30 Mar 2010

Incoming... 31/03/2010

New comics are released tomorrow (in the States at least; we have to wait until Thursday in the UK!). Here's a brief look at our expectations for the books we're picking up this week.

Stewart R: Well, what a difference a week in comics can make. There I was last week, nearly putting my back out carrying the haul of 14 comics home and now this week the total on my pull-list has halved. Of course with a reduction in quantity I never associate a reduction in quality and my hopes for this week's comics are still high.

The biggest release of the week by far has to be the end to Geoff Johns' massive Green Lantern/DC universe event which I'm sure at this point, a few days before the finale, has reignited many a comic reader's faith in the big comic crossover. Blackest Night #8 may well be the issue upon which this miniseries is judged either as a success or an almost-ran. Johns has already ensured that this cannot be deemed a failure or disappointment but certainly myself, and a couple of my Paradox compadres, have become a little underwhelmed with the latter stages of this story as Johns has attempted to sustain the level of tension that made the series such a compelling read in the early issues while explaining the greater ranging picture that he's set out. With the next couple of years in Green Lantern continuity hinging on how well Blackest Night ends and Brightest Day begins, Johns has to nail this turning point and sign off this chapter in style.

The other DC title I'll be burying my nose in will be Detective Comics #863 from Greg Rucka and his talented art team. As it stands, this is the one title with a regular backup story that I'm happy to shell the $3.99 out for as The Question story has been a pretty good read up until now, especially since partnering with Huntress. The main Batwoman section of the comic has been enthralling for months and even though the latest 'Cutter' arc, with art by Jock, hasn't hit the heady heights that the previous arcs did, it's still been a top notch read. This week sees me say farewell to Justice League for now as yet another new team is formed, and despite Mark Bagley's art I can think of other things I'd rather spend the money on so this title remains on the shelf.

Of course, it's always handy to have an interesting new title that costs the same as a recently dropped comic to help ease the pain! This week IDW release Dragon Age #1, based on the EA produced videogame of the same name. Comics set in videogame worlds are a mixed bag and certainly my experience of such efforts has seen more disappointment than success. That said, there are a few things that have drawn me to sample this debut issue and ignore the nagging doubts in the back of my head. The mention of Humberto Ramos's cover caught my attention initially but it's the preview pages that sold it to me with Mark Robinson's pencils and the fantasy backdrop putting me in mind of Joe Madureira's Battlechasers - one of my favourite comic series of all time. Time will tell if that comparison matches up.

BOOM! Studios sends Incorruptible #4 our way this week and the 'villain comes good in a world turned upside down' concept has been working very well indeed so far. Mark Waid certainly seems to be keeping this Irredeemable-tied story ticking along at a fair pace and the character work he's been employing with the main protagonists has been paying dividends. One of the hardest things to do in comics I imagine is to make a merciless villain into a likeable guy, but that is what this writer is managing to do with Max Damage.

And just where would a week in comics be without the most popular 'likeable guy' in this media? Amazing Spider-Man #627 throws a huge immovable problem Peter Parker's way as the Juggernaut turns up having apparently had the impossible happen to him. The first issue of the 'Something Can Stop The Juggernaut' story should certainly be interesting, not least because Marvel's brief synopsis pairs Spidey's problem with Cain Marko alongside Parker's problem with trying to go on a dinner date with Carlie Cooper. While I'm not sure how this will tie into the 'Gauntlet' storyline I'm sure it should be an enjoyable read nonetheless. I really like the fact that, nearly 50 years on from his birth as a character, Spider-Man's problems in his heroic life are equally matched with the issues in his social life and more often than not they cross over. Just one of the things to love about comics.


Tom P said...

Detective Comics and the Fantastic Four! Thats it!!!! Cheap week! What good is a easter break with only 2 new comics? Time to open the long box and re read some past treats.

Stewart R said...

Gah, I'm struggling to see when I'll get opportunity to read my purchases and review them! Such is the stress and wonder of an Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Of course if you're only buying two comics you could always find some 50p magic in one of Andy's boxes?

Andy H said...

Hey Stewart. One more to add to this weeks pull list. Yep, Cowboy Ninja Viking is on this weeks list too. Ye Ha!