Saturday, March 29, 2008

Marvel Previews Review for June

Lee: Wow. This is a really slow month from Marvel. There’s almost nothing new to chose from. All the miniseries are in mid story and Secret Invasion has taken over the remainder. If you aren’t already involved with Marvel there’s very little in the way of jumping on point.
Jim: Marvel seems to be committed to the Secret Invasion thing way more then DC is to Final Crisis. Given Marvel’s success with Civil War I guess was inevitable. Still from a fan’s perspective I avoid many of the ancillary tie-ins unless they have a special hook to drag me in.

MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: THE THREE MUSKETEERS #1 (of 6)Written by ROY THOMAS (BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ALEXANDRE DUMAS)Penciled by HUGO PETRUSCover by GERALD PARELParis, 1625. A young man called d'Artagnan, after a series of misadventures, attempts to join the King's elite fighting force-The Musketeers! Joined by Porthos, Aramis and Athos, the four make short work of the Crown's adversaries. But little do they know, the evil Cardinal Richelieu is creating a counter force to the Musketeers, one which may soon challenge the power of the French throne itself! The latest title in the Illustrated line reunites the creative team which brought you the much-lauded adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask. All for one and one for all!32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: I know this is one going but the Three Musketeers is such a wonderful story that I might have to get this. I finally found an art link too so it makes it even more appealing.
Jim: : I have to think these books are produced simply to fill a line up of graphic novels that can live forever on book store shelves.

SKAAR: SON OF HULK #1 Written by Greg Pak Pencils & 50/50 Cover by RON GARNEY 50/50 Variant Cover by Carlo Pagulayan Variant Cover by BORIS VALLEJO AND JULIE BELL Born in fire. Raised by monsters. Destined to destroy. On an alien planet shattered by war, no one is stronger than Skaar, the savage Son of Hulk. But as a Fillian warlord, an Imperial princess, and a mysterious Earthman spread chaos through the wastelands, will Skaar save the puny survivors -- or smash them? Another epic fever dream from Greg Pak, writer of "Planet Hulk" and World War Hulk" -- featuring the return of legendary Hulk artist Ron Garney! $2.99
Jim: Ron Garney is certainly a drawing card (no pun intended) and Greg Pak did get me to read the Hulk again, but I’m hard pressed to sign up for this book. It feels too much like all of those Son of movies from back in the day. Still I read issue #1 to check it out.
Lee: Another eh from me. I guess it’s interesting but knowing that they are flooding the market just for the movie doesn’t appeal to me.

ETERNALS #1 Written by CHARLES KNAUF & DANIEL KNAUFArt & 50/50 Cover by DANIEL ACUNA and OLIVIER COIPELThe Gods Walk the Earth! In ancient times, the Celestials, a race of cosmic giants, came to Earth and created a race of powerful immortal beings: The Eternals! For a time, primitive man worshiped them as gods, but eventually they disappeared. Now, they have returned! One of the Celestials now towers over Golden Gate Park, standing in judgment over the Earth… but does he bring the end of the world? Following up on Neil Gaiman's best-selling series (and a recent appearance in the Incredible Hercules), join writers Charles and Daniel Knauf and rising superstar artist Daniel Acuna, as Jack Kirby's Eternals return to walk among us! $2.99
Jim: Rising Superstar Daniel Acuna could not hit a deadline to save his soul. The Eternals have never struck the right cord with me. They were Kirby being derivative of Kirby and just never had that right pizzazz.
Lee: Unlike Jim, Eternals is one of my all time favorites. AND, I was really pissed the Omnibus HC was such poor quality! Anyway, this looks great to me but I am really waiting for the trade on this because as Jim correctly pointed out, Arcuna has deadline issues.

ULTIMATE ORIGINS #1 (of 5) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPenciled by BUTCH GUICECover by SIMONE BIANCHIVariant Cover by MICHAEL TURNERThis is it! The story that finally reveals the conspiracies behind the entire Ultimate Universe! When they first met, Bruce Banner mysteriously warned Spider-Man that "Everything is connected." Now it's time to discover the jaw-dropping secrets that men have fought and died to protect. From the dark days of World War II to the frightening present, journey through history to learn what's really behind the Super Soldier and Weapon X programs-and how heroes such as Captain America, Nick Fury and Wolverine have more in common than codenames and costumes. The dream team of Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice (CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRON MAN) unite for the first time for the Ultimate series of the year that is a must-read lead-in to ULTIMATUM! 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Jim: This screams buy me as a trade. Since I do not follow much of the Ultimate Universe, I can easily pass on this series and then wait for the reviews. If I hear good things about it then I will pick it up, as a series – it is a pass.
Lee: I don’t know if I will even get the trade. The Ulitmate Secret Wars got great reviews but was terrible in hindsight. It will need some really good pub for me to buy into it.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPencils & Cover by STUART IMMONENVenom returns in part 1 of War of the Symbiotes! When Spidey's most fearsome foe strikes, it looks bad for the outmatched web-slinger, but Silver Sable and her Wild Pack may turn the tide! Have they come to save Spider-Man or is their motive something more sinister? Plus: this story adapts, expands and incorporates the hit Ultimate Spider-Man video game (which Brian Michael Bendis just happened to co-write) into Ultimate Spider-Man continuity! So be like Venom and return to ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to find out why folks like Wizard are saying it's Òthe best Spider-book on the stands right now.Ó32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Jim: I like this book but wow does this read like a jump the shark moment on this comic. I would hate to have to leave the only Spider-Man book that I’m reading.
Lee: What a groaner! Video games now drive the comic books. To steal another site’s grading system… Awful!

MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA Written by PAUL JENKINS Art and Cover by PAOLO RIVERAHe may be dead, but now you can find out how the man became the legend! Mythos revisits Steve Rogers'transformation from a weakling with a heart of steel to the Sentinel of Liberty! From the mind of Paul Jenkins and the stunning art of Paolo Rivera comes the origin of CAPTAIN AMERICA!32 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Rated A …$3.99
Jim: What I have come to realize is that since I have been reading comics for a long time that many projects really are not ever going to be for me. A re-telling of an origin that is set in stone and I have read 50 times before is a book I can skip, but for the newer readers a solid re-telling maybe worthwhile.
Lee: This bothered me when I read the preview until I figured out there wasn’t a trade of the material. I’m not paying $4 for a one shot no matter how good the art so I haven’t gotten any of these. BUT, surprisingly Marvel hasn’t HC or TPB’d these yet. Once they do that I might get it.










Jim: Lee, didn’t you say last month that it wasn’t too many books that were being tied into secret invasion. This month we have 9 tie-in books, 9! That seems to be a heavy investment into a series. Plus you know there has to be some spill-over into other books.
Lee: I can’t believe I have to type this… but you’re right. As per usual, it got out of control and now overwhelms every good thing that might be written. I can’t wait for these back-to-back-to-back mega-events to end.

WOLVERINE #66 Written by MARK MILLARPencils & Wraparound Cover by STEVE MCNIVENVariant Cover by MICHAEL TURNERÒOLD MAN LOGANÓ Part 1 (of 8)MARK MILLAR and STEVE MCNIVEN-who last teamed for the monumental CIVIL WAR-bring us the most important WOLVERINE story of the 21st Century. Nobody knows what happened on the night the heroes fell. All we know is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of all. For 50 years, no one has heard hide nor hair from him…and in his place stands an old man called Logan. A man concerned only about his family. A man pushed to the brink by the HULK GANG. A man forced to help an old friend-the blind archer, HAWKEYE-to drive three thousand miles to secure his family's safety. Get ready for the ride of your life, Logan.32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99
Jim: “The most important Wolverine story of the 21st century.” Let’s examine that bit of over hype shall we. First off we are only 8 plus years into the 21st century, so you have only insulted a mere handful of writers and artists who have worked on various Wolverine stories. Second “important Wolverine story” is an oxymoron. It is a comic book, he is one of Marvel’s biggest characters, nothing will happen to actually change him. Finally it is set in a possible future so who the heck cares about it anyway. Now having said all of that I will look into getting this as a trade down the road if it gets good reviews.
Lee: Uuummm, yeah. What Jim said.

X-FORCE: AIN'T NO DOG Written by CHARLIE HUSTON & JASON AARON Penciled by JEFTE PALO & WERTHER DELL'EDERA Cover by BRYAN HITCH “Ain't No Dog”: There will be blood. Gallons of it. Because Cyclops needs only one scalpel for a surgical strike mission and Logan's the ideal man for the job. Tonight, Wolverine flies solo-dressed in black and operating off the grid. And when the night is through, there will be mountains of corpses, and no one to answer to. What could be better? PLUS, this one-shot features a solo Warpath story, as he learns what it really means to go home again. 48 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Jim: Really, plain and simple this is way, way over the line. I know that Wolverine has killed and will kill if need be, but there used to be a standard, now he is just a man who likes to kill people in some portrayals of the character. Where is the heroic or even anti-hero hook to a character that advertises there will be “gallons of blood”. Small sidebar, why is it an X-Force book. All for $4!
Lee: Oi. Ya know buddy… you could leave a table scrap for me to bitch about every now and then. You’re killing me with all insightful commentary.

WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAME Written by SIMON SPURRIER & RICK REMENDERArt by BEN OLIVER & JEROME OPENACover by BOO COOKWith bloodsports banned in the UK, a group of overfed Brit Aristos have relocated to the Louisiana forests. Their aim? To pit themselves (aided only by a vast pack of slavering hounds and their own copious wealth) against a truly worthy foe: a single, terrified fox. Sadly for them, there's more than one furry little critter in the woods tonight…Writer Simon Spurrier (GUTSVILLE, SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME) and superstar artist Ben Oliver (ULTIMATE X-MEN, GHOST RIDER ANNUAL) present a brandy-swigging one-shot huntfest: 1-part ethical dilemma, 2-parts nationalistic clichŽ, 659 parts insane slice'n'dice-o-rama. Snikt! Also, includes a special back-up story written by Fear Agents' Rick Remender and Jerome Opena!48 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Jim: Oh this is better… an insane slice’n’dice-o-rama. Sweet, I mean who could ask for anything more. Come on people, Wolverine was not created as a slasher character. At this point why isn’t the rest of the Marvel Universe hunting him down.
Lee: OH FER CRYIN’ OUT LOUD. Dammit, Jim!!! Yeah yeah yeah. He’s right.

YOUNG X-MEN #3 Written by MARC GUGGENHEIMPenciled by YANICK PAQUETTECover by TERRY DODSONIt’s the Young X-Men vs. the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! A traitor is revealed and the casualties mount as the team goes to battle. We hope there are Young X-Men left when the smoke clears.32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: Keeping with the blood and guts theme of Marvel’s offerings, we have Young X-men. Which based upon hype is a team of X-Killers without Wolverine. Since when are the X-men all about killing people and everything that moves. It’s bad enough Wolverine has been written like an idiot but do we really need this?
Jim: I agree. X-Men have become hack/slash books.

HAUNT OF HORROR: LOVECRAFT #1 (of 3) Written by RICHARD CORBEN Pencils & Cover by RICHARD CORBEN Horror comics legend RICHARD CORBEN (HAUNT OF HORROR: EDGAR ALLAN POE) brings you a new 3-issue limited series that offers eerie new spins on the poems and short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Each issue features three adaptations-beautifullyrendered in black and white with gray tones as only Corben can do it-along with a printing of the original source text by H.P.Lovecraft. In issue #1, Corben brings you ÒDagon,Ó ÒRecognition,Ó and ÒA Memory.Ó It's classic creepy Lovecraft with a new twist!32 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Explicit Content …$3.99
Jim: Wow Corben doing Lovercraft, what a great match. This should be good.
Lee: This should be great. I’m hoping for a nice big HC reprint!!

POWERS #31 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art & Cover by MICHAEL AVON OEMING "Z"BRAND NEW STORY ARC! NEW FORMAT! HOP ON THE POWERS TRAIN! Who were the Rat Pack of the Powers universe? And was Detective Christian Walker one of them? When the controversial crime fighter only known as Z meets his maker, the investigation reveals a secret chapter of Walker's past. Will Walker's true origin reveal itself to those closest to him? And can they handle it?! Plus: Deena Pilgrim faces her future. 40 PGS./Mature…$3.95
Jim: I’m tempted to get back into Powers (I left around monkey time), but I find it very hard to go back to series once I leave them.
Lee: What’s the new format? More pages for more money? I don’t get it. Anyway, I dropped it when it went to Marvel. And, it’d be nice if they ever HC’ed the rest of the first series.

Jim: I’m such a sucker for this material and as this is Variant Edition #98, I’m onboard to #100 and then I can get more realistic about passing on a volume.
Lee: All Masterworks all the time. I am a total sucker for this material. It’s killing me.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: SGT. FURY VOL. 2 HC Written by STAN LEEPenciled by DICK AYERSCover by JACK KIRBYCollecting SGT. FURY #14-23 & ANNUAL #1240 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
Jim: This was always fun stuff. Stan did a war comic that was half war comic and half a super hero style book.
Lee: Like Jim I’m onboard until 100 but this is very iffy for me. Sgt Fury isn’t my favorite (not even close) but the completist in me demands that it be bought.

MARVELS PREMIERE HC Written by KURT BUSIEKPenciled by ALEX ROSSAll New Cover by ALEX ROSSCollecting MARVELS #0-4. 248 PGS./Rated A …$24.99
Lee: I only mention Marvels because this is what the 4th? 5th? HC of this material? There was the Graphetti Designs, there was the 10 yr anniversary, and now this one. Even Watchmen doesn’t have this many variantions in HC’s…. well maybe it does but it’s infinitely better and deserves it.
Jim: This was a good book, but I either have it in a hard cover somewhere or feel the story has not aged all that well.

And Finally…. The Embarrassed to be a Fanboy cover goes to…

Lee: Mike Golden outdoes himself with the “overflowing” metal bikini look. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll make a poster of the cover.
Jim: Yeah, that would be lucky.

Jim: Well Marvel has very little to really get me excited about this month. The Secret Invasion is dominating the line, so it that fails so goes the whole line for the month. Marvel seems to have fans that will eat whatever they want to feed them, so I’m sure they will do fine in the sales department, which is what matters to a corporation.
Lee: Sales will be fine but Marvel really is putting out a load of drivel this month. Between Wolverine slaughter fests and mega crossovers this really isn’t room for any quality material, which is really sad.

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