Thursday, July 23, 2020
Marvel's September previews reviewed
I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps it's a relative a lack of interest driven by the fact that I read fewer and fewer comic book format comics, perhaps it's that I no longer check the super-comics news sites with any regularity anymore (since most of them have transitioned into entertainment-in-general news sites; I now generally only visit when someone I follow on Twitter links to one of them), perhaps it's the scrambling of the publishing plans that accompanied this spring's nationwide shutdown. Probably a combination of all three.
Anyway, before we move on to DC's plans for October, I guess we should briefly review Marvel's plans for September, huh? Reading through them, I noticed several books that were apparently re-solicited, as I obviously remember the pretty big news of a Shang-Chi series written by Gene Luen Yang (Have you guys read Dragon Hoops yet...? It is so good. You definitely should read it if you haven't already), and that weird-ass cover for X-Men #12, that looks like an album cover.
It seemed like a lot of books will be participating in what is surely just the first month of the crossover as I was scrolling through the solicits, with five comics explicitly listed as tying into the story line (Excalibur, X-men, X of Swords: Creation, X-Factor and X of Swords Handbook (the cover of which is above at the top of this post). These range in price from $3.99 to $6.99, for a grand total of $25, give or take a nickle). And then there's the $7.99 Captain Britain: Marvel Tales, which isn't described as a solicit, but does have the "X of Swords" logo on its cover.
But it turns out that is actually a relatively small number of books participating, at least at this point. Cable, Hellions, New Mutants, Wolverine and X-Force will all be sitting the story line out in September. Maybe they will join in the following month, or maybe even Marvel is having trouble getting their entire eight-book X-Men line to tie into a single event story.
So, other than Shang-Chi, X-Men and swords, what else is Marvel putting out in September...?
ALWAYS AN INVADER HC ROSS COVER
Written by CHIP ZDARSKY
Penciled by CARLOS MAGNO & BUTCH GUICE
Covers by ALEX ROSS & SKOTTIE YOUNG
The greatest generation of Marvel heroes is back — to stop one of their own! Namor the Sub-Mariner, monarch of Atlantis, has once again declared war on the surface world — and this time he means to win at any cost! But he won’t find allies in Captain America, the Human Torch and the Winter Soldier. All three fought by Namor’s side in World War II as the Invaders, but now they stand as enemies! Namor’s deadly plans are as far-reaching as the ocean, and it’s up to the Invaders to stop him — but what chance do they have against a former ally who knows all their wartime strategies and fighting tactics? Namor’s secret history is revealed, the Torch is transformed — and the world is forever changed. But can Namor possibly be redeemed? Collecting NAMOR: THE BEST DEFENSE and INVADERS (2019) #1-12.
296 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99
Trim size: 7-1/4 x 10-7/8
Quick, someone talk me out of dropping $35 on this!
I have a weakness for Marvel's Invaders (and Defenders), but I think I should be able to successfully resist ordering this. After all, I did already read the first chunk of it when it was collected in trade paperback (It was really good!).
NICK SPENCER (W) • Mark Bagley (A/C)
Variant Cover by MARK BAGLEY
• Spider-Man has been pushed harder than he has in a very long time and in ways he has never been before.
• How far can he be pushed before he breaks?
• Who he has to face this issue is going to answer that very clearly as we are one issue from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN LGY #850!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
AMAZING SPIDER–MAN #850 (#49)
NICK SPENCER with TRADD MOORE, KURT BUSIEK & SALADIN AHMED (W)
RYAN OTTLEY, HUMBERTO RAMOS & MARK BAGLEY with TRADD MOORE & CHRIS BACHALO (A)
Cover by RYAN OTTLEY
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reaches another landmark and we’re celebrating Spider-Style!
• As if things weren’t bad enough for Spider-Man with Sin-Eater’s reign of terror reaching riot level… THE GREEN GOBLIN IS BACK!
• Spidey has been through a lot, but even the worst things that have ever happened to Spider-Man have just been a prelude for what happens here, with an epic main story by a veritable Hall of Fame of Spider-Creators.
• As if that wasn’t enough, this issue also boasts a collection of prestige short stories by Tradd Moore, Kurt Busiek, Chris Bachalo
& Saladin Ahmed!
96 PGS./Rated T+ …$9.99
You know how back in the bad old days, many grown-ups used to say that comic books were actively bad for children, hurting their ability to learn by giving them an easier alternative to reading prose books, as well as subjecting them to prurient subject matter like crime, horror, violence and sex...?
Well, they might have been on to something. At least, the argument could be made that Marvel comics set a bad example for children when it comes to counting, and how number work in general. After all, where but Marvel comics would the number 48 be but one issue away from 850...?
Nick Spencer (w)
Federico VICENTINI (a)
Cover by RYAN OTTLEY
Variant Cover by
JOSE MARIA CASONOVAS ROJAS
• The Sin-Eater has leveled up thanks to Kindred, and his evil plan is WORKING — New York City is on fire at its own hand, Ravencroft is under siege and Spider-Man seems to be the only one who knows right from wrong anymore.
• He certainly can’t look for help from Ravencroft’s chief administrator, NORMAN OSBORN, whose past will haunt both himself and Spider-Man!
• So Spidey calls his Amazing friends Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Ghost-Spider, Spider-Girl and Madame Web in to help. The Order of the Web is born.
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T …$4.99
Sheesh, there are so many Spider-people now! There are so many that they couldn't fit all of the ones mentioned in the solicitation onto the cover image! (Speaking of Spider-people, who is the one in the black and white suit? Is that the new Spider-Girl, or a new Madame Web?)
Also, I am not pleased to report that I hit the name "Ghost-Spider" and immediately thought of a story on Twitter of Jason Latour asking a young woman if she knew who he was, acting like writing for Marvel made him the comics equivalent of a rock star, and any young women he met at comics conventions must therefore be the equivalent of groupies, and i felt momentarily as grossed out as I did when I originally read that and other accounts of his behavior towards his female peers (and the accounts of many, many other shitty men in comics) a few weeks ago.
Maybe that association will fade, but at the moment I am not only unable to think of Latour without feeling grossed out, but I'm also associating characters he created and worked on strongly enough with him that they gross me out too.
Hiring bad people to make comics for you is bad business, as their behavior not only taints them, but also their work and the IP they're responsible for. I hope all publishers learn that lesson, and do their utmost to make sure everyone they work with is a highly-ethical, non-gross person...
THE ETERNALS BY JACK KIRBY MONSTER-SIZE HC
Written by JACK KIRBY
Penciled by JACK KIRBY
Cover by JACK KIRBY
ON SALE JANUARY 2021
Experience the Eternals like never before in this super-sized edition! The limitless imagination of Jack “King” Kirby unleashed countless creations into the world of comics. Captain America. The Fantastic Four. The Avengers. The X-Men. Each timeless creation was imbued with Kirby’s inescapable graphic power, his boundless capacity for capturing the human condition and his eternal search for meaning in the cosmos. And Kirby’s The Eternals revealed an entire new realm of heroes! Once worshipped as gods, this fantastic group left Earth to explore the stars after warring with the Greek, Roman and Norse pantheons for supremacy over humankind. But the Eternals are just one part of a cosmic mythology. Their opposites — the Deviants — also secretly populate Earth. And the towering cosmic entities that created both — the Celestials — are fated to return and judge us all! Collecting ETERNALS (1976) #1-19 and ANNUAL #1.
384 PGS./Rated T …$125.00
Trim size: 13-41/64 x 21-1/4
Order using APR201067
Aha! I learned my lesson when I asked our YA librarian to order a copy of Monsters Unleashed: Monster-Size HC that "monster-size" refers not to the page count of the book, but the page size, and that the book is actually the size of a small raft. It's kind of fun to read, but no fun at all to lug around, or figure out how to display or shelve it in a library (or, I suppose, one's own home).
DAN SLOTT (W) • PACO MEDINA (A)
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
• The ultimate Omni-Wave Projector — built by Valeria Richards, powered Franklin Richards. In their hands, it could lay waste to the Empyre...
• ...but what if it fell into the hands of the Celestial Assassins? A tipping point in the Empyre saga! A fight that Spider-Man and Wolverine can’t afford to lose! And two lives that that will be forever changed!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
No lie, I honestly forgot this event story was still going on until I hit this solicitation. I suppose the temporary suspension of new comics pushed the end of the series back. September must really and truly mark the end of Empyre, though, as in addition to this tie-in issue, the month will also see the release of the sixth issue of the six-part Empyre event series, the wrap-up of the Captain Marvel tie-in arc and two comics entitled Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 and Empyre Aftermath Avengers #1.
LEN WEIN (W) • ALEX ROSS, KEVIN NOWLAN, CHRIS SAMNEE, MARCUS TO, SIYA OUM, STEPHEN SEGOVIA, MARGUERITE SAUVAGE, CARMEN CARNERO, BERNARD CHANG, AARON KUDER, TAKESHI MIYAZAWA, JUANN CABAL, GURIHIRU, MARK BROOKS, KRIS ANKA, PHIL NOTO, VALERIO SCHITI, LEINIL FRANCIS YU, MATTEO LOLLI, EMA LUPACCHINO, CARLOS GÓMEZ, IBAN COELLO, R.B. SILVA, RAMON ROSANAS, JOSHUA CASSARA, DAVID BALDEÓN, MARCELO FERREIRA, JAVIER GARRÓN, ROD REIS, JAVIER RODRÍGUEZ, MARCO CHECCHETTO, JEN BARTEL, MIKE DEL MUNDO, RAHZZAH, PEPE LARRAZ & MIKE HAWTHORNE (A) • Cover by ADI GRANOV
CELEBRATING THE CLASSIC’S 45TH ANNIVERSARY!
Forty-five years ago, a comic book came out that would change the face of Marvel Comics forever. Writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum revamped the X-Men completely, replacing the bulk of the teen heroes with a completely new international cast! The legendary one-shot took comic fans by storm and set the series off in a new direction, setting the stage for the legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont to make them the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe! Now, 37 of Marvel’s top artists come together to re-create this epic story, each re-drawing one pulse-pounding page in tribute to this Marvel masterpiece!
48 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$5.99
This is, in all honesty, an incredibly awesome idea, and I imagine it will be a real blast to read...probably most especially for fans who have read and re-read the comic being "covered" jam fashion by almost 40 different artists repeatedly over the years.
like a lot of the artists named above, and will be curious to see what this looks like, even though I don't think I've ever actually read the issue they're drawing in jam fashion (I did try to read the X-Men back in 2000 via Essentials volumes, but never even got to this issue). I'm trying to imagine a comic that I have read over and over, and basically know every page of by memory, and thinking how cool it might be to read it redrawn by a bunch of different pros. The only one that really comes to mind is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, and I would love to see that drawn in such a jam cover fashion, so yeah, this should be a treat for old-school X-Men fans. My metaphorical hat off to whoever came up with this idea (Now that I'm thinking of it, I guess the first appearances of many of the Golden Age DC heroes would be good candidates for such a treatment; I could definitely see Batman, Superman or Captain Marvel getting this treatment, maybe Wonder Woman...)
That is all.
KYLE HIGGINS & MAT GROOM (W) • FRANCESCO MANNA with MICHAEL CHO (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
VARIANT COVER BY ED MCGUINNESS
VARIANT COVER BY ADI GRANOV
SPIDER-MAN VARIANT by Olivier Coipel
VARIANT COVER by Yuji Kaida
VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
CLASSIC PHOTO VARIANT COVER AND BLANK VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
In darkness there lurks Kaiju – terrifying and unfathomable monsters. Between Kaiju and the rest of us stands the United Science Patrol!
But who are these enigmatic defenders, and how do they perform their miracles? Shin Hayata and Kiki Fuji have spent half a lifetime trying to find out – and their quest is about to drive them toward a decades-old dark secret and put them on a collision course with a mysterious warrior from beyond the stars!
Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Mat Groom (Self/Made) and Francesco Manna (AVENGERS) reimagine the classic origin of a pop culture icon as THE RISE OF ULTRAMAN begins!
48 PGS./Rated T+ …$5.99
© TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS
Huh. I was genuinely surprised when Marvel re-secured the license to Conan and friends, and still more surprised when there were announcements that they were also getting the license for Aliens and Predator comics (at which point it all seemed like Marvel's loading up on licenses was an attempt to kneecap Dark Horse). But this one in particular comes out of left-field.
Despite my interest in and love of giant monsters, I've never been particularly drawn to or curious about Ultraman, and I'm not entirely sure why. It might be the character's TV origins, or simply the fact that I was never exposed to him as a child or in my formative years. I guess if I give this a try, it will be my first exposure to Ultraman (I wonder, will he be in the Marvel Universe, the way Conan is? Will he be duking it out with Giant-Man, frost giants, Fing Fang Foom and other old Kirby monsters...?).
Knowing nothing about the franchise other than that it involves kaiju, I'm not sure Marvel's actually the very best publishing home for it—IDW's Godzilla comics from a few years back were often really incredible, and they had a great line up of artists involved in drawing all those giant monsters and heroes—but this should be an interesting property to watch in the coming months and years.
Now, how is it possible that an American comic book publisher is going to start making Ultraman comics and Sophie Campbell is not involved, not even in drawing variant covers...?
Reprinting: Magik (1983) #1
32 PGS./ Rated T ...$1.00
Order using APR200917
Just out of curiosity, who is that in black, crouching in the lower right corner? And is her leg and sides naked, or is that simply flesh-colored spandex? If the former, that costume seems like it might be a particularly difficult one to move around and fight in without anything popping out...even among the most barely-there of old superheroine costumes....