I have all sorts of rants and stuff that I would to go on and on about, but I have a lousy cold that has knocked the crap out of me this weekend (as I always prepare Monday and Tuesday’s post on the weekend). So I will just leave it with a simple political statement that neither Obama or McCain is the answer. I will write in for Ron Paul and I encourage all of you to check his writings as he has the basis for how to restore the USA into a better place. I guessing this election will be a landslide for Obama and the democrats and socialism will be full blown under their rule (which is a change from fascism under Bush but still wrong). The one thing that could stop it is our country going bankrupt (which it will do one day without radical change).
The books that I’m looking forward to the most are:
Final Crisis #4 (of 7) – I have recently read the deluxe JLA edition which including the first nine issues of Grant Morrison’s run. My old impression of the book that it was okay, but no great shakes, but I know Morrison’s reads better as a whole and it was actually brilliant. The first four issues did more then the first 24 of the current JLA run. Porter is not the best artist, but if Morrison had been working with a top tier talent, this stuff would be recognized more for how strong it is. I believe Final Crisis will read better as a collected work. The company line “It's one month after the Anti-Life Equation was released worldwide. Millions now toil as slaves of Darkseid, while the Justifier shock troops of Apokolips lay waste to the planet Earth and hunt down its protectors.
The remaining free humans and superheroes are stationed around the world, besieged within the walls of ten very familiar 'Watchtowers', as they fight a desperate, losing battle against the triumphant forces of evil. While Green Arrow and Black Canary attempt to deliver the secret of humanity's last hope across America's blasted wastelands, the Outsiders brave the horrors of the Bludhaven bunker in search of Batman. The ultimate battle is coming…but which heroes will become villain – and vice versa? And what part do the Secret Society have to play in the dawning of this new Age of Evil? Darkness is falling and death rules the day. Is this truly the end of the Age of Super Heroes? Don't miss FINAL CRISIS #4: "How to Murder the Earth!"”
Scalped #22 – This is the best crime drama on the stands, but since that is very few books, it is one of the best dramas on the stands. Let’s make it real clear it is consistently one of the best comics on the stands. The hype “"The Gravel in Your Guts" Part 2 of 4. Chief Red Crow is doing everything he can to walk the straight and narrow, but Mr. Brass and his murderous ways aren't making that very easy. Also in this issue, we flashback to the first murder Red Crow ever committed.”
Criminal #6 – It is a shame that both Scalped and Criminal hit the same week as both are great books and may do better on the have the comic rack to themselves and are not fighting each other. Ed Brubaker’s best work by far. The word “Jacob K. has a special talent, and a dark secret. The beautiful girl who’s got him on the run for his life only knows about one of them, and that may be her big mistake. See what these bad nights will bring Jacob, and if he’ll get out alive. And on top of this longer-than-usual length main story, CRIMINAL now features an expanded back-pages section, as well — with articles by Brubaker and other top crime writers, from novelists to screenwriters to comic writers. These noir articles can only be found in the CRIMINAL comics, not in any collections.” Side note: The idea that you are going to get people to buy the regular book because of a prose article is one that I think does not work. In fact I believe it could be counter productive.
Fear Agent #24 I against I (Part 3 o f 6) – Two years later and I still love this book. It has morphed from a straight tragic-comedy to a more continuity laden story, but it is still great. The company line “Heath finds himself in the roughest sector of the universe with a mob of desperate criminals out for his blood. A dirty, down-in-the-mud street fight leaves him changed forever and desperate for payback. There's a new sheriff in town.”
Challenger Deep #3 (of 4) – This has been a great action/adventure tale and the only complaint I have is that it is only 4 issues and not 5 or 6. There is a lot of story packed in each and every page, that nothing is wasted. The word “Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now, imagine you're on a - I didn't say breathe! - on a sunken submarine at the bottom of the ocean, teetering on enough methane ice to blow the world in half if you make the slightest wrong move. Your only prayer of survival lies with the only diver on Earth who's ever gone this deep. Of course, that time he lost his wife and half his crew, and he's older now. Comforted? No? Thank writers Andrew Cosby, creator of the hit Sci-Fi Channel show Eureka, and Andy Schmidt!”
Superman New Krypton Special #1 – It will be very interesting to see how you incorporate a city of super people into a world of ordinary people. I will be curious to see how this plays out. I see three possible endings for this story either relocation, their powers being taken away or Brainiac shrinks the Kandor again. The hype “A "Sightings" issue! "New Krypton" Part 1 of 9! The entire Superman franchise writing team joins forces, with art by Pete Woods and others, to formally launch the Superman event years in the making! While the current threat of Brainiac may have been forestalled in ACTION COMICS #870, the repercussions will be felt for a long, long time. Superman's greatest victory has lead to his happiest day – and his saddest. Gains are balanced by losses while Superman has to figure out what to do with 100,000 Kryptonians! Hold on to your capes as this story leads directly into SUPERMAN #681.”
Heck I could have added a few more, but the bottom line if with Final Crisis and Secret Invasion both hitting the same week it should be an interesting week.
Batman Gotham After Midnight #6 (of 12) – Kelly Jones over the top artwork fits in perfectly with Steve Niles insane script. The giant Clayface was my favorite bit so far and if DC does not reprint this as a deluxe oversized edition they are insane. The word “October 31st in Gotham City – the scariest day of the year. It's the night when trick-or-treating can be terrifying and tragic. It's the night when people fear the darkness and beware the moonlight. It's the night they say he came home. For tonight, two very different people receive invitations to a very special party. They will be charged with surviving the night in the most horrifying haunted house imaginable. The guests: the Monstrous Midnight and The Dark Knight Detective. The host: The Joker. Welcome to Halloween in Gotham City.”
Birds of Prey #123 – Still a strong series and I have enjoyed Tony Bedard’s work on this book, but I wish BOP would go back to Gotham, Platinum Flats is not working for me. The hype “The Joker crosses Oracle's doorstep as he muscles in on the high-tech gangs running the new city the Birds of Prey operate out of. But will Oracle be able to control herself when facing the maniac who crippled her?”
Blue Beetle #32 – Another solid series from DC. My one concern here is that the previous writers were showing Jamie really learning and growing up I hope that does not stop. What’s inside “The man behind all the recent mayhem comes out of the Super-Villain closet. Meet the new Doctor Polaris and find out what else he has in store for Blue Beetle!”
Final Crisis Submit #1 – Final Crisis has been a little slow in coming out and as with Secret Crisis these events need to happen faster, two thirds of a year is too long. At least with Final Crisis I can pick up the tie-ins as they are not that many. The company line “In a world overrun by Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation and his relentless storm troopers, do you choose to SUBMIT? As the lines between Super Hero and Super-Villain become blurred, the ultimate odd couple of Black Lightning and Tattoo Man, in what could be their final adventure, battle against the odds to save a family from the great darkness.” Side note - Read all hype in the deep movie trailer voice and it works better 90% of the time.
Hellblazer #248 – I have enjoyed Andy Diggle’s run on this book and now that he has set the bar so high, I wonder who will follow starting in issue #251 I believe. The word “"The Roots of Coincidence" (Part 2 of 3). To discover who has been manipulating events around him, John Constantine must first understand his own relationship to the web of synchronicity that binds his life. To do so, he will tap into a source of terrifying and blasphemous power and what it reveals will change his life forever.”
Showcase Presents World’s Finest Volume 2 – I know I should stop with these, but this volume contains stuff that I would love to see in a hardcover, so until then this needs to be on a bookshelf. This volume contains “Written by Jerry Coleman, Ed Herron, Dave Wood, Bill Finger and Edmond Hamilton Cover by Curt Swan and George Klein; Art by Dick Sprang, Curt Swan, Jim Mooney and others. Superman, Batman and Robin team up once more in tales from WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #112-145! Among the foes the World's Finest team faces are The Composite Superman, The Joker, Lex Luthor, Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk!”
Tangent Superman’s Reign #8 (of 12) – I have been disappointed that we have the Tangent people now coming into the regular DCU. I wanted this series to focus on the Tangent Universe and not rely on DCU guest starts and such. The hype “The Tangent Superman's assault on the DCU Earth continues, and his quest to make the world "safe" for normal people is set to crush all metahuman resistance in its path!”
Trinity #21 – I like how Kurt has changed the pace. After the Trinity was replaced we are discovering how different the world is, but we have yet to even see the Trinity who replaced them in the new reality. This is a rock solid series and using the weekly format to it’s best effect. The word “Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman no more! The heroic Trinity have met their fates at the hands of their villainous counterparts in the Troika. Now the Earth trembles helplessly in the hands of the villainous group while Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman's accomplishments are being forgotten!”
Unknown Soldier #1 – This will be a totally different take on the concept, with nothing apparently related but the title. I’m always curious about most new Vertigo series. The company line “Welcome to Northern Uganda. In 2002, it's a place where tourists are hacked to death with machetes, 12-year-olds with AK-47s wage war, and celebrities futilely try to get people to care. Moses Lwanga is a pacifist doctor caught at the center. But when his life is threatened, Moses suddenly realizes he knows how to kill all too well. What is this voice telling him the only way to fix what's wrong with the country is by slaughtering those responsible? And what is Moses' connection to another past bandage-wrapped warrior?”Written by Joshua Dysart (SWAMP THING, B.P.R.D. 1946), who spent a month in Uganda doing research, with art by Alberto Ponticelli (Sam and Twitch) and covers by Igor Kordey (New X-Men), UNKNOWN SOLDIER is a monthly-shipping, all-new interpretation of the classic DC character."
Wildcats #4 – It looks like we may stay in this post apocalyptic world. I hope so as the WU has not been better in years. The hype “It's a rumble in the jungles of Nevada as the Wildcats tangle with old allies! But what secret does this lush oasis hold and could it be the answer to the Earth's needs? And how does it all connect to a character from NUMBER OF THE BEAST? Plus, Cybernary returns as a new backup begins with Gage and artist Pete Woods!”
Captain America #43 – So my predication that Steve Rogers comes back by issue #50 seems like it may not work out. The funny thing is that Ed has yet to really hook me on Bucky being Captain America. It is an interesting process to see how he grows into the role. What’s inside “Bucky has survived his first major trial as the new Captain America, but now a villain from his past - both as Bucky in WW2 and as the Winter Soldier during the Cold War - has come to the U.S. and he'll have to face his history just as he's finding his feet in the present. The beginning of a gripping war and espionage tale, with some familiar faces for long-term Cap readers, as the New Captain America moves further into the Marvel U.”
Daredevil #112 – Okay Matt has slept with Dakota and framed for a murder charge, all to keep him away from Lady Bullseye killing some other people. Lot’s going on and this arc looks to be a good one. The hype “The shadows of the city grow thick with ninja blades. The Hand is back in New York, on the hunt for something as yet unknown...but the enigmatic new Lady Bullseye is in league with them, and whatever they're after can't be good news for Daredevil and his friends. The second chapter of "Broken Hand" begins here -- featuring Iron Fist, the Black Tarantula, and more!” This concludes Ed Brubaker week from Marvel.
Ghost Rider Danny Ketch #1 (of 5) – How good has Jason Aaron been on Ghost Rider? Good enough that I’m trying out this mini-series even without Jason writing it. Jason has raised my interest level in Ghost Rider and I thought my love for that character was dead and gone. The company line “You've heard the news by now. He's been away, he's been down to rock bottom; but he's back. Dan Ketch reborn: a stranger, darker figure. So what happened, Dannyboy? Where did it all go wrong? Tying-into Jason Aaron's stunning take on the Ghost Rider mythos, artist Javier Saltares (Iron Man, Cat Woman) and writer Simon Spurrier (Gutsville, Silver Surfer) present a tormented fall into the deepest pits of the soul. Join us - via Technomancer babes, talking carrion-birds, battering-rams on bikes and the inescapable hunger for Vengeance - for a dark tale of Addiction.”
Hulk Premier HC – Heart of the Atom – I don’t thing Masterworks will ever make it this far and can't reprint in this type of fashion, plus this was a good story line. This volume contains “Written by HARLAN ELLISON, ROY THOMAS, CHRIS CLAREMONT, ARCHIE GOODWIN, LEN WEIN, HERB TRIMPE, BILL MANTLO & PETER GILLIS Penciled by HERB TRIMPE, SAL BUSCEMA & JOE STATON Cover by HERB TRIMPE & DAVE COCKRUM In the sub-atomic kingdom of K'ai, the Hulk gained Bruce Banner's brain, but lost his heart to the gorgeous green Grace: Jarella! After the sinister Psyklop gets their world in his hands, the atom-crossed couple seeks happiness on Earth, but the odds seem stacked against them in both dimensions! Will the Hulk save his emerald angel and her war-torn world? Can green hearts be broken? Find out in this saga that spans time, space, and [non]human emotion! Guest-starring Captain Marvel and the Avengers! Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK #140, #148, #156, #202-203, #205-207 and #246-248; and WHAT IF? #23.”
New Avengers #46 – More stuff on the Hood. I know Bendis has been trying to build the Hood into this major bad-a** character, but it is still not working for me. The company line “The Notorious Hood And His Gang Of The Most Powerful Super-Villains Of All Time Need A Leg Up On The Skrulls. But To Get It, The Hood Will Have To Find The True Secret To His Powers. Who Is The Demon Behind The Hood? Find Out In This Very Special Secret Invasion Tie-In.” A special tie-in, what the rest are crap and you are admitting that?
Samurai Legend #2 (of 4) – The first issue was excellent and I’m expecting more of the same. Bravo for Marvel publishing these great books from overseas. The hype “On the borders of Japan, a terrible plot is being prepared: General Akuma seems bent on betraying the Emperor despite a mysterious secret that binds them. Meanwhile, Takeo the Samurai continues his quest to obtain the treasure from the XIIIth prophet's vault and foil Akuma's destructive plans. But there are many obstacles in his way: Akanobu — the mountain of the seven sources, whose rare visitors are never seen again — and the terrifying Shadow Sisters. Fear sets in. And it would be easier if Natsumi wasn't by their side — Natsumi, on whose shoulders could lay the destiny of the kingdom.”
Secret Invasion #7 (of 8) – Wow I wish this was the last issue as opposed to the second to last issue. I know the events in this series have occurred in a small time-frame, but I think the book would read better as a bi-weekly. The word “THIS IS IT!! The Marvel Universe versus the Skrull Empire - a battle of unity and spirit the likes of which the Earth has never seen. The comic event of the year starts its shocking conclusion.”
Thunderbolts #125 – I’m only this book at all because I waiting for Andy Diggle to take over as writer. This feels like a fill-in and a worthless SI tie-in. The company line “This is it -- the final battle between the Norman Osborn-led Thunderbolts and those no-good, stinkin' Skrulls! Will Venom, Bullseye and company emerge as heroes - or are they destined to remain villains? The answer will have major repercussions for the Thunderbolts...not to mention the entire Marvel Universe itself!” How can this and Secret Invasion both be it?
Ultimate Spider-Man #127 - Concluding the “War of the Symbiotes” story line. This is my Spider-Man book. The hype “Carnage versus Venom for all the marbles! It's the big conclusion to the War of the Symbiotes as Eddie Brock returns to Midtown High after months away. He seeks out Peter Parker and demands that Peter either help him find the Venom symbiote that once was grafted to him or Peter's secret identity will be revealed. Who should show up at his doorstep but a very much alive blast from Peter's past !”
Wolverine Manifest Destiny #1 (of 4) – What could make me buy a random fourt part Wolverine mini-series? Answer: Jason Aaron as the writer. I’m willing to read almost any story Jason is telling or at least giving it a try. The word “The X-Men have arrived in San Francisco-but Wolverine finds he's left more than his heart there! Something happened in Chinatown more than 50 years ago...something that the people there still have not forgotten. And now Logan finds himself a marked man, pursued by fighters from every dojo in town--not to mention the mystical warriors of the criminal Triad and their merciless leader...who just happens to be Logan's ex-girlfriend. Guess you shoulda stayed in New York, huh bub?”
X-Men Legacy #217 – This is another part of the “Original Sin” storyline that is wandering in and out of this and Wolverine Origins. The prologue was decent, the first chapter was only okay, so I hope this is more interesting. Often they hint at revealing something and then they only reveal something to leave a larger mystery and I grow tired of that ploy. The company line “After his bruising encounter with Cyclops and Emma Frost, Professor X is forced to revisit the biggest challenge and the biggest failure of his career: Logan. But the layers of lies hide one last, deadly secret which goes back to the days of the X-Men's founding, and the Professor's timing couldn't possibly be worse...”
Invincible #54 – I love seeing this book coming out on a regular basis again, especially as this story line has been very well done. Mark’s and his kid brother are headed towards a showdown, but Oliver is at least playing Mark right now. The hype “FIGHTMASTER AND DROP KICK RETURN! They're back from the future to alter the past - can Invincible stop them - or will he be lost in the time stream forever? Also in this issue: Kid Omni-Man saves the day!”
Noble Causes #37 – Racing towards the end of this series, which is a shame as I have just jumped in since the five year jump issue. I guess they did not generate enough new readers to keep the book going. What’s inside “It's probably the best super-hero team-up in the universe, as Invincible guest stars! He and Zephyr has been friends for a while, but were they ever more than friends? Zephyr's husband wants to know!”
Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein HC – The actual book by Mary Shelley is hard as heck to read as it is full of the Victorian era prose, but the artwork that Bernie did for this book is nothing short of a masterpiece. The company line “Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson's illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Twenty-five years later, this magnificent pairing of art and literature is still considered to be one of the greatest achievements made by any artist in the field. Now, Wrightson and Dark Horse Books are collaborating on a beautiful new hardcover edition of the book, published in a larger 9" x 12" format intended to show off the exquisitely detailed line art of one of the greatest living artists in comics today. This book includes the complete text of the original ground-breaking novel, and the original forty-seven full-page illustrations that stunned the world with their monumental beauty and uniqueness.The original edition of this book is nearly impossible to find. Don't miss your chance to enjoy one of the most talked-about books of the last twenty-five years, Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein.”
Rest #1 – The “zero” issue grabbed my interest enough to make me sign on for the series. Someone makes a pill so you never have to sleep, a great idea, right? The company line “John Barret is a man at the end of his rope. In his late 20's, he's stuck in a dead-end job with no friends and no future. When his best friend from college mysteriously resurfaces with news of a new wonder drug that replaces sleep, John falls into a conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history!”
Echo #7 – Terry Moore continues this fantastic series. Each issue is not a cliffhanger or a tale that you can’t wait for the next issue, but each issue builds on the last and is telling a compelling story. It is so good that you do not want to see it ever come to an end. The hype “With Agent Ivy hot on Julie's trail, the body count in Julie's wake is rising. Julie blames Ivy, Ivy blames Julie, but in their game of cat and mouse, neither suspects the rat who shadows them both! It's life and death in Terry Moore's sci-fi thriller, Echo!”
Warren Ellis Aetheric Mechanics GN – His last graphic novel Crecy was excellent. I’m hoping this will be also. The company line “The newest addition to Warren Ellis' Apparat line of original graphic novels has arrived! The year is 1907, and Britain has entered into a terrifying war with Ruritania, whose strange metal planes darken the skies, and whose monstrous war engines cast looming shadows from across the channel. Doctor Robert Watcham, lately returned to London from the front, makes his homecoming to Dilke Street. There lives his old friend, and England's greatest amateur detective, Sax Raker. Even as his beloved city prepares for war, Raker is himself about to embark on the strangest, and perhaps the most important, investigation of his career - the case of the man who wasn't there. This is no simple matter of murder; Sax Raker faces haunting questions to which there are no cut-and-dried answers. Is the mysterious killer, at last, evidence for Raker's long-held belief in a secret criminal mastermind? Is it some apparition uniquely belonging to this singular city, a place that seems to have lost all semblance of sense two years ago? Or do all the signs point to something much, much worse? This may very well be the last case for our Raker: a spinning tale of mystery, a tangled story of science, a twisting account of thwarted love, a fleeting glimpse into the aetheric mechanics of the world itself - and, of course, death.”
Zombie Tales #6 – Always love some good Zombie Tales. The hype “Famed novelist and RPG designer Monte Cook (World Of Darkness) brings his skills to BOOM! with his Zombie Tales debut, 'Headshot,' a macabre tale of survival and sacrifice.”
This should be a great week of comics, with a lot of good books. If you have grown tired of all capes and tights material I strongly recommend Scalped or Criminal this week. Maybe this should be my regular exit line, the book that enough people are not reading and should be.