Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Marvel Preview Review for April

Lee: Ahhh, another depressing month from Marvel. I wish I could say I’m excited but the Skrull thing is supposed to start soon and that will likely crush whatever momentum the Marvel U. had. Sooooo, I predict lots of snark on inability of artists to draw anything that begins to approach real anatomy.
Jim: After the whole $4 Iron Man book my excitement level for Marvel books is pretty much at a low point. Outside of a few series and the occasional hardcover collection I have limited enthusiasm for this line of books. The Skrull event is a little, OMG not another event, but I do see some potential to tell some fun stories.
Pencils and Cover by TOMMY OHTSUKA
Lee: Let’s see this is a standard sword and sorcery comic so let’s pull out the checklist. Big, cool looking dragon? Check. Brave hero with fancy armor and random scar (to show how tough he is!)? Check. Beautiful princess in fancy gown… with gnarly nasty hammer toes? Check! Eeeewwww. Ohtuska needs to learn how to draw feet. She could pick up a watermelon with those nasty, monkey toes.
Jim: Nothing wrong with long toes. I think this is another part of the Dabel Brotherts deal that Marvel ended up with.

ULTIMATES 3 #5 (of 5)
Written by JEPH LOEBArt & 50/50 Wraparound Covers by JOE MADUREIRA & CHRISTIAN LICHTNERThis is it, the ending you've been breathlessly waiting for! Who killed the Scarlet Witch -- and why? The answers will rock you as the Ultimate Universe is about to explode! Betrayals, secrets, and even another murder are all laid bare as superstars Jeph Loeb, Joe Madureira and Christian Lichtner conclude Volume 3! But the next big Ultimates story is just beginning, as right around the corner is...Ultimatum!32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99
Lee: THE PAIN WILL END! One issue and it was categorically despised. Two issues and the masses started dropping it. And, this would be the end of the train wreck that no one cares about.
Jim: As with any train wreck you still can’t help but look. If you are buying this book and passing on something else, but the something else and pass on this book.

Written by ZEB WELLS, Pencils & Cover by CHRIS BACHALOMonth Four of Brand New Day is upon us and so is the worst blizzard in the history of New York City! It’s colder than an outdoor hockey game in January out there and your favorite Wall-Crawler (aided by his Avengers buddy, Wolverine) must find his way through the cold to rescue a doctor who may know the real secret behind the deadly storm.32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: Oh look. A pointless Wolverine crossover. One of these months we are going to have to count how many titles he actually appears in. It’s gotta be HUGE.
Jim: Oh look, we do a crappy retro-con and then after promoting the ever living heck out of the book we are still so worried that we do a Wolverine guest starring bit to try and drive sales up.

Written by TOM DEFALCO, Pencils & Cover by RON FRENZ
Lee: A fine book. I just wish people would stop drawing Joe Q. Daredevil billy club lines all over the place. It looks ridiculous that there is 400 feet of cable flying all around at the same time.
Jim: Well you need a very long line to go from building to building sometimes.

Lee: Did anyone notice that Warlock now dresses like Lightning Lad from the LSH? I wonder if DC is going to sue for costume in fringement?
Jim: Look at his face, are you really going to sue Adam Warlock. Let’s see all the Flash’s have lighting bolts, Captain Marvel has it, Lighting Lad, Black Lighting, Blue Bolt – how many DC characters have lighting bolts on their costumes?

Written, Pencils & Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Lee: Is it ok for an artist to swipe himself? Does he get paid less because he traced the original cover? Excaliber #1 in case your wondering.
Jim: Swipe, he just cut and paste the old cover and added a character beneath them.

Written by ED BRUBAKER & ANDE PARKS Penciled by CHRIS SAMNEECover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC “Blood of the Tarantula” Carlos LaMuerto, a.k.a. Black Tarantula, is finally doing something good with his life. Well, at least it ain’t all bad. Lying low after getting out of prison and wiping out an entire gang, Carlos has become a low-key Robin Hood -- cleaning up the neighborhood he used to run as a gang lord. But he’s about to discover that leaving his past behind isn’t as simple as a change of attitude…as ghosts from his former life haunt him, Carlos turns to his friend/adversary, Matt Murdock. Now Black Tarantula and Daredevil must work together to save the streets of Hell’s Kitchen from a powerful new gang from Carlos’ homeland.48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Lee: This sounds interested. It has good writers. Art is probably good. BUT, why is it here? I don’t understand.
Jim: Well let me explain Lee. A Daredevil Annual was recently done that introduced this concept of the Tarantula. So instead of trying to launch it as a mini-series or something on its it, we add Daredevil to the title to help to try and drive more traffic to the book.

Lee: Nothing looks better on a newsstand than a giant eyeball cover. If you look close you can Tony Stark didn’t wash his face that morning from the eye snot in the corner of his eye.
Jim: Nice Lee, very nice. As you may have noticed we have dropped a lot of the hype so Lee can be snarky about a lot of covers. I think he is staring at you.

Written by DAVID MICHELINIE Art & Cover by RON LIM & bob layton"A Knight in Hell" Dr. Doom returns to menace Iron Man in the chilling and long-awaited conclusion of The Camelot Trilogy! Mephisto has apparently found a way to bring about The End Of Days and Tony Stark and Victor Von Doom must form an uneasy alliance to try and stop him. But all may not be as it seems. And it takes a journey to Hell itself before the shocking truth is revealed! Iron Man legends David Michelinie and Bob Layton are joined by penciler supreme Ron Lim to bring you the first part of an epic literally decades in the making!32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: Long Awaited??? Who are they kidding? The last Iron Man v Doom story was what…. 1987? Who has been waiting since 1987 for this?
Jim: Who remembers this story? Thankfully we get the reprint before hand so we have a clue about what is going on. What really scares me is this is the “first part”, but the conclusion of the trilogy? Time travel makes my head hurt.

Written by PAUL BENJAMINPenciled by STEVE SCOTTCover by SEAN GORDON MURPHYHe’s big. He’s angry... and he’s not green. He’s the unstoppable Juggernaut! Bruce Banner’s looking for the mystical amulet of Cyttorak, said to be capable of chaining a mighty behemoth. But Bruce doesn’t know that his guide is none other than the Juggernaut himself, out to destroy the artifact. What happens when an unstoppable force meets another unstoppable force? Do the words “Hulk smash!” mean anything to you?32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99
Lee: I really don’t want this to be a pick-on-bad covers review but sometimes it can’t be helped. I know that Manga creators work very hard to keep control of the images of their characters, so that no matter who draws Long Duk Dong he always looks like Long Duk Dong. But, American comics never did that so Batman drawn by Jim Aparo looks nothing like Batman drown by Norm Breyfogle or Jim Lee. But, you would think that American Editors might try to maintain some control. This has got to be the skinniest Hulk I have seen since Ditko drew him in the 60’s. If you were to put this cover next to a McGuinness’s Hulk cover you wouldn’t know they were the same character. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just visually jarring.
Jim: Okay I have to laugh at Lee, he loves picking on bad covers. It is one skinny green guy.

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Penciled by LEINIL FRANCIS YU Cover by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO Variant cover by STEVE MCNIVENSECRET INVASION IS HERE!! Years in the making, months in the teasing...and it all STARTS HERE!! The shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls has secretly infiltrated every super-powered organization on Earth with one goal...full-scale invasion! In this DOUBLE-SIZED first issue, page after page unveils reveal after reveal and shocking moment after shocking moment! Brian Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu leap off the pages of mega-hit New Avengers and deliver a story that will change the Marvel Universe forever.THE MARVEL UNIVERSE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!48 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99 Blank Cover CONVENTION Variant also available!
Lee: Oh wheeee fun. Another giant crossover! BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! It looks like Skrulls have replaced Zombies are the latest cover redux fad. Just wonderful, now that all the classic covers have been zombified I can go thru the entire process again with skrullified classic covers.
Jim: I more excited by the fact that Bendis and Yu are leaping off the pages. Here we are the first chapter. This has so much potential to be really interesting or just flat out the most horrible drek produced.

Very special guest artist Jimmy Cheung returns to the pages of New Avengers for this very important tie-in issue. Spinning right off of events in NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI #1, find out exactly how the Skrull empire was able to infiltrate the Marvel Universe and who instigated the invasion and why.
The Eisner-award-winning team of Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev (NEW AVENGERS ILLUMINATI, HALO: UPRISING) reunite to answer the question that has been on every comic fan's mind for years...WHERE THE HELL HAS NICK FURY BEEN?? Rewinding the clock to Fury's time in SECRET WAR, follow Fury as he puts together the pieces of his life and starts finding clues to a Secret Invasion that makes him TARGET NUMBER ONE. A major Skrull reveal happens in these pages!
Lee: And, to prove my point, here’s the first of many more skrullified covers to come.
Jim: A very lazy effort. These could be covers for second prints, but using them now is just laziness. Why aren’t the ants skrulls? All that being said, I am curious as to where Nick Fury has been.

Written by ROY THOMASPenciled by SAL BUSCEMA, FRANK ROBBINS, ALEX SCHOMBURG, DON RICO, LEE ELIAS & LEE WEEKSCover by SAL BUSCEMAWhet your appetite for Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski’s 12-part AVENGERS/INVADERS maxi-series with these classic tales! Witness the Invaders’ first appearance in AVENGERS #71 (1969), as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes encounter the wartime Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner – and experience the story from the Invaders’ point of view in INVADERS ANNUAL #1 (1977). Finally, the Invaders thwart a Nazi assassination attempt on President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #2 (2005). Also featuring in-depth dossiers on both teams and AVENGERS/INVADERS preview pages!96 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Lee: Blah blah blah more reprint BUT did you see the small print about the Avengers/Invaders maxi series???? Maybe I have heard about it before and just blanked the pain out of my head but that sounds awful.
Jim: Marvel seems locked into this type of promotion for new series about old characters. They give a reprint to show you what they were about and then show you the updated versions. A good idea for fans who have no familiarity with these characters.

Written by JONATHAN LETHEM & KARL RUSNAK Art by FAREL DALRYMPLE, PAUL HORNSCHEMEIER & GARY PANTERCover by GARY PANTERYou know a super hero's in trouble when he resorts to drawing a comic book to try to solve his problems! Omega The Unknown #7, on top of the usual stellar array of talent, features special guest-star creator Gary Panter, known for his work on a legendary children's show, Frank Zappa's album covers, and RAW Magazine -- but he's never been between Marvel's covers before. Tune in!32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: LOVE THIS COVER! Giant robots crushing the helpless masses with a big helping of the Kirby vibe. What’s not to like?
Jim: The series itself?

Written by Peter David Penciled by REILLY BROWN Cover by Mike Deodato “Here Today” Tracking down the mysterious bomber who attacked her in New York City, She-Hulk finds herself in prison – and the story of why she left her legal career behind finally begins to come to light. 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: Ahhh, She looks deformed. It appears she has another set of b**bs growing where her a** should be.
Jim: Wow that is just some bad drawing.

THE TWELVE #4 (of 12)
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKIPenciled by CHRIS WESTONCover by KAARE ANDREWSAs the savage murders continue, and members of the Twelve come under a cloud of suspicion, tensions flare, and hero faces off against hero! Plus, the unbelievable origin of underground secret agent Rockman!32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: Note to Editor’s everywhere. If you are going to commission an artist to do a cover maybe you should provide him a character reference sheet. In this case, maybe someone should have mentioned to Kaare Andrews that the characters mask is just that… a mask… with a smiley face. Not a scream or grunt or a groan. A smiley face. AND, if this is how Andrews smiles… eeewww that’s just scary.
Jim: Maybe the hero changed his m.o. and is now the shocked mask.

Written by JIM STARLIN, MIKE FRIEDRICH, STEVE ENGLEHART, GERRY CONWAY & MARV WOLFMANPenciled by JIM STARLIN & WAYNE BORINGCover by JIM STARLINHe’s back and better than ever – the hero that wouldn’t die, Captain Marvel! After a few years in hiatus, mighty Marvel’s space-born super hero returned, and under the aegis of writer/artist Jim Starlin, his story would achieve a scale never before imagined! Stripping the Kree Captain down to his very core and forcing him through a gauntlet of past opponents, Starlin then brought to the fore one of Marvel’s pre-eminent cosmic menaces for the very first time: the mad Titan, Thanos. With the stage set and the players from unearthly entity Eon to Drax the Destroyer and the mighty Avengers pulled into fray, the good Captain led the fight against Thanos and his Cosmic Cube in a confrontation that would redefine super-hero epics forever! Featuring an introduction by Jim Starlin and an extensive selection of bonuses, this Marvel Masterworks volume is the definitive collection of the creative arc that defined Captain Marvel! Collecting CAPTAIN MARVEL #22-33 and IRON MAN #55.288 PGS./Rated A …$54.99
Lee: It took long enough but finally the brilliant Thanos – Captain Marvel run by Starlin. I can’t wait.
Jim: I just recently re-read this material in the “Life of Captain Marvel” reprint mini-series done a long time ago. I’m really happy to have this in a Masterwork edition.

Written by WARREN ELLISPenciled by CARY NORDCover by CARY NORDIt’s the Ultimate war between the Hulk and Iron Man! Desperate for a cure to his dark disease, scientist Bruce Banner begs Tony Stark for a release from the curse of the Hulk! Stark agrees, but in the midst of the experimentation, something goes horribly wrong. And you know what happens next: man and monster collide! Be there as writer Warren Ellis (ULTIMATE GALACTUS) begins his next Ultimate epic –joined by amazing artist Cary Nord (Conan)! Collecting ULTIMATE HUMAN #1-4.96 PGS./Rated T+ …$19.99ISBN: 978-0-7851-2015-5Trim size: standard
Lee: Now that is sweet planning. The HC ships the same week as the final issue of the mini-series. We’ve talked about this ad nauseum but it seems that Marvel finds new ways all the time to surprise me.
Jim: Seems like selling the DVD as I leave the movie. It is too early for me to tell if this is a book that I would want for the ages. After reading issue #1 the answer is no, but Marvel wants it at book stores so when the Iron Man and Hulk movies hit they have a new product at book stores to sell the waiting public.

Written by PETER DAVIDPenciled by SHAWN MOLLCover by MIKE DEODATOIt's a new direction for the lean, green fighting machine as longtime HULK writer Peter David takes the helm of the world's most dangerous lawyer as she takes on the world's most dangerous job. Be here now…or She-Hulk Smash! Collecting SHE-HULK #22-27.144 PGS./Rated T+ …$19.99These SHE-HULK TRADE PAPERBACKS STILL AVAILABLE!SHE-HULK VOL. 1: SINGLE GREEN FEMALE…$14.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-1443-2)SHE-HULK VOL. 2: SUPERHUMAN LAW…$14.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-1570-6)SHE-HULK VOL. 3: TIME TRIALS…$14.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-1795-4)SHE-HULK VOL. 4: LAWS OF ATTRACTION…$19.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-2218-4)SHE-HULK VOL. 5: PLANET WITHOUT A HULK…$14.99 (ISBN: 978-0-7851-2399-6)
Lee: So, let me see if I understand this. The entire Dan Slott run is available in trade but ONLY the Peter David She-Hulk is available in HC?! Because PAD’s run has been oooohhhhh sssooo much better. A rare HC pass for me.
Jim: Insane. I love David’s work usually, but I dropped She Hulk after reading a couple issues of his take on the character. Slott's run was better and had better art, that deserves the hard cover.

Written by STEVEN GRANT & JO DUFFYPenciled by MIKE ZECK & MIKE VOSBURGCover by MIKE ZECKThe Punisher's in prison, but he can't the criminals have nowhere to run! But while he's in gray, his trademark black-and-white look's being used by an army out to wipe out the mob and anyone else in the way! Marvel's vicious veteran vigilante finds out who to kill and who to trust in his original miniseries! Collecting PUNISHER #1-5.144 PGS./Parental Advisory …$19.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-2331-6Trim size: standardPUNISHER: CIRCLE OF BLOOD PREMIERE HC – VARIANT EDITION VOL. 11144 PGS./Parental Advisory …$19.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-2668-3
Lee: I love how Marvel is putting some of it’s really good content back in print as HC’s. This was THE series that established the Punisher as a great character. An absolute classic.
Jim: TRUE!

Written by CHRIS CLAREMONTPenciled by BILL SIENKIEWICZ & BOB MCLEODCover by BILL SIENKIEWICZThe New Mutants face a demon menace and befriend an alien misfit! A rock concert pulls them into the orbit of a multi-galaxy music star, then the team, with Cloak and Dagger, is drawn into a deadly exchange program...of super-powers! Plus: Hellfire Club intrigue and early steps on the path of reformation by Magneto! Action, romance, family reunions and a fairy tale! Anything else? Oh, right, guest-starring the X-Men! Collecting NEW MUTANTS #18-25 and ANNUAL #1.256 PGS./Rated A …$24.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-3119-9These NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC TRADE PAPERBACKS STILL AVAILABLE!NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC VOL. 1…$24.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-2194-3)NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC VOL. 2…$24.99 (ISBN: 0-7851-2195-1)
Lee: This is sooooo coming home. The classic Sienkiewicz run on New Mutants!!! And, if we’re lucky the books will be recolored to eliminate the hideously garish colors that were printed the first time around. No matter what this is coming home. I would like a nice hc more but I’ll take what I can get.
Jim: The story was not that strong in my memory and my book cases are getting to be stuffed to the gills, I will pass.

Written by FABIAN NICIEZA, ROB LIEFELD, MARK WAID & JOE KELLYPenciled by ROB LIEFELD, JOE MADUREIRA, IAN CHURCHILL, LEE WEEKS, KEN LASHLEY & ED MCGUINNESSCover by ROB LIEFELDHe's the Merc with a Mouth, the Assassin with Elan, the Wryest Wisecracker of the Weapon X Program, now in a collection of his earliest sagas! Deadpool, with sidekick Weasel in tow, sets out on a quest for romance, money and mayhem – not necessarily in that order – only to learn he's being hunted by an enemy he killed years before! As if that isn't enough, the Juggernaut crashes into the action, and it's the unstoppable vs. the un-shut-up-able! But all may not be lost if the sultry Siryn can inject a little sanity into the proceedings! Will Deadpool be steered toward a better life by his new heartthrob, or stay the chaotic course he's set for himself? The answer is Yes! Guest-starring the New Mutants, Banshee, Sasquatch and more! Collecting NEW MUTANTS #98, DEADPOOL: THE CIRCLE CHASE #1-4, DEADPOOL (1994) #1-4 and DEADPOOL (1997) #1.256 PGS./Rated A …$29.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-3124-3CABLE CLASSIC VOL. 1 TPB STILL AVAILABLE!$29.99 (ISBN: 978-0-7851-3123-6)
Lee: Actually, this sounds like fun. Nicieza and Waid wrote some good miniseries for Deadpool. This is when Mad’s art was still good. AND, it’s got the first issue of Joe Kelly’s great run on Deadpool. This just might have to come home with me.
Jim: Deadpool is a character I have never loved, even as the comedic relief that he has become.

Lee: All the X-books listed as “*Solicit classified until 1/24/2008*” That’s just great. No covers. No input. No information. That’s really gonna help retailers order. BUT let’s speculate what might be happening… Kill Cyclops - Nope done that… several times
Kill Prof X – Nope done that… even more times than Cyclops
Prof X is in a wheelchair - done that and done that and back again!
Madrox is dead - Oh his dupes die all the time.
Beast gets even more beastial and he is eating out of a bowl. – Nope, done that.
Jean Grey comes back. – Never happen! There is still some integrity left in the X-books. Oh wait, last month we saw Cable had the baby as a shield so yeah she’s coming back again… and again…

How about you Jim? Any ideas?
Jim: No ideas here, none at all Lee. FYI – Lee took my ideas with permission and now the actual event that occurred was as lame as could be. Professor "X" is shot in the brain and now in in some sort of coma (yawn). How long does this last - 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or until the next big number issue is coming out.

Lee: Uuuummmm, as a Marvel Skrull (zombies are so passé) I have to say except for the shiney super expensive hc’s… I wasn’t all that impressed.
Jim: My favorite thing is once again a reprint of the old stuff (Starlin Captain Marvel). I think that after Secret Invasion Marvel needs to focus on telling good stories and forget events for a year or three.

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