Sunday, December 22, 2019
Marvel's March previews reviewed
JIM ZUB (W) • LAN MEDINA (A) • Cover by CARLOS PACHECO
FIN FANG DOOM!
A trio of space dragons attacks Avengers Mountain, and now the Agents of Wakanda are all that stand between their epic reptile
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Say, is this book an ongoing now...? I could have sworn it was meant to be a miniseries (same with The Amazing Mary Jane, which continues this month), but a #7 is an unusual issue for a miniseries to hit. I've yet to read any of this, but I am looking forward to the trade. The "Agents of Wakanda" who have shown up briefly in the pages of Jason Aaron and company's excellent Avengers have all been fun characters, and there's just not room for them in the main title, so an ongoing Avengers adjacent title seems like a pretty great idea.
CONAN: THE BOOK OF THOTH AND OTHER STORIES TPB
Written by KURT BUSIEK, LEN WEIN & STUART MOORE
Penciled by KELLEY JONES & GABRIEL GUZMAN
Cover by KELLEY JONES
The horrifying origin of Conan the Barbarian’s greatest adversary! In the dank alleys of a decaying city, one beggar boy conjures visions of a future where the rich cower in fear of his terrible power! Witness the dreaded sorcerer Thoth-Amon’s rise from the squalor of the streets through the priestly ranks of Ibis to the heights of evil! Plus: A look back into the past of the barbarian! As warlord Khalar Zym sets out on a quest to find the mythical Mask of Acheron — an ancient artifact that will bring his beloved back to life — he thinks nothing of destroying a village in northern Cimmeria. But one boy born of battle survives Zym’s attack — and years later, their paths are destined to cross once more! Collecting CONAN: BOOK OF THOTH #1-4 and CONAN THE BARBARIAN: THE MASK OF ACHERON.
232 PGS./Parental AdvisorySLC …$24.99
Kelley Jones alert! I actually already have the Jones-drawn portions of this collection, in the original comic book form that Dark Horse had published them in, so I don't need or want this, but if you love Kelley Jones' art as much as I do and missed it, you'll probably want to check this out.
ED BRISSON (W) • JUAN FRIGERI (A) • Cover by AARON KUDER
VERSUS THE SORCEROR SUPREME!
As far as Johnny Blaze is concerned, there’s one man who had the power to pull him outta Hell, but that man chose not to lift so much as a finger for him, and that man’s name is Doctor Stephen Strange! So now Johnny’s got a can of whupass with ol’ Stevie’s name on it!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
I was going to make a comment about the phrase "can of whupass" and whether or not anyone anywhere uses it anymore, but then I realized that Johnny Blaze was a few Ghost Riders ago, and maybe he's been dead so long that it's not an out-of-date reference for him to use.
By the way, Aaron Kuder's a heck of an artist, isn't he...?
ZEB WELLS (W) • STEPHEN SEGOVIA (A/C)
BAD IS THE NEW GOOD!
When Krakoa opened their doors to all mutants and forgave all past crimes, they might have known they’d have to accept some of their worst foes into the fold… but they didn’t plan for what to do with them. Not to worry—Mister Sinister knows what to do with the troublemakers. Meet his new Hellions: Scalphunter, Wild Child, Empath, Nanny, Orphanmaker, Psylocke…and Havok?! Under Sinister’s direction, they are sure to become productive members of mutant society. Writer Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, NEW MUTANTS) and artist Stephen Segovia (WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY, SUPERIOR CARNAGE) bring you the team you’re going to hate to love!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
The only thing I care about here is the metal football with goggles. Who or what is the metal football with goggles?!
ALEX ROSS, KURT BUSIEK, STEVE DARNALL & SAJAN SAINI (W)
ALEX ROSS, STEVE RUDE & FRANK ESPINOSA (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Thirty years ago, Alex Ross had a vision of a new series showing the Marvel heroes in a way they’d never been seen before. The first realization of that idea became the blockbuster MARVELS — but today Alex finally brings about his original vision: An anthology of stories by unique, exceptional talents, many of whom are doing Marvel characters for the very first time. Over this showcase series you’ll see work by such artists as Adam Hughes, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dan Brereton and more, linked together by an overarching story by Alex and Steve Darnall.
This inaugural issue kicks it all off with superstar artists Frank Espinosa (Rocketo, Looney Tunes) telling an unusual Spider-Man story and Steve Rude (Nexus), teaming up with Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Avengers) for an Avengers story, framed by Alex and Steve Darnall (Uncle Sam, Marvels) presenting a tale of the dread dreamland Nightmare, and his threat to the entire Marvel Universe…and possibly beyond.
A once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of talent — you won’t want to miss a single page!
40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99
At first glance, I thought this was a reprinting of Marvels. I certainly like the idea of this series, though, and that line-up of artists.
Written by DOUG MOENCH, CHRIS CLAREMONT, BILL MANTLO, JOHN WARNER, DON McGREGOR & ELLIOT S! MAGGIN
Penciled by SONNY TRINIDAD, YONG MONTANO, DINO CASTRILLO, JESS JODLOMAN, PETE LIJAUCO, RUDY MESINA, MICHAEL GOLDEN, RICO RIVAL, CHIP NANCO, FRANK BOLLE, KEN LANDGRAF & MORE
Cover by JOHN BUSCEMA
Masterworks of literature — retold in the Mighty Marvel Manner! In the late 1970s, respected comic book writers and talented artists joined forces to adapt the world’s most famous stories onto the comic book page. From adventure tales like The Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and Ivanhoe to horror staples Frankenstein and The Invisible Man! Whether it’s the classical poetry of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the dystopian sci-fi of The War of the Worlds or the terrifying tales of Edgar Allan Poe, this collection of cultured classics is sure to thrill you from cover to cover! Featuring world-famous and beloved characters like Robin Hood and Alice in Wonderland, and illustrated versions of novels by such authors as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jules Verne and more! Collecting MARVEL CLASSICS COMICS #13-36.
1264 PGS./All Ages …$150.00
Trim size: oversized
I'm quite curious to see an old iteration of the Marvel bullpen's version of Classics Illustrated, particularly because before I saw this I didn't even realize this title had ever existed, but I'm not $150.00 curious. Hell, I don't think I'm $150.00 curious about anything.
EVE L. EWING (W) • KIM JACINTO (A) • Cover by PEPE LARRAZ
EXPLODING FROM THE PAGES OF INCOMING!
In the wake of a devastating tragedy, the United States passes a law that will shake the Marvel Universe to its core.
The world has had enough of teen heroes. The crackdown has begun. And the lives of Marvel’s next generation will never be the same again.
EVE L. EWING and KIM JACINTO launch a new era in this game-changing event one-shot that will send shockwaves across the Marvel Universe! You won’t want to miss this one!
40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T …$4.99
"In the wake of a devastating tragedy, the United States passes a law"...this sounds uncomfortably like the premise of the original Civil War, doesn't it...?
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) • MATTIA DE IULIS & JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A)
Cover by PHIL NOTO
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
EMPYRE IS COMING!
The build-up to Marvel’s massive event series of the spring begins here—but in actuality, it began a millennia ago, with a challenge on the moon! In the wake of INCOMING, everything has changed for the Kree and the Skrulls. And out in the cold on Earth, the Warner family (MEET THE SKRULLS) need to work out what has happened and what it means for the future of their family and their race! And that means educating their kids on just how the Kree and the Skrulls first went to war!
40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T …$4.99
That...is not how you spell the word Empire. I'm not familiar with the Kree language as all...is it just like English, but with mild spelling variations...? Kinda like how we spell color "color" here in the States, but Canada and the UK add a "u" to spell it "colour"...?
KARLA PACHECO (W) • PERE PéREZ (A)
CLASSIC COVER BY JUNGGEUN YOON
NEW COSTUME COVER BY JUNGGEUN YOON
VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
VIRGIN VARIANT COVER BY ARTGERM
VARIANT COVER BY KAARE ANDREWS
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
HIDDEN GEM VARIANT COVER BY CARMINE INFANTINO
VARIANT COVER BY PEACH MOMOKO
VARIANT COVER BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
VILLAINS VARIANT COVER BY TODD NAUCK
VARIANT COVER BY BRUCE TIMM
COLLAGE VARIANT COVER BY MR. GARCIN
WEB VARIANT COVER AND BLANK VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
DIE CUT VARIANT COVER BY CHIP KIDD - USE DIAMOND CODE DEC191017
SPIDER-WOMAN IS BACK, AND PULLING NO PUNCHES!
Jessica Drew hasn’t been feeling like herself lately (she’s not a Skrull, we promise). When the angry, irritable, and unwell Spider-Woman takes a simple security gig to help get back on her feet, she finds herself besieged by unknown forces out to destroy everything around her. What’s wrong with Jessica? Just how DID she get this job? And who are these violent lunatics who keep trying to blow her up? WHO CARES? Does Spider-Woman have someone to punch? THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.
An explosive new series that pushes Spider-Woman into new heights of action and adventure from the mad minds of Karla Pacheco and Pere Pérez, this is the Spider-Woman book you’ve been waiting for!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99
Say, Spider-Woman is getting another new solo series...and another new costume to go with it! Based on all the gosh dang variant covers there (and there are Spider-Woman variants listed for a bunch of other comics throughout the line this month), it sure seems like Marvel greenlit the series as a variant cover generator as much as a comic unto itself, but I guess we'll see. I really loved the last Spider-Woman series, the one by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez, which was an excellent comic book, so Karla Pacheco and Pere Perez have got some big shoes to fill here. I suppose it helps that it's been long enough since the cancellation of that series that it will be less fresh in the minds of many readers, and that Jessica Drew was most recently seen back in her original red and yellow costume and in the weird-looking random title Strikeforce, so they will be starting with a cleaner slate than they might have been otherwise.
I'm not really feeling this new costume though, to be honest. It looks better on the Peach Momoko cover (that is, the second one above) than it does on the Kaare Andrews one. I think its biggest weakness is the Spider-Man-like webbing over the red portions, which suggests a close connection to Spider-Man that has never really existed for the character. Like, there's no rationale for making her costume more derivative of Spider-Man's, given that the only real connection between the characters is the first half of their codenames. I suppose the fact that, in a post-"Spider-Verse" world, there are scores of Spider-people costumes also makes coming up with a new one that looks original even more difficult.
Personally, I think I preferred the last new one for exactly that reason, even though this one is closer to her original, and is more of a change in color palette than a radical reinvention.
STAR WARS LEGENDS EPIC COLLECTION: LEGACY VOL. 3 TPB
Written by JOHN OSTRANDER & JAN DUURSEMA
Penciled by JAN DUURSEMA & DAVE ROSS
Cover by JAN DUURSEMA
ON SALE APRIL 2020
In the far future of Star Wars, nothing is what it seems! Cade Skywalker and his crew are back to their old pirating ways, but they soon find themselves stranded on Tatooine — with a trio of Black Sun assassins on their trail! Elsewhere, Imperial deep-cover agent Morrigan Corde has plans of her own. She’ll stop at nothing to find Cade — but the ghost of Luke Skywalker just might find him first! Meanwhile, with Darth Krayt missing, the evil Sith Darth Wyyrlok has proclaimed himself the new emperor of the galaxy. But the other Sith have their own ideas! And when the overthrown Empire-in-exile prepares to take back control of the galaxy with its own Force users, will the Jedi join them to defeat a common enemy? Collecting STAR WARS: LEGACY (2006) #37-40 and #42-50, and STAR WARS: LEGACY — WAR #1-6.
448 PGS./Rated T …$39.99
As with the Thoth-Amon book above, this is a series I originally read via a previous Dark Horse publishing. In that instance, I was plowing through the Legacy trade paperbacks in a matter of a few weeks. I actually liked those quite a lot, and the vision of a Star Wars universe that has finally moved beyond the Jedi vs. Sith, Empire vs. Rebellion conflict that the films never seem able to get beyond (One of my first complaints about the new trilogy was that it was the same conflict as the original one, with some minor rebranding. Now that Episode IX is in theaters, it will be interesting to see if Disney and Lucasfilm continue into the future, or stick to one-offs like Rogue One set in the established history).
Anyway, Jan Duursema was one of my first and favorite comics artists, and I think her work with John Ostrander on Dark Horse's various Star Wars comics are pretty great. I'm actually a little surprised that Marvel hasn't re-enlisted that creative team for a book just yet...
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF KYLO REN #4 (OF 4)
CHARLES SOULE (W) • WILL SLINEY (A) • COVER BY E.M. GIST
Variant Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
SINS OF THE SON
The Rise of KYLO REN concludes, as BEN SOLO, once the Jedi's greatest hope, is swallowed by the Dark Side.
It is his destiny - and if there was ever another path, SNOKE and the KNIGHTS OF REN made certain he could not see it.
From Ben, to Ren... and now he is lost.
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. Text and illustrations for Star Wars are © 2019 Lucasfilm Ltd.
Give the conclusion of the third Star Wars film trilogy, I'm especially curious about this series now, as Episodes VII-IX didn't really delve into the Kylo Ren/Ben Solo backstory and the "Aftermath" period remains largely unexplored (I mean, aside from the three Aftermath novels, which I did listen to the audiobook versions of, of course; those are set closer to Jedi than to Force Awakens, though). So Ren-Ben's life between the time he was a baby and the time he showed up in Force is an alluring blank space in need of filling in yet, and I'm particularly curious to see if Charles Soule--or anyone, really!--can clearly explain what the Bad Guy's plan was through this new trilogy, as it seems kinda made up as it goes along to me (Probably because it was). But no spoilers! We'll talk Rise of Skywalker spoilers soon-ish, I swear!
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W) • HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
A SORCERER SCHOOL FOR THE MARVEL UNIVERSE!
The Marvel Universe has mysteriously changed in such an alarming way that Doctor Strange has done what he’s avoided for decades; he’s opened a school for young sorcerers. Young people from around the world with aptitude in magic have been brought together in New Orleans to study the Mystic Arts under Strange, Brother Voodoo, the Ancient One, the Scarlet Witch, Magik, Hellstrom and ALL your favorite Marvel magicians. But with all the new magical threats, is it too late?!
40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99
So is this a magical answer to the Grant Morrison New X-Men's school, or a Marvel Universe answer to Hogwarts...?
ALAN BRENNERT WITH KURT BUSIEK (W) • JERRY ORDWAY (A) • Cover by ALEX ROSS
It begins here — a series of specials that show us Marvel’s greatest characters from the Golden Age to today, all through the eyes of ordinary people! Project curator Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Astro City) has brought together an amazing assemblage of talent to bring you a total of eight new and unusual viewpoints on Marvel history and Marvel heroes, two per month for the next four months. To kick it all off, best-selling novelist and Emmy Award-winning TV writer Alan Brennert (L.A. LAW, TWILIGHT ZONE) and superstar artist Jerry Ordway (All-Star Squadron, Crisis on Infinite Earths) to tell a story of Marvel’s debut superstar: Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. It’s 1946, and the boys are back from World War II. But they haven’t left the battlefields behind, as reporter Betty Dean discovers when she and Namor reunite for an outing at Palisades Park, only to find themselves under attack. Also featuring the All-Winners Squad. A dramatic, unexpected and revealing tour through the Marvel Universe by a cornucopia of amazing creators.
40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99
Sub-Mariner! This seems to be a sister project to the Marvel series above, and while I'm sure I'll check the whole shebang out in trade down the road, this is one I'm going to want to read immediately, as it features Marvel's best character, as drawn by a great artist and co-written by a comics writer whose work I like a whole lot.
This month's other Marvels Snapshot is The Human Torch, but not the version usually most associated with Namor; instead, it's the Johnny Storm version, as written by Evan Dorkin and Sara Dyer and drawn by Benjamin Percy.
Reprinting Avengers (1963) #19
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00
This month's True Believers theme is Empyre, and there are presumably clues to the event in the specific books reprinted. Most of them are named for particular characters, and feature predicable space-related characters, including a few of whom I've never heard of. A few of them don't seem to match up with the more predictable ones, though including this one and a reprint of the first appearance of She-Hulk.
This probably the only one I'll be ordering because, come on, look at the look on The Swordsman's face. And that mustache!
BENJAMIN PERCY (W) • JOSHUA CASSARA (A)
Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
GOD LOVES MAN KILLS VARIANT COVER BY MARCOS MARTIN
REAP WHAT YOU SOW!
In the heart of South America, X-Force finds a problem growing that threatens to destroy everything they’ve built… and one of their own might be responsible.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Clothes rotting/tearing off of people in jungle adventures is a look I'm really into. At first glance, I assumed this would be set in the Savage Land, but I guess it's actually South America, which also features a jungle in which one's clothes cold rot/tear off, but not the usual jungle in which one expects that sort of thing to happen to X-people.
JONATHAN HICKMAN (W) • ISSUE #8 - RB SILVA (A)
ISSUE #9 - LEINIL FRANCIS YU (A) • CoverS by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
ISSUE #8 – GOD LOVES MAN KILLS VARIANT COVER BY MARCOS MARTIN
GET READY TO RUN!
The New Mutants are back from space, and they’ve brought intergalactic trouble with them! The Brood! The Shi’ar! The Starjammers! The Imperial Guard!
32 PGS. (EACH)/Rated T+ …$3.99 (EACH)
Is it just me, or do the X-Men fight The Brood a lot? When I saw that cover, I immediately thought, "What, those guys again?" And then I thought, well, the X-Men are superheroes, and superheroes do tend to fight the same guys over and over again. That goes with the territory. But then, The Brood are an alien race, right? And not, like, supervillain rivals of the X-Men, so maybe it is weird that they cross paths so regularly...?
In any case, I'm surprised to see them show up in Hickman's run so relatively early. Like, he hasn't even hit double digits yet, and he's tapping into X-Men adversaries who have been in regular rotation for decades.