Stewart R: Well, I’m faced with something of a predicament this week and no mistaking! There’s a large ‘huzzah’ or perhaps a good old fashioned ‘hooray’ brewing amongst the UK-based comic readers this week as, thanks to the good folks at Diamond Distribution, our local comic book shops and of course Bob Wayne, Senior Vice President of Sales at DC, who has played a fairly large part in getting this change, we too will now receive our beloved comic delivery every Wednesday starting this week! It’s a little sad to bring this word into such a happy paragraph but there must and will be a ‘however’...
Yep, it seems that this little change has not come at the best of times for many publishers returning from the long, harsh winter break. Many of course having been sat around the fire re-reading their copies of such great hits as Atomic Mouse, Sectaurs and CLiNT and wondering who really would win out of a fight between Beast and Victor Kiam? Chances are you might want your money back on that one... It seems that we in the UK must face our first momentous Comic Delivery Wednesday with the bitter pill of delays, missing issues and despair clenched firmly between our teeth. Marvel, Image, Oni, Boom!; it looks like they’ve all managed to miss the boat with a good few titles this week, only managing to throw a box or two of various titles onto the good ship HMS Wednesday Reading.
The biggest gap in my pull list is Amazing Spider-Man #651 which will round off the 'Big Time' arc in what I’m hoping will be a webbed whirlwind of success. Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos have combined their talents terrifically well to put Peter Parker’s life back onto fairly firm footing and as I look through the upcoming previews for months ahead the future for old web-head looks very promising indeed. Another title that those Stateside will be able to enjoy while we longingly stare across the pond with binoculars hoping to catch a glimpse over somebody’s shoulder is Image comics’ Infinite Vacation #1 by Nick Spencer and Christian Ward. Rob N previewed this in Ten Forward back in November and the premise of a world where you can you can buy yourself time in alternate realities and experience the better lives that your other ‘yous’ are living sounds really interesting. Oh well, it’s only a week...
So what am I actually going to get my hands on? Well Casanova Gula #1 by Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon kicks off the second volume of mad, bonkers, time-travelling, surreal spy shenanigans as Casanova Quinn appears to have dropped out of space and time! The first volume was bizarre grintastic fun and I’m glad that Marvel have stuck with this title and decided to give us the second volume. Gabriel Ba was responsible a big part of the first volume’s charm it must be said so I’m looking forward to seeing how his brother handles the artistic duties this time around and if he can capture that same psychedelic, retro feel.
The only other Marvel title to make the Atlantic trip this week for me is Heroes For Hire #2 and at this early stage it may already be make-or-break time for this comic. While I do like the creative team of Abnett, Lanning and Brad Walker I have to say that the first issue really didn’t wow me as I’d hoped and with plenty of promising titles heading our way in the coming months I just get the feeling that I may have to make these harder decisions earlier in a run and come back to a title if it turns itself around and the glowing reviews start to pour forth from other corners. I certainly like the idea that the more ‘street-level’ heroes out there like Falcon, Iron Fist and Silver Sable can be brought in for ad-hoc superheroics when the situation, and price of course, dictates so I’ll just keep fingers crossed that this manages to hit the right spot this week.
So now I’d best turn my attention over to DC and the plethora of titles that they will manage to bring to the world this Wednesday seeing as how they are the publisher who have been pushing for this change the loudest and hardest. Top of the list always has to be Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #6. Always. It’s such a gosh darn good title. Trust me! This time we should see the fallout from Guy Gardner’s unplanned and ill-timed Red Lantern-style teleconference with Atrocitus as Kilowog and Arisia try to get some serious truths and answers out of their less-than-forthcoming Green Lantern partner. Peter J. Tomasi really does have a keen feel for the Lanterns as a whole and his knack for hitting characterization spot on is uncanny. We’re heading towards War of the Green Lanterns territory so I’m expecting Emerald Warriors to really start letting fly with the plot twists and reveals in the next couple of issues.
Batman and Robin #19 signals the end of Paul Cornell’s short stint on the title before Tomasi and Patrick Gleason start kicking some ass with the Dynamic Duo, and while I won’t be sad to see Cornell head back over to his Action Comics and Soldier Zero desk I will say that The Absense is a pretty intriguing character who he’s done a very good job of introducing and I will be reading #19 with interest to see just how he leaves things with this bizarre villain and whether she’ll prove to be a thorn in Dick and Damian’s sides in the future. I just really hope we manage to steer clear of Adam West-worthy lines and dialogue as this three part arc wraps up.
I doubt there’ll be any sign of '60s tinged tongue-in-cheek action in Batgirl #17 from what we’ve had from Bryan Q.Miller so far. He really has done a great job of placing Stephanie Brown into her cape and cowl and making sure she deserves to punch, kick and do good with the rest of the Batgang in Gotham. So much so it would seem that this issue sees her given her first mission as part of the Batman Incorporated world which unfortunately for her and entertainingly for us means a team up with everyone’s favourite brat Damian Wayne! Let the petulant banter and mass comic reading around the world commence!