So let’s talk a little bit about sports. I'm looking forward to the real football season starting as the Ravens are almost always a fun team to watch. Plus the pro football game is one of the best sports developed since it is enjoyable to watch any good teams face off against each other. I’ll watch a Patriots / Steelers game almost anytime, if does not conflict with a Ravens games, but baseball playoffs without my team is almost a universal pass. This year the Orioles have gotten exciting for me to watch again. Just recently I got back into watching the Orioles and it is fun seeing all of this young talent learn how to play the game. I’m excited to see Chris Tillman win his first game and to watch the outfield round out into a young dynamic group. Why I decided to start with sports though is because of all the damn bad news that is talked about. Michael Vick, Rick Pitino, David Ortiz and all the rest, guess what these people are human and some are bad, some cheat, some lie and others don’t. I’d rather watch the games and let the leagues deal with these issues, but don’t center all the coverage about the negatives.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Batgirl #1 – Cassandra Cain apparently will no longer be Batgirl and I for one hope that DC does not keep as in the dark for very long. One of the reasons I think I got tired of the new Vigilante series was the lack of knowing who it is. I guess on some level it is nice to start with a mystery, but I want to have a sense of who it is I’m investing in. The word “Written by Bryan Q. Miller; Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott; Cover by Phil Noto. In the wake of "Batman R.I.P." and BATTLE FOR THE COWL, a new heroine has emerged in Gotham City, and as she begins her nocturnal crusade to take back the night, she will truly learn what it means to wear the mantle of the Bat. But who is this young woman, and why has she donned the cape and cowl?”
Daredevil #500 – The end of Ed Brubaker’s run on Daredevil. I hate to see Ed go as I think his run has been the second best run on this book, only topped by Frank Miller. By the way how many damn variants is Marvel making for this book? I think they have four or five covers for this book. The hype “This is it! The 500th issue of DAREDEVIL! What is the Kingpin's true plan? What do he and Lady Bullseye have in common? What will Matt Murdock do to make things right again? And just how will Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark leave this story for the next creative team to pick it up? Don’t miss the twists and surprises that will have everybody talking! An all-star anniversary issue featuring new stories by Ann Nocenti, David Aja, and others!”
Dark Entries HC – I think putting out two graphic novels the same week is a bad idea for direct market shops, but is probably playing more to the book store market place. I can’t pick Filthy Rich as most anticipated as I have already read it and you can see a review on that book here. Still I give DC credit for trying something outside of the box. This novel is about “Written by Ian Rankin; Art by Werther Dell'Edera; Cover by Lee Bermejo. Occult detective John Constantine has seen his share of strange things in his career, but nothing could prepare him for the horrors of…reality television. "Haunted Mansion" is currently the hottest show on tv, but when the macabre house actually starts attacking the contestants, Constantine is hired to be the ultimate mole. Locked inside with a cast of wannabe-celebrities, his every move being monitored by a deadly figure from his past, Constantine must figure out who (or what) is pulling the strings before he gets cancelled—permanently. DARK ENTRIES is a classic locked-room mystery starring HELLBLAZER's John Constantine from Ian Rankin, the #1 international best-selling crime writer best known for his "Inspector Rebus" novels. Rankin has won numerous awards, including the Edgar Award in 2004 and is joined in this graphic novel by Italian artist Werther Dell'Edera, the illustrator of a number of American comics – mostly notably Vertigo's LOVELESS.”
Invincible #65 – Kirkman has this book back as a top flight series again. The lull from before issue #50 is way past us now and each and every issue is a good to great read. I’m loving this series now. The marketing pitch “Funeral for the fallen.” Also you have to love that Kirkman's books almost always have no real hype, just a one or two line blurb to let you know what the book is about.
Midnight Nation Deluxe HC – JMS and Gary Frank’s great story is being given the ultra deluxe hard cover treatment and the $100 price tag is way too steep, but I thought this was a great series and have waited for a hard cover version, I hope the extras are worthwhile. This volume contains “Midnight Nation is a thought-provoking story with religious overtones about a police officer in limbo who goes on a cross-country search for his soul but encounters some mighty obstacles along the way. J. Michael Straczynski’s provocative storytelling and the fantastic art of Gary Frank (Action Comics, Squadron Supreme) captivated readers with its mix of action, horror and drama built around a message of hope, loyalty and sacrifice. Collected now for the first time in a deluxe, oversized hardcover, this edition includes Midnight Nation issues #1 to #12, the Wizard issue, a spectacular cover gallery and never-before-seen extras!”
The Red Circle The Web #1 – That JMS guy is back again and giving us the all now origins to integrate these old Archie heroes into the DCU. The inside scoop “Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Art by Roger Robinson and Hilary Barta; Cover by Jesus Saiz.J. Michael Straczynski dives into the DC Universe at last – and he's bringing four of the finest heroes of the Golden and Silver Ages with him! Completely reimagined for the modern world from their original appearances in Archie/MLJ publications, these four heroes will show you a side of the DC Universe you've never seen before! Billionaire John Raymond has it all – fame, fortune, and a brilliant mind! He also has a brother with the one trait John lacks: compassion. No matter how relentlessly awe-inspiring John's achievements get, it's his brother who's always seen as the hero. So John sets out to upstage his brother one more time. He'll show the world just how much heroism money can buy as the amazing (and suspiciously well-equipped) Web. But when a dark fate arrives for his brother, John learns first-hand what a hero leaves on the line, and that there are worse losses than the ones that hit your checkbook!"
The rest of the list:
Astounding Wolf Man #18 – 'LOCKDOWN,' Epilogue Bring on the bad guys! Has Wolf-Man's time in prison turned him to the darkside? Everything has changed, again... and the stage is set for our monumental issue 25!
Atomic Robo Shadow From Beyond Time #4 (of 5) - Oaxaca, Mexico, 1971. The Shadow From Beyond Time is set to intersect with our universe once more, but this time Atomic Robo is ready for it.Or at least he thinks he is. It's the Scientific Method versus the Unknowable Horror at the edge of reality!
Avengers Forever HC – Written by KURT BUSIEK & ROGER STERN Penciled by CARLOS PACHECO Cover by CARLOS PACHECO Heroes out of time! Through the years, the Avengers have fought myriad villains and monsters, protecting Earth and her inhabitants from harm. No matter the odds, no matter the sacrifice, Earth's Mightiest Heroes have always found a way to reach victory. Now, they face a different kind of menace. A menace so great, it has made allies out of sworn enemies. This seemingly unconqerable enemy is... the future! Seven time-lost Avengers -- plucked from the past, present and future - must protect longtime ally Rick Jones from death at the hands of Immortus, Master of Time. To find out why Rick Jones has been targeted for elimination, the Avengers join forces with Kang the Conqueror, one of the team's deadliest, most implacable foes - and the ancient Immortus' younger self, as well -- in a cosmic battle that stretches from the Old West to the End of Time. And as they do so, they discover that they're fighting not just for one life, but for the very destiny of mankind, against a greater foe than they could possibly imagine. Collecting AVENGERS FOREVER #1-12. 296 PGS.
Batman Streets of Gotham #3 - Written by Paul Dini; co-feature written by Marc Andreyko; Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs; co-feature art by Georges Jeanty and Karl Story; Cover by Dustin Nguyen. Bruce Wayne is dead…long live Bruce Wayne! Gotham's favorite son has miraculously returned, promising to lead his city into a new golden age. But while Wayne devotes his limitless fortune to rebuilding Gotham City, he fights violent opposition from Batman, Robin and a host of DC Universe heroes! And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Manhunter has found the previous DA's killer – or, rather, the killer has found her – what is she going to do about it? Bringing the killer in for a trial may not result in the justice Kate's been dreaming of. But is she ready to kill for justice so soon after a fresh start in Gotham?
Blackest Night Superman #1 (of 3) – Written by James Robinson; Art and cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy Jose. Black Lantern Superman has unearthed Pa Kent's grave! But that's only the beginning of the horrifying things he's about to unleash on an unsuspecting Smallville. Discover the demented evil of BLACKEST NIGHT in this 3-issue miniseries.
Conan The Cimmerian #13 - In "Black Altar," the relentless final chapter in the "Black Colossus" adaptation, Natohk's desert hordes surge up the narrow Shamla Pass, and Conan's ragged army desperately attempts to hold their high ground. Outnumbered and facing an army fueled by a zealous, reborn Stygian wizard, simply surviving may be the greatest victory Conan can hope for. Any triumph will ring hollow, though, if Conan can't protect Khoraja's current sovereign, the beautiful Princess Yasmela -- whom Natohk has vowed to capture! Tim Truman, Tomás Giorello, and José Villarrubia bring the gripping, blood-filled Battle of Shamla Pass to life! Smartly written and flawlessly rendered, don't miss the epic finale to a Robert E. Howard classic.
Farscape Gone & Back #2 (of 4) – John Crichton is used to being far from home. But now he’s trapped in a new timeline, where his wife Aeryn is still a Peacekeeper! He sets Moya out on a mission to find her in hopes that the reunion of sorts will set things right. But what does Crichton’s wife in this timeline think of this? More FARSCAPE goodness from the show’s creator Rockne S. O’Bannon.
Filthy Rich HC - Written by Brian Azzarello; Art by Victor Santos; Cover by Lee Bermejo. Richard "Junk" Junkin has always lived on the wrong side of trouble. A former pro football star whose career was cut short by injury (and a nasty gambling problem), Junk now spends his time dreaming of what might have been, selling cars in Jersey and lusting after the boss's unbelievably spoiled, unbelievably sexy and unbelievably rich daughter, Victoria. So when the boss asks him to be Victoria's personal bodyguard while she tears up the New York City club scene, Junk leaps at the chance. But before long, he's finds that Victoria wants a lapdog and not a chaperone, someone who's going to do all of her dirty work—all of it—someone who wants to get filthy rich… From Brian Azzarello, the multiple Eisner Award-winning writer of Vertigo's long-running crime series 100 BULLETS and the smash-hit graphic novel, JOKER, and artist Victor Santos, the creator/writer/artist of the hit French series Young Ronin.
Gravel #13 – Combat Magician William Gravel is playing with powers far beyond his own in this second story arc of his ongoing series! The Major Seven gave Gravel a puzzle to solve, how does one of the royalty of magic in England get killed in a place where she cannot possibly die? Gravel only knows one way to solve puzzles - by shooting them, and then shooting anyone who complains. He doesn't know another way to do business, and that might just see him dead. How does one man affect a group who are more numerous and more deadly?
Hellblazer #258 - Written by Peter Milligan; Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini; Cover by Simon Bisley. As strange as it sounds, seducing a 2,000-year-old demon with a grudge isn't the riskiest stunt John Constantine has ever pulled. But tipping the supernatural scales for a chance at love will exact a cost higher than he ever thought possible. And try as he might, is this something that devil-may-care Constantine can walk away from?
Justice League of America #36 - Written by Len Wein; Art by José Luis and J.P. Mayer; Cover by Fabrizio Fiorentino. In part 2 of the 3-part "Royal Flush" arc, it's the Justice Society of America villain Roulette vs. the JLA's old foe, Amos Fortune. And the stakes are high as the two baddies pit the JLA against itself!
Marvel Masterworks Amazing Spider-Man Volume 122 - Written by STAN LEE & ROY THOMAS Penciled by GIL KANE & JOHN ROMITA Cover by JOHN ROMITA The Marvel Masterworks celebrate Spider-Man's centennial bow with ten classic Spidey adventures created by a quartet of the greatest talents in comics' history! Stan Lee and Gil Kane start it off with Peter Parker's attempt to cure himself from his spider-powers gone horribly wrong. Yes, it's the six-armed Spider-Man! And he'll need the extra arms to handle Morbius the Living Vampire, in his first appearance, and the cold rage of Lizard. Rascally Roy Thomas joins the fray and then takes Spidey and his bikini-clad gal, Gwen Stacy, into the forgotten jungle known as the Savage Land to face towering beasts, Kraven the Hunter, and J. Jonah Jameson to boot! When Stan returns the Spider Slayer comes with him, and right behind him is the talented pencil of John Romita. In what Romita cites as the favorite artwork of his storied Spidey career, Stan and the Jazzy One leap into an adventure teaming up Spidey and Doctor Strange against a mystic threat from Vietnam while Flash Thompson's life hangs in the balance! Comics don't come better than this, so reserve that copy today, True Believer! Collecting THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100-109 256 PGS.
The Mighty Avengers #28 – Guest-starring the YOUNG AVENGERS! When the adults are away, it's the perfect time for VISION and STATURE to sneak a few friends into the Avengers new headquarters and throw a party. No, not that kind of party. It's a hunting party-- and the target they're after is...THE SCARLET WITCH! Also: QUICKSILVER and US AGENT face off against a longtime Avengers villain and their new team. All this and the start of a strange cosmic odyssey for HANK PYM.
The Outsiders #21- Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Fernando Pasarin; Cover by Tom Mandrake. "The Hunting" begins here! With Arkham Asylum's most dangerous inmates running free, The Outsiders are charged with returning them to Gotham City – by whatever means necessary. Batman and Alfred split up the team in order to track down Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze and Clayface before the rogues kill again!
Poe #2 (of 4) – He created horror. Find out how horror created him as intrepid author Edgar Allen Poe delves into the dark side of man. Golem Hell Hounds guard the secret of the Red Death! Will Poe live to tell the tale? Supernatural adventure for fans of books like Hellboy!
Power Girl #4 – Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art and cover by Amanda Conner. "Space Girls Gone Wild!" part 1 of 2! A trio of sexy alien marauders hits Earth for the ultimate party. Unfortunately, by their standards, that means destroying it! Of course, it's up to Power Girl to crash their festivities.
Punisher #8- Frank Castle finds himself the target of a band of Avengers, out of place, out of time and out for The Punisher’s blood. With no idea how Microchip brought them to the here and now, and with G.W. Bridge’s life in the hands of the henchmen of The Hood, Frank must survive the fury of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes long enough to unravel the mystery of their arrival. The truth will leave Frank with a terrible decision; in order to save his friend -- The Avengers must die.
Punisher Noir #1 (of 4) – 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.
Supergirl #44 - Written by Sterling Gates; Art by Jamal Igle; Cover by Fernando Dagnino and Raúl Fernandez. "Codename: Patriot" part 3! It's Supergirl and Mon-El versus Nightwing and Flamebird! Find out what happens when the Girl of Steel has to face off against Flamebird, one of her oldest and dearest friends! At Project 7734, General Lane puts the next part of his plan into action – with the help of the man known as Atlas. Concluded in SUPERMAN #691!
Superman Annual #14 - Written by James Robinson; Art by Javier Pina; Cover by Renato Guedes. Since Superman freed him from the Phantom Zone, Mon-El has spent all his time learning about Earth and its diverse cultures. But how much does he really know about Daxam, the homeworld he fled years ago? A gift from the Legionnaire Tellus allows Mon-El to explore the ancient history of Daxam – from its founding as a Kryptonian colony to its connection to the Mayans of Earth to its bloody civil war. Join Mon-El as he discovers that the planet he always believed to be peaceful and dull is actually anything but.
Superman Batman #63 - Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson; Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque. It's the start of an all-new arc bringing an old foe back from the dead who endangers the loved ones of both Superman and Batman! With Lois Lane and Alfred Pennyworth kidnapped, the secrets of the World's Finest heroes are an open book for one villain to exploit.
Wednesday Comics #7 (of 12) - Various Writers and artists. WEDNESDAY COMICS, DC's spectacular 12-issue weekly series, continues to offer a comics experience unlike any other this August. In its second month, don't miss the action in these continuing features.
Wolverine Weapon X #4 - The red-hot, sold-out "Adamantium Men" storyline continues! Wolverine is intent on bringing down the evil corporation Blackguard, one executive at a time if he has to, but when he finally comes face-to-face with the man at the top, he finds the soldiers of Strikeforce X waiting for him, laser-claws and all. Can you say SNIKT? Part 4 (of 5).
X-Factor #47 - Time is beginning to bleed. Sentinels are starting to pop up in the darnedest places, the Summers Rebellion is spilling over into modern day, Rictor and Shatterstar have a lot to sort out, and X-Factor finally finds itself face to face with Cortex.
After the last couple of weeks this week is actually quite from the standpoint of books that are making me rush out to the comic store. The two main books I want to read are Batgril #1 and Daredevil #500. Two totally opposite books, one is the end of a run by a well known creators and the other the beginning of a book by more untested talent. Plus in Batgirl we have no clue as to her secret identity. Of course with the “Deluxe” Midnight Nation hard cover it is still an expensive week.