Monday, July 21, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

This weekend coming up is the big San Diego Comic Con and it really is the Con to go to every year. I will try to see if I can make it happen next year, but 2010 should almost be a definite for me.

Each year companies save some sort of announcement for the convention. I believe it was just last year when Mark Waid was named EIC of BOOM. I find it interesting to see how far out they make announcements, because often the projects are in the planning stages and never happen or take years to actually occur.

Ambush Bug Year None #1 (of 6) – I think Keith has gotten even funnier over the years. I’m looking forward to this series. The word “The wait is over — everyone's favorite Bug is back, courtesy of the original AMBUSH BUG team of Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming! Cities will be destroyed! Cats and dogs will live in sin! Every unanswered question of the DC Universe will be answered! Live heroes will die and dead heroes will live! Okay, none of that actually happens, but join us anyway for this totally irreverent romp through the DC Universe as only Ambush Bug could give you!”

Batman Gotham after Midnight #3 (of 12) – Steve Niles has been doing a great job with anything that I read that he writes. Plus he has some great artists to work with and Kelly Jones back on Batman is a lot of fun for me. I don’t think Kelly works especially well on a straight Batman book, but he is perfect for this story. The hype “The Dark Knight investigates the artifacts stolen by Scarecrow and Man-Bat, only to learn that they are for use in a black mass — yet neither criminal is versed in the dark arts. Plus, the monster known as Midnight strikes again, and Clayface has emerged anew, determined to return the citizens of Gotham to the Earth — by ingesting them!”

Brave and Bold #15 This wraps up the two part adventure involving Nanda Parbat. I love that the team-ups have been so random. This issue we get Hawkman and Nightwing. What’s inside “The siege of Nanda Parbat continues as Green Arrow and Deadman get some much-needed assistance from Nightwing and Hawkman!” Wow the hype was rather redundant from what I wrote.

Diana Prince Wonder Woman TP Volume 2 – I can’t believe I have order the second volume of this without having read volume 1. If memory serves the non-powered Wonder Woman stories were pretty hokey and now are probably dated. The contents “Classic, never before collected Wonder Woman tales from the 1970s comics Wonder Woman #185-189, Superman's GirlFriend, Lois Lane #93, and THE Brave and the Bold #87!”

Exterminators #30 – Sadly the final issue in this little masterpiece out of Vertigo. This book really delivered on characterization, bizarre plots and good to great art work. The company line” Vertigo's most skin-crawling series crashes to an apocalyptic conclusion as the boys (and girls) of Bug Bee Gone fight the battle they always knew was coming: humanity's last stand against the chaos of nature. There's no guarantee that anyone will survive, but if Henry, Stretch, Nils and the rest can't make a last stand against the killer cockroaches, no one else will. Don't miss the ending of this cult-classic comic never to be duplicated.”

Green Lantern Corps #26 – Peter Tomasi has made what was a good series even better. The GL Corps is such a rich vein to tap for stories that you could have a few more titles telling their tales. The hype “It's the action-packed conclusion of "Ring Quest"! Kyle, Guy, Sodam Yat, Arisia, Soranik and other members of the Green Lantern Corps wage an all-out battle against Mongul and the mysterious Mother Mercy.”

Joker’s Asylum Scarecrow #1 - This throw away idea has been well executed. Often this stuff can just be filler for the racks and designed just to have another DCU book out there. Often the execution is limited but so far two out of three have delivered decent to excellent stories. No hype line as DC has not put anything into their description to merit copying, but I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a good Scarecrow story.

Justice League of America #23 – Last issue was a cool way to bring back Amazo, but why has he become the only villain that the JLA faces off against. This series has been dominated by Androids. The hype “It's all-out Amazon fury against Amazo! Wonder Woman is the last Leaguer standing against the souped-up android — and the prize is Red Tornado's body!”

Legion of Super Heroes #44 – I was very happy to hear that Jim Shooter is coming back to the LOSH. Also since he was so far ahead on writing the book there will not be any issues skipped without Jim as the writer. I have really been enjoying this series a lot since he has been writing it. The company line “On planet Velmar V, the invincible Ikilles has already trashed Timber Wolf and Shadow Lass. Now, the Legion's last hope is — Invisible Kid?! Meanwhile, while the rest of the weary, wounded Rimbor Team fights an army of heavily armed Science Police, Atom Girl squares off against the vicious Commodore. And on Earth the mysterious M'Rissey awes everyone with his unexpected power!”

Madame Xanadu #2 - The first issue was a real surprise. I was unsure what this series was going to be about, but starting with Camelot was very cool and the art by Amy Reeder Hadley was beautiful. The word” The mystery behind Madame Xanadu's past and future continues! The fair enchantress Nimue has the power to see the future but is blind to the hearts of men — all promises are poison, and betrayal is her only hope as the world falls apart around her.”

Robin #175 – This issue Robin crosses over into the “RIP” story line. I’m very curious as to how all of this will play out. The company line “The events of "Batman R.I.P." carve a path of destruction through Tim's life, threatening to rip apart the entire foundation of what made him choose to take on the role of Robin in the first place. Tim's on the run and, with Batman's life at stake, he can't afford to make one misstep. Don't miss Part 1 of a shocking 2-part story that will irrevocably change Tim Drake's present as Robin…and his hard-won future as Batman.”

Secret History of the Authority Jack Hawksmoor #5 (of 6) – I have enjoyed seeing Fiona Staples art on this book. It is a clean and thin line style that has worked very well on this story. The story has also been good for filling in some blanks on Hawksmoor. What’s inside “All the pieces fall into place as Jack Hawksmoor uncovers a plot that spells doom and slavery for mankind. To stop it, Jack will have to get to seventeen cities around the globe in under twelve hours. But he's tied to a chair, cut off from his powers, and his only ally is in cahoots with the bad guys. Can he do it?”

Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives HC Volume 3 – This is another collection I have not gotten around to reading, but I know I want the material and DC’s Archive series is always a high quality product. This volume contains “The final volume collecting the classic adventures of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, originally presented in LEADING COMICS #9-14 (1944-1945)!”

Superman #678 – The hype “James Robinson's run on SUPERMAN continues as the battle for Metropolis between Superman and the long-vanished Atlas rages on. It's full-scale war, mano a mano, in the streets of the city. Plus: the secret of where Atlas has been and how he ended up in the modern age is revealed! And if that weren't enough, who is the shadowy figure pulling the titan's strings?” Last issue was a slow opening for James Robinson, but I trust him that the story will pick up.

Trinity #8 – So far this series should be called the JLA and the Trinity, as it has felt more like a JLA adventure. Last issue started the ball rolling to make this more of a special event. If nothing else it has been a very well written and drawn series that is entertaining. I guess for a weekly series I’m looking for a little more. No quoted hype as it is so lame and bland.

Two Face Year One #1 (of 2) – At least every Two Face series can only be two issues long. Not sure about this book as the writer’s name (Mark Sable) is unfamiliar. The hype “In a time of corruption and greed, the only force keeping Gotham City from collapsing into utter chaos included Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent, a cop named Jim Gordon, a vigilante known only as Batman — and a mysterious group of untouchable crimefighters working outside the law. Be here to witness the beginning of a legacy, when a meeting between Gotham's Finest and Gotham's Vilest spawn the protectors who will safeguard Gotham's future, as well as the monster who will try to burn it to the ground.”

American Flagg Definitive Collection HC Volume #1 – Chaykin’s seminal work. What’s inside “At last: AMERICAN FLAGG! -- created, written and illustrated by HOWARD CHAYKIN and winner of numerous awards and honors, including nine Eagle Awards -- available for the first time as a deluxe hardcover collecting the series’ first groundbreaking story arc!Plus! Additional cover paintings, sketches and promotional pieces by CHAYKIN, a MICHAEL CHABON introduction, an afterword by JIM LEE, and as a special bonus - a brand-new AMERICAN FLAGG! story written and illustrated by HOWARD CHAYKIN exclusively for this edition!”

Invincible #51 – Hope we are back on track again and can expect to see this book at least 10 times a year. I enjoy this book and thought it had slowed down recently. Issue #50 picked it back up, now let’s see how this issue fares. The word “New costume! New beginning! New home! New Partner! Everything is all-new starting with this issue. Featuring an all-new cover by comic book super-star JIM LEE! If you've ever thought about reading INVINCIBLE this is the jumping-on point you've been waiting for. The next fifty issues start here!”

Proof #10 – One of my favorite series. If you have not been getting this book, this is the beginning of a new arc, so run and get a copy this Wednesday. The hype “"THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO," Part One Are there angels in America's corn belt? That's what Proof's going to find out. Meanwhile, Ginger Brown returns to New York where she meets a golem. Again.”

War Heroes #1 (of 6) – I’m not a big Mark Millar fan, so I’m curious to see what this looks like. By the way this was a premier launch from Image for JUNE. Don’t push and hype a major book unless you know you can deliver. What’s inside “If you've been wondering what MARK MILLAR had planned for ULTIMATES 3, then wonder no more this is it! The mind that reinvented superheroes for the 21st Century joins forces with one of comicdom's best artists to chart new courses for superhero action in a series that will definitely be one of the most talked about of the year!”

Black Summer #7 (of 7) - This should be interesting. I was hoping for more discussion of what it means having super heroes in the real world, but Ellis and Ryp have supplied enough thought provoking ideas and tons of action to make this a must have as a trade or hard cover. The word “Warren Ellis' masked hero masterpiece goes nuclear in the cataclysmic final issue! John Horus has brought the weight of the world down upon himself, yet he is far from defeated. As the body count rockets skyward, desperate attempts are made to bring down the President's killer. Not even the combined might of the last few living members of the Seven Guns seems to be enough. Do not miss this shock ending that will cement this work as a high-water point for the genre. With insane illustration by series artist Juan Jose Ryp and colors from Mark Sweeney, this final issue will deliver a killer punch!”

Dan Dare #7 (of 7) – This has been a very enjoyable series and I hope the conclusion hold up. What’s inside “SPECIAL DOUBLE-SIZED FINALE ISSUE! It's the final showdown between the Mekon's massive Treen fleet and the British Navy's own trusty ships. Will the Mekon's desire to enslave the human race and destroy Dan Dare finally be realized... or will determination in the face of grim circumstances win out over the blind obedience and sheer numbers of the Mekon's force? Don't miss this heart-stopping conclusion to this gripping story!"

Fall of Cthulhu #14 – This has been my favorite arc in this series to date. I wonder what the sheriff had to give up to be able to stop the Grey Man. The official hype” The final showdown between the Gray Man and Lucifer over the fate of mankind and the otherworldly conflict that could consume us all! What horrible price has the Sheriff paid to tip the balance in our favor? Will it be enough to save humanity? The answers are here - but the ongoing adventures of the Fall of Cthulhu cast will continue next month in Fall of Cthulhu: Godwar!”

Fallen Angel #28 – Peter David has made this series exciting again. I have enjoyed it before, but it felt like it was a quite series, now with the status quo turned upside down I look forward to this series more then I had before. The company line “While the Fallen Angel, Jude and Mariah embark on their journey to the third city of power, Sachs and Violens are still in Bete Noire, endeavoring to put together a resistance movement against Moloch. And if the city that shapes the world descends into civil war... can the rest of the world be far behind?”

Glamourpuss #2 – Such a strange book that almost feels like Dave Sim teaching himself how to do so photo realistic drawing and charging us for it. Half satire, half art book and half self indulgence. The ad copy “'World Peace: Michael Kors Luggage Leads the Way!'; 'There's Nothing Funny About Anti-Depressants'; and, as a bonus, 'Skanko's Top 5 Ways I Drive My Men Wild in Bed,' plus an initial examination of the Big Three pioneers of realistic comic art: Hal Foster, Alex Raymond, and Milt Caniff, and Caniff's influence on Raymond's 'Beyond Noir' style."

Gravel #3 – Our combat magician story continues. Each issue seems to be a story of how he can kill the next person in the group he used to be a member of. The hype “Gravel's explosive monthly series continues! The ancient Sigsand Manuscript, now in the hands of the Minor Seven, is far too powerful to be possessed by Britain's great Occult Detectives. At least, that's Combat Magician William Gravel's opinion, as he continues his quest to collect all six pieces of the supernatural text from his former associates. But the next man on Gravel's hit-list has found him first, and on the dark and fog-shrouded highland moors, a surprising confrontation will take place with an outcome that Gravel could never have anticipated. Sykes, the oldest of the Minor Seven, is one of the few still alive who personally knew the Sigsand's previous owner, Thomas Carnacki. But will Gravel survive long enough to hear the finale of one of Carnacki's most astounding cases or will the black hellhounds that accompany Sykes end Gravel's quest at its midpoint?”

Grimm Fairy Tales Piper #4 (of 4) – If this had been five issues long I would have dropped it after last issue. At this point I thought I would finish out the string. The word “Seven hundred years ago he took a horrifying revenge and paid the ultimate price for his sins. Now he's returned to forge a deal that will cost more than just your life. The shocking conclusion of the series that re-invents the classic horror villain is here. In a final showdown for his life, Sean must find a way to defeat the being that preys on human souls. But only one thing may be able to stop the Piper, and Sean realizes he is the only person who possesses the gift to do so."

Sparks #2 (of 6) – Seriously you need to buy this comic. This is one of the best opening offerings from a new company. See my full review here. The official hype “by Christopher Folino & J.M. Ringuet William Katt's monthly superhero noir thriller continues as masked vigilante Ian Sparks discovers the dark side to heroism. Going after the nation's most notorious supercriminal leaves Sparks' life and reputation in ruins."

Straw Men #1 (of 12) – I never read the novels, but I’m curious to see what this is all about. Going in with my eyes relatively closed. The company line “"The electrifying New York Times best-selling thriller written by English novelist Michael Marshall comes to comics! Ward Hopkins is a seemingly average man with a past so secret that not even he knows about it. After a string of tragedies and murders, Hopkins begins to uncover a horrifying truth each event is related, and he has a direct link to those responsible. As he investigates his own past, Hopkins realizes that he must eventually come face-to-face with a terrifying network of killers. No one knows who they are or why they kill but they must be stopped and only one man may have the ability to do so."

Daredevil #109 – This series has moved up to the top for Marvel books and is climbing my overall charts. Love seeing the Gotham Central band back together for a little while. The company hype “Part 3 of "Cruel and Unusual" with special guest co-writer Greg Rucka joining the acclaimed DD creative team! Daredevil and Dakota North have investigated all angles of the brutal murders that Big Ben Donovan sits on Death Row for, and all they've come up with is more questions and conspiracies. Why does Big Ben want to be executed for a crime he probably didn't commit? And why does the government want Dakota and Matt Murdock off the case? Find out these answers and more!”

Immortal Iron Fist #17 – I barely hung on to see the new creative team, but they better wow me as I’m almost ready to drop this puppy. The word “Marvels’ kickingest, punchingest, kung-fu-iest book just got bigger! Following the character-redefining, critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite events of “The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven,” the all-new IMMORTAL IRON FIST creative team of Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman (ARES) takes it to the next explosive level! Think you know everything there is to know about the traditions of the Immortal Iron Fist? If you do, then why’s Danny sweating bullets over an inescapable legacy that’s haunted the Iron Fists for centuries, huh? Tell us that, if you’re so smart. What was the deeper meaning of Xao’s ominous threat? And what incredible new adventure are Danny’s fellow Immortal Weapons embarking upon?”

Marvel Masterworks Volume #99 – Golden Age Captain America – I would have probably skipped this one, except that I sucked myself into getting every Masterworks up to #100, then I will be more selective. This issue contains “From the heart of comics’ Golden Age come the earliest adventures of the greatest patriot to grace the four-color page: Captain America! Created on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, these stories are full of jaw-busting battles against the Nazi menace, mad scientists, crazed carnivals and mysteries at the ballpark that could only come from Joe Simon and Jack Kirby - two of the medium’s greatest visionaries! But there’s more to enjoy than just the adventures of Cap and Bucky; you’ll also meet Stan Lee’s wartime correspondent, “Headline” Hunter; the mighty Hurricane; Father Time; and Tuk, Cave Boy - and enjoy house ads, Sentinel of Liberty updates and puzzle pages in these complete and fully restored collections of the rarest hits from the Marvel archives!Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #5-8.”

New Avengers #43 – Except for the last issue of Mighty Avengers, the back stories have been better then the actual mini-series. I do not see the excitement in the mini-series anymore. The company line “SPIDER-MAN VERSUS CAPTAIN AMERICA IN THE JUNGLES OF THE SAVAGE LAND! But who is who and what is what?? At least one of these people isn't who they say they are. Plus a huge chapter in the Secret Invasion story as more information as to how the Skrulls set their major plans in motion is revealed...”

Thunderbolts #122 – Dragged into Secret Invasion as Christos Gage comes in as the fill-in writer as we await Marvel’s announcement of the new writer (writers?). The hype “SECRET INVASION strikes Thunderbolts Mountain as Captain Marvel attacks! But when you're dealing with the Thunderbolts, it's never quite clear who's the villain and who's the hero...Also, another unexpected visitor shows up, threatening to tear the T-Bolts apart from within! Can Norman Osborn hold his team of damaged psyches and tortured souls together, or is this the end of the Thunderbolts as we know them? Part 1 of 4.”

Uncanny X-Men #500 – Okay Astonishing X-Men has already let the cat out of the bag on some of what must happen, but still Brubaker and Fraction made a good team on Iron Fist and X-Men has been Brubaker’s weakest work, so this could be good. The company line” Sentinels? What? And Magneto? And is that the Master Mold? What the hell is going on in San Francisco now that the Uncanny X-Men have relocated there? They’ve got a new Headquarters and a new status quo as the gauntlet is thrown for a new era of mutantkind. It’s all here in the double-sized anniversary issue that sets up the plotlines that will be developed over the next year in UNCANNY. And it’s all brought to you by the hot writing team of Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction and fan favorite artists Greg Land and Terry Dodson. New creators, new home. The future begins now.”

X-Men Legacy #214 – Mike Carey has made this a much better book then I ever thought it could be. Watching Professor X try to learn who he is again has been a nice ride. The word “Sinister’s machinations finally come to a head, after decades of preparations. Can Xavier discover the secrets to the plot against his mind before his loses his sanity? Or will he become another in a long line of victims? Either way, he just may learn things about his past he’ll come to regret. Guest starring Sebastian Shaw and the deadliest gator in the swamp, Gambit!”

This is a decent size week with lots of good things coming out. I love how the hard covers never show up for weeks and then it is a massive pile up of hard covers and trades.

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