Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Marvel's May previews reviewed
I saw the movie this past weekend and liked it just fine, but I'm still rather perplexed by the direct market's seemingly inexhaustible appetite for new Deadpool comics. I mean, at this point, Marvel will be publishing more comics branded "Deadpool" than they will be those branded either "X-Men" (five; All-New X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever and X-Men '92) or "Avengers" (three; All-New, All-Different Avengers, New Avengers and Uncanny Avengers).
Also of note, Marvel seems fully prepared to exploit the popularity of May the 4th with a ton of specially-priced, $1 reprints of various Star Wars comics, which should serve as excellent gateways into their Star Wars collections.
For a full run-down of what Marvel intends to publish in May of this year, I'd recommend you check out this post at Comics Alliance. For a few highlights and pithy comments from me on some of the things that Marvel intends to publish in May of this year, I'd recommend you stay right here.
MARK WAID (W) • MAHMUD ASRAR (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
VARIANT COVER BY ALEX ROSS
AGE OF APOCALYPSE VARIANT COVER BY Khoi Pham
New Story Starts NOW!
• Introducing the all-new Wasp! Who is she? What is she? And what does she intend to do about Earth's Mightiest Heroes?
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99
Who is she? I don't know, but I hear she's not Janet Van Dyne! What is she? I don't know; a new legacy character of one of the founding Avengers? WHat does she intend to do about Earth's Mightiest Heroes? I don't know, but I'd guess join them...?
I guess I'll have to read this comic–or, the trade collection of it, if I'm being honest–some day to find out!
I do know that I don't really care for her costume here, and given that this is an Alex Ross painting of it, if it doesn't look that great on this cover, chances are it's gonna look worse almost everywhere else.
That said, I don't think I've ever really liked any of The Wasp's costumes, and she's certainly had 30 or 40 much worse costumes than the one above, so, on the scale of Wasp costume awful-ness, I guess this not-that-great costume is maybe one of the better ones...?
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS: CRIME NOIR OMNIBUS HC
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS & MARC ANDREYKO
Penciled by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Cover by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
A compendium of classic, character-driven drama written and drawn by the king of crime, Brian Michael Bendis! What brings David Goldfish, an enigmatic grifter with a heart of gold, back to his old haunts -- where his old flame practically runs the city's underbelly, and his ex-partner-in-crime is now a police detective? Who is the bounty hunter Jinx Alameda, and what treasure is she hunting? How will she get drawn into Eliot Ness's real-life pursuit of one of America's most notorious serial killers? Plus: Bendis draws from real life in a compelling exploration of the complex world of international intelligence! For fans of powerful, modern takes on pulp fiction and true-world crime stories, it doesn't come any better than Bendis! Collecting AKA GOLDFISH: ACE, JACK, QUEEN, KING and JOKER; JINX #1-5; FIRE #1-2; and JINX: TORSO #1-6.
1152 PGS./Mature ...$125.00
Trim size: oversized
This is interesting. I haven't read all of these; in fact, I think a handful, but I'm fairly certain that these are all of Brian Michael Bendis' pre-Marvel, self-published crime comics, written and drawn when he was still in his hometown of Cleveland. That's a very high price point, even for over 1,000-pages worth of comics, but this is probably the easiest way to get all of those comics at once.
Anyway, I'm just pointing this out because I'm a little surprised to see it show up here. At this point, has Marvel collected just about every single comic work Bendis has ever done, save maybe some of the Spawn stuff he did between these comics and Ultimate Spider-Man #1...?
NICK SPENCER (W) • JESUS SAIZ (A/C)
Cover by JESUS SAIZ
He's back! The original Sentinel of Liberty returns, with a new shield, a new team, and a new mission! And he's not the only one who's back! Like the saying goes-- cut off one LIMB, two more will take its place! HAIL HYDRA!
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99
So, a couple of things here:
1.) Jesus Saiz is an excellent choice for a Captain America comic, but Nick Spencer wouldn't have been a name I would have ever thought of attaching to the character...which makes him a very interesting, very exciting choice (Spencer is, of course, an excellent writer, but his previous output has tended toward the quirky, which one doesn't usually associate with Captain America).
2.) I find it odd that Marvel will be publishing two books both entitled "Captain America" this May, distinguished by the secret identity of the star, which is included in the title of the book. I wonder if the launch of this book, and Rogers' apparent return to the role and to his youth, means that Sam Wilson's days as Captain America are numbered, and thus the number of issues left of Captain America: Sam Wilson are numbered as well.
3.) I did the new costume, particularly the new color scheme, and really like the new version of the original shield.
Zoar from the Masters of The Universe toy line, and is the guy with the beard supposed to be Demolition Man/D-Man...?
That's awesome! But why isn't he wearing his Wolverine hat? He should totally be wearing his Wolverine hat. Especially now that (a) Logan is dead and the yellow and brown hat currently retired. Now is D-Man's chance to make that hat his own! (Also, if there was a guy who was dressed almost identically to the 1980s Wolverine on the cover, it might trick a few readers into accidentally buying Captain America: Sam Wilson #9!
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • OLIVIER COIPEL (A/C)
From the creative team that brought you House of M and Siege comes a blistering first chapter in Marvel's new explosive event. Watch as the players are introduced and the table is set for a storyline that fans will be talking about for years.
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99
Oof. Did Marvel really just name check their two worst crossover/event stories while trying to sell their next one? House of M and Siege were both just awful, even by the relatively low standards of the Bendis-written crossover/event stories, which are generally much more poorly written by the crossover/event stories by just about everyone else.
I'm very curios about the premise of this series, because it doesn't seem like it can parallel that of the original all that closely, for a variety of reasons. I do hope the characters above don't represent the two "sides" of the conflict, because Captain America vs. Iron Man is a hell of a lot more compelling than Iron Man and She-Hulk vs. War Machine and Captain Marvel...
CHARLES SOULE (W)
SZYMON KUDRANSKI (A)
Cover by REILLY BROWN
A simple change of venues for one of Matt Murdock's cases becomes more complicated when THE PUNISHER attempts to send the defendant away...permanently! If DAREDEVIL and BLINDSPOT want to get this mobster his day in court, it will take every ounce of wit and wile they have. All Frank needs to get what he wants is a bullet. The race is on!
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99
Wait, shouldn't they have scheduled this to launch next month, in March, when the new season of Daredevil, which will apparently be chockfull of The Punisher, is released on Netflix...?
If you're tempted to read this, be sure you pay close attention to the credits. That cover is by Reilly Brown, and while it looks fine, Brown is not the person drawing the interiors. That would be Szymon Kudranski, and if his work on this series is anything at all like his work on previous Batman comics for Marvel's Distinguished Competition, than this should be a repulsive, illegible comic full of laughably embarrassing lapses in the fundamentals of comic book storytelling, and should probably be avoided at all costs.
But don't worry. Marvel is collecting the David Lapham Daredevil/Punisher miniseries from a few years back, and that is also in this round of solicits.
Man, I really like that Daredevil costume. I wish that was what the Netflix Daredevil was wearing, as it seems like such a nice compromise between his all black, pre-DD costume and actual Daredevil costume. I really enjoyed that first season...right up until the moment he put on his goofy-looking costume...
MARVEL: THE HIP-HOP COVERS VOL. 1 HC
Watch creative worlds collide like never before in the ultimate fusion of hip-hop and the House of Ideas! With an introduction by award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates -- a National Book Award winner, a recent MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and the writer of Marvel's BLACK PANTHER -- this stunning volume showcases 70 comic-book covers inspired by some of the most iconic albums in music history. Experience page after page of incredible artwork featuring the heroes of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe -- from A-Force to the X-Men -- by an unbelievable roster of talent including Adam Hughes, Brian Stelfreeze, Jim Cheung, Mike Del Mundo, Sanford Greene, Jenny Frison, Phil Noto, Mahmud Asrar, Damion Scott, Tim Bradstreet, Keron Grant and Ed Piskor. Their finished covers sit side-by-side with behind-the-scenes sketches, showing the process of rendering some of the most famous images in hip-hop, Marvel style. Straight outta comics -- and on to your bookshelf!
168 PGS./Rated T+ ...$34.99
Well, here's a head-scratcher. I know I've often remarked that I wouldn't mind collections of certain themed variants–like all of those Darwyn Cooke covers for DC, for example–but whenever I say that, I'm thinking of a comic book-format collection, not a fucking $35 dollar hardcover.
Although I suppose if you think of this as an art book rather than a comics collection, than maybe that's not a bad price point for, like, a coffee table book. Still, I was really surprised to see this show up in the solicits.
MS. MARVEL VOL. 5: SUPER FAMOUS TPB
Written by G. WILLOW WILSON
Penciled by TAKESHI MIYAZAWA, ADRIAN ALPHONA & NICO LEON
Cover by CLIFF CHIANG
She's your new favorite. She's everyone's new favorite. And now she's joining the big leagues. Look out world, Kamala Khan is an Avenger! But is she really cut out to be one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Saving the world is important, but Jersey City still needs its protector -- and a development company that co-opted Ms. Marvel's face for its project has more in mind for gentrification than just real estate! Can Kamala take down the evil suits destroying her home without ruining her grades and personal life? Speaking of which, who exactly is that with Bruno? And when Kamala creates an army of automatons to help her fight crime, will she learn that too much Ms. Marvel is actually a bad thing? Get back on board, Kamala Korps, the ride is about to get wild! Collecting MS. MARVEL (2015) #1-6.
136 PGS./Rated T+ ...$17.99
Whew! I'm relieved to see that even if Marvel did renumber Ms. Marvel after Secret Wars with a new #1, they didn't also reset the numbering of the trades, so that, unlike Mark Waid's Daredevil, someone who wants to read Ms. Marvel in trade won't have such a hard time figuring out which books to read in which order.
PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! VOL. 1: HOOKED ON A FELINE TPB
Written by KATE LETH
Penciled by BRITTNEY L. WILLIAMS
Cover by BRITTNEY L. WILLIAMS
Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally) -- but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City! Between trying to make rent and dodging bullets, she barely has time to deal with her mother's exploitative romance comics about Patsy's past resurfacing, much less how they start to interfere with her work and dating life. As she goes from living a double life to living a triple one, what the Hell is Patsy supposed to do? There'll be burgers, monsters and rent checks; old friends like Howard the Duck and Valkyrie; and a ghost from the past with questionable motives! Comics' most flexible heroine has been a provisional Avenger, a Defender, Satan's daughter-in-law and a dead woman -- but she's never been anything like this! Collecting PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #1-5.
112 PGS./Rated T ...$15.99
Seriously, this is the best. If you didn't buy the single issues–and I don't blame you; comics are expensive–then you'll definitely want to read this. It's perfect. Er, I mean, purrr-fect. No, let's just stick with "perfect."
I thought the sub-title of this collection was particularly clever, but then I remember that the lyric "hooked on a feeling" is so closely associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point, that it sorta ruins the joy the forced nature of pun instilled in me.
THE PUNISHER #1
BECKY CLOONAN (W) • STEVE DILLON (A)
Cover by Declan Shalvey
FRANK CASTLE LOSES CONTROL!
A by-the-numbers drug bust is about to take Frank Castle by surprise...and he HATES surprises. The horrible fallout threatens to send The Punisher into the heart of darkness, but Castle won't make that journey alone: A DEA agent is on his trail and attempting to get into his head...but what horrors will she find there, and will she survive the experience? First-time Punisher writer Becky Cloonan and quintessential Punisher artist Steve Dillon are forcing Frank Castle out of his comfort zone and taking him to the edge of the world he thought he knew!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99
Again, this seems like a comic that should be shipping in March, rather than May, but whatever. That's a very interesting creative team, including the artist responsible for maybe the single best Punisher story ever, and a writer I wouldn't have expected to ever see writing this character, at least not based on any of her previous writing.
Cloonan's one of those folks who I always get a little bummed out to see writing a comic though, because she's such a great artist that I'd prefer to see her writing and drawing The Punisher than just doing the former; hopefully she'll do some variants, or maybe a single-issue story somewhere down the road...
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • SARA PICHELLI (A/C)
• Miles is just finding his feet in the all new marvel universe; the media is growing obsessed with his skin color and now he has to share his own book with a hot new mutant who goes by the name of... wait for it...
• All this and the Queenpin of New York, the Black Cat, has set her sights on this new Spider-Man. She has put out a hit on his head and now no one is safe!
32 PGS./Rated T ...$3.99
Wait, cat-themed sometimes villain, sometimes vigilante The Black Cat is the "Queenpin" of crime in New York City now? Just like cat-themed sometimes villain, sometimes vigilante Catwoman was the head of organized crime in Gotham City for a while?
CHRIS SIMS & CHAD BOWERS (W) • ALTI FIRMANSYAH (A)
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
VARIANT COVER BY TBA
• If you only buy one X-book this month...
• ...DRACULA COMMANDS IT BE THIS ISSUE!
32 PGS./Rated T ...$3.99
Given that this is a Chris Sims co-written comic, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Dracula is in it. We should instead be surprised that it took this long for Dracula to be in it.