Why The Russos Are The Best Thing to Happen to the MCU Since Joss Whedon
You know it’s a new DC when Aquaman graces the cover of the latest Previews. Has the world gone insane?!?!?!?
On pages 28 and 29, we get two different Buffy-related comics (Angel and Faith #4 and Buffy Season 9 #3) with the big banner “Joss Whedon Returns!” Let’s look at the credits of the comics, shall we? Angel and Faith has Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Dan Jackson, and Steve Morris, while Buffy has Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines, Michelle Madsen, and Steve Morris. What exactly is Whedon doing? And while they feature Whedon characters, it’s not like it’s been five years since they were in comics and these are both #1 issues. It’s the fourth and third issues of the respective series, for crying out loud. So why on earth is “Joss Whedon Returns!” prominently displayed across these two pages? (30 and 9 November, respectively)
There’s a second Witchfinder trade on page 33, which is nice. John Severin does the artwork. I suppose I should read the first Witchfinder trade, which is in my stack of stuff that I still have to read, before I get the second trade. (25 January)
The second issue of Orchid (page 36) features slave traders. Methinks Tom Morello’s been reading too much Claremont these days. (9 November)
Jacob Chabot has a second volume of The Mighty Skullboy Army coming out on page 52. I’ve heard good things about this comic, but it doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. But if it’s yours, here’s another collection! (25 January)
I know Jim Lee’s design sense isn’t the greatest, but a choker and a randomly-placed upper-arm bracelet on Wonder Woman (page62)? Is she starring in a 1980s hair metal video? (16 November)
The solicitation for The Flash #3 claims this is “not final cover” (page 66). I hope it is, because it’s pretty damned awesome:
Mr. Terrific #3 (page 72): Three issues, THREE DIFFERENT ARTISTS! Yeah, this series might be the first to get cancelled. (9 November)
Who the fuck is this dude on the cover of Action Comics #3 (page 73)?
He’s totally freaking me out, man! (2 November)
The solicitation to Supergirl #3 (page 75) is weird: “The ship that brought Supergirl to Earth – her one remaining link to Krypton – has been stolen! Can The Girl of Steel navigate a strange new planet to find it?” You’re building an entire issue around Supergirl looking for a keepsake? I mean, does the space ship have any value beside sentimental? That’s kind of bizarre. (16 November)
So we’re really going to have two characters, one from each of the Big Two, called the White Rabbit (page 79)? And they’re going to look remarkably similar? I mean, that’s kind of weird. Wonderland characters must be in the public domain, but why the White Rabbit? DC should totally start publishing a book called “Thor,” because I bet he’s in the public domain, too. (23 November)
Here’s more solicitation text I don’t get, courtesy of Catwoman #3 (page 83): “Cats hate baths. Cats hate dogs. And cats hate being caught. Catwoman stole from the wrong man, and now he’s got her. He wants his stuff back, he wants answers and he wants blood. Cats had better have nine lives, because Selina Kyle is about to lose one!” What do those first two sentences have to do with the rest of the copy? DC does know that Selina is not actually a cat, right? (16 November)
Red Lanterns #3 (page 91) – I kind of hate to do this, but Hey, Kids! Comics!
This book really has “Elektra Peter Milligan” written all over it. He’s even paired with a Mike Deodato knock-off as the artist. (2 November)
Can you imagine how freakin’ cool Deathstroke would look if Simon Bisley was doing the interiors and the covers, based on this (page 99):
Answer: Pretty freakin’ cool.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents returns on page 100. The first arc of the ongoing was very good, but the second arc dragged a lot. As I’m now trade-waiting mini-series, I’ll wait to see what people say about this. (30 November)
Boy, I’d really like to get the OGN Batman: Through the Looking Glass (page 111). Sam Kieth’s art is always a treat, but I’ve been scared away from Bruce Jones. Seriously – if I saw him on the street, I’d run away screaming. (11 January)
DC Comics Presents: Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 is the infamous controversial one, but these days I guess DC wants any publicity they can get, so they’re offering it on page 113. I’ll get it, because I think most of these “DC Comics Presents” books have been pretty cool.
Chase gets a trade on page 114. I own all the issues, but I’ll probably get this because it looks like it has a buttload of extra Cameron Chase appearances that I don’t have. All for 30 thin dollars (which is not bad at all, considering the “essential” series had 11 issues if we count Batman #550, and this has those 11 issues plus the aforementioned buttload of extra appearances). (21 December)
Geoff Johns’ take on Hawkman is offered in Omnibus form on page 117. It’s got 25 issues of the regular series plus some other stuff. At $75, it’s a bit steep for me, especially because I’m not in love with Geoff Johns’ work, but there it is! (25 January)
There’s a The Unwritten #31.5 on page 133. This method of numbering comics really has to stop. (23 November)
Rocketeer Adventures gets a hardcover on page 143. This was a really nice series with good creative teams, although I wouldn’t blame you if you waited for the softcover. A couple of things seem strange to me. I was reading Todd Klein’s blog, and he wrote about one of the issues (it may have been the first one, but I’m not going to go look for it) that some of the stories didn’t seem to be in the spirit of Dave Stevens enough. I thought the whole point of this was to let artists who weren’t Stevens have their own take on the characters! And the stories were pulpy, 1940s adventures, so just because Scott Hampton (to use an artist from issue #4) doesn’t have Stevens’ smooth lines, isn’t it interesting to see his version of the Rocketeer? Then, on the page where the solicit appears, Broken Frontier is quoted thusly: “The book is going to literally fly off the shelves.” Did the reviewer really write that? And if so, did the reviewer mean it ironically, as I hope he (or she) did? Do people really not know what “literally” means? Sheesh. Anyway, buy the hardcover. Or the softcover. Whatever.
John Layman and Alberto Ponticelli’s Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths gets a trade on page 146. I’ve been waiting for this, because the art on this book has looked really good and it’s been hard not to get the single issues.
Tim Truman and his son bring us a new supernatural Western on page 157 called Hawken. I’m sure this will be amazing, and I’m sure the trade will show up before too long!
Shaman’s Tears is offered on page 163 – 30 dollars for 12 issues of Mike Grell goodness sounds like a good buy to me!
Hey, there’s a new time travel comic called Guns and Dinos on page 166! Both Kelly Thompson and I will be all over this! It’s written and, more importantly, drawn by Frank Cho, so you might dig that! (16 November)
Paul Grist has a new comic on page 172 called Mudman, about a teenager who is turning into mud. How’d that Jack Staff monthly work out for Grist? I like Grist, but I would not buy his single issues, because he’s just too slow. (16 November)
So Our Love is Real is offered on page 178. If you haven’t heard about this comic, perhaps you should just Google it. I don’t know if I can do it justice. Suffice it to say … beastiality isn’t the strangest thing in this comic. (2 November)
Girls: The Complete Collection is offered on page 182. I like Ultra quite a bit, but I bailed on this series fairly quickly, because it seemed … well, terrible. Did it ever get any better? (16 November)
The Nightly News gets an oversized, deluxe hardcover edition on page 185 to celebrate its … fifth anniversary. Man, anniversaries don’t mean what they used to, do they? What are they going to do for the ten-year anniversary? Still, this comic is awesome, as this guy told you not too long ago. (16 November)
Arrrgggghhhh! Decimal points in comics’ numbers! Fear Itself #7.1, 7.2, and 7.3! Where will the madness end?!?!?!?
I love this Arthur Adams cover (page 5), but how do Valkyrie’s breasts fit in those things?
On page 15, we get the solicitation for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4, and it reads: “Miles Morales IS the new Spider-Man!” That reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Mark Hamill was doing “Guys and Dolls” at a dinner theater, and the marquee read “Mark Hamill IS Nathan Detroit! Pepper steak IS the entree!” My wife and I quote this to each other all the time, because we’re perfect for each other.
Pages 19-23 give us a bunch of “Avengers Origins” stories. WHY, DEAR LORD, WHY?!?!?!? I’ve railed about revisiting origins over and over for years, and from what I’ve read on some blogs recently, others are starting to get annoyed too. Yes, I’m sure they’ll look good (Stephanie Hans is painting the Ant-Man and Wasp one, for instance). But why do they even exist? Jesus, comics continue to eat themselves.
Joe Mad on a “monthly” Spider-Man series (page 27)? Yeah, that’ll happen.
I usually don’t mind Ed McGuinness, especially when he’s drawing balls-out wacky shit, but this cover (page 35) is terrible:
What the hell is up with Natasha?
Page 37: Fantastic Four #600. BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!
Hey, good job, “you.” Alpha Flight (page 43) is now an ongoing because “you” demanded it. Make your voices heard!!!
Herc #10 (page 50) is apparently the last issue. I guess I wasn’t the only one who was underwhelmed by the series.
I’ll be trade-waiting Six Guns (page 52), but it’s the kind of comic that I’d like to see: a modern Western set in the Marvel Universe (it stars a bunch of old updated Marvel Western characters) but without superheroes running around (I hope). And it’s written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Davide Gianfelice. So yeah, that sounds cool.
Becky Cloonan draws Victor von Doom #1 (page 55). Yeah, that’ll look keen.
Here’s what I don’t get about the new issue of Astonishing X-Men (page 65). No, I don’t care about Scott kissing Ororo. Who gives a shit, right? What I’d like to know about is the mohawk. Why does Storm have the mohawk back? If you’re going to bring it back for this issue and story arc and it’s set in the present (as this appears to be), will she have it in every other X-book? I know these are “out of continuity,” but shouldn’t they at least try to keep a character’s look consistent?
I don’t really get some companies’ marketing strategies. On page 81, Marvel offers Kapow! Guinness World Record Special #1, which is a Superior story written and drawn by a bunch of creators in 12 hours, making it the fastest-produced comic book EVAH! That’s fine. And all proceeds are going to a hospital in Scotland that, I assume, Mark Millar digs. Again, great. Yet Marvel is producing only 10,000 of these. So the hospital will only get $30,000 at the most. I know Marvel can do second printings and all that, but if they want to raise money for a charity, why can’t they produce more copies and promote this a bit? I don’t get marketing at all.
Speaking of Superior, on page 80 the final issue ships, and here’s the solicitation text in full:
DOUBLE-SIZED FINALE to the best new comic in years as the first volume of Superior draws to a close and the creators promise is the best fight-scene they have ever achieved on the printed page. It’s Superior versus Abraxas in the middle of New York and thousands of innocent people dying every time someone throws a punch. Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) has already snapped up the rights for this book meaning Millar has yet another movie franchise he can boast about. Buy this now while it’s still cheap. Plus: An exclusive 6-page lettered preview of the new Supercrooks series by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu, launching in January
If I thought Marvel had a sense of humor, I might think this is funny. But I don’t, so there’s really nothing about this text that doesn’t make me sick.
Elektra: Assassin gets a new hardcover on page 89. This is a great comic, and I’m sure this will make Sonia happy.
Kieron Gillen’s run on Thor gets a giant trade on page 111. I suppose I’ll have to get this, because everyone keeps telling me how good it was.
What’s over there? It’s the back of the book! Let’s see what’s in it, okay?
Archaia has some other interesting stuff this month, including Marjane Satrapi’s latest, The Sigh (page 230). It sounds much more fabulistic than Persepolis, which means I might actually dig it (no one has ever used my ready-made pull quote for Persepolis 2, which is “the asparagus of comic books” – that makes me sad).
I’m very impressed that in this cover for Executive Assistant Iris: The Hit List Agenda #5 (page 237 from Aspen, the outfit of that young lady in the front happens to rip perfectly so that we see all of her tattoo. That’s pretty amazing.
Bone gets a 20th anniversary edition – the entire 1300-page sage in one book (which has been done before) in color (which hasn’t been done before). I already own this, because it’s awesome, but getting it in color and in hardcover is very tempting. Yes, it’s $150, but it’s still tempting! (Page 268)
Our Dread Lord and Master will be happy, because Fantagraphics has the seventh issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle on page 297. It stars Quincy, M.E.! Of course it does.
Humanoids has the first English-language printing of The Eyes of the Cat by Jodorowsky and Moebius (page 303). As much as I’d like to get this, it’s 70 dollars. Seventy dollars? Really?
Man, that’s all that’s leaping out at me this month. That’s kind of surprising. There’s plenty in the back of the book that I’ll be getting, but I don’t think I need to tell you about the seventeenth issue of The Sixth Gun, because you already ought to know how good the book is. But that’s okay – October is another month, and then we’ll see what’s what. As always, make sure to check out Previews, because you never know what goodness lurks within!
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