Monday, February 02, 2009

What I’m Getting Wednesday

I read a great interview with one of my favorite colorists Pete Pantazis on CBR. I feel so strongly about how much impact a colorist has on a comic I take pains to include them in my way too long Best to Worst post every week. I do not understand enough of how a colorist effects a book, but I have noticed that by listing the colorist I can now name some of whom I consider the top talent in the industry. Alex Sinclair, Dave Stewart, Michelle Marsden, Pete Pantazis, Lee Loughridge, Matt Hollingsworth, Nei Ruffinio and others are names that when I see them in the credits I know the color will enhance the book and not take away from the art. Correspondingly there are names that I see that cause me to cringe as I believe they are heavy handed and actually hurt the book.

As a side note I was frustrated as I wanted to comment on the article, but CBR’s website was timing out whenever I tried to see if I was still registered or tried to register under a different e-mail. A clear superiority between Newsarama and CBR is the ease in adding a comment after an article.

Anyway, the article was great and I love seeing interviews with colorist as I learn more and more about the process of putting a comic together. Gwen had an excellent interview with colorist Jessie Lam which was also educational.

It is always of interest to me in how many different ways a book can be put together. In a collaborative medium one person can wreck the book and there are many ways to get to the end process. Bottom line colorists are not recognized enough in the industry and I have seen books that I believe were not only enhanced by the colorist, but saved by the colorist.

The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:

Agents of Atlas #1 – The first mini-series was fantastic and I have always had affection for little known and/or under used characters and this book fills the bill. Here is hoping this series last a few years. The company line “The heroes of the 1950s are back with big plans for the 21st Century! When Federal enforcers under the hand of NORMAN OSBORN burst into an armory under control of the Atlas Foundation, Jimmy Woo's Agents go head-to-head with the new powers that be. How it all goes down will make the playing field of the modern Marvel Universe more volatile than ever! PLUS: A 12-page 1950s flashback to the Agents of Atlas’ first savage encounter with the man known as Wolverine!”

Dead Irons #1 – The thing that sold me on wanting to see this book is the artist Jason Alexander. His work was stunning on Abe Sapien last year and I have been waiting to see what he does next. I just hope the book is well written also. The word “by James Kuhoric & Jason Shawn Alexander Three bounty hunter siblings blaze a path of death and destruction across the old west. Traveling by moonlight they rip criminals screaming for mercy from their hiding places, but none is ever given. Each bounty is torn, broken, and bled dry before they are delivered dead and payment collected in gold - no silver. The Irons are the most feared bounty hunting killers in the west, but that fear isn't based on them being the fastest with a pistol or rifle. It's because they're the walking dead. A lone tortured soul tracks them with vengeance and salvation driving him to end the curse upon his family. Those who he rescues call him savior but those who look upon his twisted and scarred face call him monster. Silas Irons is the only hope his brothers and sister have of salvation from the abominations they've become. But even the purity of his heart can't stop the unnatural rage and bloodlust building in his diseased soul. A black curse turned these siblings into monsters but deep rooted and twisted family history made them into the worst kind of horrors.”

Farscape #2 – The first issue was like going home, I felt like I was watching the next episode of a series I have sorely missed. It is frelling awesome that the show is back in one form or another. The hype “by Rockne O'Bannon, Keith R.A. DeCandido & Tommy Patterson TV's science fiction masterpiece Farscape returns! Farscape creator Rockne O'Bannon continues his creation in comic-book form right where The Peacekeeper Wars left off! Conflicts erupt on Rygel's home planet of Hyneria! Jothee and Chiana join their egocentric little pal on a mission to regain his throne! Do the comics tie into Sci-Fi Channel's upcoming webisodes? You know it, 'Scapers! Don't frelling miss this!”

Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds #3 (of 5) - I’m so glad DC decided that they can wait for Perez on this book as I love his artwork and in the crowd scenes this type of book demands no one does it better or with more detail. What’s inside “Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish; Covers by George Pérez. The Legion of Super-Heroes call in the reinforcements against Superboy Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains as the Crisis of the 31st Century continues. While Superboy Prime comes face-to-face with the last of the Green Lanterns, Brainiac 5 and XS attempt to ignite an electrical storm using the lightning rod, which is destined to turn the tide of the war. And what are Polar Boy, Dawnstar and Wildfire up to in the 20th Century?"

Justice Society of America #23 – My store was shorted this book and the extra week and some positive reviews of this book have me anxiously awaiting the last arc by Johns before he moves off this series. The company line “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?”

Mighty #1 – DC is apparently doing creator owned type characters inside of the DCU, although Simon Dark has not appeared in any other book. Peter Tomasi being involed in this book was a big plus for me. The hype “Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Keith Champagne; Art by Peter Snejbjerg; Cover by Dave Johnson. Welcome to the world of The Mighty! Alpha One – America's first and only Super Hero – is supported by Section Omega, an entire police force devoted to assisting him in his quest for justice. Lt. Gabriel Cole has worked his way up the ranks of Section Omega and his connection to Alpha One reaches back to his own tragic childhood and an accident nobody could have survived. But when murder strikes at the top of the organization, the case falls into his lap, and he'll begin to learn what being a hero is really all about!”

Punisher #2 – The first issue was a blast and I think having the Punisher work in an ongoing series inside the MU is almost impossible, but Remender maybe the guy to pull it off. The word ““LIVING IN DARKNESS,” PART 2 Frank Castle is losing the war. Organized crime has New York City in a death grip that, thanks to the powerful propaganda machine of the corrupt new government, is being swept under the rug. To stem this dark tide, Frank Castle must embrace new tactics, embarking on a bloody public campaign that will expose the dark underbelly of the supposedly squeaky-clean regime to the world, and a new sidekick, who’ll help him get out the message. Who would be stupid enough to team up with the Punisher now that his rifle is pointed squarely at the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe? The answer will turn the Punisher into the most proficient villain killer in town!”

Secret Warriors #1 - Number one issues are always a curiosity as it is a first impression. The concept sounds lame and the characters are not little known, they are almost total ciphers, but it is Jonathan Hickman and Brian Bendis working together and I love Hickman’s ideas in his own books and want to see how he impacts this book. The company line “Nick Fury and his new band of young heroes uncover the darkest secret in the history of the Marvel Universe!! A secret that will crack the internet into tiny little pieces!! A secret that sends the Secret Warriors tumbling into an underworld of rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, super-powered spies, and global criminal organizations. This is the Nick Fury book you've been waiting for! Be there for the Marvel debut of award winning Nightly News creator Jonathan Hickman as he teams up with Secret Warriors co-creator Brian Bendis to unveil a new era in Marvel mania!!”

The rest of the list:

30 Days of Night 30 Days Til Death #3David Lapham (w & a & c) For months he's systematically worked to create a false persona. He's agonizingly suppressed his true nature, gone to extreme-even demeaning-lengths to satisfy his cravings. Now, in an instant all of Rufus's hard work is on the verge of evaporation thanks to... a visit from his relatives?

Adventure Comics #0Written by Otto Binder; Art by Al Plastino; Cover by Aaron Lopresti. One of the cornerstone stories of the DCU is reprinted in this special issue priced at just $1.00 featuring an important "Origins and Omens" backup tale! To celebrate the upcoming ADVENTURE COMICS #1, we're reprinting a Silver Age classic from the title's prior volume — ADVENTURE COMICS #247, the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Witness Superboy's first encounter with three super-powered teens from the 30th Century – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl! Featuring a new cover by Aaron Lopresti that's an homage to the original!

Authority #7 Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and Christos Gage; Art by Simon Coleby and John Paul Leon; Cover by Simon Coleby. StormWatch and The Authority's reunion is cut short as their attempts to rebuild the Carrier haven't gone the Eidolon and his army of the Mad take an interest! The first major battle of "World's End" begins!

Bad Dog #1The acclaimed writer of Deadpool returns to his dark comedy, anti-hero roots with BAD DOG, channeling a lifetime of bad behavior into two misfit bounty hunters incapable of catching a break, let alone a criminal. Lou is a werewolf who despises people so much that he refuses to shift back into human form. Wendell is a vertically-challenged, gutter-mouthed ex-preacher with a hair-trigger temper. Two glorious bastards drinking their way across the American Nightmare, hunting down the dregs of find themselves. (That is, if by "find themselves," you mean drink, swear and generally make a mess of things.) Brought to you by beer-goggle visionary bon vivants JOE KELLY (Deadpool...yes, we're saying it again!) and DIEGO GRECO.

Bang Tango #1 (of 6) - Written by Joe Kelly; Art by Adrian Sibar and Rodney Ramos; Cover by Howard Chaykin. A passionate ex-gangster tries to make good in his second life as a tango dancer in this new 6-issue miniseries from writer Joe Kelly (JLA, ACTION COMICS) and artist Adrian Sibar (BATGIRL). But his world is thrown out-of-step when an old flame tracks him down, bringing with her the violence of his old life as well as the smoldering sexual conflict that drove them apart. She's sultry, vivacious and irresistible – she's the girl of his dreams…but she's carrying one dangerous, little flaw.

Black Lightning Year One #3 (of 6)Written by Jen Van Meter; Art and Cover by Cully Hamner. The mystery of the gang leader called The 100 deepens as does his hold on Suicide Slum as Black Lightning investigates his own father's past. But only one person can really help him find the answers: Talia al Ghul!

Creature Feature #2 (of 2)See my review here. By Various Grab your popcorn and get ready for a second helping of '70s and '80s Drive-In Horror done right! Creature Feature #2 delivers three (and a half!) brand new tales of horror! All for cheaper than a ticket to the actual movies! Featuring horrific tales written by Stuart Moore (Iron Man, Wolverine), Leah Moore and John Reppion (Raise the Dead), Mike Raicht (Army of Darkness) and Brian Smith (Adventures of Daniel Boom: Loudboy) with art by Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier), Jacob Chabot (Mighty Skullboy Army), PJ Holden (Fearless) and Brian Smith, Creature Feature is a who's who of comic industry stars looking to scare the heck out of you!

Dynamo 5 #19story Jay Faerber art & cover Mahmud A. Asrar & Ron Riley Virgil's true identity is revealed as the original Dynamo 5 team returns in the action-packed finale to the series' third story arc

El Diablo #6 (of 6) Written by Jai Nitz; Art and Cover by Phil Hester and Ande Parks. The fiery finale! He's lost his allies, his girlfriend and his soul – now former mob lord Chato Santana, the new El Diablo, must use all his Tony Soprano-like cleverness to escape the death penalty. Will the DCU's new spirit of vengeance live to see another day?

Fall of Cthulhu Apocalypse #3 (of 4)Author(s): Michael Alan Nelson Artist(s): Mateus Santolouco Cover Artist(s): Jeffrey Spokes, J.K Woodward At long last, we come face-to-tentacle with the big 'C' himself: Cthulhu. The gangs all here: Nyarlathotep, Harlot, Lucifer and Raymond face off in a battle that will decide the fate off all mankind. If you have not been reading this book, this is the issue to get!

Haunted Tank #3 (of 5) - Written by Frank Marraffino; Art by Henry Flint; Cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta. A dead Cavalry General and the crew of his haunted M1A1 Abrams tank charge toward a victory that's supposed to be in the bank. But liberating the locals from the tyranny of an outlaw regime isn't as razor-cut and desert-dry as the crew were led to believe – especially when the Confederate ghost sees the seeds of a conflict in Iraq with which he's all too familiar: civil war.

Hotwire #1 (of 5)From the innovative minds of Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis... In the near future, the living and the dead share the same space. Most of the "Blue Lights" are harmless, witless drones, as lost in death as they were in life. Some want revenge. Some want power. Some even want company to join them in the ranks of the dead. Enter Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. She's the best there is at keeping the peace on the Blue Light beat and her fellow officers hate her for it. It's a job she doesn't want, in a world she doesn't understand. But, when a break-in at the Maximum Security Necropolis sets off a surge of violent, brutal hauntings, Alice Hotwire knows she's the only one that can pull the city from the brink of chaos.

House of Mystery #10 – Written by Matthew Sturges ; Art by Luca Rossi and Kyle Baker; Cover by Glenn Fabry. The final chapter of "Love Stories for Dead People" finds Fig in the basement at the heart of the labyrinth, while Harry and Ann square off against the nightmare that once kept Cain himself awake at night. Meanwhile, the massive party upstairs winds down with unexpected repurcussions. Also featuring a short story illustrated by Eisner Award-winning artist Kyle Baker (PLASTIC MAN).

I Am Legion #1 (of 6) – Writer: Fabien Nury Artist: John Cassaday and Laura Martin Cover Artists: John Cassaday and Laura Martin World War II rages as two supernatural entities pursue collide in a conflict hinged on ideologies and the lives of men. The outcome will decide the end of the war itself! Beneath it all, the Nazi pursue a project called 'LEGION,' centering on a young Romanian girl with powerful abilities.

Immortal Iron Fist # 22 - Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons kick off another dimension-spanning adventure! Think you know everything there is to know about the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven? Well, maybe you do. But a couple of arcs ago we did tease there being an EIGHTH city…oh that’s right…Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman are taking it there!

Invincible Iron Man #10In the world-shaking wake of SECRET INVASION, everything has changed. Now a fugitive, Tony Stark initiates the deletion sequence that could save the world, but end his life…while Norman Osborn assumes the reins of power and brings the H.A.M.M.E.R. down. How much trouble are Tony, Pepper, and Maria in? Things go from bad to worse as WORLD'S MOST WANTED continues here! By Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca!

Jersey Gods #1 – story Glen Brunswick, art Dan McDaid. You're a high maintenance Jersey girl that lives close enough to New York to want the cosmopolitan lifestyle, but you're not brave enough to leave your over protective parents. The solid guys that stayed behind fail to hold your interest very long so you wind up looking for a heart of gold where there is none. What's a girl to do? If you're Zoe, you marry the first God of war that crash lands in town. Then you move into a house just three houses down from your parents. But what happens when even a God can't exactly measure up to your expectations? JERSEY GODS is a superhero book in which the hero, plagued by household chores, his wife's crazy agenda, and meddlesome in laws, has no time left to save the galaxy.

Jonah Hex #40 – Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; Art and Cover by David Michael Beck. Meet Doctor Zimmerman, a physician with a hunger for knowledge matched only by his appetite for torture. When Hex ends up on his examination table, the recriminations start to fly – along with a few body parts! Join us for the first half of "Sawbones: A Grindhouse Western"!

Kull #4 (of 6) - Dark Horse's riveting adaptation of Robert E. Howard's "The Shadow Kingdom" comes to a bloody crescendo, as Kull and Brule uncover further layers of deception and treachery in the ancient halls of Valusia's Tower of Splendor. Over the centuries, the human race has become confident of its complete dominance over the natural and supernatural realms. Using humanity's own arrogance and indolence against itself, a shadowy race of snake creatures has returned to nearly full strength -- and is poised to take over Valusia as a first step in toppling man's soft civilization! Kull, the newly crowned warrior-king, and Brule, a Pict emissary, are all that stand between the snake-men and the decimation of the Seven Empires. Ancient rivalries are put aside as Kull and Brule fight for their lives, their people, and their very souls! Writer Arvid Nelson (Rex Mundi, Joker's Asylum), artist Will Conrad (Serenity, Conan and the Midnight God), and color artist José Villarrubia (Conan, Spider-Man) spring the trap on Kull in this pulse-pounding, battle-filled installment!

Locke & Key Head Games #2 (of 6)Joe Hill (w) ï Gabriel Rodriguez (a & c) Following a shocking death that dredges up memories of their father's murder, Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters, and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingly familiar face. Open your mind-the head games are just getting started.

Neozoic #8 – by Paul Ens & J. Korim Lilli Murko may be hated by her father, her mentor, her fellow warriors and her own people, but she is returning to bring the battle for Monanti City full circle... and with a dinosaur army at her command.

Remnant #2 (of 4) - by Stephen Baldwin, Andrew Cosby, Caleb Monroe & Julian Totino Tedesco Actor Stephen Baldwin and writer Andrew Cosby (creator of Sci-Fi Channel's Eureka) unleash The Remnant at BOOM! Studios! Death tolls are in the thousands all over the planet. Former C.I.A. agent David Sacker tries to put together all the pieces of the puzzle, while trying to release his wife from the clutches of Homeland Security. Sacker might not stay alive long enough to do that with the mysterious John Drouin on his trail. Featuring sensational interior art by hot newcomer artist Julian Totino Tedesco!

Secret Six #6 - Written by Gail Simone; Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood; Cover by Nicola Scott. Featuring an "Origins and Omens" backup story! This is the big one! After Junior's horrifying unmasking last issue, the bruised and battered remnants of the Secret Six try to deliver their package to their mysterious benefactor in Gotham City, a city made even more dangerous by the notable absence of Batman. The only problem is a crowd of villains and heroes determined to block them every step of the way!

Soul Kiss #1 (of 5) - story Steven T. Seagle, art & cover Marco Cinello. MAN OF ACTION STUDIOS brings acclaimed Vertigo creator and multiple Eisner nominee STEVEN T. SEAGLE (American Virgin, it's a bird..., Sandman Mystery Theater) to Image Comics for the all-new, five-issue series, SOUL KISS - the story of a woman with vengeance on her mind and damnation on her lips. Animator Marco Cinello (The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, Curious George) makes his comics debut providing lush, full-color artwork. A deal with the Devil gone bad leads production assistant Lili Bloom to strike a second deal with the Devil gone worse: To save her boyfriend, Lili must deliver ten innocent souls to Hell by sealing their fates...with a kiss.

Terror Titans #5 (of 6)Written by Sean McKeever; Art and Cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. As the Terror Titans wrestle with the revelations brought about by Clock King's trials, one teen stands triumphant in the Dark Side Club tournament. The winner will lead Clock King's newly formed army to their first – and final – target.

Trinity # 36Written 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; Cover by Shane Davis and Richard Friend. The war to save all of reality rages on and is waged in the memory of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But the legendary Trinity battle to end the conflict themselves by becoming more than just a memory!

War of Kings Darkhawk #1 – As WAR OF KINGS approaches, the ascension of Darkhawk begins! New Warrior…Avenger…Intergalactic destroyer?! Chris Powell has been many things over his young life, but now he’s stepping up with a new life on the East Coast and a serious job at Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. But when his past comes back to haunt him and new information about his amulet and its legacy are violently brought to light, Darkhawk realizes he may have to face a much darker destiny that he ever realized. All this, plus the return of the Loners…and a reprint of DARKHAWK #1! You know how ANNIHILATION made you look twice at Nova (now star of a critically acclaimed series)? This is where Darkhawk takes off!
X-Men First Class Finals #1 (of 4) - Youth is fleeting, powers are growing, and the first class of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is about to move on to a bigger, scarier world. What does the future hold- and how will it all end? Plus: Colleen Coover shows us... Jean and Scott on a DATE!

This week is a rather long list especially for the first week of the month. The one thing I find surprising is the three number ones from Image: Soul Kiss, Bad Dog and Jersey Gods. I’m a pretty big fan of independent type books, but each one of these projects does not have a great feel to me and if I’m hesitant to sign up for these books. Therefore if I’m hesitant, is there enough of an audience for this type of material? I’m not saying an Independent book will not succeed unless I like it, I’m just saying the marginal appeal of these books appears week and in a down market place the chances for these title to succeed is very, very thin in my opinion.



  1. Steelers...Nation...!

  2. Nice win, but boy was that game over officiated and some bad calls.

    Still the better team won.

  3. Re: Jersey Gods - I understand your trepidation, but all I would say is (and bear in mind that I'm biased, on account of the fact that I drew the book), give it a try. Glen Brunswick has written something that's funny, sexy and exciting, and I've bust a ball making sure it looks as pretty as possible. We're trying to do something which embodies the idea of fun comics, and who doesn't need some of that in their lives?



  4. Dan - I agree and I have ordered issue #1. My concern is there has to be a better way to get more fans attention to this type of book.

    In a bizzare way as economic times turn bad, maybe more people will look for FUN in their books as oppossed to grim and grimmer and grimmest.

    I will try and do a solo review on this book after I read it. Especially if I like it.