this is the bizarre perverted rich guy floating around in a bird cage and some big hulking burning menace. This issue could be where I drop this mini-series.
Space Doubles #1 (of 5) – This is a book that I very excited to see actually hit the stands. I loved this book and you can see the review here. Each issue will contain two stories in a flip book format. Great tales that are reminiscent of the Outer Limits or perhaps Twilight Zone space stories. Check it out and buy a copy.
Abe Sapien the Drowning #1 (of 5) – This should be another good entry in the Mike Mignolaverse. Between reading all the BPRD stuff recently and the Lobster Johnson series and now this, the Mignolverse books have been cranking out at full force and all have been entertaining reads. The BPRD stuff has me wondering if they can stop the over riding menace that threatens to engulf them all. Abe is a great character and I’m guessing he gets solo series as he is featured in the Hellboy 2 movie out this year.
Doktor Sleepless #5 – I’m somewhat conflicted on this book, as it feels like it has so much potential and so many levels to it, but it is taking way too long to get there. Warren Ellis is a very good writer, but not every book can be great when you write as much as he does. I am still on the fence with this book.
North Wind #2 (of 5) – This book I enjoyed with issue #1 and look forward to issue #2. The official hype “by David DiGilio & Alex Cal Global warming has created climate change as a new Ice Age covers the planet. On the glacier that lies atop what was Los Angeles, mankind now burns books for fuel. A despot holds the fate of the human race in his hands, and a rebellious hero must stop him! In the vein of MAD MAX, a blockbuster action story in widescreen style!” Also Alex Cal’s artwork was very good and was quiet stunning with his wildlife work.
Wasteland #14 - Two different post apocalyptic visions of the future. Wasteland is set much further in the future then North Wind and our civilization is a half forgotten oral myth. This is a strong series and I believe it will hold up even better as a series of trades. My one hope is that this story has an end point in mind as it would work better. If successful then certainly revisit Wasteland in a part II.
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures #8 (of 12) – I have enjoyed getting to know Anita, but I also feel like this one story will be enough for my taste. I can see the appeal of her books, but for me once I get past the curiosity factor I’m done. At this point I want to see how the story ends, but do not care about any additional adventures.
Annihilation Conquest #4 (of 6) –The official hype “The cosmic blockbuster thunders on - with our villains on the verge of victory! Ultron gets his hands on Star-Lord! Ronan makes a chilling revelation! Adam Warlock gets the shock he never expected! Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning join forces with superstar artist Tom Raney to bring you the sci-fi event that Wizard calls "Mystery, action and adventure on a galactic scale!"” This has been a decent series, just not as good as the first mini-series.
Essential Avengers Trade Paperback Volume #6 – Because I know I will one day sit down and read all my Avengers Masterworks and will need this Essential collection to continue reading the series. No, really I will,
Twelve #2 (of 12) – The first issue I picked up on a lark and JMS (writer) and Chris Weston (artist) reeled me in to sign up for this mini-series. The first issue introduced the characters, gave us the premise and now we are ready to see how it plays out. Essentially a group of twelve Golden Age heroes are put in suspended animation at the end of WWII and are now trying to assimilate into today’s Marvel Universe. Well written and well drawn, I hope the entire series is as strong.
Uncanny X-Men #495- The beginning of yet another entitled arc is “Divided We Stand”. I am so unimpressed by Messiah Complex that all the X-stuff is on my short list of possible drops.
That puts a wrap on another week of books that are coming out. Jonah Hex, JSA, Scalped, Space Doubles, Crawl Space and others are look to be worth the bang for the buck, but I will be flipping though the Wonder Woman trade to get a see if the book is really dated or still holds up.