Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marvel's July previews reviewed


As above, so below. As with DC, so with Marvel.

AGENTS OF ATLAS #7
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by CARLO PAGULAYAN & GABRIEL HARDMAN
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
70s DECADE VARIANT by TBA
Journey to the Deep!!
The Agents and the Sub-Mariner face not only a deadly attack beneath the ocean, but Namor and Namora’s budding relationship is hit with some ugly facts of Atlantean history. Also: what does a Lung Dragon dream? Peer into the most treacherous space imaginable, the ancient and diabolical mind of Mr. Lao!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Yay, more Namor!

Hey your majesty, her eyes are up... up... um. Breasts.

The Avenging Son is all over the X-books this month too, but I don't think I can bring myself to actually read any of those. Maybe a trade from the library when they get around to collecting the Dark X-Men vs. Dark Avengers business...



ALL SELECT COMICS #1 70TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM & MICHAEL KUPPERMAN
Art by JAVIER PULIDO & MICHAEL KUPPERMAN
Cover by RUSS HEATH
Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Meet Blonde Phantom – she’s gorgeous, quick-witted, and hard-boiled. There was never a case that wasn’t open-and-shut for this gun-toting, two-fisted knockout of a P.I. But has she still got what it takes to bust a mystery wide open in the modern Marvel Universe? Marc Guggenheim (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Javier Pulido (CAPTAIN AMERICA 65TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL) turn the classic Blonde Phantom into Marvel’s newest hero!
AND MORE! Writer/artist Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle) takes on Marvex, the Super-Robot, in a hilarious bonus special feature!!
48 PGS./New and Reprint/Rated A ...$3.99


Michael Kupperman? Michael Kupperman? Okay; this I gotta see.



AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600
Written by DAN SLOTT, STAN LEE & THE REST OF SPIDEY’S WEB-HEADS
Pencils by JOHN ROMITA JR., MARCOS MARTIN, MARIO ALBERTI & MORE!
50/50 Wraparound Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
50/50 Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Cover by JOHN ROMITA SR.
Wraparound Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
The greatest Marvel super hero of all celebrates his 600th issue with the biggest all-original issue of Amazing Spider-Man EVER! This one’s got it all! The return of Doctor Octopus, Daredevil, a wedding you never predicted, and the return of one of the most important people in Peter Parker’s life in a giant-sized lead story by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Doc’s back in town, but it’s only a prelude to darker days ahead as Spidey unknowingly prepares for a gauntlet he can’t even see coming.
On top of all that, witness the return of one of Spider-man’s creators, Smilin’ Stan Lee (along with Masticatin’ Marcos Martin) as he presents a story of unbridled passion, drama and angst as Spidey reflects over his many, many years of adventures.
But that ain’t all...as the rest of the Spidey Web-Heads bring you several short features showcasing some rarely explored aspects of both Spidey and Pete’s life, drawn by some of the greatest artists in comics. Plus, several other surprises and NO REPRINTS! 104 pages of goodness brought to you by some of the best creators that have ever worked on Spidey!
104 PGS./All-New/Rated A ...$4.99


Okay, I think I'll buy this one.



DARK REIGN: THE SINISTER SPIDER-MAN #2 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN REED
Pencils & Cover by CHRIS BACHALO
The name's Mac Gargan, and the whole city of New York thinks I'm Spider-Man. They love me and I can do anything I like. What I like is making J. Jonah Jameson's life a living hell. Well, that... and eating people. But that seems to have ticked off some folks. Turns out even super-powered criminals have feelings, and they’ve all teamed up with this nutjob scientist named The Redeemer to kill me. Also, who the heck is THE HIPPO? By Brian Reed (Ms. Marvel) and Chris Bachalo (New Avengers).
32 PGS./Rated T+...$3.99


This is something I'll be ignoring, but I have to admit, the mention of a character named The Hippo caused me to perk up a bit. I like how so many Spider-Man villains take their names from just random animals with a "The" in front of them. I think a writer could pretty much come up with an endless array of Spidey villains by simply pulling animal names out of a hat. The only real problem would be trying to find an animal no one's ever used.

Bachalo's cover is pretty interesting too. I like when artists portray Venom's tongue as just flat out ridiculous, as he does here, and you just don't see that many Mac Gargan crotch shot covers.


INCREDIBLE HULK #600
Written by JEPH LOEB
Penciled by ED MCGUINNESS
Cover by ALEX ROSS
50/50 Variant Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Variant Cover by TIM SALE
WHO IS THE RED HULK?!
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN IS GOING TO TRY AND FIND OUT!
GREEN HULK! RED HULK! SPIDEY! SECRETS REVEALED!
A STORY SO BIG IT CAN BARELY BE CONTAINED IN THE INCREDIBLE 600TH ISSUE OF HULK! ALL THIS AND A STARTLING SURPRISE ENDING TO TOP ALL THE OTHER SHOCKING SURPRISES THIS HULK BOOK IS KNOWN FOR!
The chart-topping team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness bring you a 600th-issue celebration guest starring your friendly Neighborhood Web-Head as the original Incredible series returns! Plus, back-up story by Fred Van Lente featuring the Savage She-Hulk! And representing the first issue of the Loeb/Sale HULK: GRAY series, 104 PGS./38 All-New Pages & Reprints/Rated A ...$4.99


INCREDIBLE HERCULES #131
Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE
Penciled by RYAN STEGMAN
Cover by DAVID WILLIAMS
40s DECADE VARIANT by TBA
They've battled rampaging gods, enraged Eternals, sinister Skrulls, Avengers Dark and Mighty, armed-to-the-teeth Amazons, and literally gone to Hell and back together. But now, after all this time, and all those adventures, the team-up between Hercules and Amadeus Cho may be...no more! What shocking secret is revealed in this issue that could ruin their friendship forever? Find out here, then come right back next month for a MAJOR change in status in the title that will always be "INCREDIBLE"!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Okay, Marvel often engages in dodgy math and strange re-titling and character re-purposing schemes to suddenly get to anniversary issues, but in this particular instance, they've just completely lost me.

They took the "Incredible" from The Incredible Hulk, which was retitled The Incredible Hercules but kept IH's numbering and put it in front of the the title Hulk, which should only be on somewhere around issue #15 or so in July, and...how exactly did they reach #600 with it? Because even if they transferred Incredible Hercules/Incredible Hulk's numbers over to Hulk, it still shouldn't even be at #200, based on the fact that Incredible Hercules is only on issue #131 this month, right?

Feh.

I hope this isn't really the end of the Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente-written Hercules and Amadeus Cho adventures, as Incredible Herc is one of my favorite ongoing super-comics. And man, I can't believe they still haven't revealed who Red Hulk is. Jesus; is Loeb really maintaining interest and suspense with that? (I honestly don't know; I haven't read any of it).


MARVEL 1985 TPB
Written by MARK MILLAR
Penciled by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS
Cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS
The Marvel Universe comes to life. In this heavily anticipated story, Mark Millar and Tommy Lee Edwards transport you to a strange and exotic world: the year 1985. There, young Toby Goodman lives an ordinary life, filling his days with Marvel comic books as an escape from his mother and stepfather, and a way of connecting with his lazy but well-intentioned dad. Things looked like they would continue on this way ad nauseum, until Toby stumbled across an old house, inhabited by the villains that terrorize the Marvel Universe. At first, no one believes what he claims to have seen, but that was before the bodies started turning up. The Marvel super-villains are exciting and fun when you read about them in a comic, but what happens when Doctor Doom is standing before you, or the Mole Man and his Moloids attack? Collecting MARVEL 1985 #1-6.
176 PGS./Rated T+ ...$19.99


So, what was the consensus on this one? I was mildly interessted in this, until I saw the price tag, and figured I'd just look for a copy of the trade at my library someday. It seems that—as with his run on Fantastic Four and, to a lesser extent, Wolverine—this book seemed to generate a lot less buzz and online interest than past Millar projects. In fact, it seems like I stopped hearing about 1985 right after the first issue shipped.


MARVEL DIVAS #1 (of 4)
Written by ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA
Art by TONCI ZONJIC
Cover by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
70s DECADE VARIANT by TBA
Diva (dee-vah), noun: An unusually glamorous and powerful woman. See: Patsy "Hellcat" Walker; Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy; Angelica "Firestar" Jones; and Monica "Photon" Rambeau. What happens when you take four of the Marvel Universe's most fabulous single girls and throw them together, adding liberal amounts of suds and drama? You get the sassiest, sexiest, soapiest series to come out of the House of Ideas since Millie the Model! Romance, action, ex-boyfriends, and a last page that changes everything! Let your inner divas out with this one, fellas, you won't regret it!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


See this was never meant for women after all. The solicitation specifically addresses men with the “Let your inner divas out with this one, fellas” bit at the end.

This sounds pretty awful and ill-considered—wouldn't the book make more sense years ago, when Sex and The City was actually still on?— ut I don’t exactly have anything to add to any of the sniping and sniggering that have already greeted it. I still think diva has picked up an extremely negative connotation, and hasn't been used as a compliment for a good five years at least.



Er, is that supposed to be Jennifer Kale? Why are her breasts so big? Like, five times bigger than the other times Greg Land drew her?

This latest Van Lente/Kev Walker Marvel Zombies series sounds good and, covers aside, looks good, but I’m waiting for the trade. Hopefully that will be Land-free.


ULTIMATE COMICS SAMPLER
Written by ARUNE SINGH
After Ultimatum, the Ultimate Universe is forever changed—enter Ultimate Comics, from the minds of Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis! Who is Ultimate Spider-Man? Who are the New Ultimates? Who will join the Ultimate Avengers? And just what is the Ultimate project so top secret, so earth-shattering, that we can’t even mention its name? Get your first look at the comics that’ll have everyone’s jaws on the floor this summer!
32 PGS./Rated T+...FREE


Well, you can't beat the price, anyway...


X-MEN: WOLVERINE/GAMBIT PREMIERE HC
Written by JEPH LOEB
Penciled by TIM SALE
Covers by TIM SALE
The feral X-Man and the ragin' Cajun — as interpreted by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the award-winning creators of Daredevil: Yellow, Superman: For All Seasons and Batman: Dark Victory! Warrior. Ronin. Soldier. Mutant. Logan knows little of his past, save that it was fraught with pain and loss. Long ago, he was trained as a samurai in Japan; later, he became Weapon X, a covert operative for the Canadian government. Today, Wolverine is an X-Man -- using his animal-keen senses, accelerated healing factor and razor-sharp claws to help protect a world that fears and hates mutants! Always an outsider, Gambit was shunned as a youth because of his strange, burning-red eyes. Eventually, Remy LeBeau realized he was a mutant, possessed of the ability to charge inanimate objects with explosively released biokinetic energy. A reformed thief and charming scoundrel, the ragin' Cajun always has a card up his sleeve!
Now, these two outlaw heroes have been drawn together by a string of brutal slayings that may mark the return of the 19th-century serial killer called Jack the Ripper! Is it merely coincidence that finds Remy and Logan in London, or does one of these enigmatic outsiders have an ulterior motive? Collecting WOLVERINE/GAMBIT: VICTIMS #1-4.112 PGS./Rated T+ ...$19.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-3802-0
Trim size: standard
X-MEN: WOLVERINE/GAMBIT PREMIERE HC — VARIANT EDITION VOL. 33
112 PGS./Rated T+ ...$19.99


Man, there is so much smoking in this book!

This isn't actually a very good comic book, and it's far worse than most Loeb/Sale collaborations, but it's bad in the sort of entertaining way that Loeb's bad-but-not-terrible comics tend to be. Sale's highly stylized Wolverine and Gambit look great, and he draws an awesome Arcade.

It's been a while since I've read it, but I remember it being super-loony. Like, robot Jack the Rippers are killing people, and, since they're using blades, the suspicion falls upon Wolverine, who has blades in his hands. Which is kind of funny, considering how often people get killed with blades in the world; are Wolvie's teammates always suspecting him of any stabbing-related crimes they get wind of?


THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ #8 (of 8)
Written by ERIC SHANOWER
Pencils & Cover by SKOTTIE YOUNG
The search for Glinda, Good Witch of the South, is full of danger—a giant spider-monster that eats whole animals like a spider does flies. It’s full of strangeness—a whole village of living china statues. And it’s full of both danger and strangeness—little armless folks who shoot their heads as missiles. But Glinda remains Dorothy’s final hope to reach home, so Dorothy and her friends must brave the journey.
32 PGS./All Ages ...$3.99


I'm looking forward to the trade of this, which I am pretty positive won't cost any more than $32, which is how much the eight individual issues of this series cost. Considering that it was something that was geared toward kids, Marvel's price gouging seems a little sadder in this case.

10 comments:

Anthony Strand said...

I would imagine that's the 600th issue of any Hulk comic ever, including the series lasted to four-hundred-and-whatever.

The other problem with "Marvel Divas" in regards to timing - you don't do a book with that title right after killing off Janet Pym!

Aaron said...

You don't hang around the right people. "Diva" is still very much considered a compliment within the gay community, of which Marvel Divas scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacas is a member. Anyone who read and enjoyed Angel: Revelations knows what a flair he has for relationship exploration, and should be very excited about this project.

Also, Firestar.

Preston said...

"Er, is that supposed to be Jennifer Kale? Why are her breasts so big? Like, five times bigger than the other times Greg Land drew her?"

Probably because Land swiped a picture of Pamela Anderson to draw her since the man is incapable of drawing from his own head.

guardianmonkey said...

You stopped hearing about 1985, most likely, because it was totally flat. Other than the interesting art, there's nothing contained within that's really substantial about to either enjoy or hate. The cry of the Millar fanboys even died on this one, while the usual haters all totally ignored it.

Boring book where nothing actually happens. According to Millar, it's somehow tied into his FF and Wolverine runs, Kick-ass as well, but you'd be hard pressed to see how.

LurkerWithout said...

Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis!Who are three writers that guarantee I won't pick up a book Caleb?

Also, Not Blog X covered that Wolverine/Gambit mini a while back. I recall he didn't treat it favorably either...

@Aaron: So Marvel Divas is meant to reach out to the gay comics-reading base? Couldn't that have been better done with four gay Marvel characters hanging out together. Which I guess would be Northstar, Anole, Wiccan and Hulkling. Yeah, I think thats all the gay males for Marvel...

Mory said...

I did the math for the Hulk numbering (consulting Wikipedia), and it's total nonsense. It's not just inconsistent on several levels, the math is actually wrong!

First, a few things this is not. This is not counting up all Hulk comics. That's 546 regular issues, and if you add in the annuals and one-shots and British series Hulk Weekly it's already well past 600. (I don't know exactly how many one-shots there are. It's conceivable that if you left out Hulk Weekly and added in every one-shot, you'd get exactly 600. I sort of doubt it, and there's no way for me to check.)

This is also not following the numbering of The Incredible Hercules, because if you combined the numbers for volumes 2 and 3 of Incredible Hulk, including Hercules, it's already at 605!

From what I can tell, what they're trying to do is pretend that the Jeph Loeb Hulk is just a continuation of The Incredible Hulk, and then pull their usual trick of combining the numbers with the previous volume.

Now, let's go through all the reasons this ridiculous. First, it's using a double-standard to ignore Hercules. See, the second volume of Incredible Hulk didn't start as Incredible Hulk. It started as Tales to Astonish, and Hulk only became a regular in issue 60! So by including those numbers, they're accepting into the numbering years' worth of issues which have absolutely nothing to do with the Hulk. So why isn't Hercules counted as well?

Secondly, it means that the 112 issues of Incredible Hulk vol. 3 before it was renamed are now being counted twice. If they want to disconnect Hercules from Hulk, then really they ought to be renaming Hercules so that the new issue is "Hercules #19", not "Incredible Hercules #131".

Third, and most importantly, if you add up volumes 2 and 3 of Incredible Hulk, including the non-Hulk Tales to Astonish issues and ignoring the six issues of Incredible Hulk vol. 1, then add in the thirteen issues of Jeph Loeb's Hulk, guess what number it's on? 599! I might have miscalculated, but it seems that after this whole twisted bit of spin, they got the math wrong. There might be a Hulk #13 in June, since the Marvel catalog has a #12 in May and #600 in July, but I've checked the June solicitations and there's no Hulk comic there.

So, this whole thing is totally ridiculous.

Matthew said...

@ Preston - no way, as a friend of mine pointed out that face is totally Geena Davis.

snell said...

Mory--just a reminder that when Hulk finally got his own series back in 1968, he took over the old numbering of Tales to Astonish at 102. So you've got to roughly subtract 100 for your counts. And even if they're counting his TTA run, that didn't start until issue 60, so subtract 60...

Mory said...

I realize that there was a name change, but it doesn't really make any difference. By renaming Tales to Astonish (which was already a Hulk book at that time) rather than starting a new one, they sort of set a precedent. Why shouldn't the new Incredible Hulk count those issues, when even the old one did?

Matthew J. Brady said...

I thought 1985 was pretty stupid, with pretty good art by Tommy Lee Edwards. It's one of Mark Millar's signature "what if superheroes were, like, real? Wouldn't that be awesome?" stories, with Marvel supervillains showing up in the real world and killing a bunch of people. He did try to tell a father/son story, but I thought it fell pretty flat. If you get it from the library or something, look at it for the art, but the story sucks.

I think Tim Callahan liked it, but he's the only one I remember hearing anything positive from.