Jim: This month is the end of the Dark Avenger age as we segue into the Heroic Age. I hope that both companies are going to give us some more of the heroic stuff as grim and gritty has been done to death.
Lee: I just wonder if this material will be readable in 10 years. Granted, the 70's Avengers isn't the most thought provoking but you can pick almost any issue up and get a story. Most of the books these days are so interwoven that if you aren't following all of them it's a hopeless mire.
SIEGE #4 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
This double-sized finale brings the Dark Reign to a shattering conclusion and brings with it the bombastic new HEROIC AGE. Every single page of this book is a shocker: Lives are changed. Heroes fall. Deaths. Revenge. Villain comeuppance. And when the dust settles, who will be in charge of the Marvel Universe??
You will find out here and only here. This is the one they will be talking about. 40 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Rated T+ …$3.99
Jim: Well sure it is the Marvel event of the year we are only in April. I should count how many books companies make the book or event of the year. It would probably run into the high twenties.
Lee: The hype does get old. Hopefully this means a return to some less integrated storytelling. It'd be nice to have one book on story again.
AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #35
Written by CHRISTOS N. GAGE
Penciled by JORGE MOLINA
Cover by DAVID YARDIN
This is it: the series finale – and the end of the Initiative as we know it! Learn the fate of your favorite heroes, villains...and those who aren't quite sure what they are, but who are going to have to decide in a hurry! Who will taste sweet victory? Who will know the agony of defeat? For some this is an end -- for others, a new beginning (which you’ll be reading about very soon)! Camp H.A.M.M.E.R. is falling...and The Heroic Age is dawning! 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: Because nothing screams victory like a fuzzy chick holding a flag. That is just awe inspiring.
Jim: Remember Tigra is also a skany ho and not just a fuzzy chick anymore. Even more awe inspiring.
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Penciled by BILLY TAN
Cover by MICO SUAYAN
The Siege brings Ragnarok to Asgard! The Shining City of Thor and his brothers in arms faces destruction on the greatest scale it’s ever suffered, at the hands of Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. But the Norse heroes have bigger problems, when THOR fights THOR! The evil Thor clone has come to kill the God of Thunder and take his place. Even if Asgard survives the Siege…will Thor survive Ragnarok?!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: This is pure awesomeness in a fanboy way. Thor battles Thor. This should be good in terms of pointless hitting. And I like the way the lingering plot thread from Civil War is wrapped up. Kudos to the creative team for that.
Jim: It would be rather pointless if Thor did not survive Ragnarok. Still for a nice all out battle issue, Thor versus Thor is hard to beat.
MARVEL HER-OES #1
Written by GRACE RANDOLPH
Pencils & Cover by CRAIG ROUSSEAU
High school equals: bad cafeteria food, bullies, gym class and…people with secret super powers? As if!! Janet Van Dyne’s no stranger to the pitfalls of teenage living, but it’s about to get a whole lot trickier now that she has powers of her own. It’s hard keeping a secret like that in high school, especially when it would be so easy to send some blasts in the direction of her nemesis and popular ice queen, Namora. Maybe Janet would get a break then. Too bad she’s stuck pretending she’s normal. Too bad she’s in this all alone… or is she? Jenny Walters has some anger issues herself, causing her to Hulk out! Turns out the school theatre isn’t the only place you’ll find some drama this year!!
32 PGS/Rated A…$2.99
Lee: The title is just stupid, but I like the idea. Then again maybe not. I had enough trouble dating in high school. I can’t imagine handling the pressure knowing that my prom date might blow up into the jolly green giant if I’m not a good kisser.
Jim: One for the kiddies, obviously. Lee seems to be working out his high school issues which I resolved by forgetting my high school years, although I had a steady girl friend then.
PHILIP K. DICK’S ELECTRIC ANT #1 (of 5)
Written by DAVID MACK
Penciled by PASCAL ALIXE
Cover by PAUL POPE
Variant Cover by DAVID MACK
FROM THE MIND OF LEGENDARY SCI-FI AUTHOR PHILIP K. DICK! Garson Poole had a pretty great life: good job, nice apartment, a sexy, flirtatious assistant. And then he wakes up in a hospital room…the doctors inform him that he’s been in a car accident…and they can’t treat him. Because he’s a robot. Specifically, Garson is an Electric Ant, a human-like robot created and programmed to serve a specific function. But what is Garson’s function? How will his friends and co-workers treat him, knowing that he’s a machine, and not a person? And how much of his world is real, and how much of it is part of his programming? Written by Kabuki scribe David Mack and illustrated by Pascal Alixe (ETERNALS ANNUAL). 32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Lee: I’ve read a bunch of PKD stuff and I’ve always enjoyed it. He’s having a bit of a revival these days between this and Boom’s Sheep Series.
Jim: Actually PKD has been around a lot with tons of movies using his stories as a starting point like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck and other movies.
Written by FRÉDÉRIC L’HOMME
Art and Cover by ARNAUD BOUDOIRON
In the near future, The Arnold Company has developed the Husk, fifteen-foot tall biomechanical suits that are an anatomical addition to their pilot’s body. In Paris, the BMRI police brigade features a special squad of Husk pilots in charge of investigating the most dangerous criminals of their time. This series explores the day-to-day life of these men and the different cases they must confront. 48 PGS./Mature …$5.99
Lee: I love it, the French version of Japanese battle suits. I bet this is really good.
Jim: It maybe good but I find the European books are better if read as a graphic novel which is how I believe they are normally sold.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #630
Written by ZEB WELLS
Pencils & Cover by CHRIS BACHALO
Villain Variant by JOE QUINONES
“Half-Man, Half-Reptile…the Lizard will take over all of Earth unless Spider-Man alone can stop him!” With these words, Dr. Curt Connors, the man who would be The Lizard, ushered a new kind of villainy into Spider-Man’s life. Now a widower with a son in foster care, and working at the bottom of the pharmaceutical industry, Connors is a broken, shell of a man…how long will it be before a Lizard breaks that shell?! How will it affect Peter Parker’s date with Carlie Cooper?! How is THE BLACK CAT involved? Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo reunite to bring you the next great Spider-Epic as The Lizard returns! 32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: I have to say that Marvel has done a great job of revamping the Lizard in the last decade. He went from lame to total bad ass and this is a great cover.
Jim: I don’t know if I’m ready to jump back into any Spider-Man books quite yet. The character is still dead to me because of One More Day and the poster for 2010 is teasing a Spider-Man & MJ wedding, didn’t Marvel just do away with that?
AVENGERS: THE ORIGIN #1 (of 5)
Written by JOE CASEY
Pencils & Cover by PHIL NOTO
The true story of the Avengers is revealed right here! This five-issue extravaganza reveals previously untold details of the historic first meeting of Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp! You only THINK you know the full story. From Joe Casey (AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES) and artist extraordinare Phil Noto! 32 PGS./Rated A …$3.99
Lee: Let me see if I understand this…Joe Casey who wrote Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a story about the earliest days of the Avengers, is now writing Avengers: The Origins which is about …wait for it..the earliest days of the Avengers. So the only difference as far as I can tell is the artist. Scott Kolins vs Phil Noto. Since A:EMH wasn’t better then “eh” to begin with, what’s the incentive to buy this.
Jim: It is about totally different earliest days. This is day 1-3 and the other book was about days 6 and 7. Obviously the first one garnered good sales and they needed another. These are target for trades and book stores. The direct market just acts as a way to pay for the production.
Part 2 Tomorrow!