June begins and we are back to a more normalized cycle with a four week month, the big events in full swing and DC’s newest weekly is starting up. As much as I hated Countdown, I believe Trinity has a chance to be a really good book. I have decided to go with a lot of the official hype for each one of the books as there is no sense in re-inventing the wheel. I will add a comment or two on occasion and reserve my prerogative to shorten the hype or skip it all together.
Atom #24 – This book has become one of the best series coming out of DC. Rememder has really made this into a great adventure of the wild and wondrous. The hype “As The Atom fights the reprehensible Worm, past and future become entangled, hurling The Mighty Mite into a dismal universe dominated by the twisted new Chronos. And what is Ryan Choi's real connection to Ray Palmer? The truth will leave the fate of the world on the shoulders of The Atom! Guest starring Booster Gold!”
Detective Comics #845 – The last issue before this book starts to tie-in into “RIP”. The official word “A killer stalks the city, taxing the wits of Batman, the Riddler and every other detective in Gotham. The Dark Knight's quest to unravel the truth behind the seemingly unrelated murders is complicated by the surprise return of a fan-favorite character. What sinister secret lies at the bottom of the gruesome murders plaguing Gotham City?”
House of Mystery #2 – This series looks like it could be the next big thing from Vertigo. The first issue was excellent and this issue sounds great also. The hype “Meet feisty, young, almost-architect Fig Keele, who just happens to be running for her life. Unfortunately for Fig, she's ended up in the House of Mystery, a strange place like something out of her nightmares, where the bizarre inhabitants tending bar demand stories from visiting patrons to cover their tabs. And one of the customers tells such a tale — detailing the life of a supernatural process server who discovers an undersea kingdom — illustrated by multiple Eisner Award-winner Jill Thompson”
Infinity Inc. #10 – This series has me interested. I like the fact that all the people Luthor screwed with are starting to develop powers even after he turned them off. Pete Woods as artist is also a big plus. The company line “It's an issue of revelations, as the Bogeyman's identity is exposed, Mercy proves something to herself and the team, but at a horrible cost, and the man behind the anti-Infinity Inc. movement stands revealed. But is he merely a guy with a bone to pick, or much, much more? The newly-suited Infinity Inc.'s first mission concludes — for better or worse.”
Jonah Hex #32 – Jordi Bernet seems to draw every third issue or so of this book and that is a heck of a treat. I love this series and hope it never ends; it is the best western on the shelves and an excellent series period. The hype “Jonah Hex travels to Mexico just in time for the Dia De Los Muertos celebration, and is hired by a spurned husband seeking revenge on the man who stole his wife's heart. But Hex will have to tread carefully, or he will face the wrath of...the Matador!”
Justice Society of America #16 – Wow, we are getting two issues of this series in a very short time frame. The company hype “The beginning of the end of the ever-growing Justice Society starts with a new storyline! In the first chapter of "Gog," meet Earth's future savior — the one, true Gog — as he offers the Justice Society of America something many of the members can't refuse. But the controversial goodwill threatens to splinter the team, and it's up to Alan, Jay and Wildcat to hold it together.”
Manhunter #31 – If ever a book deserved a re-launch with a new #1, this series is it. This book has proved to have more lives that a cat, as it has struggled to remain above the cancellation line all the time. I think this has been a good series and I hope it makes it for at least another 2 years. DC says “Los Angeles is Manhunter's town — so when Kate Spencer learns of the disappearance of hundreds of women along the Mexican border, she's on the case both as law-breaking D.A. and costumed vigilante. Meanwhile, Kate's bloodline tie to the JSA returns to haunt her — and it looks like her sidekick's most notorious super-villain ex-boss is doing the same to him.”
Midnighter #20 – The final issue in this series that started on a high note and ended on a high note, but the middle guaranteed its cancellation. The word “Assassin8 has managed to take out almost all of the Authority. The only thing standing between him and complete victory is the Midnighter — and Midnighter wants serious revenge!“
Nightwing #145 – If there were awards for most improved series this book would win. This is now just a top notch series from DC. The hype “As the stakes get higher, Nightwing finds not only his own life in danger, but quite possibly the future of the entire country. Talia's grand new plans take shape thanks to the forced assistance of a kidnapped Mother of Champions now under Creighton's complete control.”
Rann Thanagar Holy War #2 (of 8) – This was a surprise mini-series as the convoluted nature of what had been going on made me wonder if I would care with this mini-series. Last issue Starlin and Lim set the table perfectly and I’m in for this ride. The company hype “The cosmic event of the summer continues! Who — or what — has been raiding the timestream and plucking creatures from Rann's past? Adam Strange, Hawkman, Starfire and company are about to find out as they come face-to-face with a T-Rex!”
Robin Spoiler Special #1 – If comics were really getting more adult, this could be a very different book. Not sure why we needed a special, why not just the next issue of Robin. The word “All is revealed in this special when Robin and Spoiler team up to take down a kidnapping ring, hit up an illegal warehouse party and finish Tim's algebra homework; just another day in the life of a teenaged vigilante super-hero! Plus, even more Robin doesn't know: Spoiler's secret identity in another country, in another life - one she can never leave behind.”
Showcase Presents the Haunted Tank TP Volume 2 – My fondness for this material needs to get a reality check as I have way too many of these floating around now and will never get a chance to read them all. Here is what you get “Written by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert; Art by Kubert, Russ Heath, Irv Novick, Mike Sekowsky and others; Cover by Kubert 500 pages of classic war stories, from the pages of G.I. COMBAT #120-157 (1966-1973)!” All for only $17.
Supergirl #30 – I swear that I have liked this series lately and no one else will admit to it, but there have to some fans of this book. The hype “Supergirl crossed a line no hero should, promising a dying boy she'd cure his cancer. Now she's prepared to break the universe's rules of life and death and betray the trust of two heroes in service of her impossible quest. Regardless of the outcome, there will be major consequences for the Teen of Steel!”
Tor #2 (of 6) – This is Joe Kubert returning to one of his characters. Joe is a true master of this art form. The hype “As Tor continues his journey through the world he's just discovered, he meets a group of prehistoric men who accept him as one of their own. However, a mistake could prove deadly when the tribe encounters a man-eating sabretooth tiger.”
Trinity #1 – DC’s newest weekly series begins and it can’t be as bad as Countdown, and it is self-contained, so it has a chance to be good with Busiek and Bagley handling the front half of the book ever week. The hype “The lead feature explores the unusual bond — and importance — of DC's top three characters, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as a mysterious dream links them together and may prophesy important changes in their trinity! Plus, a co-feature in issue #1 explores the mysterious connection between several villains who are watching the Trinity —as well as the near future for these characters and their surrounding world!”
War That Time Forgot #2 (of 12) – Last issue was just okay and for a 12 issue storyline it needs to be better then okay, so I’m going in with my eye on dropping this series. The company line “Heroes and legends from across time collide! Marooned on an island with warriors from every era in history our heroes find that this strange environment, already crawling with prehistoric creatures, has more deadly secrets to reveal! Also, the arrival of more combatants, including Viking Prince!”
Brit #6 - The official hype “The endgame is HERE! The mastermind behind the current troubles Brit has experienced: EXPOSED! Brit's sister's name: REVEALED! All this and the stage is set for the next senses-shattering story arc, starting next issue! If you haven't been reading Brit, this is the one to get.” Solicited for release in JANUARY!
Noble Causes #34 – This is a strong series to me and it has been very accessible coming on board as I did after the five year jump. This has been a great job of allowing a new reader access to the book. The hype line “The reinvigorated series continues with a villain straight from the pages of DYNAMO 5! The Noble family is hot on the trail of the super- villain called Bonechill, because he's the only person who can save Frost's life!”
Abe Sapien The Drowning #5 (of 5) - This has been a terrific series and it has been a showcase for artist Jason Shawn Alexander, who is continuing to get better and better. The company hype “Abe comes face to face with the power that has protected Saint Sbastien for centuries in this breathtaking conclusion to his first solo miniseries. Written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, and featuring the haunting art of Jason Shawn Alexander (Damn Nation, The Secret, The Escapists), The Drowning is the story of Hellboy mainstay Abe Sapien trying to save a cursed island and its doomed inhabitants.”
Conan Born on the Battlefield HC – I’m picking this up as it collects all the spread out chapters that Busiek and Ruth did to tell an origin tale of Conan. It was so well done that I wanted a collected edition and a $25 hard cover is a good deal. The hype “Writer Kurt Busiek and artist Greg Ruth team up to give you the story of Conan's early life, from his birth on a Cimmerian battlefield to his coming-of-age as a warrior in the pivotal Battle of Venarium. Sewing the seeds of the Barbarian's momentous career, this chronicle of Conan's youthful conquests – both martial and carnal -- also showcases master storytellers Busiek and Ruth's work at its finest.”
Grimm Fairy Tales #27 - The company line “3 blind mice, see how they run - and run for their lives they will when Belinda gets a hold of them! When three conmen meet a lonely old woman who puts them up for free they think they've hit the jackpot. As they freeload off of their sweet hostess they concoct a scheme to rob her blind. But the crooks soon come to realize that in the world of Grimm Fairy Tales, nothing ever goes as planned!” This is a very uneven book and I’m always wavering on canceling this title.
Tales From Wonderland Mad Hatter – The hype line “A local hero has somehow been thrown into insanity as he attempts to adapt to a world intent on taking his mind. But he soon realizes that there is only way to adapt to the un-adaptable. You know how the saying goes: 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!' Discover the origin of the infamous Mad Hatter in an issue that will leave readers jaw-dropped! Features part two of an eight-page back-up story that will reveal the true origin and discovery of the place known as Wonderland." The Wonderland books have been the best material from Zenoscope.
Wormwood Calamari Rising TP - I simply love this work by Ben Templesmith. Especially as he never seems to take himself too seriously. A lot of fun as long as you are not an overly sensitive type. The hype “Just when Wormwood thought he could finally have that quiet drink without worrying about the world coming to an end, or a friend with a parasitic infection trying to kill him, The Brotherhood of the Calamari decide to crash the party. Since their last meeting, they've tracked him across the thousand million dimensional possibilities of existence‹and this time the entire Squideeverse is with them. Wormwood is going to learn the hard way he can't keep running from his problems as his oldest foe now threatens his favorite watering hole, Earth, with absorption into the Calamari group mind. Complete with additional sketches and doodlings.”
Avengers Invaders #2 (of 12) – This is another 12 part mini-series that was just okay, so I have reservations about how long I will hang on to this series. The company line “The cross-time team-up of the year continues with the award winning team behind EARTH X, Justice and Project: Superpowers! With World War II's greatest heroes mysteriously transported to 2008, it takes the Mighty Avengers to bring them in before the world realizes that the Invaders are back…including the original Captain America. But will Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. have enough firepower to hold them…or do the Invaders have everyone just where they want them?”
Criminal 2 #3 – I know this book is a labor of love for Brubaker and Phillips and it is a better series then many others on the shelves, but the comic fan base does not support titles like this and Scalped like you would hope they would. I think the mind set of too many of the fans is comics are for super heroes only and when they want a different type of entertainment they go elsewhere. Put all the comics into a book store setting and Scalped and Criminal probably outsell any super hero book. The hype “*Female of the Species*” is the final piece to the noir puzzle of these three stories of crime and murder in the early 1970s. Told from the sympathetic POV of a Femme Fatale on her path to one final score and the revenge she’s been waiting years to get. A heartbreaking look into the other side of a noir tradition.”
Haunt of Horror Lovecraft #1 (of 3) – The hype “Horror comics legend RICHARD CORBEN (HAUNT OF HORROR: EDGAR ALLAN POE) brings you a new 3-issue limited series that offers eerie new spins on the poems and short stories of H.P. Lovecraft.” Putting Corben and Lovecraft together is a natural.
Nova #14 – This has been a solid series from Marvel. The company line “Continuing one of the wildest Galactus and Silver Surfer stories ever! He’s got the power of the entire Nova Force. He’s faced down the likes of Sphinx and Annihilus. But is the Human Rocket even in the same league as the Devourer of Worlds and his most famous herald? And what the blue blazes can Nova do when he finds himself the only thing standing between the big G and his next super-sized mega-meal?”
Secret Invasions #3 (of 8) – I hope this is a decent issue as I’m starting to sour on this event. The company line “THE BLOCKBUSTER EVENT continues. Its Avenger versus Avenger. Hero versus hero! Norman Osborn versus Captain Marvel?? The Initiative versus an army of Super-Skrulls? Is Tony Stark really a- -? And who's that guy with an eye patch coming to save the day?? And, oh man, who did he bring with him?” Plus I’m still ticked they are charging $4 for this and only giving us 22 pages.
Ultimate Origins #1 (of 5) – I was going to skip this book, but it is a relatively light week and I like Jackson Guice’s art work, so I decided to see if issue #1 is intriguing or not. The hype “This is it! The story that finally reveals the conspiracies behind the entire Ultimate Universe! When they first met, Bruce Banner mysteriously warned Spider-Man that "Everything is connected." Now it's time to discover the jaw-dropping secrets that men have fought and died to protect. From the dark days of World War II to the frightening present, journey through history to learn what's really behind the Super Soldier and Weapon X programs–and how heroes such as Captain America, Nick Fury and Wolverine have more in common than codenames and costumes.”
Young X-Men #3 – I’m giving this book more rope then it deserves so every issue is a test at this point. The hype “It’s the Young X-Men vs. the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! A traitor is revealed and the casualties mount as the team goes to battle. We hope there are Young X-Men left when the smoke clears.”
Well that is a wrap for this week. I actually prefer this method of listing out what I’m getting as to how I was doing it. The unoffical tally for this week was two dinosaur covers and two "jaw droppings" in the hype.
On a personal and sad note I was at the game where Manny Ramirez hit his 500th home run and it was sad that O’s fans were outnumbered probably 3 to 1 to Red Sox fans at the O’s stadium. It would have been okay if we had won, but alas it was not to be.