The comic book hype and marketing game reached an all time low this last week with Captain America #600 as Marvel tried to push the crap out of the book like it was the cure for cancer. The death of a character is a media event, the return is a ho-hum. I lived through that stuff with my store when Superman died (unbelievable interest from the outside world) and when he returned the outside world could barely stifle a yawn. While I include the hype with this post, I rarely do anything more then glance at it. If I have decided that I like a series then the hype is pointless and will normally inflate expectations that can’t be matched. Many good books get so over hyped by a company that you are expecting to read a revelation and when all you get is a good book, you are disappointed. For new series that are coming out the hype has some importance, by reading interviews with creators is also another way to make a decision on a new title. Of course the creators and the character is another reason. All of this is a prelude as you are about to read the GREATEST “What I’m Getting” column for the week of June 24, 2009 ever done.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Daredevil #119 – This is now the announced final arc by Ed Brubaker and based on the fact he is writing Captain America Reborn and The Marvel Project books, I can see why he had to let go of something. Still I have enjoyed Ed’s run on this book immensely for the most part. The hype “It's the penultimate chapter of the riveting Return of the King arc! Kingpin's true agenda is revealed, as Lady Bullseye and her minions come out of hiding to begin the final confrontation in Hell's Kitchen.”
Dark Avengers Uncanny X-Men Utopia #1 – I’m more curious that truly anticipating this book. As much as Dark Reign is wearing on me I want to see how Marvel’s work to integrate the X-verse back into the regular Marvel U a little more is going to play out. The company line “The Dark Avengers take on the Uncanny X-Men! Kicking off the 6-part crossover event, rising star Matt Fraction (UNCANNY X-MEN, Invincible Iron Man) is joined by X-artist supreme Marc Silvestri (X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX, CIVIL WAR: THE INITIATIVE ONE-SHOT) to bring you a story that shakes the foundations of the Marvel Universe. When mutant riots break out in San Francisco, Norman Osborn declares martial law and sends the Dark Avengers in to quell the riots and take down the X-Men. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t miss the first Avengers/X-Men crossover in over 15 years!”
Detective Comics #854 – Well it has a great creative team on the main feature and so far DC has done a terrific job on re-launching the Bat-verse. After so many bitter disappointments from DC I’m very happy with the way all the Bat books have started so far. The word “Written by Greg Rucka; Art by JH Williams and Cully Hamner; Cover by JH Williams. "Elegy" part 1 of 4! A new era in the history of DETECTIVE COMICS begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. With a script by Greg Rucka and breath-taking art by JH Williams III, you've never seen anything like this! Featuring the debut of a new co-feature starring The Question written by Rucka! Odds against you? Alone and nowhere to turn? Willing to fight, but you don't know how? When you're searching everywhere for an answer, sometimes all you need to do is ask the right Question. Renee Montoya again dons the faceless mask to help those in need, all the while searching for her own answers in this new adventure with art by Cully Hamner (BLUE BEETLE).”
Golden Age Starman Archives Volume 2 – DC is producing very few archive editions, so I was pleased to see this one when it was solicited as it has Jack Burnley art and he was one of the best Golden Age artists. This volume contains “Written by Gardner Fox, Alfred Bester, Don Cameron, Joe Samachson and others; Art by Jack Burnley, Mort Meskin, George Roussos, Emil Gershwin, Sam Citron and others; Cover by Jack Burnley From the Golden Age of Comics comes this second hardcover collecting tales of the original Starman from the pages of ADVENTURE COMCIS #77-102.”
Gotham City Sirens #1 – Again the Bat-verse has done a terrific job with all of the bat stuff and this is the last book to be rolled out for June. Paul Dini did a great job with Streets, so I’m curious about the bad girls’ version of Birds of Prey. What’s inside “Written by Paul Dini; Art and Cover by Guillem March. This all-new series features the bad girls of Gotham City! Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people's rules regardless of which side of the law they're on. These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it. But can they get along and work as a team? And who will get hurt along the way? DETECTIVE COMICS and STREETS OF GOTHAM writer Paul Dini kicks off this brand-new ongoing series with amazing artwork by Guillem March (JOKER'S ASYLUM: POISON IVY, GOTHAM GAZETTE).”
Green Lantern #42 – While John’s Lantern work has felt a little too jam packed; we are getting right next to the “Blackest Night” cross over starting and hopeful person that I am I’m still thinking this will be a great “event”. The marketing people say “Written by Geoff Johns: Art and Cover by Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion. The conclusion to "Agent Orange"! Hal battles the leader of the Orange Lanterns in a bizarre confrontation between will and avarice! But what is the true secret behind the power of the Orange Light? And what value does it hold for the other Corps?”
Immortal Iron Fist #27 – The last issue of Iron Fist and then we have the Immortal Weapons series. I’m enjoying this book and looking forward to Immortal Weapons but it still feels like Marvel is swapping a $3 book for a $4 book. Marvel says “Danny Rand is the Immortal Iron Fist. He has thwarted Hydra assassins…foiled a vicious plot to destroy his mystical city of K’un-Lun…fought in an interdimensional kung fu tournament…escaped the unstoppable beast that killed all other Iron Fists before him…and survived a trip into Hell itself. But will he make it through the fall of the House of Rand?”
Madame Xanadu #12 – This book has been blessed with great writing by Matt Wagner and some of the best art is all of comics. If DC does not come out with a high quality hard cover on this material, they are insane. This issue contains “Written by Matt Wagner: Art and Cover by Michael Wm. Kaluta. The second exciting issue featuring the return of artist Michael Wm. Kaluta! Tipping the scales of justice, the ageless and beautiful Madame Xanadu becomes embroiled in a supernatural murder mystery. As she pursues a savage killer in 1940s New York City, her clairvoyance reveals a centuries-long record of fear, hate and cowardice."
Thor #602 – As much as I think JMS slows down the story too much at times; this book continues to stand as one of Marvel’s best series. The solicitation copy “The cataclysmic, catastrophic events of THOR #600 have rocked Asgard. What unexpected way do his true friends figure out to help him? And what could possibly be the next step in the devious Loki’s sinister schemes and machinations?”
The rest of the list:
Cleaners #4 (of 4) – Wheaton, Fialkov, and Ekedal bring their hit horror series The Cleaners to a cataclysmic and emotionally devastating conclusion with issue #4. After a series of bizarre events in his suburban LA neighborhood, young Henry Reardon was kidnapped from his home; the only clue left behind -- the mutilated corpse of the family dog. Now Henry has become like his kidnapper -- inhuman, to say the least. It's up to doctor-turned-trauma-cleaner Robert Bellarmine to find Henry and the monster that changed him before LA becomes the feeding grounds for not one but two blood-hungry murderers.
Dark Avengers #6 - DARK REIGN Big, bold choices! That's what Norman Osborn's H.A.M.M.E.R. and Avengers have been all about! And with every bold choice comes more and more risk! And with risk comes pressure! And with pressure...come the voices. How long can Norman Osborn hold it together? And what is he willing to do to make it look like everything is just fine!
Dark Reign Electra #4 (of 5) - Elektra may be the world’s greatest assassin, but do sheer numbers win out when every other killer in the western hemisphere is after the price on her head? And who’s sending them? But Elektra will never discover the truth if she doesn’t survive Bullseye in the first place! Guest-starring Wolverine! By Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Clay Mann (DAREDEVIL)!
Dynamo 5 #22 – Introducing ... The Brain Trust! IQ off the charts? Check. Indestructible super-body? Check. Dynamo 5 in over their heads? Check..
Essential Doctor Strange TP Volume 4 - Written by ROGER STERN, DON MCGREGOR, RALPH MACCHIO, CHRIS CLAREMONT, BILL KUNKEL, DAVID MICHELINIE, J.M DEMATTEIS & GARDNER FOX, Penciled by TOM SUTTON, RICARDO VILLAMONTE, ALAN KUPPERBERG, RUBY NEBRES, P. CRAIG RUSSELL, GENE COLAN, DAN GREEN, WALT SIMONSON, AL MILGROM, WENDY PINI, FRANK GIACOIA, JOE RUBINSTEIN, BOB WIACEK, TOM PALMER, KERRY GAMMILL, MICHAEL GOLDEN, MARSHALL ROGERS, TERRY AUSTIN, PAUL SMITH, BRENT ANDERSON, HOWARD CHAYKIN & DON PERLIN, Cover by PAUL SMITH. Dormammu, Ikonn, Tiboro, Ningal, the Dweller in Darkness, names to conjure with...literally! Yet they're only a few of the occult enemies who confront Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, challenged by Baron Mordo, the Eye Killers, and sorcerers from across the world and throughout the dimensions! Weirdness awaits in the Realm of the Shadowqueen and an unfallen Roman Empire, but with Nightmare and D'Spayre around, the human psyche may be the deadliest battleground of all! Plus the mystery of Murdoch Adams, Monster Hunter! With the Man-Thing, Brother Voodoo, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, plus the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the Howling Commandos! Featuring rare horror work by genre legend Howard Chaykin! Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE #30-56; CHAMBER OF CHILLS #4 and MAN-THING #4.
Farscape Dargos Lament #3 (of 4) - Ka D'argo lives on, only in this pulse-pounding Farscape mini-series set during the series' third season between episodes 'Revenging Angel' and 'Fractures'! Jool learns more about D'Argo's days as in the Luxan military, serving under General Sterikk, a man who will play a major part in D'Argo's future!
Final Crisis Aftermath Ink #2 (of 6) - Written by Eric Wallace; Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino; Cover by Brian Stelfreeze. Straight outta Liberty Hills comes a crazy hero named Tattooed Man! With his powers out of control and the police breathing down his neck, Mark Richards is having a hard time keeping up as the new guardian of Liberty Hill. But Mark is dedicated to his new path in life, even if he needs to take a few shortcuts to get what he wants. Will Mark rise above his past or is he doomed to fall back into the gutter?
Guardians of The Galaxy #15 - A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! Caught between the Shi’Ar and the Inhumans, how can our heroes pretend to be the Guardians of anything if they can’t even defend their own headquarters Knowhere? With nothing less than the entire future of everything at stake.
JLA Deluxe Edition HC Volume 2 - Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Howard Porter, Gary Frank, Greg Land, Val Semeiks and others; Cover by Howard Porter and John Dell. Collecting stories from JLA #10-17, PROMETHEUS #1 and JLA/WILDCATS in Deluxe format, this volume features the Justice League facing off against Lex Luthor's newly assembled Injustice Gang while the fate of the Earth itself hangs in the balance.
Justice League of America #34 - Written by Len Wein; Art by Jose Luis and JP Mayer; Cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. The cards are against the remnants of the Justice League! And those cards are the Royal Flush Gang! Can even Superman and Wonder Woman save a team whose luck has run out? Featuring the deadly return of an old foe in part 1 of a 2-part story.
Justice Society of Ameica #28 - Written by Jerry Ordway; Art by Jerry Ordway and Bob Wiacek; Cover by Jerry Ordway. A Japanese spirit has appeared to exact revenge on the living symbols of America's atomic warfare while the rest of the JSA reaches out to another founding member for assistance: The Spectre! Continuing the haunting new arc by Jerry Ordway and Bob Wiacek.
Last Days of Animal Man #2 (of 6) - Written by Gerry Conway; Art by Chris Batista and Dave Meikis; Cover by Brian Bolland. Buddy Baker's powers have picked the wrong time to desert him – a thousand feet above the San Diego skyline! He'll have to rely on the help of a most unlikely ally if he wants to survive his rematch with Bloodrage. But there's more than one homicidal maniac out there with designs on his life, and the Mirror Master's daughter won't settle for the scraps Bloodrage plans on leaving behind!
Literals #3 (of 3) - Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges; Art by Mark Buckingham and Andrew Pepoy Cover by Mark Buckingham. "The Great Fables Crossover" part 9 of 9! In this issue it's all over. No, we don't just mean that the big crossover event is over, we mean it's all over for the universe and everyone in it. Kevin Thorn, the Literal embodiment of storytelling, wants to rewrite the universe, beginning again with a new blank page. In this issue he gets his wish. What more is there to say?
Ms Marvel #40 - The Dark Reign continues! What is the secret A.I.M. project that Karla Sofen has stumbled into...and what does it have to do with Carol Danvers? Special guest stars Spider-Man, Woverine, Luke Cage...and Deadpool?!
New Avengers #54 - A Sorcerer Supreme is chosen! Be witness to a very important chapter in Avengers history and the lore of Marvel magic! Plus, the Avengers finally have a big showdown with the Hood and not everyone walks away from it unharmed!
Northlanders #18 - Written by Brian Wood; Art by Danijel Zezelj; Cover by Massimo Carnevale. "The Shield Maidens" part 1 of 2. The notion of brave Norse women who would follow their men into battle has been the subject of a lot of mythology, stories, Valkyrie-lore and fairy tales. The reality of such a thing, though, would be much, much different... Featuring breathtaking art from renowned graphic illustrator Danijel Zezelj (LOVELESS, DESOLATION JONES)! – I love Daniel Zezelj’s art.
Nova #26 - A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! He’s back! Nova Prime goes to war! It’s high tech, full throttle sci-fi combat mayhem as the Human Rocket blasts into the firestorm to find and rescue the Corps centurions swept up in the catastrophe! And one of them is a certain Robbie Rider...missing and presumed dead!
Outlaw Territory GN Volume 1 - Outlaw Territory is a collection of stories from a rougher and grittier time in America. Tales of the old west from some of the best and brightest writers in the industry, lavishly illustrated by amazing talent both new and experienced. This book is sure to appeal to fans of such television and film as Deadwood and 3:10 To Yuma, as well as the work of No Country For Old Men author Cormac McCarthy.
Proof #21 - 'JULIA,' Part Four On the eve of Julia's wedding to another man, Proof has to choose between stopping the wedding and stopping Springheel Jack's murderous rampage across Londo.
Secret Warriors #5 - The smashing first arc of Marvel's best new series comes to a climax as the battle between H.A.M.M.E.R., HYDRA, rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and the Howling Commandos begins! This is the first shot in a war that will result in the establishment of a new global power structure...and who's caught in the middle? You guessed it: Nick Fury and his team of Caterpillars.
Sgt Rock The Lost Battalion #6 (of 6) - Written by Billy Tucci Art and cover by Billy Tucci. It is the day of reckoning. With no choice but to fight to the end, Rock orders a starving and battered Easy Company to fix their bayonets as the Germans close in. But just as all seems lost, enter the bloodied "Iron Little Men" of the 442nd. Is there time for this small band of heroes to go for broke and turn the tide of battle to save The Lost Battalion?
Superman #689 - Written by James Robinson; Art by Renato Guedes and José Wilson Magalhães; Cover by Andrew Robinson. What's a young man to do when he's told he's going to die? See the world while he can, of course! Experience a whistle-stop tour of Earth with Mon-El as he tastes life and fights crime with some of DC's international cast of Super Heroes. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, a media mogul takes to the airwaves. His goal: the banning of all alien life on Earth. His name: Morgan Edge. And just what is the Prankster planning?
Tales From Wonderland Red Queen – Once upon a time a woman was imprisoned in the fortress of the Queen of Hearts. But now that the Queen has been gone, Wonderland will see a new Queen arise to take vengeance on all of those who have wronged her. Also features a back up story that reveals more of the mysterious origin of the man known as Charles Dodgson and what drove him to attain immortality at any cost.
Teen Titans #72 - Written by Bryan Miller and Sean McKeever: Art and Cover by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. Thirty pages of story content! In the first feature, Wonder Girl's leadership is put to the test as the team faces the all-new Fearsome Five! In the debut of the 10-page co-feature, Ravager goes solo for the first time, continuing her descent into darkness begun in TERROR TITANS.
Wildcats #12 - Written by Christos Gage: Art and Cover by Neil Googe. A worst-case scenario unfolds for the Wildcats when a war on two fronts explodes! While the team is occupied battling Majestic in the Hawaiian Islands, Defile and his Daemonite hordes have decided to assault the under-manned HALO building where only Ladytron stands between the survivors of Armageddon and certain death! After this issue, the Wildcats' status quo changes in a major way!
Wolverine Noir #3 (of 4) - New York's seedy Bowery district, 1937. In the past twenty-four hours, private detective Jim Logan has been jerked around by a dame called Mariko and beaten half to death by a bruiser named Creed. Now he's ready for payback. But little does he realize that it might just be the secrets of Logan's violent past that bring him down for good.
Wolverine Weapon X #3 - In the third issue of this all-new ongoing series from the same creative team as last year's sold-out "Get Mystique" storyline, the super soldiers of Strikeforce X have Wolverine trapped in the jungles of Colombia. They are heavily armed, ruthlessly brutal and outnumber him 12 to 1. But when one of their ranks disappears and screams begin to ring out through the darkness each night, the soldiers ask themselves…who's really the hunted?
Wonder Woman #33 - Written by Gail Simone: Art and Cover by Aaron Lopresti. "The Rise of the Olympian," part 8 of 8! One of the biggest Wonder Woman stories in years comes to a shattering conclusion as Diana faces a new chapter in her life! The fate of Genocide, Achilles, the Amazons, and two of Diana's closest friends all hang in the balance – and on an ending you won't believe. Even if you haven't been following this story, this is an issue that you'll want to own!
X-Factor #45 - What is "Cortex"? The word keeps coming up in Madrox’s serial killer investigation. Now he confronts the one individual who may hold the answers: None other than Victor Von Doom—but it's Doctor Doom as you've never seen him before. The shocks never stop and the surprises never let up!
This is a huge week for me. Now I have had bigger weeks but it has been a while and this is about as large a week as I should ever have as long as I remain vigilante with my list. It is a battle to constantly chop away at my list as I am always adding books to the list every week also. Still we have three mini-series wrapping up, one series sort of ending (Iron Fist) and one new ongoing with Gotham City Sirens, so this week sort of balances itself out.