I was going to do a commentary about hard covers collections by various companies but will save that for a separate post. Instead I will address what many people have said that I’m a doom and gloom person when it comes to this country or at least its economy. I disagree and assert that I am a realist.
I believe that our economy is going down even further that it is today. The foundation on what our economy is built on is a house of cards and ultimately has to collapse. Pouring more money that is created from whole cloth and backed by more debt is not the way to save our economy. The $825 billion dollar stimulus package is like giving Viagra to a recently dead man, you may get a rise out of the corpse, but it is still dead.
I see the US actually going bankrupt during my lifetime, whether it is a formal bankruptcy or not is a question, but some massive restructuring of our debt will be needed. The dollar will collapse under its own weight, the markets will implode even further and companies too big to fail, will fail. The economic remedies are solutions from yesteryear and they did not work then and are even a worse plan now.
My hope is to see the collapse happen sooner rather then later. The severe impact will be tough and hurtful, but will allow a recovery to occur much faster. We need to reign in our Empire building, bring home our armies and start to rebuild true manufacturing and production. With a severely weak dollar we can be the one to export goods and start the path to savings and paying only when we can afford something. This is the way to long term strength. I hope Obama is smart enough to see when something does not work and apply a course correction. I worry that we are too far down the road believing the government can solve all of our problems. I prefer to believe in myself, family and friends for the solutions to any problems and look for the government to provide basic services and otherwise stay out of my life.
I still believe that the US has a chance to rise from its ashes and again be a predominate country, but we will have to change how we live. We have done it before and I hope for tomorrow, if I was not more of an optimist then people believe I would not still love super hero comics. I consider myself a realist and just because the news is bad, does not mean I’m wrong.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Battlefields Dear Billy #1 (of 3) – Garth Ennis and war comics should be an automatic for almost everyone. I guess you need to enjoy history somewhat to also be sucked in, but war comics are far and away Ennis’ best work. The company line “by Garth Ennis & Peter Snejbjerg More incredible stories from Garth Ennis as his 'Battlefields' series continues exclusively from Dynamite Entertainment! For this second mini-series – Dear Billy - Garth is joined by artist Peter Snjeberg and cover artist John Cassaday for a haunting tale of wartime in 1942. 1942: In the tropical splendour of the South China sea, as the Second World War spreads across the far east, a young woman finds herself in paradise... and then in hell. Nurse Carrie Sutton is caught up in the Japanese invasion of Singapore, suffering horrors beyond her wildest nightmares- and survives. Now she attempts to start her life anew, buoyed up by a growing friendship with a wounded pilot- only for fate to deliver up the last thing she ever expected. Carrie at last has a chance for revenge... but should she take it? In the midst of a world torn apart by war, you can fight and you can win- but you still might not get the things you truly want.”
Crossed #3 (of 9) – Another Garth Ennis written book and another post apocalyptic world. I’m enjoying this one so much because instead of their being any real hope for the central characters it is just about survival and trying to maintain the façade of their humanity. The hype “by Garth Ennis & Jacen Burrows Garth Ennis has pulled out all the stops to write the most twisted book of his career, Crossed! Cindy and her small band of survivors are facing impossible odds, dwindling resources, and a dearth of options. Forced to keep moving, the group travels from one small town to the next, encountering only a handful of remaining humans in the midst of the Crossed outbreak. But the dire state of society has forced some people to do horrible things - and the few humans left may be capable of greater evils than the Crossed themselves. What can Cindy turn a blind eye to, and what must be stopped, at any cost? Nothing is going right, but this is no fairy tale - there are no magic cures on the horizon. When civilization crumbles in one terrifying moment; when people are gleefully breaking into unthinkable acts of violence all around you; when everyone you love has died screaming in agony: What do you do? There is no help. There is no hope. There is no escape. There are only the Crossed. This gut-wrenching vision is brought to vivid (and more than a little disturbing) life by his partner in crime Jacen Burrows.”
Daredevil #115 – It sometimes takes time before someone hits their stride on a character and right now I think this is Brubaker’s best book. The story lines have a lot going on and the pace is fast and crisp. The word “Written by Ed Brubaker Penciled by Michael Lark Cover by Marko Djurdjevic. The shocking ending of Lady Bullseye is here! It's a non-stop kung-fu extravaganza, as Daredevil faces Lady Bullseye and the Hand - and confronts one of the toughest decisions of his life!”
DC Library Superman: Kryptonite Nevermore Hard Cover – I’m always curious to see what the format of a new hard cover series is going to be and this is the first DC Library book. I wish all the companies would provide more details on the actual construction of the books when they are solicited. This volume contains “Written by Dennis O'Neil; Art by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson; Cover by Neal Adams, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson. Originally published in 1971, this story turned Superman's status quo on its head by featuring a story in which all Kryptonite was destroyed! But that leaves The Man of Steel anything but invulnerable as his powers slowly begin to fade and a doppleganger Superman arrives on the scene with strange powers of its own. The first in the new DC Comics Classics Library line collecting memorable tales in their entirety, this volume contains Superman #233-238 and #240-242 and contains a momentous story for the Man of Tomorrow that you won't want to miss!”
Echo #9 – Every issue of Terry Moore’s book is a welcome sight to see on my list for the week. The characters are so real and this feels like it maybe Moore’s best work ever. The hype “by Terry Moore When Julie meets a scientist from HeNRI, she finally learns the secret behind the Beta Suit metal she's wearing, and why the Phi Project is only the tip of a catastrophic iceberg!”
Final Crisis #7 (of 7) – This is one of the most anticipated books from anyone for me in a long time. No matter the plus and minuses or the reviews to date, every epic is judged by how it ends. The company line “Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy; Covers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke. The dramatic finale to the epic, seven-part saga of the DC multiverse concludes with an apocalyptic battle for the soul of humanity that must be seen to be believed! Can the heroes of 52 Earths save the multiverse? And is the only way to save it, to change it forever?”
Legion of Super Heroes #50 – This version of the group had the shortest life span and while Jim Shooter’s run has been enjoyable I know that the story was shortened to end it too soon, especially since The Legion of Three Worlds is being delayed, DC should have allowed Shooter the additionally four issues to tell his story. The last issue hype “Written by Jim Shooter; Art and cover by Francis Manapul and Livesay. It's the final issue! The climactic conclusion of the Universal Annihilation War is here and every Legionnaire, every reservist and even the United Planets' Young Heroes battle to save existence. Also featuring the return of Cosmic Boy, the death of a longtime Legionaire and a gorgeous wraparound cover!”
Wonder Woman #28 – This series has gotten very exciting since the big story line has started. I’m now actually looking forward to the next issue of Wonder Woman and that has not happened in forever. The word “Written by Gail Simone; Art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan; Cover by Aaron Lopresti. "Rise of the Olympian"part 3 and a "Faces of Evil"issue! The Olympians are on Earth, and they're making their presence felt across the world! The JLA joins forces with Wonder Woman to stop Genocide, but even their combined might isn't enough! And the mysterious power behind The Society is at last revealed!”
The rest of the list:
Astounding Wolf-Man #12 - story Robert Kirkman art & cover Jason Howard. As if The Astounding Wolf-Man didn't already have enough to worry about--here comes TRIPLE THREAT! Are they here to hurt him--or HELP him? This issue sets the stage for the next dramatic arc in the life of Gary Hampton, The Astounding Wolf-Man!
Batman #685 - Written by Paul Dini; Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs ; Cover by Alex Ross. A "Faces of Evil"issue starring Catwoman! Continuing from this month's DETECTIVE COMICS #852, Selina Kyle's path of vengeance against Hush knows no bounds! After confronting the man responsible for nearly destroying her life, Selina's wrath propels her into a downward spiral. With Tommy Elliot almost certain to suffer dire consequences, could Catwoman's humanity be next to perish?
Batman Gotham After Midnight #9 (of 12) - Written by Steve Niles; Art and cover by Kelley Jones. The New Year starts off with a bang as the villainous Midnight strikes throughout Gotham City, killing those he deems corrupt – which, in Gotham, is almost everybody. But knowing that he can't defeat The Dark Knight, Midnight instead targets those who are close to him. And neither Batman, nor Bruce Wayne, can stop the madman!
Blue Beetle #35 – Written by Matthew Sturges; Art by Carlo Barberi; Cover by Rafael Albuquerque. As the fallout from Doctor Polaris's meddling in the affairs of El Paso fades, a new threat rears its multiple ugly heads. Who is the KDRA and what purpose will Blue Beetle's scarab fulfill? And even more terrifying, will Beetle and friends survive the upcoming Valentine's Day Dance?
Captain America #46 - Eisner-Winning artist Steve Epting returns as the New Captain America comes face-to-face with an old ally -- Prince Namor -- on a dangerous trip to China. Can Bucky and Namor team up to save the memory of an old comrade-in-arms as Cold War crimes come back to haunt the Winter Soldier? Part 1 of 3.
City of Dust #4 (of 5) - by Steve Niles & Zid As the entire city is engulfed by living nightmares, Khrome and Morgan must make a fragile alliance with Ajax in order to find a way to stop the plague of monsters. As the truth becomes clear, one of them will have to make the ultimate sacrifice, and those that remain will be changed forever!
Dead Ahead #2 (of 3) - “BAIT ON THE WIRE" Lost at sea and starving in a world gone to Hell where the living dead are free to feast to their morbid hearts’ contents, Captain Jack and his fellow survivors watch salvation sail into view. But hauling themselves on board an abandoned luxury liner for sanctuary fear grips an already bickering crew! Everyone knows rats leave a sinking ship but this one’s still floating - So what happened to all of them? It isn’t vermin skulking in the shadows that has hooked them like bait on the wire, and deep down in the hull even worse nightmares wait in remorseless grim silence!
Faces of Evil Kobra (One Shot) - Written by Ivan Brandon; Art by Jesus Merino; Cover by Andrew Robinson. Who is Kobra? After his death, Kobra's terrorist organization has been in disarray, with different factions and false leaders vying for control. Now a new figure has infiltrated the Kobra Cult and started systematically destroying its powerbase. But who is this new player? Is it the original Kobra reborn 'Äì or something far more sinister?
Ferryman #5 (of 5) - Written by Marc Andreyko; Art and cover by Jonathan Wayshak. Everything has been leading up to this moment! Will Gideon side with the angels or throw away his last chance at salvation? Extreme carnage and double-crosses abound as all our major players face off! And speaking of facing off, wait until you see the true visage of the diabolical Mr. Webster! From the mind of uber-producer Joel Silver (Matrix, V for Vendetta)!
Final Crisis Revelations #5 (of 5) - Written by Greg Rucka; Art and Covers by Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion. The sky rains blood, Darkseid's legion of slaves rampage across the planet, and in Gotham City, The Question and Huntress struggle to defend the few men, women and children who remain free. But without the Spectre, do they even have a chance against the might of Cain and the Spear of Destiny? The final battle is at hand, and the fate of the DCU hangs in the balance.
Gravel #8 - This issue is a perfect place for new readers to jump in, and returning readers are going to be blown away by what's in store this season! Gravel, the explosive monthly series from Ellis and Wolfer, takes a whole new turn as Gravel faces adversaries far more formidable than ever before. Now that he's got the Sigsand in his possession, Gravel is exposed to extremes of magic he's never seen - but will he be able to do anything with it? Because that degree of power is getting him noticed by people he never wanted to meet. The Major Seven are magicians of unimaginable power, far beyond anything Gravel has ever faced - and now they want him dead!
Hero Squared Love & Death #1 (of 3) – by J.M. DeMatteis & Joe Abraham It's the return of Captain Valor, his parallel-world alter-ego, Milo, and at least one homicidal ex-girlfriend! DeMatteis' and Abraham's geeeenius super-hero series Hero Squared is back for a three-issue finale that will leave you gobsmacked! Interested in checking out Hero Squared but never had the chance?
Jack of Fables #30 - Written by Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham; Art by Tony Akins and Jose Marzan Jr.; Cover by Brian Bolland. What's the "First Draft,"and what is its awe-inspiring secret? Where did that extra pig come from? What's everybody reading? "The Siege of The Golden Boughs"enters its third installment and the tide begins to turn – but in whose favor? Expect answers, explosions, mayhem and extra tacos.
Justice Society of America #23 -Written by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross; Art by Dale Eaglesham and Nathan Massengill; Cover by Alex Ross. "Black Adam and Isis"part 1 and a "Faces of Evil"issue! The new Justice Society regroups just in time to face one of their greatest and most personal enemies – Black Adam! The sorcerer Felix Faust has imprisoned the soul of Isis, Black Adam's deceased wife. But the Black Marvel just figured that out, and nothing will save Faust from his wrath — nothing except maybe the Justice Society of America. And everybody will be in for a surprise when they discover how Isis has changed since her death at the hands of the Four Horsemen. Will she be a friend to the world – or will she be its destruction?
Mister X Condemned #2 (of 4) - In a desperate attempt to rescue his citizens from the insanity -- inducing architecture that surrounds them, the mayor of Radiant City employs giant robots to demolish the most maddening buildings. That is, until one such mechanical monstrosity razes the sanctuary of a reclusive sect of architects -- with all 150 members inside! A freak accident or foul play? One man is determined to discover the truth -- the mysterious Mister X!
Ms Marvel #35 – I thought I would try it out again after reading an interview with the writer Brian Reed. - A mass suicide by a branch of the Church of Hala has claimed the lives of twenty families. With Captain Marvel gone, Carol Danvers investigates this tragedy performed in his name, putting her directly in the path of would be Captain Marvel replacement: Noh Varr.
New Avengers #49 - Luke Cage must find his child and he will do anything he has to to bring her home safely... including teaming up with the one person he has sworn vengeance against. Building to the bombastic 50th anniversary issue. Brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan!
Northlanders #14 - Written by Brian Wood; Art by Ryan Kelly; Cover by Massimo Carnevale. The news of the Vikings' last days in Ireland at the Battle of Clontarf reaches Ragnar's ears, intensifying his desire to put an end to the reign of terror at the hands of a serial killer known as Magnus. Ragnar puts his own men out as live bait, and learns an important clue to his adversary's true identity in "The Cross + The Hammer"part 4.
Nova #21 - Richard Rider: Nova no more? With the new Nova Corps on Earth laying down the law, is there no longer a need for the Human Rocket? Plus: guest-stars Darkhawk and the original Quasar! Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Wellinton Alves hit you with the biggest twists yet in the latest jaw-dropping installment.
Proof #16 - “The Funeral” The Lodge says goodbye to an agent. Meanwhile, life goes on as a new agent begins work, the ink monkey sets down some rules and Proof gets a date for the first time in a century and a half!
Reign in Hell #7 (of 8) - Written by Keith Giffen; Art by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz and Chad Hardinand Walden Wong; Cover by Justiniano. The war hits its horrifying crescendo, and Zatanna, Dr. Fate and the rest of the DCU's magical characters must pick their sides as the new powers in Hell emerge! Plus, Dr. Occult learns Hell's nastiest little secret, with grave consequences for the nature of life itself. But will he share it? Better yet, should he?
Savage #4 (of 4) – Co-Plotted by Jeff Frank & Steve Niles Script by Jeff Frank & Dan Wickline Art and cover by Mike Mayhew Peter must accept the unthinkable and embrace the monster within before a murderous pack of werewolves slaughter him! The ultimate climax of monster versus monster carnage! Final issue from super-star artist Mike Mayhew and 30 Days of Night author, Steve Niles! TAG: We can choose to be a hero or a monster he can be both!
Scourge of the Gods #1 (of 3) – After a thousand years of peace, the Orbis - the Roman Galactic Empire that thought itself almighty - trembles down to its foundations. The Huns, savage warriors that came out of nowhere, are trying to conquer it. King Attila has already pillaged and burned dozens of planets without any legion being able to stop him or even slow him down. And unfortunately for Rome - Kerka, the Hun's goddess of chaos herself - is back. But the Gods have a taste for tragedy: Kerka has been reincarnated in the body of Flavia Aetia, a young Roman girl. Is Flavia truly this macabre divinity? Is she the by-product of a terrifying plot? Or is she only the victim of a terrible destiny? A free adaptation of Hun king Attila and the Roman general Flavius Aetius's confrontation, SCOURGE OF THE GODS replays the eternal struggle between order and chaos on the galactic level. Halfway between sci-fi and heroic fantasy, the huge epic fresco proclaims antique grandeur as well as the barbarism that lies in our future.
Superman #684 – Written by James Robinson; Art by Jesus Merino; Cover by Alex Ross. In this "New Krypton"epilogue and "Faces of Evil"issue, the crisis on Earth between Kryptonians and humans has been averted for now, but the threat of the Parasite remains very, very real!
Teen Titans #67 - Written by Sean McKeever; Art by Fernando Dagnino; Cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy Jose. A "Faces of Evil"issue! The war in Hell has created enough confusion for Brother Blood to escape, and guest star Kid Eternity leads the villain right to the Teen Titans' doorstep! With the recruitment drive still under way, is the team prepared to face this new attack?
Trinity #35 - Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; Art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton and Ande Parks; Covers by Shane Davis. There's war on Earth, war in space and war in another dimension. And at the heart of it all stands a desperate mission to track down and save Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman by some of their most devoted family and friends. But to save the Trinity, the rescue squad will have to defy gods as the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.
Ultimate Spider-Man #130 - THE ULTIMATUM IS HERE!! Aunt May is under arrest, Spider-Man is underwater and the world has gone to hell. Spidey and the gang will never be the same. Do not miss the shocking events that will define this book for months to come!
Umbrella Academy Dallas #3 (of 6) - As Clare Boothe Luce once said, "No good deed goes unpunished." The Seance, ego bloated from having saved the world a few months ago, finds himself strapped in for a most unpleasant ride while the team runs in four different directions--because only four of the seven Umbrella Brats are currently mobile.Clare Boothe Luce, Republican congresswoman, ambassador, and playwright, was the daughter of unmarried violinist and deserter Wm. Franklin Boothe. (The Umbrella Academy does not approve of the term "illegitimate child." Every child is legitimate; it's some parents we find to be lacking.) Through her varied career, she took on communism, sexism, and Nazism. When her friend, actress and legendary suicide Dorothy Hale, threw herself from the sixteenth floor of New York City's Hampshire House, Luce compelled art goddess Frida Kahlo to paint the shocking El Suicidio de Dorothy Hale. In 1953, President Eisenhower named Luce ambassador to Italy. When she met Pope Pius XII, Luce, ignoring America's own ethic about separation of church and state, explained the Church's moral requirement to be tougher on communism. Pope Pius replied, "You know, Mrs. Ambassador, I am a Catholic, too." Seven years later, the United States would elect its first Catholic president.
Unknown Soldier #4 – Written by Joshua Dysart; Art by Alberto Ponticelli; Cover by Igor Kordey. Hunted by rebels and protecting abducted children, Moses finds himself caught on the front line of a brutal battle between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan Military. And caught between a rock and a hard place, Moses makes a drastic decision.
Wildcats #7 - Written by Christos Gage; Art by Neil Googe; Cover by Neil Googe. The battle for Los Angeles continues! The Kherans renew their ancient struggle against the Daemonites on the ravaged streets of what was once LA!
A bigger week and again something I find as the norm for me at the end of the month. Hard to believe we are a month into the New Year already, but as a percentage, years naturally go faster the older you get.