6 Jul 2011

Incoming... 06/07/2011

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: Due to the appearance of two new No #1s on my pull list this week I have taken the financial decision to stop getting Moon Knight. It can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that I think that Bendis has taken the hard work done by previous creators and writers and decided to simply overwrite that with ideas and a style that have been done better in other Marvel titles in recent years that I also bought... it can’t possibly be... or can it?

So what two titles are parachuting in to the space left by Moon Knight’s absence might you ask? Of course you might not but should you feel compelled to continue reading this sentence and the paragraphs that follow then no doubt the question had some affect upon you whether you actually asked it or not!

Well good readers, Vengeance #1 by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta is top of the list. Casey once again comes to the Marvel fold but this time he’s cutting loose on an event book that isn’t being marketed as a big event book by the House of Ideas and that Casey modestly doesn’t expect to so particularly well in terms of sales. At present it’s not fully clear just what the story is going to be about aside from involving fringe teams such as the Young Masters and the Teen Brigade as well as some of the bigger villains known to us all - this first issue should involve Magneto and The Red Skull - but Casey has apparently hinted that rather than changing the greater Marvel Universe this series is more likely to change the way that we as readers look at these villains and that’s the sort of shift that I’m interested to see. He’s knocking out some great comic writing on Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker at the moment so I’m hoping that this proves to be as entertaining.

The other mini-series debuting this Wednesday is, yes, a Fear Itself tie-in and only the second that I shall be picking up especially (Cullen Bunn and Lee Garbett's FI:The Deep being the other) for it involves one of the most interesting teams in Marvel’s canon at present. Brit writer Rob Williams takes on Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1 with the able help of Simon Bianchi who’ll be picking up the pencil for this one. While I was a little apprehensive to have anyone other than Rick Remender steer a story for this team of proactive and highly troubled heroes Williams did a damn decent job in last week’s Iron Age #1 story involving Captain Britain and with one Braddock already covered I’m looking forward to seeing how he deals with the other sibling when he gets to write Betsy through this three-part arc. The event as a whole seems to be lacking a point of focus currently with everything that has unfolded so far feeling like pure instinct and reaction with little exposition. While I’m not expecting any insight into the bigger themes playing out on Matt Fraction’s side of the table I’d be hopeful that we get a closer look at this team dynamic in action as these deadly individuals are confronted by their own dark nightmares.

Of course having mentioned the ‘bigger picture’ Fear Itself #4 hits stands around the globe tomorrow too (oop, look at the time, today in the UK then!) and this hopefully is the point where Fraction lets us in on just what the Serpent’s true intentions and motivations are as he’s (she’s? it’s?) been something of an absent adversary so far aside from a few confabs with the transformed Sin. Having discussed this series with my fellow Paradox Comic reviewers it seems that everyone is starting to lose a little patience with this main book - despite Stuart Immonen’s art being of a deliciously high standard - and it is down to the unrelenting and somewhat unfocused destruction that has filled the pages of the first three issues without Fraction unleashing his usual style of thoughtful and intricate comic writing that we’ve been exposed to in several years of his run on Invincible Iron Man. #4 marks the halfway point so I’ve my fingers crossed that we see the plot really kick into overdrive and that characterisation begins to ooze out from between the covers.

Ahhhhh, darn. Okay, having looked through my pull list and checking around the internet it seems that a fair few of my regular titles get the Fear Itself treatment this week as Heroes for Hire #7 and Uncanny X-Men #540 get sucked into the event too. Abnett and Lanning get to drop Paladin and various other ‘heroics for a pay-cheque’ types into the middle of the Yancy St mayhem as the Thing a.k.a. Angir: Breaker of Souls continues his New York rampage in Heroes for Hire and I’ll say right now that I wish that this one title could have avoided being wrapped up in such a large event so early in its run. The past few issues involving Spider-Man were terrific but I’m hard pressed to see how the likes of Paladin would get close to this particular member of the Worthy considering the heavier hitters involved in tackling his aggressions in other titles - see Avengers #14 for one example. The X-Men on the other hand were always likely to get involved in this event considering that one of their greatest all-time foes found himself wielding a hammer and heading out towards San Francisco. Kieron Gillen gets to show us the Juggernaut, a.k.a. Kuurth: Breaker of Stone, on his journey to the west coast of the US and an inevitable showdown with the mutant population. It seems that the Worthy have been pretty hardy foes to this point, bordering on unstoppable, and when you’ve got a villain who’s reputation is based upon that very adjective then I’d say that a clash with the most powerful mutants on Earth could really raise some eyebrows.

In another week where Marvel are hogging the majority of my time and the focus of this piece I will say that I am picking up titles from other publishers and looking forward to three in particular.

Image have managed to follow up the deluge of great debut issues with some terrific stories as those series have progressed and Kurtis J.Wiebe and Riley Rossmo have apparently done so well with their effort that where Green Wake #4 was initially set to be the penultimate issue we’ve all been rewarded gloriously as it has been upgraded to ‘ongoing’ status. It’s still a strangely dark and mysterious tale of an apparent form of purgatory where the inhabitants of Green Wake are unsure of why they have ended up in the dank town following their own deaths and why so many are developing frog-like attributes. Even stranger still for protagonists Morley, Krieger and Carl is the murderous path that is being laid out before them and I’ve been looking forward to seeing where their investigation leads them next.

I’ll wrap things up by briefly mentioning that Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth #23 is out this week as is Mega Man #3 from Archie Comics. Sweet Tooth has built up quite the cult following as Lemire’s post-apocalyptic tale has unfolded and I have to applaud the man for the regularity at which he has managed to get this comic out over the past two years while also performing writing duties on other titles as well. Mega Man has been one of my ‘guilty pleasure’ reads over the past couple of months and Ian Flynn’s writing has captured the light, cartoon nature of the games and also managed to imbue a slight sense of maturity to some of the themes present within the decades-old story. All in all I dare say that I’m in for an enjoyable week of comic reading and review writing and I wish you all a high quality reading experience!

1 comment:

Matt Clark said...

Doesn't DC have some big book out this week too...? ;)

But seriously, the one book that should be on everyone's shopping list this week is Red Skull #1 from Greg Pak. He's taking the same approach as he did with Magneto Testament, and if you've read that you know that this isn't going to be a throwaway cash-in to tie in with the movie.