Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marvel Preview Review For September Part 1 of 3

Jim: Marvel is really boring me lately. Oh they have some good books, but I’m growing more bored with the cape and tight set then I have been in a long time. So even with my affinity residing more with DC characters, even that stuff is in general boring. Let’s see if this month things can change.
Lee: You starting picking Marvel because I was burnt out. If you burn out that means Greg will have to pick Marvel. Oh good grief, let’s just get it over with….. FFFRRRAAANNNKKKEEENNNCCCAAASSSTTTLLLEEE!!!!!!!!!!!
Greg: Jim, through Franken-Castle all things are possible. To kill.

Written by BRYAN J.L. GLASS
From the pages of SECRET AVENGERS—the untold story of the rebirth of Valkyrie! In AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED, Ragnarok claimed the lives of the Asgardians, until they were reborn along with Thor himself…but when and how did the legendary shield maiden Brunhilde return? How does a murder mystery hold all the answers? And how can Valkyrie solve the riddle of her own death? Dare a glimpse into the soul of Marvel's most misunderstood heroine, and witness her transformation from myth to Defender to Avenger! Featuring the Marvel Universe writing debut of acclaimed writer Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar), and the stunning pencils of Phil Winslade (Wonder Woman)! 32 PGS./One-Shot/$3.99
Jim: I have always liked this character and I believe Bryan Glass is a writer who makes a true effort of putting his best foot forward all the time. The downside is $4 for a 32 page comic. I know I’m a broken record, but it is unconscionable and unjustifiable price increase.
Lee: Oh no Jim, complaining about the price is practically a new argument for you. The “old” argument is the ‘let the heroes age’ one. But, I too love Valkyrie but I think Winslade is the wrong artist for the book. A book like this needs an artist with the ability to draw things BIG and BOLD like Adam Hughes, or the ability to draw gravity defying HUGE things like Jim Balent. I’m just not sure Winslade’s up to the task.
Greg: I'd love to see the economics on a book like this are. On the one hand, kudos for giving us a good creative team on a relatively underused character. But does a price like this hurt sales? Or is it required to make it break even or make a profit?

DEADPOOL: PULP #1 (of 4)
Cover by JAE LEE
It’s the Merc with a Mouth in a pulp caper filled with lies, spies and shapely thighs, courtesy of Mike Benson & Adam Glass (Deadpool: Suicide Kings, Luke Cage Noir) and Laurence Campbell (Punisher)!Wade Wilson. Codename: Deadpool. He’s the CIA’s deadliest agent. He’s also certifiably insane, suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder and haunted by the ghosts of his past. In other words, he’s the perfect soldier in a Cold War where it’s impossible to tell friend from foe and reality from a lie. Wilson is also the only one capable of hunting down a rogue CIA agent and recovering the stolen nuclear suitcase she’s carrying before she hands it over to America’s enemies. But who is this femme fatale and why has she turned traitor? And is Deadpool crazy enough to survive or will he become trapped in a web of international intrigue?40 PGS./ $3.99
Jim: Thanks Marvel. Gosh it has been so long since we have gotten a new Deadpool title I was wondering if he would ever get any exposure again. Hey 40 pages for $4, at least that makes sense.
Lee: On the plus side it’s only a mini series! That’s good isn’t it? But, this really does interest me because Mike Benson did awesome work on Moon Knight. I’m intrigued.
Greg: It is an interesting creative team. For all the grief Marvel gets for spamming the market with Deadpool books, the quality on those books has been much higher than you'd think.

A five part spider-odyssey begins in ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES!With Peter Parker’s ONE MOMENT IN TIME behind him and Mary Jane back in his life, Spidey finds himself ready for a new start…but the various threads of his life since his BRAND NEW DAY are about to crash together violently. When Norman Osborn’s baby is born… every villain on the planet wants the first ever strain of pure Goblin blood, leaving Spider-Man’s friends and family exposed to a Sinister plan that threatens to bring down every strand or Peter’s life that’s been stitched together carefully over the past few years. It may be a cliché to say it…but after ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES absolutely nothing will be the same. Also this issue, we begin a series of covers by the brilliant Marko Djurdjevic that when all put together will form a giant wall-sized Spider poster featuring the people in Spider-Man’s life! Plus…the Spidey Sunday feature continues breaking the 4th wall of Web-swinging Wonder by legends Stan Lee and Marcos Martin (well, Stan’s a legend…Marcos is just a man who draws like one.)32 PGS./ $2.99
Jim: So Greg sings the praises of this book and after OMIT we get Peter and MJ together again??? WTF?? This is why I can’t really get back into this book again. I’m not reinvesting in Spidey again. Also Paul Azaceta is a good noir type artist, not sure how he will work on Spider-Man but it could be cooled, but it could be a disaster. Finally saying “nothing will be the same” is lame as OMD did that just a couple of years again. Even if the market turns over every five years the status quo should remain the same for longer than two years.
Lee: Can’t you just be happy that it isn’t $4 for the book????
Greg: Lee, they may have put Peter and MJ back together, the thing Jim has been complaining about for a year, and he's not excited, he's pissed. What do you think? That said, Waid and Azaceta teamed up for a mediocre Vulture story last year. Still, they are very talented creators, so I'm curious to see how this turns out.

Presenting two of Marvel’s finest: Spider-Man and...Cynical Duck (TM)? Yes, Howard the Duck’s brain has been thoroughly scrubbed, his hard-edged humor carefully dulled down for maximum demographic acceptance. It's up to Peter Parker to set the duck straight -- but does the world prefer Howard this way? Guest-starring the villainy of SOOPhI, the utter cluelessness of Mayor J. Jonah Jameson, and the unnerving eroticism of “Swizzle,” SOOPhI’s whip-wielding corporate spokeswoman. So wrong it’s…well, no, it’s still wrong, courtesy of Stuart Moore (NAMOR) and Mark Brooks (YOUNG AVENGERS). Plus: a tiny-size Man-Thing backup feature by Stuart Moore & Joe Suitor (MARVEL BREAKOUT)! 40 PGS./One-Shot/ $3.99
Jim: I won’t commit to this book, but the concept sounds funny and it is a fantastic cover.
Lee: I’m always up for a new humor book and this might be it. I agree, the cover is great.
Greg: Sounds promising, but non Gerber Howard is usually terrible. Probably worth a look though.

I AM AN AVENGER #1 (of 5)
What is it that makes one an Avenger? That’s what this series starring characters from all across the Avengers’ history will attempt to answer! Featuring tales of Iron Man, Captain America, the Thing, Iron Fist, Justice, Firestar, Squirrel Girl, Nova and the Young Avengers and more! 32 PGS./$3.99
Jim: These are the books that should be ignored. $4 for 32 pages by writers we barley know, one artist with a name and a bunch of other people Marvel is trying out for the future writing generic eight page stories about characters that have no meaning to any continuity and will not be that good. I can support an anthology when it is done differently, like Image had a trade with over 250 pages of westerns, but at a reasonable price. Exploring different genres is one thing, this is pure pabulum.
Lee: YE-owch! Personally, it’s refreshing that you don’t sugar coat how you feel about the books for the fans. Dude, you are so not allowed to pick books anymore because you are beyond burned out. All I can add is that it looks like the Hulk is missing a tooth or three on the cover. Maybe the other Avengers beat him up so he’d play nice for the group photo.
Greg: Like all anthologies, this is a tough sell. Hopefully someone in this turns out to be immensely talented and its a nice curiosity in 5 years or whatever.

Pencils, Cover & Variant Cover by STUART IMMONEN
With reality under furious attack by arcane power far beyond anything anyone on Earth has ever dealt with before, the Avengers have to start getting creative or forfeit all that we know. The rules of magic and mysticism in the Marvel Universe are about to change in a gigantic way and it's all going to happen here! All this plus a brand new chapter in the oral history of the Avengers. 40 PGS./ $3.99
Lee: I pick this only to test Greg’s superpower to love all things Marvel. I look at the cover with Wolverine having not only the K’un L’un iron fist, because lord knows he needs the iron fist, but also the Eye of Agamotto stuck to his forehead. I’m sorry but this looks so stupid it makes my eyes bleed. Justify away Greg! Justify away!
Jim: Wait didn't you tell me I was being too harsh and now you pick this and rip it to shreds, not that I'm disagreeing, I'm just asking.
Greg: Clearly this is a ridiculously pandering cover that is absurd and insulting. However, the 14 year old in me is PUMPED! Maybe he'll team up with Spawn and punch Venom in the face!

Written by KARL KESEL
Pencils & Cover by MITCH BREITWEISER
What does it take to be the living symbol of America... the Sentinel of Liberty... the Super-Soldier of World War II? What does it take to be CAPTAIN AMERICA? 1941. Captain America puts on his mask and shield for the first time-- and instantly inspires an entire nation, including Jeff Mace-- a rough-and-tumble reporter— who quickly dons his own star-spangled suit and calls himself the PATRIOT! It's a decision that will take him from stopping stateside saboteurs... to headlining the home front heroes known as the Liberty Legion... to the most unexpected offer of all... When the Sentinel of Liberty dies and Jeff Mace is asked to be the NEXT CAPTAIN AMERICA! This is the story of a man who was a great Patriot, and his determination to be something more. His attempt to be not just a hero, but a symbol. His struggle to show he has what it takes to be CAPTAIN AMERICA! 32 PGS.(each)/ $3.99 (each)
Jim: More crap from Marvel. They publish and green light stuff just to fill the stands and this book reeks of that or else was a digital comic and now being released to try and make more money on it.
Lee: You forgot to bitch about the $4 price point. Ooops, family blog, COMPLAIN… complain about the price point. I think Marvel’s new strategy is for each title to have 3-4 ancillary titles to bloat the lines. There are 4 Spidey titles, 4 Avengers titles, countless X titles, and this is just filling out the Cap titles.
Greg: I think Marvel's pretty clearly trying to build up backlist for the Captain America movie. I mean, think about it, how much stuff do they have that is entirely dedicated to Cap during WWII that you could show to someone not interested in antiquated golden age comics? Not a whole lot. A bit ridiculous, but you could do worse than getting a Kesel written mini.

Part 2 Tomorrow

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