Monday, August 11, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

The San Diego Comic Con had a panel (on almost everything) and the stories are still coming out from that convention. One that caught my eye and a particular hot button is the discussion are monthly comics dying out.

My thoughts are that they are slowly dying out. If I did not enjoy being current with stuff so much I could easily switch to just hard covers and trades. The problem is the structure of the comic industry is such that the specialty stories depend on the weekly comics to keep their customer base as without that weekly trip ordering via the internet or at a “normal” book store becomes easier.

If the industry can take advantage of the enormous amount of popularity comics have had in the movies and build a younger fan base, I believe instead of dying out, monthlies could have an up tick. But what happens when the baby boomers (me) start to walk away from the business. Have comic generated enough new fans to replace the old ones?

Walking Dead #51 – The hype “Too late to save this one.” That’s it, are kidding me. I guess with the big 50 the issue before they were not trying to reveal too much about what was happening after that issue. They succeeded as that hype says absolutely nothing. The grand daddy of the Zombies, still going strong.

BPRD The Warning #2 (of 5) – The Mignolverse is a great place. Right now the BPRD team is working up to what promises to be their greatest challenge yet. The hype “Abe is forced to give up his search for Daimio when Liz's mysterious gentleman proves more powerful than the B.P.R.D. had anticipated as they play further into his plans.”

Goon #27 – Another great series from Dark Horse. This issue almost reads like a fill-in. The company line “Goon year continues with three distinctly different stories, written and illustrated by three talented individuals.The first is from Goon creator Eric Powell, who provides readers with a glimpse into the special bond Mother Corpse shares with the horrifying creatures, fondly referred to as "changelings." Next on deck is comic book artist Kyle Hotz (The Incredible Hulk, Criminal Macabre) who has Goon and Frankie on the hunt for the elusive Skunk Ape. A MySpace Dark Horse Presents discovery, Rebecca Sugar, delves into the life and times of Dr. Alloy who builds a device that should make life easier on his fellow inmates.”

Hellboy The Crooked Man #2 (of 3) - The first issues was excellent. The word “A lifetime ago, Tom sold his soul to a devil of old Appalachia. Now, he and Hellboy are fighting to win it back-through the witch who first lured it away and a host of supernatural horrors as old as the land itself.The three-issue series reunites Mignola and legendary horror artist Richard Corben (The Bodyssey; Banner; Punisher: The End; Hellboy: Makoma) in a tale of witchcraft rooted in Appalachian folklore.”

Atomic Robo Dogs of War #1 (of 5) – Love the first series, very happy to see a second series. Atomic Robo is comics done right. The company line “ATOMIC ROBO is back! And this time, it's war — THE DOGS OF WAR! June, 1943: Nazi super mechs threaten to halt the Allied Invasion of Sicily before it even begins and only ATOMIC ROBO can stop them. But does he stand a chance against Hitler's personal commando, Otto Skorzeny? And what connection does HELSINGARD have to these new weapons?”

Cthulhu Tales #4 – Hardly anybody dares to do anthology titles anymore.The company line “52 writer Mark Waid makes his Cthulhu Tales debut with a macabre story that gives retailers and fans a glimpse of the future of BOOM!’s entire horror line! Plus: writer Mark Sable (GROUNDED, FEARLESS) creeps in with his take on the Lovecraft mythos, and the terrors he’s seen will take your breath away!”

Fall of Cthulhu Godwar #1 (of 4) – A change in course as to the way BOOM is marketing this book, but anything to generate higher sales is okay by me as people need to be reading this book. It is an excellent horror series. The company line “Mr. Arkham's plans are in motion and the followers of Cthulhu are poised to strike against the heretics of Nodens. But when their epic battle spills into the Dreamlands, Mr. Arkham's plans threaten to unravel. Will anyone survive the Godwar?”

Firebreather #2 – I’m not 100% sold on this series yet, but I liked it enough to come back for issue #2. I may go back and pick up the trade on the first series. The hype “Firebreather's sweet sixteen is anything but. Accused of vandalism at school, embarrassed by his mom's cloying attention, and now the target of an unseen stalker, Duncan's latest birthday might be his last. High school drama and high-octane action in the tradition of INVINCIBLE and Spider-Man.”

Frank Frazetta’s Dracula meets the Wolf-Man – These have all been entertaining and this issue is by Steve Niles and Francesco Francavilla, so it should be good. The hype “In the wake of the legendary Count Dracula's "final" excursion to England, the bloodthirsty count finds himself on the hunt for a beautiful peasant woman in a village living in the shadows of Dracula's castle. Unfortunately for the seductive Count, someone else has eyes for the beauty, and that someone else just happens to be the fear-inspiring Wolf-Man! Prepare yourself for the battle of the year as vampire faces lycanthrope in a battle to the death!”

Freedom Formula #1 (of 5) – This was a great beginning to what looks to be another winning series from Radical comics. See me review here. The word “In a future where only genetically engineered pilots are bred to race, the death of a man sends his son to the streets of the city's underworld on a collision course with the secrets of his hidden legacy.”

Helen Killer #4 (of 4) – Wrapping up what has been a well done series. The word “At the dawn of the 20th Century, twenty-one year old college student Helen Keller has a dark secret - science has restored her lost senses and granted her unimaginable power. With the Omnicle now in the hands of Elisha Grey, a powerless Helen Keller races to New York City to stop him and his fellow Anarchists from destroying America's wealth. But to defeat Grey, Helen must embrace her dark self. To save the country, will she have to sacrifice her soul?”

The Sisterhood #3 (of 3) – Wow issue #3 right after issue #2. The hype “Special Investigator to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre Eden Parish and Vatican soldier Michael Tysko have at last determined the reasons behind the murders of the exorcist nuns of The Sisterhood. Now they have to race against time to stop Eden's sister, Vanessa, and the Fraternitas Caprigenus the Satanist cult under her command from setting free an evil kept captive for centuries. An evil that if released will surely bring about the end of humanity!"

Sparks #3 (of 6) – This issue we get to see Sparks try to come back from all that has happened to him. I love this series and I’m ticked off more of you are not buying this book. Try it and see what you think. The word “William Katt's monthly superhero noir thriller continues as masked vigilante Ian Sparks reaches his darkest hour just as a figure from his past resurfaces.”

Station #2 (of 5) – The first issue was a good opening act and I curious to see where this murder mystery will go. The hype “A murder has been committed in the ultimate locked room­the international space-station in orbit two hundred and twenty miles above the Earth! Who did it? More importantly, will he or she do it again­and put the entire world at risk with the consequences?”

Transhuman #3 (of 4) – It is funny that artist JM Ringuet’s two books would hit the same week (Sparks is the other one). This has been another interesting story from Jonathan Hickman. The company line “"BUSINESS IS WAR"Welcome to the free market economy. ChimeraCorp and Humonics, Inc. fight over market share. The world's first enhanced humans take a more prominent, public role. And when internal conflict at one of the corporations results in the ouster of its founder, the federal government gets involved with concerns about the need for oversight. Plus jokes.”

Welcome to Hoxford #1 – This should be good. The hype “Acclaimed writer/artist Ben Templesmith (Wormwood Gentleman Corpse) creates his newest horrific comic book right here! In the debut issue of Welcome to Hoxford, Raymond Delgado isn't welcome at all. Rather, he's the newest inmate at the Hoxford Correctional Facility and Mental Institution. He has no hope of release, parole, rehabilitation, or decent conversation. On a good day, he'll tell you he's Zeus and only bite your arm off. Literally. On a bad day, you won't have time to scream to the prison guard for help. But Dr Jessica Ainley, his doctor for five years wants to help Ray and can't understand why the newly privatized, corporately run prison, won't give her access to her patients. And why are people always transferred into Hoxford, but no records show anyone ever transferring back out?”

Action Comics #868 – Geoff Johns has been on a roll lately and Action Comics is now the one of the best super hero books on the racks. The hype “"Brainiac" part 3 of 5! The frightening storyline that sets the stage for the SUPERMAN event of 2008 continues. Against everyone's advice, Superman has journeyed to the deepest reaches of space to initiate contact with an alien being he thought he knew: Brainiac. But after learning about the truth behind Brainiac's existence and his plans for Earth, Superman may regret his decision.”

Batman #679 – We are continuing Grant Morrison’s RIP story line. I’m not sure where Grant is going, but I’m enjoying this series. For the first time in decades I feel like DC may actually be allowing real change to occur with a major character. The company line “"Batman R.I.P." — Part 4! Robin and Damian team up — yes, you read that right — to search for the missing Batman. Meanwhile, the Club of Villains — The Hunchback, Pierrot Lunaire, King Kraken, Charlie Caligula, Scorpiana and El Sombrero — rampage through Gotham City! This incredible fourth chapter of "Batman R.I.P." ends with the surprising return of a character you never thought!”

Batman Confidential #20 – This arc with Batgirl and Catwoman “teaming-up” for their first time meeting has been a lot of fun and has great artwork by Kevin Maguire. What’s inside “In part 4 of the 5-part tale "The Bat and The Cat," Batman enters the fray as Batgirl and Catwoman continue their first, explosive confrontation over Commissioner Gordon's stolen notebook!”

Booster Gold #11 – A two issue fill in before Dan Jurgens takes over as writer. The hype “Guest writer Chuck Dixon jumps into the Timestream to tell a tale of Booster Gold and Batman! When Booster is charged with stopping a time-traveling villain from Batman's past, he must travel back in time and go undercover as Killer Moth to stop this mystery man from destroying Gotham City! Guest-starring Batgirl!”

Checkmate #29 – We are winding down to the last issue in this series with issue #31. If DC planned to cancel it I have no idea why they continued it after Greg Rucka left. Still the story is about Chimera and not about Checkmate per say. The word “The Royals send an increasingly erratic Chimera up against an imminent apocalypse! Good thing the Global Guardians are there to back him up!”

Final Crisis Revelations #1 (of 5) – I really like that DC is doing only a few spin-off type series and each one has some major talent on the book. The hype “Greg Rucka (52, Whiteout, The Question: The Five Books of Blood) and rising superstar Philip Tan unleash the wrath of God in this FINAL CRISIS tie-in! With the end of creation nigh, Crispus Allen must embrace his role as The Spectre by exacting God's vengeance on some of the DC Universe's most vile sinners. But even as Allen struggles with his duty, a new threat is arising – one that only his former partner, Renee Montoya, a.k.a. The Question, can help him fight!”

Gen 13 #21 – I decided to give it another try now that the World has ended. The company line “Look before you leap! After jumping through an I.O. teleportation device at the close of their last adventure, the Gen13 kids find themselves in a radically changed world that they NEVER expected! The fallout from Number of the Beast continues as the epic "Teenage Wasteland" begins!”

Green Arrow / Black Canary #11 – This series has lost some of its luster and needs to pick up its pace. What’s inside “What happened before Connor Hawke was shot is revealed at last! Plus: Team Arrow finds itself working alongside some longtime enemies!”

Green Lantern Corps #27 – I like that we have this book and that we get a lot of face time for Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. The hype “Witness the grand opening of the new Warriors bar! Then, meet a mysterious new Lantern by the name of Saarek,who can hear the dead. What brings him to Oa – and why are the dead growing restless?”

Justice League International Volume #2 HC – After this volume I will have to be careful as I can’t remember how long this book was at its best. This volume contains “The second hardcover volume collecting the classic JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL comics of the late 1980s, co-written by 52 mastermind Keith Giffen! Included here are JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #8-13, SUICIDE SQUAD #13, featuring Batman, Blue Beetle, Martian Manhunter, Guy Gardner, Black Canary, Mister Miracle, Dr. Fate, Booster Gold, Doctor Light, and the power of Shazam!”

Simon Dark #11 – We are really getting into the heart of the story now and determining who and what is Simon a part of it. The company line “Simon faces a tough decision: Either join in the cult that has terrorized Gotham City or throw himself into the abyss in order to save his friends!”

Trinity #11 – This series took a little while for me to warm up to, but it has never been a bad read. The idea of having one creative team responsible for the main story is a great idea. While 52 was good and Countdown was not, both drained a lot of talent away from other projects. While Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagely could certainly be working on other projects, this being their focus is good and it is not draining the life out of the rest of the writers and artists.

Wonder Woman #23 – Gail Simone has started to really hit her stride on this book and I have been enjoying the story line with Stalker, Claw and Beowulf. The hype “It's the finale of the 4-part "Ends of the Earth" epic! Wonder Woman returns from the darkest corners of the DCU, and she's brought something nasty back with her! And will Diana fall at the scene of her Amazon sisters' greatest tragedy? You've never seen Wonder Woman like this before!” I don’t think the hype is referring to full frontal nudity.

Astonishing X-Men #26 – The first issue was only okay, but the actual story idea of a new group or mutants was interesting and a nice way to get out of the 198 syndrome. The hype "Messiah Complex" pulled the X-Men team together, "Divided We Stand" tore them apart. Now the X-Men are back to business -- with a new look, a new base of operations, and a mystery to solve that will take them into previously uncharted territory and test them to their core. It all starts on a spaceship hovering 300 hundred feet above the twisted wreckage of Chaparanga Beach. Its sole inhabitant: the mysterious Subject X. Five minutes -- just five minutes is all he needs, all he’s asking for. Can the X-Men afford to give it to him?”

Secret Invasion #5 (of 8) – I know that the event is taking place over a short period of Marvel time, but this book that started out as a fun popcorn movie has lost its edge for me. The company line “Embrace change. With these two words the Skrull Empire declares their intentions to the entire Marvel Universe. Embrace change. With these two words thousands and thousands of comic fans who have declared Secret Invasion the comic book blockbuster of the summer brace themselves for the shocking changes that are about to happen to their favorite characters and institutions. Embrace change, True Believer, because change is coming!” I’m so jaded and have lost such interest in the MU that I almost don’t care what they do.

Universal War One #2 (of 3) – What a great first issue, it was both epic in its scope and telling personal stories also. What’s inside “The English adaptation of the European best-seller continues! Enormous, incomprehensible and terrifying, the Wall stands at the heart of the solar system, cutting off access to any planet beyond Saturn. People aboard the United Earth Force's powerful third fleet are beginning to ask questions: Is the Wall a black hole, or a shield of unknown force? Is it the harbinger of an imminent invasion, or is Death itself lurking on the other side, waiting to pounce? A squadron of misfits is going to be tested by confronting its own human problems within this mystery of cosmic proportions. With the fate of humanity at stake, can anyone survive the First Universal War?”

I have ignored talking numbers for awhile, but this week the independent books rule with half of what I’m getting not being DC or Marvel. This looks to be a great week with a lot of highly anticipated books.

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