Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Marvel's November previews reviewed


ADAM: LEGEND OF THE BLUE MARVEL #1 (of 4)
Written by KEVIN GREVIOUX
Pencils and Cover by MAT BROOME
An unstoppable super-villain attacks New York City--and the Mighty Avengers fall before him! Where did Anti-Man come from? And who can stop his overwhelming rampage?! Now Iron Man races to find the only man who's ever defeated Anti-Man--THE BLUE MARVEL...a hero the world hasn't seen since 1961! Will Tony Stark uncover the truth behind Blue Marvel's disappearance...and will Blue Marvel ever recover from it? Kevin Grevioux (NEW WARRIORS) and Mat Broome (The End League) join forces to create Marvel's newest powerhouse super hero!


Cool codename, terrible costume.

Also terrible? This title. Was Blue Marvel deemed too clear and straightforward, so they decided they needed something two or three times longer, preferably with a colon?

The creators talked about the project with Comic Book Resources here.The concept is pretty interesting, although it reads exactly like an element in John Ridley and Georges Jeanty’s 2006 miniseries The American Way, and I’m kind of surprised neither the interviewer nor Grevioux mentioned it.

I don’t mean to suggest that Grevioux lifted the idea form Ridley or anything, and it really just seems like a single part of a bigger story in both cases, but it’s certainly a pretty noticeable coincidence.



Is it just me, or does Brian Hitch draw a tiny, tiny little thing?


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #7
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art & Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
“Iron Man/Iron Man/Does whatever an iron can!” Hmm, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. The Invincible Iron Man! The Amazing Spider-Man! It’s the team-up to beat the band! And you can only read it in the pages of the fan-beloved, critically acclaimed INVINCIBLE IRON MAN by the white-hot team of Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca!


Hmm. I have no idea how this is going to work out. However you feel about the Spider-Man reboot within the Spidey books, it's hard to argue that there's anything at all positive about it in terms of Spidey interacting with the rest of the Marvel Universe. Given the pivotal roles both of these characters played in Civil War, the everything happened but no one, even the participants in the events, remember the specifics, seems particularly unconvincing. So, good luck making sense of this mess, Matt Fraction! I'm eager to see the results, provided I don't get sick of the “white-hot” art of Salvador Larroca by then.


PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT #4 (of 5)
Written by KATHRYN IMMONEN
Penciled by DAVID LAFUENTE
Cover by STUART IMMONEN
Hellcat is still on the case, tracking the missing heir of an Eskimo witch coven. But hot on the trail of Pete the Yeti, whose rocket powered spruce is making her life difficult. But with the aid of a giant magical wolf named Manslayer and a giant talking Mayan calendar made of stone, she just might survive her trek through the last frontier. If she doesn’t drown in a wave of snow bunnies first.


Part of me wonders if Immonen might not being trying a little too hard—this solicitation is so full of crazy things that it sounds like elements of two or three different manga series jammed into a singly synopsis of a 22-page book—but part of me thinks "Rocket-powered spruce? That sounds Awesome!"

The latter part is bigger than the former.



PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL ANNUAL #1
Written by SIMON SPURRIER
Penciled by WERTHER DELL'EDERA
Cover by DAVE WILKINS
“IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE...”
Welcome to the Helter Skelter Club—psychedelic hangout of every costumed wannabe, z-list villain and spandex tryhard in NYC. Its retro-tastic owner – Captain Pepper – has been up to his paisley-print elbows in bad business, but now he’s caught the attention of one decidedly ungroovy vigilante...Artist Werther Dell’Edera (Loveless, X-FORCE) and writer Simon Spurrier (Gutsville, GHOST RIDER) cordially invite you to witness Frank Castle facing Trial By Weird, in a kaleidoscopic killfest featuring super hero groupies, brain-sucking Nazi midgets, scale replicas of the Devourer Of Worlds and lots and lots of ninja teddies.


I think the superhero/villain-themed clubs are ultra-tired by this point, but I don't know if I have the willpower to resist any comic with a cover like that...



In this issue, Mary Jane and her friends get mixed up in Satanic magic and devil worship of the sort Dr. Strange advocates. I'm guessing.



WEAPON X: FIRST CLASS #1 (of 3)
Written by MARC SUMERAK
Penciled by MARK ROBINSON & TIM SEELEY
Cover and Variant by MICHAEL RYAN
Long before his memories were restored, the X-Man known as Wolverine spent years seeking to unlock the mysteries of his past. Some of those memories were best left forgotten. Join Charles Xavier as he journeys deep into Wolverine's mind on a quest for answers that will shed new light on one of the darkest periods of Logan's life -- his days in the Weapon X program! It's a brand-new look at the horrifying history of Marvel's most prominent mutant!
PLUS: Each issue features a 10-page back-up story featuring an important player from Wolverine's past! First up, an untold tale of Wolvie's arch-nemesis, the mutant madman known as Sabretooth!


Whuh…?

I don’t even understand what I’m looking at there. Is this a new series set in the X-Men: First Class and Wolverine: First Class continuity, which is actually kinda sorta “616” continuity…? Is this a safe-for-kids-and-by-the-way-better-than-all-the-other-X-books book, like the other two First Class books?

Because it doesn’t really sound like it, what with “memories best left forgotten,” “darkest periods of Logan’s life,” and, of course, “horrifying history.” The cover art doesn’t look as light-hearted as most of the other First Class covers have either.

And while Wolverine: First Class is a pretty dumb title, since he and Kitty are in the second class at Xavier’s, at least they are actually involved with a school. Where does the school/class come in with with Weapon X?

Weird.



WOLVERINE AND POWER PACK #1 (of 4)
Written by MARC SUMERAK & CHRIS GIARRUSSO.
Art by GURIHIRU & CHRIS GIARRUSSO.
Cover by GURIHIRU.
"All right, bub. Gimme my appearance schedule for October..."

"Sure, Mr. Logan! There's your regular solo title, of course. Plus, the usual line-up of team books."

"So that's just UNCANNY, ASTONISHING, NEW AVENGERS and X-FORCE. No prob."

"There's also your side projects. ORIGINS, FIRST CLASS, MANIFEST DESTINY, another FIRST CLASS..."

"Uh huh. Anythin' else?"

"Don't forget cameos! Possibly AVENGERS/INVADERS... maybe a SECRET INVASION appearance..."

"Hmph. Sounds like a light month to me. Think I got room for one more book. You got anythin' FUN?"

"Actually..."


Wow, this comic book is actually going to have to try rather hard to be more entertaining than the solicitation for it.



X-MEN: PIXIES AND DEMONS DIRECTOR'S CUT
Written by MIKE CAREY.
Penciled by GREG LAND.
Cover by GREG LAND.
In this issue, the young mutant Pixie tries to save her town from a mysterious evil. But when the baddies prove too tough for any one hero to handle, Pixie calls in a little help from her friends. Guest-starring Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus and the rest of Marvel's mightiest mutants! This spectacular story features the work of acclaimed scribe Mike Carey (X-Men, Messiah CompleX) and fan-favorite artist Greg Land (Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate Power) in a story that will usher in a new era for the X-Men! The future of mutantkind starts here, so be sure to check it out. Then, check out the exciting extras in the back for a behind the scenes look at how this astonishing tale was created! 40 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I’m kind of curious about that last sentence, promising exciting extras about how this astonishing tale was created. I’m assuming they mean the art, because how comic scripts are typed up isn’t really all that exciting.

I wonder if this is a feature created for the express purpose of arguing that artist Greg Land does do more than trace some photo reference…?

12 comments:

LurkerWithout said...

1. Blue Marvel: Grievoux's writing on New Warriors (like his movies) is TERRIBLE...

2. Blue Marvel: Isn't this kind of the plot to the Sentry?

3. WeaponX FC: What? No seriously, what??

4. Power Pack: As long as either Sumerak or Van Lente keep writing about the Pack, I'll keep buying...

Hdefined said...

Part of me doesn't like how you always harp on artists like Land, Daniel, Turner (well, back in the day) - not because I like any of them, but just because many of your reviews get sidetracked by your distaste for their art.

But at the same time, part of me applauds that you won't let up and are determined to take them to task for their lazy composition. I believe in the power of complaining.

Kevin Huxford said...

It isn't just you: Hitch draws him at 5/8 scale or something. It was one of a number of things that led me to drop the series (but mostly Millar's uninteresting stories).

a said...

Yeah, Grievoux's writing on New Warriors has been pretty terrible. I don't think I even got through one issue. (Teenage girls generally don't talk to creepy homeless men.)

And Sumerak is writing Weapon X: first class, so maybe it'll be like powerpack and the cover is just misleading?

SallyP said...

Ok, I managed to keep my composure until I read the final title, X-Men: Pixies & Demons, Director's Cut.

Bwhahahahaha! Director's Cut? Are they going to show the photographs that Greg Land traces?

I also have to wonder a little about the cover. It is my understanding that this Pixie person is a teenager of some sort. I'm sorry, but she looks more like Carol Channing on that cover. And Carol Channing scares me to death.

Michael said...

Blue Marvel? I think the Void did it. Mystery solved

That's what's wrong with the Thing. He's FF movie sized.

"Patsy Walker: Hellcat" is fun. It's a palatte cleansing sorbet in between all the Ellis, Ennis, Brubaker and Rucka in my diet.

The War Journal cover is a direct swipe from the most awesome Trapper Keeper ever.

Wolvie plus Power Pack is always entertaining. Uncanny #206 is the best.

Why would anyone pay four bucks for a copy of the FBCD X-men story with extra Greg Land art? Especially for a story that's entirely reminiscent of the other time (times?) that the new teenaged girl encounters the N'agari when she first joins the X-men?

Patrick C said...

Hey, this is completely off topic but I had to share. I'm going through my old Hitman comics, and I get to issue 13 and see a letter written by one J. Caleb Mozzocco! You were discussing the Final Night issue (which was also the first issue of Hitman I purchased). You even got a response by Peter Tomasi! And how fun is that, he went from being an assistant editor to one of the best new writers for DC Comics.

Well that's all. I saw your name and got excited. At least I assume it's you, I can't imagine there are too many J. Caleb Mozzocco's running around.

David said...

I liked American Way. To have a new version of it written by someone responsible for "The New Mutants pretending to be New Warriors" is terrible.

All that weirdness packed into the Patsy Walker solicit and it still doesn't hold a candle to Midori no Hibi.

I also found it odd they're having a Pixie mini being "drawn" by the guy who does such a horrible horrible job of drawing her in the normal X-men books. I'm guessing this is Marvel's answer to Adam Beechen's Batgirl.

James Eyeklll said...

You're not alone Patrick, I was going through Tom Peyer's Hourman series some weeks ago and saw a couple letters by sir J. Caleb Mozzocco too! Even hitting up some of the same themes I get to read in this very blog, such as a love for the DC One Million era and criticizing some questionable art choices (Beth's wardrobe), with a response here by editor-turned-writer Tony Bedard.

How about that Caleb! You're famous. Or at least your name is unique and recognizable. Love the blog by the way, I'm not much of a commenter but I was greatly amused seeing your name in the back of those comics too.

Unrelated question: more Red Bee?

Patrick C said...

In a later issue of Hitman Caleb wrote in saying that John McCrea draws the worst Green Lantern ever!

Caleb's got quite the reputation of critiquing artists, huh.

Caleb said...

Why would anyone pay four bucks for a copy of the FBCD X-men story with extra Greg Land art?

Ha ha, that was their FCBD story? That's awesome. I admire Marvel's balls, selling a book they were giving away for free for $4.


Patrick, James,

Sigh. Yes, I used to be quite the letter-hack back in the days before I had a blog or anywhere to review comics. I had a lot in the Batman books of the day (like, around "Contagion" maybe...?) and a lot in Hitman, Hourman, Martian Manhunter and at least one in JLA, I think.

When I'm reading comics from back then and see my name in the letter cols, now I get scared to even read them, as I worry I said something really dumb (these were all teenage and early 20's Caleb, so liklihood of saying dumb things is high).

For example, I remember comparing a Kelley Jones drawing of Poison Ivy to a Michaelangeo sculpture in one...

Caleb said...

Oh, and Re: more Red Bee...probaly eventually.

I'm working on one of those little strips I do for this weekend (hopefully), and October will be a theme month, in which Red Bee could certainly pop up.

Thanks!