Monday, May 05, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

May, is it May already? Of course with always doing the Preview Reviews and looking ahead that way, this form of looking ahead is at least just days away and not months. We are back to a four Wednesday month and that means I doubt I will see any week under 30 different items total, hopefully we will stay under 40 for most weeks. I’m not sure if I every hit a 50 week, but this week is fine at a total of 35. The market share report is DC 54% (19 items), Independents 23% (8 items) and Marvel in a rare second place tie 23% (8 items).

Action Comics Annual #11 – One of the latest books ever and at this point I’m not even sure that I really care about this story. We have already moved so far forward in time with continuity that Chris Kent has had a red sun watch to control his powers, had a bad reaction from it and had it taken off. He has hung out with Clark and Lois and is essentially the son that Superman and Lois can’t have. I do not care that Planetary 27 is years in the making or that All Star Batman and Superman come out whenever they come out. Thise books do not interfere with the flow of any other story and they are all in their own continuity. This is just flat out ridiculous and any excitement or “buzz” that the Kuberts brought with them to DC has been killed by their inability to deliver any pages on a consistent basis. I find the whole thing to be unprofessional and while I enjoy their art as a fan I want a better understanding of what happened to this deal.

Atom #23 – Rick Remender has taken a good book and made it better. This first adventure is so crazy and so energetic that I find myself looking forward to the Atom more then before and I thought Gail Simone did a really nice job on the book. This sub atomic adventure and fighting the Genesis bug is a great idea for an Atom adventure.

Countdown to Mystery #7 (of 8) – I can’t help but feel a little sadden about this book, because I believe it is the last comic book work of Steve Gerber. Steve was a unique voice in the industry and a very strong and dynamic voice for creator’s rights. I think I would have disagreed with Steve on many different things, but also believe he would have been a great person to talk to. I almost think it would have been better to give this issue over to the last two chapters of Eclipso and then make issue 8 dedicated to Steve and show his last work and the endings his friends came up with. I hope Dr. Fate continues on and is given a shot as I think Steve has created an interesting heir to the mantle of Dr. Fate.

Crossing Midnight #18 – This is the penultimate issue of this series. I hate that we are loosing this series, but if you check out the sales numbers on this book it appears that myself and a small group of fans are the only ones reading Mike Carey’s best work. I wander if it is maddening to a writer to know that he can write something this well and it not sell, but if he writes X-Men Legacy he is a best selling comic writer. I love super hero books too, but why is it so many fans seem to be super hero only fans?

DC Universe Special Justice League of America – I enjoy the fact that DC is republishing this obscure story that features Libra, so when Final Crisis hits we have some back story on the character. Of course Grant Morrison loves taking forgotten characters and revamping them and updating them and making them more vibrant for today’s books. He did some great work with Seven Soldiers that unfortunately has lain dormant.

Detective Comics #844 – I love the Batman and Zatanna relationship that Paul Dini’s has brought into regular DC continuity. I like it so much that I could see Batman and “Z” ending up together. This issue is the conclusion to the 2 part story about the new Ventriloquist.

Exterminators #29 – This is also a penultimate issue of a series. Vertigo has had to shed the low selling titles and move on. This series I’m okay with ending as the story was rambling around and needed to get to the end point of the story they essentially started in issue #1, but appeared they may never end. Still a very good series and I would recommend getting the trades. Love the cover for this issue.

House of Mystery #1 – Just so we don’t think Vertigo is disappearing they are launching some new and what look to be exciting series and this is the first of those. House of Mystery has had a five page preview in the back of other titles, but I still don’t have a clear handle on what this series will be and have purposely avoided reading much about it, so I can go in clean. With Matthew Struges and Bill Willingham as writers that is all I need to try out the first issue.

Infinity Inc #9 – This book has to be doomed because it felt like a Vertigo super hero book in the midst of the DCU and has not been marketed very heavily. Last issue the group finally came together and with Pete Woods onboard as artist it all came together a lot better then the opening arc did. Still waiting to issue #8 to really kick the book in gear is asking a lot of you audience.

Aztek the Ultimate Man TP – This was a little series that lasted all of 10 issues and was written by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. It was an odd series and my recollection of it is very hazy, so I’m curious to read it again. I wonder why this trade is being released at this time, is he showing up in Final Crisis? I know who died, but so what.

Jonah Hex #31 – Always enjoy seeing this book on the list for Wednesday and this issue it is worth the price of admission just for the cover. Richard Coben drawing a picture of Jonah Hex, it is a natural. Gray and Palmiotti have a great formula for this book to just write good one issue stories and they get a lot of different artist to come in and draw it.

Metal Men #8 (of 8) – The ending to what has been one heck of a hard read, yet a strangely compelling and entertaining book. Duncan Rouleau as artist and writer has overwritten this story and told it in such a non-linear fashion as to make Memento seem like a straight forward story. I’m really considering buying the trade to read it in one or two sittings because I think there is a good story buried in there.

Midnighter #19 – I was almost off of this book until this story line. Giffen finally hit on a good story with Assassin 8 stealing Midnighter’s genetic code and going after the Authority. Lee Garbett on art does not hurt and Lee has become a fast rising star in my book.

Nightwing #144 – The League of Assassins is floating around in this book, but last issue we saw it was not Ras or Talia involved, but an old enemy of the first Black Condor. This series is now back to being a good rock solid super hero book and perhaps the best book to show how a hero would operate in a high tech world with other super heroes. It always seems “realistic” the way Dick works with many different heroes almost every issue.

Question Volume 2 TP – The reprinting of the great series done by Dennis O’Neil and Denys Cowan. This series had such a unique vibe to it and was the definitive version of the character for the DCU (as he had originally been a Charlton Comics character). If you never read it start getting these trades.

Rann Thanagar Holy War #1 (of 8)- I can’t really believe that sales have warranted revisiting this cluster f***. I blame the Rann Thanagar War before Infinite Crisis for screwing up Hawkman after Geoff Johns’ had finally fixed the character. The only reason I’m even trying this book out is because Jim Starlin is writing it.

Supergirl #29 – No one wants to believe me, but I think this book has finally turned the corner and is a good series. The story line is a good one and the last two or three issues have actually made sense. Granted the book had pounded my expectations into the ground, but I have enjoyed this arc and have hope it has finally found a direction.

Tor #1 (of 6) – Joe Kubert is back writing and drawing this series about his character Tor. Think Tarzan with dinosaurs and you have the basic premise, but Joe is exploring a lot more then just a pure adventure book this time around as his last Sgt. Rock story told a lot more then just a war story. This is a book that is not to be missed, by a true master of the craft.

War that Time Forget #1 (of 12) – I love the concept “A lone USAF pilot, about to warn his superiors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, finds his craft suddenly crash-landing on a mysterious island populated with prehistoric creatures and soldiers of wars of the past, present and future — including Tomahawk, Firehair, and Hans Von Hammer, the Enemy Ace! What bizarre force has compelled these military masters of every era to inhabit the same strange territory? Can they survive without killing each other or being devoured by dinosaurs?” My main concern is that I think Bruce Jones is a good writer, but he has not hit one out of the park in awhile.

Avengers/Invaders #1 (of 12) – Since Marvel tied the independents I thought I would give them second billing this week. This series is the second one about time lost heroes and I wander if the comparison against a top notch book like the Twelve will hurt it or is it different enough not to matter. Still I think Marvel should have held this series back until The Twelve had concluded.

Logan #3 (of 3) – This has been a nice little mini-series so far and I appreciate that the story is done in 3 issues as the story does not need any more room then that.If it was longer it would have been padding. Of course my favorite part about this series is seeing Eduardo Rizzo draw Wolverine.

Mighty Avengers #13 – This issue we get more with Nick Fury and get to see what his plan is to fight back against the Invasion. Like the Incredible Hulk becoming the Incredible Hercules after it was a supporting title of the mini-series will this become the “Mighty Nick Fury?” I’d be more likely to continue on it after Secret Invasion then I will want to continue on Mighty Avengers.

Nova #13 – Finally Nova gets to be its own series again and not a supporting book for Annihilation Conquest. I want this book to be within its own little corner of the MU and not be worried about other books. Of Course this issue Nova is running into Galactus, nothing like making it easy on him.

Secret Invasion #2 (of 8) – With the first issue and the two back stories in the Avengers' books Bendis has me positive about this series. It could be a lot of fun. The idea that you don’t know who is who and who can you trust can make for some great action/adventure moments. Again my big concern is screwing with the past continuity and invalidating stories that as a fan I have a vested interest in.

Thunderbolts Reason in Madness One Shot – I don’t know I’m starting to sour on this series. It was all exciting and cool when Ellis and Deodato turned the book on its head, then the delays between issues, the endless one shots and now Gage is talking over the series. It has floundered right out of the gate and in Secret Invasion their headquarters were blown sky high. Gage is a very good writer, so I’ll hang on, but at least please start to publish the series monthly again.

X-Factor Quick and the Dead One Shot – This is a story about Quicksilver, whom David Hine turned into a more interesting almost villain, then he ever was as a hero. Peter David has taken what Mr. Hine did to Pietro and has built on it from there and this issue is a spotlight issue on Quicksilver and one I’m looking forward to reading.

Young X-Men #2 – Last issue was interesting enough to bring me back for round 2 and then new Hellfire Club is intriguing as it appears to be some of the original New Mutants. The why of them being in the Club is of interest to me. It is funny but the only time I have felt 100% comfortable with reading the X-Men in many years is Grant Morrison’s run as he was not constantly bringing in some obscure characters from here and there in X-history.

Dynamo 5 Annual #1 – Not sure why we need an Annual, but since I enjoy the group a lot an extra size issue is no problem. Of course this book has not maintained a monthly schedule so it not like the Annual is an extra issue of the group. In other words I’m not sure what purpose an annual serves with this series.

Gemini #1 (of 5) – Jay Faeber has done so well with Dynamo 5 and now getting me into Noble Causes that trying a series where he is the writer is a no brainer. Faeber and Kirkman are doing so great stuff in creating their own little universes and a lot of their super hero books are better then many of the big two’s books.

Abe Sapien the Drowning #4 (of 5) – I picked up Queen and Country Volume 2 recently and Jason Alexander was the artist on that book and it had the potential to be great, but it was nowhere near this work. Not only is the story good, but the art has been outstanding which has made this series another gem for the Mignolverse.

Batman/Grendel Limited Edition Hardcover- I believe the price point on this baby is $100 for only 216 pages that collects both Batman/Grendel mini-series. Still I love the Grendel material and Matt Wagner’s work so I pulled the trigger and ordered this book long ago.

Classic Comic Book Characters #10 Goon – I have the Grendel figure and I also ordered the Goon figure. They are a different type of collectible, but in my mind both are well suited for this type of figurine.

Conan #50 – The last issue of this series and then it gets re-launched as we move into another phase of Conan’s life, that of a mercenary. In this story line we see that Conan is now more of the fighter and less of a thief, but starting up the series again to mark that event is fine by me. This has been a good series that has gotten a little off track due to creator changes, but now appears to be back on track and has read and looked great the last two issues.

Big Badz #1 (of 4) – One of my favorite action/adventure writers and a true professional Chuck Dixon has a Werewolf series coming out of Platinum Studios. In many ways if I ever got into writing comics he would be the person I would want to model myself after as he always seems to be working and has projects going everywhere. Almost always delivers a top notch and entertaining book.

Foundation #5 (of 5) – The ending of what has been an excellent series. A strong concept, a fantastic story and solid art have added up to another series from BOOM that may end up as a trade paperback on my shelf.

This looks to be a great week for comics with some high profile books hitting the stands, some long lost projects being published and a few new series getting started. What other forms of entertainment deliver so many different options each and every week. You have to love this stuff. Personally after DCU #0 and seeing how well Secret Invasion has started I’m hopeful my trepidation about two more mega events is unfounded. Of course I have learned to not bother with the ancillary projects unless I think they have merit.

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