Monday, September 22, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

I love my various hard cover collections but I have finally hit a cut off point on two different series, both are Masterworks. The Golden Age Masterworks from Marvel are over for me. I love comics from all eras but once I hit a saturation point with certain material enough is enough. The Atlas Era Masterworks I’m almost done with, especially the monster stories. I have a lot of that material from Marvel and again enough is enough. Also with the EC Archives I think I’m getting better material from that era. Plus with so many different hard cover programs coming out I can’t get them all.

Absolute Ronin – I think this was a solid comic from Frank Miller, certainly not his best work but still very good. I’m surprised it got the Absolute treatment and I was very hesitant to buy this Absolute due to the high price point, but I bit the bullet on this one. I could have easily skipped this one and stayed with the trade and still been happy. This volume contains “RONIN, the acclaimed epic by Frank Miller, visionary writer/artist of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, 300 and Sin City and director of the upcoming movie adaptation of The Spirit, is collected for the first time in hardcover in DC's oversized, slipcased Absolute format! In this tale, the legendary warrior known only as the Ronin — a disgraced 13th century samurai, is given a second chance to avenge his master's death and regain his honor. Reborn in a futuristic and corrupt 21st century New York City, the Ronin must defeat the reincarnation of his master's killer, the ancient demon Agat. This breathtaking Absolute Edition includes rarely seen promotional art, fold-out pages and more special features.”

All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #10 – This is the revised version. I think the DC has learned now that there is no reason to actually write down the words, just use a single letter like “aaaaa” and black it out. The hype “Batgirl, Catwoman, Black Canary, and even Detective Gordon's better half give Gotham a headache so big it'll split the city in two!”

Ambush Bug Year None #3 (of 6) – I loved the first issue and hated the second issue. It was almost as if the second issue they were trying to build continuity, this book should just be a comedy and not worry about having a real plot. The word “Darkseid makes a list and checks it twice! Plus, a shotgun wedding, alternate universes, more OMACs than you can shake a stick at and the very important return of Super-Turtle all wait for you in this all-new, all-ridiculous third issue.” What a great cover.

Batman Gotham After Midnight #5 (of 12) – I’m enjoying this over the top version of Batman and his rogues gallery so much that I hope DC puts this out as an oversized hardcover so we can see Kelly’s work in even more detail. The company line “Bruce Wayne's charity ball has been crashed by two fearsome foes! The monstrous Man-Bat returns to face off against the menacing Midnight as the lives of all of Gotham's elite, including billionaire Bruce Wayne and Detective April Clarkson, hang in the balance.”

Blue Beetle #31 – This is one of those series that is usually left alone and is allowed to find its own rhythm. New writer Sturges has picked up right where the previous writer left off and has not missed a beat, a very solid and enjoyable series. The company line “After getting roped into Border Patrol duty, Blue Beetle learns you can't fight City Hall! He can still fight Intergang, though – but they're not going to make it easy for him!”

Fables #76 – I’m anxiously looking forward to this issue as #75 could easily have been where the series ended. What will be the new status quo for this series and who will be the main players. What’s inside “Tourists of the world unite! If you've ever craved a guided tour of Fabletown's secret Manhattan location, prepare to be voraciously satiated. Pinnochio has a field day taking a certain VIP around the city. And exactly which Fabletown denizens are no longer active (dead, alive or otherwise) just might shock you into a comic book coma in this guest artist, one-off issue.” Damn looks like a breather issue before we get into the next arc.

Jack of Fables #26 – This book never holds onto my interest monthly like Fables, but the story of the book burner coming to town sounds like it should be a good arc. The word “Part 2 of the 3-part "Turning Pages" stars former wallflower Priscilla Page. It's chock-full of car crashes, brutal violence, shoplifting and the horrors of mime – not to mention our fearless protagonist Jack facing off against a horrific monster.”

Legion of Super Heroes #46 – This story line has a lot of plot threads going on all at once. I think it is time to start to wrap up one or two of those threads and get to who is behind the “Destroyers”. The hype “Chameleon's hand is amputated! The menacing Intruder Planet is revealed as the source of the Alien Life-Eradicators! A longtime Legionnaire takes the first step down the path of darkness! Plus, the heartbreaking end of the oldest relationship in the history of the Legion!”

Madam Xanadu #4 – Already one of my favorite comics and it brings a smile to my face knowing we are getting another issue of this book. Amy Reeder Hadley is fast becoming a star artist in my opinion. The company line “East and West. Past and present. The opulent wonderland of Xanadu is the crossroads of the whole world…and beyond! Comics master Matt Wagner and the amazing talents of Amy Reeder Hadley keep powering Vertigo's hottest fantasy epic!”

Northlanders #10 – This is another strong Vertigo series. Brian Wood is crafting some great stories from the Viking Era of history. What’s inside “"Lindisfarne," part 2 of 2. Believing he single-handedly wished the Viking scourge into existence, young Edwin watches with fascinated horror as his hometown of Lindisfarne, England is pillaged and burned. With everything he's known and loved now destroyed, will he join with these seafaring raiders or be killed himself?”

Reign in Hell #3 (of 8) – This has been an okay mini-series. I think I more interested in how this plays out with regards to magic in the DCU, then anything to do with who wins the war for hell. The company line “It's all-out war in Hell! The mystic heroes in the DC Universe are forced to choose sides between Lord Satanus and Neron - and you'll be shocked by the results! Plus - A secret detention facility harbors something too horrible for even Hell to contain - what if it gets loose?”

Showcase Presents Metal Men Volume 2 – I still had a few Showcase books on order and will get those, but I’m fast shutting down purchasing these babies as I have no time to read them as much as I want them. This volume contains “Written by Robert Kanigher and Bob Haney; Art and Cover by Ross Andru, Mike Esposito, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and George Roussos; Cover by Andru and Esposito. The Metal Men return in this SHOWCASE PRESENTS volume collecting their adventures from METAL MEN #16-36 and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #66.”

Superman #680 – This issue looks to be almost funny as after Atlas kicks Superman’s a**, Krypto shows up to help out. The hype “The grand finale of the Atlas epic finds Superman's foe seemingly victorious! With Superman down for the count, who can stand in the way of the city's supposed new ruler? Enter Krypto, (Super)man's best friend, who will do anything to protect his master. Don't miss Krypto at his most heroic, a worthy addition to the Superman Family – and a very good boy. Plus: A new, magical character settles in Metropolis, just when Superman needs him most.”

Superman / Batman #52 – The Tiny Tot versions of the JLA have been hilarious and the fact that they are “real” in the context of this story makes it even better. The company line “In the second half of "Li'l Leaguers," The Man of Steel and The Dark Knight must team up with the Li'l League to battle an army of Li'l Villains. Then, the Li'l Villains meet some of their grownup counterparts as Li'l Lex hatches his plan to take over the world. Don't miss this issue's shock ending!”

Teen Titans #63 – The Wonder Twins were eaten by Wonder Dog last issue, so what happens next? I don’t know, but I hope Wendy and Marvin are gone for good. The hype “Bombshell is back! But wait — isn't she dead? Whatever the answer, one thing's for sure: the Teen Titans are gonna have their hands full! Also in this issue: Wonder Girl can feel something terrible on the horizon coming for her and there's nothing she can do to stop it!”

Trinity #17 – This book is a very solid read week in and week out. This series should be the model for all future weekly books. The company line “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.”

Wildcats #3 – The WU is becoming a place that I’m enjoying and Wildcats is chief among the good books coming out from the WU. The word “As the Wildcats attempt to rebuild their shattered world one piece at a time, a glimmer of hope is offered in a rumored oasis in the Nevada desert that literally sprang up out of nowhere after the Apocalypse. Could this be the fabled Nevada Garden? And what ex-member of StormWatch: PHD stands in the way of them finding out? Also, a new backup story begins focusing on Marc Slayton, the original Backlash, by writer Christos Gage and artist Mike McKone.”

Back to Brooklyn #1 (of 5) – This is an interesting writing team of Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti with a street level story that made me decide to try it out. The company line “Bob Saetta made the biggest mistake of his life by pissing off his brother, one of the biggest and most brutal crime bosses in New York City. This is the story of two brothers at war, wrapped in a special package of extreme language and hardcore violence.”

Dead Ahead #1 (of 3) – Yet another Zombie Tale, but when done well they can be entertaining. The hype “On a restless ocean, a group of weary survivors contemplate their grim fortune: What had started out as a fun little fishing trip soon turns into a nightmare of damnation, trapped on a floating prison. The continents have been hit by a plague that has turned humanity into living corpses - leaving our castaways at sea to fend for themselves! With provisions low, hope comes in the form of a luxury liner sailing into view on the horizon… All they needed to survive would be on board, but who among them has what it takes to find out what happened to its crew and passengers?”

I Kill Giants #3 (of 7) – I never understand why stuff like this happens. Issue #2 was late and then issue #3 shows up less then a month later. I’m not complaining as I’m enjoying this series a lot. What’s inside “Taylor’s conniving and Mrs. Molle’s good intentions begin to wreak havoc on Barbara’s carefully balanced reality, even as Sophia’s friendship truly begins to blossom. When it becomes too much to bear, who will suffer Barbara’s fury? Will the great war hammer Coveleski finally speak?”

M-Theory #1 (of 3) – This book has Dwight McPherson as the writer which is plus #1 and then a great premise, that was the final hook to get me to try out this series. The company line “In this thrilling premier episode, a government scientist receives a startling transmission of extraterrestrial origin! A promising college student makes a terrifying discovery! And a group of deep space explorers encounter a shocking nemesis… at the outer limits of our galaxy!”

Proof #12 – This book is such a great series and it just oozes enthusiasm and the love its creators poor into it month in and month out. Just go and buy this book. The word “"THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO," Part Three: The last Chinese Ink Monkey fights for its life against a rogue fairy. The Lodge will be changed forever.”

Hellboy the Crooked Man #3 (of 3) – This is wrapping up the short adventure of Hellboy from back in the fifties involving witchcraft and the Appalachians. The company line “Trapped in a crumbling church, Hellboy must save a man's soul from ancient witches, a rain of exploding corpses, and finally the evil magic of Crooked Man himself. This 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.”

Solomon Kane #1 (of 5) – We have another of Robert E. Howard’s heroes being adapted yet again to comics. Solomon Kane is one of his lesser known creations and one that has never resonated with me, so I hope this series can get my interest. The word “Robert E. Howard's vengeance-obsessed puritan begins his supernatural adventures in the haunted Black Forest of Germany in this five-issue adaptation of Howard's "The Castle of the Devil." When Solomon Kane stumbles upon the body of a boy hanged from a rickety gallows, he goes after the man responsible--a baron feared by the peasants from miles around. Something far worse than the devilish baron or the terrible, intelligent wolf that prowls the woods lies hidden in the ruined monastery beneath the baron's castle, where a devil-worshipping priest died in chains centuries ago. Dark Horse's original Conan editor, Scott Allie, writes the series, with art by Mario Guevara and Dave Stewart, who reinvents his revolutionary color technique from Conan.”

Contract #3 (of 3) - The conclusion to this over the top futurist action/adventure yarn. This series is a lot of fun and entertaining. The hype “The contract to rescue a kidnapped little girl has taken a turn for the worst. Abducted from her kidnappers by black market organ dealers and their cybernetic bodyguards, the threat to her life is very real. However, battling through a couple squads of armed combat cyborgs seems almost easy when compared to the tough choice that Jessie, Panzer and Tsumi will have to face. Can they live with themselves after the decision is made? Find out in the conclusion of Contract's first 3-part mini-series!”

Cthulhu Tales #5 – BOOM continues their anthology series based on the works of HP Lovecraft. What’s inside “Set sail for death! Well okay, first, unspeakably mind-bending terror on the cruise ship out of time - and then death! Sorry to give away the surprise ending.”

Fall of Cthulhu Godwar #2 (of 4) – I’m still not sure why BOOM changed this from an ongoing into a series of mini-series, but hey BPRD does the same thing. The hype “Open warfare between the Cult of Cthulhu and the followers of Nodens has spilled out onto the streets of Arkham--but as their struggle continues to rage, the Harlot reveals that she has no intention of staying on the sidelines during the Godwar. With the help of Lucifer, the Harlot sets her own plans in motion and welcomes back an old friend!”

Night & Fog #3 (of 6) – I wonder how far back in time tales of a fog coming into a town and killing people goes back, maybe since the Black Plague. The word “A horrible gene therapy experiment goes awry resulting in a fog that infects an island army base and the nearby village and turning most of the inhabitants into rampaging killing machines. The only chance for escape for the survivors is through an underground cavern once used in the Indian war. But what they find instead is the origin of the terrible evil that has been set loose on the island.”

Resurrection #6 – Wow it has been a long time between issues of this series and I’m almost ready to write this series off so I guess getting to the end fast is one way to beat people dropping the book. Still if memory serves there is a lot left to resolve in one issue. The word “A finale so big and so surprising that it couldn't be contained in one issue! The aliens have left earth, but what now?”

Station #3 (of 5) – This has been a great locked room murder mystery. I mean what better locked room then a space station. The company line “The ultimate locked-room murder has been committed. Someone's been killed aboard the international space-station two hundred and twenty miles above the Earth. All six astronauts suspect one another, and paranoia runs high as more victims fall while trying to expose the killer. If he's not brought to justice - he can bring about the end of the world!”

Black Panther #41 – I picked this up due to Jason Aaron writing it and while I think it is not his best work and flawed I will follow this arc till its conclusion. The word “The war for Wakanda comes to its brutal conclusion. With Storm and the Black Panther both prisoners of the Skrull invaders, is all hope lost for the people of Wakanda? Or does their king still have one last trick up his sleeve?”

Captain America #42 – Please let’s get this story line to some semblance of a conclusion. This has become the never ending story. The hype “The final chapter of the epic "Death of Captain America" saga is here! The New Captain America, the Falcon, the Black Widow, Sharon Carter - all in a final showdown with the Red Skull and his minions for the future of America!”

Daredevil #111 – I have avoided reading any articles on Lady Bullseye, so I can judge once I read it, but the concept on the surface sounds lame. The word “Be there when Matt Murdock first encounters a shocking new face -- Lady Bullseye! Who is she? Where did she come from? What does she want? And will she be a foe to Daredevil…or a friend? We can’t make a peep yet, but it’s the perfect jumping-on point as an alarming new chapter begins in the acclaimed DAREDEVIL run by Ed Brubaker and Clay Mann! LADY BULLSEYE!!”

Marvel Masterworks Atlas Heroes Volume #104 – I have stopped the Golden Age and Atlas Age monster stuff with the next one, this maybe the last of the Atlas Hero stuff for me. I hit a saturation point with certain material. This volume contains “The Atlas Era Heroes hits the high-water mark of the 1954 revival with the sovereign of the seven seas, the Sub-Mariner! Collected for the first time ever, the Atlas SUB-MARINER series showcases Bill Everett's most lavish, most manic and most exciting interpretation of his undersea creation. Supported by Namora, Princess Fen and intrepid love interest Betty Dean, Namor faces off against the nefarious Prince Byrrah, his own doppelganger, giant crocodiles and Communists a-plenty in issue after issue of pre-Code action and marine adventure. From all-out invasions of the surface world to the perils of exile from Atlantis, these pages define the Sub-Mariner in a way never before, and perhaps never since, captured in any comic series! Along with Dick Ayer's Human Torch and backup stories featuring the terrors of the deep, you'll also be treated to Everett's tales of the young Namor and how he came to be the hot-headed protector the kingdom beneath the Antarctic ice. Collecting SUB-MARINER #33-42.”

New Avengers #45 – I ready for Secret Invasion to be over and see what the ramifications will be from that series. The company line “If the Skrulls have infiltrated us for years preparing for the INVASION, then what happened to them during the legendary HOUSE OF M event? Find out here in another huge chapter in the Secret Invasion story packed with shocking reveals.”

Nova #17 – This series I was in love with and it has been sidetracked twice since it was launched. Hopefully this will be the end of the interruptions to this title. The hype “Back on Earth in the middle of the biggest and most insidious alien invasion ever, Richard Rider battles to safeguard the only people he can trust... his family! Rich’s kid brother now works at the famous Project Pegasus... and that means he’s right in the Skrulls' firing line! Its blistering cosmic-powered action as the last Nova Centurion stands against an entire Skrull strike force hell-bent on securing Project Pegasus's secret weapons for themselves! And take it from us; the last page shocker will knock Nova upside his helmet!”

Samurai #1 (of 4) – Another one of the European comics Marvel is publishing. This looks to be very good. What’s inside “The European best-seller - now finally presented in English! Writer Jean-Francois Di Giorgio and artist Frederic Genat tap into the rich mythology of the noble Samurai, creating a nuanced look at the fabled Japanese warriors. Having become a samurai, Takeo feels strong enough to confront his past. On the borders of Japan, a terrible plan is being plotted: General Akuma, one of the Empire's most influential figures, seems to be dead set on betraying the Emperor to his own advantage. However, a grave secret links the two men: the 13th prophet. Meanwhile, Takeo hopes to discover who he is. Why did he grow up in a monastery? And why was he abandoned by his brother ten years earlier? His quest will put him in deep torment, placing him in the middle of the dark destiny of the Empire and the 13th prophet!”

Thunderbolts #124 – This has been a kind of crap Secret Invasion cross-over. I should have skipped this and got back on once Diggle was writing the book. The company line “The Thunderbolts are in an all-out war against the Skrulls for the fate of Washington D.C.....and things don't look good for our side! What will bring them down first--the Skrull armada? The Super-Skrull with all the powers of the original Thunderbolts? Or the loose cannons within the team itself? Can a group led by the former Green Goblin keep from imploding under pressure, or will the nation's capital have to be relocated? Given the Thunderbolts' record, you may want to cancel that field trip...”

Ultimate Spider-Man #126 – I hope this book does not get too screwed up by the forthcoming Ultimatum crap coming out. The word “Guest-starring the Ultimates! The worst has happened -- Peter Parker has become the dreaded symbiote Venom! And not only is Silver Sable and her Wildpack on his gooey trail, but our troubled hero is also in the crosshairs of the Ultimates!”

Ultimates 3 #5 (of 5) – The last Jeph Loeb book I hope to read for a long time. His work has been atrocious of late and for me Loeb is a negative to see his name on a book. The company line “This is it, the ending you've been breathlessly waiting for! Who killed the Scarlet Witch -- and why? The answers will rock you as the Ultimate Universe is about to explode! Betrayals, secrets, and even another murder are all laid bare as superstars Jeph Loeb, Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner conclude Volume 3! But the next big Ultimates story is just beginning, as right around the corner is...Ultimatum!” Solicited for an April release.

X-Men Legacy #216 – One of two last X-Books I get in current continuity. The word “No X-Man goes back further with Charles Xavier than Cyclops, but the trust between them has been eroded by terrible revelations. Now Xavier wants Scott Summers to hold a mirror up to his own past and present. What he sees there could destroy both of them...”

This is a decent size week, which is the norm on a four week month for me. What I’m missing right now is more Final Crisis and the conclusion of the RIP story line in Batman.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I had the original run of Ronin and from what I remember it was a decent series. I'm more interested in the special features and the package itself. I wonder how it will compare to the other Absolutes.

    Chris Marshall