Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Marvel's March previews reviewed

Eh, I've already talked enough about this one. So instead of talking some more about it, I suggest you visit Comixology to see what Tucker Stone has to say about both Girl Comics and DC's Earth One initiative.

It sounds like this:

Hey, I would've loved to be there and applaud when they tore those "Whites Only" signs off the water fountains in Atlanta, but that doesn't mean I'll be dancing in the streets of Crown Heights just because Black Lightning got a Year One series. Nobody throws me a party just because I made it to work on time, and you don't deserve one for only being 15 minutes late. Making a decision to publish a Batman graphic novel that won't include Ragman or any of those other thirty superheroes who fight crime in Gotham City isn't exactly a paradigm shift either. These are business decisions, and while one of them might have a lateral sociological benefit, it's not like either company had to wait until 2009 for the world to be ready.



IRON MAN 1.5 #1 (of 3)
Written by JOE CASEY
Art by BARRY KITSON
Cover by BRANDON PETERSON
An all-new adventure set in the movie world of IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2!
When Tony Stark announced "I am Iron Man" at the end of the blockbuster Hollywood mega-smash, his life changed forever. When IRON MAN 2 opens, it's months later and the world is totally different. What happened during that time? How did Tony Stark put a new chapter in the history books? And how did Iron Man break and rewrite all the rules? Find out in this OFFICIAL in-movie-continuity story!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


This is a somewhat weird project, given that Marvel hasn’t really done anything set in the continutiverse of any of their film projects before. But then, there are about 500 Iron Man comics in this month’s solicitations, so I suppose it was a simple matter of statistics that they would do an Iron Man comic set in the world of the movies.

Speaking of which, whatever happened to that Jon Favreau/Adi Granov Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas miniseries with Fin Fang Foom and Elsa Bloodstone? Did they ever get around to finishing that? Because that seemed like the ideal tie-in, being scripted by the director of the film and illustrated by one of the designers who worked on the film. And gee, wouldn't spring of 2010 be the perfect time to have that trade paperback collection available for sale?


LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS UNLEASHED #1 (of 4)
Written by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS
Pencils & Cover by IG GUARA & CHRIS SOTOMAYOR
Variant Cover by ROGER LANGRIDGE
Once upon a time, in a world of super heroes and villains, there lived a team of animals that saved the universe...and no one knew it. These creatures asked not for fortune or fame, merely to help the humans that pet them. But a new threat to the world has arisen, which only they know of, that could change everything...and kill one of them. Join CHRIS ELIOPOULOS, IG GUARA, and CHRIS SOTOMAYOR for an epic tale of adventure, courage...and sacrifice.
32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99


Fuck yeah! It will be hard to choose a cover though, given that the Guara one looks so nice (and has a panda!), but Roger Langridge is drawing the variant, and it's so awesome looking. Although maybe it's one of those incentive variants, in which case I won't need to decide anyway.


MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #61
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Penciled by CHRISTIAN NAUCK
Cover by TAKESHI MIYAZAWA
FINAL ISSUE! There’s been a fight brewing for some time, and it all explodes in this issue when Emma Frost comes face-to-face with justice in the form of...Sophia “Chat” Sanduval, the girl who can talk to animals. But is she a match for the woman who will become the White Queen? And with Spider-Man hunted by an entire crime family, and with Bullseye on his way...what can one wall-crawler do to help his girlfriend Chat, when she can’t even remember who he is?
32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99

MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES #21
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Penciled by CRAIG ROUSSEAU
Cover by CLAYTON HENRY
FINAL ISSUE! Who remembers Gary Gaunt? Considered a monster during World War II, he was secretly dropped behind German lines so his terrible “Jekyll and Hyde”
transformations would disrupt the German war effort. Gaunt...forgotten by society, has been able to control his hideous transformations for over 60 years...but when
his special serum is stolen, Nova and the Avengers find themselves at ground zero with the strangest man/
monster of them all!
32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99


Final what now...? These books were both recently given new directions, which seemed to improve their sales in the direct market a bit. Seems like an odd time to pull the plug, unless it's only to relaunch. I guess we'll see.



Oh so Luke Cage didn't die after all? That's good.


PRELUDE TO DEADPOOL CORPS #1 - #5 (of 5)
Written by VICTOR GISCHLER
Penciled by ROB LIEFELD (ISSUE #1), WHILCE PORTACIO (ISSUE #2), PHILIP BOND (ISSUE #3), PACO MEDINA (ISSUE #4), & KYLE BAKER (ISSUE #5)
Covers by DAVE JOHNSON
Issue #1 Variant Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Witness the birth of the most important super hero team ever in a universe-spanning event that will rock the month of March! Wade Wilson has been tapped to save the Universe, and to do that he’s going to need help. Enter: The sexy-but-insecure Lady Deadpool! The devious-but-lovable Headpool (a.k.a. the Zombie Deadpool Head)! The bratty-but-brilliant Kidpool! And the irascible mutt known as Dogpool! Individually, they’re, well, kind of messed up, but together, they’re the unstoppable force know as DPC.
Issue #1 40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99
Issue #2-#5 32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99


Three ongoings and a miniseries...? I don't know Marvel, I think you might be starting to push Deadpool's inexplicable popularity a bit now...

The art roster interests me—on issues #3-#5, anyway—but this has "Wait to Borrow the Trade from the Library" written all over it. Metaphorically speaking. I don't think it will actually have those words on the final cover.


SIEGE #3 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
Variant Cover by GABRIELE DELL'OTTO
Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
Sketch Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
The Marvel blockbuster of the year!!
In the halls of Asgard and on the streets of small town America the entire Universe is gripped
in a the greatest battle ever seen: SIEGE!! Lives
have been lost! Lines have been drawn! And the
battle for Asgard is in full force. The moment for
revelations and life-changing moves is here, and for some, this will be the last choice they ever make in this world. What happens next is so epic, so historic, that it changes the entire dynamic of the Marvel Universe. You're gonna want to be there for this one...trust us.
40 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Rated T+ ...$3.99


Weird. I read every sentence in this paragraph, and despite all the exclamation points—sometimes two to a sentence!—I don't feel an iota of excitement (Oh my God, am I finally dead inside?!). Nor do I have any inkling of what is actually happening here. The Marvel Universe is changing again, people are fighting, people are dying...that's been happening since "Avengers: Disassembled"...what different this time? I'll tell you what's different—it's completely vague. With other big Marvel events, it was pretty clear what was going on and why it was exciting—all-new paradigm for the Avengers, hero vs. hero, no more mutants, alien infiltration, Hulk beating everybody up—but all Marvel's offering here is a "trust us."

And given that it's being written by the guy who wrote "Avengers: Disassembled," House of M and Secret Invasion, it's hard to believe any of this "greatest battle ever seen" business. I've read hundreds of pages of Bendis writing Marvel superhero action, including several entire series devoted to vast assemblages of super-people fighting, and he is terrible at it. Secret Invasion was an eight-issue series with about two battles, one in which some heroes milled around the Savage Land, and another in which some heroes met some Skrulls in a field. There were double-page splashes of poses, and a green lady got shot in the head.

I suppose it's worth noting that this will be longer than 22-story pages (probably 30 or 32, if we assume there's 8-10 pages of ads...but who knows with Marvel), and it's got a cardstock cover for $3.99. With Secret Invasion, only the first issue was oversized with a cardstock cover, the rest of the series was $4 for 22-pages and the heavier cover stock. Which was insane.


SIEGE #1 DIRECTOR’S CUT
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled & Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL
Get a behind the scenes look at Marvel’s premiere event of 2010! Beginning with the ravaging affects of Avengers Disassembled and following the aftermaths of House of M, Civil War and Secret Invasion, culminating with the evil Reign of Norman Osborn, the Marvel Universe has been left with its greatest villains holding more power and control than ever before. On the brink of madness, Osborn, in his final bid to take total control, targets the final obstacle in his mission...Asgard. Events are set in motion forcing our heroes to put aside the deep rifts that have grown over the past seven years. Opposing them stand a horde of evil that has begun to take down the gods of the Golden Realm! SIEGE will rock the foundations of every super hero, villain and team in the Marvel Universe. As an era ends, one word will ring above all others...”SIEGE.” This bonus edition reprints SIEGE #1 in its entirety – plus the SIEGE PROLOGUE, previously available only online, and other choice extras.
48 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Rated T+ ...$4.99


This comic has a director...?


SIEGE: EMBEDDED #3 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN REED
Penciled by CHRIS SAMNEE
Cover by ADI GRANOV
SIEGE BLOCKBUSTER TIE-IN!!
The world is watching the Siege unfold as H.A.M.M.E.R., The Initiative, the Dark Avengers and more clash against the greatest assemblage of heroes ever. But will the transmission be cut short when Norman Osborn attacks? And what secrets will be exposed for all to see?
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Why isn't Frontline providing Phil Urich with a reporter's notebook? Why must he carry around that huge thing?

Also, has anyone revealed what H.A.M.M.E.R. stands for yet? That's been bugging me for months now...


STARR THE SLAYER: A STARR IS BORN TPB
Written by DANIEL WAY
Penciled by RICHARD CORBEN
Cover by RICHARD CORBEN
You want barbarian action? You got it! Nomad. Slave. Warrior. King. All of these describe the man known today as Starr the Slayer. But before he was any of those, he was simply an idea floating around in the head of Len Carson, a pulp novelist with ambitions of literary greatness. His dreams dashed and his career on the skids, Carson makes the fateful decision to revisit his most famous creation. But what he never expected was for his creation to revisit him...in person! Let the smashing and slicing commence! Collecting STARR THE SLAYER #1-4.
96 PGS./Explicit Content ...$19.99


Ugh. That's the sub-title they're going with? Well, whatever...a Corben-drawn comic is a Corben-drawn comic.


THE TWELVE: SPEARHEAD
Written by CHRIS WESTON
Penciled by CHRIS WESTON
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Europe, 1945: Captain America leads a mission to destroy the Nazis' missile program...and The Phantom Reporter wants in! An untold tale from Marvel's Golden Age featuring the forgotten heroes who would go on to become "The Twelve"!
40 PGS./One-Shot/Rated T+ ...$3.99

I’ll be happy to see some more reasonably priced Twelve comics, whether JMS gets around to finishing his series or not. I was actually more interested in what the characters would be doing in the modern Marvel Universe after that mini wrapped up more than I was who killed Blue Blade or whatever anyway. So, hooray for this book! Everybody guy a copy so they’ll make more!


WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #11
Written by JASON AARON
Pencils & Cover by RON GARNEY
"Tomorrow Dies Today" Part One
Beginning an epic, action-packed arc featuring the debut of an all-new, all-different Deathlok. Killer cyborgs have come from the future to kill the heroes of today, while Wolverine embarks on an international pub crawl with a certain recently reborn Sentinel of Liberty. Beer and bullets galore!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


I recently read the first trade paperback of this series and really enjoyed it (it's one of about a half dozen graphic novel reviews I've been meaning to get to at some point soon). I can't imagine reading this serially at this price, and I have a feeling I'd like it a lot less with a month between chapters, but that first volume was pretty much a perfect Wolverine story. This one sounds fun too.


WOLVERINE: WEAPON X VOL. 2: INSANE IN THE BRAIN PREMIERE HC
Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by YANICK PAQUETTE
Cover by ADAM KUBERT
Welcome to Dunwich Sanatorium, where the only people weirder than the patients are the doctors in charge. The newest resident is a man known only as Patient X, a poor confused soul who doesn't remember who he is or how he came to be here. He only has vague memories of living with wolverines and traveling to the moon and killing lots and lots of people. Lucky for him, he came to the right place. The good Dr. Rot knows everything there is to know about the human brain. Including how to remove it! Collecting WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #6-10.
120 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$24.99


This story arc however? Ugh. First, there’s that sub-title—if it were a person, I would slap it. Then there’s the whole sane person in a crazy asylum premise. And Yanick Paquette, whom I recall being pretty good, in for Ron Garney, who was a big part of why I enjoyed the first trade. And, finally, the name “Dunwich Sanatorium.” I’m pretty tired of H.P. Lovecraft allusions in comics, if only because that well is so well frequented (“The Dunwich Horror” was one of my favorite stories, though).

I’ll still give this a read if I can find it at a library for Aaron’s sake, but it doesn’t sound as promising as Wolverine vs. The Laser Claw Wolverine Team.


WEAPON X NOIR #1
Written by DENNIS CALERO
Pencils by TBA
Cover by C.P. SMITH
Variant by DENNIS CALERO
Spinning from the pages of X MEN NOIR: MARK OF CAIN...
“In the fourth century, Saint Jerome said that the face was the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.
I wear a false face, true. One that is hideous and deformed, to hide my true nature.
Or perhaps it is the mask that is real, and the face...a DEMON.”
40 PGS./One-Shot/Parental Advisory ...$3.99


I really dig the title for this one, as it sort of suggests Marvel's just randomly smooshing various title together. I expect a House of M Noir and 1602 Noir before next fall.


ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #1
Written by JEPH LOEB
Pencils & Gatefold Cover by FRANK CHO
Villain Variant by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Foilogram Variant by FRANK CHO
If only a few super heroes survived the Ultimatum -- who is left to become the next super powered team to be reckoned with? The NEW Ultimates! With Thor gone, Loki takes his revenge unleashing the worst of Asgard on Earth. Iron Man must gather the heroes for their biggest Ultimates adventure yet. But who has made the final cut? And who can’t be trusted? The Ultimates face evil once again and you’ll never guess the new enemies they’ll find...or should we say old friends? Superstar creators, JEPH LOEB and FRANK CHO (in his Ultimate Comics debut!) bring you the new face of the Ultimate line in NEW ULTIMATES: THOR REBORN!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99



Given the state of the Ultimate line before and after Jeph Loeb's Ultimates and, especially, the Ultimatum-prompted reboot, this book's very existence boggles my mind. And I don't mean that on a creative level—Loeb is working with artist Frank Cho, so this is guaranteed to be a bit more readable than his Ultimates 3--I mean on a strictly business level. Ultimatum didn't exactly kill the Ultimate (now Ultimate Comics) line, but all it did was cause a brief spike in sales before returning all the books to ever dwindling slumps. Can the line afford to risk more Jeph Loeb stories?


X-MEN: PIXIE STRIKES BACK #2 (of 4)
Written by KATHRYN IMMONEN
Penciled by SARA PICHELLI
Cover by STUART IMMONEN
X-23, Armor, Blindfold, Mercury and Pixie are stuck in a
nightmare high school and they can’t get out. Who is the
person responsible? Could it be Pixie’s father? And who is he? Here’s one hint—Hellfire.
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


Hey, an X-Men book that interests me! Too bad about Marvel's stupid $4-for-22-pages pricing...guess this is another one to put on my Hopefully Read in Trade...Someday list.

6 comments:

David page said...

Its nice to see Chris weston get a shot at writing an actual comic. His two one off stories in 2000ad this year have been brilliant.

Tony said...

How did McKeever manage to dodge that last one?

Esteban138 said...

I'm hoping that after Siege, Marvel will finally realize that big, explosive stories that destroy the status quo only work when you actually let things sit long enough for there be a status quo to shake up.

...I've been waiting for this since the end of House of M, which is why I haven't read a Marvel book since Civil War.

Also, to think that there was an artist on the Ultimates so bad that Frank Cho identical huge-chested linebacker women are considered an improvement.

Kid Kyoto said...

Dunwich Sanatorium?

Was the Miskatonic Institute already taken?

How about Arkham Assy- oh never mind. I can't even make fun of it.

bwmedia said...

They're finally putting the nail in Marvel Adventures coffin. Too bad it's getting buried alive. MA titles are a lot more enjoyable than anything in the other Marvel lines, and great for kids.

Had I read this before Christmas, some of my holiday cheer would have been gone.

Matt Ampersand said...

Just wanted to mention that the current Wolverine: Weapon X storyline is completely different from any other Wolverine story I have ever read.

While I enjoyed the first arc, I was struggling with the decision of buying it in singles or not, as it is the only 3.99 title I purchase that way. Like I said, I enjoyed it, but as it was mostly a prolonged fight scene, it was hard to justify it.

This arc totally redeemed that though, it's great, creepy, and full of dark humor that Aaron does so well. I'd recommend it, and it continues to prove that Aaron is one of the guys that truly gets Wolverine as a character.