Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Marvel's April previews reviewed

AVENGERS/INVADERS #10
Written by ALEX ROSS & JIM KRUEGER
Penciled by STEVE SADOWSKI & PATRICK BERKENKOTTER
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Cover by MITCH BREITWEISER
The true enemy stands revealed and in a twisted past with no order, two teams of heroes make their way under the Atlantic ocean to confront the enemies of freedom who are planning their next move behind a wall built around Europe. But even with the help of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, plus Black Panther, it may be too late to stop the end of everything.


Oh no, it's winding down already! Here's hoping the same team follows it up with an Invaders/The Twelve 12-parter...



CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Penciled by MARCOS MARTIN
Cover and Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Sketch Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Leading off a series of celebratory specials commemorating Marvel’s 70th Anniversary, James (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) Robinson and Marcos (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) Martin bring you an untold story of the living legend. In the days before he becomes Captain America, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn named Steve Rogers shows the world that you don’t need a super-soldier serum to be a hero. Plus a classic Captain America tale from the Golden Age by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
48 PGS./One-Shot/All-New & Reprints/Rated A...$3.99


This actually looks pretty promising: A good writer and a great artist on Captain America story, paired with a Simon and Kirby back-up, in a double-length book for just $3.99. If this is an indication of the direction of the level of quality that can be expected of this “series of celebratory specials,” then I’m genuinely excited about them.

And wow, look at all those swastikas—that makes the awkward partial removal of a swastika in that Wolverine special a few weeks back seem even more perplexing to me.



Ha ha ha ha! Dark Avengers’ Iron Patriot has red and white striped abs!

Um, that’s all. I just thought that was funny.



Rafael Grampa's cover to the last issue of this Dead of Night miniseries featuring Werewolf By Night. Too bad he didn't draw all the covers, and the interiors. That is one nice looking werewolf.


DAREDEVIL NOIR #1 (of 4)
Written by ALEXANDER IRVINE
Pencils & Cover by TOM COKER
Variant Cover by DENNIS CALERO
"LIAR'S POKER," PART 1
The latest addition to Marvel's red-hot Noir line offers a unique spin on the Man Without Fear! Prohibition-era Hell's Kitchen is Kingpin territory, and until now, his only problem has been the masked vigilante known as Daredevil. When gangster Orville Halloran arrives on the scene, fresh from a stretch in Sing Sing and eager to stretch his wings, Hell's about to get hotter. For P.I. Foggy Nelson and his loyal assistant Matt Murdock, it all starts when a desperate woman comes to their office with an irresistible story about her and Halloran. To Foggy, she's a client -- to Murdock, she's enough to make Halloran Daredevil's next target. But Murdock is about to find out that half-truths are poison truths, and that the Kitchen is full of history that will put him on a collision course with both the old Kingpin and the man who wants to replace him.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Wait, I thought all Daredevil comics were noir...for, like, the last 25 years or so...?



EXILES #1
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by SALVADOR ESPIN
Cover by DAVE BULLOCK
Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant by TBA
Heroes are being pulled out of the worlds they know- The Beast. The Witch. Panther. Forge. Polaris. All find themselves in a place out of time with a new mission in life. But something seems to have shifted in the mechanics of the universe, things may not be quite what we remember... But one thing we know for certain- BLINK is BACK! Plus 8 pages of Director's Cut Extras!
40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Woah, woah, woah…Written by Jeff Parker? But, what about the new Agents of Atlas series? And Mysterius The Unfathomable? How many Jeff Parker series do you want me to read? Besides, I’m don’t know/care enough about Marvel’s alternate realities to be interested in a whole series about ‘em…and this one is $4 for a 22-page story and “8 pages of Director’s Cut Extras!” Oh Marvel, you know there are no directors in comics books…



Jeph Loeb’s probably the only force on earth that could make me not want to buy a comic book with this cover.



INCREDIBLE HERCULES #128
Written by FRED VAN LENTE & GREG PAK
Penciled by DIETRICH SMITH
Cover by DAVID WILLIAMS
Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant by TBA
A DARK REIGN TIE-IN!
The DARK AVENGERS versus the OLYMPUS GROUP versus Herc & Co! 'NUFF SAID!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


So the Dark Avengers are just a buncha guys wearing the 80’s versions of the New Avengers’ costumes…?


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #12
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art & Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
Pepper Potts takes flight! Maria Hill fights back! And Iron Man heads for a Stark Lab hiding somewhere in the briny deep where Norman Osborn dispatches PRINCE NAMOR to take him out. Man oh man is THAT gonna be a fight for the ages. By Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99


Fraction! Damn you! I just dropped this damn book on account of my hatred of Larroca's art on it, and you have to go and write an issue featuring my favorite aspect of Marvel Comics--people fighting Namor. Damn it.



MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES #10
Written by TODD DEZAGO
Penciled by DEREC DONOVAN
Cover by CLAYTON HENRY
"ANT-MAN is On The JOB!!"
Well, he's LOOKING for a job, anyway...But his employment is put on hold when the insidious SANDMAN crosses his path-and ANT-MAN needs to pull out all the stops to defeat the Granular Goon!
And, as ANT-MAN's popularity rises, so too do the suspicions of Vernon Van Dyne...!
32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99


I really dug the last issue of MASH focusing on Ant-Man, and while this one’s got a different writer—Dezago instead of Fred Van Lente—it sure does have a neat cover.



MARVEL ZOMBIES 4 #1 (of 4)
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Penciled by KEV WALKER
Cover by GREG LAND
Variant Cover by ARTHUR SUYDAM
The acclaimed creative team behind MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 returns...with another adventure that takes place in the Marvel U! The vampire. The witch. The werewolf. The muck-monster. The devil. They're nobody's idea of heroes, but they're all that stands between our world and an unstoppable apocalypse! They're the new Midnight Sons, and their quest to track down the undead who escaped from A.R.M.O.R. will lead them around the globe—and right to a cruise ship overrun with undead undersea-dwelling cannibals! Can this monstrous team stop the "red tide" before it unleashes untold horror upon the mainland? Not if the Merc With Only a Mouth has anything to say about it! Yes, writer Fred Van Lente and artist Kev Walker—the guys who made IGN.com say “MARVEL ZOMBIES 3 may actually rank as the best in the series”—are back again, unleashing the flesh-eaters for another roller coaster ride of gore, action, gore, thrills, gore and gore!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory...$3.99


Wow, that was fast. If they keep cranking these out at this fast of a pace, they’ll soon reach the humorous level of sequel numbers! I didn’t read all of the first issue miniseries—in fact, I quit after #1 when I realized how expensive it was—but I liked the first issue, and am kinda eager for the trade.

This looks pretty exciting though—it’s got, like, three of my favorite Essential stars on the cover. Even if they are all crappy and Greg Land-y looking. Soooo, who’s the woman supposed to be? Is that Jennifer Kale? Son of Satan’s sister?



PRIDE & PREJUDICE #1 (of 5)
Written by NANCY BUTLER
Penciled by HUGO PETRUS
Cover by SONNY LIEW
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...
Tailored from the adored Jane Austen classic, Marvel Comics is proud to present PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! Two-time Rita Award-Winner Nancy Butler and fan-favorite Hugo Petras faithfully adapt the whimsical tale of Lizzy Bennet and her loveable-if-eccentric family, as they navigate through tricky British social circles. Will Lizzy’s father manage to marry off her five daughters, despite his wife’s incessant nagging? And will Lizzy’s beautiful sister Jane marry the handsome, wealthy Mr. Bingley, or will his brooding friend Mr. Darcy stand between their happiness? "This project has been like a dream come true for me as a writer and as a former graphic designer—not only am I adapting a book I love, I am doing it in the one forum, comics, where words and pictures carry equal weight." Nancy Butler, two-time RITA winner and multiple RT Reviewer's Choice winner in Regency
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Well jeez Marvel, it sure took you long enough to get on the Jane Austen bandwagon. I think the Austen-related trend in publishing has already climaxed and is on its way down now, but better really, really, really late then never, I guess.

I don’t much care for that cover, even though it’s by Sonny Liew, and artist whose work I really enjoy. If Liew was doing the interiors too, I’d probably end up at least checking out the first issue, even if I don’t normally care for comic adaptations of works of other media (or $3.99, 22-page Marvel comics). This Hugo Petrus character does seem to draw pretty well, but his style isn’t unique enough to make re-reading Pride and Prejudice as a comic book or trade paperback sound like an appealing proposition.


SECRET INVASION AFTERMATH: BETA RAY BILL – THE GREEN OF EDEN #1
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Penciled by DAN BRERETON
Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
SECRET INVASION has ended. The Skrull armies have been routed and destroyed. In the wake of his battle in aid of Thor and Asgard, Beta Ray Bill has departed Earth once more, to bring justice and order to the stars. But when Bill becomes savior of a space-faring alien colony, he'll discover that perhaps – just perhaps -- it's possible to be too much of a hero. Soaring action and adventure starring your favorite horse-faced Demigod of Thunder, by Kieron Gillen (NEW UNIVERSAL: 1959) and Dan Brereton (GOD-SIZED THOR)!


My God, is that a long title. One piece of punctuation per title, guys; that’s the rule! I haven’t been reading any of the new Thor, and never read the Simonson run either, so I know very little about Beta Ray Bill other than the fact that he looks like a goofy bipedal space horse, and yet this still looks pretty appealing to me, if only to see Brereton playing in the Marvel sandbox, and penciling instead of painting.



ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #133
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN
The end of an era? The last issue of Ultimate Spider-Man? Peter Parker is Spider-Man no more? Is Spider-Man dead and gone in the events of Ultimatum? This final issue will leave you jaw-on-the-floor shocked at the turn of every page!
40 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


Woah, woah, woah, wait…what?! They’re canceling USM? Presumably to relaunch it with a new #1? Jesus, that makes it official—the entire Ultimate Marvel line has become the regular Marvel line it was created to provide an alternative to.



Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh, um, this is the cover of X-Force. And it is awesome.

13 comments:

LurkerWithout said...

I've forgotten who "The Witch" is for MZ4, just that it isn't Kale or Satanna...

Dean said...

A new Exiles series, with Blink in it, written by Jeff Parker? It's like I've just gotten something that I didn't realize that I wanted all along.

John Foley said...

Greg Land is getting worse. Look at Daiman Hellstrom's pecs. I believe Land stole a picture of a bodybuilder off the internet, but it was only a profile or 3/4 shot. He then cropped it, duplicated it, and flipped it to make symmetry. Problem solved, right? But those pectorals! Gah. No self-respecting artist with any eye for anatomy would let that pass.

Matthew said...

Kieron 'Phonogram' Gillen writing the Beta Ray Bill comic is the draw for me.

kromelizard said...

You really need to get a hold of the Walter Simonson Thor trades. They're amazing. They'll make you cry for how much better comics actually were once upon a time.

Anthony Strand said...

Golden Age Captain America? James Robinson? Marcos Martin?

Is it my birthday?

SallyP said...

Well, I do have to say that the Captain America book written by James Robinson looks VERY promising. And I adore Incredible Hercules, and it even has Ares, so that will probably be lots of fun.

I have to admit that the cover with Ant-Man is a hoot. But I share your puzzlement about Daredevil:Noir. A number of people have pointed out that Daredevil is ALREADY noir. Isn't that a bit like putting out a book like Captain America: Patriotic?

seth hurley said...

That X-Force cover looks like a train wreck.

Not in a snarky way, it literally looks like someone painted a pile of twisted metal.

seth hurley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KentL said...

I agree with Dean. I'm a sucker for alternate realities. I haven't followed Exiles much because of the creative teams, but a Jeff Parker written Exiles series is something I want that I just didn't know about yet.

The Captain America one-shot looks promising. Robinson tends to be hit or miss with me, but mostly hit.

Really miss Leave It To Chance.

Tracer Bullet said...

I'd argue that, for the past few years, Daredevil has been torture porn.

John Foley said...

I'd like to declare a 5-year moratorium on the usage of porn to denote something other than, you know, actual pornography.

We've now seen terms like torture porn, continuity porn, food porn, and now even poverty porn (which has been clumsily used to describe Slumdog Millionaire). I'm sure there are many other examples.

The word porn has been corrupted to the point where it just means "something that I find excessive that appeals to a group that I look down on." Cripes, not everything can simply be dismissed as porn. I mean, is Law & Order "police procedural porn?"

Whatever critical appeal the word may have once had has now been thoroughly exhausted.

Caleb said...

I'd argue that, for the past few years, Daredevil has been torture porn.

I think Marvel is planning a similar line of What If-esque books for next year, kicking off with X-Men: Torture Porn.


I mean, is Law & Order "police procedural porn?"

Usually just the first half. The second half is assistant district attorney porn.