There was lots of news coming out of San Diego over the week-end. In fact there is so much news that it is a little overwhelming. Also I have hardly seen any announcements from the smaller press companies. I really believe some sort of co-op or some level of joint venture for promotion and such needs to be pulled together because some of these companies get overshadowed during these events. As always these projects being announced are so far out in the future as to be almost meaningless. That’s why this weekly post has strong relevance as these books are on the stands in two days.
Blue Beetle #26 – The hype “New series writer Matthew Sturges (JACK OF FABLES, HOUSE OF MYSTERY) comes aboard to kick off "Boundaries," with returning series artist Rafael Albuquerque! As Blue Beetle struggles to establish himself as the protector of El Paso and Cuidad Juarez, he finds himself thrown into the heart of the immigration struggle, made all the more complicated by the involvement of Intergang — and another, more mysterious, figure. Coming at you straight outta Texas, Sturges takes our hero into new territory as Beetle works out his responsibilities as both a hero in the DC Universe and a citizen of a border town.” I’m looking forward to Matt Sturges take on the Blue Beetle as I have enjoyed his solo work on other DC books. This was a good choice for a writer to take over this book.
Catwoman #81 – This is sadly the penultimate issue of this book. I love this series and know the sales numbers are okay, so I hate seeing this series go. The word “Catwoman's on the run in Gotham City once more. Can she stay one step ahead of Batman while trying to turn the tables on the man who's destroyed her life?”
Doom Patrol Archives Volume #5 - I know DC is stopping the Archives program, but I was very happy to see that they are finishing out the silver age run of the Doom Patrol. This was one of the great all time series, in retrospect, from the silver age. What’s inside “Written by Arnold Drake; Art and Cover by Bruno Premiani. In the final volume in the DOOM PATROL series, featuring issues #114-121, the team battles the Mutant Master, the Galactic Gladiator, the Black Vulture, and more before meeting one of the strangest ends any super-team has ever experienced!"
Green Lantern #33 – This is continuing Johns’ updating of Hal’s origin. This has been very well done. The company line “"GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN" Part 5 of 6! Hal and Sinestro continue to battle Abin Sur's killer, but will these two Green Lanterns become enemies before they become friends? And what strange secrets within Abin Sur's power ring concern the massacre of Space Sector 666?”
Joker’s Asylum Two-Face – After the last two issues of this series of one shots, I cannot honestly say that I’m looking forward to this. In fact I would probably like to just pass on this book altogether, but the book is written by David Hine with art by Andy Clarke, so I will be getting it due to the strong creative talent they have on this book. No copied hype as DC just has a lame a** blurb for this series.
Justice Society of America Annual #1 – This is the issue of the week for me from an anticipation standpoint. I loved Earth-2 and seeing that Power Girl is sent back to it will have to be a very heart wrenching story. The hype “"Welcome to Earth-2!" Power Girl has made a life for herself on our world, as a member and chairwoman of the Justice Society of America and as a hero in her own right. But she's never stopped dreaming of one day returning to her Earth — the parallel world where the members of the Justice Society were the only heroes. Where her best friend was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman. And where evil was a little easier to fight…wasn't it? As her greatest wish comes true, Power Girl's about to find herself back on Earth-2, surrounded by friends she thought she'd lost forever.”
Northlanders #8 – The final issue in the first arc of this really well done and enjoyable comic depicting the life of Vikings. I worry this series may not be widely enough read to last long, but give it a try. The word “Concluding "Sven The Returned." With the great battle for Orkney settled, Sven now must decide what he must do with his enemies, his allies and — most important — his birthright.”
Reign in Hell #1 (of 6) – If Keith Giffen wasn’t writing this I would probably give this book a pass. I like the premise, but in less capable hands I think this book could be a clean miss. The official hype “It's all-out war for control of hell! This is the major event that changes the status quo for DC"s infernal realm as Lord Satanus sets out to dethrone Neron at all costs. As the battle begins, various parties are drafted into service — but will they choose to stand with the devil they know or a new and possibly worse evil? Friendships will be ruined, lives will be lost and allegiances will be forever changed. Plus, a backup feature starring Dr. Occult, who receives a shocking visitation on the eve of the war in hell!”
Superman/Batman #50 – I don’t think anything that happens in this series impacts regular DC continuity at all and I don’t care as the last few arcs have been so well done. The company line “Celebrate fifty blockbuster issues with this extra-sized extravaganza as we reveal the untold tale of Thomas Wayne's meeting with Jor-El and how it shaped Gotham City's future! You don't dare miss this one! The past was just prologue for this latest adventure of the World's Finest duo as an ancient Kryptonian artifact is uncovered, unleashing past and present dangers that may alter the duo's future. Not even the guest-starring Titans will be able to save them!”
Teen Titans #61 – I have been enjoying Sean McKeever’s run on this book, but it still is not a top tier series from DC. It is enjoyable and a good read, just not upper echelon and I know that DC would love for it to be a franchise player. What’s inside “Kid Devil's out to prove himself, but that won't stop the latest object of his contempt from getting in the way! In the tradition of Tango and Cash, Starsky and Hutch, and Turner and Hooch comes this instant buddy classic! You've already read "The Blue and The Gold" — Is the world ready for — "The Red and the Blue"?”
Trinity #9 – There is nothing wrong with this book. It is a solid and entertaining read each and every week. Busiek and Bagley (who I credit with making this book so rock solid) are doing a really nice job telling this drawn out tale. The problem is that I had higher expectations for this book and so far it has not hit that mark. It is almost unfair to saddle a book with expectations before reading it, but it happens. No quoted company babble as it has nothing to say about the individual issue.
Wildcats #1 – So I have heard Number of the Beast set a new status quo by creating untold havoc on Earth and apparently only 10% of the population is left. I was also told it was a convoluted story, so I’m just jumping on with this latest re-launch of Wildcats. The company line “After the shattering conclusion of NUMBER OF THE BEAST, a jaw-dropping new status quo will be established in the WildStorm Universe — and it begins now! Christos Gage (WILDSTORM: ARMAGEDDON, THE AUTHORITY: PRIME) and Neil Googe (WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY, MAJESTIC) bring a unique new vision to the classic Wildcats team, reuniting the classic team with some surprising new members. Also, a new monthly backup story begins, kicked off with the return of John Lynch by Gage and X-Men: Deadly Genesis artist Trevor Hairsine!”
Dynamo 5 #15 – I like Scrap a lot. In many ways she is my favorite member of this group. The official hype “Scrap is left to defend Tower City by herself when the rest of the team is busy attending to more important matters. But what’s more important than defending Tower City?” So an issue that appears to focus heavily on her, should be good.
Frank Frazetta’s Creatures #1 – These books based on Frazetta’s art have been great entertainment and fun reads. This issue is written by Rick Remender, so that is almost a guaranteed great read. The word “Acclaimed writer RICK REMENDER (The Atom, Punisher War Journal) spins the untold adventures of Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Rider, President of the United States and paranormal investigator as he uncovers a plot concocted by a band of nefarious aliens in cahoots with a malevolent ancient Mayan demon to eradicate humanity and claim Earth for their own purposes. A merging of The X-Files, Ghostbusters, and Indiana Jones, Creatures promises high-adventure starting one of America’s greatest heroes of the early twentieth century brought to glorious four-color life by Swedish superstar PETER BERGTING.”
Pigeons from Hell #4 (of 4) – This has been an enjoyable horror story (sounds like an oxy-moron). If I really learned what I was doing I would have a pigeon sound effect when ever the mouse rolled over this title. The company line “Shaken by strange old Alcebee's mysterious portents and horrifying stories, Claire and Janet return to the crumbling Blassenville Mansion anyway, to confront the hideous thing that drove them out and possibly killed their friends--and to find a way to put an end to the curse that hangs over the estate. When Griswell left the Blassenville Mansion those many years ago, he couldn't have imagined the horrors that would eclipse the ones he saw then--but there's far more to fear in the darkness of this twisted old house than ominous, shape-shifting shadows and zombies!”
1001 Arabian Knights The Adventures of Sinbad #2 – This series has not stuck with me that well. Last issue I remember stuff with the Queen of the Island and not much else. I’ll have to see if issue #2 grabs my interest any better. The hype “Samelia has been left behind with the Witch Queen Alorana while Sinbad and the rest of his crew journeys to Ka'tan in search of half of the magical Sunfury Amulet. But unfortunately for Sinbad, the Queen failed to mention the terrifying dragon that awaits his arrival.”
Beyond Wonderland #1 (of 6) – Of all the Zenoscope books this one I have high hopes for as I enjoyed the return to Wonderland series. Most of the Zenoscope books are just okay stories, but Wonderland was solid. The company word “Months have passed since Calie Liddle returned from the terror that is Wonderland, months since that world took so much from her. Now jaded and bitter, Calie has moved far away from her hometown, attempting to lead a more normal existence in the city that never sleeps. With a different name and a new identity, Calie is just beginning to adjust to another life. But not every story has a happy ending as she soon realizes that things in her new life are not going to stay normal for very long! Something from Wonderland has found its way out and Calie knows that she could very well be the only one who has a chance to send it back to where it belongs. The much anticipated sequel to the smash hit series arrives this summer and this time around madness will reach well Beyond Wonderland!”
Caliber #4 (of 5) – The Arthurian Legend merged with the American west continues. Radical comics has really come out of the gate with two strong books. The hype “Talbot is determined to crush the revolution stirring in Telacoma and sets things in motion aimed to bring about Arthur's death. Finding events unfolding beyond his control, Whitefeather himself triggers the beginning of the end when he makes a fatal mistake.”
Contract #1 (of 3) – The company line “"In a capitalist world’s dark future, Mercenary is no longer just a soldier for hire. It’s a way of life. Law is enforced by cyber-powered Mercs and life or death is decided by the lowest bidder. There is no right or wrong beyond the price in hard currency. Jessie Garrett, however, is everything most Mercs are not: honest, selfless and determined to bring order to greed-hardened worlds, driven mad by money. But when a corporate kidnapping goes wrong, Jessie, and fellow Mercs, Panzer and Tsumi, get in over their heads. Strip clubs, black-market organ dealers, cyber-enhanced soldiers and the life of one young girl collide in Contract’s first 3-part mini-series, and no one can predict the cost." You can read my review here.
Hercules The Thracian Wars #4 (of 5) – This series has been picked up to be turned into a movie. It apparently has a producer and a screenplay is being commissioned and hopefully it will make it to the silver screen. I have to think the success of “The 300” has helped getting people to put money into this series. The word “Hercules and his fellow mercenaries have led the armies of King Cotys to a bloody victory that welds the local tribes into a single nation, only to find themselves betrayed and imprisoned by the very man they served. Now, with Greece itself under threat, only a daring scheme can save the band from imminent torture and death , a scheme which can only lead to bloodshed on a massive scale!”
Grimm Fairy Tales #29 – I keep saying that I’m done with this series and I keep picking it up. Needless to say, this is not a highly anticipated book for me. The company line “Grimm Fairy Tales continues to rewrite history when the story of the good and humble King Midas is retold in horrifying fashion. The king makes a wish to appease his daughter's greed only to find that the best intentions are not always paved with gold. In a shocking and twisted case of reversal of fortune, the king learns that while the gold piles high, true treasure is where the heart lies and that all the riches in the world mean nothing if the price you pay is the one thing you care about most.”
Locke & Key #6 – This is the end of this arc and I hope that the series itself is not over, but simply on hiatus until the next arc can be written. A truly top notch and well written series. The hype “Sam Lesser has promised to kill each of the Locke children, one at a time, if he doesn't get what he wants: the key to anywhere, and the key to the black door. Six-year-old Bode, though, has made a desperate bargain with the creature in the wellhouse... set her free, and she'll stop Sam herself.”
Zombie Tales #3 – BOOM continues to swim upstream and try out anthology books. I have enjoyed the first two issues of this series. The company line “Experience the fatal finale of Joe R. Lansdale's zombie-battlefield epic, 'The War At Home!' Plus, what's hungrier after the apocalypse than a zombie? Writer Karl Kesel (Fantastic Four) is more than happy to show you - at your own risk! Zombie Tales - bringing out your undead every month!”
Essential Fantastic Four Volume #7 – This is when you know you have an addiction issue. I have all the Masterworks of the FF, all the John Byrne run in trades and yet I’m still picking this up and will probably never get around to reading it. The contents “Written by GERRY CONWAY, TONY ISABELLA, LEN WEIN, STAN LEE, ROY THOMAS, MARV WOLFMAN, CHRIS CLAREMONT & STEVE ENGLEHARTPenciled by JOHN BUSCEMA, JOE SINNOTT, RICH BUCKLER, ROSS ANDRU, BOB BROWN, DICK AYERS & JOE STATON Cover by GIL KANE Miracles, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the end of time - when the world nears its end, the Fantastic Four's day has just begun! The world's greatest super-team faces enemies from the future, the past, the Earth's four corners and the Fifth Dimension! Doctor Doom, Annihilus, Ultron and the world-changing wedding that united Inhuman and mutant, FFer and Avenger! Guest-starring Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, the Inhumans and more from the circle of friends of Marvel's foremost family! Plus: the first appearance of X-Factor's Madrox the Multiple Man! You've come a long way, Jamie! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR #138-159, GIANT-SIZE SUPER-STARS #1, GIANT-SIZE FANTASTIC FOUR #2-4 and AVENGERS #127.”
Haunt of Horror Lovecraft #2 (of 3) – The first issue was okay, but I really get it for Corben’s art more then anything else. The hype “Horror comics legend RICHARD CORBEN brings you a new 3-issue limited series that offers eerie new spins on the poems and short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Each issue features three adaptations -- beautifully rendered in black and white with gray tones as only Corben can do it -- along with a printing of the original source text by H.P. Lovecraft. In this second issue, Corben brings you “The Music of Eric Zann,” “The Canal,” and “The Lamp.” It’s classic Lovecraft with a new twist!”
Marvel Masterworks The Defenders Volume 1 – Masterworks #100 – That means I have 100 Marvel Masterworks in my collection and I have more DC archives then that. Way too many hard covers. The contents “Written by ROY THOMAS & STEVE ENGLEHART Penciled by ROSS ANDRU & SAL BUSCEMA Cover by NEAL ADAMS Leap into the adventures of the dynamic Defenders, comics’ greatest non-team! Bonded in a mutual mission are the mightiest misfits in the Marvel U.: the Incredible Hulk, the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer. But these warriors three don’t rest on bylaws and butlers; they - along with the Master of the Mystic Arts, Dr. Strange, and the defiant Valkyrie - come together only in moments of utmost crisis. Facing enemies from across the incomprehensible divide, the Defenders square off against Dormammu; the Nameless One; the Enchantress; and a dark menace from Dr. Strange’s past, the sorcerer Cyrus Black. It’s not just baddies they do battle with, though. In a prelude to the epic Avengers/Defenders War, Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer go head-to-head with the mighty Avengers in a fight that pits hero against hero like none other! Collecting SUB-MARINER #34-35, MARVEL FEATURE #1-3 and THE DEFENDERS #1-6.”
NewUniversal 1959 – The hype “This is a story about killing the future. 1959 is the dawn of the new age of superheroics -- the so-called “Fireworks” have granted superhuman powers to three Americans, and set the world on a collision-course with destiny. But it’s a destiny Philip Voight must prevent at any cost. The first newuniversal one-shot expands the mythos of this world, thanks to writer KIERON GILLEN (Phonogram), hand-picked by newuniversal’s Warren Ellis, and the brilliant art of GREG SCOTT shows us the world, like it never was…in 1959.” At least in this one shot we could see a complete story as the mini-series has been one prolonged set-up.
Skarr Son of Hulk #2 – This seems like it has been a long time between issues. #1 barely keep me in for issue #2, so I hope it picks up. The company line “Whose terrible stride shakes the war-torn wastelands of Sakaar? Whose blind Shadow Priest calls for the blood of babes? Whose barbarian horde rides monsters through your nightmares? Behold and lament, my beautiful son, for the Axeman Cometh!”
Thor #10 – This has to be one of my favorite series from Marvel right now. Each and every issue has been a great rebuilding of the Marvel Thor mythos. The word “J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel’s unstoppable new vision of Thor barrels on stronger than ever! As the Asgardians returned to this life and Thor returned to Midgard, so came the ills that have plagued the gods and man for millennia. Now for the first time since their rebirth, Thor and his fellow hero-gods are venturing forth from the Shining City to confront the growing evils that amass on their horizon…and within their walls…”
Ultimate Spider-Man #124 – The only Spider-Man book I get anymore. This issue we see Venom’s return continue. The company line ““War of the Symbiotes” rages on - as the Ultimate Beetle takes flight! Deep inside the corporate headquarters of Roxxon lies a vial containing the creepy black symbiote substance…or at least it did, until the Beetle stole it! Can Spider-Man capture this bug thug before disaster strikes, and what is Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s interest in the stolen material?”
Wolverine #67 – The second part of the “Old Man Logan” story. As many know I’m not a huge fan of Millar, but the first issue of this book, while inane, had enough moments to make it a decent read. What’s inside “Logan owes the Hulk Gang. He owes them big, and they’re not the kind to let a debt slide, even for the guy who -- 50 years ago -- called himself Wolverine. So Logan’s agreed to a crazy ride across America with the blind archer, Hawkeye, to deliver a package to the East Coast. First stop: San Francisco…but only if Logan and Hawkeye can make it past -- the GHOST RIDERS.”
X-Men First Class #14 – It is always a breath of fresh air reading this book. Truly a fun and delightful look back at the early years of the X-Men as they never were. The hype “The X-Men's new friend Aaron isn't acting quite right. As it turns out, neither are the rest of the X-Series androids back at his secret facility. You might even say they're starting to become... murderously unstable.”
Another decent size week’s worth of books. After reading all the news of the “big” events coming out of San Diego, I almost need to do this post so I can look forward for what is coming out in days and not in month, weeks or years from now.