Marvel Comics released their solicitations for the comics they plan to release in February of next year. How many of that month's comics are going to be at the $2.99 price point the publisher had announced was going to become more common in their line, although that message came out in a rather clumsy, garbled way?
I don't know. I started counting, but then got sick of counting, as Marvel publishes a lot of damn comics. Here's what looked good and/or confusing to me this month though...
ARCADE: DEATH GAME #1 & #2 (of 3)
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Penciled by DAVID BALDEON
Cover by CHRIS SAMNEE
When the strange and deadly Arcade decides to rebuild his ruined
reputation, he sets his sights on the members of the Avengers Academy and the Young Allies. But when one of his teenage victims escapes, is it a setback for Arcade, or all part of his master plan to turn the entirety of New York into...Murderworld? DEATH GAME starts here!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
I haven't been reading Avengers Academy or Young Allies, so I don't know very many of the heroes who are going to be appearing in this series—save for Firestar, Gravity and that kid who turns into dinosaurs that was in The Initiative—but I really like the villain Arcade.
Well, I like the idea of the villain Arcade, anyway. You know how, like, 90% of all Silver Age supervillains tend to be ingenious inventors with incredible discoveries that could revolutionize one field or another and probably earn them millions of dollars, but instead of selling the blue prints for their freeze guns and weather wands or whatever, they decide to rob banks and jewelry stores? Arcade seems like the ultimate example of that—an assassin-for-hire who seems to spend several billion dollars in robots, animatronics and sets which work like Rube Goldberg deathtraps. That, as far as I've seen, never actually kill anyone (Hey, here's a trivia question for you X-fans out there! Has arcade ever successfully killed a name character before?).
Not sure if I should read this as a serialized comic book or just wait for the trade, since I no longer have any Marvel books on my monthly pull-list...I assume they will collect this at some point, even if it's only three issues?
I really like Samnee's version of the character on the cover there, too.
I like all the pretty colors in this Avengers cover by John Romiata Jr. It’s a fairly dull, static image, really, but the upraised fist and the focus on it that the light and color and all those radiating lines give it sort of transforms this into something pretty neat.
I’m not crazy about the way in which this Captain America cover by Marko Djurdjevic is rendered, but the concept and design are really rather strong.
CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE KORVAC SAGA #3 (of 4)
Written by BEN McCOOL
Pencils & Cover by CRAIG ROUSSEAU
Bad enough Captain America is a hero from the 1940s trapped in today’s world...now he’s a FUGITIVE trapped in the 30th century! Can the mysterious Korvac figure out a way to get Cap back home, or is the Star-Spangled Avenger forever on the run from a future gone mad!?
32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99
I hate the word "Korvac" soooooo much. I don't know why exactly; it just sounds like fingernails on a chalk board in my brain.
DEADPOOL MAX #5
Written by DAVE LAPHAM
Pencils & Cover by KYLE BAKER
“A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE”
She took him from the orphanage when he was a boy and raised him in a world of sex, violence, and deception. She trained him in a thousand forms of deadly combat. She’s a hot sexy cougar in leather, the number one trainer of domestic terrorists, and her name is The Taskmaster. The CIA wants her eliminated, but can Deadpool kill the woman he calls “mom”? Witness hand-to-hand combat like you’ve never seen as we take a trip down a memory lane lined with corpses.
32 PGS./Explicit Content ...$3.99
Anyone reading this series? How is it? I do so like that Kyle Baker fellow, but am pretty ambivalent about this Deadpool person...even when he appears on a cover involving what looks like a young woman dressed in a "Sexy Taskmaskter" Halloween costume.
HAWKEYE: BLIND SPOT #1 (of 4)
Written by JIM MCCANN
Penciled by TBA
Cover by MIKE PERKINS
Get it here: the past, present and future of the world’s greatest archer set to star in the upcoming Marvel Studios’ The Avengers movie! Hawkeye is left blindsided after the events of WIDOWMAKER, with a new vision of the world around him and, in order to move forward with his new life, he must first re-examine how it all began. All new era for the Avenging Archer begins here, as writer Jim McCann (Widowmaker, Return Of The Dapper Men) brings you a Clint Barton you’ve never seen before!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99
Pencil artist TBA, huh? For a four-issue miniseries that launches in three months? Um, someone better get drawing, huh?
Is Nick Fury allowed to do that? Just straight up steal the Punisher’s cover pose like that?
THUNDERSTRIKE #4 (of 5)
Written by TOM DEFALCO
Pencils & Cover by RON FRENZ
“Even the Mighty Can DIE!”
SPECIAL READER ADVISORY--This publication contains scenes of excessive action and angst in the mighty Marvel manner and is not for the faint of heart! As if they didn’t have their hands full with a power-mad demigod who is determined to destroy Olympus and Asgard, Thunderstrike and Gruenhilda the Valkyrie are traumatized by an unexpected death when they suddenly run into one of the greatest super-menaces of all--MANGOG, the merciless!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99
I don't really know anything about this character, and this creative team has never really knocked my socks off, but that is a hell of a cover, and if it were on a book with a #1 instead of a #4, and one that costs $2.99, I think that cover would have been enough to sell this issue to me.
Written by RICK REMENDER
Penciled by SHAWN MOLL
Cover SKOTTIE YOUNG
Collected from the pages of WHAT IF? DARK REIGN — THE OSBORN ASSASSINATION, WHAT IF? WOVLERINE: FATHER, WHAT IF? SPIDER-MAN and WHAT IF? IRON MAN: DEMON IN AN ARMOR, the House of Ideas asks and answers: What if the Venom Symbiote possessed Deadpool?!
32 PGS./One-Shot/Rated T+ ...$2.99
Huh. Is it weird that they announced a collection of the back-up strip running through Marvel's various What If? specials that will see release next month? Like, if you were a big Deadpool and Venom fan and you were considering reading all those specials to follow the back-up, wouldn't you just wait another two months and get this instead?
Written by JASON AARON
Art by TBD
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Special POINT ONE issue.
START READING with this Point One issue! CELEBRATE the most dangerous birthday in the Marvel Universe when Wolverine’s new girlfriend invites X-Men and Avengers alike to a surprise party for everyone’s favorite mutant. Logan’s birthdays has never been his favorite time of the year, but not even he could anticipate just how bad it could get. One thing is for sure—one way or another, blood will be drawn! Thrill to this stunning beginning of a whole new era for Logan...if he can survive the night!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
Here's another book with art by "TBD," and if it seems a strange thing to see in the credits of some random Hawkeye comic coming out in a couple of months, it seems pretty insane that they either don't know or arent' ready to announce the artist of this issue, since it's part of Marvel's "Point 1" initiative, which the publisher has already started heavily promoting as a jumping on point for brand-new readers, setting the stage for the next year's worth of stories from that particular title.
Written by Rick Spears, Jimmy Palmiotti, Mark Simmons, Vince Hernandez & Sarah Cross
Penciled by Tim Green, Rafa Garres, Mike Ryan, Luke Ross & Joao Lemos
Cover by Stephen Segovia
Variant Cover by Rafa Garres
He’s literally clawed his way out of hell, but in this savagely super-sized special, Wolverine’s inner diablo is unleashed when he leads THE LAST RIDE OF THE DEVIL’S BRIGADE. And Logan’s WWII era suicide-mission behind enemy lines is only the beginning of his troubles in a collection from today’s hottest talent that takes the long-lived killer to the bayou, the Mojoverse and beyond!
80 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$4.99
Okay, they did a #1000 issue for Deadpool as a joke once, but I don't get it here.Is the joke just that they keep telling the same joke over and over?
I sure would like to read a Rick Spears Wolvie story, though....
WOLVERINE AND JUBILEE #2 (of 4)
Written by KATHRYN IMMONEN
Penciled by PHIL NOTO
Cover by NIMIT MALAVIA
Undead teenagers, can’t live with ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em...because they’re undead. Wolverine may be taking on his roughest mission yet as he tries to kick some sense into Jubilee and boy, does she fight back! In his version of Upward Bound, X-Men style, he’s hauled her halfway around the world to get her away from whoever or whatever is trying to frame her for mass murder. But this town’s got a problem that’s going to take their combined efforts to combat, and Jubilee’s pursuer is hot on their trail.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99
I'm not familiar with the work of cover artist Nimit Malavia. But that's gonna change soon.
I dig Jubilee's earring...a terrible fashion choice she somehow makes work. Not bad for a girl who has only worn two different colors her entire life.
X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS PREMIERE HC
Written by VICTOR GISCHLER
Penciled by PACO MEDINA
Cover by ADI GRANOV
When a suicide bomber strikes in downtown San Francisco, it gets the X-Men’s immediate attention. But this is not your garden variety terrorist, and he’s not acting alone. Vampires from around the globe are descending en masse on the City by the Bay, staking a brutal claim for the patch of land the X-Men call their home. What is their agenda? Who is their mysterious leader? The X-Men are about to find out, as they brace themselves for a war of the species that will wrack the Marvel Universe. Collecting X-MEN #1-6, and material from X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS SAGA and X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS SPOTLIGHT.
168 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99
So is this the whole X-Men vs. Vampires story, not counting the various side-stories that expand the event horizontally, or just the first part of it? I want to read it in trade eventually, but it's one of those weird story events that's so big I'm not even sure how to do so.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS VOL. 1 GN- TPB
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by ROGER CRUZ, PAUL SMITH & KEVIN NOWLAN
Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
For millions of years, mankind’s place on Earth was unchallenged – until five young people paved the way for a new kind of human! While students at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman taught the world what it meant to be X-Men. These are the hidden stories of the team that laid the foundation of a mutant dynasty! Collecting X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2005) #1, #2, #4, #5 and #7; and material from the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS SPECIAL (2007).
128 PGS./All Ages ...$14.99
Hey, what's wrong with #3?
YOUNG ALLIES TPB
Written by SEAN MCKEEVER
Penciled by DAVID BALDEON & EMMA RIOS
Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE
The patriotic girl without a world in need of a home. The insecure newbie striving to be a better super hero. The illegal immigrant with a tortured past and a dream. The disillusioned Midwesterner desperate for direction. The veteran team player given a second lease on life. Five heroes against tyranny in all its forms. Five students pushing to make the grade. Five friends together on the road to adulthood. They are Nomad, Spider-Girl, Toro, Gravity and Firestar — the Young Allies! But even their combined might may not be enough to take on the team of teen terrors known as the Bastards of Evil! Plus: Just as the Young Allies have found themselves thrust together, the Uncanny X-Men’s devious Emma Frost threatens to pull them apart! Are her plans for former pupil Firestar sincere, or sincerely evil? Collecting YOUNG ALLIES #1-6, FIRESTAR #1 and material from AGE OF HEROES #2.
192 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99
Is $25 pretty expensive for just a little over seven issues of comics?
Well, one good thing about this meant-to-be-ongoing's short life is that the whole shebang fits between a single set of covers, I guess.