I have a few political rants, but let’s just say that I agree that we need to overhaul the healthcare system, but unless we follow what France and I think Belgium has done, what our government is proposing will bankrupt the country. Two major things we would have to do to get it right. One we need to eliminate or greatly reduce medical malpractice lawsuits. Second to stop the geriatric end of life care that is given. The last few weeks of care given to terminally ill elderly people is one of the most expensive items and not truly needed.
On the comic book side of things I have a hard cover issue with DC. Marvel has just announced the next Masterworks for January 2010 and it is the Dr. Strange volume that included the end of the first solo series, his return for the Defenders and some almost random stories under Marvel Premier. This was a mixed bag of stuff and not always the greatest period of Dr. Strange, but very needed to follow his continuity. The next volume hits the Engelhart/Brunner period which was very good. The reason for my mention of this is; why doesn’t DC just follow form with some of their archives? The LOSH is stuck at volume 12. I know this was a dead period for the Legion, but in a couple of volumes we get to the Levitz/Giffen era which deserves this type of treatment. It just kills me the DC has so much material with their 50’s sci-fi stuff and some many other cool things that are dying for reprints and they seem to be sitting on all of that material. Hell Marvel is reprinting total crap at times (Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series as an example), Dark Horse has Archives that have to have a 500 print run at max and DC is missing the boat.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Creepy Archives HC – Volume 4 – I have not had time to sit down and read these, but I have skimmed a couple of they have some great work in them by some of the best artists of that era. This volume contains “Pulpy, smart, and scary, the stories in Creepy constituted some of the best short-form horror fiction ever told in comics. With legendary comics writer/editor Archie Goodwin both editing the magazine and crafting most of its storytelling, Creepy was at once a newsstand favorite with fright fans, and a vaunted showcase of fine comics art for serious fans of the art form. For decades, the only sources for these stories were the expensive collectible original issues. Now Dark Horse is collecting all of the original material from the history of Creepy magazine into a hardcover archive library that is garnering rave reviews from fans and critics alike!”
Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds #5 (of 5) - At long last the final part of this saga. I’m glad that DC allowed George Perez to draw the entire story. Since this story has limited impact on what is happening in the regular DCU letting George finish it was the right move. The hype “Written by Geoff Johns; Art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish; Covers by George Pérez. This is it! The time-stopping finale to this FINAL CRISIS tie-in arrives as Superman, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl battle Time Trapper while Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains engage in an all-out war with the Legions! Leading into the all-new ADVENTURE COMICS #1!”
Green Lantern #44 (BLACKEST NIGHT) - While I understand you can just read Blackest Night and get the whole story I have to assume Green Lantern and GL Corps are really critical also. I believe all the other mini-series are not needed. The pitch “Written by Geoff Johns; Art and cover by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy. "Blackest Night" continues! As Hal Jordan and Barry Allen investigate a bizarre crime in Gotham City, they come face to face with one of their oldest allies – J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter! But their old friend is not there for reunions; he's come for much more. Meanwhile, Sinestro seeks to rebuild his army and take his revenge on the being who would usurp it – Mongul!”
Immortal Weapons #1 (of 5) – I like this idea of focusing on the other weapons from the other cities. It is a good way to round out these characters and give them some depth. The word “Out of the pages of IMMORTAL Iron Fist! Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE) and Mico Suayan (MOON KNIGHT) plus an all-star roster of guest artists kick off IMMORTAL WEAPONS in this double-sized issue! Fat Cobra! No man has fought more heartily, consumed more mightily, or lived life more fully! Fat Cobra! Master of the sumo thunder stomp and the devil’s skullcrusher! Fat Cobra! Immortal Weapon from the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven! But to this day, no man has known the story of Fat Cobra’s life…including the Cobra himself! Discover the shocking origins of this boisterous brawler and witness his decades of adventure! Meanwhile, Danny Rand embarks on his own mission of search and adventure, in a special bonus story by IMMORTAL IRON FIST writer Duane Swierczynski running through all five IMMORTAL WEAPONS issues!”
Invincible #64 – Kirkman and Ottley have been great on this book and after setting up Conqueror as undefeatable it will be interesting to see how the battle plays out. What’s inside “Invincible WAR: AFTERMATH! The battle with CONQUEST concludes... and there is a casualty.” As we saw Amber Atom was killed last issue, but solicitation copy demands that even the next few months you can’t reveal who dies. No reason why it can’t be updated though. Still Invincible is back to being one of the best super hero books on the stands.
Mouse Guard HC Volume 2 – Winter 1152 – Due to the financial troubles of the publisher this mini-series was stretched out over way too much time. I’m looking forward to re-reading this story as a whole. Petersen has truly created a modern fairy tale. This volume contains “In the Winter of 1152, the Mouse Guard face a food and supply shortage threatening the lives of many mouse through a cold and icy season. Some of the Guard's finest - Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam, and Sadie, led by Celanawe, the legendary Black Axe - traverse the snow-blanketed territories acting as diplomats to improve relations between the mouse cities and the Guard, and find themselves on a race against time to deliver crucial medicines. This is a winter not every Guard may survive... Collects the second Mouse Guard series by Russ Manning Award-winner David Petersen, with an epilogue and bonus content.”
Richard Stark's Parker : The Hunter HC – I have been anxiously looking forward to Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation on this book. I should have read the book, but I have read enough to know it is a noir thriller and I’m curious to see Cooke tackle that genre. The 20 pages preview looked great. The marketing department says “Darwyn Cooke (w) o Darwyn Cooke (a & c) Darwyn Cooke, the Eisner-Award-winning writer/artist of such classics as DC: The New Frontier, Selina's Big Score, and The Spirit, now sets his artistic sights on bringing to life one of the true classics of crime fiction: Richard Stark's Parker. Stark was a pseudonym used by the revered and multi-award-winning author, Donald Westlake. The Hunter, the first book in the Parker series, is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind-to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!”
Wednesday Comics #3 (of 12) – It will always be the same company hype, but for me this is a nostalgic throwback done with a great modern flair. Every time I sit down to read this is a true joy. DC says “Various Writers and Artists. In July, DC Comics gives a fresh twist to a grand comics tradition with WEDNESDAY COMICS, a new, weekly 12-issue series by some of the greatest names in comics today! WEDNESDAY COMICS is unique in modern comics history: Reinventing the classic weekly newspaper comics section, it is a 16-page weekly that unfolds to a sprawling 28" x 20" tabloid-sized reading experience bursting with mind-blowing color, action and excitement, with each feature on its own 14" x 20" page. Spearheaded by DCU Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello, whose past editing credits include BATMAN BLACK and WHITE, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER and SOLO, each page of WEDNESDAY COMICS spotlights the continuing adventures of DC heroes.”
You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation TP – More Fletcher Hanks madness from the golden age. This book seems to come out at different times as most people have already gotten there copy, but still this is just fun. This book contains “Fletcher Hanks was the first great comic book auteur. That is, he wrote, penciled, inked, and lettered all of his own stories. He completed an astonishing 48 stories in three years from 1939-1941. As a one-man-cartooning-band, his work packs the wallop of a unique and unified artistic vision. He was a true comics visionary. In the earliest days of the comic book, before censorship, it was “anything goes!” — and in the tales of Fletcher Hanks, anything went! The superhero Stardust gazes down at evil-doers from space and doles out ice cold slabs of poetic justice with his wizardry. A villain out to kidnap all the heads of state gets turned into a giant head, himself… no body, just a head! The jungle protectress, Fantomah, looks like Jean Harlow in a skin-tight black negligee. But when she sees an evil scientist drugging gorillas to become slaves, her head transforms into a flaming skull and she tosses the villain to the gorillas who proceed to graphically tear the guy limb from ragged limb. Although the early comic books were meant for the kiddies, today’s mature readers are stunned by their pop surrealism and outright violent mayhem. The first volume of Fletcher Hanks stories, I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets! (in multiple printings) was an Eisner Award-winning smash hit and a staple on “Best of the Year” lists. Comics fans were thrilled to come upon a cartoonist of this caliber whom they had never heard of before. Non-comics fans who read about the book in The Believer and other journals were stunned to discover an Outsider Artist in comic book form. Edited by cartoonist Paul Karasik (who also provides an insightful introduction), this second volume, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!, collects all of the rest of Hanks's comic book work. That’s right... ALL! The 31 tales in this book (more than TWICE as many as in the first), when combined with the first volume, comprise The Complete Fletcher Hanks!”
The rest of the list:
Atomic Robo Shadow from Beyond Time #3 (of 5) - December, 1957. Atomic Robo and the Science Agents of TeslaDyne are on a mission to stop the build up of the most devastating arsenal in the history of the world. But first they've got to make sure the Shadow from Beyond Time doesn't destroy the future and the past!
Blackest Night Tales of the Corps #2 (of 3) - Written by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Rags Morales, Chris Sprouse, Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke and others; Cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. In this 3-issue miniseries, writers Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) reveal the secrets behind the Lanterns of BLACKEST NIGHT! Bear witness to Blue Lantern Saint Walker's pilgrimage of hope, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris' sacrifice for love, Green Lantern Kilowog's courageous beginnings, Red Lantern Vice's source of rage, Orange Lantern Blume's bizarre creation, and the first appearance of the mysterious Indigo, leader of the Indigo Tribe!
Conan The Cimmerian #12 - Natohk's horde of desert warriors advances on Conan's band of mercenaries and the remnants of the once-proud Khorajan army -- and the Battle of Shamla Pass begins! Earning the trust and admiration of his fellow soldiers, Conan impresses everyone with his natural leadership skills and tactical instincts -- but that hard-earned respect may be for naught if those defending Princess Yasmela and Khoraja are massacred by Natohk's monstrous forces. From his vantage point on a plateau, Conan looks down on his opponent, as a sea of approaching swords fills the valley. Things go from bad to worse when Natohk unveils some supernatural, deadly, and horrifying surprises. Conan's first command may be his last!
Dark Reign Fantastic Four #5 (of 5) – The Fantastic Four reunited just in time to try and save the kids as they face off with Norman Osborn and the agents of H.A.M.M.E.R. In the surprising conclusion see: The destruction of the Bridge! The triumph of an unlikely hero! And the coolest twist ending in years!
Dethklok vs The Goon - "In the histories of fictions there is many historious meetings . . . Frankenmasteins meets the Wolfmans . . . Scooby-Doos meets the Globetrobbers . . . and of course the Godzilla meets the little fat black kids from Diff'rent Strokes. But those are all for the douches. Now . . . we have come to make crossovers metal. Be prepareded for the most brutal meetings of alls times! Dethklok versus The Goon!" From Eric Powell and the creators of Adult Swim's Metalocalypse: since 2006, Metalocalypse has been bringing its special brand of dark comedy to the masses through the American/Scandinavian death-metal band Dethklok. And, since 1999, The Goon has contributed the best in bucktoothed zombie brawls to the world of comics. Now, the twain shall meet . . .
Farscape Gone & Back #1 – Zhaan and D'Argo are alive! Crichton's not married to Aeryn anymore! What's going on? Crichton tries to find out as he finds himself in an alternate timeline. While examining Aeryn and Crichton's son, an accident occurred that sent him into this strange world. How does he get back? Will he ever see Aeryn again?
Gemini #4 (of 5) - Gemini’s journey of self-discovery puts him on a collision course with Dynamo 5!
Gotham City Sirens #2 - Written by Paul Dini ; Art and Cover by Guillem March. Tommy Elliott, a.k.a. the villainous mastermind known as Hush, has escaped the confines of Batman's headquarters and is wreaking havoc throughout Gotham City all under the guise of Bruce Wayne. Will the loose assemblage of Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn be enough to stop the madman's rampage? Or are Gotham's femmes fatales doomed to fail before they even begin?
Guardians of the Galaxy #16 – The future begins—and ends—here! Caught between the Shi’Ar and the Kree, and desperate to stop a conflagration that could implode the universe itself, Star-Lord leads the Guardians on their most reckless and deadly mission yet! But does the “Future Tense” of the enigmatic Starhawk and the original Guardians really hold the secrets our ragtag team seeks...or is it a really, really bad idea? Be there for a key War of Kings chapter.
Hellblazer #257 - Written by Peter Milligan; Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini; Cover by Simon Bisley. There are worse things than being embroiled in a romantic quadrangle – or maybe there aren't if you're in love with John Constantine. But this time, calling him a lady-killer just might be cutting too close to the bone.
The Life and Times of Savior 28 #4 – Savior 28 is branded a terrorist and traitor by both his government and his fellow super-heroes: abducted and tortured, he faces a lifetime of captivity. Help arrives in the form of two unexpected-and dangerous-allies, but accepting their help means crossing a line that will change Savior 28, and the world, forever.
Ms Marvel #42 - In MS MARVEL #41, not only does new Ms. Marvel Karla Sofen have to deal with Deadpool, now she's got the New Avengers coming at her in full force. Prelude to this summer's epic WAR OF THE MARVELS! Then in MS. MARVEL #42, WAR OF THE MARVELS begins here! Karla Sofen battles for her life in the streets of Los Angeles as an exciting new chapter in the history of Ms. Marvel begins! Guest starring the New Avengers and...someone we can't tell you about! Wow that cover is an unusual pose to be showing. Do you think they added the extra cover verbiage for a reason?
Nova #27 - Rocketing into the thick of the merciless cosmic action, Nova Prime battles to rescue the novice Corps centurions caught in the crossfire! Most of all he’s desperate to save Robbie Rider, who’s missing in action! But the danger’s coming from all sides: Ravenous! Blastaar! Strontian and the Praetorians! Not everyone’s going to walk away from this clash.
The Outsiders #20 - Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art and Cover by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott. "The Deep" part 6! Against their will, the Outsiders help the Insiders find the last pieces of the meteorite which will restore the immortality of the Insiders once and for all. But a fateful choice has to be made by Geo-Force that will lead to a life-changing moment for him and Katana. Plus, more on the mysterious origins of Metamorpho and his connection to the Insiders.
Power Girl #3 - Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art and Cover by Amanda Conner. It's the striking conclusion of the first arc from the fan-favorite writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (JONAH HEX, TERRA) and artist Amanda Conner (JSA CLASSIFIED, TERRA)! Power Girl battles Ultra-Humanite! And things get ugly as the two powerful beings come to blows!
Supergirl #43 - Written by Sterling Gates; Art by Jamal Igle and Jon Sibal; Cover by Joshua Middleton. Things are going well for Supergirl – she's back on New Krypton, and she's even managing to patch things up with her mother, Alura. But when she goes to visit her older cousin, Superman warns her that not all is as it seems in the House of El…Setting the stage for next month's crossover event in the SUPERMAN books!
You Have Killed Me HC - Things just can't get any worse for Antonio Mercer. A private eye by trade, a dame from his past has resurfaced in his life as a client--along with all of the emotional baggage he thought he'd left behind forever. Of course, this unusual client doesn't have just any case; her family is mixed up with seriously dangerous people, and the body count is just starting to pile up!
I have to say that I appreciate the fact that so many of these hard cover and other items have shown up in July. With the regular comics being spread over five weeks, it makes the weekly booklist a little smaller and then getting a bunch of trades and stuff feels less onerous. Plus this week I’m getting the new Blue Devil and Manhunter figures from DC.