The five week month comes to a close on what looks to be a strong week of comics. We have a new publisher entering the market with two $1 number ones, DC Universe Zero and the last of the silver age Adam Strange material in an Archive edition and plenty of other great books. The market share report from this remote corner of the comic book world is DC with 43% (13 items), Independents with 40% (12 items) and last Marvel at 17% (5 items). Plus I may pick up Glamourpuss by Dave Sim and an action figure of Darkseid and Orion could make it to my office (where most of my action figures now reside).
Action Comics #864 – Superman’s life has been very eventful lately and this issue we are supposed to see if Superman can generate a personal life. It is always a tough balance for writers to give us enough of a hero’s personal life and also tell the super hero adventures. It is even harder given the big scope stories most writers like to tell. Many books have abandoned even giving a hero a personal life.
Adam Strange Archives Volume 3 – I’m very happy to see the last of the silver age run of Adam Strange finally come out as an Archive edition. This is some of the best silver age material out there and I believe highly underrated at the time (but who knows as fandom did not exist like it does today). Adam was always known as the thinking man’s heroes and I miss this type of series, even Adam’s own stuff today never even touches these stories.
Blue Beetle #26 – I’m going in with some serious reservations about paying $3.50 for a book that is Spanish. I understood the premise and the idea behind the book, but to add the script in English at the end of the book is even worse. I do not want to have to flip back and forth so I can read what the heck I just paid for.
DC Universe Zero – From anger to joy in 1 second flat. I hate paying $3.50 and not being able to read a book, but 50 cents for Johns, Morrison, George Perez and others to set up what is happening in the DCU and give us hints of things to come. I wish DC would do something like this every year regardless of whether a big cross-over event was coming or not.
Green Lantern #30 – The second part in the updating and revamping of Hal’s origin. Part 1 was well done and I enjoyed how Johns is putting out a linear story of Hal’s past well before he become GL. John’s view of Hal’s past has had flashbacks and such here and there but this is a solid updating. As with Oliver Queen’s recent updating of his origin, nothing essential is being changed, but they are giving us a more detailed view of who the hero is and modernizing it.
Jack of Fables #22 – Of all the books coming out this week this has to be the least anticipated one. I thought that the charm of the series was that Jack never won, but somehow my interest in this series has dropped off of late. I’m not sure if it is the addition of the “other Jack” or just an overly complex plot on a book that needs to be less involved.
JSA Classified #37– This series is coming to an end, which is a shame because the JSA has so many members who do not have their own books that we need a place to see more about the individual heroes. Of course this series should have been more about year one views on every member, but it ended up being a series of random adventures of these characters.
Legion of Super-Heroes #41 – In addition to this Legion group I have been re-reading the Zero Hour Legion and I have to say that I have enjoyed each incarnation of the Legion of Super Heroes. The Legion has to be one of my all time favorite groups and Jim Shooter’s take on this group has been well done so far.
Showcase Challengers of Unknown Volume #2 – I believe we get close to the sixties time frame when DC started to take all of their non-powered groups and tried to make them more into a super-hero concept. Challengers were never pushed as far as the Blackhawk series but it still got pretty wild, especially the death of Red. This volume is in between the time of Kirby and that era. This is the timeframe that I have the least familiarity with, so it should be interesting.
Superman Batman Torment Hard Cover – I do not like the six issue hard cover material for the most part, but since I have been buying certain arcs that I wanted to keep in my collection here and there I decided that I might as well go the hard cover route. This arc was a nice story about Batman and Superman versus Darkseid and it was done well enough that I want to have the ability to re-read it at sometime.
Teen Titans #58 – The book has gotten better since Dan Didio took over as the editor of the book. Dan has said he sees this book as having potential to be a franchise type book for DC again and has shown his level of commitment by being the actual editor on the book. No pressure for a writer there at all.
Teen Titans Year One #4 (of 6) – A guilty pleasure as this book is geared towards a younger audience, but I have found it to be well written enough to enjoy as an updated version of the silver age Teen Titans, which was also a book they tried to gear towards a pre-teen crowd. Back then that meant saying groovy every other page.
Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #8 (of 8) – This has been a great mini-series. Now that we have had two strong mini-series can we get a green light for an ongoing series? More new characters and revamps are done in this book then any other DC book. The catalog of characters (from I believe Fawcett comics) is being raided almost very month. I’m buying the trade of this series when it comes out.
Crawl Space XXXombies #4 (of 4) – Porn stars and Zombies, it is almost like Laurel and Hardy, Lewis and Martin, Peanuts and the Circus, Werewolves and Nuns, just perfect pairings. A great take of genre mashing with a tongue firmly planted in their collective cheeks, flat out fun.
Noble Causes #33 – Wow it seems like #32 was just released a couple of weeks ago and that is a good thing. If you are trying to generate new readers and draw us in and keep our interest up then two issues in less then a month is a great way to do it, especially with a group book.
Proof #7 – Proof is going after the man who is killing dinosaurs in Africa. Proof has no clue that the whole dinosaur hunting thing was to draw Proof out so the hunter could hunt Proof. This is one of the better new series that has hit the stands in the last year.
Complete Green Lama Featuring the Art of Mac Raboy Hard Cover – A Dark Horse archive edition, which means high production values and a quality restoration process. The character itself is unknown to me but Mac Rayboy is one of the Golden Age artist whose work is of an illustrators quality, so I’m buying it for the art and hope the stories are fun enough. More of a Lee move, then my normal reasoning, but Mac Rayboy's work is great.
Abyss #4 (of 4) – This is the final issue of this fun Red 5 series. It took me two issues to really get into the story as it seemed like it did not know whether to be a comedy or a straight super hero story. It is both. A super hero story that is having fun at its own expense and still telling a super hero type drama.
Atlantis Rising #5 (of 5) – Platinum Studios has announced that a studio has optioned this material for a movie. I’m always curious to see how far some of these projects ever make it and wonder how much someone paid for that option. This has been a relatively weak series that has had some less then stellar art that has made the story hard to follow. Still I have been interested enough to follow it till its ending.
Black Summer #6 (of 7) – This is the penultimate issue of this look at super-heroes in the “real world”. I’m always amused when writers say what would super heroes be like if they were in the real world, because the existence of such beings would essentially change the nature of everything so it is all speculation, yet some writers act like they "know" how it will be. This book has been a solid action/adventure story, but my favorite parts have been Ellis’ commentary on the current political climate that exists in the US today. I know he is not from here, but still good commentary is good commentary.
Caliber #1 – This is a full size comic book from new publisher Radical Comics for a $1. Hard to complain about that in today’s economy. In addition to that it was a good read and a highly enjoyable book. Check my review here.
Grimm Fairy Tales Piper #2 (of 4) – I had high hopes for this series since I enjoyed “Return to Wonderland” so much and this sounded like it could have similar potential. The first issue was a bit of a disappointment. Since Zenoscope is never going to be “War and Peace” I go in with lower expectations then I do on other material and it still missed the mark. Bottom line this book may get cut if issue #2 does not pick up.
Helen Killer #1 – Another book that I have had the opportunity to review prior to it coming out and that review is here. This is a fun historical fiction book, that takes real characters and events and then fictionalizing those elements.
Hercules #1 – Radical Comics second offering and again it is a full size book for just #1. And again we have a review of this book here. For a $1 you can’t go wrong. It is a unique view of Hercules and what it might have been like in Ancient Greece.
Local #11 (of 12) – I almost thought we would never see this series again. This is the saga of Megan as we check in with her once a year as she moves from city to city. I’ve grown fond of this character and hope that at the conclusion she has found a place to settle down and be happy.
Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula – It is funny to see how companies play with the idea of doing a series or not. The Daredevil Annual was really a preliminary test balloon for a Tarantula series. No we have a one shot that is really all Tarantula, but using the Daredevil name to give it a boost on sales. It reminds me of TV shows that have someone on for one guest appearance and they announced the series staring that person as spinning out of the main series. This issue the Tarantula has moved over into the good guy side of the equation, but goes to Matt Murdock to help resolve a gang problem.
Iron Fist #14 – This is the slam bang conclusion to the “Seven Cities” saga. I know a lot of fans of Iron Fist disagree with me, but I think this arc has been too convoluted and stretched out way too far. Still 95% of the time the ending makes or breaks most story arcs.
New Avengers #40 – This issue we are promised to have it revealed as to the how and why of the Skrull invasion and the story spins out of the Illuminati mini-series. Bendis seems to be keeping the actual story contained in Secret Invasion and is using the Avenger books to fill in the back story, so far it has worked well.
Ultimate Human #4 (of 4) – This is the wrap-up of the Warren Ellis and Cary Nord series that brings the Ultimate Universe's Iron Man and Hulk together versus The Leader. The first three issues have been entertaining and I assume the ending will be as well.
X-Men Legacy #210 – The end of last issue the newly revived Professor “X” was going toe-to-tow with Exodus in the physic plane. This is a weird X-book as I feel it has no rhyme or reason to be anymore then a six issue story arc and may then revery back to just X-Men. Also I'm not sure where they are going with the Professor X character.
As I stated this looks to be a very good week of books. It is the first time that I have had three preview reviews of titles in the same week and all number 1 issues. Don’t forget it is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SATURDAY, you can see where I shop e has planned by clicking here.