If last night saw the reviews of DC's previews, that can mean only one thing—Today, Marvel's previews are available for preemptive review! Open another window and click on over to Newsarama to follow along if you like.
Ready? Okay, let's see what Marvel will be getting us for Valentine's Day...
BLACK PANTHER ANNUAL #1 Written by REGINALD HUDLIN. Penciled by LARRY STROMAN & KEN LASHLEY. Cover by JUAN DOE. “BLACK TO THE FUTURE”: A special double-sized issue to commemorate Black History Month. It’s 2057 and the Watcher’s prediction came true: Wakanda is an Imperial Power steering the course for humanity’s future. As T’Challa prepares the next Black Panther for the great responsibility ahead, he must first reflect on the road traveled–a long and winding journey filled with surprises.
I’ve recently dropped Hudlin’s Black Panther for, like, the third time now. Something or another keeps driving me away from the title, but then something or another will get me to pick it up again.
I’m not normally a big fan of alternate future stories like this, but that is a really nice cover, and I like the cheesiness of the title.
I don’t like that they’re calling it an “annual” though. I mean, it says right there in the solicitation that this is “a special double-sized issue,” and there’s no other issue of Black Pantehr solicited for February. So if this is replacing an issue of a monthly, doesn’t that just make it a “monthly” (i.e. a comic that is published once a month) instead of an “annual” (i.e. a comic that is published once a yer)?
Well, whatever they call it, I hope the Black Avenbers are in this issue, because that theoretical team kicks ass…
FANTASTIC FOUR #554 Written by MARK MILLAR. Pencils & Cover by BRYAN HITCH. MARK MILLAR! BRYAN HITCH! Need we say more? All right, we will! Who is Mrs. Fantastic? And how will her return into Reed's life rock comicdom's First Family? Also, get ready to meet the Invisible Woman's brand NEW super-team! This issue kicks off a year-long storyline that will make FANTASTIC FOUR "The World's ULTIMATEST Comic Magazine!" Promise!
After two volumes of The Ultimates, which saw delays between issues lengthening to ridiculous amounts of time the longer the series went on, does anyone really believe Marvel’s one-time flagship is going to remain a monthly under this creative team? This one has wait-for-the-trade written alllll over it.
Also, shouldn’t Ultimate Fantastic Four be “The World’s Ultimatest Comic Magazine”?
Hitch’s cover is kind of stiff, his Thing kinda small, and I find the image of a super-genius like Reed Richards holding up four fingers like a toddler telling us how many people are on his team hilarious for some reason. But after months of suffering through Michael Turner covers to get at the fantastic Fantastic Four stories by Dwayne McDuffie and Paul Pelletier, I’m glad to see anyone who’s not Turner on FF covers.
GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 Written by JOSS WHEDON. Pencils & Wraparound Cover by JOHN CASSADAY. Too big to be contained in a normal issue, the grand finale of Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) and John Cassaday's (CAPTAIN AMERICA, Planetary) landmark run is right here! The powerlords of Breakworld bring the fight to Earth. Can the X-Men stop them from destroying the whole planet? Will the Avengers join their fight? What we do know is this: one of the X-Men won't walk away from this fight. Plus spotlight interviews with Whedon and Cassaday!
I will look forward to reading this in a trade paperback at some point in the rather distant future.
Also, is that Cannonball? In a costume that doesn’t look incredibly lame? Awesome! Who gets credit for designing that, Cassaday or whoever’s drawing whatever X-book that Cannonball might currently be appearing in? I’m totally lost on the X-Men right now. Astonishing was the only monthly I was reading, and I dropped that when it became a quarterly.
No, no, no...it's only funny if it's "The Incredible Herc," because that looks and sounds a lot like "The Incredible Hulk." Adding the "-ules" at the end just totally ruins it.
KICK–ASS #1 Written by MARK MILLAR. Pencils & Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR. Variant Cover by TBA. Sketch Variant by JOHN ROMITA JR. The greatest super hero comic of all-time is finally here. WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE's team of MARK MILLAR (CIVIL WAR) and JOHN ROMITA JR. (WORLD WAR HULK) reunite for the best new book of the 21st century. Have you ever wanted to be a super hero? Dreamed of donning a mask and just heading outside to some kick-ass? Well, this is the book for you--the comic that starts where other super hero books draw the line. KICK-ASS is realistic super heroes taken to the next level. Miss out and you're an idiot.
At first I thought this was an issue of Iron Man and that was Tony Stark getting his head punched through a door on the cover there, because usually there’s at least one Marvel cover featuring someone clobbering Stark in each month’s solicits.
I’m not sure what to make of the pluck/arrogance of the solicitation copy–on the one hand, I find the cheeky bragging kind of charming (especially when coupled with the title, which makes one think it’s all just facetious), but then this is Mark Millar, and that guy’s usually not terribly facetious when bragging about how awesome he is.
Still, it’s drawn by JRJR, and I don’t think I’ve ever regretted buying a comic that he’s drawn, so this would have to likely be Unfunnies bad to pass over.
MARVEL ADVENTURES THE AVENGERS #21Written by MARC SUMERAK. Penciled by IG GUARA. Cover by LEONARD KIRK. The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Get ready to cry "Wolverine!" at the top of your lungs, 'cause Avengers Tower is about to go all "Red Dawn" when the Crimson Dynamo invades! But who is the super-spy on the armored villain's trail...and can she be trusted?
I’m going to guess The Black Widow and that yes, yes she can be trusted.
Oh hey, The Defenders! They're the Marvel Adventures Defenders, but still, they're The Defenders, and I'll take The Defenders anywhere I can get 'em. And dig Dr. Strange's energy doily creating power there.
Has anyone been reading Marvel Adventures Hulk? I've heard some good thngs here or there, but haven't tried t out for myself yet.
I think this might be the best-looking of the Marvel Illustrated covers I've seen so far. Pretty much a perfect image for a Marvel version of Moby Dick.
OMEGA: THE UNKNOWN #5 (of 10) Written by JONATHAN LETHEM WITH KARL RUSNAK. Penciled by FAREL DALRYMPLE & PAUL HORNSCHEMEIER. Omega gets a job in a fast-food joint, the Unparalleled Mink loses a family member and a body part, and Alex discovers that when you run away from home it's probably better not to retrace your steps, in the fifth chapter of the future-award-winning reprisal of Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes "Omega The Unknown" by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, Farel Dalrymple and Paul Hornschemeier.
I kinda like the “future-award-winning” part, again because of it’s pluck. The first issue of this series doesn’t seem to have been terribly well received by anyone online—at least not anyone I’ve read—so I wonder if it will receive any future awards? After the pace of the first issue, I’ve decided to drop the monthly and read it in the format it’s apparently being written for, the trade.
Part of me suspects that the way to really read it is in the monthly installments, which can’t coincidentally be numbered to coincide with the number of issues the original series lasted before getting cancelled, and yet Lethem and Rusnak are scripting the book for a more modern more-showing, less-telling type of storytelling, which unfortunately means that even if the issue numbers and page counts coincide, the amount of story in each issue likely won’t (or, at least, didn’t in #1).
I am looking forward to how it ends up, but after waiting this long, what’s another year’s wait for the trade?
Actually, forget what I said two books back. This might be an even better cover for the Marvel Illustrated: Moby Dick comic.
RUNAWAYS #30Written by JOSS WHEDON. Penciled by MICHAEL RYAN. Cover by JO CHEN. The jaw-dropping conclusion to Joss Whedon (ASTONISHING X-MEN, Buffy) and Michael Ryan’s (NEW X-MEN) time-traveling saga! A HUGE shakeup to the Runaways comes as the kids try and find a way out of 1907. But can they escape a super-powered war on the streets of New York?
I find it amusing that the conclusion of this story won’t come out until the second month of 2008. It started in 2007, and the kids time-traveled 100 years into the past, hence the 1907 setting. But it’s taken Whedon and company so long to get a six-issue arc out (which, on a monthly comic, only oughta take about, oh, six months) that by the time the kids return to the future, they’ll have missed a year, our time.
SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP: MODOK'S 11 TPB Written by FRED VAN LENTE. Penciled by FRANCIS PORTELA. Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC. While the heroes are away fighting World War Hulk, the villains can play...M.O.D.O.K., sick of being hunted and hounded by A.I.M., gathers together an eclectic team of Marvel's Most Wanted to pull off one last, big score. But news travels fast along the grapevine of villainy – and pretty soon, every bad guy in the Marvel Universe is gunning for the Big-Headed One's unspeakably powerful prize. Executing their heist may be the easy part, because getting away with their loot alive is going to be the real challenge for M.O.D.O.K.’s 11! Collecting SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP/M.O.D.O.K.'S 11 #1-5.120 PGS./Rated A …$13.99
Hey, wait a minute…I bough five issues of this book for $2.99 a piece, meaning it ran me $14.95. But if I would have just bought the trade, I coulda saved 96 cents!
WWH AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL #2 (of 3) Written by DWAYNE MCDUFFIE. Penciled by SALVA ESPIN. Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.While an overworked Damage Control struggles to stay on the job, the Chrysler Building is on a rampage. That's right, the actual building. Meanwhile, the all-new Goliath joins Damage Control's Search and Rescue team, and Gene repairs a broken robot who may be the secret to survival in post-World War Hulk Manhattan.
I was planning on skipping this, as McDuffie’s work on JLoA has been so incredibly disappointing, but I don’t know, “the Chrysler Building on a rampage” really sounds like something I want to read a comic book about.