Monday, July 14, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

This weekend has been extremely busy, so I have no real commentary or rant to share with you this week. One thing I’m interested in trying to do are some spotlight posts of smaller press companies to showcase some of the great stuff being done by BOOM, Red 5, Catastrophic, Arcana and the other companies. I hope to be able to put one or two together over the next couple of months.

Astro City the Dark Age HC Book 1 – I love that we are getting the hard cover of this material, but I wish we could see more of Astro City on a regular basis. The contents “Collecting the first eight chapters of the 16-part "Dark Age" saga, revealing the history of Astro City and shedding light on some of its greatest heroes! Book One, taking place in the early 1970s, follows two brothers — with one becoming a hero and another taking a far different path. Along the way, the long-standing secret tale of the Silver Agent and his fate is told at last, as the story shifts back to the 1950s and what made the Williams brothers turn out so differently.”

Batgirl #1 (of 6) – I have never liked Cassandra Cain as Batgirl and the S&M style mask is disturbing on some level. Still I'll check in on this current take of her and see what’s what. The hype” Now that Batgirl has finally gained Batman's trust, it's time to conquer her inner demons and prove herself to the rest of the world. This six-issue epic will take Cassandra on an intense, personal journey involving friends, family and foes!”

Batman and the Outsiders #9 – This book has been ill-conceived and over edited from what I can see, but still we get Looker back this issue and I always enjoyed that character. The company line” Metamorpho finally makes the trip back to Earth — only to be immediately arrested! And while Katana and Batgirl attempt to break Rex out of a Paris jail, they also manage to abduct a mysterious astronaut! Plus: don't miss the return of the former Outsider called Looker!”

Birds of Prey #120 – This book ten years later is still a good series. In fact I think practically the entire run is a decent read with very few really down spots. I’m not sure what other series you can really say that about. What’s inside “Oracle's having a hard time explaining why she has moved so near Black Canary's homebase — especially when the rest of the Birds find out that Barbara's been employing a mysterious new operative: the enigmatic Infinity!”

Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #3 (of 6) – This quirky little series has captured enough of my attention that I would be hard pressed to drop it and now expect to ride it out till the end. Who is Casey Blue has become an interesting question. The hype” With the help of a new "mentor" and the Internet, Casey begins to build her new life. However, law enforcement is closing in as she learns that her first victim was a high-level military contractor. With the FBI on her tail, things could get very difficult. And she thought math finals were tough!”

Checkmate #28 – This arc has really changed the focus of the book to one character, Chimera. It is a decent story and I will continue to buy it, but shouldn’t they make it about Checkmate? The word “Checkmate struggles to contain a growing environmental disaster, and the Black King faces upheaval in his own ranks over it — even as the King's secret weapon, Chimera, is exposed to the memory of his previous life!”

DC/Wildstorm Dreamwar #4 (of 6) – This has just been a great action packed fun series that Giffen has structured that allows him to get away with battles to the death between universes. The art by Garbett and Scott has been drop dead gorgeous. The hype “The DC and WildStorm Universes are colliding, forcing heroes from both sides to work together, much to their displeasure. But when this scuttles the plans of the mastermind behind it all, he ups the ante by bringing the DCU villains into the mix.”

Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #1 (of 3) – With the return of Barry Allen and the rogues being part of the murder of his grand-son, Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins, this should be a great mini-series. The official hype “The critically-acclaimed FLASH team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunites for a tale of villainy and twisted justice tying in to FINAL CRISIS! Captain Cold and the Rogues were accessories to the murder of Bart Allen. They've become what they never set out to be – wanted! Wanted by the good guys, by former Rogue Pied Piper, and by the Secret Society of Super-Villains. But just as they try to disappear underground, good, old-fashioned revenge yanks them back. And where is the Flash during all of this? It's a Crisis — take a guess.”

Flash #242 – I like Wally West as Flash, I like having his kids around, but Tom Peyer is off this book as of #243 and it appears to me that DC does not have much of a plan for what was one of their cornerstone heroes. The company line “The Flash takes the twins to Gorilla City on their first international mission, and the round-the-world trip becomes an adventure in itself! Plus, the upheavals at Keystone News result in a huge discovery — one that could blow the Wests' cover for good!”

Hellblazer #246 – The second part of the fill-in issues by Jason Aaron. I know it is just a fill-in, but Jason Aaron right now is welcome on almost any book I’m reading. What’s inside “"Newcastle Calling" Part 2 of 2. When a crew of documentary filmmakers conjure up an evil beyond their control while goofing off in Newcastle, it's up to Constantine to save the day. But can he overcome the memories of his greatest failure to save a crew of ignorant Americans?”

Joker’s Asylum : Poison Ivy – When this was announced it was a why type question that ran through my mind, but the first two issues were very good and I hope this issue will be good. The word “Each issue tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of the Dark Knight's greatest adversaries. And all the stories are narrated by the Asylum's leading homicidal maniac — The Joker!” Yes that is it, the lame peek inside.

Scalped#19 – What a great cover. It is really one of best covers that I have seen in a while. This series should be on any comic fans reading list over the age of 18 and if they have a pulse, great writing, excellent art and a great story that gets better as it goes along. The hype “This sexy issue focuses on the torrid romance between Dash and Carol. In between their bouts of passion, Dash learns more about Carol's troubled past, including a revelation that's sure to shock you.”

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol 2 – Someone needs to stop me from buying these damn things, the price and amount of material is a great bargain, but I never read enough of these to justify getting them. This volume contains “Written by Gardner Fox, Bob Haney and others; Art by Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert and others; Cover by Anderson. Over 500 pages of classic Hawkman adventures, from the pages of HAWKMAN #12-27, ATOM and HAWKMAN #39-45, ATOM #31, and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #70!”

Simon Dark #10 – I’m really enjoying this series a lot. Steve Niles and Scott Hampton have crafter such a great supernatural meets real world type of modern fairy tale, that I can’t believe it is not receiving more attention. What’s inside “The confrontation you've waited to see! It's Simon vs. the cult that holds Gotham City in its grip — and the astonishing revelation of the cult's true origin. Madness and monsters abound in this issue!”

Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Hard Cover – This is one of those hard covers I was not going to get, but I want the material and the HC is only like $5 more then the trade, so what the heck. The company line “Superstar artist Gary Frank joins writer Geoff Johns for an epic story teaming Superman with an adult version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, originally presented in Action Comics #858-863! When he was a boy, Clark Kent was isolated and alone until he met this teen team from the 31st century. Today, it's been years since Superman saw his childhood friends. Why haven't they returned to visit him? What's become of the symbol of Superman in the future? And just why is the future so dangerous for Superman? They warned him away, but now he's determined to help his friends — even if it means his life!”

Tangent Superman’s Reign #5 (of 12) – this has been a solid mini-series and a well told story utilizing characters that have lain dormant for way too long. The hype “A hero falls! Now, the remaining forces for good from both the Tangent and DCU Earths are forced to go deeper underground. Also, the secret power behind the Tangent Superman's throne is revealed!”

Trinity #7 – This book is okay. It is well written and well drawn. The back-up story supports the main story and it is also a good story. It just does not feel like it is that special of a story to deserve a 52 week long story. The talent behind this book “Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; Art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, Mike Norton and Jerry Ordway, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher and Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens; Cover by Andy Kubert” The hype is so lame as to be pointless.

Screamland #5 (of 5) – The conclusion to what has been a very entertaining and highly enjoyable mini-series. Bringing into the real world all the great monsters from films of old. The official hype “They totally got the band back together. The dark rat pack assembles again, at last. Who's gained the most weight? Who drives the nicest car? Questions abound as the filming of "Monsterhunter 3000" begins. Will the gang get through a tough shoot without reverting to type?”

Unearthed Cemetery Blues TP Volume 1 – I admit the story and Thomas Boatwright’s art just made me love this series so much I needed a copy on my shelf. The contents” Collects the sold out Shadowline series "The Haunting of Hernesburg", as well as the never-before-seen series "The Curse of Wallace Manor"! PLUS, it includes two unpublished tales of Ridley and Falstaff: "The Inconvenience Store" and "Let's All Die in the Lobby!" This volume truly is a must have for all fans of humor and horror.”

Conan the Cimmerian #1 – I’m looking forward to Tim Truman and Tomas Giorello’s work as Conan moves into the next phase of his like. The company hype “As hard as it's been for Conan to return to Cimmeria, things aren't getting any easier as he nears his goal, and he quickly runs afoul of raiders on the Cimmerian borderlands. One stranger welcomes Conan home with a crack to the head, and another begins to weave a tale about Conan's grandfather--another Cimmerian who was filled with wanderlust. Conan the Cimmerian continues Dark Horse Comics' modern revitalization of Robert E. Howard's most beloved character. This is a great jumping-on point for new readers-and our first look at the creative muscle that will fuel Conan's adventures throughout 2008!”

Dominion Trade Paperback – This was a great alien invasion story and was so well done that I have been really looking forward to the trade paperback. The company line “From the creator of 52 and ANNIHILATION, Keith Giffen! An alien microbe, traveling through space, arrives on Earth and discovers humanity. As it enters an array of innocent human bodies, it remakes them into something new, something powerful…but, most ominously, something wanting its own homeland -- its own dominion. This trade paperback collects the critically acclaimed mini-series showing the battle between ordinary humans and this new, alien invader that takes over mortal bodies and infuses them with untold power! Written by Michael Alan Nelson, Art Tim Hamilton.”

EC Archives Weird Science HC Volume 3 – Wow did it take a long time for this book to finally show up. I don’t know why I care that it is late as I have yet to find time to read volume one or two, but still this thing has been lost in action for months. It contains “Famed science fiction writer Ray Bradbury provides the foreword to Volume Three of this classic, creepy EC title! This hardcover reprints twenty-four stories by Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines, with art by legendary illustrators such as Wally Wood, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Will Elder and more - all in spectacular full colour! Reprints Weird Science issues #13 through 18, originally published in 1952 and 1953.”

Frank Frazetta’s Swamp Demon (One Shot) – This tales based on Frazetta paintings have been entertaining. The hype “Set in the Land of Iparsia, 500 years before the epic "Shadows of Mirahan" storyline from FRANK FRAZETTA'S DEATH DEALER, this is a dark fantasy story of druids, demons, and the mysterious and beautiful witch-goddess known as Kallista. Written by critically acclaimed novelist and comics writer JOSHUA ORTEGA (FRANK FRAZETTA'S DEATH DEALER, THE NECROMANCER), and reuniting the RUNES OF RAGNAN team of JOSH MEDORS and JAY FOTOS, this is one tale of Frazetta Comics fantasy that you won't want to miss!”

Helen Killer #3 (of 4) – This has been a highly enjoyable series mixing in true history and a fictional account of a “secret chapter” in Helen Keller’s history. The hype “Having failed to prevent the assassination of President McKinley, Helen Keller has been forced out of the Secret Service. Determined to redeem herself, she sets out to bring the architects of the conspiracy to justice. But as Helen closes in on her enemies, the dark forces unleashed by the Omnicle close in on her.”

Tales of Penance Trial of the Century #1 (of 4) – The premise sounds great and after Helen Killer Arcana has been on my radar a lot more. The word “Lt. LJ McCloud is assigned to a powder keg case when she has to investigate the homicide of a costumed criminal perpetrated by a masked superhero named Penance. As she begins the investigation, the media circus surrounding the case could leave the city of Atlanta and the entire south hanging in the balance, especially when a mob of vigilantes come seeking vengeance at the police station.”

ZMD Zombies of Mass Destruction #1 (of 6) – Never one to not try out a new Zombie Tales, I decided to pick up issue #1. Also it is from Red 5 Comics, so I will always try out their new books. The company line “With public patience for Middle East casualties wearing thin, the U.S. military adopts a new weapon... zombies. Air-dropped into hot zones, the walking dead indiscriminately infect everyone. Engineered to dissolve at daybreak, they create a safe combatant-free zone. What could go wrong? From the creator the of UNDERWORLD movie franchise.”

Captain America #40 – This story continues at its snail’s pace. The hype “It's Cap versus Cap for the future of the American Dream as the Red Skull looks on in laughter! And Bucky learns the true identity of the man behind the other mask! The epic Death of Captain America continues in Part Four of "The Man Who Bought America" by the acclaimed team of Brubaker and Epting.”

Ghost Rider #25 – Jason Aaron continues making Ghost Rider into everything he should be, cool and dangerous. The company line “Johnny Blaze goes behind bars looking for answers, but instead finds only The Deacon -- a merciless killer and mountain of a man armed with giant daggers that will cut through anything, including the Ghost Rider. It's all-out action in a story that we just had to call "Caged Heat."

Iron Man Director of Shield #31 – This has been a solid story showing how Tony operates Shield. The word “In a devastated Eastern European nation, Iron Man faces a deadly terrorist who can neutralize his armor's power! Meanwhile, high above, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Alpha Team confronts the mysterious Overkill Mind in a deadly aerial battle. What's the connection? None other than Tony Stark himself -- and only he can stop the slaughter! Part 3 of 4.”

Mighty Avengers #16 – More of the back stories of the heroes who had been replaced with skrulls. The hype “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...”

Moon Knight #20 – I dropped this book awhile back, but thought I would look in on it again, especially because it has “Werewolf by Night” as a guest-star. The company line “Special extra-sized issue illustrated by Mike Deodato (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, NEW AVENGERS) and guest-starring Werewolf By Night! In the aftermath of the Black Spectre debacle, Moon Knight is Public Enemy Number One, a fugitive from justice. But that’s not his only problem. Something awful is happening in the dank basement below Club Lu’Pine. Blood-smeared walls raked by claws tell half the story. To know the whole truth, Moon Knight will have to step into the arena and stare down a creature fueled by instinct and fury. To survive, he must become what he faces.”

Universal War One #1 (of 3) – What inside “The European best-seller - now finally presented in English! In 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?” Glad to see Marvel trying to present some of this material.

War is Hell First Flight of the Phantom Eagle #5 (of 5) – This has been a really well done series. I’m looking forward to the conclusion. The word” The stunning conclusion to Garth Ennis (PUNISHER MAX) and Howard Chaykin’s (PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL) gritty World War I fighter pilot saga. The body count has reached an all time high and the pressures of combat have taken their toll on Karl Kauffman. Can he survive the war with his sanity intact? Can he survive at all?”

X-Factor #33 – New artist and a Secret Invasion tie-in, this could easily be my list issue of this series. The company line” Secret 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?!”

That’s a wrap for this week. A nice mix of material coming out with material that is across the entire spectrum.

No comments:

Post a Comment