Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Marvel's August previews reviewed

Hooray! Marvel released their solicitations for the books they intend to publish in August of this year today, which means I can spend another night's blogging time simply cutting and pasting those and adding a few sentences of "commentary" instead of, like, thinking critically or generating original thoughts. Here's the full list at Newsarama, and you'll find the relatively few things I had anything to say about below.

Fear Itself will still comprise much of the publisher's Marvel Universe output come August, and I still have a hard time getting my head around the concept and/or finding its hook compelling after the last few rounds of big Marvel events, which seemed pretty similar.

Of course, I am looking at the event/story from afar, not having read the first issue. Here's my understanding of it; let me know how close I am...

The Red Skull's daughter, The Red Skull, finds a magic Thor hammer and it somehow unleashes the Asgardian equivalent of the Titans of Myth, who drop more magic Thor hammers, which transform various big, strong Marvel guys into bigger, meaner Marvel guys. And something about supernatural fear overtaking the world too.

...Am I close?

Not to make this about Marvel vs. DC, I must say in this particular conflict, Flashpoint's "Barry Allen in a superhero It's a Wonderful Life" or maybe just "DCU Barry Allen wakes up in an Elseworlds miniseries," is a lot easier to grasp and get excited about.*

That's good news for DC; in past crossover match-ups, their events lacked the clarity of Marvel's. Like, say, Infinite Crisis (the heroes of Crisis On Infinite Earths try to restore the pre-Crisis multiverse and are now sort of insane villains, fight the current DCU because of insanity ) versus Civil War (superheroes divided over The Patriot Act come to blows), or Final Crisis (extra-dimensional super-gods disappear from DC history, then return as humanoid avatars and the god of evil's murder of his son leads to the acquisition of the anti-life equation, leaving it up to the superheroes to stave off the apocalyse by, um, something something something, continuity reboot...?) versus Secret Invasion (aliens invade Earth, V-style).


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #667
Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils & Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
FF Anniversary Variant by Stephanie Hans
THE SPIDER-MAN EVENT OF THE DECADE BEGINS!
Start Webbing The News! New York City’s Infestation is complete and eight million people are plagued! As someone near to Peter Parker’s life reveals their spider-abilities, the brilliantly fearsome Jackal rises from the past and begins organizing an army of Spider-powered soldiers. Spider-Man isn’t the only hero affected as the threat goon grows bigger than any one Fantastically Friendly Neighborhood Avenger can handle. Best-selling Spidey creators Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos spin a Spider-epic that turns Peter Parker’s BIG TIME into a BIG MESS. Bad romance, death-defying violence and one man facing his FINAL fearsome destiny... this one’s got it all! Simply put, pal....YOU NEED THIS!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


I like the idea of this, and the idea of various Marvel superheroes getting Spider-Man powers and Spider-Man-ized costumes, although the designs on the cover above are kind of lackluster.

"Fantastically Friendly Neighborhood Avenger" is clever.


AVENGERS #16
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Cover by ALAN DAVIS
FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN
Amidst the ashes of what is left of the Marvel Universe and during the bombastic battles throughout New York, a new Avengers romance blossoms.
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


Hey, did his wife who just came back from the dead die again? Or did they break up? Or is this a fear thing, like Mockingbird's worst fear is seeing her husband hook up with someone else? Or is this Spider-Woman's worst fear, that she hooks up with Hawkeye? That's an understandable fear, really. I'd wake up screaming if I dreamt I was dating Hawkeye.


AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #7 (of 9)
Written by ALLAN HEINBERG
Pencils & Cover by JIM CHEUNG
IT’S THE AVENGERS VERSUS THE X-MEN – with the Young Avengers and X-Factor caught in the crossfire -- as all four teams battle to determine who will hold the Scarlet Witch responsible for her crimes. Plus, when the origin of the Scarlet Witch’s godlike powers – and the secret history of her murderous rampage in “Avengers: Disassembled” -- are finally revealed, the truth creates a rift among the members of the Young Avengers that the team may not survive.
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Wow, not only is this series still going on, but it will still be going on in August?

It seemed like it started forever ago. Wait, let's check...Yeah, the first issue shipped in July of 2010, so a nine-issue miniseries should have ended in...let's see here...Oh, it should have ended last month.


DISNEY • PIXAR PRESENTS: INCREDIBLES - FAMILY MATTERS
Written by MARK WAID
Penciled by MARCIO TAKARA
Your favorite super-hero family is back to save the day! But Mr. Incredible is keeping a secret from his family: He lost his powers, and doesn’t know why. After a visit to Dr. Sunbright — a physician specializing in super-powered patients — confirms his otherwise good health, Mr. Incredible must come to grips with the fact he just isn’t super anymore. Now, he’s faced with the decision to tell his family and get grounded, or keep his secret from his loved ones and risk someone getting hurt.
96 PGS./All Ages ...$5.99


It would be nice if Marvel would mention Boom in these solicitations, if only so one would know whether this was original material or a reprint. I'm not as familiar with Boom's Incredibles comics as I am their Muppet Show comics, the first few of which Marvel is planning to reprint in this format. A quick Google confirms that this has the same creative team and sub-title as the first Boom-published story, so I guess this is another reprint rather than all-new comics material.


FEAR ITSELF: THE DEEP #3 (of 4)
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Pencils & Cover by LEE GARBETT
FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN
In the midst of FEAR ITSELF, anything goes! Just as the unlikely team of Namor, Dr. Strange, the Silver Surfer, the Savage She-Hulk, and Loa band together, they’re torn apart by a nightmare from the depths. And now each of these heroes must face an almost unstoppable enemy--and crushing fear--alone!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


I don't really have anything to say about this, other than that I think it's cool that Namor villain—Tigershark, I think—has two heads on the cover. Does that represent one of the characters' greatest fears? That Tigershark had twice as many heads? Or did he get a magic hammer and instead of getting a Tron variant-like redesign, he got a second head?

Anyway, cool cover.



GAMBIT: FROM THE MARVEL VAULT #1
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Penciled by GEORGE TUSKA
Cover by DAVID YARDIN
X-Man Gambit joins the Champions to take down the Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing! From those halcyon days gone by when the Champions were L.A.’s premier super-team comes this amazing assemblage featuring: Ghost Rider,_the Black Widow, Angel, Remy LeBeau and the demi-god_Hercules! The Champions are in a desperate race to stop the malevolent MODOK from coming into possession of the Scroll_of Vishota. With such a parchment in your control, world_domination is but moments away. Looks as if the ragin’ Cajun showed up just in time!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


I think Gambit is maybe the funniest character in the Marvel Universe. I like how, in theory, in the abstract, he seems like a cool, appealing character. Like, if you read a few sentences describing the character without ever having seen or experienced him, you might think, "Hey, he seems kind of neat." But then you see him, and he's wearing, what, a neon-pink catcher's uniform, with a trench coat on top? And a headband that's built into the neck of his spandex tunic? And the accent! Hoo boy! I laughed out loud every time he was on screen and talking during that shitty, awesome '90s X-Men cartoon.

Actually, come to think of it, I also laughed out loud every time Professor X or Wolverine or Storm or Colossus or Beast talked on that show too. I was generally convulsing with laughter the entire time I watched it.

Anyway, Gambit is stupid...but hilariously stupid.

I'm totally pre-ordering this though, because I love The Champions and want to take this opportunity to laugh at Gambit. I hope Lobdell writes his dialogue heavily accented, and spelled out phonetically...


HERC #6.1
Written by FRED VAN LENTE & GREG PAK
Penciled by MIKE GRELL
Cover by CARLO PAGULAYAN
START READING with this Point One Issue!
Herc’s had a busy time recently. He saved all of reality, got_depowered in the process, moved out to Brooklyn and became a local_hero. Although he’s no longer a god and shows no interest in reclaiming his place in Olympia, that doesn’t mean that Olympia’s forgotten about him. A figure from Herc’s past has come to hunt him down, and his intentions for what to do once he finds him remain unclear. Does Olympia have it out for its former son? Written by_Marvel Masters Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and drawn by artist extraordinaire Mike Grell, HERC 6.1 offers an awesome jumping-on point for anyone curious about Marvel’s beloved bruiser, Herc!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Hey, Mike Grell! Might have been a good idea to have him do the cover too, though, so people would know that the inside of the book featured Mike Grell art...


GHOST RIDER #2
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Penciled by MATTHEW CLARK
Cover by ADAM KUBERT
FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN
The new Spirit of Vengeance has taken on The Serpent's first avatar,_SIN and held her own in battle. What does the mysterious Adam have planned for the Spirit next and is it cause for humanity's salvation or_eternal damnation? Meanwhile, Johnny Blaze is shown a vision of the future that confirms his worst fears regarding the new Ghost Rider. Can he take on his successor armed only with a shotgun and a really cool old-school motorbike?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99


Hey, is the new Ghost Rider a lady, or is that Sin's Fear Itself hammer-holding re-design? Either way, I think the combination of a flesh-less skull-head and breasts is pretty disturbing. Pick one and go with it, skull-headed lady!


IRON MAN 2.0 #7.1
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art by KANO
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
START READING with this Point One Issue!
Jump aboard HERE! An easy entry point into the comic critics are raving about! Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents) and Kano (Invincible Iron Man #500) take you on_a meteoric ride into War Machine’s redefined world and_all-new era!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Ha ha ha! Okay, Marvel came up with a funnier use of their weird-ass ".1" numbering initiative than launching new series issues number "0.1"—having a .1 issue to a series that already has a decimal point in its title. Just look at that title. How the fuck does someone walk into a comic shop off the street and process a title like that?


Spider-ISLAND: EMERGENCE OF EVIL - Jackal & HOBGOLBIN #1
Written by JIM McCANN, GERRY CONWAY & ROGER STERN
Penciled by PATRICK SCHERBERGER, ROSS ANDRU, JOHN ROMITA SR. & JOHN ROMITA JR.
Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA
Of all Spider-Man’s many foes, the Jackal and the Hobgoblin are two of the most tenacious. Both master manipulators, they’ve caused Spidey pain aplenty in the past — and now their shadows are again looming large! As a great evil emerges, peel back the layers of time and learn where it all began as we present the Jackal and Hobgoblin’s classic first appearances, fully remastered with modern coloring — with an all-new framing sequence by Jim McCann and Patrick Scherberger! Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129 and #238-239.
76 PGS./Rated A ...$4.99


Speaking of goofy titles, this one's at least one phrase too long. I'd kind of like to flip through it though, just to see if it's actually what it sounds like—the comic book equivalent of a clip-show episode of a TV series where the characters are, like, stuck in an elevator and set-up clips by saying things like, "Hey, remember that one time..."

By the way, I still can't read the phrase "Spider-Island" without hearing the narrator in this trailer's voice intoning "Horrors of Spider Island"


ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4-6 (OF 6)
Written by Brian Bendis, Jonathan Hickman & Nick Spencer
Art by Mark Bagley, Sara Pichelli, Salvador LaRocca, Billy Tan & CLAYTON CRAIN
Issue #4 Cover by MARK BAGLEY
Issue #5 Cover by ADAM KUBERT
Issue #6 Cover by BRYAN HITCH
Issue #4-6 Variant Covers by MARKO DJURDJEVIC

What will become of Captain America? Where have all the X-Men gone?_And what is up with the new Spider-Man suit? Don’t miss the final chapters of one of the most talked about Ultimate events ever._32 PGS. (each)/Rated T+...$3.99 (each)


I hate to be disagreeable, but I don't believe anyone at all is talking about this event anywhere.


So Greg Land still kinda sucks, huh?



*Or I suppose you could call Flashpoint "DC'sHouse of M." Just as you could call Civil War"Marvel's Legends, only with heroes fighting each other" or Secret Invasion "Marvel's Millennium".

8 comments:

corey said...

So Greg Land still kinda sucks, huh?

That's actually the best thing he's done in months. Which is really, really sad.

And Marvel would have been better served saving the "Death of Spider-Man" gimmick for the real Spidey. Speaking as a comic store register monkey, the only people who care about this are the people who barely read comics and don't understand the difference between Ultimate Spidey and the real Spidey.

Anthony Strand said...

I'd respectfully say that Secret Invasion was, in fact, Marvel's "Millenium."

Caleb said...

I'd respectfully say that Secret Invasion was, in fact, Marvel's "Millenium."

I would say the same. And I meant to. But didn't. Fixed it though; thanks.

kevhines said...

AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE is bi-monthly, so I think it's on schedule!

Nick Ahlhelm said...

Actually, Children's Crusade is bimonthly and STILL had a fill in month. Sad but true.

8fd478ec-81e1-11e0-90f9-000bcdcb471e said...

Young Avengers is now and always has been a bi-monthly series. 7 in August means it will have missed one month. Maybe it will slip more before then, maybe the industry shouldn't be encouraging glacially slow creative teams the way it does. But maybe you shouldn't be a snarky jackass about a book you don't follow or care about.

Caleb said...

But maybe you shouldn't be a snarky jackass about a book you don't follow or care about.

Maybe Mr. or Ms. 8fd478ec-81e1-11e0-90f9-000bcdcb471e, if that is your real name.

Travis said...

That Greg Land Colossus looks Liefeld-esque.