24 Nov 2010

Incoming... 24/11/2010

New comics are released Wednesday (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, it seems that most of the smaller publishers out there in comic land may well be busy burying nuts for the harsh winter to come as this Wednesday/Thursday boils down to that old sluggers’ fest that is a ding-dong DC vs Marvel battle. Hmmm, perhaps they’ve just queued for ring-side seats instead. One contender is certainly looking a little on the light side when approaching the scales for weigh in while the bulkier, heavy-hitting old-timer could well struggle from a flabby gut if not careful. Seconds out, round one!

The relative newcomers start things out cautiously but with plenty of enthusiasm. Batwoman #0 skips out with a straight and a jab this week with J H Williams III picking up the quill to write the ongoing adventures of the character he captured on the page so superbly in Detective Comics all those many months ago. Now I originally thought that Williams III was going to be flying this thing solo but it turns out that he’ll be handing over the second arc to Amy Reeder for her artistic skills and a few interviews dotted around here and there suggest that we won’t be getting a resolution any time soon to the Kate/Alice story that was left tentatively poised at the end of Elegy. Williams III is leaving that door open for whenever - or ‘if?’ - Greg Rucka decides to return to the character and I guess it would only be fitting that he be the one to finish off that particular personal story. In any case this is a #0 issue that I’m quite looking forward to as I find it interesting to see how an artist’s style shifts when a greater part of the creative process is laid in their hands.

Already finding it’s range early in the fight last month was Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force and after the cool little reveal at the end of that debut I’m itching to get my hands on #2 to see just where this title is likely to be heading in the near future. Certainly it was a delight to see Jerome OpeƱa’s art again after a long break and the team that Wolverine - well, Remender really - has assembled really is an intriguing bunch of ass-kickers that are sure to entertain over the length of this arc and beyond. Any comic that includes the enigmatic Fantomex as a major character is alright by me!

After a brief towling down, the occasional spitting into a bucket and a liberal smearing of vaseline across the brow the bell rings and two more pugilists head to the centre of the ring...round two!

Batman and Robin #17 could well see the title take a standing 8-count following a swift one-two in the form of Grant Morrison’s departure and a delay to the arrival of incoming creative talents Peter J.Tomasi and Patrick Gleason. We’re instead going to receive a three-issue interval as Paul Cornell takes over the reigns and brings a new villain into view in the form of The Absence. I’ll say right here that I am contemplating a brief sojourn away from this title in order to return to it fresh and lively for issue #20 and also because Paul Cornell is still yet to really sell me on some of his stories. If he manages to nail the Dick and Damian relationship in this first issue of the arc I may stick around but if he fails in that department then I’ll cut and run for the short term.

One title that seems to be regaining its wind is sadly edging ever nearer to the end of a bruising career as Secret Warriors #22 hits the stands. I was very relieved to see Jonathan Hickman start to bring things full circle in this book last time as the devastating battle between Phobos and Gorgon played out in front of Fury and the rest of the Caterpillars. The most important issue in the entire run came earlier on with Alex offering his thoughts and predictions for the teams' future and to see how that is all going to pan out will keep me hooked to this to the very end. The slightly shaky state of the art team is a concern but it looks like Alessandro Vitti has been handed the champion belt to defend once more and I’ll certainly be one happy punter should he go the distance on Secret Warriors now.

DC look to be on their last legs for this Incoming... as they offer up what little defence they have left in the form of Batman Beyond #6 which brings the curtain down on this decent enough mini-series. I love the world of Batman Beyond and the great banter-filled partnership of Terry McGinnis and the elderly Bruce Wayne. For the most part Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin have managed to translate the overall feel of the cartoon to this story and I'd certainly look at picking up any further instalments that they might offer. I do have concerns that the twist may have been given away a little too soon in this series leaving this finale to sheer spectacle alone, but tales of any Batman usually have a few things left up their sleeve or perhaps tucked inside the odd 10oz glove.

Marvel on the other hand come out for the final rounds jabbing and uppercutting in a ferocious flurry that would put any other contender on the canvas. Amazing Spider-Man #649 is just a hay-maker waiting to be unleashed after the first issue of Dan Slott’s Big Time arc just blew me away. Humberto Ramos has delivered delicious Spider-Man stories in the past and he gets to handle another Goblin character here which should be a whole heap of fun. Captain America #612 will focus on Bucky’s attempts to answer for his despicable actions as the Winter Soldier before the court of the American people while Invincible Iron Man #32 should see a big heavy-weight scrap of its own as Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca finally shows us what happens when beaten, bruised and harassed Tony Stark takes on mecha-mercenary Detroit Steel.

Phew, I’m sorry folks, the ref’s called this to a halt and the towel has been thrown in before the likes of Uncanny X-Men #530 and Secret Avengers #7 had a chance to float like a lepidoptera and sting like a hymenoptera! Still, I’m sure they’ll get their own shot at the title soon enough...


Andy H said...

It's definitely looking like a big week Stewart (have just seen the list of stuff arriving tomorrow. Crikey!). No doubting most coming from the big two but don't be fooled. There be a few gems hidden away.

Radical ship a $1.00 flipbook HOLLOW POINT / DAMAGED and Boom strike again with the next Stan Lee book; TRAVELER. We also see the relaunch (yes again) of VAMPIRELLA and of course my personal favourite read of the moment LOCKE & KEY.

I'm guessing the biggy of the week for a lot of people will be volume 13 of THE WALKING DEAD, you just can't keep a good zombie down!

Matt Clark said...

As well as The Traveller, Boom also have the next issues of Dracula: Company Of Monsters and Incorruptible out - both are worthy of some attention, methinks. Dracula in particular is a heck of lot better than you might imagine.

Joe T said...

For me, Captain America, Secret Avengers,Amazing Spider-Man,Uncanny X-Force,Action Comics,Batman Beyond,Batman & Robin,Detective Comics, and then Star Wars Blood Ties Jango&Boba Fett 3&4. I'm undecided on whether or not I should buy Invincible Iron Man(it would mean getting the last issue as well. Wow, I got to say, this is one of my largest weeks ever!

Tom P said...

I'm excited about Detective Comics and Ultimate Spider-Man! Getting so much this week!

Stewart R said...

I'm once again tempted by Detective Comics as I'm hearing plenty of good things but I'm starting to lean towards picking that up in collected form as I don't get many trades and I do like a good long concentrated read from time to time.