Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marvel Preview Review for February

Lee: Another month, another post full of whining and complaining with a little hint of outright b*tching.
Jim:In other words a normal month for Lee.

AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #22 Written by Christos Gage, Pencils & Cover by Humberto Ramos 32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
DARK AVENGERS #2Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils & Cover by Mike DeodatoVariant Cover by Mike Choi32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10Written by Matt Fraction, Art & Cover by Salvador Larroca32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
MS. MARVEL #36Written by Brian Reed, Penciled by Patrick OlliffeCover by PHIL JIMENEZ32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
NEW AVENGERS #50 Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils & Wraparound Cover by Billy Tan 48 PGS./Rated A ...$4.99
WAR MACHINE #3 Written by Greg Pak, Penciled by Leonardo MancoCover by Francesco "Matt" Mattina32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
THUNDERBOLTS #129 Written by Andy Diggle, Penciled by Roberto De La TorreCover by Francesco "Matt" MattinaVariant Cover by Clint Langley32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
PUNISHER #2Written by Rick Remender, Penciled by Jerome Opena50/50 Covers by MIKE MCKONE32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
DEADPOOL #7 Written by Daniel Way, Penciled by Paco Medina Cover by Jason Pearson 32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
MIGHTY AVENGERS #22 Written by Dan Slott, Pencils & Cover by Khoi Pham32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #33 Written by Daniel Way, Pencils & Cover by Doug Braithwaite32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
DARK REIGN FILES Written by Michael Hoskin 64 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99
SECRET WARRIORS #1 Written by Brian Michael Bendis & Jonathan Hickman, Penciled by Stefano CaselliCover by Jim Cheung48 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 Written by Jeff Parker, Penciled by Carlo Pagulayan & Benton JewCover by Art AdamsVariant Cover by Ed Mcguinness48 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Wow. Another month that has 14 issues with no preview what so ever. Oddly enough, I like it. At first I was annoyed but now my inner fanboy is intrigued by what’s coming. It will be a nice to be surprised when a book actually comes out.
Jim: Of course we had written this before Secret Invasion had come out and now all the “classified” solicitations have been released. The Dark Reign is starting off as a disaster and holds no real internal logic.

BLACK PANTHER #1 BLACK PANTHER #1 70th ANNIVERSARY VARIANT EDITION Written by Reginald Hudlin, Penciled by Ken Lashley50/50 Cover by J. Scott Campbell50/50 Cover by Ken LashleyVariant Cover by Marko Djurdjevic"Deadliest Of The Species, Part 1Tie-in to "Dark Reign"40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: So Black Panther is restarting for some unknown reason but that’s kinda typical these days. And of course, it comes in three different covers! But, the interesting thing is the female Black Panther on the cover. The completely bizarre thing is the Sub-Mariner on the variant edition. Does that make sense to anyone?
Jim: Yeah a female Black Panther, because why? I don’t like Hudlin’s writing so this is an easy pass for me. Also why is Namor listed as a variant cover for this one, must be a typo or something.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #131 Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Cover by Stuart Immonen The hits just KEEP ON COMING! Just when our waterlogged webslinger thought things couldn't get any worse, Spidey finds himself face-to-face with none other than the HULK! PLUS Spider-Woman, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange amidst the destruction... and not everyone lives to see the next issue...! 32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99

Lee: The ultimate Hulk is a very cool version of the Hulk. Millar did some great things with him. So did Ellis for that matter. I wonder if Bendis will keep up with the extreme version.
Jim: I wonder how long the stupid Ultimatum is going to frell up this comic.

ULTMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #1 ALL-NEW PRINTING Written by Damon Lindelof Pencils & Cover by Leinil Francis Yu Damon Lindelof, co-creator of the hit TV series Lost teams with superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu to bring their storytelling magic to a tale that will rock the Ultimate Universe! Dr. Bruce Banner has been presumed dead since his execution, following his murderous rampage through Manhattan as the Hulk. But when reports start cropping up of an unidentified creature appearing around the globe, Nick Fury begins to get worried. Not because Banner can turn from man to unstoppable monster in seconds...but because Banner's existence is the one secret that can bring down Fury. Fury turns to the only man he can trust: Wolverine. And he's only too glad to take care of Banner--by any means necessary. 32 PGS/Rated T+...$2.99
ULTMATE WOLVERINE VS.HULK #2 ALL-NEW PRINTING Written by Damon Lindelof Pencils & Cover by Leinil Francis Yu Doctor Bruce Banner. Mass Murderer. Responsible for the death of hundreds in New York City. Now, he wanders the globe in search of inner peace--in an attempt to never again unleash the monster within. Banner travels through Paris, Ireland, India, and finally to the hills of Tibet...where at last he finds Nirvana. And that is precisely when Wolverine shows up. To kill him. Let the games begin. Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and superstar Leinil Francis Yu continue the fight of a lifetime! 32 PGS/Rated T+...$2.99

Lee: All new printings???? Is that because this was originally published in December 2005? This is so bad that snarky comments aren’t even required.
Jim: You would think that they would be soliciting the next new issue at the same time as the only reason to start this series up again is that it is finished. Who would not just wait for the trade at this point anyway.

ASTONISHING TALES #1Written by C.B. Cebulski, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Chris Sequera, & Jonathan HickmanPenciled by Kenneth Roquefort, Lou Kang, Chew Chan, Nick Pitarra, And Jonathan HickmanWraparound Cover by Kenneth Roquefort, Variant Cover by Marc SilvestriThe Marvel Universe is about to get even more astonishing with this anthology that delivers super-sized thrills every month! First up, fan-fave C.B. Cebulski and superstar Ken Roquefort (Madame Mirage) get gritty with a no-holds-barred Wolverine/Punisher tale you have to see to believe! You like Iron Man? GOOD! We've got a double dose of the Iron Avenger as Tony Stark and Arno Stark, Iron Man of the year 2020, headline two tales of corporate and high-tech intrigue. Finally, Cannonball and Sunspot of the New Mutants get sucked into the wildest adventure of their short lives when they spend their summer vacation in...MOJOWORLD!!40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
Lee: This book is getting published because… why? Because the last anthology title with Hellcat (which I can’t remember) did so well? Because Mojo and Mojoworld always mean huge sales. This is ridiculous. Oh yeah, it was the latest “Marvel Comics Presents” and it crashed and burned just like this will.
Jim: Anthology comics are a hard sell, coming into a down economy and with this weak material it is a mistake. I would think a good anthology would be a book with rotating strong creative teams that do not have the time to do a full monthly, but instead they green light a book that has failure stamped on the cover.

ETERNALS #8 Written by Charles & Daniel KnaufPencils & Cover by Eric NguyenGuest-starring the X-Men! When colliding cousins Ikaris and Druig face-off at the feet of the Dreaming Celestial, do you think the astonishing mutants are going to let their new hometown be torn apart? Think again, Bub! They've united in the past to face a common foe, but can the X-Men and the Eternals stand together now?32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Lee: What does that say about the sales on your book when the guest star is THREE times bigger than the main character in the series? In fact, are any of the Eternals even on this cover?
Jim: It says that the Eternals are a weak concept and no one can make them interesting.

MARVEL TV: GALACTUS - THE REAL STORY Written by Frank Tieri Pencils & Cover by Juan SantacruzWelcome to MARVELS CHANNEL, where you can get all the 411 on the 616. In this episode of MONSTERS, MYTHS and MARVELS, we explore one of the greatest threats mankind has ever faced: GALACTUS. But is he really the planet-eating celestial being we've come to fear with every fiber of our being? Or is he the construct of a super hero team desperate for headlines? Join host Gordon Allsworth as he exposes the truth behind Galactus, and the greatest hoax ever pulled on humankind. 48 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Oddly enough this sounds really interesting. I love the “Entertainment Tonight” take on superheroes and who better to start with than Galactus. Jim: Well I’m glad you are interested because this sounds like a snooze fest.

WOLVERINE OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC MILLER COVER Written by Chris Claremont, Barry Windsor-Smith, Len Wein, Peter David, Mary Jo Duffy, James C. Owlsley & Carl PottsPenciled by John Buscema, Barry Windsor-Smith, Herb Trimpe, Todd Mcfarlane, Ken Landgraf, Frank Miller, Gene Colan, Al Milgrom, Mark Bright, Carl Potts & Jim LeeCovers by Frank Miller & Steve McnivenSome of the most pivotal moments in Wolverine's life, and you are there! His first fight with Sabretooth! His transformation into Weapon X, killing machine! His dynamic debut against the Incredible Hulk, and the solo adventures that led him away from the X-Men to mysterious Madripoor! His mentor Ogun, his lover Charlemagne, and more await discovery in these pages! Plus more classic battles against friends and foes alike! Featuring Spider-Man, Hercules, and the Punisher! Collecting MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #1-10, #72-84; INCREDIBLE HULK #180-182, #340; MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #26; BEST OF MARVEL COMICS HC; WOLVERINE (1982) #1-4, (1988) #1-10; KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE #1-6; SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE #1; MARVEL AGE ANNUAL #4; PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #6-7.944 PGS./ Rated T+...$99.99
Lee: I know there are Wolverine lovers out there that are all excited about this but enough already. So much of this has already been done two or three times in hardcover before. Not to mention all the various trades. Marvel couldn’t find anything better to reprint first?
Jim: This is only being done because of the Wolverine movie coming out. Marvel has seen sales on this stuff take a jump and did the same thing with Iron Man and Hulk. The “serious” Wolverine fan would have this stuff and probably in nicer formats.

X-MEN: INFERNO HC Written by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson & John ByrnePenciled by Marc Silvestri, Bret Blevins, Walter Simonson, Jon Bogdanove & John ByrneThe match is struck as the enigmatic geneticist Mr. Sinister and the demon-lord N'astirh set their respective master plans in motion -- both centered around one woman: Madelyne Pryor, wife of Scott Summers, the X-Man called Cyclops. The flame is fanned as Sinister's agents, the Marauders, attack Madelyne's protectors in the X-Men, while a horde of N'astirh's demons prey upon the helpless, horrified populace of New York City. The inferno burns as Madelyne strikes her own bargain with N'astirh, and as the Goblin Queen, threatens to cast a spell that would render the entire earth a hellish wasteland where demons rule. And the sacrifice necessary is none other than her own innocent child, Nathan Christopher Summers! It's the X-Men, X-Factor, and the New Mutants in one of their most harrowing ordeals ever, with the fate of entire dimensions hanging in the balance -- and the price for victory perhaps higher than any of them can bear! Collecting X-FACTOR #33-40, X-TERMINATORS #1-4, UNCANNY X-MEN #239-243, NEW MUTANTS #71-73 and X-FACTOR ANNUAL #4.592 PGS./Rated T+ ...$75.00
Lee: And, for the record, Inferno wasn’t that good. I’m sorry people, it really wasn’t and it doesn’t need a 592 page hardcover to collect it. I’m sorry but this is complete junk.
Jim: Nostalgia may make you believe it was good, but Lee is right this was a very weak “event”.

CLOAK & DAGGER: CHILD OF DARKNESS, CHILD OF LIGHT PREMIERE HC Written by Bill Mantlo Penciled by Rick Leonardi"The darkness hideth not from thee...the night shineth as the day..." Detective Brigid O'Reilly wants to arrest them, Father Francis Delgado wants to reform them -- but does anyone really understand them? A year after they debuted as anti-drug vigilantes in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, Cloak and Dagger's secrets were revealed in their own miniseries, collected here for the first time! See the duo's first meeting and transformation, their battles against criminals, and their struggles with themselves -- as only two of the eighties' authorial and artistic experts could present them! Collecting CLOAK & DAGGER #1-4 112 PGS./Rated A ...$19.99

Lee: While Inferno was junk, this was a great little mini-series. Actually, I read it so many years ago I don’t remember if it was good or not. BUT, Leonardi’s art, with Austin inks, was absolutely amazing. I have to get it for that reason alone.
Jim: My recollection is that this was not that interesting and Cloak and Dagger were always lame anyway.

MOON KNIGHT VOL. 4: DEATH OF MARC SPECTOR PREMIERE HC Written by Mike Benson Penciled by Mark Texeira & Laurence CampbellMoon Knight has been an eyesore to the Initiative...and he's about to pay the price. 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 have just been sicced on Moon Knight. To survive, he's going to have to go a bit crazy. Then, it's Christmas Eve. A time for family. A time to dream. But for Moon Knight, it's just a night like any other -- and tonight he's got his sights on a pair of hitmen who picked the wrong Santa to kill. Collecting MOON KNIGHT #21-25 AND MOON KNIGHT ANNUAL #1. 168 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$24.99
Lee: I love’s me some Mike Benson Moon Knight. The first three trades were stellar and I can’t wait to get this. It’s well worth your time to read.
Jim: I have been enjoying the Mike Benson Moon Knight stuff recently, but also feel it is very forgettable.

SUPREME POWER: CONTACT PREMIERE HC Written by J. Michael Straczynski Penciled by Gary FrankCollecting SUPREME POWER #1-6.144 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$24.99
Lee: What is Marvel doing these days? I don’t understand their selections at all. This was already collected once. IN A BETTER FORMAT. I just don’t understand any of their decision on back issue hc’s these days.
Jim: I don’t thing they have collected this material before. The older stuff was, but this was after the max label was pulled off the book and then the series just died in the middle of a story.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: EARTH SHALL OVERCOME PREMIERE HC Written by Arnold Drake, Steve Gerber, Gerry Conway, Roger Slifer, Len Wein, Chris Claremont & Scott Edelman Penciled by Gene Colan, Sal Buscema, Don Heck, Vince Colletta, Frank Giacoia & John TartaglioneIn 1968, industry legends Arnold Drake (creator of DC's Deadman and Doom Patrol) and Gene Colan (penciler for virtually every major Marvel character) looked to the future and saw a crusading quartet -- Vance Astro, Yondu, Martinex and Charlie-27 -- rising to retake Earth from reptilian raiders! The Guardians of the Galaxy begin their battle with the Badoon, and they're not just building on the heroism of past centuries -- they're recruiting from it! Captain America, Doctor Strange, the Thing, the Hulk and others join the Sol System's soldiers in a war that began a thousand years from now! Collecting MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #18, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #4-5, GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #5 and DEFENDERS #26-29.176 PGS./Rated A ...$19.99

Lee: Then again, Marvel does publish material that is certainly only for the die hard, old school Marvel Zombies such as myself. I can’t imagine there is any demand for this material but I’m excited about it. The four issue cross over with the Defenders is classis Bronze age Marvel Comics at it’s peak. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Jim: This is for the series diehard. I can’t believe Lee ordered this book (or that I did also).

INVADERS CLASSIC VOL. 3 TPB Written by Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin & Don GlutPenciled by Frank Robbins, Alan Kupperberg & Chic StoneCap, Namor, Torch and company face a riddle in Egypt when the sizzling Scarlet Scarab comes down against BOTH sides of the war! Agent Axis, Master Man and the Teutonic Knight are also arrayed against the Invaders -- but how do they deal with a less tangible nemesis, prejudice both home and abroad? Featuring the formation of the Kid Commandos, the empowerment of Union Jack and the origin of Toro the Flaming Kid! Guest-starring the Mighty Thor, the Mighty Destroyer and NOT the Frankenstein Monster but a remarkable facsimile! Collecting INVADERS #22-23 and #25-34. 224 PGS./Rated A ...$29.99

Lee: Speaking of Bronze age goodness, issues 25-34 of the Invaders was not it. Even by my standards this isn’t good comics. Wait for this trade to end up in the $1 bin.
Jim: I picked up the first two trades, but that was enough of that material.

MARVEL EUROPE TPB Written by Tito Faraci, Jean-David Morvan & Jim Alexander Penciled by Claudio Villa, Phillipe Bouchet & Jon Haward Presented for the first time in North America: two amazing tales by some of Europe's top creators, starring the world's most popular super heroes! First, in DAREDEVIL & CAPTAIN AMERICA: DEAD ON ARRIVAL, a series of bizarre murders suggests that a long-dead villain has returned from the grave. The desperate New York Police Department turns to the Man Without Fear, Daredevil, to solve the case. Daredevil, however, is unaware that Captain America is also investigating on behalf of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. The result is all-out action and a titantic team-up for two of Marvel's marquee heroes. Then, get ready for a vicious saga of bloody revenge as only the X-Men's most popular mutant can deliver in WOLVERINE: SAUDADE! While on holiday in Brazil, Logan has his motorcycle stolen by a group of young boys -- one of whom has a secret. When a brutal gang kidnaps the boy, Wolverine sets off on a quest to find him -- leading to a deadly encounter with a corrupt faith healer who may not be what he appears! Plus: Brian Braddock, the original Captain Britain, is back in costume in a story from the U.K.'s SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ADVENTURES #114 -- but can even he help Spider-Man stop a Red Skull on the rampage? Also featuring a comprehensive atlas of Marvel Europe, from the splendor of Dr. Doom's Latveria to the wonders of Muir Island! Collecting DAREDEVIL & CAPTAIN AMERICA: DEAD ON ARRIVAL, WOLVERINE: SAUDADE, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #114 (U.K.) and the EUROPE CHAPTER FROM MARVEL ATLAS.152 PGS./Mature ...$14.99
Lee: Now this is very, very interesting. Most of the European Marvel books are just reprints but every now and then new material was created. And, that new material has never been seen in the US. I’m excited to see how other countries have viewed these characters. What’s really great is the low price point. I’m definitely getting this.
Jim: Geez, just say it is from Europe and Lee is on this like white on rice.

Lee: Actually, it wasn’t a bad month. I’m starting to like that I don’t know what’s coming in three months. The surprise is good. And even though I complain, it’s probably good that Marvel alternates between bronze age reprints and the more modern crap they keep selecting.
Jim: It was not a good month either. I find it problematic that we often are more excited about the reprints then the new stuff.

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