Friday, February 22, 2008

Marvel Preview Review for May

Lee: For some reason Marvel managed to make it interesting this month. Picks that are more than just snarky comments. That’s a good thing.
Jim: This is the month that both Marvel and DC will be hip deep into the mega-events and I think both companies are trying to not overwhelm their entire lines by it, which is a good thing. Still the whole Secret Invasion stuff will probably crop up everywhere throughout the mini-series. Really reminds me of Secret Wars II in some ways and that is not a good thing

SKY DOLL #1 (of 3)
Written by BARBARA CANEPAArt & Cover by ALESSANDRO BARBUCCI(Exclusive U.S. ONLY Variant also available)The internationally acclaimed best-seller is now finally presented in English! Meet Noa, a so-called Sky Doll; a life-like female android without rights, who exists only to serve the State's needs and desires. But when Noa meets two so-called "missionaries" who aid in her escape from her tyrannical master, all hell breaks loose for our cyborg siren as she uncovers clues that she may be much more than just a robotic toy. The first release in a new partnership between Marvel and cutting-edge French publisher Soleil!64 PGS./Mature Content …$5.99The Soleil Comics may only be sold in English North America: United States, Canada, Mexico and their territories and possessions.
Lee: Marvel is really diversifying these days. Between this and the classics illustrated stuff they are starting to mimic DC in variety of output. Personally, I’m glad to see it and I hope it works.
Jim: While I’m not sure if the actual material interests me, the diversity factor is getting higher at Marvel. Hopefully this type of material brings more people into the realm of accepting graphic story telling as more then super heroes.
Lee: Oh yeah, and just to maximize the marketing on this… a variant cover here too. Aren’t people sick of variant covers yet????

Written by ARON COLEITE Penciled by MARK BROOKSNew scribe Aron Coleite jumps aboard, fresh from his stint as one of the top writers on the hit NBC show Heroes! Regrouping after the devastating battle against Apocalypse, the X-Men encounter a new adversary which seems unstoppable. To fight it, the young mutants must ask themselves: how far are they willing to go and what are they willing to take to raise their game? The answer will test the bonds and shake the team to its very core.32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: I’m so glad they tell me who new writers are because I really had no idea who Aron Coleite was. Hopefully he knows how to write a good comic book.
Jim: Also I’m not impressed because so and so is a screenplay writer or whatever. Each medium is a different animal and requires the skill set to be able to script a comic as opposed to a TV show. I hope it works out, but an unknown writer of comics regardless of their resume does not impress me.

Written by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross Penciled by Steve SadowskiCover by ALEX ROSS; Variant Cover by David FinchThe original Invaders (Captain America , Bucky , Human Torch , Toro , and the Sub-Mariner) return in a twelve issue maxi-series by the award winning team behind EARTH X, Justice and Project Superpowers .The greatest super-team of World War II finds themselves transported from the battlefields of the Second World War to a future they never imagined! Now, the Invaders find themselves confronted by two teams of Avengers who want desperately to believe these heroes are who they say they are, while Tony Stark faces his greatest challenge since the Civil War as he must deal with the “return” of Steve Rogers. Confronted by a world they barely recognize, the Invaders will have to show two teams of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes just what kind of power, courage and sheer determination it took to defeat the forces of unrelenting evil in the Twentieth century. In fact…they may just have to do it again in the Twenty-First.32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: This will be very interesting because the Superpowers series that Krueger and Ross developed for Dynamite hasn’t been that well received. It’s probably easier with established characters but I’m still not convinced. I’m waiting for trade on this one… or not if the reviews are really bad.
Jim: You won’t have to wait for the trade on this one. I’m curious to see this also and hope it is better then the launch of Superpowers. Still with Superpowers it was a “0” issues and the mistake they made was it read more like a prologue and was way too text heavy to be an exciting start. Of course this is a very funny premise to be running when Marvel has already launched “The Twelve” which is almost the same damn idea.

Written by DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING Penciled by PAUL PELLETIERCover by CLINT LANGLEY Launching out of ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST, Marvel’s sci-fi heroes unite to protect the cosmos! Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. Dark gods and monsters are seeping through the cracks, reigning horror upon those still reeling from the recent calamities. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Star-Lord and his squad of butt-kickers – the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy! You’ve heard that ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST rocks – the guy at the comic shop keeps telling you to try NOVA – well, now’s your chance to experience the glory that writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and artist Paul Pelletier can unleash! All this…plus a wise-cracking raccoon and a telepathic dog! 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Lee: I’m surprised it took this long for a spin off series from all the space stuff Marvel has been putting out lately. I’m in for the first issue because I love both Pelletier’s art and cool space stories.
Jim: I really don’t want to add too many books to my list, but I always thought the Guardians of the Galaxy had potential buried in the lame execution that was done when they made it a series years ago. The first GoG story was better then the series. Once you have Abnett & Lanning and add Pelletier and now I’m trying this series out.

Written by JEPH LOEBPencils by ART ADAMS & FRANK CHO & MORE50/50 Covers by FRANK CHO & ART ADAMSHULK vs. SHE-HULK! HULK vs. WENDIGO! HULK vs. ???????????We’re comin’ upside your head with a KING-SIZE spectacular with MORE smashing, bashing, trashing, and clashing than should be allowed by law!!! Three new tales that fill in the gaps of the best-selling HULK book, and set up NEW storylines! PLUS, classic tales including THE INCREDIBLE HULK 180 (the REAL 1st appearance of Wolverine!) and AVENGERS 83 (Lady Liberators, anyone?)! More? You want MORE!?!? How about a super-secret MYSTERY ARTIST…???96 PGS./Rated A…$4.99
Lee: So, in this months edition of “screw the little man” we have King Size Hulk… WHICH is not part of the regular series OR an annual. Nope this is something all to itself, and sets up new storylines. That’s just great. BUT, 96 pages for $5 isn’t all that bad.
Jim: How many of those pages are new pages or art, considering it has two reprints in it? Marvel is pandering to the idea that the movies this year are going to demand tons of new products and I doubt it. King Size Hulk does not come home with me.
Lee: I agree there isn’t a lot of new material but how many times has Avengers 83 been reprinted? Once, twice? Notice I’m not talking about Hulk 180! Anyway, I’d bet most readers don’t have the originals in their collection like you and I do, so it’s nice to get the material back out in public. Is this any different than the DC 100 page giants from the 70’s?
Jim: No it is not that different from those DC 100 page Giants, it is just that I tire of Marvel and DC almost flooding the market with product.

Written by MATT FRACTIONPencils & 50/50 Variant Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA50/50 Variant Cover by JOE QUESADAVariant Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC Variant Cover by BOB LAYTON Variant Cover by BILLY TAN Variant IRON MAN MOVIE CoverIRON MAN! You know you love him! And as the summer’s most anticipated movie boot-jets its way into theaters, here’s the perfect jumping-on point for new readers and Iron Man fans alike! Tony Stark – Iron Man, billionaire industrialist and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. – faces the most overwhelming challenge of his life. Ezekiel Stane, the son of Tony’s late business rival and archenemy Obadiah, has set his sights, his genius and his considerable fortune on the task of destroying Tony Stark and Iron Man. What’s worse, he’s got Iron Man tech, and he’s every bit Iron Man’s equal and opposite…except younger, faster, smarter…and immeasurably evil. 32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: And who says the speculator market went bust years ago?! This only has ** 6 ** variant covers. That’s so cool. And, I know they have to release to support the movie… but we really really don’t need another Iron Man book.
Jim: We really, really, really do not need another Iron Man book. Guardians team sucked me into trying the first issue, this book is more Iron Man, Fraction as writer and Larroca as artist. Tired of Iron Man (although the regular series is good), Fraction is not my type of writer and Larroca is almost too slick and has gotten too photo referenced.

MARVEL 1985 #1 (of 6)
Written by MARK MILLARArt by TOMMY LEE EDWARDSCover by OLIVIER COIPELVariant Cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDSBefore SECRET INVASION…before WORLD WAR HULK…before CIVIL WAR… The most powerful super-villains in the Marvel Universe gather their might to wreak havoc on the one place they’ve never before set foot—YOUR WORLD! As mankind’s enemies cut a swath of destruction with unprecedented ferocity and ruthlessness, the fate of the planet rests in the hands of one person: Toby, a 13-year-old boy who holds the key to uniting his comic-book idols, the Marvel Heroes! Superstars Mark Millar (CIVIL WAR, FANTASTIC FOUR) and Tommy Lee Edwards (BULLET POINTS, The Question) deliver a Marvel Event the likes of which you’ve never seen!32 PGS./CARDSTOCK COVER/Rated T+ …$3.99
Lee: Before SECRET INVASION…before WORLD WAR HULK…before CIVIL WAR… BUT AFTER Secret Wars!!!! Oops. They forgot about that.
Jim: This was to be a fuemitti (sp?) project, instead of drawing all photos. It is also a vanity project for Millar and something I plan to miss.

Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM, IVAN BRANDON, MARK PARSONS, TOM COHEN & RICH KOSLOWSKIPenciled by ED MCGUINNESS, NIKO HENRICHON, FRANCIS TSAI & MARCO CHECHETTOCover by STEVE MCNIVENThe HULK roars into action, drawn by HULK superstar ED MCGUINNESS! But this is a Hulk the likes of which you have never seen before…trust us, True Believer! Plus—MACHINE MAN battles his past, WEAPON OMEGA battles himself, and VANGUARD battles everybody!40 PGS./Rated T+…$3.99
Lee: WHOA! That’s like the hairiest Hulk ever! It’s like he’s wearing a sweater or something.
Jim: Okay Lee. It's odd what draws his attention.

Lee: I didn’t think I would say this but this crossover is really that large. It’s only 8 books. Yeah, there’s lots of hype around it but beyond that not very much book-wise at all. The other lines, Punisher, X-men, Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk, FF, all have their own storylines going and aren’t crossing over. I really thought this would be much larger than it is.
Jim: Only eight books? It is two new mini-series and six books this month. Say it is eight books a month that tie-in and we have had a decent number of preliminary tie-ins and you have around 50 extra titles plus the eight issue of the mini-series. At 60 books at $3 a book you have spent $180 to read a mini-series.
Lee: Your math is wonky! I looked at every solicitation and looked for Secret Invasion tie-in words. This was it. I agree it can get completely out of control but 8 is far less than what I anticipated.
Jim: It is eight this month! We still have six more months to go.

newuniversal: shockfront #1 (of 6)
Written by WARREN ELLISPenciled by STEVE KURTHCover by BRANDON PETERSONInitially, there were four: A Starbrand. A Nightmask. A Justice. A Cipher. They are manifestations of god-like power on Earth, chosen by the Universe. In the wake of the cosmic phenomenon that empowered them, they have been threatened, hunted, and attacked. And now, they’re about to discover that they’re not alone. Acclaimed writer WARREN ELLIS (THUNDERBOLTS) and artist STEVE KURTH (LAST OF THE MOHICANS) bring you the return of this new universe: one experiencing superhuman power for the first time.32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99
Lee: I love the New Universal stuff but I have to wonder if Ellis isn’t spread to thin. I’d like the last issue of Planetary before this please.
Jim: Planetary is already written and we are awaiting John Cassady having time to draw it. The hiatus between the beginning of this project and now has been way too long.

GENEXT #1 (of 5)
Written by CHRIS CLAREMONTPenciled by PATRICK SCHERBERGERCover by DOUG GREGORY ALEXANDERYou asked for it, X-Fans, and now, you got it! asked you what Chris Claremont’s next project should be. You, the fans, said you wanted to know what today’s new generation of X-Men would be like if the Marvel Universe aged in real-time! Who are the children of the X-Men? And what happened to the original team, Professor X, and Magneto after over 30 years of conflict, victories, and tragedies? Now, at last, the answers arrive as beloved X-Men scribe Chris Claremont reveals an all-new generation of mutant teens!32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Jim: This looks scary. Not a project a writer wanted to do, but a fan voted project. I’ll wait for the reviews and skip this $4 an issue nonsense.
Lee: Gewhiz. Isn't this GeCute... or is that GQtie? I can never tell. ANYWAY. An easy pass.




Jim: The X-line is the Hydra, cut off a head and two more grow to take its place. The x-line is once again getting out of hand with these origins and other ancillary projects. What is worse is each one of these are $4 series. $4 – What happened to $3.25 or $3.50?
Lee: It’s like Marvel never learns. The X lines gets watered down with bad product so every 3-5 years it requires some form of reboot. And $4 is ridiculous. $3 is bad enough but $4… too rich for me.

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPenciled by ALEX MALEEV, DAVID MACK, MANUEL GUTIERREZ, TERRY DODSON, GENE COLAN, LEE WEEKS, KLAUS JANSON, JOHN ROMITA, JOE QUESADA & MIKE AVON OEMINGCover by ALEX MALEEVAn epic of ambition, betrayal and comeuppance culminates with the world learning the devil's mask hides a pair of blind eyes! The hero of Hell's Kitchen is assailed as both civilian and super hero by a wave of his worst enemies – including the Owl, Mister Hyde, Bullseye, Typhoid and the Kingpin of Crime! But it's the heart of the Man Without Fear that gets the real workout with not only the introduction of Milla Donovan – but also the Black Widow, Elektra and Echo! Who? Echo! Plus: the mystery of Leap-Frog and the trial of the White Tiger! Also featuring Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and enough other guest-stars to fill a jury box! Collecting DAREDEVIL #16-19 & #26-50 & #56-60.848 PGS./Rated T+ …$99.99
Lee: I’d like one phone book to go please. Personally, I prefer the HC collections. This thing is so heavy that my legs fall asleep when I’m reading it in… in… in my personal library.
Jim: See I have been avoiding getting into Bendis run on DD and I actually sold some version of this material I had before, but I want to read it. Bendis writer solo characters well and this had some really good moments in it.

Written by STAN LEE Covers & Pencils by JACK KIRBYLike the startling secret hidden from Donald Blake, and a galaxy-spanning adventure that includes the origin of Galactus and a melee that pits Thor and Ego the Living Planet up against the infamous world devourer! Collecting THOR #153-162224 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
Lee: This is some of my favorite Kirby ever. The origin of Galactus. Ego the living planet. Great, great stuff!
Jim: Such a no-brainer to order.

Written by CHRIS CLAREMONTPencils and Cover by AL MILGROMKitty travels to Japan to help her father and ends up face-to-face with the granddaddy of all ninjas, Ogun! The man in the dire mask is dead-set on remaking Chicago's favorite mutant teen into an intangible assassin! But Ogun's plans for Kitty's future pale before the role he played in Wolverine's past, and the clawed Canadian vows to bring down his former teacher even if it means his death...or Kitty's! Collecting KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE #1-6.152 PGS./All Ages …$19.99
Lee: I remember this being OK except for Kitty’s really bad haircut. But, did this deserve a fancy hardcover? Actually, this makes my life easy because this frees up money for other things.
Jim: The answer to your question Lee is no.

Written by LEN KAMINSKIPenciled by KEVIN HOPGOOD, TOM MORGAN & SCOTT BENSONCover by KEVIN HOPGOODWe've seen Tony Stark go down and get back up many times – but from the grave?! When his longtime employer and friend seemingly loses his struggle to hold onto life, Jim Rhodes dons the new War Machine armor and shows the world what's black and white and fed up all over! Can even cutting-edge Stark-tech withstand Firepower, Atom Smasher and the Living Laser? And while Rhodes is filling Stark's boots, what's up with the empty armor zipping around? Guest-starring the West Coast Avengers! Collecting IRON MAN #280-291.320 PGS./All Ages …$29.99
Lee: Someone was crying out for this???? These were not peak story lines for Iron Man. I’m a die hard Marvel guy and even I don’t have this trash in my collection. Won’t have this trade either. I can’t believe they couldn’t find something better than this to collect first.
Jim: It’s all about the Iron Man movie and getting a glut of product out to the market place. This is not about comics it is about the book store market.

Written by STEVE PERRY, DANNY FINGEROTH, DAVID MICHELINIE & FABIAN NICIEZAPenciled by MARK TEXEIRA, MIKE VOSBURG & BOB HALLNeither KGB nor CIA was a match for the power of PSI in the New Universe! Gathered together by the mysterious Emmett Proudhawk, five paranormal teenagers struggled against government operatives, renegade superhumans and, most importantly, each other! Telepathy, astral projection, telekinesis, psychic empathy and psionic detonation merge to form something even greater: the Psi-Hawk! But who he is – and isn't – may be a secret that makes or breaks the team! It's intrigue and action, eighties-style! Collecting PSI-FORCE #1-9.216 PGS./All Ages …$24.99
Lee: Again, someone was crying out for this???? BUT, if this is any indication then Psi-Force is showing up somewhere soon. Get ready to list those back issues on ebay now!!!
Jim: PSI-Force Classic is an oxymoron.

Written by DOUG MOENCH, JIM STARLIN, JOHN WARNER & BILL MANTLOPenciled by WALT SIMONSON, JIM STARLIN, KEITH POLLARD, HERB TRIMPE, SAL BUSCEMA & RON WILSONNot a hoax, not a dream, not an imaginary what IS it? Judge for yourself as the gamma-powered gargantua's long-lost black-and-white adventures are reprinted for the first time! Rarely seen moments of Hulk history featuring aliens, magic, horror and wonder – the full gamut for Marvel's great green giant! Guest-starring the Avengers, the X-Men and more! Collecting RAMPAGING HULK #1-9, THE HULK! #10-15 and INCREDIBLE HULK #269.576 PGS./Rated T+ …$16.99
Lee: OOOHHHH I love this. The early issues of Rampaging Hulk were great! Issue three has a great pencils by Starlin, inks by Nino combo that looks great. Too bad the Bloodstone backups aren’t included.
Jim: The backups should be included, big mistake dropping that material.

Lately we’ve been remiss the Embarrassed to be a Fanboy Cover Award. But we’re back and the month the WINNA IS… With a fine combination of bikini’s and tattoos (ala Suicide Girls)…
Written by JON FAVREAU, Pencils & Cover by ADI GRANOV
Lee: Actually, this cover is just bad. The real winner is the pink nip shot on Sky Doll #1. I find it hard to believe that no one saw that.
Jim: Dude, if you want to bring that back, how about She-Hulk, Young X-Men (ain’t that young) and even Ms. Marvel.
Lee: Oh, I agree, those are all very valid selections BUT there can only be one winner. And I say it’s Sky Doll #1. What’s your pick?
Jim: Young X-Men, it is almost like encouraging pedophilia.

Lee: Actually, everything considered it looks to be a really good month for Marvel. Lots to enjoy.
Jim: That’s a wrap. The thing that intrigues me the most is the decision to green light two 12 part mini-series that that golden age heroes and bring them into the current Marvel Universe. This is either poor planning or there is some overall plan that Marvel has and they are not showing all their cards.


  1. Is it sad that I liked that Kitty and Wolverine series? You know, except for Kitty's bad haircut.

  2. JIM:

    Just so you know, in the back of the Marvel books there is an interview with Brubaker who says he is little more than script-doctor on IRON FIST and Fraction pretty much owns that book.

    It's the best Marvel book coming out at the moment.

    Whether that translates to IRON MAN we can only wait and see.


  3. The hiatus on NEWUNIVERSAL came from the artist wanting to leave to do X-MEN and the new SPIDEY LOVES THE DEVIL series.

    They needed to get a new artist. That was what has taken so long.


  4. Shawn- I knew that about the hiatus - does not change the fact that it has hurt the flow of this story.

    Iron Fist - I have issues with that book and Ed is probably being generous. Fraction pretty much writes in a way that is unappealing to me.