20 Jul 2011

Incoming... 20/07/2011

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: Image? Dark Horse? What’re you doing? I guess that so eager were you guys to throw everything in the back of the car and get to this weekend’s San Diego Comic Convention that you forgot when the boat to the UK left the dock (probably powered these days by eager Marvel interns rowing their hearts out?). Suffice to say that the order going on sale today at Paradox and other British based stores will be a touch smaller than originally planned!

What I end up with in my pile this fine (all lies, grey cloudy and threatening rain as I write this - Hello Summer!) Wednesday is a selection of Marvel titles and one or two from the other publishers. I vaguely remember the week before SDCC last year being somewhat lighter than usual but this delivery is a reasonable size and covers a range of titles.

Top billing has to go to this week’s new number #1 in the form of Mark Waid’s Daredevil #1. Now I’ll stand up here and now and say that Daredevil is one Marvel character that I’ve never had a great deal of time for. In fact, the only DD comic I believe I own is #288 which was given to me in a generous pile of comics from an aunt back in the '80s. With Marvel keen on selling the Man Without Fear to a new audience with this renumbering - YES, another one! - and Mark Waid writing with the great retro stylings of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin providing the visual wonderment I think it’s time for me to jump in head first and see if the Hell’s Kitchen that Matt Murdock (keep the shaving foam pies away from this one!) patrols is a place I could learn to loathe... for the right reasons. This has been listed up there as a Marvel ‘Bigshot’ alongside Bendis’ Moon Knight and I’m hoping that this title manages to impress more than that particular architect’s did!

Where would we be this Summer without some Fear Itself action? Something of a question of provocation that one I imagine, as I gather than Marvel’s big event is not filling all of you with the most complimentary of thoughts. I’ll admit that it’s been hit-and-miss up to now but there have been successes and some of those get further time in the spotlight today. I picked up Avengers #13 purely because of Chris Bachalo’s artwork but what I discovered was a decent look at the inner workings of the team at a point when the Serpent’s plans had not yet been revealed. What followed in #14 was a terrific depiction of Thunderbolt Ross trying to make his contribution in the team as the Red Hulk took the battle to the transformed thing. Well, in Hulk #37 this week Jeff Parker and Elena Casagrande take a look at that battle from the Red Hulk’s own perspective and I suspect that their efforts will only add to what was a great encounter especially since the new M.O.D.O.K. still seems to be sniffing around and analysing Ross' every encounter.

Meanwhile, getting back to the work of one Chris Bachalo, the pencilling maestro returns to the pages of Avengers this week in #15 as Spiderwoman, Ms Marvel, Hawkeye and Protector rush to Brazil to the site where the Hulk has been transformed into one of the worthy. Now, having read Fear Itself #4 we already know how this confrontation is likely to end but Bendis has made things interesting through the recent issues by having various members of the Avengers recollect events through - yep, you’ve guessed it - some talking head montages. Now, Bendis’ predisposition to have everyone in a multi-character scene almost act as a collective conscience has grated on nerves of a few of the Paradox Comics Group for some time but I will hold my hand up and say that he’s actually close to getting it right through this particular arc and I’m looking forward to grabbing a copy of this latest effort today.

This week of course marks the occasion when the X-Men enter the Fear Itself fray as the Juggernaut turns up in San Francisco and a battle of epic proportions is unleashed in Uncanny X-Men #541. Kieron Gillen has done a decent job with everyone’s favourite mutants since gaining stewardship of this title but this is the first time when he gets to really cut loose with a clash between classic, old school parties and I’m interested to see how this pans out. Odds are the X-Men are going to get their asses handed to them by Kuurth: Breaker of Stone but with a few surprises beginning to surface in the greater FI story I wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that.

Of course Fear Itself is Matt Fraction’s baby and it appears that he’s used the main event title to tell a slice of Tony Stark’s specific story in #4 as the beginning of Invincible Iron Man #506 sees our hero on his knees at the crumbled gates of Asgard calling out Odin and offering up possibly the greatest sacrifice that he could make: his sobriety. Had it been anyone else making this sort of ‘forced’ jump in their comic based on their work on another title I would have reservations but Fraction has done such a great job with Invincible Iron Man that even a blip like this is probably going to be easy to overlook. Whatever the case, I’m looking to see how Tony and the weaponsmith’s of Asgard work together to find a solution to the Serpent’s relentless attack.

Phew. That’s almost too much of a reasonable thing right there. But wait, I’m not out of the realm of comic events quite yet! DC are still in the mix with War Of The Green Lanterns Aftermath #1, first of a two part look at the Green Lantern Corps following Krona’s devastating attack which has left the remaining lanterns battered, bruised and wondering where their future lies. Strangely, of the three writers involved with the current range of GL titles, it’s Tony Bedard who is left in charge of his epilogue rather than Geoff Johns or Peter J. Tomasi. Perhaps they’re too busy with Flashpoint and DC relaunch work and considering his strong showing with last week’s issue of Green Lantern Corps Bedard is capable of making this a success. Miguel Sepulveda makes the leap across from Marvel to pencil this first effort and if he maintains the quality that he showed through the Thanos Imperative then this could be special.


Joe T said...

The main release that I've been looking forward to this week was Daredevil. I love Rivera's artwork, and the preview art has had me excited. However, I feel Mark Waid is the totally wrong writer for this book, as Daredevil is meant to be more of a grim adventurer than bright superhero, and have a horrible feeling that this book is essentially going back to the pre-Miller days of being a book about a "poor man's" (blind) Spider-Man. I feel Marcos Martin is also too bright an artist and again, would give too much of a Spider-Man feel. Recently, Daredevil has become my favorite superhero, and I have learnt more about what does and doesn't work for Daredevil, and have enjoyed a couple of the Stan Lee issues, the most standout ones being where he travels to a foreign country to regain his site, and another in which he body swaps with Doom, and they clash, so who knows? Maybe this will be good. Love the regular cover, and I ordered a blank cover as-well.

Also ordered Flashpoint Aquaman and Flashpoint Deathstroke as I didn't pick them up last week.

Also was interested in the latest X-Men, but I'm behind by 2 issues(this one, and the one previous), same goes for Invincible Iron Man(but I'm probably skipping this for the duration of Fear Itself)

Matt Clark said...

I'm looking forward to Daredevil. I feel they played out the whole endless spiral downwards for Murdock as far as it could go and a change of pace was needed. We'll see how it turns out.