17 May 2011

Incoming... 18/05/2011

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: Oh woe is me!! (Mock tone in effect, ladies and gents!) Having spent a couple of days preparing for and partying it up at the excellent Bristol Comic Expo I haven’t yet managed to read through the entirety of last week’s comics and here I am having to compile this week’s Incoming... and looking at the mountain of titles to pick up. Well I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and get reading at something akin to warp speed!

Only one DC title out this week that will find its way into my hands on Wednesday and that is Batman and Robin #23. Now I’m as confused as many of you will be as to why, following only three issues and delayed issues at that, Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason have stepped aside and we now get a three part arc from Judd Winick and Guillem March? DC were really pushing the appointment of Tomasi and Gleason as ‘big news’ in the latter half of 2010 and yet it seems that once again the publisher has managed to let things slip for one reason or another. That said I do often hear good things about Winick’s writing and the Jason Todd story back towards the beginning of this series was one of my personal favourites so there are some positives here. The odd bits of news dotted around the net suggest that following this arc there’ll be another change of creative talent to David Hine and Greg Tocchini so it appears that things aren’t too settled with one of DC’s best and brightest Bat-titles.

One team that never stays settled for too long is that beaten down and put upon group of Canadian superheroes over at Marvel and to the delight of many it seems that they’re making a comeback in Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Alpha Flight #0.1 this week. I’ve very little experience with the likes of Guardian, Vindicator, Sasquatch and the rest of the team save for the X-Men Animated Series plus a few guest appearances here and there but there’s something appealing about a team of superheroes operating North of the US border and dealing with problems that affect that country specifically. I get the feeling that there’s something of the underdog mentality associated with them for some reason and I’m confident that the two writers in charge are going to bring us some interesting stories. Van Lente is apparently a big Alpha Flight fan so that should hopefully point to this being something close to a labour of love.

I find you have to be careful when using the ‘L’ word when it comes to comics and series as it can be overused and then become a less effective form of praising a title. That said, let me just proclaim here for the record that I, Stewart R, LOVE Uncanny X-Force! We’re up to #10 already this week and I’ve watched over the past 9-10 months as member after member of the Paradox Group - and associated friends as well - have been convinced to pick up Rick Remender’s superb series and haven’t stopped reading. The current look at the dark(er) times that have befallen Warren Worthington III aka Archangel have been harrowing as Psylocke’s attempts to contain the lethal avatar within her lover appear to have failed and Death literally walks amongst the team. I was very surprised to see how well Billy Tan managed to adapt his style to match the continuing artistic feel specific to this book and I dare say that at this early stage we have a true contender for series of the year on our hands.

The rest of my pull list consists of ongoing titles or miniseries in the midst of their run but I would like to point some attention the way of Hulk #33 this week. Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman have been working to their consistent best with this continuing story of Thunderbolt Ross. His new position as a super-powered hero has been a troublesome prospect for the former military man and month after month Parker has been piling the problems and the potential foes upon the gamma-irradiated powerhouse. The danger with any Hulk character is that it often becomes boring to have them gain an extra boost in strength and power at the very last minute which ultimately overcomes any and all problems. Fortunately the creative team have been doing a top-notch job of positioning threats from all angles which likely means that brains will have to overcome brawn at some stage during this story.

Right folks, time to cut this a little short as I’ve got last week’s comics to get read and a pile of lovely stuff from the Bristol Expo to go through too! Happy reading!


Brett said...

The first Alpha Flight series ran for 130+ issues, so there is some interest, only the two later series of the title lasted for 12 issues respectively. With (most of) the original cast back in this one, and the creators involved hopefully this one will be a success.

Matt Clark said...

I enjoyed John Byrne's initial run on Alpha Flight but didn't really keep track after that (until Bendis wiped them all out in one of his dumass Avengers stories!). I may give this new series a look though.

Tom P said...

HULK is consistently brilliant.

Stewart R said...

Ahh, apologies for naivety over the length of that initial run. I guess I've just got it in my head that they tended to be a team that got their collective asses handed to them more often than not, or have I got that wrong as well? Hoping they get a good bite of the cherry this time though!