30 Jun 2010

Incoming... 30/06/2010

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: Another week, another bunch of comics to take away the pain of World Cup defeat! And ironically enough the hotly anticipated title of the week would happen to be Turf #2 wouldn’t it!? That’s right, we finally get our second dose of gangsters, vampires and aliens after what has seemed like an age. While I admire Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards’ sensible scheduling of this comic to give both writer and artist an ample amount of time to get things right, I have to say that I may need to re-read issue #1 to remind myself just what has happened so far before digging into this week’s release. I’m still expecting good things and I’ve heard that the dialogue may be a little on the lighter side compared to the text-heavy debut.

I loved the Batman Beyond cartoon series when it surfaced some 11 years ago, blowing me away as it did with a neat, futuristic picture of Gotham City when Bruce Wayne had been forced to give up the cape and cowl and pass on the mantle to young upstart, Terry McGinnis. In fact the Return of the Joker movie is one of my favourite animated films ever. So how happy am I that DC are sending Batman Beyond #1 our way this week? Very!! This is written by Adam Beechen who has an accomplished script writing history for animated series like Teen Titans and The Batman so I’ve high hopes that this miniseries is in the proper hands. The story, involving a new foe turning up in Neo-Gotham to target Batman’s old rogue’s gallery, certainly sounds promising and I’m interested to see how artist Ryan Benjamin tackles the futuristic setting.

Now, I should really mention a title that I shall be buying but may not read this week. Gears of War #12 finally surfaces after a good few months off - no doubt the creators were shooting Grubs and Tickers in some underground Locust stronghold - and I shall be passing it into the waiting hands of my housemate who has nothing but high praise for this series. I’ve flicked through the pages myself on occasion and it certainly has been an accurate translation of the video game world to the printed page. Liam Sharp’s art is the right choice to render Marcus Fenix and Co onto the paper and I’m sorely tempted to start reading this series myself. Let’s face it, most video game-based comics don’t tend to make it past the 10-issue mark and it’s even rarer to get an ongoing.

Proof of that statement can be seen in IDW’s Dragon Age comic which has #2 hitting stands this week. This 6-part series started off with a very promising first issue with Mark Robinson’s artwork being the standout success, but I’d be interested to know how sales for this RPG-based title panned out and whether there’ll be enough interest to see this become an ongoing beyond the planned first arc. It certainly doesn’t have the following of Gears of War but if these writers and artists - the terrifically talented Humberto Ramos is on cover duty - bring their A-game with them each and every time there could be potential here.

And potential is what I really want to see oozing from every single page of Secret Avengers #2 when I bury my nose in it on Thursday. From the plethora of Avengers-related titles that have sprung out of the Heroic Age, this is now the only one that I am planning on buying on a regular basis. That decision has come from the brilliant writer in the shape of Ed Brubaker, talented artist Mike Deodato and a varied and decent roster of heroes who should make for an entertaining team dynamic at the very least. Admittedly I’m not quite sure how Nova will fit into this on a regular basis but finding out is obviously going to be half of the fun.

And finally, sticking with the fun theme, it would be remiss of me to not mention Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War #2 which I’m pretty darn sure is going to be a rip-roaring bundle of guffaws, titters and belly laughs as the Merc With A Mouth continues his retelling of his earliest missions, breaking the fourth wall and spouting puns aplenty as he goes. Jason Pearson did a top-notch job with the first instalment and I’m really happy that I get to pick up the second helping of madcap mercenary mayhem this week.

17 comments:

Jeff Carter said...

Secret Avengers had an incredible debut, I can't wait to read #2.

Matt C said...

What else do I spot on the list of books out this week? Is that Captain Swing #2? Gadzooks! I thought Ellis had forgotten about that one (along with Desolation Jones, newuniversal, Fell etc etc...)

Tom P said...

Yeah Turf #2 is a big highlight! But have you seen Wonder Woman’s new costume? http://twitpic.com/2184gq You know what? I like it and the story looks interesting! May have to give this a try!

Matt C said...

Of course! Wonder Woman #600 is out this week too! That's the third milestone issue from a DC icon that Stew has passed over in his weekly round ups. What, no love for the Holy Trinity, Stew??

Anonymous said...

re: Wonder Woman 600. Oh joy... another complete reboot of a classic character, with major changes that will no doubt be completely reversed again within the next two years. Do the current crop of 'name' comic writers not know how to pick up a title from where the previous writer left it, and carry on without pressing the reboot button each time?

- Rob N

Tom P said...

Why not? It's not like I ever here anyone talking about her comics, I think it needs a kick up the arse. It's got people talking and intrested again. These characters will always be reinvented to make them relivent. Frank Miller changed Batman and Daredevil and you know what it stuck. Don't judge something before you give it a chance.

Stewart R said...

Damnit!! Wrote a hefty comment and got a stupid 'service error' message. Suffice to say that I've enjoyed DC's 'Big Three' in animation and comic events but have never been really grabbed by their solo comic efforts. Tried Wonder Woman a little while back and was unimpressed and gave up on it quite quickly.

Straczynski's participation will see me picking up Superman soon enough as will Batman when, and if, Bruice returns to be Chief Bat of Gotham again but Wonder Woman really doesn't grab my attention for some reason. I'd more likely turn to Power Girl or Zatanna for a female-led DC title I think.

Stewart R said...

So looks like I should really have picked up #700 of Superman then... *sigh* When will I learn that you can never do enough research??? 8')

Anonymous said...

Tom: the reason why not, for me at least, is because I don't like sudden 'everything must change NOW for the sake of change' revamps of characters as soon as a new creator takes over. Having things change gradually, and building on what has gone on before in the title, feels more natural. But what appears to be happening these days is each new writer more or less disregards what the previous writer has done, and insists on starting with a blank slate. What we end up with is the narrative equivalent of all those time jumps in Lost. The fact that all the changes are eventually retconned anyway makes it even worse as the changes have no value right from the start. Why should you care if Batman or Superman or Captain America dies/changes costume – you know things will be back to normal again before long. Having read the JMS press release for Wonder Woman it strikes me that he's starting from scratch, which of course gives him more creative freedom, but on the other hand he may as well be writing a new original character who is a bit like Wonder Woman, rather than Wonder Woman. If this sort of thing happened once in a while it might be okay, but as it seems to be the norm these days, I just find it irritating. It strikes me as being lazy writing. It's always easier to ignore continuity and established characterisation than to build on what your predecessors have done. An example of how to take over a title well, and respect its back story while still being innovative, is Alan Moore' s Swamp Thing in the 1980s. As for the examples you gave of Frank Miller changing Daredevil and Batman, they're very good examples, because they're also examples of a writer building on what came before, rather than starting afresh with a blank sheet. What JMS is doing (and what many other writers seem to do these days) is a million miles away from what Miller did with Daredevil.

-Rob N

Matt C said...

But Rob, this isn't the first time we've seen Wonder Woman undergo a drastic overhaul - you even wrote an article about it: Wonder Woman - The Emma Peel Years And that was 40 years ago! This isn't something new, and while it won't stick, that doesn't mean it won't provide some intelligent, compelling stories to make it worthwhile.

I think Straczynski has proven himself to be a decent writer, so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm not entirely convinced, but I'll give it a shot. The old costume will return eventually, but to be fair to DC, they have had a struggle trying to get contemporary audiences to engage with Wonder Woman so you can't really begrudge something for trying something 'new', even if it turns out to only be on a temporary basis.

Stewart R said...

See now I've rubbed my eyes and paid even MORE attention I may have to pick up WW #600 since Straczynski is involved. That's what I get for being a Marvel fan and keeping my eye in with Image and Vertigo titles and not being so concerned with DC's universe! Lesson learned.

Of course a Wonder Woman a-like was seen in the Tick in the form of American Maid... :) But maybe we won't go there...

I think it's a good move to try and modernise a character who the publishers have had a hard time trying to sell to audiences over the past few decades. Even the BBC website is carrying news of the costume change today and that sort of publicity can only be a good thing even if the design change isn't popular. At the end of the day it seems that DC want to see this Amazonian on the Silver Screen at some stage in the next 5 years and by giving her a publicity boost and a makeover they may make it an easier proposition.

Anonymous said...

Matt: Yes, but the 'Emma Peel years' didn't retcon any of the established Wonder Woman background/continuity. It was a change of direction, true, but not one that began with a blank slate and dismissed everything that had gone before. Having met you for coffee at lunch time it turns out you didn't know what JMS has pitched, so here's a quote from the press release:

We learn that Paradise Island fell when Diana was just a child, when the gods withdrew their protection. Hippolyta and many of the other Amazons died in a last-ditch defense against an army with weapons that could kill even them, while some of her guards and handmaids smuggled a young Diana off the island. She was thus raised in an urban setting, but with a foot in both worlds, courtesy of her guardians and teachers from Paradise Island. They expect her to retake Paradise Island, defeat the army that’s still hunting for the escaped Amazons (and Diana in particular), and restore all her people to their previous glory. This is a lot to ask of someone who has no recollection of that world, and obviously has no idea about the timeline shift. (Some of the other Amazons do know about the shift, as we see in #600, and there are others in the DCU who also can sense what happened.)

It's not a change in direction that I'm fed up with, it's the constant emphasis on changing what has gone before that gets tiring. It would be like pitching these kinds of ideas to a publisher:

James Bond: in an exciting new novel we discover that Bond has been a Russian double agent since the late forties, secretly working for Moscow after being recruited by Kim Philby. Now the truth has come out and MI6 is shaken to its very core as the sheer scale of Bond's deception comes to the fore!

Conan: Born on a Battlefield he may have been, but with the death of his father on that very same day the young baby Conan is left lost and abandoned until he is found by the Hyborian Wizard Koth Kartes. No longer fated to be a bronze thewed hewer of heads, the infant Conan is raised in the arts of necromancy until his mentor is tragically killed by his Stygian nemesis, Thoth Amon. Marvel to the astounding new adventures of Conan the Sorceror, as he fights enchantments with enchantments in the all new, all exciting, never before told, tales that Robert E Howard could barely conceive of!

- Rob N

Joe T said...

No love for Captain America 607? I ordered that alongside the latest issue of Green Lantern(i believe it's 54?). If I had the cash, I may have got Wonder Woman 600 as I do love the new costume and the new direction sounds interesting, it's actually the first time i've ever been interested in Wonder Woman!

Tom P said...

Some good points Rob.

Joe, Yeah I got Cap! After last issues return to form I'm keen to read it! And I agree, I wasn't going to get Wonder Woman #600 but like you the new direction and look excites me. I hope this brings more readers to Wonder Woman and that can only be a good thing.

Jeff Carter said...

How the hell did I miss Turf #2 in my stack? Jesus.

Stewart R said...

Easily done Jeff, easily done! I've missed many a comic when there is a literal 'stack' in front of me on the Paradox desk. Must be the fumes from the ink! ;)

Joe T said...

@Tom
I didn't get Wonder Woman 600 due to budget, just Cap 607 & Green Lanternl 55. Definately going to get Wonder Woman at some stage though, hopefully this week, as I really want to like the character and appreciate her as this icon she's suppose to be. I'm hoping this is my way in.