Monday, November 26, 2007

What I’m Getting Thursday

It is hard to believe that we are already past Thanksgiving and heading towards the end of another year. Also hard to believe that a week with 41 titles would be considered a smaller week, but after last week anything would be a break. Next month is also a four week month and with about 3 to 4 hard covers being late I will have a fair number of Christmas presents that I will be buying myself. Just an observation that while I’m a big DC fan, their output has been overwhelming of late as evidenced again by my breakdown of what I’m getting this week; DC (26), Marvel (7) and Independents (8). On the flip side at least the Independents are coming in second place and a lot of DC will drop off as the Countdown stuff winds down over the next six months.

Archibald Saves Christmas – We had the good fortune of being able to read and review this book on the blog and now it is finally coming out. My last remark was TWISTED HUMOR DONE RIGHT! We also had the pleasure of doing an interview with the writer Dwight McPherson and I think he will be a rising star in the industry. The artwork by Grant Bond was so nice that it pushed me to by Revere “Revolution in Silver” by Ed Lavallee and Grant Bond, which I also enjoyed. This is just a one shot, so try it out and see what you think.

Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer #5 (of 6) – Damn this book was due in August. The story by Joshua Ortega is a solid barbarian/medieval warrior tale but the art by Nat Jones & Jay Fotos is what makes this book. A decent tale based off one Frazetta painting,which reminds me of the silver age DC days when Julie Schwartz would give a cover to the writers and have them make up a story about it.

Proof #2 – It is great to see issue #2 already as I really enjoyed the first issue. The energy and fun that writer Alex Grecian and artist Riley Rossmo put into this book came shining through in issue #1. I’m really looking forward to Proof (our Sasquatch special agent) and Ginger’s first case together.

Bad Planet #4 (of 6) – I believe this is an overall series planned out as 12 issues, but broken into two six part series, but this is not really important. Bad Planet is such a great story filled with Alien good guys, alien monsters, big freaking alien bugs, huge spaceships women with huge ---er, anyway this book is out and out sci-fi / horror madness like it should have been done in the late fifties early sixties movies. Of course without CGI it would have sucked, but this comic does not.

Doc Frankenstein #6 – I believe that last issue of this book came out in 2006, it may have been even further back, still this very occasional comic book cast Frankenstein as a sort of super-hero type out to save people from other horrors of the night. While I would really enjoy this book more if it actually came out, I’ll take it whenever it shows up.

Criminal Macabre My Demon Baby #3 (of 4) – This is another series that is a lot of fun. In fact that is something that really shines in many independent books, the creators’ energy and enthusiasm just shines. Many in the big two also have that same level of enthusiasm, but dictates of company owned characters and shared universes restrict what you can do. The official hype spells it out best about Steve Niles’ (writer) book “Cal McDonald: drug-fueled paranormal private investigator, friend of ghouls and werewolves, vampire slayer . . . babysitter? Cal finds himself protecting a baby who has a good chance of growing up to be Satan’s representative on Earth, while facing down a bunch of devoted devil worshipers and a relentless, reanimated Templar Knight ready and willing to slay anyone in his path!”

Fear Agent: Hatchet Job #1 (of 4) – I just love the cover on this book and along with Rick Remender (writer) we have Jerome Opena as artist. Jerome and Tony Moore are handling alternating mini-series which is a great idea and eases the pressures and hopefully keeps the book coming out on time. This arc has Rick trying to help find a place where humanity can live again.

Dan Dare #1 (of 7) – I’m going into this book with a lot of trepidation. First off it is an old British hero being updated for today and revived by Virgin comics. Virgin comic has a huge bankroll, but has not been very successful in my mind. Next this is written by Garth Ennis, who usually hates super heroes and I don’t think has ever written a good super hero type book. But Dan Dare maybe more of just a Nick Fury, type. Lastly Ennis also prefers to tear apart heroes more then tell stories about heroic acts.

Daredevil #102- Well a friend of mind says this book is done and is no longer a book that he will champion, the last issue was the final straw for him. I also have not been as high on this book as others, but when the “Hood” showed up, that brought this book too much into the post Civil War MU, which was a mistake in my mind. Also I believe Ed Brubaker has crafted an overly long arc with the Mr. Fear story line. Still Ed Burbaker and Michael Lark keep this book very readable, just not as great as I had hoped for it to be.

Sensational Spider-Man #41 - One More Day Part 3 – I think the best thing that I can hope for out of this story line is that it is a short term thing. In other words after we get the “special magical fix” that wipes away years of continuity, that it is a one year story that culminates in Peter realizing things should be the way they are supposed to be. The other headache with these types of fixes is that now continuity is a pick and choose thing for the writers. So a long term fan who closely read the series (not me) has no clue as to what is or what is not canon.
Sub-Mariner #6 (of 6) – All in all I have enjoyed this series for the most part, but the ending will definitely make or break this book. In my opinion it needs to also set a new status quo for who the Sub-Mariner is and what role he is to play in the MU in the future. Personally I would prefer him to be more of anti-hero based on the fact that the US is portrayed as more of a police state since Civil War.

Ultimate Spider-Man #116 – I know this is sacrilegious, but this book looks better under the pencils of Stuart Immonen then it did under Bagley. That is not meant as a condemnation of Bagley, but a high compliment to the fact that I think Immonen maybe one of the best in the business. The first arc with Bendis and Stuart has been a really good read and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin.

Zombie: Simon Garth #1 (of 4) – Written by Kyle Hotz and Eric Powell and art by Kyle Hotz. The first mini-series was a prelude; this one is where it gets interesting, the official hype “The last time we saw Simon Garth, the bank teller single-handedly stopped a gang of murderous robbers and got shot, bitten by zombies and med-evac-ed straight into Army custody for scientific experimentation as death and the necrotic infection overtook him fast. No problem, right? Find out how Simon got out of THAT one --- assuming he did ---- and check out his further adventures battling the undead ---unless, that is, he’s one of them now --- in a brutal, gory, disgusting…awesome re-imagining of one of Marvel’s strangest horror heroes”

X-Men #205 – Chapter 5 (of 13) in the Messiah Complex. What I have liked so far is that the chapters have read like one long story. Who every outlined the story did a good job and the writers have kept the beat of the plot threads going very well. Next each chapter has followed within a week, so the story line remains fresh. What I don’t like is they appear to be cramming everything and the kitchen sink into this story. We have Predator “X”, Purifiers, Marauders, future story lines, internal conflicts, probably Magneto running around and who knows what else. It is way too much and as usual with most “event” storylines they are saving way too much for the end and not giving us a moment in each book. Ultimately the ending determines how good the story really will be judged long term.

X-Men First Class #6 – This book always brings a smile to my face. A lighter tone book re-imagining and updating the early adventures of the original X-Men. Highly recommended and one of my favorite series of the last year.

52 Aftermath The Four Horseman #4 (of 6) – This has continued to be such a nice surprise. I’ll try out various mini-series and go in with various expectations. This series I was really going in with a what the heck attitude and have gotten a really well done story and one of the best characterizations of DC’s Trinity (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) ever done. The dialogue by Giffen has been excellent and the art by Pat Olliffe is making me pay attention to who is doing the art. All in all this is a nice story about fighting off the Four Horseman.

All Star Batman and Robin #8 – I use to denigrate this book and say what a horrible example it was and that it hurt the All Star line that DC has started. The lateness of the book did hurt it, but if you have ignored this book, get back in on it. This is such a great over the top version of Batman and Jim Lee’s art has never been better. Consider it an Elseworld and sit down and let the book take you for a ride. The G*dd**n Batman is a wonderful eye catching down and dirty adventure guaranteed to shock and amuse you.

Batman #671 – The Resurrection of Ras As Ghul Part 4 (of 7). The story has read great issue to issue and I’m looking forward to this chapter of the story. Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel bring us a showdown between the Sensei, Ras and Batman.

Batman and The Outsiders #2 – A second issue coming quickly on the heels of issue #1. The first issue was enjoyable, but it appears that the initial plans for this series have been scuttled and I not sure what the point of this book is anymore. Still Chuck Dixon knows how to write an action/adventure super-hero book.

Blue Beetle #21 - Looks like a fill in issue as we have a guest writer and a guest artist. Still the premise sounds like a great issue to see Jamie continue to grow up faster then he should have to. The official hype “Jaime Reyes gets a shot at punishing the man who crippled his father — only to discover he's in line behind the Spectre, making for one of the young hero's hardest choices yet!”

Countdown Presents Lord Havok and the Extremists #2 (of 6) – This issue is supposed to feature a battle between the Challengers of the Beyond (stupidest name ever for any group) and the Extremists. We have already seen this fight in Countdown and it better bring something new to the table in order to be a worthwhile read. I do like getting more background on players who should have a role to play in Final Crisis, but I wish we were getting a better reason for Captain Atom (Monarch) acting like he is.

Countdown to Adventure #4 (of 8) – Continuing the adventures of Forerunner in the back up feature and Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire in the lead feature. Both stories have been good, not stellar but good. The lead story is a nice follow up to see where these three heroes will end up since 52. The back-up is tied into Countdown, but I’m still not sure how much of a player Forerunner is supposed to be.

Countdown to Final Crisis #22 – Let’s hope they keep up the pace. The last two Superman Prime focused issues really made this a strong book again. I can almost hear the clock ticking as I read the last issue. Let’s see if they can move some of these stories to a conclusion before we hit the Final Crisis.

Crime Bible: The Five Lessons of Blood #2 (of 5) – The first issue was such an easy read and well told story that I’m really looking forward to this issue. Greg Rucka is telling a good story of the possible corruption of the Question and Tom Mandrake’s art was a perfect compliment for the tone of this story. Lesson #2 is the lesson of lust.

Death of the New Gods # 3 (of 8) – Jim Starlin on story and art and this is one of the most important tie-in mini-series to Countdown. The official hype says it all “The carnage of the Fourth World continues as more New Gods die in this COUNTDOWN tie-in! Who will be the next victims? Who — or what — is responsible for so many deaths? How is Darkseid connected to them? And will Superman, Orion and Mr. Miracle be able to uncover Darkseid's schemes before it's too late?”

Gotham Underground #2 (of 9) – This started off a lot better then I thought it would be. Most to the villains are disappearing off the streets of Gotham courtesy of the Suicide Squad. Batman and his cohorts are trying to find out what is going on and who will rise up to fill the power vacuum. This appears to be the one Batman book that is closely tied into the entire DCU and Countdown.

Green Lantern Corps #18 – This seems poorly planned as DC is releasing this book now and GL #25 has been delayed to let the artist get it right. It is billed as an epilogue to the Sinestro War and also has been billed as a fight between the new Ion and Superboy Prime. Whatever it is as long as it does not reveal the ending in GL #25, I’ll look forward to this book.

JLA Classified #47 – A series I could easily drop as it has no impact to the DCU proper, but I have enjoyed the story arcs by different writers and artists telling their JLA story. Not every book needs to be the book of the year, a good yarn well told is just that. This issue we see Mike W. Barr back to comic book writing and Julian Lopez on the art.

JSA Classified #32 – By Junior Thomas (who?) and Staz Johnson. Another one shot featuring Alan Scott. I love the Alan Scott character and while I’m going in with limited expectations I always have hope when a favorite character of mine is being featured.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #36 – The quest for Cosmic Boy concludes as does Tony Bedard’s run on this book. Looking forward to see how they wrap this up. Next issue Jim Shooter comes back to the Legion. I’m enjoying this version of the Legion, but no matter what the first version will always be my favorite iteration of the group.

Superman Annual #13 – The concluding chapter of Camelot Falls and a back-up story. Looking forward to Carlos Pacheco’s final issue on this book and it was a shame that this issue’s finale had to be pushed off to the Annual. Way too many times the big 2 are screwing up timing on “big” storylines. Since they are both waiting for the artist lately I have to assume book and trade sales must be better when one artist does the work and so both companies wait for the artist.

Superman / Batman #43 – I am confused as all get out by the hype line on this book The official hype is “Dr. Light is back — and he's got the Titans on his side! Identity Crisis showed how evil Dr. Light could be, but writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and fan-favorite artist Mike McKone take him to a new level in this stand-alone special issue guest-starring Steel!” The cover is all Teen Titans – how the heck is this in Superman/Batman?

Teen Titans #53 – Sean McKeever’s run on the Titans continues as the “Titans of Tomorrow” storyline heads into the penultimate chapter. The Titans are a solid book again and I have enjoyed this future version of the team. The book has definitely stepped up a notch.

Trail of Shazam #10 (of 12) – Not sure why Howard Porter dropped off the book, but glad to see this series get back on track. I really want to see Freddie take over the Captain Marvel role and I’m enjoying that his own nemesis is earning her powers as Freddie is earning his powers. I also hope to see the Marvel Family take a bigger role in the DCU proper over time.

Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #3 (of 8) – This is the second time in a row that this series is a revelation. The first mini-series was great and this one looks to even top it. This issue we get the origin of Doll Man. Like many other fans I always get a kick out of seeing some second and third tier heroes get their day in the sun.

American Virgin #21 – I hate that this series is ending with #23. This last story line is so good, with Adam getting married, not consummating the relationship and all the rest of the shenanigans with his highly dysfunctional family. Vertigo has had a few series bite the dust recently, but they always strive to find something new and different for us to read. The Vertigo Line from DC is at least a commitment on DC’s part to do more then super heroes.

Crossing Midnight #13 – Speaking of Vertigo books and something different. Mike Carey’s best comic series ever continues. The official hype “New storyline. Finally, Kai has a tangible link to the trail of his sister, Mimi Uguno, the lady-boss of Ueno Park who met Toshi while she was in Tokyo. But it might all be for nothing, because Aratsu has agreed to give Toshi back her memories. She only has to do one thing: Kill her brother Kai.” If you are not buying this book, you should be.

Faker #5 (of 6) – This series has been a nice little story that explores how far we can take technology and re-examines the definition of what it means to be alive or not. Terrific story by Mike Carey (him again) and art by Jock.

Jack of Fables #17 – This book is an incredible feat of writing as the lead character is a despicable a**hole and yet you still continue to read the comic. The various side characters in the book are a big help and the fact that Jack seldom comes out 100% on top is also a draw. Since you don’t like the character I don’t think you want him to win.

Authority Prime #2 (of 6) - Christos Gage and Darrick Robertson give us the battle between the Authority and Stormwatch Prime. These are always tough books to do as the premise for the fight has to well done. Next you have to make the battle feel like it has an edge to it, without totally making one team look lame. Usually with the talent level they have on this book it should be entertaining.

Gen 13 Armageddon – In this Armageddon book Catlin is pulled into the future to face what has happened to her family. So far this series has not pulled it all together and I’m curious to see if there is any point to the series or not.

There it is another big week of books, but not a single hard cover or a trade. Still after last week it seems almost small (ha). I flipped the order of who goes first around this week to hopefully keep it fresh and give the smaller press books the top billing for a change.

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