3 Aug 2011

Incoming... 03/08/2011

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: It’s with a huge sigh of relief that I look at this week’s pull-list and see that while it remains a big delivery out there for comic retailers, there are only seven titles waving frantically and trying to gain my attention this very day. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a vast wealth of new issues to read through last week but that of course comes with a cost of money and time that on a regular basis could possibly become ‘too much’ to handle. Of course, if someone out there wanted to pay me for undertaking such a task I’m sure I could progress through the suitable level of ‘manning-up’ required to get the job done!

But that’s not what you folks turn up to this blog on a Tuesday or Wednesday for, is it? You’re of course here to see what I’m thinking of picking up and whether there’s anything that you may possibly need to sample too! Well, despite being a smaller haul there are still some gems out there to be purchased.

Now, I don’t know about you but I certainly like a good M.O.D.O.K. or two popping up from time to time to give the heroes of the Marvel Universe a bit of stick in a big-faced, humpty-dumpty-of-destruction kind of way. Well, lucky it is then that Jeff Parker has done a small amount of character manipulation and given us the new, unique edition M.O.D.O.K. with extra brain power and superiority complex to hunt down the Red Hulk! Hulk #38 continues the Planet of Fear storyline where old egg-in-a-walking-cup is analysing the battle taking place in New York between Red Hulk and the transformed Ben Grimm. Parker has to be congratulated for keeping things varied within the Hulk title since he jumped on board and his focus on creating a wide range of new and developed villains to go up against Thunderbolt Ross has really helped to elevate this to almost unmissable status amongst the ranks of Marvel’s comics. While Gabriel Hardman’s time on pencil duty with Hulk has finally come to an end we shouldn’t be too disappointed as Patrick Zircher and Elena Casagrande (whose job it is to draw this Planet of Fear arc) will be taking it in turns for the near future and their styles certainly seem in keeping with the feel that Hardman brought to this title.

Hulk #38 is however not the only dose of Jeff Parker writing that you can experience today though, oh no! Thunderbolts #161 will follow on from the team’s apparently failed exorcism of the Kuurth from the Juggernaut’s brain-box and the brutal reaction that materialised afterwards. The climax of the last issue is a perfect example of how Jeff Parker has set this title out to be as unpredictable and exciting as possible. He’s taken a bunch of second tier villains plus a couple of heroes and moulded them into a team that are leaving their dysfunctional roots behind and actually looking like an outfit that can get the job done. At the same time though he’s also indicating that the wheels could fall off the wagon at any given moment and that anyone could perish upon the simple turning of the page. It’s this edge of the seat tension and the crafting of rounded characters with growing relationships and trust between them all that brings me back every month without fail.

Well rounded characters and edge of your seat tension is not just limited to one comic this week. Jeff Lemire has been plugging away at the desperate journey of survival and discovery that Gus, Jeppard and a rag-tag group are heading on for the past two years and in Sweet Tooth #24 he will bring the Endangered Species arc to an end. The conclusion of the last instalment saw an unexpected turn of events leave Gus in mortal danger and the blurb over at Vertigo suggests that we’ll get another one of Lemire’s trippy dream issues as Gus hovers between that plain of life and death. Some of the best issues in the series have been where Lemire gets to flex his artistic muscle and play around with the format and I’m betting that we could see more of that delicious adaptive style this week.

Over at Image it seems that they’ve a very busy week on their schedule with some 16 titles wending their way across the Atlantic including amongst their ranks some three #1’s. Strangely though I’m not picking up any of their debuts this time, even with a Scott Snyder book within their number. Okay, so Severed #1 does pluck away at a string of interest for me but I’ve invested quite heavily in Image’s slew of new titles over the past 6 months and feel that it might be time to leave some of their offerings to trade and collections to be bought at some future date. Thanks however, to that wealth of material that rose up from the creative depths during those earlier months of 2011 nary a week’ll go by where I don’t pick up an Image title of some description. The culprit thrusting its illustrated self into my hands this very day? Green Wake #5 by Kurtis Wiebe and Riley Rossmo. The fifth instalment brings the arc to a ‘deadly finale’ as Green Wake’s secrets are going to be revealed and we should hopefully gets some answers regarding just what the mysterious town perched between life and death is about.

The strange thing is that Image dropped the news around the time that #2 came out that this would become an ongoing title, upgraded from the 5-part miniseries it started out as, but since then there’s been no further news and this latest instalment feels like it’s being pushed forward as the finale to the whole thing. While I must commend Image on it’s continued support for new projects and titles I can’t help but feel that their marketing department is quite lacking when it comes to news regarding the companies ongoing work and when plans actually fall through. Where, for example, is Cowboy, Ninja, Viking, another Riley Rossmo illustrated series that did manifest itself as an ongoing title briefly at one stage only then to disappear off the radar following #10? Hopefully this will be an area that this burgeoning company will address in the near future. And if they could give Duncan Rouleau a gentle kick up the butt to get The Great Unknown finished that’d be appreciated too...

Before I grab my coat and head out the door in the vague direction of Paradox Comics I’ll just give a swift nod to Batman Beyond #8 from DC comics. This is the last issue before it resets the clock back to #1 at some point in the not too distant future (in my opinion, the relaunch reaching a little too far considering the future setting and limited references to Bruce Wayne’s history AND the fact that it will mean we’ve had three #1’s in as many years!) and in this comic we’ll get a closer look at one of the most intriguing villains to surface in the cartoon series, Inque! Adam Beechen has done a grand job to this point revisiting some of the villains from the animated series and giving them a decent dose of character development, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he delivers when it comes to this shapeshifting femme fatale!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice little dig.

Stewart R said...

Excuse me? 'Nice little dig' at what? Image?

Anonymous said...

not at what,but at who?

Stewart R said...

I'm sorry but there's nothing directed at any one individual in this article and if any one has taken offence then they have done so by taking my words and actually applying what I have written (somehow) to themselves to cause that offense. It is not the intention of this blog to 'dig' or 'poke' at anyone...unless it's Rob Liefeld (kidding!) Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

then be careful how you word your article and maybe individual's wont get the wrong idea,nuff said.

Matt C said...

Is there really any point in being so cryptic when posting anonymously?

Stewart R said...

Agreed Matt, if individuals are going to post anonymously about offence that has been registered counter to the intention of the blog writer and also remain cryptic then there's no further point to be taken here.

I'm certainly not going to apologise for offence or hurt feelings observed by someone who remains faceless and nameless ESPECIALLY when there has been no intent to offend in the first place with any post on this blog. And so we move on with our lives...

j.swift said...

indeed we do move on with our lives!