Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marvel Preview Review for April

Lee: I wonder why I torture myself with these picks month in and month out. Since I’m almost completely off the monthly floppie wagon, there is very little to look forward to.
Jim: Oh I don’t know Marvel has had some good new series start up, but I’m tired of the amount of books they put out.

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Written by JAMES ROBINSON Penciled by MARCOS MARTINCover and Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTINSketch Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTINLeading off a series of celebratory specials commemorating Marvel's 70th Anniversary, James (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) Robinson and Marcos (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) Martin bring you an untold story of the living legend. In the days before he becomes Captain America, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn named Steve Rogers shows the world that you don't need a super-soldier serum to be a hero. Plus a classic Captain America tale from the Golden Age by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A...$3.99
SUB-MARINER COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Written by ROY THOMASPencils and Cover by MITCH BREITWEISERVariant Cover by MARCOS MARTINSketch Variant Cover by MITCH BREITWEISER The second of a series of celebratory specials commemorating Marvel's 70th Anniversary and its rich history and characters! It's the year 1940, and thanks to policewoman Betty Dean, the young Namor the Sub-Mariner has momentarily halted his jihad against the surface world. But now, an envoy from the Axis powers attempts to sway the undersea prince to the Nazi cause! Can the less worldly Sub-Mariner be tempted? Plus, a second never-before-seen Namor story by Mark Schultz and Al Williamson, and a reprint of Namor's first appearance from 1939!
48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A ...$3.99

Lee: The Captain America leaves me cold but Subby by Schultz and Williamson is exciting. Other than that, these are awfully for ½ a reprint book.
Jim: The Subby story by Schultz sounds cool, but I’m not sure I want to pay $4 for one probably eight page story.

SPIDER-WOMAN #1 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPencils & 50/50 Cover by ALEX MALEEV50/50 Cover by ALEX ROSSThe team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev return to a monthly Marvel comic for the first time since their Eisner award-winning run on Daredevil. ripped from the pages of SECRET INVASION and NEW AVENGERS, this explosive first chapter follows the new adventures of Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman as she rediscovers her life in a world she did not make. 32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: I want to say something like “This should read BECAUSE NO ONE DEMANDED IT”. But I won’t. And the only reason I won’t is because Bendis is so darn good with strong female leads and non-group books. Ultimate Spiderman = Great. Avengers = Junk. Alias = Great. This should be really, really good and against my better judgment I’m excited about it.
Jim: She does look like she could excite a boy. It actually should be good as this is the type of series that plays to Bendis’s strength. I’m with you in spite of myself this is a book to look forward to.

HULK #11
Wolverine Art Appreciation Variants

Lee: I love movie tie in months! Ugh. Come on people, a “Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant” cover. Do we need this? No we don’t. And someone please please please explain why Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight have Wolverine covers.
Jim: This has to be one of the worse gimmicks I have ever seen. Does Marvel really believe fans of the Wolverine movie are going to be suckered into buying any comic that has a Wolverine cover or is this just to soak the crap out of the Marvel Zombies.

FANTASTIC FORCE #1 Written by JOE AHEARNE Pencils by STEVE KURTH Cover by BRYAN HITCHFROM THE PAGES OF FANTASTIC FOUR: The Hooded Man! Lightwave! Banner! Natalie X! Psionics! Alex Ultron! They're the last six superhumans from a devastated future! They've rescued the remnants of a devastated humanity by relocating them to an artificial planet in the present day! Now they face their greatest challenge-to create a better utopian society! But there are vast forces from across the Marvel Universe who will move against them-plus a threat from their own era they thought they'd left behind! Plus, 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras! 40 PGS./Rated T+...$3.99

Lee: I didn’t say it before but I can say it now… this needs to read BECAUSE NO ONE DEMANDED IT. Who is Joe Ahearne? Who is Steve Kurth? I’m expected to pay $4 for this? I don’t think so.
Jim: Steve Kurth is the artist who draws everyone with there necks bent at odd angles, like they have a phone cradled in their shoulder, but there is no phone. This is a book that you have to wonder who approved it to go forward, looks like a loser right out of the gate.

HULK #11 Written by JEPH LOEB Pencils by ED MCGUINNESSTHE DEFENDERS/OFFENDERS WAR! The good news? Hulk's got help on his side in the form of Namor, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer! The bad news? Rulk's got pals of his own. When the original Defenders face off one-on-one with Rulk, Tiger Shark, Baron Mordo, and Terrax, it's anybody's bet who will win... but who exactly is betting on these fights? A smash-, splash-, and cosmic-flash-fest that could ONLY have come from the minds of award-winning superstar writer Jeph Loeb and everybody's favorite Hulk artist Ed McGuinness! 32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99

Lee: The Offenders! That’s great. This looks to be a huge pointless slugfest between some of the biggest most powerful heroes/villains in the Marvel U. I CAN’T WAIT!
Jim: This looks to be more pointless drivel from Jeph Loeb and I will NEVER BUY THIS CRAP. This is total and utter crap and it is $4 for a regular comic – what a deal!
Lee: All comics are $4 these days so that argument’s not valid. But, besides that, you’re expecting way to much from this book. This is Silverage Marvel goodness in 2009, and I for one, am enjoying the heck out of it. It’s better than Secret Invasion and Final Crisis!
Jim: All books are not $4 these days, the vast majority of DC and Marvel regular series are still $2.99 so the point is very valid. Jeph Loeb is not a quality writer anymore and for me I miss what Greg Pak was doing with the Hulk.

MARVEL ASSISTANT-SIZED SPECTACULAR #1 & 2 (OF 2)Written by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS, JASON AARON, CHRIS YOST, CHRIS GIARRUSSO, ADAM WARREN, WYATT CENAC & BRIAN PATCHETT Art by JACOB CHABOT, RICHARD ISANOVE, JOH JAMES, CHRIS GIARRUSSO, TODD NAUCK & XURXO PENALTACover by DAVID WILLIAMSRejects, benchwarmers, lovable losers, and might-be Avengers...assemble! In the beloved tradition of Assistant Editors' Month, we the staffers are sick and tired of our bosses telling nothing but Wolverine stories, Spider-Man stories, Captain America stories...and we're taking matters into our own oddball hands! Little guys can be heroes, too...and when this motley crew of misfits gets their shot - in stories featuring Elsa Bloodstone, American Eagle, D-Man, the daughter of Galactus, Mini Marvel cake-eating Hawkeye, Candidate Luke Cage, and more - it could be the start of something big! Don't miss this two-issue anthology of also-rans who might - just MIGHT - ascend to the A-list! (Fingers crossed. Really we're just hoping this doesn't get us fired.)40 PGS. (each)/Rated A ...$3.99(each)

Lee: I remember when marvel did the Assistant Editors gimmick years ago. It was pretty fun then and I’m sure this will be fun too. It doesn’t look nearly as serious as everything else these days, and it has a good list of writers/artists so I’ll probably check it out.
Jim: I have to admit this type of project appeals to me, but I will flip through it at the store before committing to it.

EXILES #1 Written by JEFF PARKER Penciled by SALVADOR ESPINCover by DAVE BULLOCKWolverine Art Appreciation Variant by TBAHeroes are being pulled out of the worlds they know- The Beast. The Witch. Panther. Forge. Polaris. All find themselves in a place out of time with a new mission in life. But something seems to have shifted in the mechanics of the universe, things may not be quite what we remember... But one thing we know for certain- BLINK is BACK!Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras! 40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: Here’s the problem: (1) I like Jeff Parker (2) The Exiles is a warn out concept that needs to go away for awhile. I’m not sure my like of Parker’s writing can overcome my lack of interest in the concept.
Jim: I like Jeff Parker, I have no clue who the artist is and have never followed or cared about the Exiles. An easy pass for me.

TIMESTORM: 2009-2099 #1 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN REEDPenciled by ERIC BATTLE Cover by CHRISTOPHER SHY 2009...meets 2099? Future history has been shattered by events in the present! If you think you know the heroes and villains from Marvel's dark future, writer Brian Reed (SECRET INVASION: CAPTAIN MARVEL) and artist Eric Battle (Batman) say it's time to think again! Get ready for the re-imagined 2099 versions of Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, the X-Men and more! Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras!40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Whereas I am tired of Exiles this looks like it might be a lot of fun. Granted 2099 is a leftover from the semi-fondly remembered 90’s but it wasn’t all bad. I might take a chance on this.
Jim: I agree this has potential, but I’ll wait to here what others say and if any good, get the trade.

RAMPAGING WOLVERINE #1 Written by JOSH FIALKOV, CHRISTOPHER YOST, ROBIN FURTH & TED MCKEEVER Penciled by PACO DIAZ LUQUE, NELSON & TED MCKEEVER Cover by NELSONThe Marvel Magazine that never was-three ALL-NEW, ALL-ACTION Wolverine tales, all in fantastic BLACK AND WHITE! Josh Fialkov (ELK'S RUN) and the fantastic gray wash art of Paco Diaz Luque pit Wolverine against South Pacific pirates...and worse. Plus, X-FORCE writer Christopher Yost introduce a sniper with a secret-and a canuckle-head to kill! Finally, comics legend Ted McKeever (METROPOL, EDDIE CURRENT) tells a third island adventure. Plus even more! It's non-stop Logan-too hot for color to handle-and NO ADS!48 PGS./Black & White/All-New/Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: Again with the movie tie in’s. Well, it’s not so much a tie in, as a flooding of the market with all things Wolverine. Usually, all the extra material is a complete waste of paper. But, this looks like it might be a rare gem. Fialkov’s writing is very strong so that interests me and I love McKeever. I’ll probably kick myself after I read this but I think I’ll get it.
Jim: PASS, PASS, PASS. Some of the talent looks good, but I’m already getting Wolverine overload and we are not even near the movie date.

THE DESTROYER #1 (of 5) Written by ROBERT KIRKMANPenciled by CORY WALKERCover by JASON PEARSON"DESTROYER," PART 1For sixty years, Keen Marlowe has been a super hero, taking down bad guys, fighting the good fight. But it's is about to come crashing to an end. See, Marlowe is dying -- maybe today, maybe tomorrow, the only question is when. But Marlowe isn't about to go quietly into the night. Before he goes, he intends to leave the world a safer place for his family. And if that means hunting down -- and murdering -- every super-villain he can, so be it. They don't call him "Destroyer" for nothing.32 PGS./Explicit Content ...$3.99

Lee: Like Bendis with female leads, Kirkman with solo hero titles really soars. Because this doesn’t have the big block of Marvel continuity that always killed Kirkman’s Marvel work, this could be really good.
Jim: This should really blow chunks. Nothing that Kirkman wrote at Marvel was half as good as his creator owner material and this project if it had been good would have been completed way before now. Marvel is just trading on Kirkman’s reputation.
Lee: But, this is as close to a creator owned project as Kirkman can get at Marvel. He has his own little sandbox to play in and I bet little, if any, editorial control. AND, he even brought Cory Walker from Invincible along too. It’s the same as Bendis doing Spiderwoman.
Jim: This is actually an old piece of work Kirkman did that Marvel is just now publishing.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE YOUNG ALLIES VOL. 1 HC Written by STAN LEE, OTTO BINDER & VARIOUSPenciled by AL GABRIELE, JACK KIRBY, CHARLES NICHOLASWOTJKOSWKI, JACK ALDERMAN & VARIOUSCover by JACK KIRBYThe Young Allies, comics' very first boy-adventure team, leap into four-color action once more with their debut MARVEL MASTERWORKS volume! Super-hero sidekicks unite when Captain America's pal, Bucky and his Sentinels of Liberty team up with the Human Torch's protege, Toro, and take on the Axis! And they won't waste a second getting down to business. Right from issue #1 they take the fight straight to Berlin and, rest assured, the Red Skull, and even Hitler himself, won't be walking out of this one without a bloody nose. Next up, the Black Talon returns from the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS to terrorize the Young Allies, or maybe that should be the other way around? There are 5th Columnists, Nazis, Imperial generals, spies, and action galore in each of these Timely classics. The Golden Age of Comics packed in cover-to-cover adventure, but there are few that can compare to the massive, 60-pages plus, issue-length adventures of the Young Allies! Collecting YOUNG ALLIES #1-4288 PGS/All Ages ...$59.99

Lee: I was never on the edge because I get all the Masterworks anyway, but when Jim told me about the lack of PC in the pages then I knew I had to get this. It’s amazing how much has changed in the last 50 years because there are some pretty extreme stereotypes in this book. It worth getting just for that historical perspective alone. But, go here and here for some examples, and there’s a scene where the Red Skull disguises himself as a farmer here. I love the Goldan Age!
Jim: Well thank goodness Lee gave me credit because he was going to pass on this book and as racist as some of the material is, I think it is important to understand what views were like before. Also these were rare full length adventures.

MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 HC Written by FRED VAN LENTEPenciled by KEV WALKERCover by ARTHUR SUYDAMBoard up Avengers Tower! Lock down the Baxter Building! The ravenous hordes of Marvel Zombies are invading ... the Marvel Universe! That's right, the next chapter of the MZ saga is a non-stop in-continuity gorefest with major implications for at least one Marvel hero! When the super-undead stumble into the MU from the Man-Thing's Nexus of All Realities, all of Florida is quarantined against the zombie plague. Time is quickly running out for a cure, so the Initiative sends a most unlikely group of heroes into the Zombieverse on a desperate mission to find the one item they need before the whole MU is consumed! The scream team of Fred Van Lente (INCREDIBLE HERCULES) and Kev Walker (ANNIHILATION: NOVA) unite for a Marvel Zombies story like you've never seen before! Collecting MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #1-4.112 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$19.99

Lee: I skipped the other Marvel Zombie books but I’ve heard this one was good. Plus I love Machine Man so I’m in.
Jim: I may jump on this also as I have heard nothing but positive reviews on this book.

SPIDER-MAN: TORMENT PREMIERE HC Written by TODD MCFARLANEPenciled by TODD MCFARLANECover by TODD MCFARLANEBlood washes the streets of the Big Apple. Torment plunges Spider-Man into the darkness within us all as he hunts the Lizard through the streets and sewers of New York City, trying to put an end to the bloodthirsty, homicidal rampage left in his wake. But what is driving the Lizard? Is it an answer that Spider-Man is prepared to face? Or will it be so shocking that it will make even the most courageous hero question his sanity? Torment is a terrifying, action-packed epic that made -- and continues to make -- comic history! Collecting SPIDER-MAN #1-5 and MARVEL AGE #0.136 PGS./Rated T+ ... $19.99

Lee: Every month there is at least one book that makes me scratch my head and wonder why it’s published. This month it’s this book. I’m all for reprinting McFarlane’s Spiderman. I like his run on Spiderman. Wait, I like his run on Spiderman when he had a great writer like David Micheline. McFarlane on his own was fairly bad and this is not the best choice of material to reprint.
Jim: Anytime a creator is getting press (like McFarlane is with Haunt), I believe publishers try to line up their material to be reprinted. It is almost free advertising for the company and the creator doesn't care as he gets the royalities.
Lee: Sorry, but I don't think you're right because that would mean McFarlane talked to Marvel about what he was doing ahead of time. I think there is a large contingent that just likes McFaralane Spidey and will purchase no matter how bad it is.
Jim: I think insiders know more about when this stuff is coming out then we do and McFarlane and Kirkman have been hawking the fact that the project was coming in 09. Marvel Boy by Morrsion and Jones came out while Final Crisis was coming out.

DEADPOOL CLASSIC VOL. 2 TPB Written by JOE KELLYPenciled by ED MCGUINNESS, KEVIN LAU, PETE WOODS, SHANNON DENTON, JOHN FANG, AARON LOPRESTI & BERNARD CHANG Cover by ED MCGUINNESSLandau, Luckman, and Lake want Deadpool to rebuild himself as a hero but he'll be lucky to pull himself together as he is! His healing factor's down, and the only thing that'll juice it up is a dose of the Incredible Hulk's blood administered by the Weapon X alumnus who helped make Deadpool what he is in the first place! Not even mad science can mend a torn heart, though, as Deadpool's infatuation with X-Force's Siryn (later of X-FACTOR) is challenged by Typhoid Mary who turns heads as easily as she cracks skulls! When she sets off on a grudge match against Daredevil, can Deadpool contain a killing machine even more off kilter than he is? Also featuring wily weapon-boy Weasel, hostage extraordinaire Blind Al and the Taskmaster, later of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE! Collecting DEADPOOL #2-8 and #-1, and DAREDEVIL/DEADPOOL ANNUAL 1997. 256 PGS./Rated T+ ...$29.99
Lee: I really, really want this… in hc. The Joe Kelly run is so well loved and remembered that I want it in a better format. I might breakdown and get this but I might just as well hold out. If you’ve never read the run then you should and this is the easiest way to get it.
Jim: One day I will have to read Deadpool as you and a few others are always raving about his series being so much fun.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 VOL. 1 TPB Written by PETER DAVID Penciled by RICK LEONARDI & KELLEY JONES Cover by RICK LEONARDI Venture, the Specialist, the Vulture - the future is full of menaces, but none so vile as a corrupt government and the corporations behind it! A scary future needs a hero who's just as creepy - perhaps a wall-CRAWLER of some kind? See the world of tomorrow and the cast who inhabit it as the Spider-Man of 2099 battles evil in both high and low society in the 2099 imprint's flagship title, written by industry legend Peter David! Collecting SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1-10. 240 PGS./ Rated T+...$29.99

Lee: And this I know will never get a hc so I’ll just bite the bullet and get it now. Of all the 2099 material, this was by and far the best. But, it’s Peter David on Spiderman with no continuity… how could he not succeed. And, without doubt, this is some of Leonardi’s best work. Well worth the investment.
Jim: I don’t know, this series never quite made the grade in my view.

Lee: Even though I’m not reading all the Dark Reign material, I managed to find some things to make me optimistic. It looks like it might be a good year for Marvel after all.
Jim: I think Marvel is going to have a good year and it may have that year at the expense of DC, but we will see as DC has a great stable of writers with Johns, Robinson, Tomasi, Morrison, Dini, Rucka and many others.

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