Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marvel's October previews reviewed

Those shiftless layabouts at Marvel Comics finally got around to releasing their solicits for the books they plan to publish in October, a full eight days after the energetic go-getters over at DC (The Marvel solicits usually come out the day after the DC solicits).

I imagine this was done for the same reason they released their solicits a week late around the time of the Comic-Con last year—because they wanted to announce some of their exciting new October releases at the convention itself.

These include the introduction of both Marvelman and Mickey Mouse into the Marvel Universe, putting L. Frank Baum Oz adaptation artist Skottie Young on a new Muppets comic instead of just reprinting the Boom Muppets comics, publishing crossover books Donald Duck Vs. Howard The Duck and Dr. Strange and The Wizards of Waverly Place and killing off all the X-Men and Spider-Man, since they don't own the movie rights any more, so what's the point really?

Okay, none of that's true. It's business as usual at Marvel, really, as you can see for yourself by reading the solicits over at Newsarama.

Here's what caught my eye this month...

Pencils and cover by DANIEL ACU√ĎA
Marvel Comics 50th Anniversary
The madness and drama of FEAR ITSELF has taken its toll on the mighty Avengers and now they must reinvent themselves once more! The entire world awaits word of who will be the Avengers! This is one of the most important chapters in Avengers’ history. You will not want to miss the shocking surprise announcements!!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Aw yeah, look at that cover! Are Avengers readers in for the same sort of pulse-pounding picking-a-line-up-by-looking-at-photos action JLA readers enjoyed at the beginning of Brad Meltzer’s one-year run on Justice League of America? Meltzer kept it going for half a story arc, but Bendis is the master of keeping conversations and dull business going for pages and pages longer than they need to—how long will Cap be looking at headshots? Six issues? Eight?

I like that image of a gigantic Hank Pym trying to squeeze into a photo. Just shrink, you idiot!

Written by DAN SLOTT
Pencils & Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
"Spider-Island" PART FIVE
Now the moment you’ve been dying to see, Tiger! Mary Jane Watson finally spiders-up! Plus a giant battle pitting brother against brother. But let's face it, you just care about that cover!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Geez, why is MJ wearing so much clothing?

Also, when did ASM move to the $3.99 price point?

Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive #524 may have the longest and most confusing name and numbering of all of Marvel’s comics (I’m going to have a hell of a time trying to read David Liss and Francesco Francavilla’s run in trade down the road, given the fact that the title changes, aren’t I?), but it also has the best cover.

Written by MARK WAID
Pencils & Cover by MARCOS MARTIN
Variant Cover by BRYAN HITCH
One honest man -- just one -- exists in the vast criminal corporation known as Roxxon Oil, and Daredevil has to find him before a nightmarish disaster claims the entire Eastern Seaboard! Can DD get to him in time--or will this issue's surprise villain get to him first?
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

I haven’t published a review of it here yet, because I’ve been trying to post the more timely stuff (Comic Con reactions, this post, something soon on Captain America: The First Avenger) first, but I read the first issue of the new Daredevil the other day, and it is great stuff. Perfect, really. Give it a shot, if you haven’t already (And don’t worry about not knowing jack shit about Daredevil; it’s extremely accessible—I haven’t read two consecutive issues of a Daredevil comic since Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada were on the book).

FEAR ITSELF #7 (of 7)
Variant Cover by STUART IMMONEN
Variant Cover by BILLY TAN (to be revealed after the events in Fear Itself #6)
• Tony Stark returns from the depths with a last-chance arsenal that will transform the Avengers from Earth's Mightiest Heroes...into Earth's Last Hope!
• It’s THOR'S DAY-- the day that everything ends!
• Double sized Finale with a little something extra for keen eye
56 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99

Thor’s Day? I’m pretty sure it will actually come out on Woden’s Day.

Are those two Ghost Riders making out or just snuggling, or perhaps sharing a slow dance? They don’t have lips or tongues, so it’s impossible to know for sure.

Cover by ART ADAMS
Variant Covers A, B, C and D by TBA
A new twice-monthly series featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and heroes and villains across the entire Marvel Universe! In the wake of FEAR ITSELF, CLASSIFIED. By the acclaimed writing team of Matt Fraction (FEAR ITSELF), Cullen Bunn (FEAR ITSELF: THE DEEP) and Chris Yost (FEAR ITSELF: SPIDER-MAN) and the powerhouse art team of Mark Bagley (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN) and Paul Pelletier (THE INCREDIBLE HULKS).
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

I love the concept of these sorts of accelerated-schedule series, which DC has been doing more of and in greater volume than DC (I believe Marvel’s just done a handful of five-issue weekly series so far, unless you also count their experiment with a thrice-weekly Amazing Spider-Man, which rarely came out like clockwork anyway).

I also love the art of Mark Bagley and Paul Pelletier, have read more good stuff from Matt Fraction and Chris Yost than I’ve read bad stuff, and have no opinion on Cullen Bunn (Aside from liking his name). Therefore I’d totally be into this…if only I had read Fear Itself itself.

I can’t imagine this will be easily accessible if you skipped FI entirely…of course, Brightest Day didn’t seem all that dependent on familiarity with Blackest Night…so maybe it will be readable. I guess I have a few months to decide.

The other day I made a joke about how DC seems to steal Marvel’s bad ideas, while Marvel steals DC’s good ideas; that was before I noticed that Marvel had Bagley, the primary artist on DC’s weekly series Trinity, drawing part of this more-frequently-than-monthly series.

Penciled by DAVID HAHN
AN ELEKTRA-FYING ISSUE OF HERC! Herc has rejected his demigod status to distance himself from his Olympian ties, especially his father Zeus. Unfortunately for Herc, that distance is about to get a lot shorter, as Zeus has decided to move in with his wayward son after an angry Hera de-powers him. As if parental baggage wasn’t problematic enough, Herc’s status as Brooklyn’s protector has put him at odds with some powerful enemies. A team-up with the skilled assassin Elektra could give him the help he needs... as long as his dad doesn’t muck it up first. Written by Marvel scribes Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and drawn by the astounding David Hahn, it’s a Herc story not to be missed!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

I really like David Hahn. I’m sooooooo far behind on Marvel’s Hercules comics now though…

Is the Hulk wearing Red Hulk Hulk hands? Is he having some sort of terrible circulation problem, as the enormous number of engorged veins poking up through all of his veins would seem to suggest, and the veins in his hands and wrists just plain popped, and he’s leaking blood? Or did he just kill someone?

This, by the way, is one of the Marc Silvestri covers to the new Incredible Hulk #1. It’s written by Jason Aaron, who seems like he’d be a good Hulk writer, it’s drawn by Marc Silvestri, who does not seem like he’d be a good Hulk artist (not to my tastes, anyway), and it will cost $4 for a 32-page issue, which generally means 22-pages of story. It will have five or six different covers. You know, maybe Marvel wouldn’t have to charge four bucks per comic if they didn’t have to pay a half dozen artists to draw different covers for every single one of their books.

Art & Cover by JUAN DOE
A monster adventure to scream over!
Elsa Bloodstone hates monsters – and when the trail of a mysterious serial killer leads to their underground city, Elsa’s ready to kick some horrific butt. Morbius the Living Vampire, Werewolf by Night, the Living Mummy and the slithery Manphibian have news for her, though; the monsters are innocent, and the real killer is out there...a creature so terrifying and vicious that even monsters are scared to death! Elsa Bloodstone and the Legion of Monsters are on the case!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Here’s a pretty perfect example of a comic I want to buy—a bunch of characters I like, drawn by one of my favorite artists—but Marvel doesn’t want to sell me. At least, not badly enough to charge a reasonable amount of money for it.

This is a nice concept Ale Garza has employed on his cover for Spider-Man #19. Has no one used that before?

Who is behind the mask?
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Well that was an easy question.


Jacob T. Levy said...

Oh, that Spidey/ Silver Surfer cover is fantastic!

Robert in New Orleans said...

If you like the look of that Legion of Monsters comic, why wait until October? DC has the same monsters in the Flashpoint: Frankenstein mini written by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth). Frankenstein agent of SHADE is continuing in September as one of the new 52. Both series priced at 2.99. I'm on ish 2 of the mini and I like it. I guess in this case Marvel is playing copycat/catch-up.

Shriner said...

Really? "Legion of Monsters" is $3.99?

What happened to the "all new mini-series would be $2.99".

You are right, they are trying to keep people from buying it.

Aki Alaraatikka said...

I`ll write 3 things:
I think that the ghost riders are snuggling `cause mostly none dance in a cover.

Buy the monster-comics in trade.

I don`t think that that Surfer/Spidey-cover idea has been used before in this universe.

Thanks for the attention!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late, but here are two comments:
1) Amazing Spider-Man went to $3.99 way back when the Big Time era began. It has back-ups, though, so you're getting some extra pages for that price. (Of course, the back-ups aren't as consistently good as the main story.) Regardless, this is currently Marvel's 2nd-best series.
2) And Herc is Marvel's BEST series right now! Don't worry if you're behind on the Hercules saga in general.. Herc #1 was a clean break with the past, and a perfect jumping-on point. (A #1 that's good for new readers to try? What a crazy idea!)