Saturday, March 21, 2009

Marvel Preview Review for May

Lee: Another month, more books from Marvel. I wish I was more excited about them because these are getting tedious.
Jim: It is hard to get excited about some of the stuff. I really think that Marvel and DC need to actually let change occur.

HUMAN TORCH COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Written by SCOTT SNYDER Penciled by SCOTT WEGENER Cover by ADI GRANOV Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN Before he became the hero he was created to be, the original Human Torch had to battle his inner demons to stake a claim on the soul he knows he has...and his enemies will stop at nothing to tear him apart to get at the city they want to control. Can he learn to tap into the human side of the Torch, or must he sacrifice himself to save the people he has sworn to protect in this al-new 22 page story? Also included is a bonus 10 page Torch tale from Marvel's rich history!48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A ...$3.99

Jim: Possibly one of my favorite descriptions of all time. Not the contents the last line stating what that book is ALL-NEW & REPRINTS. Well if the damn thing is ALL NEW it cannot contain reprints - does that make all of these books returnable?? What moron wrote this?
Lee: Maybe it's an all new reprint that has been reprinted yet there by making an ALL NEW reprint. Makes perfect sense to me. It's double speak at it's best. Orwell would be proud.

LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS #1 (of 4) Written by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS Penciled by IG GUARA Cover by KARL KERSCHL Variant Cover by NIKO HENRICHON And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes were unaware of a threat greater than all of them could handle. And on that day, a teleporting puppy scoured the world to assemble a team of animals to fight the foes no single beast could withstand! Strap on your collar and hop on-board the adventures of LOCKJAW, LOCKHEED, REDWING, HAIRBALL, and an all-new FROG THOR! Written by Eisner-nominee CHRIS ELIOPOULOS with art by fan-favorite IG GUARA, color by INCREDIBLE HULK colorist CHRIS SOTOMAYOR and variant covers by PRIDE OF BAGHDAD artist NIKO HENRICHON!32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99

Lee: Dude! It’s got Thunder Frog!!!! How can anyone say no to Thunder Frog? But, looking at the cover, I have to wonder if Hairball could take Streaky the Super Cat? Now, that is a battle for the ages. All ages that is.
Jim: Against my better judgment I’m sure I will pick up this series when it comes out. I give Marvel credit that they know how to have stupid fun sometimes. DC should be doing a Legion of Super Pets story.

ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #6 (of 6) Written by DAMON LINDELOF Pencils & Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU Had enough yet? Neither have we!!!Red-hot writer Damon Lindelof (LOST) and superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu (Secret Invasion) conclude the slobberknocker of the century! With his mission a wreck and Fury hot on his trail, can Wolverine pull himself together (literally & figuratively!!) to do what he does best before Hulk pounds him into oblivion first? Don't miss this explosive final chapter as the battle between Berserker and Behemoth goes to ELEVEN!!32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Lee: I’m sorry. I know I picked this the last couple of months but I still don’t believe it.
Jim: I just can’t believe that people are bothering to get the regular series after being hosed before. If I want to read it I’ll wait for the trade.

FIN FANG FOUR RETURN! #1 Written by SCOTT GRAY & ROGER LANGRIDGE Pencils & Cover by ROGER LANGRIDGE There was a time when giants walked the Earth! Monstrous creatures! Products of science gone mad!!! FIN FANG FOOM! ELEKTRO! GOOGAM! GORGILLA! Once they were great and terrible, and all trembled in their wake! Now, reduced to human size, they must live in the modern world and earn a buck. So what happens when the freakish foursome tries to play nice? Find out in this one-shot from the depraved minds of acclaimed comedy maestros Scott Gray and Roger Langridge!48 PGS./One-Shot/Rated A ...$3.99

Lee: I have loved every Fin Fang Four story Langridge has done so far! They are outstanding and hilarious. I’m eagerly anticipating this book.
Jim: I was going to pass on this book, but you enthusiasm now has me wanting to buy this one shot.

HOWLING COMMANDOS #1 Written by JESSE ALEXANDER Pencils and Cover by JOHN PAUL LEON "SHOTGUN OPERA" Nothing less than the fate of the free world is at stake as Sgt. Nick Fury leads the Howling Commandos on their most dangerous mission ever! SHOTGUN OPERA sets the stage for the harrowing events of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's best-selling CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE. After parachuting deep into enemy-held Yugoslavia, Fury, Dum Dum, Izzy, Reb, Gabe, and Pinky Pinkerton need every bullet and grenade in the Allied armory as they are chased by Tiger tanks, strafed by screaming Stukas, betrayed by beautiful babes, and forced into gladiatorial combat against Baron Strucker's diabolical war machine: PANZER MAX! Brought to you by the team of Jesse Alexander (HEROES, LOST, ALIAS) and John Paul Leon (EARTH X), HOWLING COMMANDOES is a must-have for all Fury Fans, Cap Completists, and anyone who likes war comics that take no prisoners, show no mercy, and cry havoc! WA-HOO!40 PGS./One-Shot/Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: I’m very, very interested in this but I wonder if Leon was the right choice for artist. He uses very heavy inks so his art is always dark. It’s always beautiful to look at but very dark.
Jim: I’m very iffy on this book. In some ways it will be interesting to see a modern take of this concept, but Leon is very dark and almost moody.

PLANET SKAAR PROLOGUE Written by GREG PAK Penciled by DAN PANOSIAN Cover by ALEX GARNER Reed Richards just found out that the Hulk has a son. A great, big barbarian son named Skaar who's known nothing but blood and rage after being abandoned by his father to be born on fire on a war-torn alien planet. And now Skaar's coming to Earth, where a showdown with his father could literally split the globe in two. So with just twenty four hours to spare, Mr. Fantastic must determine how to face the advent of... PLANET SKAAR! Don't miss the perfect jumping on point for a brand new epic in which the Son of Hulk finally slashes straight into the heart of the Marvel Universe! PLUS, 8 pages of Director's Cut style extras!40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99

Lee: OOOHHHHH, this does not bode well for the summer. Seriously, who cares about Skaar? Didn’t we just do WW Hulk not that long ago? The only difference, as far as I can see, is Skaar would get to fight his father, the green hulk.
Jim: An easy pass. No one that I know of ever talks about Skaar. Reminds me of a movie from long ago, The Son of Spartacus, no one remembers the “son of”.

THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY STAN LEE & JACK KIRBY #1 (of 5) Written by STAN LEE Penciled by JACK KIRBY Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL The legend has come true! By the will of the gods, I am alive! I am invincible! I am -- THOR!!! And so began the very first epic tale of Marvel's most revered hero, the mighty Thor, whose legend would grow alongside the success of Marvel comics, making him the most exciting super hero of all time! Never has Thor been more sensational than during these early tales, crafted by Marvel's greatest, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Re-live classic Norse mythology in the mighty Marvel manner as well as Stan and Jack's stories of the Norse Gods and Thor before he came to Earth as Don Blake. Witness as these masters breathe life into the thunder god and some of Marvel's most enduring characters: Helmdall, Balder, Loki, Odin and Hela. Read these stories as never before with all-new, modern coloring and six extraordinary interlocking covers by current THOR artist Olivier Coipel. Collecting the "Tales of Asgard" backup stories from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97-10448 PGS./Remastered Reprints/All Ages ...$3.99
Lee: This is some of the best Lee/Kirby work ever! The Tales of Asgard were just fantastic as Kirby let it all hang out. Glorious pictures! Over the top dialogue! I think I’ll get this to give to my kids.
Jim: Okay, but otherwise isn’t this reprinting in Masterworks and if not, then it should be and should be properly restored, hell do an Omnibus on this material.

NEW MUTANTS #1 Written by ZEB WELLS Penciled by DIOGENES NEVES Cover by ADAM KUBERT 50/50 Cover by ALEX ROSS Variant Cover by BOB MCLEOD They're back together again! Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Sunspot, Magma and Magik have been gathered once more, but can they stand against one of the most powerful X-Villains of all time? Legion is back, and the villain that thrust us into the Age of Apocalypse is scarier than ever. But what does he want with the New Mutants? Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Diogenes Neves (X-MEN: WORLDS APART) bring your favorite teen heroes into adulthood. Don't miss it! 40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Lee: If Zeb Wells name weren’t attached to this I would pass in a hearbeat. But, I really, really like his writing so I’ll give it a chance. The New Warriors mini series he did years ago proved he could handle a team book so it will likely be good.
Jim: I really want to pass on this book and hopefully will, but Zeb Wells is a draw and moving characters forward is a big plus for me so that I may have to try issue #1.

TERROR, INC.: APOCALYPSE SOON #1 & 2 (of 5) Written by DAVID LAPHAM Penciled by KOI TURNBULL Cover by JELENA KEVIC DJURDJEVIC Ol' Skullface sings again! Our charming Mr. Terror - the cursed, undead, rotting, immortal entrepreneur - is back in action! Brutally ripping off his own limbs and "borrowing" other people's body parts comes in so very handy for the lucrative purposes of assassination, espionage, and other sticky situations. Business is truly recession-proof...but is it plague-proof? Terror better hope so when he agrees to recover a weaponized virus from Middle Eastern terrorists - just one of those odd jobs the unique Mr. Terror is so well suited for. Writer David Lapham (STRAY BULLETS) brings you another bloody, gruesome, hilarious, ultraviolent adventure in the MAX vein, with jaw-dropping art by Koi Turnbull (FATHOM)!32 PGS.(each)/Explicit Content ...$3.99 (each)

Lee: Well, Marvel is back with more books that no one cares about. I can’t believe the first series did well enough to merit another. At least, according to all the reviews I saw it wasn’t worth it another series.
Jim: It was not. I read the first series and it was okay at best, but certainly not enough to draw me back in for $20 (5 x $4).

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ATLAS ERA BLACK KNIGHT/YELLOW CLAW VOL. 1 HC Written by STAN LEE, AL FELDSTEIN & VARIOUS Penciled by JOE MANEELY, JACK KIRBY, JOHN SEVERIN,FRED KIDA & VARIOUS Cover by JOE MANEELY From the heroic times of King Arthur to the dangers of the Cold War, the Atlas Era brings you the greatest adventure stories from the 1950s. Presenting the original series of two legendary characters that have bridged the decades - all the way from the Atlas Era to the Avengers and Agents of Atlas - Black Knight and Yellow Claw are must-haves for every Marvel maniac! Sir Percy of Scandia may appear to be a foppish weakling, too timid to fight and the scorn of Camelot, but only Merlin knows the truth: Sir Percy is the gallant Black Knight! Come to drive Modred de Monfort from King Arthur's court, he wields the ebony blade against Norman invaders, dragons, imposters and usurpers to the throne. With the pencil of Atlas great, Joe Maneely, delineating the action,Black Knight is a sure-fire classic! Then comes Cold War tales of mystery, espionage and world domination from the pages of Yellow Claw! Illustrated by the incomparable trio of Joe Maneely, John Severin and --in a rare mid-50s Atlas appearance-- Jack Kirby, F.B.I. Agent Jimmy Woo's mission to capture the century-old mystic from the root of the Himalayas is packed with gritty crime and unimaginable adversaries, from mind-bending mutants and UFO the Lightning Man to Temujai the Golden Goliath and the Living Shadows! Collecting BLACK KNIGHT #1-5 & YELLOW CLAW #1-4.256 PGS./All Ages ...$59.99
Lee: Now this is something that I have been wishing for, for a very, very long time. Maneely was Stan Lee’s primary artist until his untimely death in the late 50’s. If he were around, there is speculation that he would have been as big, maybe bigger, than Kirby. An amazing artist and well worth you money to see what he was capable of.
Jim: I was not aware of the word on Maneely, but this was an easy buy for me. I love this type of material and now with what Lee has said I want to see it more then ever.
The Marvel Masterworks celebrate Spider-Man's centennial bow with ten classic Spidey adventures created by a quartet of the greatest talents in comics' history! Stan Lee and Gil Kane start it off with Peter Parker's attempt to cure himself from his spider-powers gone horribly wrong. Yes, it's the six-armed Spider-Man! And he'll need the extra arms to handle Morbius the Living Vampire, in his first appearance, and the cold rage of Lizard. Rascally Roy Thomas joins the fray and then takes Spidey and his bikini-clad gal, Gwen Stacy, into the forgotten jungle known as the Savage Land to face towering beasts, Kraven the Hunter, and J. Jonah Jameson to boot! When Stan returns the Spider Slayer comes with him, and right behind him is the talented pencil of John Romita. In what Romita cites as the favorite artwork of his storied Spidey career, Stan and the Jazzy One leap into an adventure teaming up Spidey and Doctor Strange against a mystic threat from Vietnam while Flash Thompson's life hangs in the balance! Comics don't come better than this, so reserve that copy today, True Believer! Collecting THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #100-109256 PGS./All Ages ...$54.99
Lee: Spiderman with four arms. Gil Kane art throughout. AWESOME!
Jim: I’m buying it, but hindsight the four arm thing was insane, but Gil Kane art makes it all work out. Truly one of the silver age great artists.

Heroes out of time! Through the years, the Avengers have fought myriad villains and monsters, protecting Earth and her inhabitants from harm. No matter the odds, no matter the sacrifice, Earth's Mightiest Heroes have always found a way to reach victory. Now, they face a different kind of menace. A menace so great, it has made allies out of sworn enemies. This seemingly unconqerable enemy is... the future! Seven time-lost Avengers -- plucked from the past, present and future -- must protect longtime ally Rick Jones from death at the hands of Immortus, Master of Time. To find out why Rick Jones has been targeted for elimination, the Avengers join forces with Kang the Conqueror, one of the team's deadliest, most implacable foes -- and the ancient Immortus' younger self, as well -- in a cosmic battle that stretches from the Old West to the End of Time. And as they do so, they discover that they're fighting not just for one life, but for the very destiny of mankind, against a greater foe than they could possibly imagine. Collecting AVENGERS FOREVER #1-12.
296 PGS./Rated A ...$34.99
Trim size: oversized

Lee: I seem to remember the story being just ok. But that art… oh la la… the art. I am all over this because it’s one of the best looking Avenger stories ever. I’m surprised it took so look to reprint this.
Jim: I remember reading this a few years ago when I picked the series up for a song. The story was a little convoluted, but held together, the selling point is the art. Pacheco is an excellent artist and even early on in his career he could really bring it.

War in Hel! Odin the All-Father is gone, and death goddess Hela is stockpiling souls for the fight to take his place! The mighty Thor leads Asgard's finest to rescue the dead from a fate WORSE than death, while Thor's brother-in-arms Balder battles giants to rescue his beloved Queen Karnilla! The God of Thunder and the God of Light -- which one will lead Asgard into the face of coming dooms? Plus: a longtime Marvel villain makes the ultimate sacrifice, but for whom? Collecting BALDER THE BRAVE #1-4 and THOR #360-362.176 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99
Lee: And this just surprises me that it gets reprinted. It was so bad in the day that even I dropped it. And I collected almost every Marvel title on the stands. Weak art from Sal, eh story by Simonson. This is only for Thor completists.
Jim: My guess is since Balder is such a big deal in the current Thor series Marvel thought it might garner some interest, very weak material.

Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed super hero. But not a very good one. Her powers were unremarkable compared to the amazing abilities of the costumed icons that populate the Marvel Universe. In a city of Marvels, Jessica Jones never found her niche. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic with a mean inferiority complex, Jones is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations--a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases. When she uncovers the potentially explosive secret of one hero's true identity, Jessica's life immediately becomes expendable. But her wit, charm and intelligence just may help her survive through another day. Thrust into the midst of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels, has Jessica burned too many bridges to turn to old friends for help? Then, in "Rebecca, Come Home," Jessica travels to upstate New York to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl rumored to be a mutant in a prejudiced small town. And in "Raining Men," the hard-luck PI goes on a date with ... the Astonishing Ant-Man?! Collecting ALIAS #1-15.360 PGS./Explicit Content ...$34.99

Lee: I would prefer that the hc’s were back in print but I’ll take what I can get. This was a great series and very much worth the money if you haven’t already read it.
Jim: It was a good series, not a great series, but it is Bendis doing what he does best and that is a solo character.

Lee: Well, it ended up being better than I thought. But, I’m most excited about the Avengers Forever hard cover.
Jim: It is sad that Lee and I are often more excited about reprints then the new stuff. For me the Black Knight and Yellow Claw Masterworks is the book I’m waiting for.


  1. hoping you like the torch one-shot. tried hard to make it a strong story. i'm enjoying your blog! scott snyder

  2. Thanks Scott - I have always loved the Human Torch, so I'm looking forward to this one.