Monday, January 18, 2010

What I’m Getting Wednesday January 20

Still no luck on hooking Jamie (my youngest daughter) into being our Saturday columnist or getting James, maybe I can hook them as alternating columnists. I’m looking forward to the return of Gwen to a regular weekly post, not only from a workload standpoint, but because I love to read what she thinks on different things also.

This week I’m starting off with the four hard cover volumes I’m getting. Hard covers and action figures are really the two things I need to cure myself of collecting in order to really save some bucks. Plus I really want more time to read some of these additions as there is some great older work I have never read and often stuff I just want the chance to re-read. two Marvel Masterworks are out this week (Thanks Marvel!). For some reason it makes it easier when my bill is not sky high and spread over two weeks, I know ultimately it is the same amount of money, but the impact feels less spread out. Volume #130 is Doctor Strange. This collects the end of his first series and the books that wrapped up that story and goes into the Marvel Premier work. A lot of uneven work in this volume, but I love that Marvel is keeping his run going as clean as possible. The other is Volume #131 Lorna, The Jungle Queen from the Atlas era. This I ordered on a whim and because I have always had a fondness for the various girls in their leopard skin outfits. The final two hard covers are the collection of Ellis’ second look at super heroes in the “real world” with the No Hero HC. Everyone dies, but along the way Ellis has some interesting points to make and it is a good companion piece to Black Summer. Last and far from least is the Barry Windsor Smith Conan Archives Volume 1. This two volume series shows Smith’s Conan work and he went from a Kirby clone to a beautiful illustrator along the lines of a Hal Foster. I hope this is a high quality reproduction.

Vertigo has three good books coming out. First up is Fables #92, almost always a solid book and now it is rapidly approaching the century mark. The second book is a new Grant Morrison mini-series, Joe The Barbarian #1 (of 8). Grant is joined by Sean Murphy as the artist and the series solicitation states: “Having an overactive imagination can get a kid through a lot, but it doesn't change the facts: Joe's still the kid in school that can't fit in. He's the victim of bullies. His dad died overseas in the Iraq war. And then there's the Type 1 diabetes he has to live with. So is it insulin-deprived delirium or something much, much bigger that transports Joe to a land inhabited by all his toys – from ninja commandos to action robots to magical knights to star fleet captains? Is Joe really the savior of this wild fantasyland that's been held under siege by dark magic and evil forces? With the help of a samurai rodent, is he ready to take back besieged castles and win the freedom of an oppressed people? Or is he just an over imaginative boy who could die if he doesn't take his meds?” This series sounds like it has a little of the “Stuff of Legend” themes in it, but Grant always has his own twists. Vertigo has some of my favorite books and this maybe another one. Rounding out the Vertigo offerings is the longest running Vertigo book ever and a damn fine book even today, Hellblazer #263.

Blackest Night has a few titles this week with Blackest Night The Flash #2 (of 3) being the headliner. Not only does it contain the Flash and written by Geoff Johns, but I’m expecting this series to tie into Blackest Night tighter then any other add-on mini-series. Also we have Phantom Strange #42, Starman #81 (does this go into the Starman Omnibus series?) and Green Lantern Corps #44. The GL Corps story has been a great one and there is a ton of stuff happening in that book that will impact the Corps for a long time to come.

Rounding out DC and the one Wildstorm book is Authority The Lost Year #5 (of 12), Batman Streets of Gotham #8, Brave and Bold #31, Outsiders #26, Power Girl #8 and Superman Batman #68. Authority the Lost Year has surprised me with how good that has been. While I’m questioning DC committing time and effort and George Perez to Teen Titans Games for a 23 year old story, the Lost Year is working, but it is only a couple of years old and the team is not radically different now. Of these other books Power Girl has risen to the top in many ways. She exemplifies the right way to do a light hearted book without making it a kiddie book. Intelligent, witty, light, humorous and well written are all accurate descriptions to a new series from DC that I love.

The independent side of things has a strong week with Cowboy Ninja Viking #3 coming out and Battlefields #2 (of 9) that has the 2nd part of three part Happy Valley Tale. CNV is just out of out outrageous over the top action and borderline absurdity that ends up working. Not sure how long they can make this pace hold up, but for now it is another winning and original series under the Image banner. Battlefields I have praised to death, but Ennis does great war stories and I enjoyed part one of this story talking about a squadron of Aussies who were doing bombing runs from Britain. What Garth does in the war stories is take a small portion of WWII and show us how brutal it was at the same time bringing to life some of the soldiers that fought in the war. Not all 100% true story stuff, but illustrative of what occurred.

The rest of the independent side includes Farscape #3, Gravel #16, Incorruptible #2, Jersey Gods #10 and Solomon Kane Death’s Black Riders #1 (of 4). Jersey Gods is another delightful series that exudes the passion of the creators. Barock and Zoe have become favorite characters of mine and I look forward to their adventures. It is a book that I find makes me smile when I see on next week’s list. Also looking forward to Incorruptible #2 a lot as I’m curious to see how Mark Waid will develop this other half of the Irredeemable Universe.

Marvel has a new mini-series that has me jazzed and that is Avengers vs Agents of Atlas #1 (of 4). I swear that Marvel cancelled their series so they would not be overexposed. It is crazy following this team, but with this the Marvel Boy mini and them being a back up in Incredible Hercules #140 (also out this week), these guys are everywhere. It still kills me that Marvel has stopped the deluxe collection of 12 issues as I would buy the run of 11 the series had before being cancelled.

The rest of what I’m getting is all from Marvel. The books are Captain America #602, Dark Avengers #13, Doctor Voodoo #4, Mighty Avengers #33, Nova #33, Realm of Kings Inhumans #3 (of 5), Spider-Woman #5 and Thunderbolts #140. We have Siege tie-ins, Realm of King tie-ins, a stand alone series or two and the newest issue of Captain America. Now Captain America is apparently going to focus on the fifties Cap and where he has been, but my problem is we still have not seen Captain America Reborn #6 (of 6). How redundant and uninteresting has Marvel made that series by moving on past it in so many books.

That is a wrap for a larger week and certainly an expensive one with all the hard covers hitting. This looks to be another great week in comics. Obviously my favorite form of entertainment and in a USA that I see heading towards the brink of financial ruination a few pleasant distractions are always welcome.

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