23 Feb 2011

Incoming... 23/02/2011

New comics are released Wednesday in the States and guess what, in the UK too! Here's a brief look at our expectations for the books we're picking up this week.

Slight spoiler alert! - I speak about Fantastic Four #588 in this instalment of Incoming... and will be mentioning just who died in #587 so if, for some reason, you’re still plugging fingers in ears or covering your eyes whenever anyone tweets, writes or speaks about ‘that death’ then you may want to avoid the first two paragraphs. Oh, and you may also not want to know that in Dallas it all turned out to be a dream of Bobby Ewing!

Stewart R: Seems that this Wednesday is rolling around and many of Marvel’s big, regular ongoing titles find themselves released on the very same day. The arachnid, the patriot, the three that became four, the tin man and the gang of original misfits are all here to keep us company on one of the last days of winter and I for one am glad to see them all in yet another hefty week.

Let me begin with Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four #588 which of course follows on from that very special (for some more than others - Tom P, I’m looking at you!) issue where the First Family of Marvel lost one of their number. I’d never shown much interest for the Fantastic Four before the announcement of an impending fatality yet found the sacrifice made by Johnny Storm to be a very emotional read indeed. So I will be grabbing this week's issue to find out just how Hickman deals with the period of mourning that Reed, Sue, Ben and the rest of the family and friends will go through and how he will lead things into the upcoming FF title. I’ll certainly be interested to see if there’s any wry mention about the number of times members of this team have ‘died’ in the past yet miraculously been able to return from the dead not long after the moss started to grow atop their headstone.

And so on to the patriot we go as Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice and no doubt half a dozen or so different inkers bring us Captain America #615 and the continuing ‘Trial of Captain America’. Now, with that daring-do ending to last issue where Bucky escaped custody and sped to the Statue of Liberty to stop Sin from killing Falcon and The Black Widow I’d anticipate an all action affair.... BUT, Ed Brubaker is an experienced and very talented writer and he hasn’t got us to this particular point without shaking things up and keeping the story varied. The various courtroom scenes that make up the trial in a traditional sense have been well paced and laid out and I’d be surprised if Bucky’s actions, however noble, weren’t punished in some way by the system he’s trying to protect day in, day out. At the very least I’d certainly get a bit more insight into just what Faustus is up to as his behaviour has definitely intrigued me over the past couple of issues.

Step up tin man, you’re next my friend. It actually seems like a small age has passed since Stark was trying desperately to keep his automotive design for the future from becoming molten slag upon the asphalt of a racecourse and saving both Rhodey and Pepper’s lives with but moments to spare. Thankfully, after renumberings and a ‘point one’ issue, we’re now back on track as Tony begins to set his sights higher as he attempts to take his repulsor technology and rebuild the mystical, and recently fallen, city of Asgard in Invincible Iron Man #501! Obviously Matt Fraction has been writing Thor for the past six months so I guess it makes sense to try to have his two main projects cross over at some stage and there has been a somewhat uneasy relationship between Tony and the God of Thunder since Straczynski had the two clash in the post-Civil War world. It is an interesting idea but with everything else that Fraction seems to have been working towards in the recent story it seems to be something of a jump to have him go from a single car to rebuilding an entire city.

Speaking of jumps of course it should be said that we’re starting to see the baton well and truly come to rest in Kieron Gillen’s hands as he grabs hold of the reigns on Uncanny X-Men #533 and Matt Fraction bends his knees, ready to spring off the title into the Fear Itself event. We’ve a few more issues to go before Fraction’s name is removed from the credits and I’ll be sad to see him go as I feel that he has done an outstanding job with the huge cast of mutant characters, particularly Scott Summers who he has crafted into the hero he has always shown the promise to be. This week I expect we’ll see the pesky mutant flu get even worse and potentially claim further victims while elsewhere Sebastian Shaw goes about dishing out his own particular brand of kinetically-charged pain to Emma, Kitty and Fantomex. The 'Quarantine' arc has been any enjoyable ride thus far and I'm looking forward to Lobe getting a smack around the medulla olongata at some stage!

And so we came to the spider... Dan Slott is rocking it so far. Big Time is a true success. Marcos Martin picks up his pencil for this next arc. Not much more to say really, you should probably just pick up Amazing Spider-Man #655!

Right, okay now, let me throw off the shackles of the House of Ideas and allow myself a little time to embrace the titles spewing forth in illustrated glory from other publishers this very Wednesday. There’s actually a very retro and periodic feel to the remainder of my pull-list this week as titles from Vertigo, Oni Press and Image all look to the past for their slice of fun. Scott Snyder’s American Vampire story speeds on apace as #12 hits the shelves. Snyder is hopping us back a few years to 1924 in order to bring us a ‘lost tale’ of Skinner Sweet as he happens to come across faces from his past, both friendly and not so much, when a Wild West show rolls into town and no doubt there’ll be some bloody fun for the readers as Sweet doesn’t appear to be a man who could go a day without spilling the red stuff from some deserving soul.

Over at Oni Press, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt give us Sixth Gun #9 and with Drake Sinclair looking increasingly desperate and the number of potential foes rising by the day. I would dare say that things are probably heading towards an explosive and emotional crescendo as we creep ever nearer the end of this accomplished second arc. And speaking of endings there will of course be Turf #4 from Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards as the pair of them begin to wrap up this thoroughly entertaining tale of vampires, aliens and gangsters whose worlds happen to collide in the 1920s. There are only two more issues to go including this one and I have my fingers crossed that the quality from both writer and artist remains high in this penultimate chapter. Based on the three preceding issues I’d say that they’d be hard-pressed to screw it up now! Happy reading guys and gals!


Joe T said...

Massive week for me!
Action Comics 898
Amazing Spider-Man 655
Captain America 615
Detective Comics 874(at least I think that's the number. The latest one is what I ordered anyway)
Fantastic Four 588
Invincible Iron Man 501
Secret Avengers 10

Phew! I'm pretty sure that was everything.I can't remember the time I made an order this large!

Matt Clark said...

Not to come over like "mine's bigger than yours!" but I got that beat! (To be honest, I'm slightly embarrassed by the number of titles I'm taking home this week! Feels a bit excessive!)

Captain America #615, Detective #874, Dracula: Company Of Monsters #7, Fantastic Four #588, Incorruptible #15, #Invincible Iron Man #501, Kill Shakespeare #9, Mission #1,New York Five #2, Scalped #46, Secret Avengers #10, Sixth Gun #9, Thor #620, Turf #4, Who Is Jake Ellis? #2

Damn short months, eh? Thank God it's not like this every week or I'd have to engage in some significant pruning! I just don't have the time or money anymore! Having said that, I don't think there's anything I'm getting out of habit. I do genuinely want to read them all!

Stewart R said...

Blimey Matt, I neglected to mention X-Men #8, Secret Avengers #10 and Detective Comics #874 and you still managed to end up with a mightier haul. Tis a fine week for comics indeed.

Already read FF #588 and ASM #655 and both are pretty special. In fact five issues out of the way and not one of them disappoints in the slightest.

That's certainly a quality bunch of titles you're picking up Joe. Be interested to see if you rate the Lex v Larfleeze showdown from Action Comics this week. That is what I was waiting for but ran out of patience many issues back.