Wow, that's a nice cover! I'm planning on trying out this arc; as much as I hate the new status quo, Marvel could put Marcos Martin on a book called Extremely Cruel Jokes About J. Caleb Mozzocco's Manhood and I'd pay $2.99 for it.
AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #14
Written by DAN SLOTT & CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils by STEFANO CASELLI
Cover by MARK BROOKS
SECRET INVASION TIE-IN
"We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us!"
During the INFILTRATION, a Skrull at the heart of the Camp Hammond said these words: "It won't be long until we have a Skrull in every state! "Now that Skrull stands revealed and the fate of The Initiative, the United States, and Planet Earth hang in the balance. Plus: Former Avenger, Delroy Garret, assumes the mantle and arsenal of Earth's greatest Skrull-Hunter, THE 3-D MAN. He's here to chew bubblegum and kick some Skrull-@$$. And he's all out of bubblegum.
I damn well hope Hank Pym turns out to be a Skrull. That would certainly explain why he was all like, "Oops, I guess I killed my old friend Goliath with that killer robo-clone I made of my old ally Thor. Oh well, back to the concentration camp construction..." in Civil War.
I have no idea who Delroy Garret is, but I'm kind of excited to hear the words "3-D Man." I hope that doesn't deep-six Jeff Parker's plan to include 3-D Man in a future Avengers of Atlas project...
CAPTAIN AMERICA #39
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Pencils & Cover by STEVE EPTING
Okay, what the heck is going on here? Is that two guys in Captain America outfits? Yeah, it is.
More than that, we cannot say.
The epic Death of Captain America continues in Part Three of "The Man Who Bought America" by the acclaimed team of Brubaker and Epting.
This might be a little more mysterious and suspenseful if the Invaders/New Avengers, in which the original Invaders (a Captain America include) come forward from WWII into the present Marvel Universe, wasn't going on simultaneously. I'm not saying that is what Brubaker's got going on here, but with such an obvious explanation around, it really deflates what would otherwise be a real "What the--?!!" kind of cover.
CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13 #2
Written by PAUL CORNELL
Penciled by LEONARD KIRK
Cover by BRYAN HITCH
The Skrulls are winning in England. Their mysterious goal there could turn the tide of the invasion. The emergence of the fabled sword Excalibur (once again locked in stone) may lead to salvation. But who can claim the mythic weapon? Pete Wisdom? Spitfire? John the Skrull? The Black Knight? And what is the fate of Captain Britain?
This is one of those titles that, due to the creators and characters, I kinda want to sort of try out, but the starting on a cross-over kind of repels me a bit. Like Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man launching with a chapter of "The Other."
Also, John the Skrull? Not funny. Not as not-funny as Bob the Monitor, but close.
FANTASTIC FOUR #558
Written by MARK MILLAR
Pencils & Cover by BRYAN HITCH
Who are the New Defenders, and why does their appearance on Earth foretell the eventual extinction of mankind? Who has liberated Doctor Doom from his incarceration awaiting trial, and why? And what's up with Valeria? (Oh, and the Fantastic Four are in it too...)
The "New Defenders?" But I thought those in the Joe Casey series were the "Last Defenders;" it's right there in the name! Hmm, I wonder if Millar is coordinating his story to match-up with what's going on in Casey's miniseries... No, I'm just kidding. I actually don't wonder about that at all.
I tried out Starlord on a whim, since I liked the writer, I liked the look of the art and it had a tree monster and raccoon with a gun. I ended up enjoying it immensely. I'm sorta unsure about this though; it has the tree monster and the raccoon with a gun, but different creators. Hmm...
HULK: RAGING THUNDER
Written by JEFF PARKER
Art by MITCH BREITWEISER
Cover by GREG LAND
She will be the mightiest champion of her time. He was the mightiest monster of his. What happens when these legends clash will change the course of history for the warrior known as THUNDRA! PLUS, a classic Thundra tale!
When I see the name "Jeff Parker," my brain translates that directly into "buy this comic." But when I see the words "by Greg Land," my brain translates that directly into "do not buy this comic."
I have no idea how to proceed here. Any chance of a variant cover here, Marvel? Maybe one that would be less likely to be cropped into something inappropriate?
IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS #2 (of 4)
Written by JON FAVREAU
Pencils & Cover by ADI GRANOV
With the aid of archaeologist Elsa Bloodstone, Tony Stark has discovered the cause of the plague of reptiles that's crippled the Las Vegas strip! Unfortunately for his armored alter ego, that something is "He Whose Limbs Shatter Mountains, And Whose Back Scrapes The Sun"—Fin Fang Foom.
The worst thing about this series? It means Iron Man probably won't be fighting F.F.F. in the inevitable Iron Man 2.
Hmmm...that may just be the worst idea for a variant cover anyone's ever had...
That's the cover "Director's Cut" version of Kick-Ass #1 by the way. I've never understood these things. Firstly because comic books don't have directors. And secondly because the film analogy doesn't hold up. They're not usually "cut" a different way—i.e. with scenes in different order or re-edited to include different footage—it's just a reprint with some extras, right? So it's more like the comic book equivalent of some lame-ass DVD extras than an actual re-cut of the finished product. Which, by the way, isn't finished anyway.
MARVEL ADVENTURES THE AVENGERS #25
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by IG GUARA
Cover by LEONARD KIRK
You're smart. DARN smart. You're so ahead of the curve, you've had your head removed and let your face be broadcast by a TV screen in your chest. That's not just smart, that's Arnim Zola Smart. And if the Avengers try to go up against that, well you can just switch their minds around so they don't know what to do with themselves. Oh Zola, you make M.O.D.O.C. look like a common street thug!
Considering the fact that "Oh Zola, you make M.O.D.O.C. look like a common street thug!" is the last line in the solicitation for a comic by the guy who gave us this story,
I'm going to go ahead and assume that this will be a pretty good comic.
Are those Super-Skrulls, or is Ms. Marvel throwing down with Combo Man and pal?
NEW AVENGERS #42
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled by JIM CHEUNG
Cover by ALEKSI BIRCLOT
SECRET INVASION Tie-In!
THE EMPIRE part 3. For 42 issues readers of New Avengers have wondered, who caused the breakout in New Avengers #1 and why? And how was this the real start of the SECRET INVASION? Find out right here!! Special guest artist Jim Cheung returns to these pages for this shocking story.
Actually, I kinda forgot about the breakout around the same time Brian Michael Bendis did.
SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR #2 (of 3)
Written by ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA
Penciled by BARRY KITSON
Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Part Two [of Three]: "He's Just Not That Into You"
Trapped in the Negative Zone with Franklin and Val, beseiged by monsters, Ben and Johnny are scrambling to get back home before a cosmic anomoly with the power to consume, well, everything swallows Manhattan. But the team's biggest brain, Reed Richards, is nowhere to be found, and the Skrull who infiltrated the FF isn't just any Skrull, it's Johnny's ex, Lyja. Forget worldwide domination, hell hath no fury like a Skrull scorned...
Well, the obvious skrullspect among the FF has been Reed Richards, whose been written so out of character throughout all this Illuminati/Civil War business. Maybe it wasn't just that Bendis and JMS didn't know him very well, but that they were writing him poorly on purpose to tie-into Secret Invasion.
I guess it could be Sue too, though, as she seemed like a pretty horrible person throughout Civil War too, just less fascist and evil than her husband.
But either way, it's gonna be weird, especially if the Skrull is Johnny's ex. Because Reed and Sue are man and wife and they have sex. Remember that scene in Civil War, they totally did it! So, if Lyja was posing as Reed, she had lesbian sex with her ex's sister! And if she was posing as Sue, she had sex with her ex's brother-in-law! And Reed nailed an alien posing as his wife! Eww!!! (This was the main reason I never thought that they'd undo the Spider-marriage through the means of an MJ Skrull...it'd be just too icky to reveal that Peter's been having sex with a Skrull infiltrator, you know?).
SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (of 3)
Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST
Penciled by TAKESHI MIYAZAWA
Cover by MICHAEL RYAN
The Skrulls are invading and the Runaways and the Young Avengers both have a Skrull on their team. Coincidence? We think not. You two favorite teen teams come together again as the Marvel U is pushed to the brink.
I didn't dislike the Civil War team-up between the two teams too much (aside from the Marvel Boy treatment), and I am kinda looking forward to this one (You can't go wrong with Miyazawa, can you?).
I'm sure Young Avengers fans are excited to hear Marvel's actually publishing some books with them, and, as a regular Runaways reader, I am too. While Runaways hasn't been cancelled like YA, it's been practically cancelled, ever since they started publishing it as a quarterly instead of a monthly.
Written by PETER DAVID
Penciled by VAL SEMEIKS
Cover by MIKE DEODATO
From the pages of INCREDIBLE HERCULES comes…yeah, you guessed it, Hercules! The Lion of Olympus, still wanted for crimes against S.H.I.E.L.D., collides with our bounty-hunting She-Hulk. The question is, given these two combustible characters' current mindset and situation with the law, will they meet as longtime friends…or bitter foes?
Hey, I haven't seen new Semeiks art in forever! That guy's great!
SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #9
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Art by DEREC AUCOIN
Cover by SALVA ESPIN
Spider-Man, the friendly neighborhood…chaperone? When the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier races off to fight a hostile UFO, Nick Fury asks (okay, tells) Spider-Man that he needs to watch after Bruce Banner. Now all Spidey needs to do is convince a city full of assorted thieves and felons (and…DANG…Dr. Octopus!) to KEEP IT DOWN for the day, cuz, you know, this is the guy that turns into the Hulk. PLUS: the story no one thought they would see, the debut of all-new backup feature "Mr. & Mrs. Spider-Man"! In this first installment, using their individual talents, Peter and Mary Jane Parker join forces to prevent the Lizard from destroying his own family.
Way to keep stick to that no-one-likes-the-marriage-and-its-bad-for-the-character line, guys!
The lead feature sounds pretty cool. If they didn't just release a digest containing stories from this book last week, I would be sorely tempted to get this. As is, I guess I'll wait for the digest.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN
Venom returns in part 1 of "War of the Symbiotes"! When Spidey's most fearsome foe strikes, it looks bad for the outmatched web-slinger, but Silver Sable and her Wild Pack may turn the tide! Have they come to save Spider-Man or is their motive something more sinister? Plus: this story adapts, expands and incorporates the hit Ultimate Spider-Man video game (which Brian Michael Bendis just happened to co-write) into Ultimate Spider-Man continuity! So be like Venom and return to ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to find out why folks like Wizard are saying it's "the best Spider-book on the stands right now."
Far be it from me to question the word of Wizard magazine but, um, hasn't Ultimate Spider-Man always been the best Spider-book on the stands...since it started, I mean? I guess you could make the case that some issues of Tangled Web were better than some issues of USM but, come on, when was the last time the regular Marvel Univers spider-books were any good at all, let alone better than USM?
ULTIMATE X-MEN #95
Written by ARON COLEITE
Penciled by MARK BROOKS
Cover by GABRIELE DELL'OTTO
HEROES writer Aron Eli Coleite continues his run – and introduces a team of X-Men like you've never seen before! Who are Ultimate Alpha Flight? What do they want with Northstar? What is Colossus willing to do to get him back? And just wait until you see that last-page shocker!
It's been so long since I've read UXM...I think the Fenris twins were fighting Rogue and Gambit in the last issue I read?...that it's now just like the regular X-books to me: Something I fear even attempting to read given how big and complicated the cast and history are. But I've gotta admit, I do find the words "Ultimate Alpha Flight" somewhat exciting...