Thursday, September 27, 2007

Marvel Previews for December

Lee: Oh the surface this looks like it might be a good month. But, I have been fooled before. Then again, I may get lucky.
Jim: I don’t think you’re going to get lucky with this group. The big two are not having stellar months in what I see so far.

ULTIMATES 3 #1 (of 5)
Written by Jeph LoebPencils & Cover by Joe Madureira & Christian
The countdown to Ultimatum begins here and when it's over, the Ultimate Universe will never be the same! And when we say that in the Ultimate Universe, you know we ain't fooling around! A year later, who are the Ultimates? After going through the tumultuous events of the past two volumes, the Ultimates find themselves operating out of Tony Stark's mansion in New York where, no longer working for S.H.I.E.L.D., they have to make it on their own. But, a terrible secret is about to tear them apart and bring about a murder at the mansion! One of Earth's greatest heroes will die and there'll be plenty of suspects! New Members! New Adventures! And New Secrets! All this and Ultimate Venom too! 32 PGS. …$2.99
Lee: Well, the Ultimate Avengers is better than the regular Avengers these days so this should be good. Then again, Loeb is a spotty writer and Mad is a spotty artist so this could really stink. Then again, even the best train wrecks are worth looking at!
Jim: This is a pass for me. I was wondering if Loeb and Mad could produce a monthly book, but being as it is only 5 issues long, I guess that is doable. Still Loeb has not had a good book in a long time in my opinion.

Written by Roy Thomas, Penciled by Miguel Angel Sepulveda
Written by Roy Thomas, Penciled by Hugo Petrus
Written by Roy Thomas Penciled by Sebastian Fiumara
Lee: It’s nice to see that Marvel is commited to this line. I wonder how the sales are doing. I really wish I knew who the artists were too.
Jim: I agree and I’ll be tempted to try some of the trades down the road, although I found Last of the Mohicans boring.

Written by Orson Scott Card. Pencils & Cover by Pasqual Ferry
The untold origin of Iron Man continues! When last we saw him, young Tony Stark was nearly blown to bits. How much of him survived his initial Iron Man trial run – and where does the young genius go from here? Plus: How does James Rhodes fit into Tony’s plans for the perfect fighting machine? 32 PGS. …$2.99
Jim: Okay when was the end of Ultimate Iron Man I and that series ended in the middle of the story. If I ever get this I want till the collect the entire series.
Lee: Sooooooo… you’re never getting it? Is that the bottom line?

Written by Brian Michael Bendis Pencils & Cover by Stuart Immonen
The fatal finale to “Death of a Goblin!” This is it, the gut-wrenching conclusion to Spider-Man’s battle against both the Green Goblin – and his son, the Hobgoblin! It’s been building for years – now the tragic tale of Peter Parker, Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn comes to a shattering conclusion! Be there for the shocker in the series that calls a “Must Read!” 32 PGS …$2.99
Lee: The long story continues. I read this in trade so I have no comment right now. BUT, mark my words someday the last line will read Be there for the shocker in the series that COMICSAND… calls a “Must Read!”
Jim: Ultimate Spider-Man has been the best Spider-Man book out there. Also I criticize Bendis in many books, but this one is done very well and Bendis deserves a lot of the credit.

Written by Arune Singh
The groundbreaking Ultimate Universe changed the face of comics, redefining your favorite heroes in bold new epics. Now, get your first look at Ultimates 3, Ultimate Iron Man II, Ultimate Origins and all the other Ultimate books that will have your jaws on the floor! Add in exclusive commentary from creators, never-before-seen art and you’ve got the perfect holiday surprise at the right price! The Ultimate Universe will never be the same and this is your chance to get in on the ground floor! 32 Pages …FREE
Lee: Free??? Are they kidding? Maybe Marvel isn’t the greedy super corporation I think they are? HA HA HA. Yeah, right. Dollar says it ships late too!
Jim: The retailers have to pay for it and it is all promotional material. Just a crap flyer really.

Hype for ASM 546:Written by Dan Slott Art & Cover by Steve McNiven
This is it, Arachnophiles!!!! Prepare for what promises to be the most pulse-pounding piece of four color fiction to be delivered unto the Mighty Marvel Minions in decades! You asked for more Spidey! You demanded it! And, by Buckley, you're gonna get it! After the devastatingly heartwarming events of ONE MORE DAY, Peter Parker puts the past behind him and sets forth on a BRAND NEW DAY! Starting with Amazing Spider-Man #546, you now have THREE times the action! THREE times the villains! THREE times the danger! Amazing Spider-Man – Now 3 times every month! Bank on it, buck-o! And if that weren't enough: ASM #546 goes double-sized to bring you back-up features that introduce you to the new players in the lives of Peter and his family!48 PGS …$3.99
Lee: Wow. Three Spidey books in a single month. This can certainly crush a budget. Glad to see Dan Slott getting the title. He has a great handle on superheroes and fun and should be a great fit. Hopefully, the editors don’t crush his effort…. Or crossovers ruin any flow he might establish… or Events take over… Yep. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Jim: Well Lee if you were paying attention to the hype you would know that Amazing is now the only title and they have four different writers (I believe) scheduled to work on the book and it will now be a 3 times a month book. Spider-Man’s numbering can try and catch up to Action and Detective at this rate. Interesting experiment, but I’m hesitant to sign up until I now how “One More Day” ends.

Written, Penciled & Cover by by Chris Eliopoulos(ribbit)
Time for a team-up, Spidey! (ribbit) Let’s see…Iron Man’s busy (ribbit), Captain America’s a little under the weather (ribbit), the FF are doing their own (ribbit) thing…who’s not busy this month? (ribbit) FROG THOR!!!!!!!!104 PGS …$4.99
Lee: Frog Thor????? Frog Thor!!! Yeah, baby, Frog Thor is awesome.
Jim: Okay so you like frogs the way I like monkeys, me not a big frog guy.

Written by Peter David. Penciled by TBA. Cover by Jim Cheung
Prepare yourself for a showdown of epic proportions. The gamma irradiated goliath, the Hulk, faces off against the mighty Marvel monster, Fin Fang Foom. This action-packed double-sized one-shot will take two of Marvel’s BIGGEST… GREENEST monsters, and pit them against one-another. And you can be sure that when these big brutal beasts collide, ain’t nobody gonna be happy. So place you’re bets folks, cause this one’s going to make it into the last rounds…My money is on the FOOM! Plus, classic slugfests from the past!48 PGS…$3.99
Lee: This has the potential to be awesome. Great writer in Peter David and a great artist in… WAIT A MINUTE!!! There isn’t an artist assigned. So, if I understand correctly, Cheung did a cool splash and Marvel hired PAD to write a story around it. BUT, no one has actually drawn it yet. Oh no, this will never get delayed. Nope, not a chance.
Jim: Lee, I think you missed the point, TBA is the artist formerly known as Rob Liefeld. Easy pass.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis. Art & Cover by Michael Avon Oeming
We know this is the one you have been waiting for... and that wait is now over! It’s a hardcover collection of the entire second year of POWERS in chronological order! The first three epic POWERS stories, issues #12-24, are presented in order of publication – remastered, redesigned and reformatted! Also featuring all the POWERS bonus features you’ve come to know and love: sketchwork, scripts, interviews, galleries, original designs and another POWERS Best of the Letter Column, Year Two! This is the most celebrated year of this award-winning title! A must-have for your comic library! 488 PGS. ...$29.99Trim size: oversized
Lee: 488 pages for $30 is a great deal. And, the story is excellent too. My only question, isn’t this the second or third time it’s been solicited?
Jim: I vote for third. I loved Powers in the beginning but fell off this book during the monkey sage (see I don’t always like monkeys).
Lee: I looked it up. This was originally solicited Oct 06. Only a year late. Not bad.

Written by Ed Brubaker. Pencils and Cover by Sean Phillips
Tracy Lawless has come home for his first Christmas in the city in nearly twenty years. But the only kind of family reunion he'll find is in a graveyard, because his last living relative, his little brother Ricky, was killed almost a year earlier. Now Tracy is back to find out who did it, and why, and to do that he'll have to immerse himself back into the criminal world that he once ran away from. The question is, even if he finds the answers he seeks, will he survive the experience?128 PGS. …$14.99
Lee: I read Criminal in trade and I love it. The first series was very, very good. I expect no less from this.
Jim: Great book and possibly Brubaker’s best work. The second arc has been superior to the first arc, so even if you skipped part I, get this one.

Written by Stan LeePenciled by Jack Kirby, Jack Davis, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, Gene Colan, Paul Reinman, Al Hartley & Sol BrodskyCollecting RAWHIDE KID #26-35.272 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
Lee: Classic cowboy goodness. This is great stuff with early art by Gene Colan. Rare Jack Davis Marvel art, and of course a healthy helping of Kirby. Good, good stuff.
Jim: This is great stuff and an easy Masterwork for me to order.

Written & Illustrated by Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Mickey Spillane, Basil Wolverton, Ray Houlihan & Art Gates
Reprinting HUMAN TORCH, #5b-8, from 1941-42. (Yes, folks, odd numbering was not solely the province of modern comic books; the Torch’s solo book had two #5s). This hardcover collection remasters and restores these early adventures featuring two titanic and epic-length battles between the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. First, amidst a raging World War, Sub-Mariner declares all-out war on the surface world attacking Hitler, Stalin & Mussolini before he sets his sights on New York City. Only the Human Torch, Toro, Kazar, the Patriot and the Angel stand in his way of total world conquest. Then the most fantastic plot in the history of modern warfare plunges the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner into an epic struggle against each other when the villainous Python hypnotizes Torch into aiding Hitler’s cause. Also featuring “Tubby & Tack,” “Swoopy the Fearless,” stories by pulp legend Mickey Spillane and Basil Wolverton’s “Peculiar People.”280 PGS …$59..99
Lee: This book is interesting because of so many things. First are the battles between the Human Torch and Submariner which were some of the biggest Golden Age Heroes. Second is the time table of these books and the inclusion of Hitler. Propoganda was the sole providence of the government and comic books did their best to pitch in. It will be interesting to see if Marvel edits the racial stereotypes out of the book. Finally, the price point is very, very interesting. The Rawhide Kid masterworks is $55 for 272 pages. Yet this book is $60 for 280 pages???? I wonder if Marvel is applying the price hike because they know only the most serious of collectors will buy this.
Jim: It might be that the price hike is due to cost to produce this book. I really hope that the Torch versus Sub-Mariner battle was handled with TLC, because that was some great Golden Age material. If they corrected the racial stereotypes I would be upset as I prefer to see the old stuff warts and all.

Written and Penciled by Charles Nicholas, Basil Wolverton, Will Harr, Maurice Gutwirth, Mike Robard, Sam Cooper & Chris Weston
This preview comic features the origin stories of Golden Age greats “Rockman” from USA Comics #1 (August 1941) by Charles Nicholas and Basil Wolverton and the never-before-reprinted “Laughing Mask” by Will Harr and Maurice Gutwirth from Daring Mystery Comics #2 (February 1940) and Phantom Reporter by Mike Robard and Sam Cooper from Daring Mystery Comics #3 (April 1940) along with character sketches and preview pages of the new series The Twelve by J. Michael Straczynski with art by Chris Weston. 48 PGS ...$2.99
Lee: Don’t waste your money on this boys and girls. Let me tell ya why… #1) all the character sketches have been plastered over the web. #2) The preview pages will be there soon enough and #3) Even I, who loves GA material, have no clue who any of these characters or artists are. That’s not true, the Wolverton art will be excellent but 6 pages is not worth $3. Wait for the real series.
Jim: AGREED! Plus with JMS writing the book I’ll wait for the hardcover and skip the actual book.
Written by John Rhett Thomas
After the repercussions borne of House of M, the mutant universe faced its most dire challenge in a landscape sundered by the Decimation. As the mutant population dwindled and external threats multiplied, the mutant community, led by the X-Men, has seen better days. It's about to get worse. After doing their best to weather the storms that have rocked the other parts of the Marvel Universe, mutants now face the events of MESSIAH COMPLEX, which will bring the ramifications of "No More Mutants" to a resounding climax. Marvel Spotlight will be essential reading for fans to get up to speed on the creators and comics involved in this multi-title event, with insightful writer and artist interviews, plus a look back at other classic eras of X-Men.32 PGS. …$2.99
Jim: This is just a blatant money grab by Marvel and these type of books just tick me off.
Lee: Ditto. It’s not often I don’t have a lot to say but this is one of those times. I mean, I agree with Jim. This is a blatant screwing of the comic book customer. I mean really what can be said other than Ditto, which I already said. But it all agrees with Jim so there isn’t any reason to write lots about this. Right? Right! ‘Nuff said because Jim was clear and concise. A money grab by Marvel. Those scoundrels!

Written by Mike Carey Art and Cover by Scott Kolins
A brand-new, stand-alone story by X-MEN’s Mike Carey and OMEGA FLIGHT’s Scott Kolins! Everyone knows that Wolverine is an expert tracker, but what about when he’s been blinded? The fighting Canadian must lead a vacationing family out of the woods, using only his 4 remaining senses and the help of that same family. Things get more complicated, however, with a visit from Advanced Idea Mechanics. Also, as an added bonus: a special back-up story by Macon Blair (24Seven) and Vasilis Lolos (Pirates of Coney Island).48 PGS. …$3.99
Jim: This just seems like a book that was commissioned and then forgotten about. This book just ices that they signed Scott Kolins to an exclusive and then buried him. This guy is a dynamic and really good artist who was wasted with his time at Marvel.
Lee: I agree. They never really did anything with Kolins. Wait a year and get it from the quarter bin.

Cover by Arthur Suydam
Lee: I pick this only to highlight the pointless cover and complain. Seriously, isn’t there enough gratuitous violence on in comics enough without showing Wolverine’s claws going through someone’s head? AND, at one time it was cool that Wolverine actually tried to avoid killing people. Whatever happened to that character? This is pointless and stupid.
Jim: I agree, Wolverine was the ultimate bad a** super hero and now he has been over exposed and reduced to being more of a killer then someone who will kill if necessary.

Cover by Greg Horn
Lee: Speaking of pointless and stupid, my selection for Embarrassed to be a Fanboy cover. Marvel has really cut back on them these days but you can always trust Greg Horn to illustrate porn stars as superheroes.
Jim: Greg is always good for this type of work. His She-Hulk covers were so over the top that I would be afraid to leave them on a coffee table in my home.
Lee: Over the top or top heavy? I get confused.
Jim: I know Lee, I know.

Written by Chris Claremont. Pencils & Cover by Tom Grummett
Adios, Exiles! They’ve left their footprints across the multiverse for a hundred issues, but what threat will make Blink and Co. close up shop for good? It’s not what you expect! And what’s this we hear about an all NEW EXILES…Also! Re-presenting the classic Exiles #1 by Judd Winnick and Mike McKone!64 PGS. …$3.99
Lee: And the final stupidity… Exiles end (good) with the hint that it will be restarted in a couple of months. Let me see, sales are down so you’re going to cancel the series and immediately restart it???? Series are becoming like characters in comic books. You just can’t kill them.
Jim: Never got into this book at all, so cancelled and re-launched, I still have no interest.

Lee: Another bland month. I fear that I am going to start having more and more of these as the months progress. Marvel is my first love but I am so exhausted by the endless crossovers, and endless events, that I really don’t care anymore. It’s hard for me to believe but I am sick of the angst and long for the days when Stan dictated 10 pages of every comic be dedicated to a fight scene.
Jim: Marvel was my first love also (just 10 plus years earlier) and almost all the love I had for these characters has been drained out of me. Marvel really needs to try and create 2nd generation of their major heroes and try to move on.

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