20 Sept 2011

Incoming... 21/09/2011

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: Well here comes week 4 of the New DC 52 knocking on our doors and for me the novelty of more new titles is starting to wear just a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very impressed by much of what I’ve read these past few weeks but it’s almost the situation where it feels that there might be ‘too much of a good thing’ going on. I’m going to attribute my slight comic-based lethargy partly down to the fact that I was never the biggest of DC readers previously, only getting stuck into the worlds of Batman and Green Lantern in comic form over the past few years and so it's an onslaught of new characters and ideas all at once. I also have to consider that there has been a countless supply of fresh #1 issues for me to dive into week in, week out since Image went crazy for new material and ideas back in about February/March time of this year and I think I might be close to saturation point with the constant novelty of a ‘Brand New #1’ - or five! - each week. I’m also starting to look nervously at the number of comics I purchase each month after some of DC’s initial 52 took me by surprise and demanded a permanent spot on my pull-list.

Scanning DC’s solicitations for the week it’s apparent that while being the skinniest for the month - there are only a paltry 12 comics out this Wednesday whilst the other Wednesdays in September have 13 to their names - it’s full of potentially heavy hitting titles. Characters such as Supergirl, Catwoman, Blue Beetle alongside teams like the Legion of Super-Heroes and Birds of Prey all get themselves new titles and I’m sure that they’ll get plenty of support from readers out there. Unfortunately, none of those appeal to this reader presently so they’ll have to wait to see what the wider critical response to them is before I think about picking any of them up.

Of DC’s offerings only 4 of them really appeal this week. Some were locked in from the moment they, and their respective creative teams, were announced and others have worked their way into my focus of interest. Top of the list is Batman #1 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo as Snyder has been one of the breakout writing stars of the comic book world in the past couple of years with the terrific American Vampire still providing a terrific read each month and his recent run on Detective Comics proving that he’s a Batman writer for the future. Meanwhile Capullo is a proven talent who has only recently returned to the industry after a few years away following a long stint pencilling Todd McFarlane’s Spawn which made him a fan-favourite. His recent work on Image’s Haunt - teaming him once again with McFarlane and Walking Dead scribe Robert Kirkman - demonstrated that he was shaking of the 'rustiness' that came with a protracted break and I’m interested to see what he manages to bring to Gotham City.

Sticking with the ‘Bat books’ I’ll be looking on with interest to see where Nightwing #1 and Kyle Higgins take Dick Grayson as he once again strikes out on his own to forge a superhero’s path through Gotham’s underbelly of crime. Having read Batman And Robin last week - and what a comic that is! - it’s been made evident that Dick did wear the cape and cowl of Batman for a time but has stepped aside to let Bruce take back his rightful role so it’ll be intriguing to see how Higgins portrays Dick having lifted that hefty weight that is being Batman from his shoulders. I’ve no experience with Higgins’ writing before and have only seen artist Eddy Barrows work in Superman #701-702 so I’ll have give it a chance to see if this is a promising partnership.

Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin blew me away with their run on Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors and so the news that they would be teaming up to deal with Green Lantern Corps #1 was welcome news and made that a definite entry on September’s pull-list. Wonder Woman #1 by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang however was not a sure thing but somehow, and mostly through the preview images of Chiang’s art, this has made it through to earn an exchange of $2.99 from my pocket this week. Wonder Woman seems to almost be the awkward child of the DC universe with the powers that be seeming to have no clue how to portray or package her to ensure she gets maximum exposure and guarantee that her comics maintain high sales and equally high critical acclaim. It was only a year ago that she was given a new Jim Lee makeover and placed in the hands of JM Straczynski to try to raise her profile but the endeavour crashed and burned. Here’s hoping that a ‘soft reboot’ is what just what the doctor and readers ordered!

I might have to take that same doctor to task though if he’s the one responsible for prescribing 11 must-read Marvel titles for release upon the same day! Four of those are dedicated to mutant activities with Uncanny X-Men #543 and Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #3 being dedicated to Marvel’s big event of the summer. Kieron Gillen has been doing fantastic things with Cyclops’ attempted defence of San Francisco from the rampaging of Juggernaut and I cannot wait to see what happens when Colossus - newly imbued with the powers of Cytorrak - takes on Kuurth: Breaker of Stone this week. Meanwhile on the X-Force miniseries, Rob Williams has also been reaching in to the potent theme of the event and managed to show a world very much gripped by fear and panic, something that the main event title has struggled at times to do. He’s also managed to capture a very similar team dynamic and tone to that which Rick Remender has been impressing with on the main Uncanny X-Force book and for that he and Simone Bianchi must be applauded.

While we’re dishing out claps and back slaps a few should probably go Mark Waid’s way! Daredevil #4 hits shelves this week, only 7 days after #3 thanks to Marvel operating with the two-man retro-tastic art tag team of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin, the latter picking up the reigns this time around. While the high-wire, death-defying leaps and bounds of Matt Murdock’s crime-fighting persona have been exciting, it’s been the more down-to-earth matters involved in the reconstruction of his and Foggy’s legal career that have engrossed me and I’m looking forward to seeing how their partnership handles the continuing ups and downs ahead of them.

Well, that’s nearly it for another dose of Incoming... but I do realise that I have been focusing a lot these past few weeks on just two publishers and so I will tip a nod in the direction of Samurai’s Blood #4 from Image which will be available from your local comic book store tomorrow. This Image series has really grown on me and following the last issue’s emotional rollercoaster, where the young Mayuko was taken to, and beyond, breaking point at the hands of her brothel-running captors, I have no idea what lies in store for the trio of Jun, Katashi and Mayuko as they continue to seek revenge against their clan’s killers. It’s a brilliantly unpredictable read and well worth picking up the earlier instalments if you can find them.

1 comment:

Rob N said...

It's a big week for my standing order too. 13 titles this week! Which, to put it in context, only a few months ago my complete standing order list was 25 titles, of which half a dozen at least weren't exactly on a monthly frequency (e.g. Kick Ass 2, Mouse Guard, etc).

- Rob N