2 Nov 2011

Incoming... 02/11/2011

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: My focus has shifted away from DC’s New 52 a little in recent weeks in order to concentrate on what Marvel have planned with the end of Schism and the ‘Regenesis’ that is now taking place amongst it’s X-Men titles. Last week’s Wolverine and the X-Men #1 was a superb start and with two books out this week to follow up with, I’m hoping the high bar of quality set by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo can be reached once again today with Uncanny X-Men #1 and X-Men #20.

I’ll admit that I’m one of those individuals who questions Marvel’s need to renumber the leading and long-running X-comic in what appears to be a thinly veiled stunt to try to belittle its major competitor’s big marketing move. The constant attempts to lure in ‘new’ readers never seems to work that well with a one title move, and perhaps they’d be better off trying to regain the readership lost over previous years and state that that is in fact what they are trying to do when doing it. Either way Uncanny gets a new number on the cover and an altered cast for Kieron Gillen to weave tales with. It’s the limited characters at his disposal on Utopia that slightly concerns me now as I was enjoying how he was essentially guiding the entire mutant populace via Scott Summers’ leadership through the past year and I thought he had a perfect grasp on the overall picture. Now it seems that he’s been left with the majority of the big egos and reformed villains to play with and I just hope that it doesn’t become a political bicker-fest. Gillen is certainly an accomplished writer who has truly made Uncanny his own over these past few months so I’m sure if anyone can see this new status quo through, it’s him.

X-Men #20 writer Victor Gischler, on the other hand, has a slightly better time of things (I would think) as he can utilise any of the characters on Cyclops’ side of the fence but do so in a more liberal and fun way as his X-Men continue to fight battles around the globe that they’re best suited to engage in. The latest instalment is going to stick closely to the events in Aaron’s Schism plot as Storm and her team find themselves jetting off around the globe on the hunt for rogue Sentinel units that have fallen into the wrong hands. Gishler has done a good job of utilising characters from the greater Marvel Universe throughout this series so far and by the looks of it we get a nice helping of War Machine this time out for good measure.

Meanwhile, DC continue into the third month of their relaunch and at this point I’ve discarded those titles I wasn’t sure about, stuck with the ones that proved themselves and so far I haven’t looked back. I’m happy to see all four of the titles that appear on my pull-list today and I’ve my fingers crossed that all of them make it beyond that all important 6-issue mark to become proper ongoing efforts. Of them all I’d say that Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man #3 represents the series that can sit back smugly as the presses roll for a third printing of the debut issue. It’s been a very impressive beginning for such a fringe DC character and the additional horror element - aided impeccably by the haunting art of Travel Foreman - has certainly gained fans in a short space of time.

One of the comics I’m enjoying the most and unfortunately probably sits at the arse-end of the overall popularity charts is Dan Didio and Keith Giffen’s O.M.A.C. I dare say that #3 will no doubt continue to see poor old Kevin Kho dragged from pillar to post by the overbearing Brother Eye satellite and I’m still enjoying the fact that the protagonist is something of a mystery to us at this point. While the clouds of secrecy remain over certain motives and details within the book, it’s good to see that the rumours in various media have now been cast aside and we’ll definitely be getting a small crossover between the O.M.A.C. and Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. titles in January. Whether or not it’ll be enough to improve the reader numbers on O.M.A.C. we shall have to see but I’m taking it as a sign that DC don’t seem too willing to wield the axe to readily with any of the New 52.

The other two titles I will be picking up are newly created properties in their own right and I’m interested to see if they make it through the first year. Provided that Ben Oliver remains the lead artist on Judd Winick’s tale of the African Batman I’ve a feeling that we could have a truly winning combination on our hands. Batwing #3 will show us the ongoing brutal actions of the murderer known as Massacre and it’ll no doubt be a stomach-churning read of adrenaline-pumping proportions in places. The key to that though has been Oliver’s amazing artwork and while the DC website has him solicited as the artist for #5 (Chris Cross will take on #4) we have been bamboozled by the publisher’s tendency to not update the website details in the past. Here’s hoping we end up with a long-serving writer/artist partnership for this comic.

While I’m sure that the team-up of Peter Milligan and Ed Benes is only a temporary one - I’d be surprised to not see Benes move to one of the bigger DC titles at some point after the 6-month marker - it has been working very well so far and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Red Lanterns #3 this week. Milligan seems to be broadening the scope of this army of rage as Atrocitus is on the verge of making the most important decision for his Corps; he’s going to promote one of the unthinking weapons of hate that he commands to be his lieutenant and who knows what that extra level of sentience could result in?! A recipe for carnage is likely to make the menu I would say!

Right, I’ve made you read enough of this you delightful lot, back to that fresh new pile of comics with you! Enjoy!

1 comment:

Ross said...

Looking forward tho animal man 3