18 May 2010

Incoming... 19/05/2010

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: Are Marvel having a little laugh? C'mon, they must be holding their sides while they rock gently with chuckled mirth at the size of the solicitations list this week? No less than twelve titles on their shipping manifest for this Wednesday have a '#1' splashed teasingly upon the cover. Twelve!? Hahahahaha...NO! Stop it Marvel! Bad Marvel!!

Fair enough, some titles have run their course and now disappeared into the ether, and replacements will obviously surface as Marvel needs to keep those books balanced, but there are just far too many to pick from this week. As a result of this madness I have elected to NOT pick up the following that are hitting shelves this Wednesday and Thursday:

Age Of Heroes #1
Anita Blake: Circus Of The Damned Book 1 #1
Avengers Assemble #1
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger #1
Enter The Heroic Age #1
Galacta: Daughter of Galactus #1
Marvel 1602 MGC #1
Origins of Marvel Comics #1
Rescue #1

There was only one on that list that I've been pondering over, Age of Heroes #1, but having read the synopsis for this one I have to say that it sounds instantly forgettable. I've already got three titles not mentioned in that little batch that I've picked out as definites and I'm hoping that they'll be worth sticking with in the coming months. The three I shall be giving a good reading to will be Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jnr' Avengers #1, Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman's Atlas #1 and Brian Reed and Philip Briones' Amazing Spider-Man Presents: American Son #1. The American Son title I am particularly interested in as Norman Osborn's ultimate defeat now raises questions about Harry's next move and whether his former fiancé, Lily - now pregnant with his baby brother, yep that Norman Osborn is a classy character - plays any part in that.

Avengers #1 should be interesting enough as I imagine it will set the tone for the 'Heroic Age' and allow us to see whether it's a comic world that will keep us interested for some years to come or possible dash off to alternative comic realities (and publishers!). I've not seen any preview art as yet but it the recent Free Comic Book Day offering from Marvel is anything to go by then I expect that we may not be seeing JR Jr's work at its best. He certainly seems to be one of the quicker pencillers in the business today but since World War Hulk I've noticed the art supremo's game slipping every now and then which disappoints me a little.

Still, nobody's perfect, and that's a pretty decent saying to apply to Jimmy Woo's team of rag-tag misfits who have entertainingly bumbled there way through the Dark Reign to emerge as one of the most promising superhero teams in Marvel's canon. That's mostly down to Jeff Parker's inherent ability to understand team dynamics and how various personalities are likely to interact with each other. The big question for this title is whether the creative team have had to shake up the way in which they portrayed the Agents of Atlas previously to fit in with the Heroic Age or whether their previous successful model is going to remain in place. I'm certainly hoping for a 'more of the same' type situation but realise it could go either way.

Deadpool #23 gets a look in this week but I do get the feeling that I might be saying 'Auf Wiedersehen' to this title fairly soon. Daniel Way had me guffawing and belly-laughing with the antics of Wade Wilson in the first 15-odd issues of this title but since then the laughs seem to have dried up somewhat. It's certainly not to do with Carlo Barberi on artistic detail as he has been a worthy successor to Paco Medina. I dunno, maybe it's just that the joke has worn off somewhat and the saturation of the Merc With The Mouth in the Marvel Universe has probably taken a toll. I'll give it this one more issue and then it's time to pass judgement.

No judgement is needed of course for Invincible Iron Man #26 as Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca's work is something I'm very pleased to have locked into a monthly order. I'm anticipating a greater look at that new armour this time out but Mr Fraction does like to drop surprises here and there so I won't take anything for granted. The interesting point will be how much of a threat the Hammer Girls can truly be and I'm expecting problems to start popping out of the woodwork for Tony any time now.

A big week for Marvel but there are some other juicy titles out there in Comic Land this week. Scott Snyder and Stephen King's American Vampire #3 bares its fangs to a grateful readership, Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy's Joe The Barbarian #5 promises more childhood weirdness and Haunt #7 should show us just where Robert Kirkman and Greg Capullo plan to lead the brothers Kilgore in their superpowered exploits. These are three titles that have really impressed from the get-go and each of them offers something a little different. American Vampire's turn of the 20th Century setting is a captivating battleground for a secret vampire war; Joe the Barbarian's a great retro read that offers a chance to reminisce on growing up and the toys that accompanied the children of the 1980s through their journey to the 1990s, and Haunt's symbiotic powered heroics are balanced nicely by the odd study here and there of the affect of isolation on relationships.

Of course (formerly) Deadman, Boston Brand, knows all about isolation and I'm expecting Geoff Johns and Co to really start looking at why this important protagonist is darting all over the world in his new capacity as a White Lantern when we open the pages of Brightest Day #2. The first issue did suffer slightly from the brevity afflicting some of the scenes but with the twice-monthly format I'm hoping that this becomes a moot point once the stories really kick into gear. If it doesn't manage to gain a sense of cohesion quite quickly I fear we might start hearing the sound of the Brightest Day being torn from many a pull-list.

No comments: