Friday, June 19, 2009

Marvel Preview Review for August 2009

Lee: Another month, another dose of sweet Marvel goodness. Let’s see if I can make it through the previews without complaining about Dark Reign.
Jim: Wow I should go and add a few picks, but for once we will try to reign (pun intended) in the number of picks.

THE MARVELS PROJECT #1 (of 8) Written by ED BRUBAKER Pencils & Cover by STEVE EPTING The centerpiece of Marvel's 70th Anniversary celebration! Who is the mysterious old man who lies on his deathbed in a hospital in 1939, and how does his passing mark the beginning of the first heroic age of the Marvel Universe -- and signal the rise of the superhumans? Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting unveil the defining story of the origin of the Marvel Universe, revealing the hidden connections that unite the earliest costumed champions, and whose reverberations are felt dramatically into the present day! It's a world on the brink of war, and the race is on to create the world's first super-soldier! Witness the first days of the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, and many more-- how they shaped the world to come, and how the future they would create in turn shaped them! The must-read event of the season for any Marvel fan from the Award-Winning creators who redefined Captain America for the modern audience!32 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: Huummmm, this is really interesting because I’m not sure what to make of this. On one hand, the creative team of Brubaker and Epting is very good and that makes me want to buy this. On the other hand, this looks like a huge retrocon of the Marvel Golden Age, and that make me very leary. I’m gonna wait for reviews because I have no idea what this is going to end up being.
Jim: Not sure how this story will work out, but I give Marvel tons of credit for finding a way to celebrate their history and entertain their fans at the same time. I’m just not sure why eight has become the new magic number for so many “event series” (Secret Invasion & Blackest Night).

PUNISHER NOIR #1 (of 4) Written by FRANK TIERI Penciled by PAUL AZACETA Cover by TIM BRADSTREET It's the Roaring Twenties and mobster Dutch Schultz's iron-fisted reign is about to meet its greatest challenge. But will the greatest threat to his criminal empire come from Thomas Dewey and the government? Will it come from fellow mobsters like Lucky Luciano or Al Capone? No, it'll come in the form of a man sporting a familiar skull symbol and a gun in his hand. Because once the Punisher hits the scene, the mean streets are about to get a whole lot meaner. 32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99

LUKE CAGE NOIR #1 (of 4) Written by MIKE BENSON & ADAM GLASS Penciled by SHAWN MARTINBROUGH Cover by TIM BRADSTREET A lot can change in ten years. And rarely for the better. Local legend, Luke Cage, invincible, unstoppable, unflappable, finds that out the hard way when he returns to the mean streets of Prohibition-era Harlem after a ten-year stretch in Riker's Island. All he wants is to be back in the loving arms of his woman, but certain powerful men have different plans for Cage. Willis Stryker, Cage's childhood friend turned Godfather of Harlem, wants him on his crew, and under his thumb. And wealthy white socialite Randall Banticoff, whose wife is now very dead, murdered in a Harlem alley, wants Cage to investigate her death. Cage is about to learn that coming home is never easy, and to survive he might just have to kill a whole lot of people. 32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Yep, this cements the deal, Marvel Noir is the new Ultimates line. But, I like the way Marvel is handling this via a series of mini-series. It really lets me pick and choose which series I want to read. While the Punisher sounds interesting, Martinbrough art on Luke Cage is much more compelling to me. Plus, I’m loving Benson’s run on Moon Knight so I’m sold on this.
Jim: Both artists are great choices for this type of work. I agree that the mini-series have allowed me to pick and choose also. I have gotten every first issue and then dumped whatever did not work for me (X-Men and DD), but got the rest (Spider-Man and Wolverine so far).

ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS #1 Written by MARK MILLAR Pencils & Cover by CARLOS PACHECO Guess who's back!! That's right, kids, MARK MILLAR and superstar artist CARLOS PACHECO blast into the Ultimate Universe for a mind-blowing, heart-pounding and gut-wrenching event of epic proportions! When a highly-classified secret threatens Captain America, only the newly-returned Nick Fury has the tools to bring 'em in! As the first of a series of blockbuster arcs begins: PROJECT AVENGERS is a go! 32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99
Lee: This is some terrible hype because it tells you almost nothing about the book or story other than Millar and Pacheco are on it. But, having Pacheco on art is more than enough for me so I’ll be getting this. I hope it’s good.
Jim: Millar is writing this so I’m skipping it. I have grown tired of Millar. He is really the pop star of comics, a lot of flash and bang, but nothing of substance.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #1 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Pencils & Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE Almost ten years ago, Ultimate Spider-Man launched the Ultimate line, a reinvention of the Marvel Universe that defied the odds and every expectation. Today, it happens again: This new chapter in the life of the teenaged webslinger picks up in the aftermath of Ultimatum and completely redefines the status quo of Spider-Man for the next generation! With a new supporting cast, new villians and maybe even a new Spider-Man, this new chapter will keep you guessing month after month. You have never seen a Spider-Man like this before! Be there! 32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
Lee: If you were reading Ultimate Spidey before you’ll be reading Ultimate Spidey again. I don’t necessarily miss the days of continuous numbering but it would be nice to have some consistency. Oh well, I’m sure this will still be good no matter what.
Jim: Again I’m skipping this. I was fine with Ultimate Spider-Man, but they gave me a good jumping off point and I took it. Plus I had grown tired of Archie Andrews as Spider-Man (since Peter Parker is an eternal teen-ager they should have called him Archie).

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #602 Written by FRED VAN LENTE Penciled by BARRY KITSON Cover by ADI GRANOV THE CHAMELEON returns with a terrifying new mission that has MAYOR J. JONAH JAMESON squarely in his sights! Meanwhile, the ANTI-SPIDER SQUAD narrows its dragnet around the Wall-Crawler, and Peter Parker gets a brand new job...will it bring him closer to the newly-returned MARY JANE, or push her further away? 32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
Lee: And this month, introducing Mary Jane, biker slut! She has three tattoos and four piercings… you just can’t see them when she’s wearing clothes.
Jim: You know just stop. Either undo the stupid brand new day or don’t , but bringing back Mary Jane is just starting the stuff they got rid of all over again.

FANTASTIC FOUR #570 Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN Penciled by DALE EAGLESHAM Cover by ALAN DAVIS Brand new creative team - Brave new comics experience! Be there as Marvel's newest exciting creator, Jonathan Hickman, teams up with superstar artist, Dale Eaglesham, to give you the Fantastic Four experience you've been waiting for! It's adventure, it's family, it's tough questions in dark times...See what happens when Reed Richards tries to SOLVE EVERYTHING.32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
Lee: The jury’s still out on Hickman’s ability to write in-continuity superheroes but I’m still giving him benefit of the doubt. Having great art by Eaglesham doesn’t hurt.
Jim: This looks to be a great team and Hickman has done a good job with Secret Warriors and Dark Reign FF, so this is a book I want!

INCREDIBLE HULK #601 Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE Penciled by ARIEL OLIVETTI & MICHAEL RYAN Cover by ARIEL OLIVETTI Gamma fans rejoice -- the rumors are true! The INCREDIBLE HULK book returns as an ongoing series written by acclaimed PLANET HULK and WORLD WAR HULK scribe Greg Pak! Get ready for Bruce Banner as you've never seen him, the Son of Hulk in a whole new world of smash, and an insane new adventure that changes everything for everyone's favorite Green Goliath! With art by Ariel Olivetti (CABLE) and introducing a new, regular bonus backup SAVAGE SHE-HULK story written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Michael Ryan!40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: Well, the regular hulk title is back and there’s a backup feature. While the higher page counts helps minimize the sting of the higher price point, I’m not convinced this is long term. Let’s see who drops the extra pages first, Marvel or DC.
Jim: That is exactly what will happen. The back up features will disappear or $5 comics will become the norm. I’m on the fence with this, but will probably be onboard as I have been waiting to see Pak back on the real Hulk (well not real, but you know).

DOMINIC FORTUNE #1 (of 4) Written, Pencils & Cover by HOWARD CHAYKIN The depression's going strong, so when Dominic Fortune is hired to bodyguard Jock Madison, Vaughn Lorillard and P.T. Oakley, three drunk and disorderly Hollywood stars, he jumps at the chance to pick up what looks like a few easy bucks, and maybe have a few laughs in the bargain. But when the trio of old school hambones and horndogs prove to be a bigger pain than he anticipated -- and he accidentally stumbles across a conspiracy headed by mysterious American businessman Malcolm Upshaw and Delatriz Betancourt, the recklessly sexy granddaughter of Confederates who fled Reconstruction for South America -- Fortune finds himself in hot water...with the fate of the USA at stake. 32 PGS./Explicit Content ...$3.99

Lee: I know Chaykin’s recent track record stinks but I always give him benefit of the doubt. And, given his own material, outside of continuity, stands the best chance of being good. I predict this will be vintage Chaykin and an excellent read.
Jim: Pass. I predict this will be Chaykin drawing the same four characters and you will not know if it is Dominic Fortune or American Flagg.


Lee: This is one complete mess of a series. Don’t get me wrong I’m still getting it but everyone should understand what they’re getting. This is full of Deathlok goodness but if you can’t tell by the number of writers involved he was definitely a second string character. And, as a second stringer was treated as such.
Jim: It is almost a waste of a hardcover as this was a convoluted mess, but I loved the material and have ordered this book also.

X-MEN: MUTANT MASSACRE HC Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT, LOUISE SIMONSON, WALTER SIMONSON & ANN NOCENTIPenciled by JOHN ROMITA JR., WALTER SIMONSON, BRET BLEVINS, JACKSON GUICE, RICK LEONARDI, SAL BUSCEMA, JOHN BOGDANOVE, BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH & ALAN DAVIS Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR. The Marauders - professional mutant assassins, employed by a mysterious evil, with the job of wiping out the entire Morlock community living beneath the streets of Manhattan. And the only hope of salvation the Morlocks have rests in the hands of the X-Men! But can they stop this deadly onslaught? And what do they stand to lose if it should succeed? Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN #210-214, X-FACTOR #9-11, NEW MUTANTS #46, THOR #373-374, POWER PACK #27 and DAREDEVIL #238.320 PGS./Rated T+ ...$39.99

Lee: Have I complained about this before? I feel that I have. But I think that was about an omnibus of this material. Maybe, maybe not but now it’s only $40 for a 300 pg hc and I’m half tempted by this. I still won’t get it but I’m tempted by it. I definitely like this color omnibus format.
Jim: Huge pass, no matter what. This is from the era when the X-Men were popular, but the cross-over madness was spiraling out of control.

MARVEL BROMANCE TPB Written by J.M. DEMATTEIS, STAN LEE, ROGER STERN, MARY JO DUFFY, CHRIS CLAREMONT, LEN WEIN, FABIAN NICIEZA, BOB LAYTON, DAVID MICHELINIE, CHRISTOPHER PRIEST & BARRY WINDSOR-SMITHPenciled by KERRY GAMMILL, GENE COLAN, MARK BAGLEY, JOHN BOLTON, JOHN BUSCEMA, PATRICK ZIRCHER, MARK BRIGHT, SAL VELLUTO, JACK KIRBY & BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH If This Be Bromance--! Marvel's greatest buddies take the spotlight in this one-of-a-kind collection, and it's male bonding like you've never seen -- as Cable and Deadpool swap stories, Wonder Man and the Beast share a plane ride, Spidey and the Human Torch battle back-to-back, Wolverine makes a bet with Nightcrawler, Black Panther and Everett Ross lay their feelings on the line...and the Warriors Three set sail for fun! Plus: Captain America and the Falcon, Iron Man and Jim Rhodes, and more! Be here as Marvel says, "I love you, man!" Collecting MARVEL TEAM-UP #121, CAPTAIN AMERICA #126, AVENGERS TWO: WONDER MAN & THE BEAST #1, POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #79, CLASSIC X-MEN #4, MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #30, CABLE & DEADPOOL #19, IRON MAN #216, BLACK PANTHER #25, TALES OF SUSPENSE #78 and MARVEL FANFARE #15. 224 PGS./Rated A ...$24.99
Lee: So I read this and thought... where's the Frenchie Marc Spector connection? Doesn’t that qualify as a Bromance?
Jim: Wow - you went there.

Collecting HULK #1-9, KING-SIZE HULK #1 and the backup story from WOLVERINE #50.304 PGS./Rated A ...$39.99

Lee: This really confuses me. There are two Red Hulk hc’s that already cover the exact same material. If I purchased those, then why would I purchase this? If I skipped the hc’s the first time and got the tpb’s, then why would I get this. I like that the material is gathered in one place but I’m not sure if I understand why Marvel decided to publish this.
Jim: Who cares, it is the red Hulk and a waste of paper.

Lee: Wha-hoooo I did it. I made it through a month without complaining about DKR! Trust me, I’m as shocked as you. Don’t worry, this won’t become a habit, I’m sure something will annoy me next month.
Jim: I’m sure also. Some fun stuff, some dumb stuff and some stuff we have to see to make a call on.


  1. Lee complains about the biker slut Mary Jane on the Amazing Spider-man, but nary a mention of just how abysmal the cover art is on Ultimate Comics Spider-man? What's with that head? It's just a circle. There's nothing to indicate a human head shape. Then there's the right foot. Why's Spidey's foot point backward? This is just terrible art work. And I'm being generous in calling it art.

  2. Thomm- Spidey's cover isn't great but it's not that bad. Generally speaking the anatomy is there, and yeah the head is rounded but it's just been manga-nized.

    There's far worse than that out there. Don't worry I'll complain about bad art covers next month.

  3. Ok. Manga head. But the foot? That's gotta hurt if it's actually your foot. Unless you're Plastic Man or Mr Fantastic.