19 Jan 2011

Incoming... 19/01/2011

New comics are released Wednesday in the States... and guess what, IN THE UK TOO!!! (Still a great feeling a week on!) Here's a brief look at our expectations for the books we're picking up this week.

Stewart R: I’ve managed to keep my eyes covered, fingers in my ears and have been shouting the occasional “LALALAnotlisteningLALALALA” whenever Amazing Spider-Man #651 has come up this past week so as not to ruin the surprise of how the first arc of Big Time wraps up. It's been a difficult task following the delayed delivery to these shores but thankfully my challenge to remain oblivious to the events contained within draws to a close in but a few hours time when I pick up a copy at my trusty local comic book shop and also pick up Amazing Spider-Man #652 at the same time! Oh yes, the sweet joy of being able to see Stefano Caselli’s first efforts as part of the ASM artistic team as he brings us the first chapter of The Revenge of The Spider Slayer. I think Dan Slott has made the right decision to bring old, favourite villains back into play in this new era for Spider-Man, albeit with some measured and purposeful evolution that certainly keeps things interesting. Dredging up forgotten members of a hero’s rogues gallery can often make it seem like a writer is struggling to conjure up some originality in his work but Slott certainly looks like he could be a veritable fountain of ideas and reinvention when it comes to bringing back familiar faces and I look forward to seeing how he uses Scorpion and Alistair Smyth through the length of this arc.

It’s certainly a case of slim pickings for me this week when it comes to any other publisher besides Marvel as Green Lantern Corps #56 appears to be the only non-House of Ideas title that I’ll be purchasing this Wednesday. The last issue by Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham really did restore my faith that this was still an exciting and important title to be picking up and with us heading slowly but surely towards this Spring’s War of the Green Lanterns I’m expecting Bedard to really start pushing Kyle and John Stewart’s feelings and thoughts about the current state of the Corps to the foreground over the next few issues. Of course those guys have to first deal with the arrival of the Sinestro Corps on Qward and whatever maelstrom of crap they’ll bring with them to the fight against the Weaponer. I’d make a guess that the Corps of Fear may just be an introductory procession before Sinestro himself pays Qward a visit but in the unpredictable world of comics who can tell??

So back over to Marvel we go but we’ll steer clear of the main office first and head over to their Icon imprint which brings us two glorious titles this week. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Superior #4 wouldn’t mark the end of the series and in actual fact there will be two further chapters for us to enjoy after this before Mark Millar and Lenil Yu wrap up this highly entertaining meld of Superman and Big. The last issue ended on a typical Millar dark twist but was perfectly timed following a whirlwind episode of super strength and speed heroics from young Simon as he used his new found powers for good and to save lives. You just know that with Millar he could flip the entire board over and show us that we’ve been playing a completely different game to the one we believed we were playing at any second, and that’s arguably made him the success he is today. I just hope that he doesn’t flip that board too vigorously with Superior for fear that he spoils what has been one of his most promising stories to date.

The other Icon comic of note this week is Scarlet #4 but it already seems an absolute age since the last issue was in my hands so I’m struggling now to remember what transpired at the end of it. Oh yes, I forgot, she did THAT! Come now, I’m not going to go into too much detail fellow comic readers and spoil what could be a thrilling read for you should you pick the series up in trade or collected form some point down the road. Suffice to say that the fan could well be obliterated by the amount of faeces likely to be bombarding it following Scarlet’s controversial and somewhat brutal actions. Despite the length of time to have passed between issues I’m still getting quite excited about finding out what the heck happens next and what sort of world-changing ride Brian Michael Bendis is planning on taking us on as his protagonist starts down her bloody path to change the very way that society works.

Only one more comic in my basket this week folks and what could it possibly be? At $4.99 it should certainly be a jam-packed affair and I’m sure the extra digit being added to the numbering will increase the weight of the book by a fair amount. Of course I am talking about Invincible Iron Man #500 by Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca and a host of other guest artists. Fraction has gotten to this point by plotting intelligent and involving stories and writing succinct and believable dialogue for a everyone’s favourite metal suit wearing, playboy (former) billionaire, so it comes as no real surprise for one of Marvel’s best and brightest writers to really mix things up when it comes to a milestone issue like this. Fraction is going to throw the reading public many years into Tony Stark’s future to see just what toll the incoming decades - not to mention nefarious plots to defeat or destroy him - could possibly take upon his already battered and bruised body and psyche. The odd preview piece dotted around the net suggests that a certain ten-ringed foe could well have an influence over the stories found in this bumper issue, which raises that bar of awesome a foot or two higher, and there’s no doubt that this comic could round out the comic-reading week nicely.

Dear comrades, may your brains be massaged by magnificent plots and your eyes receive kisses of illustrated delight this Wednesday!

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