Continuing the rantings of a madman, with logical input from Lee…
WOLVERINE: THE BEST THERE IS — CONTAGION #1
Written by Charlie Huston
Penciled by Juan Jose Ryp
Cover by Bryan Hitch
Collecting Wolverine: The Best There Is #1-3
72 PGS./One-Shot/ $4.99
Lee: Sadly, I think this is a great idea. You collect the first 3 issues at a price which is much lower than original cover and re-release the same material. It probably costs nothing except printing and it’s all profit. Not to mention, it’s perfect for slobs like me who were waiting for the trade. I can get this, if it’s bad, I save money by not buying the trade and I win. If it’s good, then I will get the trade and Marvel gets twice as much money as before. Smart tactics on their part.
Greg: Smart tactics. Unfortunately this is one of the most unreadable superhero comics I’ve ever read. Good idea, but use it on a better comic.
NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT #9
Written by Stuart Moore
Penciled by Antonio Fuso
Cover by Phil Noto
Beginning "The Fire Down Below," the epic that will change Namor's life forever! When Commander Krang challenges Namor for the crown of New Atlantis, Namor must take desperate measures to preserve his kingdom -- and to save his new lover. But his actions just might bring Utopia, the X-Men's island sanctuary, crashing down on New Atlantis -- dooming BOTH cities! 32 PGS./ $2.99
Lee. I think you need to read this story doing your best Robin Williams Genie imitation to achieve the full effect. Doing that might make the book readable.
Greg: This book is terrible and I cannot think of anything to say about it.
Written by Jason AaronPenciled by Steve Dillon Cover by Dave Johnson Frank, Part One. Last issue's final confrontation with Bullseye left Frank Castle wounded and reeling in more ways than one. Now confined to a prison hospital bed, Frank must begin the long painful process of healing, not just for his broken body, but his horribly-scarred soul as well. To do that, he'll have to face the darkest secret of his past, one he'd hoped would stay buried forever. 32 PGS./ $3.99
Lee. Oh yeah, the Punisher is in jail again. How many times have we seen this before? Only like a million; Dull, dull, duu... OMG what's that hanging between the bars of the cell? AAUUGGGHhhh... oh wait. It's just a key. dull dull dull.
Greg: Yes. Because watching the Punisher finding interesting ways to kill dudes gets old so quick. Aaron and Dillon’s Punisher had a lot to live up to after Ennis, but its been more than equal to the task. Don’t listen to Lee, this is anything but dull.
JINX: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION GN-HC
Written by Brian Michael BendisPenciled by Brian Michael BendisCover by Brian Michael BendisFirst Time In Hardcover! Powers co-creator Brian Michael Bendis brings back his Eisner Award-winning crime-comic classic in an all-new collection! A female bounty hunter, a handsome small-time grifter and his smarmy partner search for a hidden treasure that takes them on a winding trail through the seedy underbelly of Cleveland — a treasure that’s a ticket out of the city and out of “the life.” The treasure hunt propels this character-driven film noir loosely based on the western classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. If you’re a fan of Bendis’ work on Powers, Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man Or Scarlet, then this book is a must-have for your comics library. Collecting JINX #1-4. 480 PGS./Black & White/ $24.99size: 5-3/4 x 8-7/8
Lee. I know the story is good but take note of the small size! Full size is approximately 10.2 x 6.7, so this is basically a hc manga book. Why would Marvel do that? It makes no sense. They are releasing two or three omnibuses every month why are they making this so small?
Greg: Who cares? This is one of the best crime comics of the past 20 years. If you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to check it out, no matter what you think of Bendis’ superhero work.
SPIDER-MAN: THE DEATH OF JEAN DEWOLFF PREMIERE HC
Written by Peter DavidPenciled by Rich Buckler & Sal BuscemaCovers by Rich Buckler, Sal Buscema & Mark TexeiraFirst the gun muzzle flashed before her, and then her life did. Who killed Jean DeWolff? Witness the web-slinger’s race against time and death as a shotgun-wielding maniac carves a path of destruction through New York City in one of Spider-Man’s most acclaimed, gripping and gritty adventures! Aided by Daredevil and police Det. Stan Carter, the wall-crawler must track down the madman known only as the Sin-Eater, who is determined to purge the city of sin. His cure, however, is murder. And his first victim is a close friend of Spider-Man’s: police Capt. Jean DeWolff, cut down in the prime of her life. Now, the Sin-Eater’s killing spree has taken on a new, personal meaning for Spider-Man — and when the wall-crawler finally catches up with the Sin-Eater, Spidey may not be able to check his own fury and rage. In capturing the Sin-Eater, will Spider-Man become as great a danger as that which he pursues? Collecting PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN (1976) #107-110 and #134-136. 168 PGS./ $24.99
Greg: I remember reading a collection of this as a kid and being unimpressed, but this is reasonably well regarded Spidey story by Peter David, who seems tailor made for this book. Was I too young? Was it really just bad? Was it that Sin-Eater might be the dumbest super villain name ever? U DECIDE.
Lee: The problem with older collections is setting them in context. A the time this was written, there were very few, if any, main stream crime comics. Having a huge mystery, plus real character death, was a big event. It was different from any other Spidey book on the stands at the time. It’s not today’s crime stories but it’s still a very good read.
TALES OF THE DRAGON GUARD: INTO THE VEIL PREMIERE HC
Written by Ange
Penciled by Philippe Briones, Cristian Paty &Laurent Sieurac
Cover by Cristian PatyCollecting TALES OF THE DRAGON GUARD: INTO THE VEIL #1-3.
152 PGS./ $24.99
Lee: Besides this being about chicks in bikini’s fighting dirty old men.. I mean fighting lizard men there is another reason to buy this book. There’s a nip slip on the cover. GO MARVEL. Someone managed to sneak a tip past Marvel.
Greg: Yes, Jason Aaron is dull, but nip slips are awesome. Glad to see that discourse is staying up there.
Written by Jonathan Maberry
Penciled by Scot Eaton Cover by John Romita Jr.
Revolution Wakanda! The royal family of Wakanda — former Black Panther and King T’Challa, X-Man Queen Storm and the current Black Panther, Princess Shuri — is unseated by a group of conservative dissidents in a coup funded and organized by the nefarious Dr. Doom! Having unlocked the mystical properties of the rare and precious metal Vibranium, Doom’s political maneuvering gains him access to the world’s largest store of the metal and the source of unlimited magical power. The royal family will require the help of Marvel’s best — the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the always-ready-for-action Deadpool — to stop Doom before he unlocks the power to rule the world! Collecting DOOMWAR #1-6. 144 PGS./ $15.99
Lee. You know a mini series was bad when it takes Marvel months and months to release the trade.
Greg: I don’t know what Marvel is trying to do with their Black Panther books. But they are certainly doing it.
SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK BY JOHN BYRNE VOL. 1 TPB
Written, Penciled, Cover by John Byrne
From SAVAGE to SENSATIONAL! With John Byrne at the helm, witness She-Hulk go where no super hero has gone before: right through the fourth wall! Vs. Spider-Man! Beheaded! Against the wrath of Dr. Bong! Alongside Santa Claus! On her own Star Truck! Hosting a Golden Age guest star! Featuring the Wasp, Mr. Fantastic and Razorback! Collecting Sensational She-Hulk #1-8 and Material From Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #18. 200 PGS./ $24.99
Greg: Again, very revolutionary at the time, but reads kind of stale to me today. I’m sure those who read it at the time will love it.
Lee: Byrne tried something new with this and, while it didn’t click for me the first time, I’m thinking of trying it again. This is still material from Byrne when he was at the top of his game so that always makes it interesting.
Greg: I’m just going to give Lee a pre-emptive sigh here. Sigh.
Lee: The month actually turned out better than I thought. There's still plenty to make fun of, but alot to look forward too also.