Friday, October 30, 2015

I watched the first episode of Supergirl

I saw this ad in every comic I read this week.
•Part of me, probably the part of me that still has sympathy with the whole "Team Comics" tribalism philosophy, is glad that there are so many (so...very...many) live-action TV shows based on comic book series these days, to the point that I fear we've reached some sort of critical mass, and comic book superhero TV shows are becoming the new police procedural. And I'm glad TV executives now seem keen to make their superhero shows ones that are  based on the work of comics creators, which should send royalties and regard their way and, potentially, boost the sales of the comics they're based on. At any rate, it seems like a Green Arrow or Daredevil TV show is an infinitely better idea than made-for-TV superhero concepts, like those on Heroes or The Cape.

That said, I've had little to no interest in most of these shows, and their prevalence kind of irritates me. It dismays me how much of the comics press' time and attention goes to covering which minor actor is being cast as which minor character in the background of an episode of a TV show, for example, instead of covering, you know, comics.

I watched and enjoyed all of Daredevil (in large part because of its limited nature with a pre-determined, finite end, and Netflix's releasing all of the episodes simultaneously, making it scan like a very long movie rather than a TV series). I watched the first episode and the last few episodes of Agent Carter, and liked that okay. I saw maybe an episode and a few parts of episodes of The Flash at my friend's house. I haven't seen more than a handful of scenes from either the dreadful, dire-looking Arrow or Agents of SHIELD. You could not pay me to watch Gotham or the canceled-immediately Constantine, and I've no interest in Powers. Walking Dead and IZombie aren't superhero shows, of course, but they are based on genre-comics; I've no real interest in the former, although everyone loves it; I may get to the latter on DVD eventually.

I only mention all of this because I was interested enough in Supergirl to sit down and watch it, and to keep watching it until the end. So on a purely conceptional and purely marketing level, it seemed far superior to almost every single other based-on-a-corporate-super-comic show out there.

•The first episode seemed pretty troubled, with parts that really sang and parts that really sunk. It seemed a little over-stuffed and stitched together, with, as my friend said, it really felt like three or four different episodes all sort of crammed into a single pilot episode, presumably to lay the entire premise out immediately so they could get on with the show as fast possible. It could have used another hour to really breathe, or a smart and merciless editor to re-cut it.

The info-dump beginning was extremely weird, playing like the sort of sequence one might have seen as the 30-to-60-second set-up opening of an old '70s or '80 TV show, only like five-to-ten times too long. It could have been chopped, silent and set to music, or doled out via flashback more gradually.

•I liked baby Kal-El's hair a whole lot.

•Melissa Benoist was really good, I thought. She was charming, plucky, self-effacing and determined; a pretty mixed-up character who hasn't yet developed the strict duality in life-roles and personalities that most TV Clark Kents and Supermen have...likely on account that she's never tried being Super until the events of this episode.

•Most of the cast was fairly strong, too. I thought Calista Flockhart was pretty good as a one-note, evil boss character, for example, and it was interesting to see her play the antagonist to the very same type of character she one played on Ally McBeal. Guy With A Crush On Supergirl was pretty solid too; is he going to end up being her Alfred/Oracle...?

Dayum, Jimmy Olsen!
•The one member of the cast I just could not get used to was their Jimmy James Olsen. I've no problem with casting black folks to play white comic book characters in TV and movies–Hell, would you really want anyone other than Sam Jackson playing Nick Fury in those Marvel movies?–but it's not the fact that actor Mehcad Brooks is black that bugged me so much as the fact that he is so hot.

Like, really hot. Like as in every single time he was on-screen, I could only think about how hot he was. How big he was, how smoothly shaved his head was, how his shirts clung to his muscles. He would have made a great John Henry Irons–sexy, bald, huge–but Superman's teen pal Jimmy, the ginger cub reporter who was always getting in trouble? No way.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the original comic book version of Jimmy Olsen was perhaps meant to be a cool, attractive character, and that while tastes changed oer the decades and he remained the same, he just started seeming nerdier and nerdier. But I don't know, I wasn't reading comics in the 1940s and 1950s. Jimmy's geekishness seems like it's sort of the whole point of the character, to a certain extent, and Brooks' Olsen, and the way the character is portrayed and played, is pretty much the opposite of that.

All he really has in common with past Jimmy Olsens is the fact that he's a friend of Superman's, and he's a photographer, like so many of the more recent Jimmy Olsens.

I suppose they could have made him super-sexy and still kind of geeky, by maybe playing him as less self-assured or with poor social skills or something. If nothing else, they should have put him in a bow tie. Jimmy's bow tie seems to, in a way, be even more important to his character than the fact that he is a freckled redhead.

•Meanwhile, The Guy With A Crush On Supergirl wears a bow tie. Madness! This character totally out Jimmy Olsens James Olsen.

•I forgot to check; did they have Brooks wearing a watch?

•I didn't really think Chyler Leigh was that great a choice as Supergirl's earth-born sister, Alex Danvers. At least after the reveal about her occupation, when they showed her suited-up for action. She just looked very...little and weak. Between her, Benoist and Flockhart, that's just a lot of really slimly-built ladies. I have a hard-time believing in an government field agents in body armor and guns that I could beat up. Also, how weird is it that in this movie, Jimmy Olsen looks like he could take on the entire military organization himself....?

The 2012 trade collection, well worth reading.
•I was kinda surprised to hear the acronym "DEO," the Department of Extranormal Operations, which was the organization that Cameron Chase worked for in Dan Curtis Johnson and J.H. Williams III's short-lived (but excellent!) Chase series. DC has since developed a handful of similar super-people watching or dealing-with organizations, with ARGUS seemingly the prime one now. I don't really like ARGUS as much as the DEO, as the former seems more like SHIELD, while the latter seemed more like an FBI/CIA kinda place. I was surprised to hear "DEO" though, because "ARGUS" is, if I'm not mistaken, the organization that's been popping up in the other DC Comics-based live-action shows that this production team has been putting together.

Although since Supergirl is apparently separated from the shared-universe of Arrow, The Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, maybe that explains why they chose a different organization.

•For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why the DEO was in a place that looked like the Batcave. I understand it was a secret, underground facility, but why did they leave the stalagmites and stalactites up? Batman does it because he's fucking weird and image conscious and really into bats and caves and stuff; what's the DEO's excuse...?

For one thing, TV Vartox wears pants.
•I was a little bewildered by the appearance of Vartox, who I actually had to look up to make sure it was the same Vartox I was thinking of (Who is currently appearing in the Harley Quinn and Power Girl miniseries). This guy not only doesn't look anything like Vartox, he also doesn't have any of Vartox's powers, or background.

He's just a dude with a super-axe. They could have made him anyone. They could have made up a name. They could have assigned him the name of a random Phantom Zone criminal, if they really were going for an obscure-ish DC Comics Easter Egg. I wonder why they didn't just call him Nyeun Chun Ti, the real-name of The Persuader, a kinda sorta DC Superman family villain, whose whole deal is that he has an atomic axe.

•I yelled at the TV when Alex said "Kryptonese." It's "Kryptonian," goddammit! That's like saying that this post is written in "Englese," or that the predominant language in Mexico is "Spaianese," or that Akiray Toriyama's Dragonball comics were translated from the original "Japanish" for the North American market. Gah!

•In general, I preferred the montages, the office drama and the flirting to the superhero fights, which weren't really all that great, and the Supergirl vs. Aliens premise that the show seems to be setting up (Like, as soon as she becomes Supergirl, she's shot full of darts by the DEO and starts getting attacked by aliens...?)

•I liked her costume pretty well. The blue is a shade too dark, I think, and I preferred the off-the-rack red boots with laces that she was wearing when stopping the bank robbers (that looked like the ones Batgirl currently wears in her comic, or that Damian Wayne wore when he became Robin) to the knee-high ones she'd later settle on. Also, the tights are a good idea. Leggings might be a little better (and in style), but it's a nice solution to putting her in a skirt without everyone constantly seeing her panties.

•I liked the way they handle Superman in this, as a mostly off-screen present who just occasionally appears on camera, and then his face is in shadow or it's just his hand or something.

If a bunch of TV executives asked me how they could do a Batman TV show, I would have suggested they adapt Gotham Central, and use Batman like that...just a husky voice from off-panel, an occasional bat-shaped shadow, a gloved hand. Instead, they decided to make Gotham. Which looks like the weirdest fucking show.

•I also had to look up the name "Hank Henshaw," as I couldn't remember if that was the name of astronaut who would eventually become The Cyborg Superman (a Superman and, later, Green Lantern villain in the "old" DCU, a Supergirl villain in the New 52), or if it was the name of Commander Steel or Steel. It is, of course, the former; Henry Heywood and Hank Heywood were the Steels.

•The weirdest thing about this show was its context, especially as it relates to DC Comics. Obviously Supergirl's Q-rating is as high as it's ever been at the moment (thanks not only to the show, but something a presidential candidate said about it) and DC has got...absolutely nothing awaiting anyone suddenly interested in the character who might find themselves in a comic shop or book store or library.

Seriously, they just cancelled the New 52 ongoing Supergirl, and, upon announcing a slew of new titles for their "DCYou" initiative, there was no new Supergirl title. Surely the folks at DC knew this show was coming for at least six months now...they couldn't manage to put together a comic to be on the stands this month? Preferably something akin to the current run on Batgirl, as in high-quality, new reader-friendly and something geared toward a general, YA audience...?

I talked about this before, when my friend asked which Supergirl comics to read when the trailer for the show suddenly got her very excited about Supergirl and desirous of reading Supergirl comics. I had the damnnedest time thinking of non-horrible Supergirl comics to recommend, based largely on how ill-served the character has been by DC's cosmic reboots over the years.

She's not quite in the same category as Donna Troy, Hawkman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but she's still kind of a mess, with some three or four radically different iterations, including a shape-changing, artificial plasma creature from another dimension that pretends to be Supergirl and an Earth angel with fire wings version.

I didn't read any of the New 52 iteration, which looked too terrible, but which is also probably the most readily available in trade these days.

And there's no All-Star Supergirl, no Supergirl: Earth One, nothing. The best out-of-continuity Supergirl comic is probably the Cosmic Adventures series, and that is so far removed from the Supergirl of the TV show that it is unlikely to be of much interest.

I wish, at the very least, DC had assembled some kind of Greatest Supergirl Stories Ever Told collection, pulling stuff from Superman Adventures or Justice League Unlimited as well as any DCU Supergirl comics from the last 20-25 years that aren't completely unintelligible.

•On that subject, Tom Bondurant wrote a nice, long column about the history of DC's Supergirl comics, which should provide some good clues of what to look for, if any of you decide to start hunting for non-terrible Supergirl comics for yourselves while DC tries and gets its shit together.

I sincerely hope they simply publish a new, in-universe, in-continuity comic that can try and capture some of the charms of the show, including its tone and audience, rather than doing one of those weird-ass comics like those they did for Arrow and The Flash, where they are comics based closely on the shows that are based loosely on the comics, and given titles that include the word "Season" and a zero or decimal point. Bleah.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Comic Shop Comics: October 28

All-Star Section 8 #5 (DC Comics) Well now I understand why they were being so coy with who, exactly, the special guest-star in this particular issue of the six-issue miniseries is, while those in the first four were prominently depicted on the covers and mentioned in the solicitation copy. The turn of the first page of this issue, which reveals the main guest-star–there are actually three of them, not counting the tiny cameos of The Spectre, Doctor Fate and Deadman in the background of DC heaven–is by far the biggest surprise of the series so far, and one of the bigger surprises I've seen in a comic in...I don't know how long.

Not precisely that this particular character shows up in the pages of a Section 8 miniseries, of course, but this particular character's extremely unusual...depiction. In addition to the trio of DC guest-stars, Sixpack is also faced with the dead members of the original Section 8 line-up (that is, all of them, except for himself, Bueno Excellente and Dogwelder I) in Limbo.

I hesitate to say just about anything about this issue, for fear of ruining the surprises. Two of the guest-stars should be quite unexpected, while the other is one that Garth Ennis and John McCrea have a fairly long history with...and they present two of the very best consecutive panels featuring that character in maybe ever.

For all the out-and-out craziness of this issue, most of which consists of an out-of-body experience and journey to the afterlife by Sixpack, the penultimate chapter of the series also gets unexpectedly emotional, as Dogwelder II and Sixpack both have moments of extreme pathos.

But you know what's really sad? That there's only one more issue left to go. I do hope DC can find something else for Ennis and McCrea to team on for them after this...

Batgirl #45 (DC) One of regular Batgirl artist Babs Tarr's specialties is drawing sexy young people, which has served her well during his run on the title so far, as writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher have given her plenty of material to work with. This issue, featuring the wedding of Babs' old roommate Alysia to her just-introduced fiancee, is probably the ultimate application of Tarr's ability to draw super-sexy young people. In addition to Babs, Alysia, Frankie and Black Canary, she also gets to draw Babs' date to the wedding, Luke Fox, and special guest-star Dick Grayson.

And goddam does Tarr draw an awesome Dick Grayson. This is maybe the best I've ever seen him look, and Tarr gives him just the right hint of smarm and arrogance that is required for his role in this issue, which is essentially to announce to Barbara that he's totally not dead after all, and that he has feeling for her (I'm not sure how exactly this lines up with the previous issue of Grayson, during which he also showed up to announce to Babs and the rest of the Bat-Family that he and Batman had faked his death because of some goofy plot contrivances that didn't actually make any sense). Seeing how well Tarr draws Grayson here, however, only calls attention to the weakness of his costume design. What are those straps all over his torso for, exactly? His costume's so much busier than it should be. Like, why is his "plainclothes" super-spy uniform so much busier than his old superhero uniform, you know...?

Fletcher and Stewart have essentially presented a kinda sorta, between arc "downtime" issue, even though a major life event for a few of supporting characters occurs during the issue. In the process, they've set up a great love triangle with our heroine at the point.

I'm a little confused as to Luke's place in the Bat-Family, though. Does Dick know he used to be Batwing II? Does He know that Dick used to be Nightwing and Robin? All three were Batman-sanctioned, Gotham City crimefighters, of course, but it's not clear from this issue how much they all know about one another (I never read Batwing, so I'm only familiar with Luke's time in the costume from Batman Eternal).

Batman & Robin Eternal #4 (DC) This issue features a script by Steve Orlando and art by penciler Scot Eaton and inker Wayne Faucher. I'm afraid the book is already settling into the sort of groover where talking about it every week will soon be so repetitive that it will be increasingly tedious for you guys to read what I have to say about it. So, sorry...?

Despite the new creators taking point, this reads just like the previous issues. The script features much more clever dialogue than the average superhero comic, the art is below average to the point that it's not only occasionally messy and hard to read, but panel-to-panel continuity is weak, and a reader may find him or herself visually re-drawing it in their imagination to better live up to the intended action.

Already stuffed with characters–Dick Grayson, bearded amnesiac Bruce Wayne, Red Robin, Red Hood, Bluebird, Cassandra Cain and Spoiler–five more enter the action, including Batgirl and the surviving members of the core cast of We Are Robin.

I'm afraid the narrative is going to be a little too complex, simply because of all the baggage its dragging with it from the home titles of some of its characters. Like, as complex as the current plot may be, having something to do with an old Batman and Robin I case involving The Scarecrow, plus new characters Mother and The Orphan and some kind of "designer human" trade that somehow involves all of Batman's past sidekicks from Grayson to Row, we've also got mentions of Grayson's Spyral status quo and those weird face swirling hypnos or whatever, and the mysterious organizer of the We Are Robin movement phoning in during one panel (which seems to imply that it's Tim, but that's likely just the juxtaposition as anything else).

Batman '66 #28 (DC) I hope you're not terribly curious about what it is that Batman is facing on the cover of this issue, as it's not revealed in either of the stories within. That's just a cute cover gag by cover artist Mike Allred.

What you will find within are the debuts of two new '66-ized Bat-villains, one of whose origin we've already witnessed like 20 issues ago.

The first story, written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Lukas Ketner, features the introduction of Scarecrow '66. I really like the design, which is much more rural-looking than the more horrific versions of the character we've seen lately.
Note the suit that's all patches, the straw hair, the stuffing and the fact that while he does have a rope around his neck, it's not the noose that the modern Scarecrow so commonly wears, but is worn as a sort of makeshift bow-tie.

I especially like his gun, which has a similar rustic look to it, like something that The Green Goblin might have invented were he stuck in Amish country. While The Scarecrow's gimmick is the same–fear gas–Parker's origin for him is based in a weird back story set in the Southern-ish, Appalachian town of Jitters Holler, where Parker and Ketner engage in the sort of "Hillbilly" comedy that wouldn't have been that weird in the sixties or seventies, but is now decidedly passe.

I really dug the designs and art in this story. Check out this page from The Scarecrow's climactic attack, in which he rides a horse-drawn cart...the horse wearing a top hat, frothing at the mouth and making an insane scary horse face worthy of those that Kelley Jones used to draw in The Crusades...
The rest of the issue belongs to a Killer Croc story, written by Parker and drawn by Dean Haspiel. We've previously seen King Tut's henchman Waylon Jones transformed after coming into contact with a magical potion imbuing him with the essence of a Nile crocodile, and here the Dynamic Duo seeks to finally bring him to justice.

Haspiel's simple, stripped-down and super-dynamic art is perfect for superhero comics, and it's honestly a wonder neither of the Big Two have piled enough bags of money atop him to pin him down at a drawing table and force him to produce a monthly super-comic for them.

Killer Croc '66 dresses like a TV show burgular, in a dark turtleneck swearter (I'm half-surprised he didn't have on a cap and a domino mask), and Haspel gives him huge clawed hands and feat and a very prominent jaw with pronounced underbite.

His pixie-esque Robin is perfect, and as great as his images of Croc in battle might be, I really enjoyed just seeing his Batman and Robin running around in goofy costumes; Haspiel pretty perfectly captures the camp of the TV series, without even drawing in a terribly detailed or representational style.

This may have been my favorite scene though:
It's a very simple, very basic thing, but I like the way Haspiel has divided the one space into three different panels and thus three different moments. Not only does it guide the reader from moment to moment, but it cuts down having long tails on the dialogue balloons, and thus obscuring more art than necessary. Like I said, it's a pretty simple, basic thing, but it's also kind of brilliant at the same time.

It's going to be a damn shame when this comic goes away, not simply because it's a reliably fun read month in and month out, but because of all the talented folks its hosted in its pages over the last few years.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Marvel's January previews reviewed

As with DC, January seems like a quiet-ish month for Marvel, with no real new books (just re-launches of recently launched or often relaunched books) and an ongoing Old Man Logan series. If we count that as an X-Men book, then the X-line is now up to five books (All-New X-Men, Extraordinary X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine and Old Man Logan), while the upstart Inhumans have two books of their own (All-New Inhumans and Uncanny Inhumans), which still feels like 1-2 Inhumans books too many.

Also, is the Deadpool movie coming out in January or February of next year? Because it looks like Marvel's output will be at least half Deadpool in January, thanks to some cheap, $1 reprints of various Deadpool books.

For a complete look at what Marvel is planning on publishing in January of next year, you can visit CBR's listing here. For my commentary, you need not go anywhere.

It's high-stakes espionage in the Marvel Universe in this brand-new series inspired by the hit television show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony Stark guest-stars in the beginning of "THE COULSON PROTOCOLS."
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Aw, man. This seems to be replacing the Mark Waid-written SHIELD comic, which I liked the first volume of quite a bit, and/or the Ales Kot-written Secret Avengers, which I also liked quite a bit, and seemed like the Agents of SHIELD show Marvel might have made if they could get Sam Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Cobie Smulders to do a weekly network TV show.

Neither was too closely tied to the TV show, though, although the TV show isn't too closely tied to the Marvel Universe either, so I guess it's a lose/lose situation, in that respect. At least they've got Stark in the first issue, which is surely something the TV show wouldn't be able to least not without spending a lot of money on RDJR's paycheck.

Cover by ALEX ROSS
• You thought the origin of the All-New, All-Different Avengers was surprising? You haven't seen anything yet!
• When passions flare between Captain America and Thor, they lead to Earth's Mightiest Kiss!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

As far as kisses go between superhero teammates, I think this is about 50 times more exciting than that between Superman and Wonder Woman, and about 50 times less exciting than a lip-lock between the old Captain America and the old Thor would be.

It's a nice cover though, and should lead to some interesting story possibilities...especially if The Odinson ever figures out who holds his hammer...

Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (w) • KRIS ANKA (a/C)
Face front, true believers! The Captain has made her return and oh, how mighty it is. It's a bold new frontier for Carol Danvers as she soars to new heights in her greatest mission yet—leader of the all-new Alpha Flight space program. Yup, Alpha Flight. As earth's first line of defense, Carol and her team aim to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats. But can Carol be a soldier and a diplomat? Especially when an unknown enemy emerges that Carol can't quite punch. The superstar team behind Marvel's Agent Carter television series, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, make their comics debut alongside the awesomely-talented Kris Anka.
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

So between SWORD and The Guardians of The Galaxy, I guess this makes Captain Marvel's Alpha Flight the third first line of defense against extraterrestrial threats...?

I'm curious if Danvers' Alpha Flight is just appropriating the name of Canada's mutant super-team, or if some of its members will also be involved. I'm not exactly an expert on Alpha Flight or anything, but the majority of the team's make-up doesn't seem particularly well-suited to fighting aliens in outer-space.

I'm also curious to see how this new writing team fares with the character. No offense to Kelly Sue DeConnick, but her Captain Marvel seemed to constantly be on the cusp, and that Marvel kept it around more so because they wanted a Captain Marvel book on the stands, rather than because it was necessarily selling well or producing good stories on a regular basis or anything.

Variant Cover by PAOLO RIVERA
Gwenpool Variant Cover by ROB LIEFELD
• The entire universe is after Howard! Is it because he's very handsome? Charming? Yes!
• No, wait. Of course not. Sorry.
• Howard is actually very difficult to be around sometimes. Also, it's hard to tell if he's handsome since he's a duck.
• Join Chip & Joe for ... DUCK HUNT! The storyline created just so we could use that title!
• Plus the conclusion of the Howard/Gwenpool backup!
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99

The fourth bullet-point made me laugh. I kinda wish they used an image of Lockjaw holding a limp Howard up by his feet in the weeds for the cover though.


Woah, woah, woah...40 pages? $4.99? They're just daring he market to reject this book, aren't they?

I really like the way the roar is integrated into this cover image for Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. I hope the comic is good; I like dinosaurs.

Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star...they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It's been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young "chosen one," but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, Master and Padawan may be pushed to the breaking point. Writer Charles Soule (Lando, She-Hulk, Daredevil) and artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Avengers World, Punisher) bring us a tale of the Jedi at the height of their power...
32 PGS./Rated T ...$3.99

I wonder if the "ACTION VARIANT" cover for this particular issue will turn out to be really valuable, as it will end up being super-rare, because it's hard to imagine any Star Wars fan being too terribly excited to get a Jake Lloyd comics cover. I don' know, did they even make a baby Anakin action figure when Phantom Menace was released...?

I'm a a little surprised to see Marvel dabbling with this part of the Star Wars timeline at all, given the concentration the transitional period from Republic to Empire has gotten in the Dark Horse comics and the recent videogames and TV shows. That said, the fact that this is pre-Clone Wars makes it kind of interesting. I mean, I am and have been curious about what heppened to Anakin during the time he went from being played by Jake Lloyd to being playded by Hayden Christiansen.

Fifty years from now, Logan — the man who no longer calls himself Wolverine — will have endured many atrocities: The Marvel Universe's villains will have banded together and rid the world of its heroes. Logan's closest friend, Hawkeye, will have been murdered in cold blood right before his eyes. And driven mad by the same radiation that gave him his superhuman strength, Bruce Banner will have fathered a family of hillbilly Hulks...that eventually went on to slaughter Logan's wife and two children. But now, in the present, Old Man Logan wakes up to discover himself in a world before these atrocities, before the Wasteland. And he's going to seize this opportunity and change history to ensure that his future never comes to pass...
40 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$4.99

I hate Andrea Sorrentino's art, so his isn't one I'll even be able to force myself to read, by I'm curious that Jeff Lemire is writing a book based on Brian Michael Bendis' extrapolation of Mark Millar's "What if Wolverine was in Unforgiven in Mad Max-land?" or whatever his pitch was for that original miniseries. From what Lemire said at CXC, he doesn't generally like to stay on superheroes longer than a story arc, so I can't imagine him being on this book too long, which is sort of weird, as it should have a pretty open-ended premise of an elderly Wolverine wandering around the modern Marvel universe, being all old and shit, and constantly being surprised and elated or dismayed by how different things are or were from when he was around.

I think killing off Wolverine only to replace him with an older version of himself from a different timeline is kinda weird too, and a bit of a cheat.

I don't know if this scene actually occurs in this issue of Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat or not, but I sure hope it does.

David Aja has produced a nice, creepy cover for this month's issue of Scarlet Witch.

"Fantastic Planet"
The Surfer has taken Dawn Greenwood to the end of the universe, and now he's going to show her the most fantastic planet of them all: Earth! It's your homeworld like you've never seen it before: with monsters, magic and...a secret that will change everything! The perfect jumping-on point for the book everyone's talking about!

I am soooo far behind on this series...

In fact, I haven't even read the first trade of the last volume (which is by this exact same creative team) yet. I hope that just because they're renumbering the serially-published issues, that doesn't mean they'll also be re-numbering the trades, so that there will be multiple trade paperbacks labeled Silver Surfer Vol. 1 by Dan Slott and Mike Allred....

The Webbed Wonder and the Merc with a Mouth are teaming up for their first ongoing series EVER! It's action, adventure and just a smattering of (b) romance in this episodic epic featuring the WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER HERO and the star of the WORLD'S GREATEST COMICS MAGAZINE. Talk about a REAL dynamic duo!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

A title so obvious it's incredible it isn't already being published! The two characters play off one another nicely, but the fact that one is a good guy and the other is essentially a not-so-bad bad guy makes an ongoing union between the two sort of difficult to imagine.

That's a great creative team, though...I wonder who they will gt to replace McGuinness in two or three months...?

I like his comic a whole lot, and will eventually get around to a formal review of the trade, I swear. I think this may be my favorite cover image of the series so far. Er, counting the previous volume, which they just relaunched with a new #1 because Secret Wars, that's why.

• The titanic first arc comes to its conclusion as Kang's final salvo hits the Inhumans!
• Can Medusa, Black Bolt, The Human Torch, Beast and the rest stand up to the Time-Lord?
• You will not see this ending coming!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Beast? What are you doing with The Inhumans? Go back to your own people, McCoy! They need you! Now more than ever!