Thanks to Gwen and Lee for filling in over the week-end. I'm actually away now as this (and Tuesday) is posting and nowhere near a computer, but they allowed me to get my normal columns for Monday and Tuesady complete before I went away for a one month delayed 4 year aniversary trip with my wife.
This weeks list is more what I expect with a four week month and I really have to reconsider a few titles as time goes on as with the price of gas at almost $4 a gallon and raising food costs, my amount of disposable income is being reduced. Of course I have reduced the number of new mini-series that I’m getting and will continue to drop books that don’t impress almost from the jump so that has helped to keep things more in control for me. It is important to me that I keep trying a lot of independents as I find so many gems in that material. This week’s market share report DC 46% (18 items), Independents 36% (14 items) and Marvel 18% (7 items).
That brings me to a question I want to try and explore over time. Is Diamond the ruination of many small press publishers?
Batman and the Outsiders #7 – DC has sucked me into remaining on this title as it promises to tie into the Batman RIP story line. This book is one of a series of launches that DC has dropped the ball on and while it has gotten better it was not a compelling read. I was about to drop this book, but will now hang on a little longer.
Birds of Prey #118 – New (old fill-in) writer Tony Bedard comes back to this book as the regular writer. I have enjoyed his fill-in run before and look forward to his longer term take on this book. Over the course of it’s 100 plus issues this title has almost always been a solid read and highly entertaining.
Brave and Bold #13 – I believe we have a short arc by Mark Waid, then Marv Wolfman for a couple issues and then J. Michael Straczynski comes on as writer. Hate to see Waid leave this book but his day job as Editor in Chief of BOOM Studios does not leave a lot of time for him to be writing many other books. Although I did see he is writing a three part Amazing Spider-Man arc, but outside of that I think his day job is keeping him busy.
Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #1 (of 6) – I’m going in with limited expectations and have almost avoided really reading too much about it because so many of the Wildstorm projects have crashed and burnt lately, but the art is certainly good looking, so we will see.
Catwoman #79 – Selina is home finally and apparently not all is well in her world. Of course when she was captured a bad guy was in the process of taking everything she owned away from her. I also heard this book is being cancelled, which is a shame as I always enjoy every issue of this book.
Checkmate #26 – This will be a telling issue on this book as Checkmate, while a DCU book and a concept in the DCU before Rucka, he had remade into his vision and I’m curious to see if the next writer will be up to the task of making this unique series work.
Countdown to Mystery #8 (of 8) – The end of the Eclipso sage should be interesting and I’m guessing plays into Final Crisis or at least Revelation mini-series. The big reason for me to be curious about this book is to see how Steve Gerber’s friends ended the Dr. Fate series. I hear it is a couple of different endings, but a nice tribute to the late Steve Gerber.
DC/Wildstorm Dreamwar #2 (of 6) – The first issue was so well done and just flat out beautiful art work, that I can’t wait for this issue. This looks to be a fun romp with the Authority and other Wildstorm groups facing off against the DCU groups from different eras.
Flash #240 – I have to say this and it feels sacreligious to even say this, but Tom Peyer’s first arc on Wally West has been better then Mark Waid’s initial run on this volume of the Flash. DC is still struggling to make this book back into the franchise book it once was, but I think it now has a lot of potential in it again.
Hellblazer #244 – Last issue was so cool as we saw John Constantine just manipulate the heck out of the Vatican priest to get what he wanted. You know that John’s plans can never go that smoothly so I’m expecting that this issue we see some of his plan fall apart. This is a top flight series again under the pen of Andy Diggle.
Justice League of America #21 – This issue should be an important prelude to Final Crisis as we meet Libra again. I’m glad I got the reprint of his first and I believe only appearance as it helps to give me a little background on this character. He absorbed a portion of the power of a galaxy and then become part of it, so he has potential to be as powerful as they want to make him.
Justice Society of America #15 – Last issue ended with Gog kicking the crap out of almost everyone and the Alan Scott and his son showed up with Alan looking like the Kingdom Come version of himself. This is one of my favorite DC series because of the characters, Johns’ writing and Eaglesham as the main artist.
Loveless #24 – This is the end of this unusual series. I’m not sure what to make of this entire series, but I know that on an emotional level this book had an edge to it like few others. The last few one shot stories jumping around in time have been the best books in the series. Hate to see it end, but I understand why it lost its readership as the story telling was too obtuse.
Robin #174 – I’m getting anxious to see what is what with the Spoiler being back. I have no problem if it is Stephanie as her character was so short lived, that I thought killing her off when they did was nonsensical. Either way the head games this will play with Tim will certainly be interesting.
Scalped #17 – This is the final chapter in the “Dead Mothers” story line. This has been the best arc in a series that is one of the best series out there. Scalped is an excellent “film noir” type of comic as well as just a great human interest story. Dash Bad Horse is one of the more conflicted good guys we have seen.
Spirit #17 – I’m slowly adjusting to this take on the Spirit and I think this issue will be my deciding factor as to embrace the more light hearted approach or to abandon ship on this title and move on.
Superman / Batman #48 – The Kryptonite story arc has been the best this series has ever been. I know the sales are not as high as they used to be, but the story and art is great. The goal has been to rid the world of all kryptonite and the last batch was being held by the US government. Last issue we saw a Doomsday creature with kryptonite for bone coming after Superman. This should be a good issue.
Tangent Superman’s Reign #3 (of 12) – I know we have a lot of dystopian type views of the world out there, but I usually enjoy those settings as it makes it harder for the hero. Plus this is only DC book that is taking advantage of the multiple Earths that exist in the DCU today. So far this has been a well done series and I hope it continues as well as it has started.
Dynamo 5 #13 – If you like group books and ever loved the Fantastic Four and you are not reading this comic, you are making a mistake. This maybe the best super hero group book on the market. I’m really enjoying watching this group grow up together and learn more and more about the father they have in common.
Gutwrencher #3 (of 3) – This is the conclusion to the worst high school reunion ever. I mean really having your high school reunion after party smashed up by a homicidal maniac who is an ex-school mate now inhabited by some ancient mummy. This is not a good time.
Madame Mirage #6 (of 6) – This is the end of what is being called Season One. A cute way of labeling what they hope to be a series of mini-series. The next time (if there is one) they better make sure more of the book is actually completed as the lag time between issues has been problematic. The story of how one sister is using technology to go after the people who killed her sister has been a good one.
Pilot Season Twilight Guardian – I have avoided all of these pilot books but the premise for this one looks intriguing. I’m going in with almost a blank slate as far as expectations, but still want to see what this take on a local hero is all about.
End League #3 – This book is hurting due to the bi-monthly schedule, dense story and my inability to remember from issue to issue what is going on with all the characters. At this point it is my least favorite title by Rick Remender.
Grendel Behold the Devil #7 (of 8) – This is Grendel week for me with the penultimate chapter in the new story featuring Hunter Rose and two hard cover presentations of the series. I have enjoyed this series, but realistically I should have skipped it and waited for the hard cover collection which is inevitable.
Grendel Devil Child HC – This is just a miniscule little 56 page hard cover that tells the tale of Stacy Palumbo, Hunter Rose’s adopted daughter and her role in passing on the Grendel legacy to her daughter Christine Spar. Written by Diane Schutz and art by Tim Sale. I wish instead of doing every little Grendel story as a hard cover they would be larger collections and get the whole saga out quicker.
Grendel Devil Quest HC – This is another miniscule hard cover of a whopping 64 pages. See these two books could have been easily combined. This story is about the Cyborg Grendel and is by Matt Wagner.
Pigeons from Hell #2 (of 4) – Loved the first issue and I really love the title of this mini-series. Joe Lansdale is adopting a Robert E. Howard horror story about an inherited plantation going to the grand daughters of a slave who worked there. Very creepy and issue one was enjoyable.
1001 Arabian Nights Adventures of Sinbad #1 – This is Zenoscope’s latest offering and possible one of the longest series titles in comic book history. The zero issue showed how Sinbad ended up with this crew and now we are off to their first adventure together as a group. In some ways it is like a super hero group as each crew member has some gimmick or ability.
Dead She Said #1 (of 3) - Obviously a play on words from Murder She Wrote, but with Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson as artist and writer you can bet your bottom dollar this is not about some little old lady. IDW has a real winner with Locke & Key, with the talent on this series they may have another one. Nice to see Berni doing a fair amount of comic book work again, I love his art.
Fall of Cthulhu #12 – Last issue was very well done as the girl roams into town and starts telling everyone how they are going to die and they start to die. This series is so well done and if you like horror books you really should pick this book up.
Golden Age Sheena Queen of the Jungle Trade – I will probably never get anymore of this material, but my curiosity got the better of me and I ordered this collection. It is cool to see all sorts of publishers get into the act of reprinting some of the old material.
Terry Moore’s Echo #3 – What a great series this has been already. It really is pushing me to get the Stranger’s in Paradise series, if I wasn’t so far behind in all of my other reading I would be getting it. We are still learning with Julia want is going on with her and the woman they send after her is going to test her very soon.
Captain America #38 – So Steve Rogers is possibly dead and this issue we have a Captain America running around, we have one in Secret Invasion and Steve Rogers is back via time travel in Avengers/Invaders. For a dead guy he is getting around. This series is a good read, but the pace is tortuously slow.
Ghost Rider #23 – I’m still in shock that I look forward to a Ghost Rider series. Between this series and Booster Gold I have two really surprise reads on my pull list now days. Jason Aaron turned this book around in one issue, that is great writing.
Iron Man Director of Shield #29 – I should probably drop this book, but I thought I would give the fill-in writer one issue to see if he has a story I want to read. Amazing how much I loved the movie and it has not transferred any change of opinion in the comic, nor should it.
Mighty Avengers #14 – The Mighty Nick Fury series continues as we see a new group of Howling Commandoes. I’m starting to get a little worried with where Bendis is taking the Nick Fury stuff, can we get Greg Rucka in to write a Nick Fury series?
Marvel Masterworks Volume 96 – Thor – The seventh collection of Lee/Kirby’s Thor. This material is impossible for me to pass up, plus I’m committed to having the first 100 Masterworks before I start to miss one, but this is a no-brainer.
War is Hell First Flight Phantom Eagle #3 (of 5) – I have no clue why they decided to even include the Phantom Eagle title in this book as it has never been referred to in the comic. I wonder if this was a commissioned story to maintain copyright on the name and a hope that this will be a trade that can sell for a long time in book stores. So far it has been entertaining as Ennis’ and war comics are an automatic well written book.
X-Factor #31 – I’m slowly falling out of love with this title. All the cross-over stuff and forced story lines that have been fostered on this book have hurt the title. I have read that we are adding Longshot and maybe She-Hulk to the group. I’m almost ready to drop it just as I type that.
So this week is a little frightening as it contains three hard covers, but since the Grendel books are only $15 each it really is not as bad as it looks. All in all it looks to be another good week for comic book reading, but I do not think it will match last week.