Monday, March 09, 2009

What I’m Getting Wednesday March 11

The coming depression is going to be very hard on our industry in my opinion, but it could also be a golden opportunity. As people have less and less disposable income and as people are more reluctant to spend money on entertainment, if the industry can get actual comics in front of people they may find a $3 piece of entertainment is money better spent then even renting a movie off an “on demand” feature with cable TV. This means that comics need to abandon the “writing for the trade mode” where middle chapters are often a waster of paper. This also means engaging a reader enough to come back for the next issue by making every issue count. The TV series Lost is a good example where what happened before plays into what happens next and pay offs for the viewer who is paying attention with clues of what is coming. This also means losing clichés; my least favorite is the main character dying at the end of the first issue. Even in a depression people will look for entertainment and may look for new ways to amuse themselves and comics could see a raise in readership, but we need to seek out that consumer and then treat them right.

The books I’m looking forward to most this week are:

Action Comics #875 – The fine hand of Dan Didio is all over this book where we have Superman out of his own book and two unknowns taking over the book (Flamebird and Nightwing). Still it is also the return of Greg Rucka into the DCU in a big way and that has to be a good thing. The hype “Written by Greg Rucka; Art by Eddy Barrows and Ruy José; Cover by Andrew Robinson and Julio Ferreira. To give the full details of this story would spoil the dramatic finale of the "New Krypton" crossover, and we don't want to do that! Suffice to say, a "World Without Superman" is a very dangerous place, indeed, and the only thing standing between the good (and not so good) folks of Earth and an impending shadow of doom are the all-new Nightwing and Flamebird!”

Batman Battle for the Cowl #1 (of 3) – This is my most anticipated and dreaded book in a long time. Didio’s fingerprints are all again all over a book and I’m so worried that Dick Grayson will not be Batman and at that point I will be cutting back on my Batman consumption. Also Judd Winick is a bad choice to write the ongoing Batman book. Like him or not, he is an inconsistent writer and Batman demands Tomasi or another writer who is more consistent to come onto the book. I just keep thinking Didio will have Tim as Batman and Dick as Red Robin just to ‘surprise” us. This type of forced surprise is as out of character as many of Bendis’ character voices are in New Avengers. The company line “Written by Tony Daniel; Art by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea; Covers by Tony Daniel. "Batman: R.I.P." and FINAL CRISIS saw the end of Batman. Now, months following the disappearance of her protector, Gotham City sits at a precipice and it may be too far gone for Nightwing, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and the rest of the city's heroes to save the day. Amid the fires, rioting, looting and gang warfare, one question rings out from the souls of Gotham's desperate citizens: Where is Batman? With guest-stars galore, the destruction of a sacred Gotham City institution and an ending that will have everyone talking, this 3-issue miniseries event written and drawn by Tony Daniel (The Tenth) features the battle to take on the Mantle of the Bat. Who has earned the right? Who thinks they deserve it? Robin? Nightwing? Jason Todd? Two-Face? Catwoman? Batgirl? Who will ultimately win the BATTLE FOR THE COWL?”

BPRD Black Goddess #3 (of 5) – This is possibly one of the best long term stories in comics. This series continues to build to a climax and yet each chapter has been interesting on its own. The Mignolaverse is a great place. The word “As Johann faces the fight of his life, Abe and Kate learn the story of Victorian occultist Martin Gilfryd's transformation into Memnan Saa, the prophesied king of Hyporborea who would "tame fire to breed dragons. Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and drawn by Guy Davis, B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess follows The Warning as part two of a trilogy that pulls together threads from the beginning of the series-and leaving the B.P.R.D. and the world forever changed.”

City of Dust #5 (of 5) – Steve Niles tale of a Blade Runner/Judge Dredd/ Fahrenheit 451 and more future world has been a great introduction to his character Philp Khrome and I hope this is just the first adventure in many more to come. The marketing department line “by Steve Niles, Zid, Garrie Gastonny & Brandon Ch'ng In a world where imagination has been outlawed and nightmares have come to life, only a single police officer, Philip Khrome, is brave enough to bring hope for the salvation of this perpetual society by rebelling against the very same system that he is trying to preserve! Acclaimed writer Steve Niles brings his debut Radical series, City Of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story, to a twisted conclusion as the fate of an entire civilization balances on the verge of destruction.”

Fables #82 – Where will Fables go after the heart rendering and emotional draining story of the death of Boy Blue? The new Fables status quo is a dangerous world and the characters that we have come to know and love are not safe anywhere anymore. What’s inside “Written by Bill Willingham; Art by David Hahn and Peter Gross; Cover by Mark Buckingham. In this special epilogue to "The Dark Ages" titled "Waiting for the Blues," Boy Blue is back at the Farm, and he and Rose Red have finally had their no-holds-barred, all cards on the table conversation about love and marriage and the possibilities of finally getting together at long last. But is true love still possible between them – considering all of the trials and tribulations, bizarre sicknesses and rebound romances that have intervened? Or will Rose Red forevermore be waiting for the Blues? Oh yes, on another note, Bigby and Beast fight tooth and claw. It's all leading up to the "Great Fables Crossover Event" beginning right on this issue's heels!”

Rebels #2 – The first issue was great. We had Supergirl as a data mule, Brainiac 5 sending help to Brainiac 2 and the Legion after Brainiac 2. Add to that insane mix a great story and stellar art by Andy Clarke and this book has hit written all over it. DC says “Written by Tony Bedard ; Art and cover by Andy Clarke. Vril Dox – the son of Brainiac – finds himself fleeing from the universe's deadliest bounty hunters as he tries to figure out who stole his intergalactic L.E.G.I.O.N. police force from him. But the more he learns, the less he likes! Guest-starring Supergirl."

Scalped #26 – I’m happy to report that after reading “Dead Mothers” Gwen is also a convert to this series and agrees with me this is a top notch series. Scalped rips the roof off each and every issue and leaves you soaked in sweat after an emotional roller coaster ride. The blood stained contents this issue “Written by Jason Aaron; Art by Davide Furno; Cover by Jock. Sharpen your shanks and get ready as SCALPED goes behind bars! Part 2 of "High Lonesome" is a special stand-alone issue spotlighting the renegade FBI agent known as Diesel, a tougher-than-nails fanatic and wannabe-Native American who can't seem to keep himself out of trouble – even when he's locked up in jail.”

The rest of the list:

30 Days of Night 30 Days Til Death #4 (of 4) - By David Lapham It's all gone horribly wrong-months of work dried up in less than an instant. The Elder's Death Squad has arrived and now all of Rufus' hopes for survival depend on his super-secret 'Plan B.' Will love win out and save the day? Will anybody survive, or is there really 'No Way Out?' David Lapham reveals all in this concluding issue.

Batman Confidential #27 - Written by Christina Weir and Nunzio DiFilipis; Art and cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Kevin Nowlan. Part 2 of 3! Batman reluctantly teams up with the Riddler to solve the mysterious King Tut's riddles. But the only answers the unlikely duo find are more dead bodies!

Booster Gold #18 - Written by Dan Jurgens; Art and cover by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. The "Reality Lost" arc concludes as Booster Gold gets help from…Booster Gold? Thanks to the powers of time travel, the future Booster Gold jumps back in time to team up with none other than himself to defeat a powered-up Chronos and stop him from using the time-knife to forever alter history. It's Booster Gold and Booster Gold in a fight against time!

Ghost Rider #33- “TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS,” PART 1 After the shocking events of last issue, the all-new Caretaker struggles to pick up the pieces of her life, but the mad dog man-mountain called The Deacon has other plans. Also, Caretaker gives us a special guided tour of the long sordid history of the Spirit of Vengeance in America, including glimpses of some previously unseen Ghost Riders of the past.

Green Arrow Black Canary #18 - Written by Andrew Kreisberg; Art by Mike Norton and Josef Rubinstein; Cover by Ladrönn. It's quiet in Star City – a little too quiet. And a new menace hits town that Black Canary herself may be responsible for! Also, Green Arrow crosses a line that just may send the couple going their separate ways!

Green Lantern Corps #34 - Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Pat Gleason and Rebecca Buchman; Cover by Pat Gleason. The prelude to "Blackest Night" continues as the "War of Light" heats up. Mongul commands Daxam and their Superman-like citizens plus the entire Sinestro Corps. Can Arisia and a small resistance of Daxamites defeat the fear-bearing Corps with Sodam Yat out of the picture?

Guardians of the Galaxy #11- If Captain Marvel is no more, how is he here? With War of Kings about to explode across the galaxy, two of the Guardians face death itself! Drax and Quasar journey beyond the veil of life in a desperate quest to find Moondragon. But what is waiting for them on the other side, and will it ever let them return? It’s a double shot of cosmic horror – that plants the seeds for where GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is heading next!

Immortal Iron Fist #23 - Danny and the Immortal Weapons from the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven begin to discover the shocking, shameful secrets of the Capital City of Hell. But what does it mean for K’un-Lun, and for our world? And how will each of them overcome the absolute worst and most terrifying enemies they’ve ever faced? It’s kung fu super hero horror action by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman!

Invincible Iron Man #11 - WORLD'S MOST WANTED PART 4! Tony risks it all to say goodbye to a friend. Maria Hill arrives in Texas – only to find she's been beaten to the punch and now is outnumbered, outgunned, and out of luck. And time. And hope. All this as Pepper Potts goes to an old ally in hopes of stopping things from getting a whole lot worse for Tony Stark – everybody's pal Jim Rhodes...once Iron Man himself and currently WAR MACHINE. Worlds are colliding! Guys in robot suits are fighting! Norman Osborn is ruling the world! Holy $%&#!

Justice League International HC Volume 4 - Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis; Art by Kevin Maguire, Ty Templeton, Mike McKone, Bill Willingham, Joe Rubinstein and Dick Giordano; Cover by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein. The 1980s adventures of the Justice League continue! This new volume collects JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #23-25 and JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #26-30.

Life and Times of Savior 28 #1- Written by J.M. DeMatteis, art and cover by Mike Cavallaro. He is the first, and greatest, super hero: an American legend. But when tragedy forces Savior 28 to question the very beliefs that have guided him for seventy years, his life begins to unravel and his nation turns against him. S-28's dizzying journey through seven decades of politics, pop culture and spiritual search in a mini-series that turns the super-hero genre inside out.

Northlanders #15 - Written by Brian Wood; Art by Ryan Kelly; Cover by Massimo Carnevale. "The Cross + The Hammer" part 5 of 6. Magnus' past is revealed, and if you thought it was impossible for him to get more dangerous, he just did. But Ragnar's tightening the noose, and Magnus is running out of room to maneuver. Thousands of men fight on a battlefield in Clontarf while these two men wage their own game of death.

Punisher Frank Castle MAX #68 - “SIX HOURS TO KILL, PART 3: HOUR GAME” So much for Brotherly Love…Seems like everyone in Philadelphia won’t be content until they’re staring at the 200-pound corpse of Frank Castle. See, everybody’s gunning for the Punisher tonight—a crooked Mayor, a hot blonde, a pair of dirty ex-cops, a roving gang of executioners, the Russian mob…oh, and the Philly PD and FBI, too. And if none of the above get him, the clock will—thanks to the poison racing through Castle’s veins that will kill him in less than three hours.

Remnant #3 (of 4) - by Stephen Baldwin, Andrew Cosby, Caleb Monroe & Julian Totino Tedesco The death toll continues to rise as actor Stephen Baldwin and writer Andrew Cosby (creator of Sci-Fi Channel's Eureka) unleash The Remnant. Former C.I.A. agent David Sacker takes the fight to those responsible. Featuring sensational interior art by hot newcomer artist Julian Totino Tedesco! Covers by Paul Azaceta and Julian Totino Tedesco.

Simon Dark #18FINAL ISSUE - Written by Steve Niles; Art and cover by Scott Hampton. Can there truly be life after death? Simon and his family of friends must cope with the gruesome aftermath of a profound loss. But the load may be too heavy for Simon's shoulders to bear. Has his time as Gotham's darkest protector come to a close? Must he give up his dreams of a normal life?

Superman Batman #56- Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson; Art by Rags Morales and John Dell Cover by Rags Morales. This is it! The World's Finest Heroes face off against the JLA and their greatest foes – each other! The final chapter of "Super/Bat" explodes as the powerless Superman battles the unstoppable Batman with the soul of The Dark Knight hanging in the balance.

Titans #11- Written by Judd Winick; Art and cover by Howard Porter. Shaken by the loss of one of their teammates, the Titans attempt to regroup and move on. But they discover that their problems aren't even close to over as their past comes back to haunt them in this prelude to the major "Deathtrap" crossover with TEEN TITANS starting next month!

Top Ten Season Two #4 (of 4) - Written by Zander Cannon; Art and cover by Gene Ha. Shock-Headed Peter's addictions start getting the better of him as he and Girl 2 begin a workplace romance. Elsewhere, Irma Geddon confronts her feelings about motherhood versus career as a jailbreak sends everyone at the police station into a panic.

Trinity #41- Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza; Art by Mark Bagley and Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton and Ande Parks; Covers by Jesus Merino. As the Dark Trinity's all-out war reaches fever pitch, Krona rears his head with destructive consequences, and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman face a world that's changing all around them. Can they find a way back from exile? And even if they can, does the world have any hope of survival? Guest-starring everybody!

Walking Dead #59 - Overwhelmed!

A relatively smaller week and one that I hope is more of the norm for me. This week I have two books that are skating on the edge of cancellation and they are Green Arrow/Black Canary and Booster Gold. GA/BC has been weak since Andrew Kresiberg came on the book and I’m not a huge fan of pencil artist Mike Norton, so unless there is a strong up tick in the story that book maybe history. Booster Gold is borderline because I get the sense Dan Jurgens is making this story way too convoluted and is not as good at keeping the book as much fun as it was under Geoff and Jeff. I’m very down on DC lately and I have to say that it is annoying because Marvel has sucked much of my love for their characters out of me and now DC is doing the same with their characters. Maybe after 47 years it is time to move on from super hero books or at least drastically reduce what I get from the big one and an half (because face it DC is now consistently only a little more then half of Marvel).

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