Image United mini-series is a horrible idea and is an event, done for the sake of being an event. It has the type of stink on it that “Secret Wars II” and “War of the Gods” had on it, as these were just marketing ploys and not really story driven. Image’s strength has been that all of these characters exist in their own universes and that each creator can do whatever they want in their book and not worry about having to impact someone else’s book. So this event seems to want to fly in the face of that concept and have us buy the event to see everyone together and then afterwards go and buy the individual books. Regardless of my personal feelings towards certain events Marvel has done it right with events changing the status quo of the world the characters live in. Blackest Night is impacting all sorts of characters lives across the DCU, Image United is a jam fest masquerading as a story that we should care about. Either Image is the antithesis of a shared universe or it isn't, this feels like they want to have it both ways. It is a bad idea and goes against their own hard built (can’t resist) image.
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:
Adventure Comics #2 – The first issue was a nice quiet reintroduction of Connor back into the DCU and it laid a foundation for where the series is going. I hope the back-up picks up as I really would like to see the LOSH back in a title of there own. Krypto says this issue contains “Written by Geoff Johns; co-feature written by Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker; Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry; Covers by Francis Manapul. Superboy is back and living out his teenage years in Smallville. But all is not as it seems in Superman's hometown. And while Conner reunites with his former girlfriend, Wonder Girl, to see if they have a future together, Lex Luthor and Brainiac form a partnership that will cause havoc throughout the DC Universe. But what do their plans have to do with Conner and the other students at Smallville High? Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, which takes place all the way in the 31st century, Lightning Lad travels to the prison planet of Takron-Galtos to confront his brother, Lighting Lord. There, Lightning Lord informs Lighting Lad of a shocking family secret that sets the pieces in motion for a war that will decide the future of the universe. Yeah, the universe. No big.”
Blackest Night Batman #2 (of 3) – All three of the add on mini-series have been well done as they are showing how this event is impacting them, without being needed to actually follow the main story. The Gotham Gazette says “Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Adrian Syaf and John Dell; Cover by Andy Kubert. The Dark Knight continues his journey into BLACKEST NIGHT! Will the new Batman join his predecessor in the grave? Will Red Robin's reunion with his father be bitter and bloody? Can anyone escape the horror of the Black Lanterns?”
Dark Reign The List - Avengers - Hopefully the list is the set-up for the beginning of the end of Dark Reign, regardless it does seem to be crucial to the over MU. It is funny that on the cover apparently Ronin doesn't use the cross mark as the number five like the rest of the world does. Norman tells us “In this first in a series of spectacular one-shots, the finest writers working at Marvel are teamed up with the most sensational artists to unveil the darkest chapters in the Dark Reign! Norman Osborn, fresh from the shocking finale of Utopia, sets his sights on the rest of the Marvel Universe. He sits down and makes a list. A list of things that are wrong with the world. Things that he needs to take care of. And the list includes almost every major player in the Marvel Universe. These specials are exciting game changers for all of Marvel Comics and represent the finest talents. This first chapter has a startling confrontation between members of the New Avengers and Dark Avengers. Clint Barton fans... you are not going to want to miss this one! Plus, a preview of the upcoming Dark Reign: The List titles!”
Doom Patrol #2 – I’m looking forward to the Metal Men back-up more then I am Doom Patrol. The Metal Men had the same great Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire feel their old JLA series did. Gold says this issue features “Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis; Art by Matthew Clark and John Livesay; co-feature art by Kevin Maguire; Cover by Matthew Clark. It's a black hole, but it's not a black hole. If you're a Doom Patrol fan, that made perfect sense. And even if not, then you're in for one hell of a ride as the Doom Patrol face off against the most annoying alien this side of G'nort. Who's G'nort? What, do we have to spoon-feed this stuff to you? Oh, and we send the Metal Men into space. Just because.”
Green Lantern Corps #40 - The Blackest Night has been great and after Jade came back from the dead I’m anxious to see how Kyle handles it. Scar says “Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art and cover by Patrick Gleason and Rebecca Buchman. The battle continues on Oa as the honored dead of the Green Lantern Corps and the recently deceased Sciencell convicts who lost their lives in the riots have all become Black Lanterns and will not rest until the bloody hearts and minds of the Green Lanterns are literally in their hands. Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardener and John Stewart resort to their most brutal fighting yet as the Blackest Night threatens to envelop Sector Zero and send the universe reeling into chaos.”
Life and Times of Savior 28 #5 (of 5) – This is the end of a nice mini-series that is yet another examination of the Superman archetype, but done in just five issues. IDW says “'Book Five: Day of Drums.' The saga of America's greatest hero concludes as Savior 28's killer-and former sidekick-sifts through the events of James Smith's final days, revealing a man whose life has been utterly destroyed... and whose death could possibly save the world.”
Nomad Girl With a World #1 (of 4) – I really think Sean McKeever was over edited at DC or something, but the preview pages sold me on trying out this series, because the character is someone I could care less about. The “Heroes Reborn” world is boring, a girl out of place in a world is interesting, and done many times before, but if done right can be a compelling jumping off point. Marvel says “In her world, RIKKI BARNES was the modern-day BUCKY, teen sidekick to CAPTAIN AMERICA. In this world, the Cap she knew is dead, she never existed, and very little else is as she remembers. With no home, no income and no legal identity, what's a girl to do? How about tracking down the new Cap, reconnecting with her brother, and running afoul of the SECRET EMPIRE? Sounds like a plan to us!”
The Shield #1 – After JMS setting the table I’m anxious to see the creative teams move forward with these characters. The word “Written by Eric Trautmann; co-feature written by Brandon Jerwa; Art by Marco Rudy and Mick Gray; co-feature art by Greg Scott; Cover by Francis Manapul. Spinning out of August's "Red Circle" event from superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski comes the new ongoing adventures of the patriotic Shield and the mysterious man on the run, Inferno! Eric Trautmann (CHECKMATE) and Marco Rudy (FINAL CRISIS) take Lt. Joe Higgins, a.k.a. The Shield, into the hotspots civilians dare not go. His first mission takes The Shield to the razed country of Bialya, destroyed by the rage of Black Adam in 52. Something lurks in the mountains beyond militia activity, and The Shield must investigate! Plus, Inferno stars in a fast-paced co-feature from writer Brandon Jerwa (G.I. Joe) and artist Greg Scott (GOTHAM CENTRAL)! Who is Inferno, and why is he being pursued by the Dark Men? He'd better find out fast because Green Arrow and Black Canary have questions of their own for the new hero!”
Ultimate Comics Avengers #2 – I hope Millar and Pacheo don’t give me a middle chapter, because I can wait for the trade on this book if need be. The hype “ENTER THE RED SKULL! Reeling over his near-fatal encounter with the Skull, Captain America takes matters into his own hands in pursuit of his terrifying new adversary and his terrorist employers! Meanwhile, Nick Fury reveals the horrifying truth behind the Red Skull and kick-starts Project Avengers in earnest with the arrival of Gregory Stark, Tony’s older, richer and smarter brother! Join MARK MILLAR (ULTIMATES) and CARLOS PACHECO (X-MEN) for the next pulse-pounding issue of the biggest, baddest book of the summer!”
War of Kings Who Will Rule – The whole space side of the MU has been great for a few years now and I’m looking forward to each new chapter and want to know what’s next. Inside this book “When the smoke settles from WAR OF KINGS #6, who will claim the throne? In the wake of the final clash between Black Bolt and Vulcan, the fates of Kree Empire and the Shi'Ar Imperium must be decided! And if the war is truly over, what are the threats swarming in the shadows? The Inhumans... the Starjammers...Darkhawk...Nova...the Imperial Guard...learn all of their fates in this special epilogue that reveals how Marvels' cosmic universe has been altered forever!”
The rest of the list:
Booster Gold #24 – Written by Dan Jurgens; co-feature written by Matthew Sturges; Art and cover by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund; co-feature art by Mike Norton. Booster Gold faces off against Black Beetle for the fate of the entire Justice League. But Black Beetle isn't all he seems, and his one, true identity is revealed at last! Plus, Matt Sturges and Mike Norton take Blue Beetle out of El Paso and drop him directly into harm's way in a battle against…Black Beetle!
BPRD 1947 #3 (of 5) - The newest B.P.R.D. members are thrust into the jaws of a group of unsavory vampires as they search for a missing comrade in the bowels of a dilapidated old chateau. Joshua Dysart (B.P.R.D.: 1946, Unknown Soldier) and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola join forces with Eisner Award-winning artists Gabriel Bá (The Umbrella Academy) and Fábio Moon (Sugarshock) for the latest chapter in the hidden history of the B.P.R.D.!
Dark Avengers Uncanny X-Men Exodus- The climactic conclusion to the crossover event of 2009 is here! This is it, the final battle for the Dark Avengers and the X-Men that will change the status quo for the Marvel Universe. Emma Frost’s betrayal comes home to roost. Cyclops’ plan clicks into place, but is it too late? What can the X-Men do against the Sentry and Ares?
Farscape Dargos Trial #2 (of 4) – He is a warrior. He is a Luxan. And he has a past. The tragedy behind one of Farscape’s greatest character’s is explored in this new mini-series. Before his life on Moya Ka D’Argo struggled to keep his marriage to a Sebacean woman alive under Peacekeeper pressure. And when D’Argo is under pressure… Written by FARSCAPE’s Keith R.A. DeCandido and Executive Produced by show creator Rockne S. O’Bannon.
Gotham Central HC Volume 2 – Written by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker; Art by Michael Lark, Greg Scott, Brian Hurt and Stefano Gaudiano; Cover by Michael Lark. Witness the gritty side of the Gotham City Police Department from their perspective, as they take on criminals like The Joker and grudgingly look to the Dark Knight for help. This volume collects two cases of the Gotham Special Crimes Unit, from the pages of GOTHAM CENTRAL #11-22. First, The Joker terrorizes the city at Christmastime when he begins randomly executing people with a rifle, and no one from the Mayor on down is safe. Then, disgraced detective Harvey Bullock must settle some unfinished business...
Hellboy Wild Hunt #6 (of 8) - With the Queen of Blood's legion of followers growing ever larger, it's clear that Hellboy needs to find some powerful allies of his own if he's to have any hope of saving humankind. As luck would have it, it seems one has found him. But this mysterious benefactor -- an ancient sorceress of legendary power and ambition -- has an agenda of her own . . . on behalf of Hellboy's ancestors! This issue also includes the action-packed conclusion of Gary Gianni's two-part return to The MonsterMen!
House of Mystery #17 – Written by Matthew Sturges; Pencilled by Luca Rossi and Jose Marzan, Jr. and Al Davison; Cover art by Esao Andrews. "The Beauty of Decay" part 2 of 5! The House of Mystery has been temporarily relocated to the Space Between. And in the process, a few of the residents that you've come to adore are left for dead. Meanwhile, despite Peter's best efforts, Harry and Fig grow closer. This issue also features the poet's dark tale of love and regret, lushly illustrated by Al Davison (THE DREAMING, The Spiral Cage).
Incredible Hercules #134 - "The Replacement Thor" continues as the Mighty Hercules, wearing the Thunder God's togs and towing a most unexpected guest star along to provide the pyrotechnics, descends to mysterious Svartalfheim to save the day from a new threat among the Dark Elves. But everything changes when the wicked Elven Queen turns out to be as languorously lovely as she is lethal! What Would Thor Do? Probably not what happens in this book!
The Marvels Project #2 (of 8) - The award-winning and best-selling team of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting bring you CHAPTER TWO in this definitive tale of the origins of the Marvel heroes. As 1940 hits the world is already changing -- The Human Torch is on the run, The Angel makes his masked debut, The Sub-Mariner stalks the surface-worlders who have targeted his people -- and a young soldier named Nick Fury saves a German scientist from the Nazis and leads him to the USA. The battle-lines drawn in this race to create superhuman weapons of mass destruction still reverberate today in the Marvel Universe -- as this epic espionage thriller continues to unfold and reveal new twists
Red Robin #4 – Written by Christopher Yost; Art by Ramon Bachs; Cover by Francis Manapul. "The Grail" part 4 of 4! In this explosive conclusion to the debut arc, Red Robin's search leads him to the deserts of the Middle East with the League of Assassins by his side. How many lines will he cross to prove that Bruce Wayne is alive? One journey ends, but a far deadlier one begins as Red Robin learns the truth – although he may not survive to tell anyone, because back in Gotham City, Red Robin faces off with the one man who could stop his quest: Batman!
Secret Six #13 – Written by Gail Simone; Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood; Cover by Daniel Lu Visi. War breaks out on the new Devil's Island and the Six are split in half. Now they're on opposite sides and ready to die (or kill) for their cause! But what in the world are they fighting over that's strong enough – and brutal enough – to take down Wonder Woman?
Stormwatch PHD #23 – Written by Ian Edginton; Art by Leandro Fernández and Francisco Paronzini ; Cover by Leandro Fernández. Skywatch is burning. Stormwatch is down. The Knights of Khera have operational control. Only Fuji can save them now! – Apparently this book is on a bi-monthly schedule, that should kill it.
Superman World of New Krypton #7 (of 12) – Written by James Robinson and Greg Rucka; Art by Pete Woods; Cover by Gary Frank. It's never a dull moment on New Krypton – just when Superman was getting used to his place on his reborn homeworld, he's thrust into a new position that makes his previous duties look like a cakewalk. And thanks to the fallout from the "Codename: Patriot" storyline, New Krypton's ruler – and Superman's aunt – Alura has her hands full keeping the people of Kandor from panicking. So of course it's the perfect time for an alien threat to arrive and declare war…
Thunderbolts #135 - Norman Osborn! Black Widow II! Songbird! Nick Fury! When you finally learn how these four powderkegs intersect and collide, you will be picking your jaw off the floor! Secrets will be uncovered, agendas will be exposed, and heads will roll in the latest wicked installment.
Wednesday Comics #10 (of 12) - Various Writers and Artists. WEDNESDAY COMICS, DC's new, 12-issue weekly series, reaches its incredible conclusion in September. Here are just some of the highlights of this third and final month: • In BATMAN, WEDNESDAY COMICS' weekly cover feature, Bruce Wayne digs further into a steamy murder mystery. It's a classic noir tale by the Eisner Award-winning 100 BULLETS team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso.• METAMORPHO dives into a fever-dream of an adventure, written by New York Times best-selling writer Neil Gaiman with art by Eisner Award-winner Michael Allred (Madman).
Five week months and my continual cutting away at my list is starting make my list look a little more sane. Last week I resisted the temptation to pick up Magog #1 and Torch #1 and had no real desire to try the Red Tornado or the new Marvel Zombie mini-series, which is control of my list by not even trying out books. Magog is a character I don’t care about, Red Tornado has been overdone, the Marvel Zombie concept is burnt out and the Torch is an eight part series packaged by Dynamite, 22 pages of story and art for $4 a crack – so if it is a smash hit, I’ll get the trade somewhere on sale next year.