4 May 2011

Incoming... 04/05/2011

New comics are released Wednesday in the States and guess what, in the UK too (although suffering a few delays due with couriers in parts of the country it would seem!) Here's a brief look at our expectations for the books we're picking up this week.

Stewart R: “Testing; One, One, Two, Two!” That’s pretty much how it seems to go these days with several publishers having dropped new titles and properties into our laps in recent months and still continuing to do so on a weekly basis. As such I find myself with two new titles on my pull-list today accompanied by three follow up efforts from successful starts last month. So shall we start with the freshest of the fresh?

Like many of you I was disappointed and a little bit angry when Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev announced that they were calling time on the rather excellent Spider-Woman title due to Maleev’s apparent boredom at drawing the same character over and over again. When Scarlet appeared on shelves I said ‘fair enough’ as Maleev began throwing some of his finest work to date our way on a bi-monthly basis, ably supported by Bendis getting his dialogue and scripting skills spot on for once. With a comic series working so well it was quite alarming to hear that the talented yet temperamental creative team were once again getting twitchy feet and were longing for another challenge. Cue the announcement of Moon Knight #1 and the furrowing of my brow upon its each and every mention.

I picked up Moon Knight a few years back when Charlie Huston and David Finch tackled the character of Marc Spector and really got stuck into the psychological aspect of the edgy hero with a violent streak. That series quickly dipped in quality as Finch departed early on and Huston moved onto other things after a year and I dropped it quick sharpish. A few years later saw the brilliant Vengeance Of The Moon Knight appear but once again that was a short-lived endeavour that ended in the disappointment of cancellation despite seemingly putting Jake Lockley as the dominant personality in the Moon Knight armour and allowing the character to tread a path of retribution. Now all of that promising work has been cast to the wind as Bendis has stated that this new effort will be a ‘complete reinvention of the character on every conceivable level’. I take that to be something of a shame but I still have that pang of intrigue that makes this debut a must this week.

Probably a strange coincidence but Marvel’s offering isn’t the only comic out with ‘Moon’ in the title as Red 5 Comics release Moon Girl #1 into your local comic book store! I’ve not been able to track much down about this title by Tony Trov and Johnny Zito other than it follows a female champion of the people and ‘counter-culture’ who wants to get out of the life path she’s following but finds that a group of fanatical followers are trying to recreate her exploits in far more violent fashion. The painted style of the preview pages looks delicious and so I add one more taster to the pile of new titles sat in my collection.

So with the #1s out of the way let’s move onto the mini-slew of #2s hitting shelves today. Suffice to say that a couple of them come from Image following their rather expansive and successful April for new material. Looking back I don’t think I’ve read anything from that campaign that has put me off of picking up the second instalment. Blue Estate #2 and Green Wake #2 are the Image titles that turn up this week and I’m expecting more Tarintinoesque, vice and pulp chaos from the former while the latter should provide us with more limbo or afterlife mystery as Kurtis Wieve and Riley Rossmo bring us a detective story with a difference. My gut feeling at the moment is that Green Wake could be the title that competes with Butcher Baker, Righteous Maker as the big hit from this enterprise but we shall have to wait and see.

Back at Marvel they also have a big second chapter out today as Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen deliver Fear Itself #2 into our eager and waiting arms. The first chapter was a great read and had that proper event feel - that had only briefly been glimpsed in last year’s Siege - thanks to Fraction’s focused writing style and Immonen delivering some terrifically big and bold pages alongside heart-pounding action. Bringing a conspiracy and villainous plan of Asgardian nature to this event is well timed to coincide with the live action Thor movie and the expansion of titles exploring the exploits of everyone’s favourite Thunder God and I’m incredibly hopeful that Fraction will be able to wrap the greater Marvel Universe into this to ensure that it’s the best event that the publisher has seen for many a year. That is of course until Rick Remender comes up with an Uncanny X-Force event... (Uncanny X-Force #9 is out this week, just thought I’d shoe-horn it in and you all know by now that you should be picking it up!)

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