The last week of the month and then we go into April which is a five week month and helps to spread my list out over a longer period of time. This week sees the end of two of the Countdown series, another issue of one of the best comics being produced (ever) All Star Superman and plenty of other great items. The market report for this small corner of the comic book world is DC 48% (19 items), Independents 27% (11 items) and Marvel 25% (10 items). As DC winds up a lot of mini-series and I have not signed up for as many new ones I suspect the breakdown will level out a little bit more over time.
All Star Superman #10 – This has been one of the great all time runs for any comic book. I always wonder what will go down as seminal runs in various comic book writers and artists’ careers, and this will go down as Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s finest work ever. I’m sure they will both want to try and create something of equal magnitude, but it will be hard. I’ll be first in line to buy the Absolute Edition.
Batman Confidential #15 – Wow it just seems like the last issue just came out. The Wrath and Batman continue to duel and we also learn what Nightwing’s involvement is with this story. I love that we are seeing all the work that artist Rags Morales must have been doing when he was not on the radar. I have truly missed his artwork.
Blue Beetle #25 – This is it, the finale of Beetle versus the Reach. I have really enjoyed watching this character grow up and learn how to be a hero. He really is the best new teen-age hero created in a very long time. I’m sad that John Rogers is leaving this book, but I have read Will Pfiefer is coming on as writer for an arc and that is a good thing.
Countdown Lord Havok and the Extremists #6 (of 6) – The concluding issue of this Countdown tie-in. This group was such a small part of Countdown that I can’t believe they wasted a mini-series on them and then hardly give them any play. I hope we see them in the future as this was an enjoyable introduction to these characters.
Countdown to Adventure #8 (of 8) – This mini-series never really hit the mark for me. The Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange team continuing was a forced event as they were only together by happenstance in 52. Forerunner is a character whose reason for existence never even made comic book logic and her story has been ill conceived. I’m actually surprised I hung in the entire series.
Countdown to Final Crisis #5 – Even now as we are approaching the end of this series it still is not really working for me. I think my having to wade through so many issues of inane stories to get here has burnt me out on this book. I will follow it to the bitter end.
Green Lantern #29 – Geoff Johns is revisiting the origin of Hal Jordan. Normally I would be rolling my eyes and saying, yeah like we need to see this again. But as Johns has been rewriting the mythos of the GL Corps, I actually find myself looking forward to seeing Hal’s origin in this new light. With Ivan Reis on the art, this should be a book to look forward to.
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Volume #4 – Concluding the collection of Jack Kirby’s entire Fourth World saga. The light weight paper still ticks me off to no end, but I’m happy to have this four volume set and will really enjoy it when I get around to reading it again.
JSA Classified #36 – Hey they cancelled JLA Classified, but I hope this book is not on the chopping block as I’m enjoying the solo adventures of many JSA members. Although the series could almost be called Wildcat as this and the next arc are about Wildcat and we have had a couple other arcs focusing on Ted Grant. Maybe we can drop this series and just do a 12 part maxi-series about Ted Grant.
Legion of Super-Heroes #40 – Jim Shooter has really brought back a great Legion vibe to this book. He has recaptured the essence of writing a large group that gives us a wide ranging story as well as smaller stories and still works in characterization. This series has been lucky to have three solid writers in a row on this book, Mark Waid. Tony Bedard and now Jim Shooter, who has proven “you can sometimes come home again.”
Spirit #15 – I think Darwyn Cooke brought a special magic to this series and the new creative team has a ways to go to match the story quality. Last issue wasn’t bad, just not as good as what Cooke had done. The art side of the book is just fine with Mike Ploog at the helm. I would dearly love to see Marvel reprint his early Werewolf by Night stuff in a quality reprint (Masterworks).
Teen Titans #57 – This series is just starting to get a rhythm again. Last issue we focused on Kid Devil and this issue we focus on Ravager as the group is under attack by their latest counter parts. This book has floundered for awhile, but is always good enough to stay on my list, but I expect more of this book.
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #7 (of 8) – Can the Freedom Fighters stop the Red Bee. Any book that can take a character called the Red Bee and make her cool and then turn her into the villain of the piece has to be well done. I think if the ending holds up, this will be a trade that I will be ordering.
Authority Prime #6 (of 6)- Bendix is reborn with all the powers that he could have ever wanted. It is up to The Authority and Stormwatch Prime to take him down. Christos Gage and Darick Robertson have done a great job with this mini-series and I’m anticipating the ending being just as good.
The Secret History of the Authority Jack Hawksmoor #1 (of 6) – As a late comer into the Wildstorm Universe I do not know how much back story was developed for some of these characters, so I’m looking forward to this series. In fact I hope they do a mini-series on every Authority character in the group and then re-launch the title again.
Crossing Midnight #17 – I have heard this book is being cancelled (issue #19) and I hold all of you responsible as I have been telling you this is the best work of Mike Carey’s career and the man has had a lot of good and great work besides this comic. Sales must have been off and that is because every one was not buying this book. The official hype “The epic war against Lord Aratsu finally begins in Part 1 of "The Blade in the Soul." Rinjin introduces his new general Kai to an army of kamis and spirits. But the boy's biggest challenge might be his first date with Loretta…”
Jack of Fables #21 – The official hype “Jack's sidekick Gary — the Pathetic Fallacy — takes center stage in the Golden Boughs Theatrical Society's production of Hamlet! With: Alice as Ophelia, a pair of squash rackets as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Wicked John as Laertes! But who's using the play as cover for an escape attempt? Find out in this thrilling issue that even your freshman Lit professor would be proud of! Note: This issue may contain streaking.” This series has lost a little of its pizzazz for me, I hope this issue hits the mark better.
Loveless #23 – This is such an odd book as the series really ended two issues ago and yet we are jumping around in time and following the threads of Blackwater. I’m lost as to the overall point of the series, but the individual stories have been good, so I willing to see if it all makes sense at the end or not.
Gutwrencher #2 (of 3) – This is a nice little horror series where a high school reunion is being invaded by the spirit of a mummy. The spirit has inhabited an old high school classmate who was an outcast, so he is looking for payback.
Proof #6 – This issue is the beginning of the second story arc on Proof and his partner Ginger. This adventure involves a dinosaur being killed in Africa and Proof goes to try and save the baby dinosaur from the hunters.
Sorrow #4 (of 4) – This book is very late, but still should be worth it. The official hype “The stink of death lingers in the streets of Sorrow. As Danni prepares to have her soul replaced with the other, Dalton fights the physical damage done to his body in hopes of rescuing his friends. The end is only an ugly road to hell offering no relief.” This series has a nice horror vibe to it and Francesco Francavilla’s art is always well done.
Transhuman #1 (of 4) – Jonathan Hickman’s latest mini-series, but he is only the writer on this book and the art is more traditional then the graphic design type package that Jonathan does when he is the artist. This story is about super genetic engineering and the marketing wars that come about once this becomes a reality. Always thought provoking and so far every story has been worth the read.
Dan Dare # 5 (of 7) – This has been a great series and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in Dan’s battle with Mekron. Ennis has brought me so deep into this book I feel like I knew Dan Dare long before I read the first issue. Space Ships, aliens, and Earth battling for its existence, a really good comic.
Gunplay #1 – I have grown sour on most of Platinum Studios offerings and always go in with trepidation as to what I will be getting. The premise is that Buffalo Solider is cursed to kill one person a day or suffer “soul searing pain”. He has a chance at salvation, through a little boy, who has his own secrets. The $1 entry fee makes it easier to try it out.
Fallen Angel #25 – I really enjoy this series, but I never look forward to the next issue with great anticipation. The town of Bette Noir is as much the star of the book as Angel herself. It is one of those books that I have to admire Peter David’s writing ability to come up with such an original concept.
Gravel #2 (of 6) – The combat magician theme seems to be just another excuse for Warren Ellis to deliver yet another high level of violence and gore. I’m not sure if this story has any strong redeeming qualities, but even kill everyone Warren books are well written.
Sheena #5 – This is a light read and a guilty pleasure. I just get a kick out of the jungle girl running around and kicking ass and taking names in her leopard jungle girl outfit. That’s it, the only rationale I have for buying this book.
Stranded #3 – Continuing the sci-fi adventure by Mike Carey. Not sure if I’m really onboard with this series as Lee has been telling me that the book is not worth it, but I’m giving it another issue to see if I want to continue with it or not.
Hunter’s Moon #5 (of 5) – This series has been uneven in my opinion, but the overall story has been very compelling and the ending could resolve any weaknesses I have sensed in this story.
Daredevil #106 – Now that DD has been dragged down and beaten up to the nth degree and feels responsible for his wife’s madness and hospitalization where does he go from here. I have criticized this book for being too slow and for repeating a theme of tearing Matt Murdock down, but now lets so what comes next.
Iron Man Doom Quest – HC – I love that the movie is having Marvel do some of the great Iron Man arcs as quality hard cover reprints.
Mighty Avengers #11 – Last issue was a really good issue and actually has me enjoying this comic. Now we are back in the present and I will be curious to see if Bendis can continue to hold my attention. One thing is for sure and that is Bagley is moving up on my list of artists as I think he is better then I was giving him credit for.
Marvel Masterworks Volume #91 – Tales to Astonish #2 – Look what is in it: “Penciled by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck & Paul Reinman. Ready your fallout shelter, check your 4th-dimensional passport, and get ready for a trip into the wild and wooly days of the Atlas Era! The Marvel Masterworks have prepared another heaping helping of towering terrors that eat atom bombs for breakfast and psychological mind-benders of scintillating suspense. Led by Jack "The King" Kirby, there's a whole passel of monsters from beyond the edge of imagination eager to smash their way into your town. From swamp beasts, terrorizing trees, atomic ants and Gorgilla, the gorilla who'd give King Kong a run for his money. If collateral damage is what your desire, then Groot, Krang, The Blip, Rommbu, Thorr and X, The Thing That Lived, are your best friends and your insurance agent's worst nightmare. While Kirby tested the tensile strength of newsprint, Steve Ditko challenged readers to look through the pages of comic books and into new dimensions. His parables of suspense and wrenching psychological tension will leave you curled up and screaming for more -- whether you like it or not!” Collecting Tales to Astonish #11-20.
New Avengers #39 – Another Secret Invasion tie-in. I wonder if we add up all the prequels and actual cross-over books with actual event how many total titles that will come up with? Also once the New and Mighty reconcile will we drop down to one Avenger title?
Punisher Trade – Long Cold Dark – I really look forward to these trades as Ennis has done the definite Punisher under the Max imprint. Each arc has been a fantastic tale and he is actually tying it all together a lot (I hear) in the final arc that is ongoing in the series.
Ultimate Human #3 (of 4) – I know this was commissioned so that Marvel would have a trade on the shelves featuring their two movie stars of the summer, but Warren Ellis and Cary Nord have produced a highly entertaining mini-series. Truth be known this time it was better as a floppy as I would not have bothered with it at a $12 or $15 price tag, but as four issues, no problem.
Ultimate Spider-Man #120- So far this arc of Spider-Man and his “Amazing Friends” has failed to impress me. When Bendis tries to do group books it almost always fails for me.
X-Men First Class #10 – This series is now in its own little universe as far as I’m concerned. I could care less if the continuity fits in anywhere or not, I’m just enjoying a lighter tone and more classic look at the first X-Men.
X-Men Legacy #209 – Nice looking cover and how could you not love Wanda when she looks like that. This series is an odd duck and I think it is more of a mini-series within the series as I can’t see us just rehashing the X-Men’s history forever.
So ends the month of March and spring has finally hit Baltimore. Of course it has arrived along with a cold snap, but gosh darn it – it is spring. A lot of really strong books are coming out this week, but I already know that I want to read All Star Superman first and then read it again as my last book.