If it wasn’t for the Absolute Edition this would feel almost like a skip week for me in terms of actual dollars spent. I should be grateful as at one time the schedule had this Absolute and an Omnibus I had ordered coming out the same week. Add in a random archive hitting and that bill would have been a killer. All in all looks to be a decent week of books, with Invincible #50 being the book I’m anticipating the most.
Absolute Sandman Volume 3 – I wish this was for me, but it is a delayed birthday gift for Gwen and the final part of her birthday gifts. The contents are “The third volume collecting Neil Gaiman's seminal, award-winning series starring the Dream King in deluxe format. ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 3 presents several key SANDMAN tales in a slipcased hardcover edition, including "Brief Lives," in which the Sandman's sister Delirium prevails upon her older brother to help her find their missing sibling, Destruction. But their journey through the Waking World has dramatic repercussions for their family and also for the relationship between the Sandman and his wayward son, Orpheus. Also included is the spectacular short story "Ramadan," a tale of a young king of ancient Baghdad and the deal he strikes with The Sandman to grant his city immortality, with spectacular illustrations by P. Craig Russell (Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, The Jungle Book).Never-before-collected bonus features include pin-up pages from galleries in THE SANDMAN #50 and SANDMAN SPECIAL #1, the Desire story from VERTIGO: WINTER'S EDGE #3, THE ENDLESS GALLERY #1, script and thumbnails from THE SANDMAN #50, and a section on the Endless retail products (poster, statues, t-shirts, Little Endless and more)! Plus, an introduction by artist Jill Thompson. “
Action Comics #866 – This arc is about Brianiac and not the one from the Legion. I have really been enjoying this book now that we have an artist keeping the book coming out on time The hype “Superstar artist Gary Frank returns as the new world of Superman for 2008 and beyond begins in Part 1 of "Brainiac"! Decades ago, Krypton went to war with Brainiac, a cold and callous alien obsessed with the control of knowledge. Superman believes he's faced Brainiac before, but he's about to learn the truth behind his close encounters as he heads down the road to his greatest triumph...and greatest tragedy.”
Batman Confidential #18 – Last issue was just an unqualified blast with Catwoman and the Babs Batgirl meeting for the first time, this issue should be just as good. The company line “ Batgirl tracks Catwoman and the notebook stolen from Commissioner Gordon to a posh nightclub — where costumes are optional!”
Booster Gold #10 – This series has been a winning series and has been an unqualified success from my viewpoint. The hype “ In order to correct the past and save the future, Booster Gold faces a startling reality — someone from his past must live and someone must die! Can the greatest hero the world has never known do what must be done to save all of time?”
Gotham Underground #9 (of 9) – This has been a very enjoyable series. I doubt that Morrison or Dini have really given it much consideration so I believe the impact to continuity will be minimal, but it has been a good Batman Family story. The final sales pitch from DC “Penguin's tenuous hold over the City quickly slips away as Batman and Gotham's other protectors close in for the final act of this epic gang war. Will Penguin pay the ultimate price? Or will the Dark Knight show Gotham's underworld boss a rare moment of grace? No matter the outcome, it all comes to an explosive conclusion here!” Writing ad copy for the final chapter in a mini-series is almost pointless and I can’t imagine you are generating a single new reader at this point. My ad copy would have read – The final chapter.
Green Arrow Black Canary #9 – This is still a good series, but once something hits a real high point and maintains it for awhile, a slight drop off feels like a lot. Plus Cliff Chiang left as interior artist and I miss his work on this book. The hype “Green Arrow and Black Canary follow the trail of Connor Hawke's missing body to the heart of the League of Assassins — and face the resurrected Ra's al Ghul himself!”
Green Lantern Corps #25 – This book was good and with Peter Tomasi coming aboard as writer it has become very good. The company line “ The epic battle against Mongul begins here, as the true origin of the Black Mercy is revealed! The Green Lantern Corps find itself pitted not only against Mongul to save Sodam and Arisia, but an entire planet made of Black Mercys that seem to be under the control of a quite possibly darker and more disturbing force. This creature the Corps will come to fear is known simply as Mother Mercy — and it has no plans of showing any now or ever.”
Salvation Run #7 (of 7) – This is a little late as we have seen almost everyone already pop back up on Earth again and J’onn J’onzz was already killed. The lateness on this book takes any buzz left on it and kills it. The word “The unforgettable conclusion to the ultimate game of survival between the DCU's villains! Who will live? Who will die? Will anybody make it home?”
Simon Dark #9 – I think this series is such a unique book, especially since it is set inside the DCU. If you are not getting this book, try it out. The ad copy “ The cult steps out of the shadows and is ready to seize control after its rampage through Gotham City! Can Simon and Rachel drive them back? “
Titans #3 – Last issue was really off-putting and has me thinking about dropping this title. The hype “Random hook-ups, internal fighting, envy…what's going on with Nightwing, Starfire, Flash, Beast Boy, Raven, Donna and Red Arrow? Can this team get their act together before their mysterious foes reveal themselves?”
Trinity #2 – The first issue was a great opening and I have high hopes for this book. It is early, but DC may have their best weekly series yet, already 100 times better then Countdown to wasting $150. The official DC word “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!”
Wonder Woman #21 – I actually loved last issue of this series and I’m trying to keep my expectations in check, but Gail may finally have the right rhythm for this series. The hype “At the ends of the universe, Wonder Woman falls victim to the Black Horizon, risking the safety of her soul. To salvage her very existence, she must ally herself with the legendary Beowulf and another fearsome warrior from DC's past! But that's only half of Wonder Woman's troubles, as Tom "Nemesis" Tresser runs afoul of one of Diana's unexpected houseguests!”
Iron Man Legacy of Doom #3 (of 4) - If this book had been any longer then a four issue mini-series I may have dropped it. It is exactly what it was suppose to be, but it reads too much like a book form that era and has so far offered nothing new. The company hype “Through sorcery and subterfuge Dr. Doom has taken possession of Excalibur, the legendary blade that can cut through anything--including Iron Man! If Shellhead can’t stop him from joining the sword with its enchanted scabbard, Doom will become invulnerable as well as invincible, and nothing will be able to prevent his hidden agenda. Don’t miss this exciting tale of technology versus magic, which features the premiere appearance of Iron Man’s surprising mystical armor, as well as a final page that is, quite literally, an eye-opener!” At least they didn't say jaw dropping.
Newuniversal Shockfront #2 (of 6) – This is really issue #8 of the 12 part series by Ellis. The huge gap between #6 to last issue hurt this book and it appears like it may read much better when read as a 12 issue hard cover. The word “A charity football game turns into a nightmare when quarterback Jack Magniconte inadvertently kills another player. Is he the newest human to manifest a superpower glyph? And more to the point, will Ken Connell—who himself manifested the “Starbrand” glyph—and Izzy Randall—possessor of the “Nightmask” glyph—reach Magniconte before he’s killed in the government’s efforts to stop a superhuman Armageddon? WARREN ELLIS and STEVE KURTH’s brilliant re-imagining of the super hero continues.” I hope if sales warrant that Marvel has someone lined up to continue this story line as the entire series is setting up the “New Universe” again and it would be a waste to let it lie fallow.
Skarr Son of Hulk #1 – Two main reasons I decided to try this book out. First is Ron Garney on the art and second is it is a light week for me. The hype “Born in fire. Raised by monsters. Destined to destroy. On an alien planet shattered by war, no one is stronger than Skaar, the savage Son of Hulk. But as a Fillian warlord, an Imperial princess, and a mysterious Earthman spread chaos through the wastelands, will Skaar save the puny survivors -- or smash them? Another epic fever dream from Greg Pak, writer of "Planet Hulk" and World War Hulk" -- featuring the return of legendary Hulk artist Ron Garney!”
Twelve #6 (of 12) – This has been a fantastic series and I’m almost committed to buying the collection of all 12 issues when it is published. J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston have a home run on their hands. What’s inside this issue “The Laughing Mask--behind bars! Secrets of the Black Widow--revealed! Dynamic Man kicks ass! The Blue Blade bombs out! And the truth behind the origin of underground secret agent Rockman!”
Invincible #50 - I was happy to read an interview where Kirkman stated that he thought not enough happened in the last few issues of this book and that will not be the case going forward. I have loved this series and thought it hit a dead spot recently, glad to hear that as of this issue that time is over. The official hype “It's all been building to this. After five long years, the best superhero comic book in the universe has reached its monumental FIFTIETH ISSUE! Invincible and Cecil Stedman face off and after this issue, nothing will ever be the same. Also in this issue, Science Dog returns in an all-new back-up story... and the ORIGIN OF CECIL STEDMAN!”
Red Mass for Mars #1 (of 4) – Jonathan Hickman is the Adam Strange of comic book writers, the “thinking man’s writer”. I have loved his work so far and the ideas and concepts he is putting forward in comic like no one else. The premise “ From the mind of comic book innovator JONATHAN HICKMAN and pen of super-talent and Image debutant RYAN BODENHEIM comes A RED MASS FOR MARS. In a world that has survived every catastrophe imaginable, a new threat from beyond stars looks to be the end of all humanity.A RED MASS FOR MARS is a story about the death of utopia, the last days of Earth and the one man who could save us all - but won't.”
Screamland #4 (of 5) – A fun take on all the old movie monsters, making them real people and then seeing what their lives have been like after their fame has faded. The word “In the finest tradition of Rock Hudson, America's favorite vampire lady-killer is anything but. After decades of dodging certain questions, the Count comes face-to-face with crack entertainment reporter Bob Berger. In a career-spanning interview on the set of HOLLYWOOD NOW! No closet will be left unopened! Will decades of meticulously crafted public image go up in flames? This is our gay issue and we're very proud of it.” The last line of the hype bothers me as being unnecessary, it feels like when someone says some of my best friends are (fill in minority here). Let the issue speak for itself and we can make our own judgment once we read it.
BPRD War on Frogs - The hype “Legendary artist Herb Trimpe (The Incredible Hulk) joins regular B.P.R.D. writer John Arcudi and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola for the first of four one-shots which pick up from the March-April B.P.R.D. feature on MySpace/Dark Horse Presents. These stories are set before the events of B.P.R.D.: The Black Flame, chronicling the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense's fight against the frog monsters. As the frog cult spreads across America, Roger the Homunculus returns to the site of the B.P.R.D.'s first clash with the frog creatures- the ruins of Cavendish Hall, where Hellboy, Abe, and Liz first encountered both the frogs and Rasputin (Hellboy: Seed of Destruction)- to track down the final pieces of the puzzle of the Cavendish family. Cavendish family puzzle solved!” One thing I do not like is that this oicks up from the My Space stuff. It is fine to offer it for free online, but I want to read it as a comic. I just love what I call the Mignolverse and Dark Horse calls the Hellboy Universe, it all just works so well.
Fear Agent #21 Hatchet Job Part 5 (of 5) – This series is another one (like Goon) that started out as more of a comedic strip and has morphed into much more then that. The word on this issue “Haunting in space! When Heath Huston is forced to pass through a black hole, his rocket ship becomes home to an eerie and vengeful otherworldly presence that conspires to destroy him. Across the universe, the heartless bounty hunter Agent Zero comes to collect from Mara and Charlotte, and one of them will not survive.”
Goon #25 – Eric Powell has delivered on making this book almost a monthly series this year. I love how this series continues to grow over time and of course Eric Powell’s art is great. The company line “Buzzard returns from Horse Eater's Woods with the tale of how the terrible curse that plagues the town began. He also knows what it means for Goon. Will Goon turn his back on those that need him most to escape his fate? “
Fall of Cthulhu #13 – This arc has been the best arc in this series to date and the series is a damn good horror series. The company line “ As Lucifer and the Sheriff continue their search for the elusive Gray Man, they find themselves the hunted rather than the hunters. Either way, they must stop the Gray Man or the Cthulhu cultists will have their way...and that can’t be good for mankind’s survival.”
Doktor Sleepless #7 – Still not sold on this series, but it has enough intriguing elements to keep me reading, The hype "Why did The Nurse come to Heavenside with The Doktor? Is he aware of her private agenda? He appears to have hired her for protection, but will she bring both the Heavenside police and the intelligence community down upon him? And with Sing slowly piecing together the real reasons for his return, would that be for the best? Warren Ellis' satirical-political science fiction novel continues!"
Local #12 (of 12) – I hate to see this series end. This issue "More than a decade after Megan McKeenan set off on her cross-continental vagabond lifestyle, she's gone from a naive and brash teenager to a woman in her thirties, wise beyond her years. In this final issue, she travels to rural Vermont and the vacation house she remembers from her early childhood to finally settle down. She reflects on her life and what the future holds. Her entire life has been running from one situation to the next — can she find peace of mind in the New England woods?" I hope Megan finds happiness.
Locke & Key #5 - This is one of the best written books on the market right now. It is both a tale of horror and a tale of the family members that is dealing with it. This issue "The Locke family plays houseguest to Sam Lesser, just in from the West Coast, and ready to kill them one at a time to get what he came for: the key that will set his master loose. Acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) continues his all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with Gabriel Rodriguez handling art and cover duties."
Night & Fog #1 (of 4) – The premise “Linked to a terrible secret from the past, an accident in a government lab turns a nearby village's inhabitants into creatures that seem impossible to kill. A small group of survivors must hold out for the night until a special rescue team can arrive and save them from these unstoppable monsters that have not only been made real, but are also made to perfection!” This is certainly not an original idea, but I like these types of stories and thought I would check out issue #1.
When I have (for me) a lighter week of comics I get a chance to do other outside reading as well as read other older trades that I have not had the chance to read. Hopefully I’m getting a little caught up with my “real” job and that should free up some more down time.
Personally I hope that using the hype from the companies gives more information about each issue and I just add in whatever two cents happen to come to mind. I like the revised format and hopefully it meets with reader approval.