11 May 2010

Incoming... 12/05/2010

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: 8 titles this week stare out at me from my pull-list; 4 Marvel, 4 DC/Vertigo, all will be read, some will be loved but which will be crowned* OH CUT IT OUT STEW!!

We've got beginnings and endings aplenty this week so let's start right here with the finales! Makes perfect sense to me. Siege #4 brings the curtain down upon Norman Osborn's Dark Reign and Brian Michael Bendis' story that was "seven years in the making"....pfffft! I've actually really enjoyed the Siege event thus far thanks mostly to the awesome shock factor of issue #2 and the mighty pencilling talent of one Mr Olivier Coipel. It feels right that the artist who was charged with rebuilding Asgard in the open wilds of Broxton should be the one on hand at its inevitable fall. My only real concern is that a lot of the drama and weight of this event has been spoilt by Marvel's over-enthusiastic need to promote the Heroic Age which essentially shows us that nearly every hero in the canon walks away from things unscathed.

Of course, the various members of the H.A.M.M.E.R. Initiative are not really heroes in the traditional sense and where the main title seems destined to end on a high note of optimism I'm anticipating a far more downbeat and sombre feeling to ooze out of the pages of Avengers: The Initiative #35 which comes to a storming conclusion this Wednesday. This has been a terrific little read over the past three years and I'm really hoping that at the end of the day Constrictor and Diamondback come out of the mess that they find themselves in unhurt, and goshdarnit, in each others' arms! There aren't many romances blossoming in the Marvel Universe these days it seems and this one has a sense of down-to-earth realism that defies the capes and spandex backdrop. Love and life are tough though and I've a gut-feeling that there'll be a few tears shed before the cover is finally closed on this one.

And speaking of 'shed' (see what I did there?) we've of course got the second part of the latest Lizard storyline in Amazing Spider-Man #631 coming swiftly after last week's promising first issue. I'd seen a few preview pages and images from #630 which took some of the delicious mystery away from things so I'm glad that I've managed to avoid any spoilers so far for the second instalment. I'm especially looking forward to Bachalo's take on reptilian carnage and I suspect that we could be in for something very special.

It's crazy to think that we're already halfway through the Second Coming event that's been swamping X-Men readers everywhere with some decent mutant storylines these past couple of months. It's off to New Mutants #13 this week for your dose of all things anti-Bastion as Cyclops tries to counter the various attacks that the X-Men have been coming under. Zeb Wells takes the reigns once again to look at the cracks and fissures that are beginning to appear in the Mutants' once united front. I think that this has been one of the better planned X-events of recent times and the contention and conflict that Hope is bringing to the X-family is brilliantly delivered.

Well that's Marvel out of the way and the big debut of the week belongs to DC with Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 which pretty much explains everything in the title. Grant Morrison is producing some terrific writing over on Batman & Robin at the moment and the work he's been putting in there with clues and mysteries dotted around all over the place will hopefully dove-tail nicely with this window into Bruce Wayne's time-hopping exploits. The imagery from this first issue of Bruce kitted out in giant bat-fur garb looks plain bonkers but I can't wait to see what the Caped Crusader manages to get done in the time of fire and cavemen.

Dancing briefly around the other titles spilling forth from DC's cupboard of goodies will see us joining Stephanie Brown and Barabara Gordon once more in Batgirl #10 as this female crime-fighting partnership find themselves up against a truly menacing and vengeance-seeking foe in the guise of The Calculator, who's got several bones to pick with Oracle. The past year has seen me jump on-board the Green Lantern train with Blackest Night and Green Lantern Corps filling out the bigger picture and I'm happy to say that the Batgirl title sits proudly alongside Batman & Robin and Detective Comics as my staple monthly diet of all things Bat-related at the moment. I love it when one of those titles that you weren't terrifically fussed about before its launch turns out to be a regular presence on your pull-list almost a year later.

Vertigo have a hearty number of titles inserted safely on my not-likely-to-be-dropped-this-side-of-2011 list and two of those 'Undroppables' will be in my hands within a matter of days. Daytripper #6 will, I imagine, carry on with the themes that Ba and Moon have laid out in the first half of this series which is fine by me as each issue has been a truly captivating read. I've a few theories of how they may eventually tie this all up by the time they give us issue #10 but with a comic such as this I know better than to try to predict the twists and turns with any accuracy. The same can be said for Mike Carey's The Unwritten #13 which I guess will get back to Tom Taylor's fantasy adventures after last months hilariously funny, and partly creepy, look at some of the various ways in which this literary world can work. The jumping, juddery method of storytelling from issue to issue keeps things fresh and interesting and I feel like Carey has a bag full of further twists, turns and outside-the-box surprises to offer with this title.

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