Jim: So I was reviewing Marvel and had already done DC and the whole franchise thing and movie thing is getting out of hand. Marvel is even worse than DC because with the Cap and Thor movies on the horizon and the popularity of Iron Man movies they have gone nuts with the amount of titles they are putting out. It is all in an effort to have a bunch of book on the shelves for when the movie hits, but wow does it flood the market and cause some of the lemming fans to go broke. It is just an insane trend that is churning out some incredible garbage. It is hard to find gems when searching in a landfill.
Lee: Kinda hard to top that intro. Luckily for our readers they have the perfect tool for digging in landfills, this post right here!
Greg: While Jim despairs for the comic industry, I'm just glad they have enough foresight to have books on the shelves for when a movie comes out. This is comics after all. Let's be happy with the baby steps. Next they'll figure out how to moderate their output. Perhaps after that we can get three books without Deadpool or Wolverine in them.
ASTONISHING THOR #1 (of 5)
Written by Rob Rodi Penciled by Mike Choi
Cover by Esad Ribic Foilogram Variant by TBD
“Waves are but water, wind but air. And though lightning be fire… IT MUST ANSWER THUNDER’S CALL.” The God of Thunder finds himself battling a mysterious surge of natural catastrophes— hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes. At first, the Son of Odin suspects Zephyr, immortal mistress of the winds, but soon he finds that the climactic upheaval must be attributed to a much larger force… Ego, The Living Planet! From ROBERT RODI and MIKE CHOI! Spinning out of the destruction of Asgard, ASTONISHING THOR is an out-of-this-world adventure—where the entire universe hangs in the balance! 32 PGS./ $3.99
Jim: I guess the 32 page $4 comic is quickly becoming the norm. Nice timing during a huge economic downturn. This is a total pass. If it looks good I’ll buy the trade, which will cost me 50% of cover price, in about six months.
Lee: I know they are just flooding the market with books for the movie but I think it bothers me more that we have regressed back to foilgram covers. I thought these disasters had died years ago. Here’s the real question, if they stopped producing so many crappy variant covers could they reduce the price of the book?
Greg: I'm just so glad Jim is discovering that prestige mini-series are a rip off. I mean, I shudder to think of what Elseworlds series did to his bank account during the 90's.
OZMA OF OZ #1 (of 8)
Written by Eric Shanower
Pencils & Cover by Skottie Young
Variant Covers by Jae Lee & Eric Shanower
Dorothy Gale plunges into adventure again, this time with a talking chicken named Billina. Dorothy and Billina are washed off their sailing ship to face drowning, starvation, and screaming Wheelers, strange men with wheels instead of hands and feet. The multiple Eisner Award-winning and New York Times bestselling team of Shanower and Young returns to Oz with this comics adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s third Oz book. 32 PGS./ $3.99
Lee: I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but these Oz stories have been very, very good with stellar art by Skottie Young. Light hearted and fun, everyone should read these as a palate cleanser from all the men in tights stuff.
Greg: Shanower is an extraordinary comics creator who has done his fair share of Oz stuff already (even though I'd rather be getting more Age of Bronze), but the real draw here is Skottie Young's art. Young is one of the most interesting artists working in comics today and Marvel deserves big kudos for letting him go nuts on an all ages book like this.
Jim: OMG we all agree Skottie Young is a very good artist for this type of material. I also enjoy that Marvel is pushing out and publishing stuff beyond just the capes.
DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #887
Written by Rob Williams
Penciled by Matteo Scalera
Cover by Humberto Ramos
Asgard may be destroyed but will that stop no good mercenaries with much mouth and morally bankrupt archaeologists sifting through the wreckage looking for treasure? WE SAY THEE NAY!!! And is The Mighty Thor happy to find Deadpool pilfering from his hallowed halls? WE SAY THEE NAY!!! AGAIN!!! Still, there be Norse god treasure in them there rubbly hills, so what the hey. But some treasures are best left undisturbed. Particularly the ones containing evil, enormously powerful spirits imprisoned by Odin thousands of years hence. Definitely those ones. 32 PGS./ $2.99
Jim: Look Thor is even invading Deadpool. I saw the five minute trailer that got “accidentally” released from Comic-Con. The Earth stuff looked okay, but the Asgard stuff looks almost “Clash of the Titans” (the original) bad.
Lee: Why are you surprised by the endless crossovers? This is the way of the future, over production of the movie release and endless media saturation of the same three characters. If you would just accept it, and $4 books for that matter, you would have a lot less stress in your life.
Greg: Crossovers? Are we in some new post modern comics market where characters have surpassed being guest stars in a team up comic so everything they appear in is a crossover? Seriously though, Deadpool Team Up is way more fun than it ought to be and if nothing else it has the most entertaining solicits in comics.
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #150
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Lafuente, Skottie Young, Sara Pichelli, Jamie Mckelvie & more!
Cover by David Lafuente Variant Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Wraparound Variant Cover by Mark Bagley
Not only is this officially the Ultimate Spider-Man 150th issue anniversary, but it is also the 10 year anniversary of the birth of the Ultimate Marvel universe!! Can you believe it?? We can't either! To celebrate, Eisner award-winning series writer Brian Michael Bendis has created this triple size extravaganza and gathered together a stellar lineup of amazing artists!! A reunion of the greatest artists of not only this historic book but of the the entire line of Ultimate Comics. Poor Peter Parker has made such a mess of his life as Spider-Man that the other super heroes are forced to gather together and decide once and for all what to do with the young wall crawler. Guest starring the New Ultimates, the Storm Siblings, Ben Grimm, Iceman, Kitty Pryde and a slew of surprise stars! Also includes reprinting of Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1 featuring an all-star artist line-up! 104 pages/54 pages of reprinted material/ $5.99
Jim: This cracks me up, it used to have to be 100, 200 or whatever numbering to make them go back to the “old numbering”, now 150 is okay to do it for. At least this has always been Bendis’ Spider-Man or what I call it, Teen-Age Spider-Man Forever.
Lee: I'd rather have books stick with one numbering scheme but it's no worse than the 50's when books would change numbers and titles mid stream.
Greg: Whine Whine Whine. The first 33 issues of Lee/Ditko aside, this is the longest, best run on Spider-Man by a single creator ever. Just enjoy it.
Written by Paul Tobin Penciled by Clayton Henry
Cover by Barry Kitson Variant Cover by Jae Lee
Women of Marvel Variant by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic
Not every fight can get resolved by punching someone in the face…but Spider-Girl’s gonna punch somebody anyway, just to make sure. Follow the swinging adventures of Anya Corazon, the Splendiferous Spider-Girl, as she balances the daily grind of teenage life with the bumps and bruises brought by banging ‘bows with bad guys! Guest-starring the Fantastic Four and a villain that our hero could NEVER, EVER, EVER defeat. 40 pages/8 Page All-New Backup/ $3.99
Jim: This is rubbing salt in the wound for Matthew, who loved the other Spider-Girl. They cancel that book and name a new kid Spider-Girl.
Lee: I disagree, it's just ANOTHER attempt to have a Spidergirl in direct continuity. Byrne tried it years ago and failed. No offense to Tobin but he stands little chance of success.
Greg:I'm really interested in this as its' Paul Tobin's first foray into the mainstream Marvel Universe. He's done a great job in the Marvel Adventures books and he'll be a unique voice in these comics. Its also another great example of Marvel developing their own creators. DC should take some notes.
OSBORN #1 (of 5)
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Backup Feature Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Emma Rios Cover by Ben Oliver
Goblin Variant by John Romita Sr.
The world's most dangerous felon is in the world's top supermax-security prison -- an institution so secret even the vice president doesn't know it exists. But can any cell contain Norman Osborn? After the events of SIEGE, the former Green Goblin, Iron Patriot and power-mad director of worldwide security isn't allowed to have a toothbrush...and he's surrounded by the deadliest criminals in the world. Lucky for Osborn, they're fans. Rising stars Kelly Sue DeConnick (SIF) and Emma Rios (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) throw Osborn in the darkest hole the public's never seen! Featuring an all-new bonus story written by Warren Ellis (THUNDERBOLTS)! 40 pages/22 story pages/6 Page All-New Backup/ $3.99
Lee: Can someone explain to me how, and when, Norman Osborne become the Lex Luthor of the Marvel U? He was interesting as a Spider villain but they have elevated him to a status that isn't deserved. I'm just waiting for the day when he gets a hold of the infinity gauntlet and Thanos has to save everything. Don't laugh, that day is coming!
Greg: DeConnick's Rescue one shot was very, very good. This isn't a concept that really appeals to me, but on the strength of her previous work and a Warren Ellis story, I'll at least give the first issue a shot.
Jim: Marvel needed to get a villain up to that level as Osborne was a good of a candidate as anyone. Based on Greg's semi-recommendation I may have to read the first issue myself.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils and Cover by Mike Deodato Jr.
Blank Cover Variant
Gatefold Variant Cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Variant Cover by ED Mcguinness
Tron Variant Cover by TBD
I AM AN AVENGER! Plus: another chapter in the oral history of the Avengers!32 PGS./ $3.99
Jim: Rulk joins the Avengers. I dropped this book already, this is not making me want to get it again.
Lee: There are so many multiple versions of the same characters I am not sure why this offends you. Aren't there 3 or 4 active Captain America's now? I'm curious what a Tron variant cover is! Maybe they have neon lines all around them?
Greg: Have you noticed that Marvel's writers have been much better than they used to about using each others' new characters? Even when we wished they didn't?
ANT-MAN & THE WASP #1 (of 3)
Written & Penciled by Tim Seeley
Cover by Salva Espin
Two of Marvel's smallest heroes must join forces and get over one BIG elephant-in-the-room! Eric O'Grady once STOLE the Ant-Man suit from Hank Pym. But now, Eric is the only one who knows about a secret AIM plot to steal Pym's greatest invention! Can the two men get along long enough to save the soul of the former Goliath, Bill Foster? Tim Seeley, creator of “Hack/Slash” brings us the big story of the two smallest Avengers! And make sure you check out this adventure before the astonishing events of Avengers Academy #7 next month! 32 PGS./ $3.99
Jim: Almost too clever for itself and I’m tempted to pick it up, but the $4 price tag stopped me.
Lee: Talk about the team up I never ever wanted to see! A new, replacement hero teams up with with a man who’s wearing his dead wife’s clothes…. Yep, there is something creepy about the whole thing. Luckily this is taking place in the Marvel U because they would both be dead in the DCU.
Greg: Looks fun. The price will make me page through before buying it though.