Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday, Issue 19

It's the end of the month, and that means a huge shipping week for comics as the publishers rush everything out to beat their order cutoff date to retailers. So, in addition to tons of floppies invading shelf space this week, there are also a large number of trade paperback releases, toys, posters, and whatever else the companies are trying to get all of us to buy.

The nice thing (well, except for the fact that it'll be an expensive week) is that there's a good deal of quality material hitting shops today. Now, as I did last week, I'm going to focus on one title, but first I will run down a list of several books that I am looking forward to.

First and foremost, today sees the release of part two of the three part story that comprises the entirety of Dark Horse's Goon Year 2008. Eric Powell's The Goon, Volume 8: Those That is Damned is on Diamond's list as shipping today, though the Dark Horse site has it listed for next week. In any case, here's the haunting, fully painted cover:

The Goon: Those That Is DamnedSo, if you're interested, ask your retailer if the book did in fact ship today, and if not, anticipate it coming in next week.

The stories in these three collections come after the release of Chinatown, which provided readers with the long-awaited "story of a girl" that was hinted at throughout the ten years of the book's publication. The tales that Powell produced last year for The Goon are the most serious ones he's told to date, with the most serious consequences for his characters. Not to fear though, there's a ton of funny stuff, too.

Anyway, I'm also looking forward to Greek Street, issue one, from Vertigo, which ships at the introductory price of one dollar, Chew, issue two, from Image, Terry Moore's Echo, issue 13, Locke and Key: Head Games, issue six, Irredeemable, issue four, and Marvel's Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth, issue one.

I've talked about almost all of those titles in the past, but Greek Street and Merc are new books that I'm going to take a chance on. Here's the blurb for Greek Street, which sounds very interesting:

You're a boy from the hood. You're brought up rough in a children's home, trying to stay out of trouble but usually failing. Then at 18 you decide to track down your mother. Within hours of finding her, she's lying naked and dead at your feet. So you run to Greek Street. And that's when your troubles really begin…

Boasting a cast of sexy strippers, murderous gangsters, body-snatching mad women and a disturbed young girl who can see the future, GREEK STREET is Peter Milligan's reimagining of those brutal and visceral tragedies that graced the Theater of Dionysus in Ancient Greece – bloody tales about incest, homicide, beautiful oracles, all-knowing choruses, kings, monsters and gods – played out on the mean streets of modern-day Red-Light London.

Milligan – best known for his super-smart Vertigo work like SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, HUMAN TARGET and now HELLBLAZER– joins forces with illustrator Davide Gianfelice (NORTHLANDERS) to create an epic ongoing series that's both familiar yet completely new and always with the bloody, visceral edge that makes it a Vertigo book. Take a trip to GREEK STREET where the old stories are not through with us yet.

And here's the cover:

Greek Street coverObviously, this is a mature readers title, and from the looks of it, it'll earn that designation. Vertigo has been putting out some tremendous material as of late, and this whole "first issue at a dollar" seems to be working out. The Unwritten, I book I mentioned a couple months back, was introduced at a buck, and it quickly sold out from the publisher.

Vertigo seems to be rising again in the world of comics, even with staple series like Y: The Last Man and 100 Bullets ending. And that's a Very Good Thing for comics.

Moving on, the biggest news today is the release of Marvel's Captain America: Reborn, issue one. As the title suggests, Steve Rogers, the original Cap, will likely be making a return to the Marvel Universe proper, and this is the beginning of that story. Today's issue is highly anticipated, and this arc has been brewing for the past two years, so be sure to call ahead and reserve this book from your retailer.

There are going to be those people who buy a few copies, hoping to send their kids to college one day on the return investment. I know, I want to punch them, too. But still, be mindful that there's a chance your shop will sell out before you get there today.

And if that's not enough, you can head over to Marvel's Web site to read what they're calling the "Prelude" to Reborn, right here. You need to be registered with the site to view the comic, which probably takes a couple of seconds and is most likely incredibly simple.

Still, I'm lazy, so I'll just have to do without the Prelude. [Actually, now that I look closely at the site, I'm not sure that it's even free. Looks like they want you to sign up for Marvel Digital Comics. Hmmm...]

So, the real question is, should we care that Cap is coming back? And, for once when it comes to dealing with "death" in comics, I think we should.

Care, that is.

Why? Well, because Marvel really played this one the right way. Many Cap fans will say that Ed Brubaker's run on the book is a classic one, and even without Steve Rogers in the tights, the book is consistently a must-read comic, and on top of the sales charts.

Critical acclaim, and a nice revenue stream. That's something all comics would love to have on their tag line, and this book should serve as a lesson for other companies when it comes to offing a major character.

When you "kill" a character, especially a big one, you can have a milking period of a few months, as Marvel did with their Fallen Son series (which was a tribute to Cap). But then you move on, and tell other stories. And that's exactly what Marvel did, and other than a character saying something like, "I wish Steve were here--he'd know what to do" every now and again, Cap was left alone.

And now he's returning, and I'm actually looking forward to it. So far, the story has (at least) seemed organic and not at all forced. We'll see where Marvel goes from here, but I'll be happily following them along for the ride.

Here's the issue blurb, followed by (one of) the covers:

The Story: Following the events of Captain America #600, Steve Rogers’ closest friends and allies may have found a way to bring back the original Captain America. Or is what they found something more sinister? The Red Skull’s greatest plan to destroy Captain America has been in motion and its completion is almost at hand. Will Captain America be lost forever or will he be REBORN?
Captain America RebornWell, that's it for me today. What are you Waiting for?

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