Thursday, May 01, 2008

Marvel Preview Review for July

Lee: Even though Secret Invasion is sucking the life out of my hopes and dreams there’s actually some cool stuff this month. Or, should I say, better than I dared to hope.
Jim: It is funny that Lee is more of an art guy and seems to favor Marvel (between the big two) and I'm more of a story guy and favor DC (again between the big two). Which proves what I thought all along, Marvel is Veronica and DC is Betty.

DARK TOWER: THE LONG ROAD HOME #5 (of 5) Written by PETER DAVID & ROBIN FURTH Art and Cover by JAE LEE & RICHARD ISANOVE With Roland’s spirit still trapped in the court of the Crimson King, the dark ruler makes the young gunslinger a shocking offer: In exchange for his life, Roland must climb with the King to the top of the Tower where they will jointly claim the throne that overlooks all creation -- and then utterly destroy it! Should Roland refuse, his life will be forfeit and the Crimson King will rule the coming Chaos alone. The fate of creation rests in Roland’s hands in this concluding chapter in the sensational second arc enlarging on Stephen King’s magnum opus. You must not miss it!40 PGS …$3.99
Lee: I just finished reading the first Dark Tower trade and I loved it. Now that the second part is over I can’t wait to read this too. An excellent series and well worth reading.
Jim: It has been years since I was a Stephen King fan and I could not get into this comic either, but Jae Lee and Richard Isanove’s art has been wonderful.

UNIVERSAL WAR ONE #1 (of 6) Written, Penciled, Cover by DENIS BAJRAMIn the midst of a latent civil war between the core planets and outlying planetary settlements, an immense wall has cut our solar system in two. The black wall absorbs all light and matter, and it’s up to a band of soldiers facing courts martial to investigate the phenomenon. They’re the men and women of the Purgatory Squadron. For which crimes are they here? And can they work together long enough to stay alive once they enter... The Wall? 56 PGS …$5.99
Lee: Not the newest of premises but it still sounds interesting. And, the cover looks great too. You can find Bajram’s French website and look at all the pretty pictures if you like. Can’t read any of it but it looks nice.
Jim: I’m enjoying the fact that Marvel is taking a stab and distributing some of the great foreign comic work that is out there.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #564 Written by BOB GALE, Marc Guggenheim & DAN SLOTT Penciled by Paulo SiqueiraIt's a good old fashioned He Said/He Said/He Said when Spidey, Vin Gonzales and SWING SHIFT Heavy OVERDRIVE find themselves in a car chase across the Big Apple! Three members of our Braintrust's best give you each side of the same story, as Gale, Guggenheim and Slott team up for “TRAFFIC JAM!” 32 PGS …$2.99
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #565 Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM, Pencils & Cover by PHIL JIMENEZHer name is . She's Spider-Man's newest and most terrifying nemesis -- and she just discovered his secret identity. With an army of villains at her command, even with the help of Daredevil, can Spidey protect his secret identity from his new foe? Find out as Marc Guggenheim and Phil Jimenez give you the fight of Spidey’s life against the Brand New !32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: This is what drives me nuts about Marvel. The hype for #564 actually sounds good. I like the multiple viewpoint of the same event stories and with the writers involved it should be really good. Then I read #565 and I want to vomit. Another villain that knows his secret identity???? Absolute rubbish!
Jim: I have abandoned Spider-Man in his own book and could care less about the character right now. It almost pains me as I had so much love for this character at one point. I think I need to give it a few years before I try this book again.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE #0 Written by JEPH LOEB, Pencils & Cover by TIM SALEJeph Loeb and Tim Sale return to Marvel and their prestigious "color" book series. CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE is their newest creation, peeling back an untold tale of Captain America and Bucky during World War II. Their unique combination of in-depth characters and high stakes action shines here with Cap's deadliest mission of all. Marvel is proud to bring you Captain America: #0 this summer as a taste of what’s to come. Featuring an all new full story about the Origin of Bucky Barnes and how he came into Cap’s life, this special edition features a cover gallery, sketchbook, script samples, and an interview with the creators. They are happy to be back at Marvel and we're thrilled to have them! Plus, the whole story seen in black-and-white.48 PGS …$3.99
Lee: The problem here is Loeb has been hit or miss lately but Sale is always great. But, I love Captain America and the chance to see Sale draw him is too good to pass up. There’s a high chance the words will be crap so maybe I’ll just look at the pretty pictures.
Jim: There is a 100% chance that I’m skipping this series and just waiting for the hard cover. The other “color” series have been good, but I have to agree with Lee, Loeb is very miss lately (and a rare hit) , but Sale is still a terrific artist.

FANTASTIC FOUR: TRUE STORY #1 (of 4) Written by PAUL CORNELL Penciled by HORACIO DOMINGUEZCover by NIKO HENRICHONA threat to the minds of the whole human race sends the FF somewhere they've never been before: into the realm of fiction itself! Where Ben finds himself clobbering a demonic army to save the cast of Sense and Sensibility. No, really. And it gets weirder from there. Dante (not the one from Clerks)! Willie Lumpkin! Behold, the Fictocraft! And it's actually kind of smart and serious too. You're at least going to flip open the first page in your comic store, right?32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: In reading the hype, I can honestly say this was a total pass. Then I read the last line of the hype and now… yes, I am going to flip open the book and look at it. No promises on taking it home but I will definitely finger a copy on the stands.
Jim: Ewweeee – that is an image I did not need to have. But this book is a very easy pass.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 Written by DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING Penciled by PAUL PELLETIERCover by CLINT LANGLEYBeware the return of…Starhawk! First it was the recovery of a certain world-famous shield…and now the enigmatic Starhawk reigns death from above! How and why is this original Guardian of the Galaxy here in our reality and what does his ominous arrival mean for our motley crew of freedom fighters? The mysteries continue to deepen and the craziness comes hot and heavy in the book that raves “packs more awesome than the rest of Marvel and DC’s lineup combined.”32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Still don’t care about the series but the new Starhawk looks cool on the cover.
Jim: I can pass up a book that has Rocket Raccoon in it. I’m looking forward to this series and I’m curious to see how it plays out.

HULK #5 Written by JEPH LOEBPencils & Cover by ED MCGUINNESSSuperstars JEPH LOEB & ED MCGUINNESS continue their historic epic! With the entire West Coast in peril, who can stop the battle of the Century when Two, count 'em TWO Hulks, get to brawling? How about everyone's favorite Thunder God -- THE MIGHTY THOR!? He was out of town during WORLD WAR HULK -- THIS is the match-up you've been DEMANDING! But can even a God stop the Red Hulk? Find out now!!!32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: I wasn’t going to get the trade but this series has been one giant smash up after another. And McGuiness drawing Hulk v. Thor is too good to miss. I’m sure it’ll be pointless in terms of plot but when it comes to H v. T, I really don’t want plot. I want explosions… and lots of them.
Jim: “Yawn”. When is Greg Pak coming back to finish his trilogy.

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #17 Written by Duane Swierczynski Pencils and Cover by Travel Foreman“The Mortal Iron Fist" part 1 of 4 Marvels’ kickingest, punchingest, kung-fu-iest book just got bigger! Following the character-redefining, critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite events of “The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven,” the all-new IMMORTAL IRON FIST creative team of Duane Swierczynski (CABLE) and Travel Foreman (ARES) takes it to the next explosive level! Think you know everything there is to know about the traditions of the Immortal Iron Fist? If you do, then why’s Danny sweating bullets over an inescapable legacy that’s haunted the Iron Fists for centuries, huh? Tell us that, if you’re so smart. What was the deeper meaning of Xao’s ominous threat? And what incredible new adventure are Danny’s fellow Immortal Weapons embarking upon?32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Duane Swierczynski of Cable fame is the new writer. That is not a selling point.
Jim: Looks like the Iron Fist revival hit a dead end. Looks like a good time to drop this book. Or better yet LOOK HERE FANS - A GREAT JUMPING OFF POINT - USE THE SAVINGs TO BUY 3/4 of a gallon of gas.

MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK #13 Written by PETER DAVID Penciled by JUAN ROMANCANO SANTACRUZCover by SEAN GORDON MURPHYHulk and his traveling buddies (fun-loving teen, Rick Jones and rollicking monkey, Monkey) have returned to New York City to find something amiss… all the super heroes have been transformed into ravenous, stumbling monsters! But can even the strength of the Hulk stand up to the unstoppable… MARVEL MUMMIES?!? Fan-fave Hulk creator Peter David comes to Marvel Adventures Hulk with unlucky issue 13, bringing our most mummified issue ever!32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: OH OH OH. We’ve moved beyond the zombie craze and moved into Mummies. Yahooo!!!! Now after all the zombie covers and skrull covers we can do mummy covers. It’s gotten so Marvel has three classic covers they use over and over and over….
Jim: The whole Zombie and now Skrull cover thing where they redo a classic Kirby cover just tells you these guys have no idea how to do covers like Kirby did.

newuniversal: 1959 Written by KIERON GILLENPenciled by GREG SCOTTThis is a story about killing the future. 1959 is the dawn of the new age of superheroics -- the so-called “Fireworks” have granted superhuman powers to three Americans, and set the world on a collision-course with destiny. But it’s a destiny Philip Voight must prevent at any cost. The first newuniversal one-shot expands the mythos of this world, thanks to writer KIERON GILLEN (Phonogram), hand-picked by newuniversal’s Warren Ellis, and the brilliant art of GREG SCOTT shows us the world, like it never was…in 1959.48 PGS …$3.99
newuniversal: shockfront #3 (of 6)Written by WARREN ELLISPenciled by STEVE KURTHWhen one superhuman is discovered: they must observe. When two are discovered: they must act. And when three are found: it's Project Spitfire’s mission to kill them all. It’s a hard world, and hard decisions have to be made. Unfortunately for Ken Connell and Izzy Randall, they’re at ground zero in the battle to prevent super-human Armageddon.32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Ellis can’t support a monthly NewUniversal title so the prop it up with all sorts of additional one shots. Why do I feel like Marvel is just fleecing me?
Jim: Not at all, they are not fleecing you at all, just enhancing your enjoyment.

PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT, AGENT OF THE INITIATIVE #1 (of 5) Written by KATHRYN IMMONENPenciled by DAVID LAFUENTECover by STUART IMMONENPatsy Walker, S.H.I.E.L.D. wants YOU to join the Initiative…and protect the frozen north. You heard me right, sister. The Klondike. Seward’s Folly. Alaska. So pack some long johns and prepare for trouble. GUEST-STARRING: IRON MAN!32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: The sad part… I like Hellcat as a character. Now that she’s inducted in Justice League Antartica, I’m crushed. Wait! Wait! Wait! My mistake! She’s part of Avengers Alaska. Oh that’s completely different.
Jim: It is sad, because I have always liked her character also and this is just a premise that does not have me excited.

OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN #10 (of 10) Written by JONATHAN LETHEM & KARL RUSNAKPencils & Cover by FAREL DALRYMPLE & PAUL HORNSCHEMEIERNothing -- not The Mink, not The Nowhere Man, not hordes of zombified robots or robotified zombies, not even poisoned hamburgers -- can possibly stop Omega The Unknown from concluding his story in this tenth issue of this precedent-smashing miniseries. Learn the final fates of Alex, Amanda, Fenton and their friends -- as well as the answer to this question: if one of Manhattan's costumed defenders perishes, can anyone take his place?32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: YAHHHOOOOO It’s over. Come on big shiney hardcover. No whammy! No whammy! Shiney Hardcover.
Jim: I’m passing on the hard cover. Geez Lee is picking all sorts of books for limited at best reasons. Not enough new stuff I guess.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #16 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPenciled by KHOI PHAMCover by MARKO DJURDJEVICSECRET INVASION TIE-IN!ELEKTRA IS A SKRULL!! Words that have echoed through Marvel Comics for the last two years. But how did this happen and for how long has this been true? THE ANSWER IS HERE! Hint! She went down swinging. Plus the answer to the biggest question in modern Avengers history...32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Yeah yeah yeah it’s another “classic” skrull cover. Maybe someone should have told the editor that the original cover was in DAREDEVIL YOU FRIGGIN’ IDIOT. And not the Avengers.
Jim: That’s okay as the book is probably not about the Avengers at all. I’m seeing Secret Invasion as the actual Avengers book and like with WW Hulk, the regular titles become support or background stories.

THUNDERBOLTS #122 Written by CHRISTOS GAGEPenciled by Fernando BlancoCover by BILLY TANSECRET INVASION strikes Thunderbolts Mountain as Captain Marvel attacks! But when you're dealing with the Thunderbolts, it's never quite clear who's the villain and who's the hero...Also, another unexpected visitor shows up, threatening to tear the T-Bolts apart from within! Can Norman Osborn hold his team of damaged psyches and tortured souls together, or is this the end of the Thunderbolts as we know them? Part 1 of 4.32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Sooooo does this mean Gage is the new writer? That’s cool if it does because I really like his stuff but it’s odd that Ellis is gone and no hype on new writer or direction.
Jim: Yes he is the new writer. Also it is hard to hype Gage after Ellis.

NEW WARRIORS #14 Written by KEVIN GREVIOUXPenciled by KOI TURNBULLCover by NIC KLEINSkrulls. Shape-changing aliens who have invaded Earth. Impersonating and replacing your friends and family. Maybe even taking the place of a brother. When an army of Skrulls arrives in Manhattan, Donyell Taylor asks: Was the Night Thrasher who died in Stamford, Connecticut really his brother? Or could it have been a Skrull? Desperate to find out if his brother is alive, Donyell rushes off to investigate. Little does he know, some familiar faces might be launching an investigation of their own. One that puts them on a collision course with their former teammate. From the pages of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE, enter: Counter Force!32 PGS…$2.99
Lee: Again with the Skrull cover FROM THE X-MEN!!! Not that New Warriors had any truly classic covers but still. And, the New Warriors was about superheroes and Marvel Editorial turned into a second rate X book full of mutants (or former mutants). What a load of crap that doesn’t do justice to the original series.
Jim: OMG – how many random books are you going to pick this month.

SQUADRON SUPREME 2 #1 Written by HOWARD CHAYKINPenciled by MARCO TURINICover by GREG LAND“POWER TO THE PEOPLE” PART 1 (OF 6)They were gods walking the Earth… powerful but flawed, they dreamed of remaking the world in their image. After their apocalyptic battle with Redstone, and after their terrifying fight with the Ultimate Universe, that dream has become a nightmare. While mankind struggles to rebuild, new heroes appear -- and Nick Fury, left behind after the hit ULTIMATE POWER limited series, learns the shocking secrets of four astronauts who returned to Earth…changed. Join comics legend HOWARD CHAYKIN and newcomer MARCO TURINI to ask the question -- whatever happened to the Squadron Supreme?32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Wow. I really have no idea what to make of this. Marvel almost succeeded in killing the franchise with the ill conceived Ultimate Power debacle. Chaykin’s been hit/miss lately but I like him and I like the characters but this feels like a last gasp to me.
Jim: I just want to know if they are ever going to finish the story JMS started and left hanging with no resolution when Gary Frank left the book.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #25 Written by WARREN ELLISPencils & Wraparound Cover by SIMONE BIANCHIIt’s the book you’ve been waiting for. The superstar team of Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi are ready to take the X-Men to the “Second Stage”! “Messiah CompleX” pulled the X-Men team together, “Divided We Stand” tore them apart. Now the X-Men are back to business -- with a new look, a new base of operations, and a mystery to solve that will take them into previously uncharted territory and test them to their core!SFX TIE-IN 32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: OOOOHHHH, I see. Ellis can’t finish NewUniversal or Thunderbolts but he’s got time for this. I love his writing but would it kill the man to focus on one thing for more than 10 minutes?
Jim: He has stated that 12 issues of a company project is all he cares to do as he wants to put most of his effort into creator owned material. In other words I have two good ideas for each series, like the steady money and benefits, but still hoping to get rich somewhere else. He does seem to work non-stop.

UNCANNY X-MEN #500 Written by ED BRUBAKER & MATT FRACTIONPenciled by GREG LAND & TERRY DODSON50/50 Wraparound Cover by ALEX ROSS50/50 Wraparound Cover by GREG LAND Variant Cover by MICHAEL TURNERVariant Cover by TERRY DODSON “SFX”, PART 1!Sentinels? What? And Magneto? And is that the Master Mold? What the hell is going on in San Francisco now that the Uncanny X-Men have relocated there? They’ve got a new Headquarters and a new status quo as the gauntlet is thrown for a new era of mutantkind. It’s all here in the double-sized anniversary issue that sets up the plotlines that will be developed over the next year in UNCANNY. And it’s all brought to you by the hot writing team of Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction (Immortal Iron Fist) and fan favorite artists Greg Land (ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY) and Terry Dodson (SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT, Wonder Woman). New creators, new home. The future begins now.48 PGS …$3.99
Lee: Four different covers for another “New creators, new home. The future begins now” event. Didn’t we just go through this last year when Brubaker started writing X-men???? And, with all the covers it’s good to see we all learned something from the speculation wave of the 90’s.
Jim: Yeah, back then it was five covers, we have done to four now! This series has not been going anywhere since Morrison left the book.

X-FACTOR #33 Written by PETER DAVIDPencils by LARRY STROMANCover by BOO COOKSecret Invasion tie-in! A She-Hulk crossover! Darwin and Longshot show up! New cover artist, Boo Cook! New interior artist, Larry Stroman! And...oh yeah...X-Factor's new digs! What do we have to do, put it in your hands ourselves?!32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Jim: I love X-Factor, but this solicitation reads like a jump the shark issue. Larry Stroman was never my favorite artist. Secret Invasion tie-in after it was just screwed up with Messiah Complex and Longshot who just is so eighties it is insane. I feel my love for this book turning to disdain.
Lee: You don’t give PAD enough credit. He survived all the other silliness imposed upon him he will survive this. Just a bump in the road as they say!

CABLE #5 Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKIPencils & Cover by ARIEL OLIVETTIVariant Cover by MARC SILVESTRIThe war that started in “Messiah CompleX” continues here! Hang on to your Bjorn-straps, people: Here it is, the can’t-miss conclusion to “War Baby”! Both Cable and Bishop have crossed lines they thought they’d never cross. There’s no going back now. And in the disaster-ravaged streets of a near-future Manhattan, it all comes down to which X-Man wants to accomplish his objective more. The gloves are off…the guns are loaded…and nobody’s going to walk out of this one unscathed…including the baby!32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: Check it out a steel trap baby carrier. That’s much safer!!
Jim: Great they use the threat of injury to a baby to hype their book.

X-MEN: ODD MEN OUT ONE-SHOT Written by ROGER STERN & MICHAEL HIGGINSPenciled by DAVE COCKRUMCover by ERIC NGUYENFeaturing two never-before-seen stories illustrated by the late, legendary Dave Cockrum. First up, relive the history of theX-Men, as recounted by Professor X and his old friend, former FBI Agent Fred Duncan. Then, the New Mutants - Rictor, Boom Boom, Cannonball, Rusty, Skids, Sunspot and Wolvesbane - face off against the Mad Thinker.48 PGS …$3.99
Lee: It’s cool that Cockrum stories are coming out but I wonder if these aren’t filler left over from the days when books were actually monthly. But, some Cockrum is better than none.
Jim: Eh, there was a good reason we never saw them before.

FOOLKILLER: SHORT TIME #1 (of 5) Written by GREGG HURWITZPenciled by PAUL AZACETACover by TOMM COKER“SHORT TIME,” PART 1Los Angeles. The City of Angels. For a town that thinks it's pretty, there's plenty of ugly to go around. That's where the Foolkiller comes in -- taking a scalpel to warts, expurgating the cancer that grows in society's gut. When an ex-con named Darius Goode is brutally murdered just two days out of Lompoc, it barely makes the police blotter. But when signs point to Goode being the latest victim of the clandestine hate-crime organization known as the White Angels, the Foolkiller has to get involved. Thus begins a bloody search that takes him from the Hollywood Hills to the city’s back alleys and eventually across the path of the one vigilante whose legend exceeds even his own. Yep, him.32 PGS …$3.99
Lee: Was the first series so good that it demanded another? That’s certainly not the impression that I got.
Jim: Waste of Paul Azaceta’s talents.

280 PGS./All Ages …$59.99
Lee: The 99th and 100th Masterwork.
Jim: Now I can stop collecting every single one and be more selective.

Lee: Very odd. There’s no HC for this. Marvel hc’s everything else. Why not this?
Jim: Did you miss it? If there is not one that would be odd. Maybe JMS leaving made them snub it. (Lee Missed it a HC was released).
Lee: OOOOHHHH. Beautiful art that shot Adams to superstardom. But the writing??? I can’t quite remember how bad it was.
Jim: Pass, pretty, but that is all.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: OPERATION REBIRTH (NEW PRINTING) TPB Written by MARK WAIDPenciled by RON GARNEY & PINO RINALDIThe world again believes Captain America dead, but his life is saved by one he himself thought lost forever: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter, the gallant girlfriend he saw perish in flames long before! But his one-time true love has only rescued him on behalf of his deadliest enemy, the Red Skull, who can't conquer the world until he and Cap stop Adolf Hitler and the Cosmic Cube from doing it first! Will working with one evil against another cost Cap his place as the U.S.A.'s premier protector? Guest-starring the Avengers and Doctor Doom!
Lee: I remember this being one of the better Cap relauches. Waid is such a good writer and Garney is great I might just pick this up for nostalgia.
Jim: I have the first 25 issues that I have to read and I’m looking forward to it, Waid and Garney are top talents.

Lee: Now this is Classic material. Some of the best art ever and good bronze age stories. Hopefully they stop here because the Invaders got bad… really bad after these issues.
Jim: This is the last issue I’m buying as Lee is right.

ESSENTIAL DEFENDERS VOL. 4 TPB Written by DAVID KRAFT, ED HANNIGAN, JIM SHOOTER, MARY JO DUFFY, STEVEN GRANT & MARK GRUENWALDPenciled by ED HANNIGAN, BOB LUBBERS, SAL BUSCEMA, JIM MOONEY, DON PERLIN, BRUCE D. PATTERSON, HERB TRIMPE, JACK ABEL, JOE SINNOTT, TEX BLAISDELL & PABLO MARCOSHavok, Nova, Captain Ultra...Shocker, Plantman, Batroc the Leaper - not the Defenders, but TWO incredible simulations! But the debacle of the dozens of "Defenders for a Day" is just the start for the latest look at Earth's Mightiest Non-Team! Will they be driven mad by Lunatik, or blown away by Foolkiller? International crises and extradimensional warfare abound! The secret of Omega the Unknown! Asgardians, androids and guys with wings on their heads! Plus: Spider-Man, the Black Panther and a guest-appearance by Millie the Model!
Collecting DEFENDERS #61-91.
Lee: WOW. They really will reprint anything these days. Mid range Defenders… eeeeewwwww. And I’m a Marvel Zombie and I say that. Only for the completist.
Jim: Tough stuff to read, follow or care about.

Lee: All’n’all not a bad month. Then again maybe the previous months were soooo bad that this is automatically better. Did you notice, no “The Twelve” this month! I hope we’re not in for a long delay on that one.
Jim: Still way too many Secret Invasion tie-ins, but seeing the 100th Masterwork makes it all worthwhile. Finally Lee pick way too many random books from Marvel.

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