Thursday, July 26, 2018

Marvel's October previews reviewed

DOMINO #7
GAIL SIMONE (W)
DAVID BALDEON (A)
Cover by GANG HYUK LIM
After the explosive events of “Killer Instinct” and DOMINO ANNUAL #1, Neena Thurman has a new mission…
Don’t miss the surprise hit series critics are calling:
“Everything a comic should be.” – Ross Hutchinson, ComicWatch
“A must-have purchase.” – Rollin Bishop, comicbook.com
“If you haven’t been reading this series, you should correct that mistake immediately.” – Matt Morrison, Kabooooom
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99


Well, I don't think Domino's friends are properly dressed for this weather at all...


HULK: THE DOGS OF WAR HC
Written by PAUL JENKINS, SEAN MCKEEVER, FABIAN NICIEZA, PRIEST, ERIK LARSEN, TERRY KAVANAGH, GARTH ENNIS & BRIAN AZZARELLO
Penciled by RON GARNEY, MIKE MCKONE, KYLE HOTZ, JOHN ROMITA JR., JOE BENNETT,
JON BOGDANOVE, MARK TEXEIRA, JORGE LUCAS, PAUL LEE, BILL SIENKIEWICZ, JOHN MCCREA & RICHARD CORBEN
Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Paul Jenkins, one of the most cerebral writers in comics, gets deep into the head of Bruce Banner — and finds the monster within! But you’ve never seen a Hulk more hellish than the one dwelling deep inside the grief-stricken and guilt-ridden Banner. Afflicted and unbalanced, the Hulk is hounded worse than ever before when General Ryker lets slip his gamma-powered Dogs of War — their bite is every bit as bad as their bark! The Hulk’s tortured soul is pushed even further toward its limits when a person dearest to him is killed by one of his oldest and deadliest foes! Plus: Hulk smashes in startling stories from Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello and more incredible creators! Collecting INCREDIBLE HULK (2000) #12-33 and ANNUAL 2000-2001, SENTRY/HULK #1, HULK (1999) #1/2, HULK SMASH #1-2 and STARTLING STORIES: BANNER #1-4.
832 PGS./Rated T+ …$75.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-91594-0
Trim size: Oversized


Well, this is an interesting assortment of comics. These all seem to originate from around the turn of the century, and I read a handful of them, including the Incredible Hulk issues by McKeever (who was based in Columbus, as was I, at the time), Hulk Smash by the Hitman creative team of Garth Ennis and John McCrea, and the Richard Corben-drawn Banner because, well, Richard Corben. I don't have particularly strong memories of any of these at this point, I'm afraid, but this was right around the time I started reading Marvel comics, in large part because the publisher was doing things like publishing new reader-friendly comics (for example, two of those I mentioned were completely self-contained miniseries) and hiring a lot of creators I knew from DC Comics, especially from their Vertigo imprint.

Anyway, that's a pretty solid line-up of creators, although I'm curious what, other than the timing, unites these particular stories. One imagines there has to be some rationale since they were all included in a single 800+-page collection, after all.


INFINITY GAUNTLET: DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by JIM STARLIN
Penciled by GEORGE PEREZ & RON LIM
Cover by GEORGE PEREZ
For the Dark Titan, Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet was the Holy Grail — the ultimate prize to be coveted above all else. With it came omnipotence: the absolute control of all aspects of time, space, power, reality, mind and soul. But his gaining of supreme might meant the beginning of a black nightmare for the entire universe. Now, on the edge of Armageddon and led by the mysterious Adam Warlock, Earth’s super heroes join in a desperate attempt to thwart this nihilistic god’s insane plunge into galactic self-destruction. Should the heroes fail, the astral gods of the universe wait to step into the fray. But in such an awesome cosmic conflict, will anyone prevail? Will anyone survive? The original Infinity epic is collected alongside a Gauntlet-full collection of behind-the-scenes extras! Collecting INFINITY GAUNTLET (1991) #1-6.
304 PGS./Rated T …$34.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-91595-7
Trim size: Oversized


Oh now they're releasing a collection of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline that the Avengers: Infinity War movie was based on? Because earlier this spring, the versions available in trade were...less than ideal. Maybe they were afraid if viewers were too familiar with the comic story, it would spoil the ending of the film? And offer to big a clue on how the conflict might be resolved in the sequel? Regardless, I guess it's good that this storyline will be more readily available for would-be readers around the time the DVD comes out...


INFINITY WARS: SOLDIER SUPREME
#2 (of 2)

GERRY DUGGAN (W)
ADAM KUBERT (A)
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Trapped outside time in the Dark Dimension since the days of World War II, the Soldier Supreme returns, a mage out of time, to find a world unlike any he has ever known!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


So if Soldier Supreme is a "warped" version of Captain America and Doctor Strange, who is that big, head behind him? Baron MORDOK? Is he...a Mystical Organism Designed Only for Killing?

When images of these warped characters started coming out, I assumed they were just some kinda variant cover scheme, along the lines of the covers that mashed-up various Marvel characters with Gwen Stacy a few years ago. I didn't realize that they were actually part of the next big Marvel crossover event series (I'm almost done reading all the Civil War II tie-ins, which is about where I am when it comes to keeping up with Marvel events). I have to admit that I find them pretty appealing, in the same bonkers sense that the Amalgam characters were, and really, amalgamating Marvel characters with other Marvel characters rather than DC ones seems to be the whole idea with these.

I do hope I'll be able to make sense of the event, in terms of which books to read and in which order, when it's all collected in trades. It seems to me like various previews to this series have been going on since...Secret Wars, maybe...? So I find this one particularly daunting. And it doesn't help that Marvel seems to have used "Infinity" in more comics than DC has used the word "Crisis" in over the decades...


JESSICA JONES: BLIND SPOT MPGN TPB
Written by KELLY THOMPSON
Penciled by MATTIA DE IULIS
Cover by MARTIN SIMMONDS
Jessica has just faced her greatest fears — her most dangerous enemy — and won! Surely everything is smooth sailing from here? Nope! Instead she finds a corpse in her office — the body of a woman who came to Jessica for help years ago with a case Jessica failed to solve. And now she’s being framed for the woman’s murder! As Jessica reopens her investigation in hopes of bringing Dia Sloane’s killer to justice, she finds herself caught in the web of a serial killer intent on murdering women with powers. Can Jessica figure out how all the pieces connect before the killer claims their next victim? The Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, is not being helpful — shocker. But how is monster hunter extraordinaire Elsa Bloodstone tied up in this whole mess?
136 PGS./Parental Advisory …$19.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-91292-5
Don’t miss season 2 of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, now streaming on NETFLIX!


As I said on Twitter, Kelly Thompson on Jessica Jones was both the most obvious and the best choice for the gig, which made the recent-ish announcement of the move the comic book announcement I was simultaneously least surprised and most excited by (My other choice for the book would have been Chelsea Cain; my choice of artist, GURIHIRU, probably wasn't even in consideration, but it's nice to see they are going to be on a monthly book this fall anyway).

I...don't understand this publishing model at all--or even what the "P" in "MPGN" stands for--but as I would be reading this in trade anyway, that's fine by me.


MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES: CAPTAIN MARVEL – HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR #1
Jacob Chabot &Jeff Loveness (W)
Jacob Chabot & OTHERS (A)
Cover by Jacob Chabot
EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HERO AND YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN GET SPOOKED!
It’s October, and you know what that means! HALLOWEEN! And with Halloween, come tricks and treats alike. But while Captain Marvel and Spidey are trying to get their sugar fix, the rambunctious rogues of the Marvel Universe will be spying and scheming from afar…
32 PGS./All Ages …$3.99


Be careful wearing that costume, Hulk; there's a pretty good chance you're gonna get swept up in a Spider-Geddon crossover wearing that get-up this fall!


If an artist is going to heavily rely on photoreference in their art, to the point that they are basically just scanning or downloading it right into their layouts, I much prefer they do so like Natacha Bustos does here, so that it looks like a straight up style choice, rather than adjusting the filters and and coloring and what-not so it looks like they're trying to disguise what they are doing. The contrast between her figures and teh background is dramatic, but it also looks fun and intentional. I suppose it helps that she's not drawing the characters in such a way that they look photorealistic too, though.


OLD MAN LOGAN #50
ED BRISSON (W)
IBRAIM ROBERSON (A)
Cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
variant cover by GERARDO ZAFFINO
final issue variant by MIKE DEODATO JR.
Logan came into this world the same way he’s leaving it: IN PAIN!
Don’t miss the end of an era as Old Man Logan’s golden years are cut short!
40 PGS./Parental Advisory …$4.99


So it would seem that Marvel is killing off Old Man Logan, the version of Wolverine from an alternate future who is basically just Wolverine with a different hair color, just as their bringing Logan backing to life. Is there some kind of Law of Conservation of Logans in the Marvel Universe, stating that no new Wolverines can be created or destroyed, but their number must remain constant...?

Also, I am genuinely shocked that this series lasted 50 issues. I suppose I shouldn't be, given that no matter what color hair this Wolverine has, he's still Wolverine, but the book seemed to have an incredibly flimsy presence to support a 50-issue run.


Hey, that's not a dog!

That's a pretty great cover for October's issue of Runaways by artist Kris Anka.


SHURI #1
NNEDI OKORAFOR (W)
LEONARDO ROMERO (A)
Cover by SAM SPRATT
...
FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BLACK PANTHER!
The world fell in love with her in the movie. Now, the Black Panther’s techno-genius sister launches her own adventures — written by best-selling Afrofuturist author Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by Eisner-nominated artist Leonardo Romero!
The Black Panther has disappeared, lost on a mission in space. And in his absence, everyone’s looking at the next in line for the throne. But Shuri is happiest in a lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation. She’d rather be testing gauntlets than throwing them. But a nation without a leader is a vulnerable one — and Shuri may have to choose between Wakanda’s welfare and her own.
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


It was interesting to see how immediately so many people seemed to fall in love with Letitia Wright's Shuri character in this February's Black Panther movie, and, at the time I remember thinking that once again Marvel Studios seemed to be casting with an eye toward the future, as in the comics Shuri of course replaced her brother as the Black Panther for a while.

Chadwick Boseman will turn 41 in November (Holy shit that dude is my age?), while Wright will be turning 25 this October. That means they can squeeze a trilogy or so out of Boseman before handing over the mantle, if they are so inclined, for a second Black Panther trilogy.

Of course, I then went back and read all the Black Panther comics I could find in trade, and I noticed pretty immediately that Comic Book Shuri is pretty much nothing at all like Movie Shuri; like, one of the main points of differentiation between the T'Challa Panther and the Shuri Panther was that the latter wasn't as cerebral and, like, a theoretical super-physicist and engineer and suchlike, but instead resulted on her fists and claws to solver her problems.

So it will be interesting to see how they move Comic Book Shuri in the direction of Movie Shuri, which seems to be what they are going for here ("...but Shuri is happiest in the lab, surrounded by gadgets of her own creation"). 


SUPERIOR OCTOPUS #1
CHRISTOS GAGE (W)
MIKE HAWTHORNE(A)
Cover by TRAVIS CHAREST
...
DOC OCK-TOBER STARTS HERE IN THIS SPIDER-GEDDON TIE IN!
Doc Ock has set up shop as San Francisco’s protector, but you won’t believe his methods.
Some of Otto Octavius’s new super hero strategies may make Spider-Man regret letting him free, but the good doctor swears that he’s the SUPERIOR OCTOPUS!
Chistos Gage (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Mike Hawthorne (Deadpool) will change the way you look at super hero comics.
48 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99


I'm pretty sure I saw this guy in the pages of Secret Empire, but now I don't remember--does he go by "The Octopus" now or is he still "Doctor Octopus"...? If the latter, then this book should probably be entitled The Superior Doctor Octopus, shouldn't it...? Regardless, dude looks so goddam Spider-y now. If you're not trying to pull of a scam by impersonating your arch-enemy whose body you have come into possession of, why on Earth would you want to dress so much like the person you hate so badly...?


THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP #1 (OF 5)
JEREMY WHITLEY(W)
GURIHIRU (A/C)
...
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Nadia Van Dyne, A.K.A. the UNSTOPPABLE WASP, and her team of girl scientists are back! With the backing of the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, there’s no problem the Agents of G.I.R.L. can’t solve!
But they’re not the only acronym-toting science organization out there, and when A.I.M. strikes, Nadia and the ladies of Genius In action Research Labs answer the call.
But who is A.I.M.’s new super-powered lieutenant, and how do they know Nadia? And what does A.I.M.’s plan have to do with Nadia’s father, Hank Pym?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Huh. I read and loved the first volume of the Jeremy Whitley-written Unstoppable Wasp ongoing, but right around the time I was reading that it was announced the book was cancelled, and I never got around to the second and final collection. And now, like Iceman, it's back already! It's almost as if books created for the book store market shouldn't be judged by their performance in the direct market, which is notoriously insular and a poor reflection of what might sell in places that aren't comic book shops!

Whitley is returning without artist Elsa Charretier, but I'm pretty sure everything is going to be okay, as now he's teamed with GURIHIRU, who draw the cutest goddam characters in the world.


VAULT OF SPIDERS #1 (of 2)
CULLEN BUNN, JED MACKAY AND MORE! (W)
JAVIER PULIDO, SHELDON VELLA AND MORE! (A)
Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
A SPIDER-GEDDON TIE IN!
Only a Spider-Army can stop the end of the Multiverse!
Meet Web-Slinger, the Spider-Man from the Wild West, in an unforgettable story by CULLEN BUNN (X-MEN BLUE) and JAVIER PULIDO (SHE-HULK).
He is the Emissary from Hell, he is SUPAIDAMAN! The Spider-Man from the live-action SPIDER-MAN show that aired in Japan in the 1970s is back in comics form in an insane story by JED MACKAY (EDGE OF SPIDER-GEDDON) and SHELDON VELLA (DEADPOOL, SPIDER-VERSE).
And that’s just a glimpse into the VAULT OF SPIDERS!
40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99


The Spider-Geddon storyline seems so big and unwieldy and spread across so many books, it looks like one that is going to be particularly hard to follow, unless they do some gigantic complete collection. That said, some of these alternate Spider-Men sound pretty cool, like Supaidaman and this western version of Spidey. I hope his horse can run up and down flat, vertical surfaces...


WEAPON H #8
GREG PAK (W)
Guiu Vilanova (A)
Cover by PHILIP TAN
MARVEL BATTLE LINES VARIANT COVER BY SUJIN JO
Roxxon built a portal to harness the unlimited energy in this magical realm. But in the process they unleashed a horde of monsters — and they’ve set their sights on Earth’s unlimited supply of flesh!
Weapon H has no choice: To protect his family, he must go to war.
But one familiar figure has already beat him there: Fans of PLANET HULK and Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, rejoice for the return of the stone man Korg!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Er, I can't imagine what the Venn Diagram of Fans of Marvel Studos' Thor: Ragnarok and People Who Just Like The Idea of a Stone Man Named Korg looks like, but I suspect that whoever wrote this solicit was being a little over optimistic about how much the two circles overlap. I mean, yes, there is technically an alien named Korg with rock-like skin in Thor: Ragnarok, but he's not exactly the same Korg from the comics. (Like, I thought the Jessica Jones TV show was watchable and I think Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat is a brilliant comic book, but I wouldn't suggest that someone who thought Jessica Jones season two was the greatest would enjoy Patsy Walker just because it has the comic book version of that character in it, you know?)


WHAT IF? SPIDER-MAN #1
GERRY CONWAY (W)
Diego Olortegui (A)
Cover by PATCH ZIRCHER
...
What if Peter Parker wasn’t the one bitten by the radioactive spider?
What if the person who got bit was someone who didn’t live by the mantra of “with great power comes great responsibility”?
What if that person was an egotistical bully who was only interested in taking care of himself?
What if…FLASH THOMPSON became Spider-Man?
32 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99


This round of What If? one-shots include some pretty heady but also vague concepts that I didn't quite understand after a read-through of the solicits or two; in that regard, they seem a lot more like old DC Elseworlds books rather than a What If...?. Like, you should be able to phrase your What If...? story in the form of a question. For example this one, and the one below, both work because doing so is so easy: "What If...Flash Thompson Became Spider-Man?" There. Done.


WHAT IF? THE PUNISHER #1
CARL POTTS (W)
JUANAN RAMIREZ (A)
Cover by CHRISTOPHER STEVENS
...
WITH GREAT POWER…
When Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben is ruthlessly killed by a burglar Peter let escape, he vows to never let the same fate befall another innocent bystander. From then on, he stands as a figure of cold retribution. Criminals beware – the guilty caught in this spider’s web will be PUNISHED.
But will Parker stand triumphant…or shattered by this twist of fate?
The friendly neighborhood takes a different turn in this WHAT IF? adventure, positing a very different sense of responsibility for the man who will be known as THE PUNISHER, as his battles against villains like the GREEN GOBLIN take a new path!
32 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99


Hmm, would this be more compelling if it was Frank Castle who got bit by a radioactive spider, as opposed to Peter Parker deciding to use a rather ridiculous trigger method for his wrist mounted guns...? In any case, I think the skull on The Punishpider should be smaller and have eight tiny legs coming out of it...

3 comments:

Peter said...

I think movie Shuri will be the next Iron Man. Or Ironheart. Or preferably Iron Maiden. Who else will take over for Robert Downey Jr after he is horrifically sacrificed for the good of the universe, as strongly implied by an apologetic CumberStrange, in Avengers 4? Bucky can be Captain America and lots of people could wield Thor's hammer but not many can be a genius in armor.

Caleb said...

I like the name "Iron Panther," myself.

I am hoping they don't kill Tony Stark off, even if they don't make any more IRON MAN movies, and have him appearing as a supporting character in other films, as he did in SPIDER-MAN. After seeing ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, I reeeeeaaaaaallllly wanted to see RDJ's Tony Stark and Michael Douglas' Pym bickering about science shit.

Tim Byrne said...

What if Flash Thompson was bitten by the spider was the plot of What If #7.

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