Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marvel's September previews reviewed

Looking at Marvel’s solicitations of comics they plan on shipping in September, which Newsarama has posted here, I will most likely only buy four individual comic books, for $13.96. Since there are five weeks in September, that equals an average of $2.79 a week on single issue, serially-published comic book-comics. (They’re Atlas, Gorilla Man, Spider-Man: Back in Quack and Deadpool Team-Up, if you’re wondering…three out of four of those are Jeff Parker writing Gorilla Man).

I’ll definitely be picking up the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man: Amazing Digest ($9.99), and, if I have the scratch to spare the week’s they’re released, the New Avengers: Luke Cage and Spider-Man: Fever.

And then there’s a whole mess of comics I’d like to read, but will hold off on until they’re released in trade…17 to be exact.

But let’s parse the solicits now, shall we?

Written by JASON AARON
Pencils & Cover by ADAM KUBERT
Wolverine and Spider-Man have gone from the dawn of time to the end of time. Now they’re stuck in the future, which would be so bright were the sun not eclipsed by DOOM: THE LIVING PLANET! Not only did Dr. Doom conquer our planet, but he also conquered Ego: The Living Planet and is back to finish the job on Earth. Only Wolverine and the Phoenix Gun stand in his way. All this, plus a shocking end that will change the way you look at the two biggest Marvel characters, thanks to Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE, PUNISHERMAX) and Adam Kubert (ULTIMATE X-MEN, HULK).

This series continues to sound like a ton of fun, although the covers have all been completely generic, betraying no hint of anything as cool sounding as Doom, The Living Planet or a Phoenix Gun. I’m not crazy about Adam Kubert, my least favorite Kubert, but I am looking forward to this trade eventually.

Aw, just the other day I had noted that the covers for Astonishing X-Men: Xenosgenesis book get progressively weirder, and, after issue #3, #4 and #5 would have to be almost unimaginably insane to continue the pattern.
And then the cover for #4 is released and it’s perfectly mundane. Maybe if Wolverine were suckling the baby on his hairy nipple…

Written by JEFF PARKER
FACT! Humans and Gorillas share 98.4% of DNA structure! FACT! There is one man with the initials WW who may be even closer! FACT! There is an immortal gorilla at large in the world who used to be a man, still speaks like one, and fires all the same guns as that other man! FINAL FACT: A common enemy has decided to put these two hominids on each other's trail and the man-ape-hunt IS ON!

Stupid Jeff Parker making me buy Deadpool comics grumble grumble swear word grumble…

Holy crap, look at Dan Brereton's Punisher! I don't want to sound hyperbolic here, but maybe Marvel should just go ahead and fire all their artists and have Brereton do all their comics from now on. Wait, that did end up sounding hyperbolic, didn't it? Anyway, great cover!

INVADERS #1 (of 5)
Penciled by CAIO REISS
Cover by ALEX ROSS
The greatest super heroes of World War II blaze into action—this time in the modern world! For the first time in decades, the original Invaders are alive and active at the same time! But what mysterious force has drawn them all together...and how does it relate to the darkest moment in Invaders history, an event so horrifying it threatens all life on Earth today? Featuring: Captain America! The Sub-Mariner! The original Human Torch and Toro! The Golden Age Vision! Spitfire! Union Jack! And Steve Rogers!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Fuck yeah…! I’m totally trade-waiting this…I still have to read the Ross-helmed Torch series I also trade waited…but I’m all over a modern Invaders comic.

I like this cover. It was created by Juan Doe, and it belongs to the other Iron Man ongoing monthly, the one that Matt Fraction doesn't write.

Above is the cover for the new New Avengers title, in which we see Wolverine wearing Dr. Strange Eye of Aggahardtospell on his head. It's--Wait, wait, wait. In addition to being on all the X-Men team, Wolverine is now on not one but two separate Avengers teams too? I know it’s Wolverine and appearing on multiple teams is kind of his secondary mutation, but now it’s just kind of getting silly. Why not stick him in Invaders (he fought in World War II!) and have him play shortstop for the Marvel Universe version of the Yankees as well?

Spider-Man: Back in Quack #1
Presenting two of Marvel’s finest: Spider-Man and...Cynical Duck (TM)? Yes, Howard the Duck’s brain has been thoroughly scrubbed, his hard-edged humor carefully dulled down for maximum demographic acceptance. It's up to Peter Parker to set the duck straight -- but does the world prefer Howard this way? Guest-starring the villainy of SOOPhI, the utter cluelessness of Mayor J. Jonah Jameson, and the unnerving eroticism of “Swizzle,” SOOPhI’s whip-wielding corporate spokeswoman. So wrong it’s...well, no, it’s still wrong, courtesy of Stuart Moore (NAMOR) and Mark Brooks (YOUNG AVENGERS). Plus: a tiny-size Man-Thing backup feature by Stuart Moore & Joe Suitor (MARVEL BREAKOUT)!
40 PGS./One-Shot/Rated A ...$3.99

Howard the Duck almost inevitably always looks “wrong” to me whenever he appears today, which I think is the intended result of the Disney/Marvel fight over whether this parody version of a Disney duck character looks like a Disney duck character or not, but Skottie Young does a pretty nice version. Young’s not drawing the interiors though, Mark Brooks is, and though I’m familiar with Brooks’ work, I’m having trouble imagining what his Howard the Duck might look like.

But hell, this is oversized, has a nice cover and will feature a Man-Thing back-up, so I’m game.

Written by BRYAN J.L. GLASS
Penciled by TAN ENG HUAT
Revealed for a new generation: the origin—and first year on Earth—of the God of Thunder! Who is the enigmatic Doctor Donald Blake? What is the secret that drives him to travel the world, seeking its challenges, and how does it connect him to the banished Prince of Asgard? Why has Thor been exiled to walk amongst mankind—and battle threats from beyond the stars? And before the entire saga is over, how will he react when confronted by the likes of Tony Stark, Reed Richards...and his devious brother Loki? Witness the legend reborn with a modern touch by Harvey Award-winning writer Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) and acclaimed Eisner-winning artist Tan Eng Huat (SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME)!
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Pencil artist Tan Eng Huat has such a unique style that I’m curious to see what his Thor might look like, and he would definitely be the reason I’d pick this up, if I picked it up. So naturally Marvel has a different artist entirely providing the cover for the book, so one can’t tell what it will look like until, I don’t know, it ships (or they give Comic Book Resources a preview, I guess).

Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by KEV WALKER
The Thunderbolts crossover with Shadowland begins here! Luke Cage heads into Hell’s Kitchen to pull his old friend back from the brink of madness. And if swarming ninjas aren’t enough, he's become aware of other forces that will make his task even harder. Going against the Warden and the government itself, Cage sends the T-Bolts in to level the playing field. But without his direct guidance, will this squad of killers and criminals make the situation even worse? Find out in the book IGN.com calls "Impressive...not to be missed."

I’m not sure how you really know at what point a super-comic event story gets too big—I guess I’d argue it’s too big at the point where the comics being published to tie-in to it stop being any good—but the Dardevil-centric Shadowland event story has gotta be dangerously close.

In addition to the main Shadowland miniseries and the Dardevil monthly, Marvel’s soliciting six different comics with the word Shadowland in the title for September, one of which features Ghost Rider, who isn’t exactly the first character that pops into my mind when I think “street-level,” “New York City,” “Daredevil” or “ninja shit.”

But when you get to the point where you’re including Man-Thing in your story/event about street-level heroes fighting ninjas and shit, then I think your story/event is officially too big.

Written by VARIOUS
Lock your doors, board up the windows, arm yourselves with stakes and sunlight...and it still won’t protect you when the vampires stalking the X-Men set their sights on YOU! The X-Men have their work cut out for them as they‘re pitted against a terrifying new clan of vampires in all the B-movie-styled glory we can print in four colors! Baby, this is one comic book with bite! Four brand new tales of horror await PLUS the first part of NIGHT SCREAMS, from Uncanny X-Men #159, the classic tale of Storm’s struggle with Dracula himself by Claremont and Sienkiewicz!
48 PGS./New & Reprint/Parental Advisory ...$3.99

This X-Men versus vampire event thingee is the first X-Men event in recent memory that I can actually wrap my head all the way around—it’s the X-Men fighting vampires and that’s pretty much it, right?—and yet there are so many damn comics being published as part of it that I’ll probably just wait to pick up a trade from the library in a couple of years.

But I did want to take a moment to congratulate Marvel on at least coming up with an X-Men story idea that seems reasonably straightforward.


Anonymous said...

"I’m not crazy about Adam Kubert, my least favorite Kurbert."

Really? You like everyone-has-Asian-eyes Andy Kubert better?

Ben Morse said...

Tan Eng Huat's Thor, for you:


Visit Marvel.com more often ;-)

A Person Who Exists said...

Wolverine as short stop, I see what you did there. Because he's short.

Matt D said...

Re: Wolverine.

You still haven't read that 2-part Jason Aaron "Wolverine talking to Spider-Man about why he's on all the teams" story, have you, Caleb?

Jacob T. Levy said...

Two Man-Thing cover appearances and a Man-Thing backup in a third book, all in the same month? That's kind of a lot all at once for everyone's favorite double-entendre-named swamp monster.

Randal said...

"tiny-sized Man-Thing." Heh. Nice callback.

Skye said...

Someone desperately needs to mock up a week out of Wolverine's calendar and post it on the internet. That man is BUSY.