Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Marvel's January previews reviewed

Like Marvel's solicitations for their December releases, the new round features a bunch of solicitations with no real information, presumably to avoid spoiling the ending of Secret Invasion and/or cluing readers and retailers into their next line-wide tie-in, something called "Dark Reign."

There are eleven of these books, and they all seem to be ones that deal in some way with Marvel Universe's government and the status of the Civil War-born Superhero Registration Act. It still boggles my mind that they couldn't figure out how to write a generic sentence or two that is technically accurate—"shocking new direction for," "you won't believe what happens in the aftermath of," "the return of a fan-favorite character,"—but doesn't actually reveal any information. I mean, haven't these guys been watching the presidential debates?

Anyway, while these solicits just list the titles, creators, page-count and price, it's still a lot less annoying than the "CLASSIFIED" notations Marvel's run in the past.

Here's what Marvel decided could be talked about without ruining the ending of Secret Invasion...

The third in a series chronicling the adventures that made Captain America the hero we know today, Paul Jenkins (MYTHOS) does what he does best, weaving a tale of war, brotherhood and legacy. From skinny Steve Rogers at boot camp to the Super-Soldier leading a battalion of men against the Nazis, this is the Captain America you thought you knew but you've never seen. And when the choice is between his country or his best friend, this is the decision he had to make.

Hmmm...needs more colons...

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9 Written by DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING. Penciled by BONG DAZO. Cover by CLINT LANGLEY. Star-Lord...trapped in jail...in the Negative Zone Prison...under attack from King Blastaar and his barbarian hordes! Will Rocket Raccoon and his new Guardians arrive in time to save their leader? Given their recent run of luck, probably not! Plus, cool art by Star Wars penciler Bong Dazo staggering revelations about Adam Warlock – as events continue to build to WAR OF KINGS! Surely you must be there for the next chapter of the series that has WeeklyComicBookReview.com raving: “If you aren’t reading GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY yet, now is the time to get a taste of the awesome that is Rocket Raccoon and the gang.”

Uh oh. I’ve been digging this book so far (it’s not quite as good as the Starlord mini that spawned, but it’s been pretty solid nevertheless). This solicitation sounds kinda cool—Blastaar! Barbarian hordes!—but it sounds like it’s going to be tying into this weird “War of Kings” event involving the X-people space characters that I could not possibly be less interested in.

Of course, if Abnett and Lanning handle it like they did the recent Secret Invasion tie-in—which didn’t actually have anything to do with Secret Invasion beyond having some Skrulls in it—then it might be okay, but I’m wondering if maybe #9 won’t make for a good jumping-off point…

MARVEL ADVENTURES THE AVENGERS #32 Written by PAUL TOBIN. Penciled by MATTEO LOLLI. Cover by SALVADOR ESPIN. No matter how powerful you are, how heroic you are, or how beloved you are, you still have to pay taxes. And when the IRS comes knocking on the door to Avengers Tower, it causes all sorts of problems. Luckily, the Avengers can avoid the problematic filing of their real names by helping the IRS collect back taxes on a few deadbeats. Unfortunately, those deadbeats include Bullseye, Man-Bull, the Absorbing Man, Whirlwind, and a certain highly-successful web- designer named Oog---and these guys DON'T want to pay! Action! Adventure! Taxes?

Man, kids just love comics about taxes.

Written by TODD DEZAGO
Pencils & Cover by SANFORD GREENE
"JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS"--SPIDER-MAN is a little red in the face when he assumes that the costumed figure leaving the scene of a crime is the criminal! Pointing out that that's what J. JONAH JAMESON does to him, The PROWLER reminds Spidey that it's never a good idea to jump to conclusions!

Spider-Man is always red in the face.

This is an interesting creative team; I haven't read anything by Dezago in a while, but his Impulse run was often a lot of fun, and I really love Sanford Greene's art.

MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 #4 (of 4) Written by FRED VAN LENTE. Penciled by KEV WALKER. Cover by GREG LAND. The horror hit reaches its blood-curdling, skin-eating,gore-caked climax! Machine Man trapped in the Zombie-verse! A.R.M.O.R. overrun by the walking dead! The Marvel Universe mere seconds away from being completely consumed by cannibalistic superhumans! All this, plus - straight from the pages of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE - the hottie robot Jocosta! Be there for the finale of the series that IGN.com says "breathes new life" into the horror dynasty!

I believe the correct expression is “robot hottie,” rather than “hottie robot,” but I suppose it may be a regional thing.

MIGHTY AVENGERS VOL. 4: SECRET INVASION BOOK 2 PREMIERE HC Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS. Penciled by KHOI PHAM & STEVE KURTH. Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC. ELEKTRA IS A SKRULL! Words that have echoed through Marvel Comics for the last two years. But how did this happen and for how long has this been true? Plus, the return of MAR-VELL has brought with it more questions then answers but now all those questions will finally be answered. Also, find out all you need to know about Nick Fury’s SECRET WARRIORS. Then watch the lives of two of the most famous Kree, Captain Mar-Vell and Marvel Boy, alter the events of the Invasion forever. Collecting MIGHTY AVENGERS #16-20. 136 PGS./Rated A ...$19.99

Weird. I’ve been kind of wondering how Marvel would go about collecting Secret Invasion and the two Bendis-written Avengers titles, as both provided one-off stories dealing with minor background elements of Secret Invasion proper (I couldn’t imagine a trade collecting all the SI issues of New Avengers or Mighty Avengers would be at all interesting on its own), but didn’t have anything to do with the Avengers really.

Like, if you were in a bookstore or library and saw a book with the word “Avengers” in the title, you might think, “Oh hey, I like the Avengers; I’ll get this,” but what you’d find within would be almost completely devoid of Avengers. (I think maybe Yellowjacket’s in one of these…?)

Well, here’s how they’re collecting MA.

Perhaps Marvel’s trade program is just as focused on the direct market as their comic book single publishing is, at the exclusion of casual readers…?

I’m not surprised at how unhappy Namor looks to be giving that dude a shoulder rub. I have to imagine that giving shoulder rubs is somewhere up there with karaoke, dog-walking and kids birthday parties on the list of Things Namor Would Not Enjoy Doing, but that other guy looks just as down. I understand giving shoulder rubs can be tiresome, but who doesn’t like getting shoulder rubs?

Aside from the cut of the bottom half of her action bathing suit, and maybe her choice in footwear (do women still wear shoes and socks like that?), I kinda like this cover to She-Hulk. But damn, that is a lot of signatures on it, isn’t it?

Okay, I give up. Who's that red guy with the claws and spikes supposed to be?

Also, that Iron Man? Totally terrifying.

That is the best Wolverine costume design ever.


Dean said...

Wolverine is totally rocking that monocle.

Jayunderscorezero said...

I particularly like Wolverine's butter knife claws in the "super-cute" image above.

LurkerWithout said...

Paul Jenkins (MYTHOS) does what he does best,

Write a book that sucks and makes me want to punch Sally Floyd in the face?