Sunday, March 17, 2013

Marvel's June previews reviewed

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Or, as it's sometimes known, Happy St. Caleb-Finally-Got-Around-To-Sifting-Through-Marvel's-June-Solicits-Day!

You can see the full solicits at Comic Book Resources or at ComicsAlliance.

But you probably knew that already, huh?

Anyway—


A+X #9
GERRY DUGGAN & ADAM WARREN (W)
SALVADOR LARROCA & ADAM WARREN (A)
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
• SPIDER-WOMAN & KITTY PRYDE (with Lockheed in tow, of course) investigate
some unfinished alien business!
• Adam Warren returns to Marvel with an amazing short story so chock full of awesome that we can’t even attempt to sum it up in one sentence!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Please note: ADAM WARREN!

That is all.


AGE OF ULTRON #10 (OF 10)
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W)
BRANDON PETERSON, CARLOS PACHECO& JOE QUESADA (A/C)
Cover by BRANDON PETERSON
...
THE FINALE!
The biggest secret in comics will be revealed to you! An ending so confidential…even the artists of this book don’t know what lies on the final pages…! A surprise so big that comic book legend Joe Quesada himself returns to the pages of Marvel Comics to draw a sequence that people will be talking about for years.
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
*All covers of Age Of Ultron #10 will be polybagged


The series that began with a gold-embossed cover will end with a polybagged issue, because of course it will.

Meanwhile, "comic book legend Joe Quesada"...? Er, I think Quesada was a fine EIC and all, despite a few pretty dumb "genie" re-bottling initiatives, and personally producing an awful lot of terrible, terrible art, but "legend" is pretty strong, even from an admirer isn't it? He drew The Ray and Azrael miniseries, a short run on Daredevil, universally reviled miniseries One More Day and...what? Some 35 or so variant covers...?

Not exactly the Paul Bunyan of comic books, basically.

And man, I really feel like there's a good joke to be made in response to "the biggest secret in comics," but I just can't come up with one at this point. Dammit.


Age Of Ultron #10A.I.
MARK WAID (W) • ANDRE ARAUJO (A)
Cover by SARA PICHELLI
Variant cover by PAOLO RIVERA
• One of Marvel’s most classic characters, Hank Pym, stands at the crossroads!
• Faced with a dilemma only he can solve, Pym gambles his past and his future!
• Some men are beyond redemption! By story’s end, Hank Pym will have an entirely new role in the Marvel Universe!
32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+…$3.99

I like how this solicitation immediately follows the one marked Age of Ultron #10 (of 10), the one that also says, "THE FINALE!" I think that may even be funnier than numbering this apparently not-that-important epilogue-ish comic as "#10A.I.", whatever, exactly that means (I mean, I know that A.I. means artificial intelligence, and that there's a robot in the series, but I don't understand how it figures into a number, exactly).

I was going to note how similar this cover looks to one for an upcoming issue of Batman and Robin...
...But then I remembered that one-guy's-head-exploding-out-of-another-guy's-head isn't really all that unique. Like, they did that with Batman in 1989 or so, too...




AVENGERS ARENA #10
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) • RICCARDO BURCHIELLI (A)
Issue 10 Cover by DAVE JOHNSON
Issue 11 Cover by MICHAEL DEL MUNDO
IT’S HUGE MOMENTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS IN PARTS 3 & 4 OF “GAME ON!”
• Issue #10 = Nico’s valiant stand…against Sentinel?
• Issue #11 = Hazmat’s new romance…with Reptil?
• Featuring the debut of guest-artist Riccardo Burchielli (DMZ)!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$2.99 (EACH)

Oh shit, there are Runaways in this book too...? Oh man...

I'm going to read this at some point, probably when it's collected and available at the library, if only to see what the hubbub was all about (and because I like some of these characters), but I'm kinda surprised Marvel went so long without using the Runaways characters and then brought at least one of them back for their superhero cover version of Battle Royale.

I'm personally hoping that any young heroes that get killed in it are actually just robot duplicates made by Arcade to demoralize the heroes. Because slotting teenagers is so...well, I was going to say passe, which it is, but it's also kind of depressing, too.

I kinda hated that Terror Titans miniseries Sean McKeever wrote for DC that was kinda sorta premised around that fact, and I didn't even feel that emotionally invested in any of those characters the way I would be in, say, Nico of the Runaways.



DARK AVENGERS: MASTERS OF EVIL TPB
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by NEIL EDWARDS
Cover by JOE QUINONES
What force on this planet — nay, this universe — could turn Earth’s deadliest villains into Avengers? Trapped in a dangerous world, Skaar, Moonstone and Ragnarok go to war with…the deadly Dr. Strange! And when Dr. June Covington is turned loose in Tony Stark’s Frankensteinian laboratory, who will be her first subject for “improvement”? When the Dark Avengers find the secret to returning home, can they fight their way out of King Thing’s torture pit and overcome Iron Man? As a world crumbles, what’s up Moonstone’s sleeve? The Dark Avengers may just prove evil is our only hope! Collecting DARK AVENGERS (2012) #184-190.
160 PGS./Rated T+ …$14.99

Yes, but does it come with an Ohio state flag variant...?



FF #9
MATT FRACTION (W) • MICHAEL ALLRED (A/C)
Wolverine Costume Variant ALSO AVAILABLE
• What happens? POOL PARTY.
• Who do they fight? POOL PARTY.
• What do we get? POOL PARTY.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99


If I only bought one comic from Marvel in June of 2013, I would want to make sure it was the one with that cover (Not sure why Edward Cullen looks like he's so miserable there though).


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • Sara Pichelli (A/C)
...
• The biggest surprise hit of the year continues as critically acclaimed artist Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Spider-Man) climbs aboard!
• Gamora is one the galaxy’s greatest warriors…with a deadly secret that could bring down the entire team.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I think Pichelli's an amazing artist, and one of the strongest in Marvel's stable, but holy smokes, it's only the fourth issue (or fifth issue, if you count ".1" as an issue, which you probably should). Is that as long as Steve McNiven could take Marvel's accelerated publishing schedule? Because that's not very long. That's, like, one half of a Brian Michael Bendis story arc.

Maybe it's just me, but it's really starting to annoy me that these books are being sold/originally presented as the work of particular creative teams, and then the teams—or, more regularly, the artists—change in a matter of months. See also Savage Wolverine this month, the Frank Cho-written and Frank Cho-drawn title, which is now by Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira, whom I am relieved to see did not actually die of shame after his work on Ultimates 3, as I worried he might.



HAWKEYE #12
MATT FRACTION (W) • Francesco Francavilla (A/C)
• The sleeper hit of 2012 is now the can’t miss book of 2013 (and probably the overhyped book you’re sick of people talking about in 2014!)
• Reeling from the events of the last issue, even Hawkeye wants to know what his new status quo is. Who’s with him? Who’s against him? Who’s trying to kill him and why? So many dang questions!
• And just when Clint’s rock bottom couldn’t arrive fast enough… “Then Came Barney”
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99


Another great artist who is nevertheless not David Aja on Hawkeye. Hmmm...

I hope Aja's coming back. This cover, while a fine image, doesn't really look like the cover of a an issue of Hawkeye, does it...?



INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #9
MARK WAID (W) • Matteo Scalera (A)
Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
...
“BLIND RAGE” PART 1!
• Guest-starring Daredevil!
• The secret of the friendship between Matt Murdock and Bruce Banner!
• Hulk--on the witness stand?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

I've probably said this a few times before, but I really wish this was $2.99, like the Mark Waid-written Daredevil, instead of $3.99. I'm not sure what accounts for the difference. Is it that Hulk is $1 more valuable than Daredevil? Is Matteo Scalera $1 better an artist than Chris Samnee? Does Waid write 33% better on this book than he does on Daredevil...?

Anyway, cute cover from occasional Daredevil cover artist Paolo Rivera.


NEW AVENGERS #7
JONATHAN HICKMAN (W) • MIKE DEODATO (A/C)
Wolverine Costume Variant By Terry Dodson
“WHY NOT WAR?”
• The cold war between Atlantis and Wakanda heats up.
• Who is the secret member of the Illuminati that many of the members do not know about?
• How does Black Bolt lie?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


In a bed...? Or is that "lay"...?


NOVA #5
JEPH LOEB (W) • ED MCGUINNESS (A/C)
Variant cover BY Mr. Garcin
• The origin of the most talked about new character of the year comes to a shattering conclusion.
• Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, two of the most popular creators in comics, bring you an Infinite-ly dramatic turning point in the life of Nova as he discovers that something out in the galaxy is threatening everything he knows.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


There's that "talked about" thing in association with Nova again. No one is talking about Nova.


I like this Superior Spider-Man cover, which is apparently drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli.


RED SHE-HULK #66
JEFF PARKER (W)
CARLO PAGULAYAN & WELLINTON ALVES (A)
Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
“ROUTE 616” CONTINUES WITH A NIGHTMARE AT THE NEXUS OF REALITIES!
• Betty needs to save the future, but THE MAN-THING stands in her way!
• The Mad Thinker retools the ECHELON soldiers!
• Red She-Hulk versus Green She-Hulk!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99


Let's see, Jeff Parker scripts, She-Hulk, Man-Thing and Francesco Francavilla...this one's got a whole handful of some of my favorite things about comics.


STAR-LORD: THE HOLLOW CROWN
STEVE ENGLEHART & CHRIS CLAREMONT (W)
STEVE GAN, JOHN BYRNE & MICHAEL GOLDEN (A)
Cover by Ed McGuinness
• As a child, Peter Quill spotted a flying saucer — and it ruined his life forever!
• Now a withdrawn, embittered adult, Quill strives to become an astronaut — so he can return to space and take revenge!
• How does a fateful encounter with the Master of the Sun change his destiny — and transform him into the intergalactic policeman known as Star-Lord?
• And can even the newly empowered Star-Lord triumph over a sadistic group of alien slavers?
• Collecting material from MARVEL PREVIEW #4, MARVEL PREVIEW #11 and STAR-LORD SPECIAL EDITION.
104 PGS./Rated T+ …$7.99

Wow, considering Marvel charges $4 for 20-22 pages sometimes, that's a hell of a great value. Especially if you can stand Chris Claremont's narration! (I...struggle with it. Mightily).


THE TOWER CHRONICLES: GEISTHAWK PREMIERE HC
Written by MATT WAGNER
Penciled by SIMON BISLEY
Cover by SIMON BISLEY
HE LIVES TO KILL THE DEAD. Written by Matt Wagner, award-winning creator of Grendel and Mage, and co-created with Thomas Tull, executive producer of 300 and The Dark Knight, this hardcover edition collects The Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk, Volumes 1-4, an epic which tells the first compelling tale of John Tower, a supernatural bounty hunter who tracks and destroys the uncanny evils that haunt our world. His harrowing missions lead him across the globe and into the darkest recesses of mankind’s most dangerous places to banish a wide variety of poltergeists, demons, and other unfathomable evils to free his troubled patrons from their tormentors’ ethereal grasp. Stalked by sultry sirens who want to devour his very life, hunted a by rival mercenary organization, and set-up by sinister corporations, Tower faces more threats than ever before. Meanwhile, his unofficial “partner,” FBI agent Alicia Hardwicke, begins to uncover pieces of Tower’s shadowy past, bringing up the question: What secrets can a man who hunts monsters possibly have that are even more chilling than his prey? Will our hero reach his mysterious goals…or will Tower die trying? Illustrated by acclaimed 2000 AD and Lobo artist Simon Bisley.
288 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99


No, I don't know why this comic, published by Legendary, is showing up here in Marvel's solicitations.

I liked the first volume well enough; it was pretty generic stuff, really, but it was well-done.


Jeph Loeb and the advent of $4 comics scared me away from the Ultimate imprint, so I don't know: Will June's Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #24 be the first appearance of Ultimate Cloak and Dagger? Or should that be Ultimate Cloak and Ultimate Dagger...? Not feeling there Utlimate costumes as much as their regular costumes, but I guess it's just a single cover image in profile.



Clever. Another clever cover for X-Men: Legacy, perhaps the most inappropriately named title at Marvel at the moment ("inappropriate" as in the contents don't seem to match it).


YOUNG AVENGERS #6
KIERON GILLEN (W) • KATE BROWN (A)
Cover by JAMIE MCKELVIE
...
• Ever wonder what the super hero equivalent of a terrible soul-sucking talent-wasting temp job is? You haven’t? Oh go on. Actually, don’t. We’ve done it for you and written a story about it. This one.
• Wonder what Tommy (aka Speed) has been up to? Discover herein.
• Wonder why mutant David Alleyne (aka Prodigy) hasn’t been even in the background in any one of the eight thousand X-books? Discover that herein too.
• Existential horror turns cosmic horror as something emerges from the shadows of the past. It seems the Young Avengers have yet one more thing to worry about.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99


Oh look, another comic with a new artist after not-very-many issues. I don't know who Kate Brown is, but I hope she's awesome, because the art is at least half of the reason I so enjoyed the first two issues of Young Avengers.

At least the cover is still McKelvie. And still awesome.

4 comments:

Akilles said...

Superior will still be going on? Well, okay then...

JohnF said...

I like Joe Quesada's art. Certainly more than I like his editorial decisions.

Simon (formerly Johnny Sorrow) said...

Quesada also did an arc of Iron Man, in which the suit becomes self-aware due to the Y2K bug and then goes all-out stalker on Tony Stark. It was... not the high point of the run.

I also have to say I'm a little worried about that Ultron A.I. teaser. Given Bendis' attitude towards the character, the line "Some men are beyond redemption" does not bode well for the often ill-used Hank Pym

JohnF said...

I find it impossible to believe Joe Madureira was brought in because of scheduling concerns. It's a move that must have been planned in advance, because there's almost nobody worse in comics when it comes to meeting deadlines.