23 Mar 2011

Incoming... 23/03/2011

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.

Stewart R: The Future is here ladies and gentlemen and it is brought to us by none other than Jonathan Hickman and by golly he’ll be delivering it to us this Wednesday! Following the tragic events and emotional aftermath of the past couple of Fantastic Four issues we finally get to see what the f-f-fuss is all about with FF#1. New uniforms. A new but familiar member. A new outlook. Everything seems to scream ‘new’ but will the fans and followers of Marvel’s First Family enjoy this change in direction?? There's probably a part of every reader that’s saying ‘very few people stay dead in the Marvel Universe’ and I suspect that some are eyeing up the current numbering of the title and have spied the big 6-0-0 looming for 2012 so it’ll be interesting to see where Hickman leads us with any of that in mind. Having only just jumped on board in recent months and having enjoyed Hickman’s work first with Secret Warriors and then S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m looking to see just how all the pieces come together for Reed, Sue, Ben, Valeria and Franklin as they try to move forward following their loss.

Speaking of loss, did Mr Finch lose track of time or was Batman: Dark Knight #2 always going to come out three months after the debut? At this rate we’re on for four, possibly five issues a year and while I appreciate that writing and drawing your own comic will often be a monumental task, maybe it would be better to have a good few issues in the bag before even releasing the first so that audiences don’t become disinterested and potentially spend their money elsewhere. I enjoyed the first issue enough to keep an eye out for the second installment but seeing as how I don’t buy any other Bruce Wayne related titles I would say that it won’t take much to find myself keeping that $3.99 in my pocket. I remember picking up a relaunched Moon Knight comic close to five years ago based primarily on the quality of David Finch’s artwork but even then I seem to recall there being issues with delivering work at a quick enough pace and he wasn’t even writing that title!

One comic that I hadn’t expected to be hit by delays finally lands on the shelves this week after a resolicitation and Haunt #14 offers the promise that we’ll get to learn a heck of a lot more about the mysterious ‘Apparition’ that has been stalking Daniel and Kurt Kilgore through recent instalments. It would have not been unreasonable to have dubbed this a comic that ‘melds Venom with Spawn and a healthy dose of Mission: Impossible’ when it started and while there have been comparisons to draw with some of those, Robert Kirkman has been able to make this stand on it’s own thanks to some focused character work and a decent amount of tension woven into every action sequence. This issue is being touted as a turning point for Kurt and Daniel and I really do get the feeling that Kirkman was lulling us into a false sense of security when things seemed to start going right for the brothers after an intense period of training and discovery regarding their powers.

The War of the Green Lanterns kicks off properly this week and I’m thankful that DC appear to have made it possible to really sink my teeth into this event by releasing Green Lantern #64 and Green Lantern Corps #58 on the same day. The various writers of the three GL titles have been doing some careful manoeuvring in recent months to lead us to this point and following the corps having to deal with threats coming from all angles I think it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the threat comes from within and threatens to break or destroy the wielders of the emerald light forever. As this is an event that spans itself across the three titles in a chapter format - much in the same way that Marvel tend to treat their X-Men events these days - I’m certainly interested to see if this forms one continuous story throughout or whether each title and writer will primarily look at the characters that are associated with their specific title i.e. Geoff Johns takes Hal Jordan’s point of view in Green Lantern, Tomasi from Guy Gardner’s etc.

Okay, so two Green Lantern books in one week is pretty impressive but Marvel have managed to top that once again by providing me with three X-books to chew through today and I’m left with something of a quandry - which bloody one do I read first??? Matt Fraction is slowly handing the reigns of his X-title over to Kieron Gillen and it’s been difficult to tell so far just how much input the substitute has been having as there hasn’t been any noticeable drop or leap in quality which I’ll take to be a good sign. Uncanny X-Men #534 continues the entertaining ‘Quarantined’ storyline as the virus-riddled and underpowered X-Men decide to throw off the bunny slippers, down a bottle or two of cough medicine and scatter used tissues everywhere in order to show Lobe and his Sublimecorp that their DNA is not for sale.

While Mr Fraction’s Wednesday offering may be good I have to say the hard choice on first read actually lies with Victor Gischler’s X-Men #9 and Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force #6. X-Men obviously has the warm and loving and sweet caress of Chris Bachalo’s absorbing artwork to wash all over my eyes and tickle my visual cortex while X-Force has Remender tugging on those emotional strings running through my brain and heart as he works wonders with his character development and dialogue. Hmmm, perhaps I’ll have to lay them down side by side and have a bit of a threesome in one go... oo-er!

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