13 Jul 2011

Incoming... 13/07/2011

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: Mid-summer, all of the main event books were out last week, there’s no way that this Wednesday could see a vast wave of comic book titles hitting the stands - and me - head on engulfing everything in a multicoloured wash of illustrated mayhem is there?

*Glug* Help *Glug* I’m going under aga...*Glug!*

Yup, today promises to be one of my biggest of the year to date and the proportions of my order are spread quite nicely amongst the various publishers and creators offering up their wares in an almighty deluge this week. Considering myself to be more of a Marvelite than DC-bod it certainly shows that (in this pre-relaunch world at least) the second of the two big publishers has found itself a large share of my pull-list especially if you include Vertigo titles in the mix as well. No less than seven DC and Vertigo comics will deliver their own form of storytelling upon my steadily tiring eyes this day and all promise to be exciting!

The big comic of the week for me has to be Green Lantern #67 which is the very final yet strangely delayed chapter of the War of the Green Lanterns. It’s not the first time that scheduling and delays have affected DC’s scope of their event books but this three week gap has certainly taken the sting out of a story that was moving swiftly to a tense crescendo with all three of the involved titles hitting the shelves in what looked like a well planned and executed relay of emerald green. Regardless, this is the day where we will get to see the Green Lantern Corps fight back against Krona and leave the galactic police force forever changed in the process. I actually think the War of the Green Lanterns has pretty much ticked the ‘success’ column for DC and shown how it is possible to involve a small handful of titles and creative teams to produce one vision that affects a host of different characters. Geoff Johns is definitely the curator of choice for such events at the high level but I’m of the thinking that Peter J. Tomasi may be responsible for much of the emotional detail that has kept this story grounded unlike, say, Blackest Night where the scope often found the emotional focus stretched to the limit.

Patience appeared to be stretched when it came to David Finch’s much anticipated take on the Gotham Crusader with further delays being the speciality of the day AND the initial thought that the relaunch was going to cut a very strange #1 - #2 - #1 template in his work. Luckily it seems - according to DC’s own site at least - that we will be getting Batman: The Dark Knight #3 today and potentially two further issues over the next six weeks to give this series a little weight before the all-new Batman: The Dark Knight #1 comes at us in September. Despite picking up a couple of Bat-related comics each month it has to be said that I’ve not been getting any that actually involve Bruce Wayne so to have this relatively self-contained title exploring the adventures of the original Dark Knight and all placed on the page by Finch’s accomplished pencilling hand is quite the draw for me.

Speaking of drawing, I wonder just what Jock thought when he got the script for last month’s issue of Detective Comics and that particular cliffhanger pay off? That last few pages certainly got the Paradox Comics Group tongues a-wagging and I dare say that Scott Snyder’s Detective Comics #879 is likely to be the first comic read from the pile for many readers today. Once Greg Rucka and Batwoman departed DC’s long running title I quickly turned my attention elsewhere but was brought back when Snyder, Jock and Francisco Francavilla started on the tremendous job of crafting a dark and brooding tale of Gotham’s criminal underworld and Dick Grayson’s continuing growth into the role he’s replaced his mentor in. Involving Jim Gordon as heavily as he has has ensured that there’s a tempered split focus which has kept the long-game in sight throughout while dealing with each dastardly and disturbing crime in short, well executed arcs. Of all the changes to DC line-up this could well be the most dearly missed.

But wait, Snyder’s not done with us yet dear readers as American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #2 flies out of the Vertigo doors and into your hand and I’m looking forward to this comic a great deal. The first issue had a terrific ‘knowledge is the greatest weapon’ feel to things as we discovered the vampire hunting bureau that Felica Book was working for nestled in the Museum of National History. This second issue should see Felica and Cash McCogan set out on their dangerous journey to Nazi-occupied Romania in search of groundbreaking research that could end the vampire blight forever. If that didn’t sound good enough there’s also the fact that Sean Murphy appears to be producing art work that outshines his efforts on Joe The Barbarian so I’d say to you all that it’s not too late and get in on the vampire-hunting action!

Of course, if old Nosferatu and chums isn’t enough to prick your comic-attuned ears then how about a good old mutant civil war? It seems that Marvel are feeling the need to ‘mess around’ with their long-standing titles once more but this time they’re heading down the path to The Strange Case of the Death and Rebirth of Uncanny X-Men, or as they themselves are calling it X-Men: Schism #1! Scott Summers and Logan have been going through a period of relative stability in their relationship since Cyclops became the leader of the X-Men and spokesman for the mutant race and even through incredibly trying events like the death of Nightcrawler. It seems that that peace is going to come to an earth-shattering conclusion as Jason Aaron takes these two very different men and puts them at different sides of an argument that will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the mutant race and the premier X-title. At only five issues in length there is a big cloud of doubt hanging over this idea as Aaron really has to convince us that whatever transpires in this short space of time is enough to tear this partnership apart. Considering the heavy battles fought and hefty prices paid under the expert guidance of Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen in recent years that has seen the Cyclops and Wolverine team remain steadfast throughout, I don’t think Mr Aaron has an easy job at all...

1 comment:

Joe T said...

Was a pretty big week for me also. Picked up the latest issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, Detective Comics, FF, and Green Lantern. Was great to actually be in the area, and purchase these instore, and also to meet you Stewart! Expect my reviews on Monday :)