Friday, January 19, 2007

April Previews Review - Marvel

Lee: The problem with Marvel solicitations is over half of them deal with Civil War. This is great if you are reading Civil War and all its’ tie ins… but for those of us that aren’t. Maybe it was the fact that half the books are listed with “CLASSIFIED INFORMATION!” It’s hard to get excited about “classified Information”. Well let’s just say it’s an ugly month.
Jim: Classified Information makes it tough to give any thought to what might be in those books, but at least we will know what’s happening after Civil War #7 comes out in April.
Lee: There are some things of interest (and disinterest) though

Civil War: Fallen Son – New Avengers (Note: Not Actual Title)
Written by JEPH LOEB Pencils and Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Lee: Loeb and McGuinness did such a great job on Batman/Superman that this should be a really, really good read! If they bring even a quarter of the craziness they brought to S/B this will be awesome.
Jim: Craziness is right; I thought that book blew chunks. I really do not enjoy Ed McGuiness and truth be told Jeph Loeb has done a lot of uninteresting work lately.

Lee: From the ad-copy, and I quote… “While the Black Cat tries to wrangle the remaining Spidey doppelgangers… “ STOP RIGHT THERE!!! Spidey doppelgangers? Sounds alike like Spidey Clones. OHHH NNNNOOOOO. This just sounds bad! Really bad.
Jim: I have hated the Ultimate clone sage, so this doesn’t sound that great either. Black Cat has been busy maybe she can be in the New Avengers.

Written by SEAN McKEEVER Art and Cover by KANO
Lee: I’m not sure what this book is supposed to be. Maybe a bigger version of the old Spiderman Unlimited book? No matter, McKeever is severely underrated, and Kano is an excellent artist. Not to mention the “fresh from Japan…Spider-Man J! Printed for the first time in America and translated for your reading pleasure!” I haven’t seen this material, but I must say, Japanese Spiderman has got to be interesting.
Jim: And Sean just signed with DC. This book may be worth a look.
Lee: The issue is rounded out with “classic tales from Amazing Spider-Man #177 and #347!”… Spidey 347 classic??? Since when? Ah, well, 104 pages for $4.99 means you can’t get hurt no matter what.

OMEGA FLIGHT #1 (of 5)
Lee: I’m sorry but did someone really ask for this? Blah!!! And last time I checked Beta Ray Bill (A member of Omega Flight) isn’t from Canada at all. Gives new meaning to the phrase illegal alien.
Jim: Still it's by Michael Van Oeming, so I give it an automatic try out. It looks lame, but you never know.

Lee: New writer Zeb Wells starts here. Wells wrote the last New Warriors mini and that was great. It started the whole New Warriors reality show riff. As long as they get rid of Humbug (dumbest character ever!) then I will be giving it an issue or two!
Jim: Wow I’m bummed out the Jimmy and Justin are hitting the trial (as they also signed an exclusive with DC), but based on your recommendation I’ll hang on a little longer to see what Mr. Wells can do.

Lee: Planet Hulk conclusion. The story line had some ups and downs but all is forgiven because it was so much better than the previous 2 yrs of Hulk. I am curious to see how they wrap this up. AND, this has got to tie into WWHulk somehow.
Jim: I’ll agree this series has been dragged out and a little boring at times, but it got me back to reading the Hulk. I’m curious to see how you can have a World War and it not interfere in other Marvel titles. I’ve always been impressed that Hulk has managed such a long term life, but he seems to get bigger and bigger every so often and I worried if his series isn’t cancelled soon he will be as big as Goliath.

It's the collision you've been waiting for: the Iron Fists of two different eras come head to head! Daniel Rand: the Iron Fist of the modern age, rocketed back to front and center of the Marvel Universe. Orson Randall: the Iron Fist of decades past, somehow still alive, somehow still on the run from the nightmare of the first World War, and somehow…sharing…the power of the Iron Fist with Danny. They'll have to learn to work together if they want to escape a trap that sprang to life centuries ago, their shared mystical lineage may be their only hope at surviving HYDRA’s full-on assault against…THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST!
Lee: I copied the entire text because this is soooo ridiculous. Apparently I’ve been waiting for the different Iron Fists to all get together in the modern day. Apparently, the immortal part in the immortal Iron Fist title really is immortal. AAAUUUGGGHHHH. It’s going exactly where no one wants it to go! Lest of all Jim, who called this weeks ago on the podcast! It was bad enough when Brubaker brought back Bucky but now this??? It may be really good but it could be really bad.
Jim: I love the Iron Fist character and I’m really worried about how this sounds. Still have to love the hype. Personally I never realized this was the collision I have been waiting for.

LONERS #1 (of 6)
Lee: I love the idea of a b-list (c-list?) superhero support group. And, I actually like this group of b/c-listers. It’s all in the execution. Once again, this could be really good or really, really bad.
Jim: Lee, let me know if it is really good and I’ll get the trade. I love under utilized characters getting the spotlight also, but I’m passing on trying out this mini-series without some positive buzz.

ULTRON IS BACK and, yes, now he's a she. What?? Ultron's a girl?? It’s Ultron as only Frank Cho can bring it.
Lee: Sigh, Frank Cho can really draw woman, and zombies involved with cows but beyond that… let’s just say I am not sold. And, changing Ultron just so Cho can draw more women? Isn’t the whole point of the Ultron character that he hates humanity? How does making him look more human make sense? Maybe it will be good but the whole idea is crap. Good to see Avengers reboot number 2 in 2 years is off to a great start.
Jim: I miss the Avengers and have enjoyed reading Busiek’s run on the team, but the Avengers haven’t been a team for awhile and this promises to be more of the same. A sexy Ultron is not my cup of tea either, especially if she wants to kill me. It is definitely being done to allow Cho the chance to do what he does best. So it’s not all bad.

Lee: Just to casually mention, but has anyone noticed there has been a guest star in every single issue since the first arc ended???? First Spidey, then Cap, and now Punisher. Maybe Marvel doesn’t have any confidence in the book. Who knows but not a good sign.
Jim: This book has not won me over yet and I agree guest stars have a tendency to say we need a sales boost.

Lee: Dollar says the book gets delayed! Any takers????
Jim: $5 bucks says no one notices or cares. It will sell anyway because even though Wedon’s story has been weak, his name and Cassady’s art makes it worthwhile for most reader.

Completing the entire Stan Lee/Steve Ditko Spider-Man run in one massive volume —including every page, every pinup and every letters column. Not to mention unused covers, critical essays and bonuses galore! Collecting AMAZING FANTASY #15, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1-38 and ANNUAL #1-2, STRANGE TALES ANNUAL #2, and FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #1.
Lee: WOW WOW WOW. I have the FF Omnibus and its great. The entire Ditko spiderman in one place! 1000+ pages! Yes, its pricey at $100 but it looks oooohhhh sooooo good.
Jim: A friend got me the first FF Omnibus and it was wonderful. I’m already signed up for my copy of this massive volume and have been lifting weights so I can get it off my bookshelf with one hand. Ditko’s art in an oversized format and some of the best Spidey stories ever in one volume. I don’t care that I own the Masterworks this one is a no brainer.

Lee: These books look really nice but fall into the “I really, really don’t know.” Reign has love it or hate it reviews, while Eternals has luke warm reviews. But there is such buzz that they might be worth taking a chance.
Jim: Eternals has been okay, but not worthy of a hard cover and Reign #2 was interesting, but the ending for both of these books will be where the rubber meets the road. I doubt I will get either hard cover.

Collecting PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #1-4, plus the black and white edition of issue #1
Lee: So let me see if I understand this… I get 5 issues, wait wait, that’s not true, I get 4 issues in color and one of those 4 issues in B&W? So 4 issues for $20. It looks nice but I think that I will be passing on this one.
Jim: Marvel and DC are working overtime to try and get us to buy the same material over and over again. They sucker me in sometimes, but this is an easy pass.

Written by JEFF PARKER Penciled by LEONARD KIRK
Lee: This has gotten such rave reviews that I am actually going to pony up for the HC. I am looking forward to seeing this!
Jim: This series was great and Jeff Parker crafted a wonderful story and Leonard Kirk is a very good artist. Also this volume will have reprints of these 50’s characters from the original books. Can’t wait to add this to the book shelf.

Written & Pencils by JOHN BYRNE
Lee: This one is a real killer for me. I remember how big a launch this was in the day. But I also remember this being really hit or miss. But, it was Byrne at his peak. But some of it was really bad. I’ll have to review the issues before making the commitment. And yes, I have all the single issues.
Jim: I have sold my Alpha Flight issues eons ago, but I’m tempted to buy this trade as it was Byrne at his best. Still as you said very hit or miss. If I remember my history Claremont and Byrne never intended to do that much with them, but the fans pushed Marvel into this book and I don’t think much was really plotted out, hence the book lacked a firm direction.


  1. OMEGA FLIGHT was changed from an ongoing to 5-issue mini-series.

    So far IRON FIST has been awesome. The Immortal Part is about the legacy, not the person. How the other Iron Fist is still around is anyone's guess.

    THE ETERNALS is a fable, told by Neil Gaiman, that makes these characters accessable to everyone. It's not an epic, but a wonderful easy-entry piece of fiction.

    I like SPIDER-MAN REIGN so far, and I am hoping it ends well.

    BTW Jim: ULTIMATE CLONE SAGA, again, was very good this week. More twists and turns and great characterization.

    But clones or doppelgangers in the 616 Universe is a scary combination.

    True Dat.

  2. Shawn - You and I will have to disagree about the Ultimate clone sage. I thought it was bad from beginning to the end.

  3. Hasn't ended yet.

    Rusty was complaining that PP didn't grow enough in ULT SPIDEY. Here he is running through all kinds of emotions. Can you imagine what he will feel like when he comes to grips with the fact his father really isn't alive?

    The reveal of the villain behind it all was well done. The charaters are all in line, right down to the FF. (Something that cannot be said of their 616 counterparts lately.)

    And most importantly you get a genuine feeling that everything MATTERS.

    When was the last time you read a Spidey comic where you felt that?