Monday, June 30, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

This is really big week that was created by the shortage of books from last week. It would have been over 30 books anyway, but now it is an insane week.

A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO GWEN! YEAH – We now have a logo and if all goes well – I won’t say anything about why we have a logo until I know it is a done deal. Gwen did a great job (and yes as a proud parent my opinion may be skewed, but it is not) and put a lot of work into the design. Also thanks to William Katt and Chris Folino for their generosity. Is Chris now the sidekick to the Greatest American Hero?

I have two little rants to make a few comments on this week.

First off: Who are the best writers in comics? I think the big names are Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Mark Millar, Brian Bendis and maybe Ed Brubaker. Right now though we also have Robert Kirkman, J. Michael Stracyzski, Sean McKeever, Mark Waid, Christopher Gage, James Robinson, Paul Dini, Steve Niles, Keith Giffen, Chuck Dixon, Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarelo, and the list goes on and on and one. Personally I think that we are blessed to have the best group of writers ever in comics’ history. Not only in the mainstream but Chris Folino, Rick Remender, and Tim Truman and on and on are proof that the writing in comics is at its highest in the entire history of comics. Even the books I don’t like are usually professionally written. So who are the best writers in comics, the ones that are writing the books that you like the most.

The next comment is violence in comics. Lee kicked up a little dust with his post last week, but I think it may all come down to how it is portrayed. Violence shown without the blood and gore is easier to accept then when the blood is splattered everywhere. Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons are funny with all the violence and I do not think they caused me to be ultra-violent or even violent. Add blood into the aftermath of the actions in those cartoons and the humor disappears and they become a different animal and may no longer be as benign of an impact.

Atom #25 – A fun series that Remender was making even better then it already was. I wish this book was not being cancelled. The word “Out of place, out of time and out of hope, Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi face the Worm-Man from the sub-atomic prison world of Lady Chronos! Will Ryan make the ultimate sacrifice so Ray and the rest of Ivy Town can live to see another day?”

Batman #678 – This series is moving along at a very good pace. I have enjoyed this series so far and I’m curious to see where Grant Morrison is taking us. The hype “Part 3 of "Batman R.I.P."! Batman's mysterious adversary has won. All is lost for the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne is now deranged and dissociated, wandering homeless in the alleys of Gotham City. Is there a chance that Bruce can rebuild his Batman identity from scratch, or is this truly the end for one of the world's finest heroes?”

Blue Beetle #28 - Wow, with a guest writer the hype copy writers seem to take a vacation. The company line “Guest writer Will Pfeifer (CATWOMAN) returns — and he's brought monsters with him! What's a Beetle to do?” This is a wonderful series and is on par with Invincible.

Crossing Midnight #19 – The final issue of a series that should have lasted longer. The company line “War. That's what the Haras' simple wish for a safely born child has led to. Now, with destruction at every turn, the last battle is between Kai, Toshi and Aratsu, but how many of their newfound allies will die before their conflict reaches its bloody conclusion?”

Fables #74 - What a great cover. Vertigo’s premier series. The word “The all-out war between Fabletown and the Empire continues — and everything is going Fabletown's way. But as everyone knows, just when things are going well, the hammer falls.Bigby and his team fight for their lives on the ground while the Skyship's crew, commanded by Prince Charming and Sinbad, hit the decks. This is the issue that, for obvious legal reasons, we couldn't call "The Empire Strikes Back."”

Hellblazer Presents Chas the Knowledge #1 (of 5) – Not sure what to make of this series. Spin-offs are uneven at best. The hype “Cab driver Francis "Chas" Chandler leads an unremarkable existence. His greatest moments have come tagging along with John Constantine -- as a chauffeur. His home life is nothing special, and his beloved London is becoming a soulless metropolis. In middle age, Chas is stuck in a rut. But Chas is a master of "The Knowledge," the elaborate system of routes and landmarks which every London cabbie must memorize. Until now, The Knowledge has been just a tool for Chas. But now, he's about to discover a more sinister significance of The Knowledge. An ominous entity from London's grim history has reemerged, and only someone with The Knowledge can stop it. Is Chas up to the task, on his own?”

House of Mystery #3 - I already love this series and we get Bernie Wrightson too! AWESOME! The company line “"Room and Boredom," Part 3 of 5. Everyone is a prisoner in one way or another, and Fig Keele is no exception. Trapped in the House of Mystery with a quartet of strange companions and a bar full of drinkers, Fig's willing to do anything to escape. Everyone else just wants bacon. Also featuring a tale illustrated by none other than HOUSE OF MYSTERY's distinguished alumnus Bernie Wrightson!”

Infinity Inc #11 - The company line “To the world at large, he's Doctor Bud Fogel, outspoken critic of Infinity Inc. and anything connected with Lex Luthor's Everyman Project. But Fogel also goes by a much deadlier name. The Infinity kids are desperate to learn his secret, but to do so they'll first be drawn into the dark net of the Dark Side Club!” This series has won me over, but I bet it does not have longer then a two year life.

Jack of Fables #23 - This two part story has been a lot darker then the book normally is and it is a good change of pace. What’s inside “Several great and terrible events occurred in 1883, but none so dire as the continuing depredations of the Jack Candle Gang in the Old West. No posse could stop them. Not even the legendary Pinkertons could find them. But now a mysterious unarmed sheriff is on Jack's trail, and a showdown is inevitable.”

Joker’s Asylum The Joker - This book is a little light on what’s inside “A cast of top creators lends their talents to THE JOKER'S ASYLUM — a special month-long, weekly series of one-shots starring the greatest villains in Batman's rogues gallery. Each issue tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of the Dark Knight's greatest adversaries. And all the stories are narrated by the Asylum's leading homicidal maniac — The Joker!”

Jonah Hex #33 – I have thoroughly enjoyed this series to the point of even getting the trades. This issue “A special issue drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, THE SPIRIT)! Jonah Hex travels to Canada on the trail of his latest bounty. But with the Mounties hot on his heels, this isn't going to be an easy job.”

JSA Classified #39 – The last issue in this series. I understand the concept, but they never executed against it that well. In the future if they have a good JSA solo story they should just run it as a mini-series. The word “Concluding the 2-part "Body and Soul"! Wildcat's fighting abilities have been stolen from him and will be sold on the black market to the highest bidder. In order to get back into the ring, Wildcat will have to rely on a little help from his friends — the Justice Society of America!”

Legion of Super Heroes #43 – I have loved the Legion in all their incarnations and have been enjoying Jim Shooter’s run on this book. The hype “While Science Police search parties ransack The Legion's headquarters, two away-teams of Legionnaires fight like cornered wolves against vicious enemies. Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 sells out the Legion's greatest secret! New villains, stunning action and the LSH is shut down!. Plus, the introduction of Ikilles and Cazhmir! The Ikonns! The Peril Men! And more!”

Madame Xanadu #1 - I can’t wait for this book and hated that I had to wait an extra week for it. The hype “Legendary creator Matt Wagner (MAGE, GRENDEL, SUPERMAN/BATMAN/WONDER WOMAN: TRINITY) and rising star artist Amy Reeder Hadley present Vertigo's newest ongoing fantasy epic. Centuries long and around the globe her tale winds before the ageless fortuneteller arrives in modern era New York. Her powers of sight can change the course of human events, but how does the seer see herself? Wagner and Hadley answer with painstakingly elegant story and breathtakingly innovative art that is sure to make Madame Xanadu a classic! Issue #1 opens into a medieval kingdom beset by intrigue and foul sorcery. A fair sylph with magic of her own is thrown into the world of war and men — where she encounters a dark stranger who knows not only her past, but her most intimate future as well.”

Manhunter #32 - It is great to have this series back on the shelves again. I’m still mystified as to why they did not give it a new #1 issue. Inside this issue "Drawn deeper into the politics of a missing-persons mystery, Manhunter calls on local heroes — and even villains — to navigate the twilight world of the U.S.-Mexican border, invoking the wrath of Director Bones and the DEO!"

Nightwing #146 – The conclusion of Peter Tomasi’s first arc. I really love seeing Nightwing back as a top series again. The word “Nightwing confronts Talia and the evil Doctor Creighton at a deserted castle on the banks of the Hudson River. Strange alliances are formed and new enemies are made as "Freefall" comes to its unbelievable and tragic conclusion.”

Northlanders #7 - The hype “With the assistance of a small army, the battle for Sven's birthright begins. Vastly outnumbered by Gorm's forces, things begin to look bleak until some unforeseen allies help Sven's cause. But will it be enough in the end?” This is another gold standard book out of Vertigo.

Rann Thanagar Holy War #3 (of 8) - This has been an entertaining series so far. Jim Starlin tells some great stories. The hype “Adam Strange has a plan to snap the people of Rann out of their blind devotion of Lady Styx — but he better implement it fast, because an ancient evil force has been reawakened. Do our heroes stand a chance against the onslaught of Synnar?”

The Secret History of the Authority Jack Hawksmoor #4 (of 6) - This has been one of the better mini-series coming out of Wildstorm and has made me a fan of Fiona Staples art work. The wordThere's a maniac from the 70th century piloting a giant robot from another universe, and Jack has been cut off from his powers. This is gonna be ugly. Plus, a dark secret finally answers the question: Whatever happened to Jack's family?”

Showcase Presents Batman TP Volume 3 - The contents “Over 500 pages of classic Batman adventures, from the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS #359-375, BATMAN #189-192, 194-197, and 199-201!”
No matter how great of a bargain these books are I have to stop buying them until I’m actually reading more of them.

Storming Paradise #1 (of 6) - This has to be a good series; an action/adventure story by Chuck Dixon is almost a mortal lock to be good. The company line “This brutal, revisionist look at the second World War could only be handled by master storytellers Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice. Every angle of this conflict will be touched upon, from the infantry storming the beaches to the Army Air Corps bombing the home islands of the Empire of the Rising Sun to the desperate struggle of the Japanese to save their culture from annihilation, as the true meaning of "war is hell" is explored in full.”

Supergirl #31 – I hear this book is getting yet another new creative team, with promises to tie it into the Superman books. Sigh, how many times can they try to re-start this series. What’s inside “Following her startling decision last issue, where does Supergirl go from here? Her relationship with Superman is shattered, and for the first time in her young life, Supergirl finds herself truly alone. But with a new day comes a new threat and a new ally — enter: Empress, last seen in YOUNG JUSTICE!”

Tor #3 (of 6) - I love Joe Kubert and I have been enjoying this latest Tor story. The company line “ Tor meets up with a strange — and beautiful — companion, and the two journey to the underworld to confront a group of mindless beasts. Will a horrible monster not only end the new friendship but Tor's quest as well?” Why can Joe put out a monthly series and his sons can’t hack it?

Trinity #5 – I like this book, but again not sure it is worth the 52 week commitment yet. I will hang out at least a few more issues. The hype “In month two of TRINITY, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — alongside their Justice League teammates — cross paths with the mysterious Konvikt and learn more about their fated connection within the DC Universe!”

76 #4 (of 8) – A good book containing two series, that are both well done. This issue “JACKIE KARMA and Marcus King revisit their old pad from the sixties, while their former partner, Bobby Howler, confronts Gil Gunn one-on-one, with only one of them walking away. In COOL, Leon babysits much sought after stripper Cherry Baum, and Pete finds himself fighting for his life – in an empty swimming pool?”

Astounding Wolf-Man #7 - Kirkman’s series take time to build and I believe this issue is the one that makes this series a worthwhile one to hang onto. The hype “The secret is out, the world knows that Gary Hampton, The Astounding Wolf-Man--is a murderer. Needless to say, his family doesn't take it well. Gary's life is falling apart around him.”

Brit #7 - This book was due out in February. For a quirky as hell series, this type of lateness could kill it. The hype “GUEST-STARRING INVINCIBLE! It's "Invulnerable" versus "Invincible" in a knockdown, drag-out brawl to end them all! Two heroes -- one old enough for social security, one not old enough to drink -- forced against each other. It's a story of strip clubs, giant robots and the terror from a transdimension!”

Dynamo 5 #14 – Wow, Image is the soul of brevity in their hype. The word “Introducing Vigil, the official protector of Tower City! So where does that leave Dynamo 5…?” They need to pump up the volume on some of these books, especially Dynamo 5 which is one of the better group books out there.

Noble Causes #35 – I have become a quick convert to this book since we had the five year jump and entry point for new readers. The word “ The Noble family fight Crucible, a brand-new villain who they believe to be responsible for the attack on Frosts life. But while theyre busy battling it out in the streets, Crucibles secret operative within the family makes a move on oh, wait. We can’t tell you that!”

Pilot Season Alibi #1 – I don’t always get these pilot season books, but this one had a good premise and I enjoyed Twilight Guardian. The company line “The perfect killer always has an airtight alibi. But can anyone be in two places at once? John Stephens can. He's always a suspect whenever a high-profile target is taken out, but he always gets off scot-free because he's off somewhere else, having the time of his life. How can he be responsible? The authorities may be fooled, but now someone knows his secret, and John is going to have to face the consequences.”

Proof #9 - This is one of the best series coming out of Image comics. Both creators are pouring their hearts and souls into this book and it is out and out showing on every page. If you are not getting this book, order an issue and try it out. This issue contains “"A PERFECT GENTLEMAN"Stand-alone issue. Catch up on Proof's story so far. What does Bigfoot do on his day off? He goes shopping in Seattle!”

Sword #9 - The last couple of issues have been slow, but I believe this issue will pick up the pace. The hype “Dara will stop at nothing to find her sister’s killer. But if she succeeds in finding him, will she share her sister’s fate?”

Vix #1 (of 3) – This book is not my normal type of thing to try, but sometimes that is why I check something out. I don’t want to prejudge something. The hype “"JUST A GIRL" Vix is the kind of girl most parents adore. Smart and pretty, with a seemingly inexhaustible positive attitude. Why is it then, that she is haunted by vivid flashbacks of horrible things that never occurred? Who are the shadowy forces who watch her, speaking of her destiny as a savior? Just what is her true nature? The answers begin here.”

Walking Dead #50 – Kirkman has really had a heck of a year with his two signature series both hitting the #50 mark. Walking Dead has become one of the best series on the stands over the last six to seven issue. The contents “All alone now. For this landmark 50th issue we present a special stand-alone tale that will both warm your heart and chill you to the bone.”

Fear Agent #22 I Against I (PT 1 of 6) – Last issue was a cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers, so I’m happy this issue is out so fast. What’s inside “After being shot through the other side of a black hole, Heath Huston finds himself in a shadow universe marooned on the desolate planet Westx. A stranger in a strange place, the last Fear Agent enters a world populated by gun-slinging robots, venomous mutants, and buxom cowgirls in this six-part sci-fi western shot through the heart. Creators Rick Remender and Tony Moore reunite to bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly days of Heath Huston, outlaw . . . it's high noon in dead space.”

Hellboy the Crooked Man #1 (of 3) - The hype tells it all “In 1956, somewhere in the mountains of West Virginia, Hellboy encounters Tom, a man who in his youth sold his soul to a backwoods demon known as the Crooked Man. Together they travel back into the dark heart of the Appalachian mountains to confront that demon and see if Tom's soul can't be saved.The three-issue series reunites Mignola and legendary horror artist Richard Corben (The Bodyssey, Banner, Punisher: The End, Hellboy: Makoma) in a tale of witchcraft rooted in Appalachian folklore.”

Grimm Fairy Tales #28 - Almost ready to drop this series as whatever charm or guilty pleasure it was has been disappearing. What’s insideGrimm Fairy Tales continues strong in this re-telling of the classic story 'The Ugly Duckling.' When a young unattractive teen is tormented by her high school peers she makes a deal with Belinda, and seeks out her own form of revenge. Now, ten years later, the once ugly duckling turned swan is living a successful life as a top model. However, on the night of her class reunion, she'll find that the deal she made many years ago is about to come back to bite her."

Grimm Fairy Tales Piper #3 (of 4) – This has been a mediocre series so far. The hype “Summoning the Piper to do his bidding seemed like the answer to all of Sean's problems. But unleashing a being of pure evil and uncontrollable power may be his biggest problem of all! The Piper's body count of victims is rising fast and Sean and his friends are next on the list. Will Sean uncover the secret to vanquishing The Piper in time to save himself and his friends, or will they too fall prey to his deadly melody?" Note this image is not the cover, but I could not find the actual cover and I believe this is the cover to issue #4.

High Rollers #1 (OF 4) - The hype “Chronicling the life of Cameron Quinn, a ruthless upstart out to make a name for himself in this tale of crime and destiny from critically acclaimed mystery novelist Gary Phillips (HIGH HAND, BANGERS)! Phillips shines a harsh light on the action and drama of the L.A. underworld with this inner-city spin on The Sopranos! A potent mix of American Gangster and THE WIRE, for fans of Brubaker's CRIMINAL!” Take BOOM and a crime genre story and we should have a hit.

Neozoic #5 - One of my favorite series from a really great publisher. The hype "Lilli is outside the city walls, at the mercy of a thousand dinosaurs relentlessly pursuing her and the child. In the aftermath of the attacks, the mysterious Talpid have taken over Monanti City and are enslaving its citizens. It is up to the remnant of the Predator Defense League to fight on, despite the loss of its greatest leaders." See Gwen’s mini-review of it here.

Station#1 (OF 5) - A great sounding premise and a publisher I trust, an easy combination. The word “Two hundred and twenty miles doesn’t seem that far…unless you’re looking down. Five nations have sent their finest astronauts to operate Earth’s first multinational space station…but now one of them is dead. Is it sabotage…an accident…or murder? A thriller in the vein of WHITEOUT, from the writer of the EUREKA TV episodes “Right as Raynes” and “Purple Haze."”

Strange & Stranger The World of Steve Ditko HC – This book looks to be so good and it about one of my favorite creators of all time. What’s inside “The first critical retrospective of the work of the reclusive Spider-Man co-creator! Steve Ditko is best known as the co-creator, with Stan Lee, of Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and other classic Marvel and DC characters. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg. Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko is a coffee table art book tracing Ditko's life and career, his unparalleled stylistic innovations, and his strict adherence to his philosophical principles, with lush displays of obscure and popular art from the thousands of pages of comics he's drawn over the last 55 years.”

Terry Moore’s Echo #4 – A wonderful book with characters so real and layered that you feel they must exist in the real world. The word “HeNRI developed the world's first liquid metal atomic weapon. Now, like it or not, Julie Martin is wearing that metal and is forced to run to keep HeNRI from continuing their deadly development! With no allies but a delusional sister and a park ranger to help her, Julie must find a way to become something she's never been before - brave!"”

ZOMBIE TALES #2 - The first issue was a blast and I’m looking forward to this second issue. The hype “Legendary author Joe R. Lansdale (The Drive-In, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES) continues his serialized “THE WAR AT HOME” zombie tale! Plus, award-winning playwright Christine Boylan and writer Brian Augustyn (BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, COUNTDOWN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT) bring the undead love to your doorstep this month!”

Astonishing X-Men #25 – Warren Ellis kicks off as the new writer of this series, if he is only on for his normal 12 issues and out, than I’m not sure if it is worth it or not. Another side note isn’t Uncanny #500 suppose to set the new status quo, is this stuff in or out of continuity? The hype “It’s the book you’ve been waiting for. The superstar team of Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi are ready to take the X-Men to the “Second Stage”! “Messiah CompleX” pulled the X-Men team together, “Divided We Stand” tore them apart. Now the X-Men are back to business -- with a new look, a new base of operations, and a mystery to solve that will take them into previously uncharted territory and test them to their core!”

Essential Defenders Volume #4 – I have way too much of the Defenders stuff and a lot of it was not that good. One day I may re-read this or just give it away. This volume contains “Havok, Nova, Captain Ultra...Shocker, Plantman, Batroc the Leaper - not the Defenders, but TWO incredible simulations! But the debacle of the dozens of "Defenders for a Day" is just the start for the latest look at Earth's Mightiest Non-Team! Will they be driven mad by Lunatik, or blown away by Foolkiller? International crises and extradimensional warfare abound! The secret of Omega the Unknown! Asgardians, androids and guys with wings on their heads! Plus: Spider-Man, the Black Panther and a guest-appearance by Millie the Model! Collecting DEFENDERS #61-91.”

Invaders Classic TP Volume 2 – This is probably the last trade of this material that I will be getting. I’m picking up way too much of this stuff and I never have the chance to read most of it. What’s inside “After their first several sagas of success, the Invaders spread across the world to discover new friends and new foes, plus the ever-present question of which is which! Introducing Spitfire! Warrior Woman! The Golem! The Blue Bullet! The Spirit of '76! Agent Axis! Plus: genuine Golden Age villains not seen in decades! Crusaders, Avengers and Destroyers - all for you in '42! Collecting INVADERS #10-21 and ANNUAL #1.”

Squadron Supreme 2 #1 – The official hype “They were gods walking the Earth... powerful but flawed, they dreamed of remaking the world in their image. After their apocalyptic battle with Redstone, and after their terrifying fight with the Ultimate Universe, that dream has become a nightmare. While mankind struggles to rebuild, new heroes appear--and Nick Fury, left behind after the hit ULTIMATE POWER limited series, learns the shocking secrets of four astronauts who returned to Earth...changed. Join comics legend HOWARD CHAYKIN and newcomer MARCO TURINI to ask the question--whatever happened to the Squadron Supreme?” This series ended in the middle of a story and was a strange cancellation, curious to see what will be going on this time out.

Well as I said this was one big week of books for me and next week should be a breather by comparison. This week promises to have a lot of great material to read. In an odd set of circumstances Marvel went from a dominating week last week to an almost afterthought for me this week.


  1. If you stop buying all of these classic trades, you'll throw the Big Two's business plan right out the window. They need your regular support, they don't care if you ever read them! Since I'm reading more and more back issues these days, I'd be happy to take donations...

    The logo looks great -- looking forward to the T-shirt! I can imagine the variations: "My independent comic got slammed on ComicsAnd..." or "ComicsAnd digs my book, so you might too..."

  2. LOL - I'll keep you in mind Matthew. T-Shirts and then hats & coffee mugs.

  3. actually I had already had done altered logo formats so they can be put on tshirts... mostly because I like playing with cafepress though.

  4. If you stop buying all of these classic trades, you'll throw the Big Two's business plan right out the window. They need your regular support, they don't care if you ever read them! Since I'm reading more and more back issues these days, I'd be happy to take donations...

  5. Geez is Fred Farnsworth really Matthew!!!!