Monday, September 15, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

So Thomm went political on me, I like that I have been reluctant to go political since my candidate Ron Paul bit the dust as far as getting the main party’s nomination. I can say that I will not vote for Obama as he is too far to the left for my taste. I would classify myself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, which means that I need a melding of probably Palin and Obama. As I’m in Maryland it is almost a mortal lock that the democratic candidate will win this state. At least I can go and vote against the incumbents in my local and state elections, one day others will understand that rotating these clowns is a positive.

On a comic note I have found that the idea of having two artist assigned to a book seems to be a great resolution for allowing a book to stay on schedule. When I look at the publishing slate of DC and Marvel I have to tip my hat to whomever has to keep the production schedule humming because it looks a lot like the spinning plates on a stick routine from the outside.

Action Comics #869 – This series has been on such a great run with the Legion story and now the Brainiac story line. It has become a comic that is sure to be a highlight on any week it is issued. The company line “"Brainiac" part 4 of 5! Krypton's greatest adversary has set his sights on Superman and his homeworld as his endless quest for absolute knowledge continues. But the horrors within Brainiac's ship are nothing compared to the alien behind it. Superman's world is about to change as the build-up to the Superman event of 2008 races towards its conclusion!”

Air #2 – The first issue failed to impress me and this issue will be the deciding one whether to continue with this series or not. The hype “Blythe races to understand the clues hidden in a mysterious letter from Zayn, one sent from a country that doesn't exist. Could it be connected to the feathered serpent that appears in her dreams? She'll find out when she sets off to rescue Zayn – and gets more than she bargained for.”

All Star Superman #12 – The end of the Morrison/Quietly run on Superman and this has to go down as one of the greatest Superman stories of all time. I will be buying the Absolute edition of this run. What’s inside “The Man of Steel has faced twelve super-challenges. Now, as Lex Luthor's brilliant, criminal machinations come together, what fate awaits the doomed Superman? This is the final, dramatic chapter of the incredible, award-winning 12-issue run of ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant – don't miss it!”

Batgirl #3 (of 6) – This has been a decent little mini-series that seems to be re-establishing Batgirl as part of the Bat family. On a side note it is hard to believe how convoluted this character’s history has become in such a short time. The word “Batgirl, Marque and an unexpected ally cross swords – and daggers, spears and whips – with the deadly Daughters of David Cain! Also, Cassandra's worked hard to keep her private mission of vengeance secret from her allies – but is that enough?”

Batman and the Outsiders #11 – So now Chuck Dixon is off this book and it is a official RIP cross-over. This book has been plagued with so many problems that I can’t think of a thing that the group has actually done. The hype “A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! In part 1 of the 2-part "Outsiders No More," the team faces its greatest crisis ever! Could the absence of the Dark Knight mean the end of the Outsiders? Featuring a guest creative team of Frank Tieri (GOTHAM UNDERGROUND) and Ryan Benjamin (DETECTIVE COMICS), this issue spotlights major turning points for two main characters.”

Birds of Prey #122 – This is one of those series that I enjoy. Month in and month out it delivers good solid entertainment. Ultimately that is what a good comic series does. It does not rely on sense shattering changes or taking our heroes where they have never been before, it tells good stories. The company line “Zatanna lends a hand when Manhunter's fears begin to take over her mind, while the Visionary sends his Scavengers after the Birds of Prey! Also: The Joker comes a-calling on Barbara Gordon!”

Brave and Bold #17 – I was almost ready to drop this book after Waid left, but after a two issue stint by Marv Wolfman, we then get David Hine on a DC book and then JMS takes over. So while the Wolfman issues are not filling me with anticipation, I’ll just leave it on my list. The word “Supergirl and Raven team up to save San Francisco from a new super villain with deep roots in the DC Universe!”

Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #5 (of 6) – I keep wanting to like this series, but it still is iffy for me. Once I hit issue #4 I knew I was riding it out till the end as often the ending can make the entire series worthwhile. What’s inside “Casey's new mentor has begun filling in the blanks concerning exactly what is happening to Casey — and the answers will astound her! But considering the strange events of the last few days — martial arts, murder, and super-powers — nothing seems impossible anymore. And can Casey rein in her murderous impulses long enough to enjoy a class trip?”

Checkmate #30 – The penultimate issue of this series that became too much about Chimera (a new character) and not enough about Checkmate. Once Rucka left this book it is clear there was no real idea on how to continue it. The hype “Chimera and Chloe are finally reunited, but all hell's breaking loose around them, especially when August General in Iron defies the Black King's orders and returns to China.”

DC Wildstorm Dreamwar #6 (of 6) – This has been a fantastic series. It has been a cool story allowing DC heroes to fight Wildstorm heroes and it has terrific art. The company line “Hell has been unleashed upon the earth, as all the villains from the DC Universe and the WildStorm Universe team up. And with the moon ripped from its orbit, the earth itself is being torn asunder. Could this final issue contain the end of two universes?”

Flash #244 – The third writer on this series since it was re-launched. Like Batman and the Outsiders this book is screwed up. I hear it will be canceled and then the Barry Allen rebirth series will be done which should set another new status quo. The company line “The epic "This Was Your Life, Wally West" kicks off in high gear as Flash faces a scary blast from the past in a new story written by Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series, SUPERMAN/BATMAN). Plus, Keystone City is abuzz over the new threat in town, who just might be the finish line for the Flash!”

Greatest Hits #1 (of 6) – Rarely am I’m not anticipating a new Vertigo book, but this one is not one that is hitting the right chord for me, but I give issue #1 a try. The word “Meet the Mates! They're the greatest super team of all time, straight out of England and into our hearts: Crusader, The Solicitor, Vizier and Zipper. But who are the heroes behind the mania? How did they meet? And what's next for The Mates? You'll find out in this fab 6-issue miniseries written by David Tischman (BITE CLUB) with art by Glenn Fabry (NEVERWHERE, PREACHER and HELLBLAZER covers) that pulls back the curtain to reveal the men behind the masks. GREATEST HITS looks at The Mates, from their humble 1960s beginnings, through the drug-fueled 1970s, and into the techno '80s, the grungy '90s, and to the present day. This is The Mates from the height of their glory to the depths of excess, as filmed by a struggling Hollywood director – one with his own dark ties to the team.”

Hellblazer #247 – Andy Diggle is back to wrap up his time on this title, Andy has made Constantine back into the black hearted bastard who has his own moral code. Note a bad guy, but not a good guy. The hype “Lord Burnham and the cannibalistic war mage Mako have joined forces to hunt for the legendary Laughing Magician. But first, they must find John Constantine, who is himself about to realize that he finally may have met his match.”

Rann Thanagar Holy War #5 (of 8) – This is a complex story line with tons of moving parts but Starlin is making it work for me. DC seems to have given Starlin a few characters and most of outer space to play with. The company line “It's all-out war between the Rannians and Thanagarians! Sardath prepares Rann's space fleet for an attack on Thanagar, but they're ill-prepared for what the Thanagarians have waiting for them. Meanwhile, Deacon Dark's plans finally come together...can the universe withstand the might of the new, all-powerful Snnyar?”

Robin #178 – This book is after RIP and we are still waiting for RIP to conclude. Those issues are always difficult since the writer can not let the cat out of the bag as to what is going on in the main series. What’s inside “The repercussions from "Batman R.I.P." have shaken Robin to the core. With all his relationships fracturing and his place as both sidekick and son, boyfriend and best friend thrown into turmoil, how will Tim Drake determine the best course of action for his future? "Search for a Hero" begins an epic tale that could very well turn the Boy Wonder into a man!”

Scalped #21 – This is one on my top series this year. Scalped delivers like a heavy weight boxer, hitting you with emotions so raw and naked you are almost embarrassed to be in the same room with them. The hype “Beginning an all-new arc that looks at two of the rez's most intriguing inhabitants. Chief Red Crow sits atop an empire amassed through murder and intimidation, but will the death of a friend make him change his ways? Dino Poor Bear is a young kid just scraping by, hoping to make a better life for himself, but how far is he willing to go to get what he wants?”

Stormwatch PHD #14 – I have been enjoying three of the four Wildstorm books since they destroyed the world and this is one of the three. I’m concerned as the back-up story has Lynch with a plan to reset the clock and go back in time and stop the Armageddon event. That would make all of these stories meaningless and would disappoint me to no end. The company line “The surviving members of StormWatch find their satellite existence isolated and difficult, and now the satellite is reaching its breaking point. Can the team reach out to an old foe for help? And will their efforts result in a new understanding or an old brawl? Plus: Part 4 of the Wetworks backup story by Gage and Badeaux!”

Superman Kryptonite HC – This was a terrific story by Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale chronicling Superman’s first encounter with Kryptonite. Certainly a story I wanted on my bookcase. This volume contains “The amazing story from SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1-5 and 11 by Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER) and Tim Sale (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, Heroes) is collected in hardcover. While Superman attempts to survive his first encounter with Kryptonite, will Lois Lane fall prey to a mysterious stranger?”

Tangent Superman’s Reign #7 (of 12) – I have gotten a kick out of this series, but I have to say that 12 part mini-series are tough as they leave no entry point down the road and if sales are tanking do they still finish the book? The company line “Batman (The DCU's Greatest Detective) and The Batman (Tangent's Mystical Avenger) must work together to attack the Superman's empire!”

Titans #5 – This issue could be it for me on this book. The opening arc left a bad taste in my mouth and as much as I love these characters, they need better stories to keep my interest. The word “When Raven's half-brothers return to claim her and unite Trigon's bloodline, Raven must choose which ties are stronger: the family she was born to, or the new family she has made.”

Trinity #16 – This is a good series and if you have been passing on it, jump on it will make sense as you get a couple of issues into it. One of the best structures for a comic I have seen. The hype “Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman lead the heroes of the DCU against the machinations of their malevolent counterparts, resulting in a cataclysmic event that will change the world – but not like anyone involved expects. Plus, Hawkman and Gangbuster make their move to rescue Tarot, and Konvikt breaks loose.”

Ghost Rider #27 – Jason Aaron has turned this franchise around for Marvel and this series is a very cool read. I’m not a big fan of the artist, but he is growing on me. The company line “Hidden in secret tunnels beneath a rickety old cabin in the mountains of Tennessee is a library housing the entire history of the Spirit of Vengeance. The answer to every question Johnny Blaze has ever had about the Ghost Rider, it's all there... and Danny Ketch has just set it on fire. Plus, Blaze vs. Blackout and the debut of the all-new Caretaker!”

Guardians of the Galaxy #5 – I hate that a “Secret Invasion” tie-in has occurred in this book as this series is just getting started and needs to be able to able to build on its own merits. The word “On Knowhere, the Guardian's transdimensional HQ, fear and mistrust boil to the surface as the mismatched team attempts to uncover the Skrull agents in their midst! Who can they trust? And if the answer is "no one", what does that say about the future of the Galaxy's toughest protectors? Intrigue, suspense and Skrull-duggery await.”

Mighty Avengers #18 – I will have to see what this book is like after Secret Invasion as it is definitely on my possible drop list for what it was before Secret Invasion. The hype “INTRODUCING NICK FURY'S SECRET WARRIORS! Do you have what it takes to be trained by the greatest agent in the world? Well, do you? Well, you probably don't, but thankfully he has gathered new heroes who just might!”

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume #103 – This is past the Stan Lee / Jack Kirby era and the there was some fun stuff going on at this time. This volume contains “Written by STAN LEE with ARCHIE GOODWIN Penciled by JOHN BUSCEMA with JOHN ROMITA & JACK KIRBY Cover by JOHN BUSCEMA The World's Greatest Comic Magazine marches forward with a new great artist, Big John Buscema, and the same great man - Stan "The Man," 'natch - in A fresh set of epic adventures as only mighty Marvel can make 'em! It all begins when Johnny Storm's ladylove, Crystal, must leave the polluted human world for the Inhumans' sanctuary, but within her lies the secret solution to freeing the Thing from his rocky prison. Then, as Benjamin Grimm emerges with the power to change into the Thing at will, Reed Richards must descend into the dark of the Negative Zone to face entropic Annihilus and the mysterious Janus, the Nega-Man. But what good is controlling your powers, when you're losing control of your mind? The Thing goes on a rampage and New York City better look out because it can only end in the biggest, the baddest, the best fist-pounding, building-toppling, earth-shaking slobbernocker in Marvel history! The ever-lovin', blue-eyed Thing goes toe-to-toe with the gamma-powered goliath, the Incredible Hulk, and only one will walk out alive. That's not all, though! Before the FF collect themselves, the all-powerful Over-Mind descends on the planet Earth - and you know it ain't gonna be good for real-estate values when the Watcher shows up, too. It's a menace so great that even the evil Doctor Doom joins forces with the FF, so reserve your copy today, True Believer - there's plenty more classics to come! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR #105-116.”

Moon Knight #22 – I'm only half heartedly back on this title, but I like that Moon Knight is flying solo and fighting against the system. The company line “With Tony Stark forced onto the sidelines, Norman Osborn has been tapped to bring in the fugitive super hero -- by all means necessary. That's right, True Believer, the Thunderbolts are on the hunt...and Moon Knight's their game. They know his name and address, so it shouldn't be too hard to find Marc Spector, should it? Guess again.”

X-Men First Class #16 – This is one of the better comics on the market. A lighter read, but a fun book. The word “Here's what it's all been building to! The youngest, most rad members of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four ditch their lame teams and form THE MOST AWESOME DUO IN THE HISTORY OF SUPER-HEROING! Get ready world for ICEMAN and HUMAN TORCH! And Spider-Man shows up too! Chill out and feel the burn! (solicit text contributed by Robert Drake)”

Astounding Wolf Man #8 – They definitely shook things up at the end of last issue and now they are shooting to put this book out monthly which should help a lot. The company line “ After last issue’s status quo-altering events, The Astounding Wolf-Man sets out to find the creature responsible for the wreck his life has become: The Elder. This issue marks the beginning of a new story arc, picking up right where THE ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN, VOL. 1 left off!”

Deviod of Life GN – I like the premise but had been hesitant to pull the trigger on the book. It was not a huge week, so I decided to try it out. The word “Following the discovery of a mysterious hidden planet in our solar system a series of horrible deaths occur at an isolated observatory leading investigators to an alien plot that threatens all life on Earth by a guard of unstoppable ghostly alien creatures.”

Sword #11 – This issue is interesting as it seems like Dara has to win this fight or the book is over before it begins, so can the Luna brothers keep up the dramatic tension on this book or can they do the unexpected? The hype is clear and simple “Sword versus water.”

Walking Dead #52 – This is a very strong series that is now in the process of establishing a new status quo. I keep thinking Rick will eventually die as after all he has been through it is hard to imagine that he even wants to live. Of course I do not think he will die until he knows his son is as safe as possible in a land of zombies. The shortest hype of the week award goes to this issue “Reunion.”

War Heroes #2 (of 6) – The first issue was all set-up, so let’s see if issue #2 can get us into the actual story. In looking for the hype I noticed this book was solicited for July. I never understand how a new series can be so late. You would think they would have at least two issues in the can before soliciting the book. The company line “BOOT CAMP! The road to war continues as our country's newest recruits train to become the super soldiers of tomorrow, but not everyone makes it out alive!”

Conan The Cimmerian #3 – This book is off to a horrible start. Not that the first two issues were not written well or even drawn well, but they were about Conan’s grandfather and some semi-pointless story. Conan fans from the last series are still here, but I have to think starting with a new #1 hopes to grab new readers and having the first two issues not even be about the main character is a mistake. The word “A young Cimmerian huntress--a character seen in Conan Vol. 0: Born on the Battlefield--and Horsa--an Aesir leader from The Frost Giant's Daughter--both cross paths with Conan as he continues his dangerous trek through the snowy mountain passes of Cimmeria. Fighting his way through the natural dangers of his barbaric homeland has been a welcome change from the mind games and treachery Conan found in the cities of the East, but there's an unfortunate lesson in treachery in store for Conan here, too. In a Richard Corben flashback sequence, Connacht--Conan's grandfather--seems to have found a role for himself working in a busy city, but as the old saying goes, "Fleas will find a dog . . . and trouble will find a Cimmerian."”

Atomic Robo Dogs of War #2 (of 5) – Absolutely love this series and I enjoyed the first issue. With Robo you can do almost any type of story that you want and if done right it can work. What’s inside “The Eisner-nominated adventures continues! June, 1943 - control of the Mediterranean hangs in the balance as the Allied Invasion of Sicily crashes against elite Nazi soldiers in 'walking tank' armor that only Atomic Robo can stop! Too bad he's battered, beaten, shot, hit with grenades, captured, and miles away. What does this mean for the Allies who are trapped between the sea and these unstoppable Nazi super weapons?”

Gravel #5 – For a Warren Ellis book this has become a little predictable. The company line “After his victory in a frenzied battle to the death with Edwin Royston and nine powerful Combat Magicians, William Gravel travels to the remote English countryside to collect the spoils of his personal war: the grand Shockham Hall and the fourth piece of the Sigsand Manuscript. Retrieving this section of the most powerful Occult tome ever written will not be easy, however, because there is something in the woods leading to Shockham Hall, and something in the black skies above that thunders down with Apocalyptic fury. These are the riders of the dead, and a beaten and exhausted William Gravel is about to become the prey in the legendary Wild Hunt!”

Tales of Penance Trial of the Century #2 (of 4) – After doing interviews with three of the creators I have been looking forward to the next issue of this book. The word “Burn, baby, burn! As the city of Atlanta threatens to destroy itself over the trial of the masked hero Penance, police detective LJ McCloud continues to dig deeper into the mysterious case. She discovers that the case is shedding light on the masked heroes of Atlanta, and they have a connection to her that is closer than she ever imagined possible!”

Echo #6 – Terry Moore is producing one of this year’s best new series, with characters so real that you feel like you know them. The word “The symbiotic metal suit Julie wears is a fragment of a high-tech nuclear suit. Now she's determined to keep it away from the military contractors who made it and want it back! On the run with her mentally unstable sister in tow, Julie's only other allies are Dillon and his dead girlfriend, Annie. Surely Oppenheimer never had this much fun with atoms!”

Zombie Tales – BOOM studios bucking the trend and doing anthologies. How can you now like that. The hype “Carvalho We wish we could tell you that this was planned, but every once in a while an anthology just stumbles onto a theme. It's a happy occurrence. Even though it involves zombies. Writers William Messner-Loebs and Brian Augustyn explore the role of faith and religion in the face of the coming zombie Apocalypse!”

After two weeks of no absolute knockdown book as being the absolute best it appears this week a couple of books have a super chance of book really rising above the rest. Still you never know until you actually read the comics.


  1. i stumbled onto your blog from the cosmic comix one and was granted with a heads up on atomic robo, something i'm not familiar with. do you know at all if at one time it was attatched to a video game? i had an atomic robo game, but it is most likely unrelated.


  2. samuel rules - to the best of my knowledge there is no relationship to the video game.

  3. Two quick hits:

    Read the OUTSIDERS in the store. Thought it was one of the best R.I.P. stories.

    Also read the WALKING DEAD. Not sure about all these guys coming back, but I haven't read all the issues so I am not sure if it's a cheat or not. Just sort of felt like one.