Monday, March 02, 2009

What I’m Getting Wednesday March 4

I have two comments this week. First is about the economy and my overall bleak outlook is getting even less optimistic (add sarcastic tone here). The federal budget proposal is a recipe for disaster, I applaud ending the Iraq War (but not the escalation of the Afghanistan War), but we have to reduce spending in many other areas if we want to spend on all of these other programs. I fear that the coming depression will be even harsher then what I think will happen. You cannot spend your way out of bankruptcy. I feel the economy of the world is going through a major shift, what it looks like after the fact I don’t know, but the transition will be painful.

The second comment is one I have harped on before and it is about the digital revolution of the print media. Is the print media dying? No. Is it going to be in a drastically reduced form? Yes. If the publishers do not get on board with this quickly they will be passed by and they will die. A comic should soon be released in multiple formats at the same time. A monthly book should hit the newsstand, my e-mail or to my Kindle (or other e-book) at the same time. If I’m buying the print version it can be $3, but the digital version better be $1. When the last issue of that comic arc is published, the trade and/or hardcover if appropriate should all hit the store at the same time, as well as the e-mail or e-book version. Again the e-book version should be one third of the price. Re-write your contracts with the creators so they know the digital format will be a different revenue stream, but the savings of not having to publish, cutting out a brick and mortar distributor and the retailer is a huge savings, in fact the net income maybe higher on the digital side of the business. Plus your market is now the world wide. Change or die.

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

Agents of Atlas #2 – The proposition of trying to have a group pretend to be bad guys running a criminal empire, but actually trying to do good is a cool concept, but a hard one to execute and keep believable long term. At some point I thing the gig has to be up to keep the series viable. In the meantime I will enjoy this quirky band of characters as written by Jeff Parker. The official marketing pitch “Norman Osborn's shadow government looks to pull ahead in the arms race with the help of the Atlas Foundation and the Uranian weaponry of the world's most bizarre defense contractor, Marvel Boy! The dark contacts grow even more solid when Jimmy Woo meets his understudy - Temujin, the son of the Mandarin! How does this all connect to one of the Agents' 1958 missions? Access M-11's datahold and find out!”

Daredevil #116 – I’m both anticipating this and dreading this as this issue marks the return of the Kingpin. It was in the very early eighties when Frank Miller made the Kingpin the arch-nemesis of Daredevil. In almost 30 years we can’t move forward. Still if done right it could be interesting. The hype “Nearly two years ago, the Kingpin left America to try to build a new life and find a new purpose for himself. Is that new life now coming to the attention of old enemies? And how does this connect to Matt Murdock and his troubles in New York with Lady Bullseye? Find out in this prelude to the new epic – RETURN OF THE KING. Reteaming four-time award-winning best writer Ed Brubaker with groundbreaking artist David Aja for the first time since their work on the cult sensation IMMORTAL IRON FIST!”

Dark Reign Fantastic Four #1 (of 5) – Look it is Jonathan Hickman flying on his own (although I’m sure it was a specific story that Marvel wanted told) and writing a super hero book. I’m excited to see what he can do as I find Hickman’s work to be very good. The word “Dark Reign strikes Marvel’s first family—in an explosive way! Prepared to be blown away as: HAMMER agents attack the Baxter Building. Reed changes everything. The Human Torch suffers a horrible loss and Franklin and Val go shopping. There's Time travel, Alternate realities, Celestials, Eternals, Deviants and Doombots... and more important than all of that, we find out the answer to the question: What is the Bridge?”

Farscape #3 – I so frelling love this series. One of the all time best TV series that was given a two year life extension and then had it pulled away and we were left with a fast two hour wrap up. Now it is almost like the show is back in TV. Life is good after all. The down low on this dren “Author(s): Rockne O'Bannon, Keith DeCandido Artist(s): Tommy Patterson Cover Artist(s): A: Joe Corroney, B: Dennis Calero, C: Joe Corroney 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! Things aren't looking good for the crew of Moya as Crichton and Aeryn are imprisoned on Hyneria. But don't worry! Their last, best hope is Rygel?! Do the comics tie into Sci-Fi Channel's upcoming webisodes? You know it, 'Scapers! Don't frelling miss this!”

Gotham Gazette Batman Dead – The starting point for the “Battle for the Cowl” stuff. I love Batman and want Nightwing to be the new Batman, but I go into this with great anticipation and trepidation. The company line “Written by Fabian Nicieza ; Art by various; Cover by Dustin Nguyen. A city looking to kill itself. A population without its dark avenger, without answers, without hope. A cop looking to save Gotham from its own madness. A reporter looking to reclaim her career by revealing that it's no coincidence the city's top billionaire and its urban legend are missing at the same time. A doctor seeking to regain her soul by stepping back into Hell. One hero who can't quite get it right no matter how hard she tries. Harvey Bullock. Vicki Vale. Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Stephanie Brown. What do all these people have in common? Without Batman, Gotham City continues to fall apart, and these extraordinary "ordinary" people try to mend the city's wounds, looking into a dark night for answers. This one-shot special explores the effect a missing Batman has on the citizens of Gotham City.”

Jersey Gods #2 – I thought this book was going to be lame, I was wrong. It is a great comic playing with the New Gods type concepts and romance comic clichés and just out and out fun. The first issue was a winner, now let’s see how #2 works out. The marketing blather “Holiday shopping takes a turn for the worse when the Gods choose the Cherry Hill Mall as their battleground. The evil Minog wants Barock's head on a slab and he's willing to kill any mall rat that gets in the way. Unfortunately for Zoe, the mall is also the location of her most recent break-up. And now she's caught in Minog's cross-hairs. With Barock's power failing miserably, will he be able to muster the strength to save himself and Zoe from certain death?”

Locke & Key Head Games #3 – This is one of the best written books on the stands. I say that because the characters are so alive for me. Any week with this book in the solicitations is a good one. What’s inside “By Joe Hill Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode have unlocked the entrance to an unlikely and astonishing world: the secret country inside of Bode Locke's head, where memories mingle with monsters...”

Superman World of New Krypton #1 (of 12) – While the overall DCU is in need of help, the Superman line has been very good since the “One Year Later” jump a couple of years ago and continues to improve with a solid direction to the line. I believe Andrew is not the writer for this series. The alien inside scoop “Written by Andrew Kreisberg; Art by Pete Woods; Cover by Gary Frank. Following the events of the "New Krypton" crossover, the Man of Steel has had to embrace his past to ensure humanity's future. And while a devastating armed conflict with Earth may have been averted, keeping the peace will be Superman's greatest challenge yet. Hot new writer Andrew Kreisberg (BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL) and fan-favorite artist Pete Woods (ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN: UP, UP AND AWAY!) lead Superman through a world of interstellar treachery and deadly machinations where the lives of two races hang in the balance”

War of Kings #1 (of 6) – Hey isn’t this jumping the gun as the X-Men lead in is not over yet. Oh well, the lead up has been terrific and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning always deliver exciting stories. I know it is an “event” book and I’m looking forward to it, but it is more a mini-event. The solicitation copy “In the aftermath of the Secret Invasion, Black Bolt has led the Inhumans on a shockingly savage path to restore their strength and security. But that path has brought them into direct confrontation with the Shi’Ar Empire – and their mad ruler Vulcan! Who will get in the first strike? Who will fall on the bloody battlefield? Who will rule? The Imperial Guard, the Starjammers, the Inhuman Royal Family and more of your favorite sci-fi characters are locked on a collision course…and it all starts here! Join the acclaimed team of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (NOVA) and Paul Pelletier (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) for a pivotal turning point in Marvel’s cosmic history.”

The rest of the list:

Authority #8 - Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and Russell Utley; Art by Simon Coleby and Ben Oliver; Cover by Simon Coleby. The British government reaches out to the Authority to help apprehend a powerful super-powered being who escaped confinement when the world ended. Can the team, minus their more powerful members, contain a threat of unimaginable power?

Back to Brooklyn #4 (of 5) - Mr. Capreni has a bloody visitor as Churchill does whatever necessary to find out where Bob has gone to and finally ,the thing that turned Bob Saetta into a killing machine is finally revealed. This issue guarantees more blood and guts and Brooklyn bravado then you can fill a body bag with.

Black Lightning Year One #5 (of 6) - Written by Jen Van Meter; Art and cover by Cully Hamner. The origin of Black Lightning wraps up with a bang as he faces The 100 on his own terms and stands up for Suicide Slum. But what does the future hold for Jefferson Pierce and his nemesis Tobias Whale?

Goon #32 10TH ANNIV ISSUE - The Goon's tenth anniversary is upon us! To celebrate, we present this special Goon Anniversary issue, picking up right where Goon Year left off -- featuring thirty-two pages of story from creator Eric Powell, and a sketchbook section with contributions from Eric's comic-creator heroes -- Mike Mignola! Jeff Smith! Kevin Nowlan! And more! Put on your party hats for some merriment worthy of this Eisner Award-winning series. (And don't worry we won't forget the funny bits just 'cause this is a serious and special occasion!) Thirty-two pages of story! Pinups by Mike Mignola, Bernie Wrightson, Jeff Smith, and more!

Haunted Tank #4 (of 5) - Written by Frank Marraffino; Art by Henry Flint; Cover by Shane Davis. As the war falls apart around the crew of the Haunted Tank, the old ghost's secrets reveal that there are some fates worse than death. Don't miss out onthe smash series that's hotter than napalm and more explosive than the most terrible WMD nightmare!

Hellboy the Wild Hunt #4 (of 8) - The Queen of Blood is rallying her monstrous army and preparing to march against the human race, and humanity's survival depends on Hellboy and Alice finding a supernatural army of their own. But the monsters Hellboy has killed over the years had powerful friends, and a vicious horde out for revenge has lured the pair into a trap. Now Hellboy and Alice's only hope for survival rests with three strange little birds, and their even stranger mistress.

House Of Mystery #11 - Written by Matthew Sturges; Art by Luca Rossi, Jose Marzan Jr. and Jim Fern; Cover by Esao Andrews. Sex, suspicions and treachery erupt, and explanations are in order at the House of Mystery. Who is Fig Keele really? Who and what are the Conception? Where is the Space between, and why is this all very bad news for Harry Bailey? Find out here in part 1 of "The Space Between," featuring a violent history lesson illustrated by Jim Fern (CROSSING MIDNIGHT) with an evocative cover by new regular cover artist painter Esao Andrews (FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL).

I Am Legion #2 (of 6) - Writer: Fabien Nury Artist: John Cassaday and Laura Martin Cover Artists: John Cassaday and Laura Martin As World War II rages on, Allied leaders meet to plan the assassination mission of Rudolf Heyzig, a Nazi general and head of the secret 'Legion' program. Little do they realize that the Legion Program hinges on the fate of a little girl named Ana, who harbors terrible secrets of her own!

Jonah Hex #41 - Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti; Art and cover by David Michael Beck. The conclusion of "Sawbones: A Grindhouse Western"! Doctor Zimmerman has been torturing and experimenting on people for years and seen the inside of dozens – maybe hundreds – of bodies. But he's about to find out he's never encountered anyone made of sterner stuff than Jonah Hex!

The Mighty #2 - Written by Peter J. Tomasi and Keith Champagne; Art by Peter Snejbjerg; Cover by Dave Johnson. Section Omega is in chaos, and Lt. Cole and the hero known as Alpha One must work side by side for the first time! But in his quest to bring murderers to justice, Cole is in way over his head! When the two locate the villains responsible for the recent trouble, the fight doesn't go as planned, and Cole finds that being partnered with the world's greatest Super Hero isn't what it's cracked up to be. The consequences of their first battle together will leave even the great Alpha One shaken!

New Avengers The Reunion #1 (of 4) - In the wake of SECRET INVASION, Mockingbird is alive and has returned to Earth after being held captive by the Skrulls. Ronin, her estranged husband, volunteers to help her adjust to her new life as a member of the new Avengers, but some old wounds run too deep. And what deadly secret did she bring back with her that could tear them, and the world, apart once more? It's high-octane action and intrigue as the Mr. & Mrs. Smith of the Marvel Universe take on one of the biggest threats in the world...and each other!

Secret Six #7 - Written by Gail Simone; Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood; Cover by Nicola Scott. It's the big finale of the first arc and a punishing battle royal, Gotham City style, as the bloody, ragged remains of the Secret Six fight their way through throngs of Gotham City heroes and villains. And when the dust finally settles, the man pulling the strings of this whole affair will finally be revealed! Guest stars, betrayals and bad taste galore in this powerful issue!

Secret Warriors #2 - Picking up from the earth-shattering conclusion to issue one... we find out who Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors' real enemies are, where they've been hiding, and why they chose now to make their existence known. Get ready, this is going to send shock-waves that will ripple throughout the Marvel Universe. Hail Hydra!

Shrapnel #3 (of 5) - As war rages across the Solar System, Sam launches a desperate gambit to evacuate all the non-hostile civilians from Venus before the unthinkable occurs. The military that Sam once served will accept nothing less than complete surrender, forcing her into an agonizing decision. She must choose between saving the lives of the innocents in exchange for the sacrifice of their freedom or sacrifice these same lives for a freedom that will remain undying.

Solomon Grundy #1 (OF 7) - Written by Scott Kolins; Art and cover by Scott Kolins. Born on a Monday! Writer/artist Scott Kolins (THE FLASH, FACES OF EVIL: SOLOMON GRUNDY) brings you the origin behind one of the most mysterious figures in DC comics! Smashing out of the pages of his "Faces of Evil" one-shot, Solomon Grundy teams with Cyrus Gold – the man he once was before becoming a monster – to uncover the truth behind the Grundy curse! But how can he team with Cyrus Gold? How was Solomon Grundy created? And can Cyrus ever be set free? There are seven issues for each day of the nursery rhyme that haunts the longtime DC favorite, and by Sunday, could this be the end of Solomon Grundy?

Strange Adventures #1 (of 8) - Written by Jim Starlin; Art by Manuel Garcia and Al Milgrom and Jim Starlin and Rob Hunter; Cover by Jim Starlin and Rob Hunter; Variant cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. Master storyteller Jim Starlin takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure starring Adam Strange, Comet and the reverse Superman known as Bizarro. A deadly peril threatens the universe, and it's up to Adam Strange to stop it. Meanwhile, a contract is put out for the death of Comet while Bizarro finds a new purpose in life, which leads to the beginning of a strange new journey.

Sub- Mariner The Depths #5 (of 5) - Satan’s greatest trick? Convincing the world he didn’t exist. Here, at the bottom of the ocean, at the bottom of the earth, Dr. Randolph Stein is about to plumb the depths of his very soul, as he discovers that some things can’t be explained by facts, or science or reason. Some things do defy explanation. Something does live down here in the black water of the Marianes Trench, and it wants to show Stein its secret, whether he wants to see it or not.

Terror Titans #6 (OF 6) - Written by Sean McKeever; Art and cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. It's the explosive finale! Clock King's final, twisted plan terrorizes Los Angeles. Can Ravager stop it? Will she even want to? What role will Static play? And when the dust settles, how will each of the Terror Titans feel about the Clock King, their team...and themselves?

Trinity #40 - 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 Jesus Merino. As the Dark Trinity's all-out war reaches fever pitch, Krona rears his head with destructive consequences, and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman face a world that's changing all around them. Can they find a way back from exile? And even if they can, does the world have any hope of survival? Guest-starring everybody!

X-Men First Class Finals #2 (of 4) - Why are threats from the X-Men’s past coming back to haunt them, just as graduation looms? What kind of job could Cyclops hold out in the world? Why does Angel have to have costumes that his hair sticks out of nowadays? And does Professor Xavier even live here anymore? Come find more mysteries to ponder in the second part of FINALS!

A rather normal week for me and as time goes forward I expect to see more cuts from my list then adds. In fact at one time my list was well over 150 titles (some published rarely) and now my list is in the 120 bracket with about 40% of the list being mini-series that are shortly ending and less coming on. Also my hardcover collection is slowing down as I have reached a saturation point with a collection that numbers over 300 volumes. So expect the list to be smaller in the coming months.

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