Friday, September 23, 2016

Marvel's December previews reviewed

These are all of the comics Marvel plans on publishing in December of this year. And here is some commentary on said comics...


CIVIL WAR II HC
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled by DAVID MARQUEZ, OLIVIER COIPEL & JIM CHEUNG
Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
When a new Inhuman emerges with the ability to profile the future, the Marvel Universe will be rocked to its core! While Captain Marvel harnesses Ulysses’ powers to prevent crime, Iron Man is violently opposed to the implications. As Tony Stark takes matters (and the law) into his own hands and declares war on the Inhumans, others are willing to fight — and even die — to stop him. And when one of the biggest heroes of all falls, the resulting trial of the century stokes the fire. Friendships crumble, teams are torn apart and the conflict goes galactic — but when the truth about Ulysses’ visions is revealed, all bets are off in one of the biggest battles in Marvel history! Collecting CIVIL WAR II #0-8 and material from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016 (CIVIL WAR II) #1.
296 PGS./Rated T+ …$50.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-90156-1


I imagine I will read this story in this particular format sometime after December...provided Marvel quits adding and/or delaying issues. Are any of you guys keeping up with it? Word on the street is that it is, as I suspected and feared it might be, garbage, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinion.


DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS #1 (of 4)
JOHN BARBER (W) • ANDREA BROCCARDO & JASON MUHR (A)
Cover by MICHAEL WALSH
Variant Cover by TBA
The team-up to end all team-ups is here, as two of the most different Marvel characters worlds’ collide! What new mafia threat is so great that the Punisher needs Doctor Strange’s help? Find out as the Sorcerer Supreme teams with the One Man War on Crime!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99


If I put on my thinking cap and really tried, I don't know that I would be able to come up with two Marvel characters who have less in common than these two, and seem less likely to co-star in a team-up series...certainly not any two characters of their relative stature within the Marvel catalog.

That fact alone makes this series sound kind of exciting, doesn't it...?

GHOST RIDER #2
FELIPE SMITH (W) • DANILO BEYRUTH (A)
Cover by FELIPE SMITH
...
MONSTER SQUAD!
• The all-new fanfare following the Ghost Rider heats up!
• Robbie Reyes isn’t exactly a team player, so what’s he supposed to do with Amadeus Cho, a.k.a. the HULK, following him around?
• And who’s that hot on their heels? None other than the WOLVERINE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Ooh, the all-new, teenage Hulk and the all-new, teenage Wolverine are hanging around the all-new, teenage Ghost Rider? I hope they're all going to get Miles Morales, Spider-Man and form an all-new, teenage Fantastic Four!

HAWKEYE #1
KELLY THOMPSON (W) • LEONARDO ROMERO (A)
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
...
Remember Hawkeye? No not that Hawkeye, our favorite Hawkeye, the chick who puts the hawk in Hawkeye, the butt-kicking hero who had to save the other Hawkeye’s butt all the time. Yup, you know her, it’s the dazzling Kate Bishop making her solo comics debut! Kate is heading west and returning to Los Angeles, with her bow and arrow and P.I. badge in tow. There are crimes to solve and she’s the best archer to handle ‘em! The City of Angels has a new guardian angel.
The talented duo of Kelly Thompson (A-Force, Jem) and Leonardo Romero (Squadron Supreme, Doctor Strange) bring you a Kate Bishop like you’ve never seen her before, in a brand-new ongoing series that really hits the mark!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


If it were up to me, I'd call this book West Coast Hawkeye, given its setting and Hawkguy's history with that adjective, but I imagine this will be good no matter what it's called (But West Coast Hawkeye or Lady Hawkguy would be better, obviously).

HULK #1
MARIKO TAMAKI (W) • NICO LEON (A) • Cover by JEFF DEKAL
...
JENNIFER WALTERS has survived the Civil War…barely…and having risen from the rubble, she re-enters the world a different kind of hero. Fueled by a quiet rage, she is determined to move forward, to go on with her life, but the pain of the past and all she’s lost is always there – an undercurrent, a pulse, waiting to quicken and trigger Jen’s transformation into the one thing she doesn’t have control over…
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


Well, I sure do hate the idea of a She-Hulk title called Hulk instead of She-Hulk, but more distressing is how...serious this title sounds. I'm sure it's quite possible to do a serious She-Hulk comic, but I think it would be awfully hard at this point to do so in-continuity (Hulks and lawyers-who-are-also-Hulks being every day and all) and I think it sounds awfully unappealing to me personally. The reason I've always liked She-Hulk better than He-Hulk is that she has been, for the longest time, the fun one.

Mariko Tamaki is a damn good get for Marvel though, so hopefully she can pull it off well enough to generate a solid trade collection or three.

IVX #1 (of 6)
CHARLES SOULE & JEFF LEMIRE (W) • LEINIL FRANCIS YU (A/C)
...
THIS IS IT!
The X-Men and Inhumans have been on a collision course since the link was proven between the Inhumans’ precious Terrigen Mist and the sickness and death of many mutants. When Beast discovers that the mutants have only two weeks before the planet is uninhabitable for them, an Inhuman/mutant war is unavoidable. Co-written by Charles Soule (Uncanny Inhumans, Daredevil) and Jeff Lemire (Extraordinary X-Men, Moon Knight), IVX delivers sensational set pieces, gargantuan grudge matches, all drawn by the sensational Leinil Francis Yu! Whether you’re for the X-MEN or the INHUMANS, IVX promises to shatter the Marvel Universe as you know it!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$5.99


Huh. The Inhumans are no X-Men, despite Marvel trying to make them into the X-Men, so they're definitely no Avengers, so I imagine this will not be as fun as AVX was.

Now maybe if the "I" in "IVX" stood for "Invaders," they might be on to something here...

The first issue will have at least one great variant cover though; this "BLACK PANTHER 50th ANNIVERSARY VARIANT" by Michael del Mundo.

MONSTERS UNLEASHED PRELUDE TPB
Written by STAN LEE, LARRY LIEBER, CULLEN BUNN, SIMON SPURRIER, AMY REEDER,
BRANDON MONTCLARE & GREG PAK
Penciled by JACK KIRBY, WILL SLINEY, KEV WALKER, NATACHA BUSTOS & FRANK CHO
Cover by GREG LAND
Years before Jack Kirby introduced the world to a new age of heroic Marvels, the King of comics terrorized it with incredible creations — many of which are poised to rock the Marvel Universe once again! In this collection of strange tales to astonish, meet a menacing menagerie from Kirby’s boundless imagination, all with unforgettable names. Gorgilla! Blip! Monstrom! Grottu! Moomba! Orrgo! Bruttu! Rommbu! Vandoom’s Monster! Goom and Googam! And don’t forget Groot! Plus: Catch up with Jack’s legendary creations Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom, and meet monster hunters Elsa Bloodstone, Lady Hellbender and Moon Girl! Collecting FEARLESS DEFENDERS #8, MARVEL ZOMBIES (2015) #1, MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1, TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #2-3, and material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #73 and #90, TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #11-13, 15, #17, #19 and #23; and TALES OF SUSPENSE #15, #17, 19 and #22.
264 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-90089-2


A very curious mix of classic pre-Marvel Kirby monster comics and extremely new-ish material, like issues of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and Totally Awesome Hulk. What I can't get over, though, is the fact that Marvel decided to slap a cover by Greg Land on a collection mostly drawn by Jack fucking Kirby.

I can't even think of a proper metaphor to describe the work of perhaps the best artist the superhero genre has to offer covered by the work of perhaps the worst. Krysten Ritter wearing a suit made of a living scorpions? A baby goat in a pair of pajamas that secretes extremely corrosive acid from its pajamas? Seriously, I can't think of a good one. But a Land cover on a Kirby comic sounds like some kind of cosmic crime.

OLD MAN LOGAN #15
JEFF LEMIRE (W) • FILIPE ANDRADE (A)
Cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
WHEN IN ROMANIA, DO AS THE ROMANIANS DO – STAKE VAMPIRES!
• It’s up to LOGAN and the greatest supernatural hero squad the world has ever seen, the HOWLING COMMANDOS, to stop DRACULA from a dastardly plot that endangers the whole world.
• But when JUBILEE is in trouble, can the Commandos trust Logan to make the tough calls?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99


Is it weird that the solicitation for this issue of Old Man Logan reads more like the solicitation for an issue of the Chris Sims co-written X-Men '92...?

POWER MAN AND IRON FIST:
SWEET CHRISTMAS ANNUAL #1

DAVID F. WALKER (W) • SCOTT HEPBURN (A)
COVER BY JAMAL CAMPBELL
...
YOU BETTER NOT POUT, YOU BETTER NOT CRY!
• ’Cause you’re getting an extra helping of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST! This Christmas will be sweet, indeed!
• But not for Luke Cage, who is feeling neither holly nor jolly.
• Surely Danny can change that! Or maybe these demonic toys will! Wait, demonic toys?! OH, NO!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99


How on earth has this title never been used for a Luke Cage-related Christmas special before...?

POWERS #9
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • MICHAEL AVON OEMING (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY DAVID MACK
If you love Marvel’s Jessica Jones, you will love POWERS! The secrets of Walker’s past keep pouring into the present. Find out his deepest, darkest secret right here! All on the road to the quadruple-sized POWERS 100th-issue spectacular. Miss the show? Read the comic!
32 pgs./Mature $3.99


So my first thought when reading this solicitation was, "No you won't," in response to the the first sentence. I mean, they have a few similarities--Bendis' writing, crime-solving in a world of superheroes-but those are two very different comics.

My next thought was the joke I should maybe have made instead. Ahem. "Wait, Powers is only on #9? I knew it was on an infrequent schedule, and only published new issues occasionally, but I would have expected it to be on a much higher issue number than #9 after its 16 years of publication."

THE PUNISHER #8
BECKY CLOONAN (W) • STEVE DILLON (A)
Cover by DECLAN SHALVEY
OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS…
• Frank gets help from an unlikely source.
• But trouble’s not far behind!
• If you go out in the woods today, you’re sure for a big surprise…
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99


Given the fact that this solicitation ends with a lyric from "The Teddy Bears' Picnic," and that the star of this book became a mass-murdering vigilante after his entire family was gunned down during a picnic in the park, I can only assume that in this issue a teddy bear loses his whole family in the crossfire of a gang war, swears vengeance and adopts the name "The Punishbear" and begins his own murderous campaign of vengeance against organized crime. So the part where it says "Frank gets help from an unlikely source"...? That unlikely source is totally gonna prove to be The Punishbear.

STAR WARS: CLASSIFIED #1 & 2
KIERON GILLEN (W) • KEV WALKER (A/C)
Issue #1 – Cover by KAMOME SHIRAHAMA
Issue #1 – Variant Cover by Jamie McKelvie
Issue #1 – Variant Cover by Elsa Charretier
Issue #1 – Droids Variant Cover by Rod Reis
Issue #1 – CLASSIFIED STORY THUS FAR VARIANT COVER BY SALVADORE Larroca
Issue #1 – Action Figure Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
Issue #1 – Blank Variant Cover also available
Issue #2 – VARIANT COVER BY Annie Wu
Issue #2 – Droids Variant Cover by Declan Shalvey
Issue #2 – VARIANT COVER BY DAVE DORMAN
An all-new, TOP-SECRET ongoing Star Wars series begins this December…
ISSUE #1 – 40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99
ISSUE #2 – 32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. Text and illustrations for Star Wars are © 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


This is this month's example of why I think running a comic shop must be a hell of a difficult job. Given the number of variants and the fact that they are classifying the star or stars or subject matter implies that it will a bigger Star Wars book, but I technically this could be Kylo Ren or Lives of the Dewbacks or Watto or Admiral Thrawn or A Pivotal Character Who Will Be Appearing in Rogue One or Twi'lek Swimsuit Special or Wookie Swimsuit Special or Sinjir Rath Velus' Galaxy of Cocktail Recipes, and I imagine the precise ordering for any of those hypothetical titles will vary pretty widely. Fingers crossed for a Sinjir book!

3 comments:

David said...

Wouldn't be the first time Frank got an assist from a bear (if you remember the Ennis/Dillon run).

jheaton said...

I have to assume Julian Totino Tedesco has never seen anyone drawing a bow before. It's possible to draw a bow as Kate Bishop is pictured doing, but it's hard to imagine why she would since it'd be impossible for her to raise it to firing position and shoot.

Evan Dawson-Baglien said...

Civil War II has so far been a pretty standard Bendis comic. Lots of scenes of dialogue that sort of string together into a plot. A few good character moments that don't really add up into a cohesive whole.

Ulysse's powers are rather poorly defined. Sometimes it seems like he only makes predictions rarely, but there are some tie-ins that show large law-enforcement programs centered around his predictions and whole prisons full of people imprisoned based on one of his predictions. That implies he must be getting dozens of visions a day, and is somehow able to identify the people he sees in them, even if they are non-public figures he has never seen before.

The tie-ins I read are mostly better than the main series. The Ms. Marvel one is superb and does a much better job of handling the emotional core of the conflict than the main series. The Inhumans one is great if you like political intrigue, it deals with Inhuman malcontents trying to use the chaos caused by the Civil War to overthrow Medusa. The Accused is a good court drama. The X-Men tie-in miniseries provides an explanation for why Magneto's faction aren't involved, but is mostly just a pointless runaround.