Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Marvel's May previews reviewed

Marvel has released solicitations for their books shipping in May. You can see 'em all here, or you can simply read on. It'll be just like reading them with me reading over your shoulder!

Something tells me this issue of Amazing Spider-Girl will be on Chris Sims’ pull-list…

Written by DAN SLOTT
Peter Parker: Paparazzi! Part 1 of 3
"The Money Shot"
The DB, New York's trashiest tabloid, has just hired the sleaziest, most muckraking, lowlife paparazzi of them all...PETER PARKER?! Say it ain't so, true believer! Also in this ish, J. Jonah Jameson finds inner peace and harmony...(Hey, it could happen! Maybe.) All this and the first ever livestreaming super-villain: Screwball!
Dan Slott returns to Spidey, and he's bringing Marcos Martin (DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH) with him!

Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils and cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Peter Parker: Paparazzi! Part 2 of 3
"Flat Out Crazy"
Are Pete's paparazzi pics inspiring a super celebrity stalker? Is he responsible for all of her grisly acts? Even if he is, what can Spider-Man do about it? How can anyone stop the flatout freaky powers of Paper Doll? Also: Miss this issue, and you'll miss out on SOMETHING YOU'VE ALL BEEN ASKING FOR!!! Write it down, Spider-fans, ASM #560!!!

Okay, I haven’t exactly made it a secret that I think the new Spider- status quo is silly beyond belief, and Dan “The Man Who Was Born to Write Spider-Man” Slott has been kind of scaring me lately with some of his Internet posts on Newsarama.com, but for his second ASM stint he’s working with Marcos freaking Martin. Oh man…McNiven I could pass up easily, since the horribly phoned-in Civil War #7 still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but Martin?

Damn. I may have to read some pre-de-reboot ASM after all…

I also like the fact that Slott seems to be creating new villains here. Between that and Avengers: The Initiative, the dude’s a Marvel character creating machine.

Not sure if it’s just the cover image or if something similar happens within, but the real comic book characters fighting in front of Lichtenstein-like images gag was done in Morrison’s first Batman arc already though.

ANGEL: REVELATIONS #1 (of 5) Written by ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA. Art and Cover by ADAM POLLINA.“The Annunciation”Warren Worthington III has it made. A senior at St. Joseph's Prep, he's smart, tall, handsome, and rich; a star both on the field and in the classroom. All the girls want to date him, all the guys want to be him. There's just one problem…Warren's changing. Something's happening to his body–humps have started to grow under his shoulder blades, and they're getting bigger and more painful every day. See the never-before-told origin of one of the X-Men’s five founding members, and his first encounter with an unsolvable, unrelenting evil…the Hunter. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN), with groundbreaking art by Adam Pollina (X-FORCE), who returns with a vengeance to the X-Men!

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by either of these creators—at least not that I remember—and I don’t have any real affection for the character, but this project does look pretty cool to me. I think more X-Men (i.e. some of them who aren’t Wolverine) should occasionally get a spotlight as if they were heroes in their own right and not just a huge Wolverine support staff. I mean, if they can’t stand on their own as compelling superheroes, who needs ‘em?

Angel is one of the X-Men with a straightforward concept and a name and look that isn’t completely repellent to my sense of aesthetics, so I think he could work as a hero when taken out of the context of the X-Men.

It sounds like Aguirre-Sacasa is playing him as a Zach Siler type who develops mutant wings, and since She’s All That is the greatest movie ever made*, I heartily approve, even if my ideal Angel comic would be more Hawkman meets Richie Rich (with Colleen Coover illustrating).

I admire Marvel’s titling this simply Angel: Revelations too, and not, like, The Uncanny X-Men Present: Angel: Revelations, or any combination of the word “X-Men” with “Icon,” “Spotlight,” "Origins" or “Legends.”

Written by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross
Penciled by Steve Sadowski
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Cover by David Finch
Legends Live Again.
The original Invaders (Captain America , Bucky , Human Torch , Toro , and the Sub-Mariner) return in a twelve issue maxi-series by the award winning team behind EARTH X, Justice and Project Superpowers .The greatest super-team of World War II finds themselves transported from the battlefields of the Second World War to a future they never imagined! Now, the Invaders find themselves confronted by two teams of Avengers who want desperately to believe these heroes are who they say they are, while Tony Stark faces his greatest challenge since the Civil War as he must deal with the “return” of Steve Rogers. Confronted by a world they barely recognize, the Invaders will have to show two teams of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes just what kind of power, courage and sheer determination it took to defeat the forces of unrelenting evil in the Twentieth century. In fact…they may just have to do it again in the Twenty-First.

While a fifteenth Avengers series is probably the last thing the world needs, you can never have too many comic books about Namor and tommy gun-toting Bucky Barnes beating up the Avengers. I’m not entirely sure how this will work out—can the Marvel Universe have room for two Namors—and seems to be stepping on The Twelve’s toes a bit (Will the two crossover?), but I’m eager to read it.

BLACK PANTHER #37 Written by REGINALD HUDLIN. Penciled by FRANCIS PORTELA. Cover by ALAN DAVIS_He’s back – and he’s badder than ever! Killmonger returns to Wakanda, with vengeance on his mind.

Killmonger is a funny name. Even funnier than Hatemonger.

I think the cover of this issue of Captain America is means to say “Vote 3RD Wing,” but with the “r” backwards like that, it makes the “3” look like a backwards “E” and therefore that maybe it’s really just an anagram from “Red.” In which case it says “Vote Redwing.” Which is the name of Falcon’s pet falcon, isn’t it?

I’ve only been reading sporadically, having opted to follow the book in trade, so I don’t know—Has Redwing made any appearances during Brubaker’s run on the series? Is he running for president? Because I think I’d find that story tons more exciting than knee-capping Cap vs. the sub-prime mortgage crisis. And I don’t say that to belittle Brubaker’s pretty cool plotting on the book, but to embiggen the idea of Redbird running for president.

INCREDIBLE HERCULES #117Written by GREG PAK & FRED VAN LENTE. Penciled by RAFA SANDOVAL. Cover JOHN ROMITA JR., KLAUS JANSON & DEAN WHITE. SECRET INVASION TIE-IN! The Greek Goliath gathers the most powerful super-team ever assembled to counter-attack the Skrull gods! Face front, True Believers, and prepare for the pantheon-pounding premiere of... THE GOD SQUAD!

Okay, I don’t know who a single person other than Herc is on that cover, but Hercules vs. the Skrull gods? That sounds fucking awesome.

THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 Written by MATT FRACTION. Pencils & 50/50 Variant Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA. 50/50 Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA. Variant Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC. Variant Cover by BOB LAYTON. Variant Cover by BILLY TAN. Variant IRON MAN MOVIE Cover. A bold new ONGOING TITLE for the biggest hero of 2008! IRON MAN! You know you love him! And as the summer’s most anticipated movie boot-jets its way into theaters, here’s the perfect jumping-on point for new readers and Iron Man fans alike! Tony Stark – Iron Man, billionaire industrialist and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. – faces the most overwhelming challenge of his life. Ezekiel Stane, the son of Tony’s late business rival and archenemy Obadiah, has set his sights, his genius and his considerable fortune on the task of destroying Tony Stark and Iron Man. What’s worse, he’s got Iron Man tech, and he’s every bit Iron Man’s equal and opposite…except younger, faster, smarter…and immeasurably evil. Rising star writer Matt Fraction (IMMORTAL IRON FIST) and superstar artist Salvador Larroca (UNCANNY X-MEN) join forces to repulsor-ray your comic books to a cinder!

I know the guy’s got a movie coming out and all, but two ongoing monthlies? (Three, if you count Marvel Adventures Iron Man). Isn’t that a little much? I mean, it’s not like the regular Iron Man monthly is selling that well…

And Jesus, check out the “Variant Cover by” credits. Is that a record for a comic from Marvel or DC in this century? It’s a hell of a lot of variants for a book from a publisher that isn’t Dynamite or Avatar…

IRON MAN: VIVA LAS VEGAS #1 (of 4)Written by JON FAVREAU. Pencils & Cover by ADI GRANOV. A Marvel Knights series by the talents who brought you the IRON MAN movie! What’s a billionaire to do when he’s worn out from running a multi-national corporation? Well, if his name happens to be Tony Stark, it’s a situation that calls for some R & R in the casinos of sin city! Mix in a beautiful archaeologist and the fifty-foot dragon statue she discovered, and a plague of lizards descending on Las Vegas, and it’s a recipe for the sort of armored adventure that’s a perfect chaser after an evening at the movies!

This Iron Man project, however, is absolutely necessary, given that it reportedly features Shellhead versus Fin Fang Foom, and any book with FFF in it is worth a purchase. That giant dragon in shorts is so money he…

Aw, sorry. Swingers jokes stopped being funny like eight years ago, didn’t they? But they put Favreau on a book set in Vegas, how am I gonna not immediately want to go there, you know?

KING SIZE HULK #1 Written by JEPH LOEB. Pencils by ART ADAMS & FRANK CHO & MORE. 50/50 Covers by FRANK CHO & ART ADAMS. HULK vs. SHE-HULK! HULK vs. WENDIGO! HULK vs. ??????????? JEPH LOEB! ART ADAMS! FRANK CHO! TOO many SUPERSTARS to fit into a puny REGULAR-SIZED issue!!! We’re comin’ upside your head with a KING-SIZE spectacular with MORE smashing, bashing, trashing, and clashing than should be allowed by law!!! Three new tales that fill in the gaps of the best-selling HULK book, and set up NEW storylines! PLUS, classic tales including THE INCREDIBLE HULK 180 (the REAL 1st appearance of Wolverine!) and AVENGERS 83 (Lady Liberators, anyone?)! More? You want MORE!?!? How about a super-secret MYSTERY ARTIST…??? 96 PGS./Rated A…$4.99

Hmm… It takes a great, great artist to get me to ignore my own Never Read Anything With Loeb’s Name On It rule, and Art Adams is just such an artist. But I don’t know, I usually feel kinda burned by these half-new, half-reprint Marvel books…I guess I’ll have to wait to see it in the store.

THE LAST DEFENDERS #3 (of 6) Written by JOE CASEY. Penciled by JIM MUNIZ. Cover by LEINIL YU. DEFENDERS…No More?! It sure looks like it, as Iron Man shuts down New Jersey’s Initiative team…and Nighthawk’s dreams of redemption. But when the diabolical U-MAN threatens humanity, Nighthawk finds the best Defenders money can buy: Paladin, Junta and Atlas! Meanwhile, what role does DAIMON HELLSTROM play? And who has he sought out to advise him in his journey? A strange connection to the Defenders’ past appears as the must-have super hero team book of ’08 continues!

Shit. This change in the cast from the one of the first two issues makes me think this will be more of a Nighthawk book than a Defenders book. But then again, Daimon Hellstrom, huh? I’m all over this. I hope his appearance is more Essential Marvel Horror and less Max Hellstorm

MARVEL ADVENTURES THE AVENGERS #24 Written by JEFF PARKER. Penciled by IG GUARA. Cover by LEONARD KIRK. FAN FAVE JEFF PARKER RETURNS! Giant-Girl hates Spider-Man. Spider-Man hates Ant-Man. Ant-Man hates Iron Man. Iron Man hates...everyone. Where is all this hate coming from? Some kind of... MONGER, perhaps?

Oh wow, speaking of Hatemonger…! And good to see Jeff Parker back. I do hope it’s for a long stay.

Hmmm, not quite 300-y enough…

RUNAWAYS: DEAD END KIDS PREMIERE HC Written by JOSS WHEDON. Pencils and Cover by MICHAEL RYAN. The kids start running in a different direction. Superstar JOSS WHEDON (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ASTONISHING X-MEN) and rising star MICHAEL RYAN (NEW EXCALIBUR) take the Runaways somewhere they’ve never been before: the Big Apple…circa 1907! While there, they make surprising allies and even more surprising enemies. Can they escape a super-powered war on the streets of New York? This is the cannot-miss book of 2008! Collecting RUNAWAYS #25-30

Marvel seems pretty confident that issue #30 will have shipped by May. Considering that #29 only drops this week, and how damn late the series has been since Whedon came on, I’m not sure there’s any reason to be that confident.

Ready the pulpers! I think I see areola!

Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN
The worst day in Peter Parker’s life! Spider-Man has been defeated and kidnapped! Wait till you see who did what the Green Goblin, the Kingpin and Doctor Octopus couldn't do! And can Kitty Pryde and Mary Jane team up to save him in time?

Wow, that’s an awesome cover. And I the solicit sounds pretty exciting too. (My guess? Aunt May’s boyfriend). I thought the book really lost some steam during the “Death of a Goblin” arc—come to think of it, all the Goblin stories have been pretty weak for some reason—but really got its mojo back last issue. With the mess of the “616” Spider-titles, USM is more important than ever.

Penciled by MARK BROOKS
New scribe Aron Coleite jumps aboard, fresh from his stint as one of the top writers on the hit NBC show Heroes! Regrouping after the devastating battle against Apocalypse, the X-Men encounter a new adversary which seems unstoppable. To fight it, the young mutants must ask themselves: how far are they willing to go and what are they willing to take to raise their game? The answer will test the bonds and shake the team to its very core.

A story ripped from the headlines! Will Colossus start taking super-steroids like his favorite baseball players in order to up his game? Man, who’s responsible for this after school special-sounding story? Oh, a TV writer, naturally. Damn you, WGA strike!

*I'm just kidding, of course. It's actually tied with Empire Records for that honor.


Anonymous said...

The technique and composition of the Avengers/Invaders cover is fantastic, but you know it KILLED Alex Ross to do modern versions of Iron Man and Luke Cage, instead of their classic costumes.

Also, does Cage seem a little bug-eyed to you?

Maxo said...

The only other character I recognize on that Incredible Herc cover is Snowbird from Alpha Flight (kinda nice to see her again). But just the fact Marvel's calling it the God Squad makes me want to read it.

And I've been avoiding ASM too, but yeah ... Marcos Martin, man.

Shakespeare & Co. said...

Dude that Herc comic looks AWESOME.

Unknown said...

"Ready the pulpers! I think I see areola!"

Line of the blog! :)

Mory said...

I think the character on the bottom right of the Herc cover is the Japanese god Mikaboshi. She looks familiar from the somewhat-recent Ares: God of War miniseries. But I could be wrong.

And one of those looks like the same style as the Eternals, no? Though I don't recognize who it is. It might just remind me of Eternals because of Romita, I guess.

Anonymous said...

The God Squad is actually much like the Super Friends when you think about it. Attun the God Eater pretty much makes all the other members redundant in a fight against gods(Like Superman), and Snowbird's Canada-centric abilities will probably render her useless in a fight(Like Aquaman).

Considering Sky Doll was already available online from fan scanlations, and available in collected form as an issue of Heavy Metal for those of us who like to later pay in order to justify our piracy, I don't see it selling that well for Marvel. Who knows, maybe they'll put "From the creator of WITCH!" on the cover to boost sales.

The whole "Oh, we had to retcon the marriage to bring back witty Spider-man and give him new villains!" crap strikes me as the same false dichotomy Geoff Johns pulled with Infinite Crisis, saying the GRIMDARK and gore was necessary to bring in a kindler gentler DC with a Batman that actually smiled. Also, after two months "Oh no I'm out of webfluid!" has already become horribly, horribly annoying.