Monday, September 01, 2008

What I’m Getting Thursday

As you saw on Sunday we have added a new member to our group and Thomm will be our Sunday blogger. The amount of time it takes to put out a blog posting everyday is tremendous and hopefully the time and effort we put into the blog shows. I would never envision us have a lot of members but at least with four it allows us to put a little more time into our various posts.

I have a long commentary coming up in a couple of weeks that addresses what I think is the changing nature of the industry. It took awhile but the digital revolution is going to start hitting the industry in a big way and if that component is not a part of your marketing plan you may have serious problems in growing or starting your business as a publisher and a retailer.

Adam Strange Special #1 – I have always loved this character but he is far removed from the thinking man’s hero of old. I wish someone would find a way to bring him back to his roots. The company line “A RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR tie-in! After narrowly escaping a deadly blast, Adam Strange finds himself spiraling through the timestream, forced to relive the past and helpless to watch as his future unravels before his very eyes. Will he be able to pull himself together to rejoin the Holy War?”

Authority #2 – The post apocalyptic Wildstorm Universe has been enjoyable for the most part and I’m actually paying attention to the WU. We have yet to see what has happened to Jenny Quark and The Doctor. The hype The Authority — or what's left of them — struggle to survive in their harsh new environment. As if the daily struggle to continue living in this devastated world wasn't enough, things take a turn for the worse when a ragtag army of vicious psychopaths approach the Carrier — led by the Eidolon! Are the Authority capable of handling this new threat?”

Detective Comics #848 – This has not been directly related to RIP, but the origin story of Hush has been enjoyable so far. I appreciated the way Paul Dini brought the Scarecrow into Tommy’s early years. The word “A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! "Heart of Hush" Part 3 of 5! To save the sanity of a kidnapped child, Batman must confront the Scarecrow! But their battle is just a part of Hush's plot against Batman and Bruce Wayne, setting the stage for the most shocking surprise ending of the year! Guest-starring Catwoman!”

El Diablo #1 (of 6) – This book I’m coming into with mixed expectations. Of course any twisting and changing of an old concept is going to be met with questions, especially if you like the original. The hype “The haunted horseman returns to the DCU in a six-issue miniseries! Who is Chato Santana? A ruthless ganglord or a modern-day Robin Hood? Caught between the law and a power struggle in his gang, Chato meets Lazarus Lane, an impossibly old man with a possessed past. Witness this tale of rebirth, revenge, betrayal, justice, Hell, comeuppance, curses, and consequences.”

Fables #75 – This is the issue that I’m most anxious to read. Willingham has shown that he will shake things up and not just try to ride out success and has promised major changes with this issue. The company line Have you ever read those new-comics blurbs that promise things like, "After this issue nothing will ever be the same again," but you know in a few months none of those so-called big events will have mattered? Well, this isn't one of those times. This time when we say FABLES will never be the same again after this issue, that's a promise you can take to the bank. So, without further ado: After this issue of FABLES, nothing will ever be the same again. Oh, and someone dies.”

Green Lantern #34 – This book has been on such an incredible streak and so consistently well done that my expectations are always high for this book. The word “The penultimate chapter of "Secret Origin"! Hal Jordan and Sinestro face off against Abin Sur's killer - Atrocitus! But what dark secret has Atrocitus uncovered about the impending "Blackest Night?" And what revelation will forever change the relationship between Hal and Carol Ferris?”

Hellblazer Presents Chas the Knowledge #3 (of 5) - This series focusing on Chas has been well done and surprising. None of the typical heroics and the writer shows a willingness to paint his central character in a realistic light amidst the unreality of demons running around in London. The company line Those who forget history...Well, let's just say that some parts of the past are better left buried. London is about to learn that lesson the hard way – but John Constantine has picked a bad time to go the beach. And the one man who could unlock the mysteries of "The Knowledge," Francis "Chas" Chandler, is having enough trouble solving the puzzle of his own middle-aged life.”

House of Mystery #5 – Between this book and Madam Xandu Vertigo has two new series that are knocking it out of the park for me. I look forward to each issue of these new series. What’s inside “Part 5 of "Room and Boredom." In the extremely destructive conclusion to the first story arc, Fig Keele has literally brought down the House, but couldn't she have waited until everyone got out alive first? Plus: Sean Murphy illustrates "Jordan's Tale," in which the world's worst storyteller relates an anecdote involving vampire cats.”

Invasion TP – I decided to pick this up on a whim. The actual mini-series if memory serves does only okay as a stand-alone book as it was another “event” book from years past. The trade contains “The massive 3-issue miniseries from 1988 is collected for the first time! In this universe- spanning saga, the deadly but emotionless Dominators have come to Earth to wipe out the threat posed by metahumans. But what is the real reason for their attack?”

Jonah Hex #35 – Hard to believe this book is almost three years old. I would have bet against any western lasting that long in today’s market, especially published under the DCU banner and not a Vertigo book. Quality can sometimes keep a series going even in a super hero driven market. The hype “Featuring spectacular art by J.H. Williams III (PROMETHEA)! Jonah Hex joins a posse hunting a gang of murderous outlaws, but when the guns fall silent, Hex finds himself faced with a peculiar proposition, as a marshal named Roth and his pretty young wife invite Hex for the strangest dinner of his life.”

Manhunter #34 – The revival of this title has been a good one so far. I’m a little concerned because I don’t know if DC pushed it enough to get higher sales numbers on this book as it was always on the border of being cancelled before. The word “It's a duel in the desert as Manhunter and the Birds of Prey allies find themselves up against the Suicide Squad – and a truly twisted notion of national security!”

Nightwing #148 – This series under Peter Tomasi has become a strong series again. Hard to believe this series is now 12 plus years old. What’s inside “A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Nightwing's been shot by an assassin! How can he save the life of Harvey Dent's former lover before the killer returns to finish the job…and before he bleeds to death? Will Nightwing find sanctuary in the Batcave, or will Batman's recent disappearance lead to an even bigger mystery?”

Secret Six #1 – I’m very happy to see this series and curious to see what Gail can do with this book as an ongoing series. It is nice to see that a series can have mini-series and be a strong enough concept to graduate to an ongoing series. The hype “Because you demanded it! The Secret Six are back in an all-new ongoing series that promises to deliver some of the darkest, most twisted action-adventure the DC Universe has seen since...well, the last time the Secret Six got together! Writer extraordinaire Gail Simone (BIRDS OF PREY) is reunited with BIRDS penciller Nicola Scott to chronicle the adventures of the Six, and you will not believe what they have in store. Join Catman, Scandal, Deadshot, Ragdoll, and ?? as they prepare for an adventure that will take them through a gauntlet across the seediest parts of the DC Universe, and will ultimately pit them against a foe more monstrous and murderous than any they've had to face! Don't miss the beginning of the most ferocious and scandalous Six story yet!”

Showcase Presents Superman Volume 4 – This is the type of stuff I really have no business in buying because it will take me forever and a day to get around to reading it again. Still some of the classic sixties material with the creators of that era is hard for me to say no to. This volume contains Written by Jerry Siegel, Edmond Hamilton, Leo Dorfman and others; Art by Curt Swan, George Klein, Al Plastino and others; Cover by Swan and Klein. Collecting stories from ACTION COMICS #293-310 and SUPERMAN #157-167."

Storming Paradise #3 (of 6) – This alternative history has been great so far. I like the concept in fiction of changing one major event and then play out what you think may have happened. Not dropping the A-Bomb can be a more realistic scenario as plans were in place for an invasion of Japan if needed. The wordOperation Olympus gains a foothold on the beaches of Japan at a deadly cost. As the bombs fall, Japan's citizens fight for their lives in a desperate battle that quickly turns to slaughter. Could the secret arrival of a Third Reich U-boat mean a setback for the invasion?”

Supergirl #33 – This is just waiting for Sterling Gates to show up now and start to tie this convoluted disaster wreck of a series into the main Superman books. Hell they should cancel it and re-launch it. The company line “Coming off the most devastating decision of her young career, Supergirl finds herself at a crossroads. Is she worthy of the "S" she wears? Can she involve herself in the affairs of humans again after misusing her powers so badly? Enter the Empress (of YOUNG JUSTICE fame), who has a whole different perspective on the matter!”

Titans #4 – Another DCU train wreck. This issue is so delayed that I’m almost positive it had to be re-written as the original issue #4 was scrapped. I love the DCU, but this type of mismanagement is going to make me move on really quick. The hype “The conclusion of the team's first adventure features the return of their deadliest foe and the sacrifice of one of the Titans! Will the Sons of Trigon live up to their father's expectations?”

Tor #5 – Joe Kubert has done a Sgt. Rock mini-series and is now wrapping up a Tor mini-series, I would love to see him do a Hawkman mini-series next. The word “Captured and bound, Tor's fate rests in the hands of a jealous Shaman. A sacrifice might succeed in delivering the tribe of hairy men from evil, but it will definitely deliver Tor and his allies straight into the mouths of hungry forest spirits!”

Trinity #14 – My mini-crisis every week since I have come to rely on the company hype to provide some information on each title that is coming out that is on my list. This book contains almost every hero in the DCU and has been a true masterpiece of consistency and quality. Ultimately this book is a good read each and every week, not the best book coming out, but a very good book that is delivering week in and week out.

Noble Causes #36 – I was shocked to read that this series is coming to an end. I’m sorry that I was not part of a big enough group who jumped on after that did a soft re-boot by jumping ahead five years. The Faeberverse is getting a little smaller. Maybe they can try again with a new #1 in a couple of years. The hype “The Nobles are attacked from all sides, as they finally come face-to-face with the traitor in their ranks. But is there more than one traitor…?”

Roberts #1 (of 2) – I’m never sure why you would do a two issue mini-series anymore. In my mind you are only killing yourself as sales can only drop from one issue to the next. I would release half the book online and then release the entire book as an oversized comic or small trade or whatever you want to call it. What’s inside “The Boston Strangler and the Zodiac Killer are alive and well, living amongst the old and dying of The Shady Lane Retirement Center. Surrounded by bingo tournaments and tea times, these two notorious serial killers quietly trade "war stories" about their golden years, two seemingly parallel pasts filled with violence and victims.”

End League #4 – I thought I had read Mat Broome was having a hard time keeping up with his deadline as his day job took up the bulk of his time. Then I read that he is doing a Marvel mini-series. This series is close to being canceled by me as the lag between issues is too long. The company line “Hopeless, trapped between the forces of the Smiling Man, the brutal Nazi warlord Wolfsangel, and the soul-possessing Scarecrow Sinister, the surviving members of The End League find themselves at the mercy of the man they cast from their ranks--the mysterious Black. Meanwhile, Prairie Ghost makes a deal for salvation with the dark scientists of the Devil's Addition!”

UPDATE : I received an e-mail from Mat Broome correcting what I had remembered reading. "I left the book after they wanted to take it to a monthly instead of a book every 2 months because it wasn't what we originally discussed for the books schedule. I was busy with another project at the time in the dot-com space focused on comics and new properties so there was an issue with the schedule. So rather than get the book behind I left and signed a contract with Marvel after the new project was ready to go." - Thanks Mat

Challenger Deep #1 (of 4) – All of a sudden I realize what an impossible job BOOM’s marketing director has with this company in an industry that thrives on ongoing series. BOOM is a publisher of stories and most companies are a publisher of characters and ongoing series or concepts. Every month BOOM is rolling out at least one new mini-series and that has to be sold to the wider market with no preset fan base. The hype “When an experimental nuclear submarine is marooned in a deposit of methane ice deep in the Marianas Trench, an elite salvage team mounts a daring rescue to prevent an explosive chain reaction that could lead to global disaster! From the creator of the hit Sci-Fi Channel show EUREKA!”

High Rollers #2 (of 4) – I enjoyed the first issue. This is a modern day crime drama. The company line “Crime does pay! In this pulse-pounding issue, CQ moves up the ranks with a power maneuver that makes Tony Soprano’s machinations look like child’s play. Critically acclaimed mystery novelist Gary Phillips (HIGH HAND, BANGERS) shows you the L.A. underworld you only thought you knew!”

Necronomicon #1 (of 4) – The company line “In last month's Cthulu Tales #5, Mark Waid seeded clues and hints to the scope of BOOM!'s new "horrorverse". Now that the Necronomicon has been opened, writer William Messner-Loebs brings you the next chapter as he reveals the origins of the forbidden book of legend--and how its catastrophic influence will soon spread over the BOOM! line of titles! Cover by J.K. Woodward.” I’m going in with no expectations as it as been a long time since I have seen Messner-Loebs work in comics.

Dead of Night Devil Slayer #1 (of 4) – I’m almost always willing to take a chance on a mini-series, even with a character I hardly remember. Still at $4 an issue it is easy to drop if it is less then stellar. The hype “Abandoned by his fiance, his family, his church, and his government, Sergeant Dan Sylva returns to Iraq for a third tour of duty -- and a descent into Hell itself. If the demon Belathauzer and the mysterious mercenary group known as Bloodstone have their way, Iraq, the place where civilization began, may also be where civilization ends. The reinvented Devil-Slayer takes Marvel's DEAD OF NIGHT to terrifying new heights, from award-winning horror novelist Brian Keene (The Rising, Dark Hollow) and artist Chris Samnee (DAREDEVIL: BLOOD OF THE TARANTULA)!”

Sub-Mariner Depths #1 (of 5) – This sounds like it should be interesting and since it is out of continuity it can be something that stands on its own. The word “The latest offering from the red-hot Marvel Knights line offers a searing vision of Namor, the Sub-Mariner as you've never seen, brought to you by Peter Milligan (X-FORCE) and Esad Ribic (SILVER SURFER: REQUIEM)! Atlantis. Throughout the ages, a few men have wondered if this fabulous place actually exists. Fewer have imagined that the city is protected by a wild and vengeful being, the very embodiment of the untameable depths themselves -- the Sub-Mariner. When a deep sea expedition mysteriously vanishes without a trace near the Marianes trench, legendary adventurer, Randolph Stein embarks on a journey that will rock him -- and his crew -- to their very core. Travelling deep into the dark belly of the sea, the men of the good ship, Voyager, are about to see things that defy description, that supersede their wildest imagination -- things that men aren't meant to see. Staring into the abyss, Stein will soon discover that the abyss can indeed stare right back at him.”

Universal War One #3 (of 3) – I have enjoyed this series so much that I hate to see that it is already over. What’s inside “The English adaptation of the European best-seller continues! When THE WALL appeared, it cut the solar system in half. It was vast. Dark. Unfathomable. The Purgatory squadron managed to break through, but only at the cost of one of their own. And when the survivors destroy the Wall, they disappear along with it. In the heart of their sci-fi odyssey, destiny will give them a chance to rewrite their own dark histories. Could they undo the events that led to the First Universal War?”

After last week almost any list would be a break. At least with the holiday I had an extra day to read last week’s books. As time goes by I have to rethink my DC list as I never seem to catch a week off with them. The flip side of that equation is Vertigo and Wildstorm is included with DC and that drives up the number of books.

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