Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 20

Another week, another Waiting for. The twentieth of the year, in fact! Twenty weeks into Hey! So is it now appropriate to ask if you've kept your New Year's resolution(s)?

Well, if you remember (and, really, why wouldn't you?), Nathaniel and I had some New Year's resolutions of our own.

For those of you who don't like clicking (my conveniently-placed, time-consuming-to-go-back-and-find-the-original-post) links, here's the Cliff's Notes version. I resolved to do the following over the course of 2010:

- Lend Nathaniel all the issues of The Goon that he hasn't read
- Write a real post about Mega Man, and not some fluffy nonsense piece that simply has the words Mega and Man in it
- Learn how to do all the HTML wizardry Nathaniel does with the blog
- Play a video game with Nathaniel
- Play at least one session of Dungeons & Dragons with a group of people
- Join the Facebook Collective
- Open a llama ranch in Argentina

Of those things, I've actually managed to check a few off the list. I've sat down with Nathaniel and learned some (very) basic HTML-type thingies, I played a few Wii games against Nathaniel at his house, and I've joined Facebook.

Not too shabby.

Oh! Plus, I've made some real headway with an Argentinian real estate agent helping me with the procurement of (vast, llama-friendly) land.

How 'bout you? How are your resolutions going? Hmm? No llama land, I bet. Yeah...I thought so.

Um. Right. Sorry. Let's transition from that to something else now...

So, uh, it's a pretty hefty week featuring a ton of new product, and since last week I somehow managed to talk very little about the books that were shipping, I think today I’ll focus more on that aspect of things.

For those keeping score at home, it’ll be more comics, less talky from me this week. (From here on out.) I’m sure you’re all heartbroken.

Quickly, though, an update. (You knew I couldn’t not talk about something else.) I’m a couple of weeks behind on my books again--what can I say? Old habits are like Bruce Willis, and even though I mentioned that I’d be reading new books the Wednesday they come out, with my schedule being what it is, there’s just no way that will happen.

Oh, well.

By the time I get back to town from my new office (which is a bit of a hike from my hometown), get to the comics shop before it closes, lift weights, and eat...yeah, I’m pretty spent.

I did almost read Siege , 4, though. So that was exciting.

This week, though. This week, I will read my books in a timely fashion--which means, Siege will be completed, all the new (new) Avengers titles that launch today will be read, and I’ll finally find out where Bruce Wayne has been hiding all this time.

Apparently, it wasn’t just a cave. From what I hear, there were several caves.

And speaking of the Avengers. According to Marvel, today is Avengers Day. Not sure about you, but I’m planning to celebrate, Scrooge (post ghostly visits)-style, with a goose.

Just don’t tell Nathaniel.
What other joys can we all look forward to on this, the first annual Avengers Day? Um, apparently a poster. Actually, there’s more to it than that. Here’s some info from the Might Marvel Press Release Department:

Mark your calendars and be the first person on your block to score great Avengers Day commemorative items like exclusive limited edition print featuring John Romita Jr.’s “I Am An Avenger” images, door hangers, mini-posters and more!

Plus, fans can’t miss the chance to add their own heroes to the Avengers roster by sketching on the Avengers #1 I Am An Avenger Blank Variant and purchase the stunning Avengers Poster by John Romita Jr!

Sure, there's a word or two missing in that blurb, but who cares? It's (mostly) free swag!! Hopefully your retailer decides to participate, because who doesn't want free stuff, right?

Keeping on the Avengers theme, today sees issue one of the Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita, Jr. relaunched series, Avengers. One of a slew of "Heroic Age" titles coming from the publisher this week, Avengers, issue one, is the top dog.
It's the frontline Marvel Universe book, and as such, this is where it'll be at in the MU. Bendis and Romita, Jr. on a title is about as solid a guarantee that a book will sell well as we have in comics, and throw in the fact that it's the Avengers and you have a blockbuster.

Stores are going to order tons of these things, but people (comics fans and civilians alike!) are going to be bum-rushing the shops today in search of free swag. So you might want to call ahead and make sure your retailer can set aside a copy for you.

Here's the solicitation information from Marvel:

THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE! There came a day! A day unlike any other...where two of Marvel's top creators teamed up for the very first time to create a bombastic new monthly Marvel comic that not only ushers in the Heroic Age of Marvel Comics but unleashes onto the world the most blockbuster Avengers team ever!

Who will answer the call? And will they assemble just in time...because Kang the Conqueror is here from the future. And wait till you find out why...!

Bonus back up feature: the oral history of the Avengers, part one. A brand new illustrated look at the Avengers in a way you have never seen before by series writer Brian Michael Bendis.

I'm interested in where the Marvel Universe goes, post-Siege, and I've been a Bendis supporter since I started reading the funnybooks, so I'm definitely in on this one, and I'm looking forward to it.

The other thing about this book I'd like to mention is that back-up feature from the solicitation--the "Oral History of the Avengers." I recently heard Bendis talk about this in an online interview.

He's likened the project to the behind-the-scenes interview style book about Saturday Night Live, Live from New York. Just, ya know, with the Avengers. According to Bendis, each back-up will be about eight pages long and will feature "interviews" with Avengers past and present that will cover significant events in the history of the team.

The back-up will be mostly text, but there'll also be plenty of spot art, including images from posters and books long out of print.

This is one of those things that could go very, very wrong. But in Bendis' (incredibly self-aware) hands, I think this will actually be a highlight for fans. It'll run through the two main Avengers books for several months, so by the time it's done, there will be plenty of material for a collection.

Next up, I'd like to deviate a bit from the main street and check out a few titles that might have flown under your radar. From Dark Horse, issue three of Creepy Comics ships today.
Featuring a compilation of black and white stories from a slew of creators, Creepy is fast becoming a favorite of mine. The artwork is a real throwback to the classic Creepy and Eerie magazines of (way) before my time, and the writing straddles that line between classic-style and modern.
Here's the blurb from Dark Horse:

Uncle Creepy is back with the third thick and icky issue of Creepy! This issue Doug Moench and Angelo Torres team up to tell a tale of demonic devotion and organized crime, Joe Harris and Jason Shawn Alexander wrap their warped three-parter, "The Curse," and a weird revisionist look back at the fall of the Nazi empire reveals a shocking truth-evil never dies! Plus an all-new Loathsome Lore, a bonus Creepy classic story, and more!

* Creepy debuted to rave reviews in July 2009, and the first issue sold out!

Keeping in the same vein (Ha! Get it?) as Creepy, let's move on to issue three of a new series from Vertigo--American Vampire. I caught up on issues one and two of this new ongoing from writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King and artist Rafael Albuqerque, and I'm very much a fan of the book's tone, style, and story.

Plus, the art is drop dead gorgeous. This book has a very cool premise--that vampires evolve over time, and humans "turned" more recently have greater abilities than those that were turned years, decades, or even centuries ago.
So it's kinda the opposite of classic vampire lore, where the older the vamp, the stronger he or she is.

Here's the blurb from the publisher for issue three:

The era of the American vampire officially begins as Pearl Jones declares war on the powerful coven of vampires that ended her life, and Skinner Sweet declares war on, well, everyone! Scores will be settled in blood in this installment, the third of five over-sized issues featuring stories by author Scott Snyder and the master of horror himself, Stephen King.

Obviously, I'd suggest checking out the first two issues--number one just went back to print, so both issues should be readily available at your shop. This one's so good, it gets the Official Exfanding Stamp of Approval.

And, finally today, we have an interesting offering from the folks at Wildstorm. And it's a revamp of a book that I never read in the nineties. From Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs, Dv8: Gods and Monsters, issue two, hits stands today, and it's a series that is well worth your time and money.
I picked up issue one because of the creators--Wood writes DMZ , Demo, and Northlanders--and I just had a good feeling about the book. Maybe it was the cover to issue one that did it:
And the book delivered with a new, fun, engaging story about a group of super powered people thrown back in time. Actually, ya know what? Here's the blurb from issue one of the series:

The fan-favorite series DV8 returns with the eight-part "Gods and Monsters" arc written by critically acclaimed writer Brian Wood (DEMO, DMZ, NORTHLANDERS) with art by up-and-comer Rebekah Isaacs (Drafted).

In their short history, the mismatched band of superpowered losers, freaks and masochists of DV8 have seen a lot and done even more, but it's nothing compared to this. As Gem Antonelli (a.k.a. Copycat) is debriefed in a holding cell, the story of how eight troubled teenagers were briefly gods to a prehistorical world unfolds against the backdrop of a cataclysmic disaster.

"The Day I Tried To Live" is part one in this amazing and tragic story unlike anything set in the WildStorm Universe before.

Great premise, brilliantly executed. I'm very excited for issue two today. And, just because, here's the blurb from Wildstorm about issue two:

The acclaimed writer of DMZ and NORTHLANDERS takes his first creative stab at the WildStorm Universe! To call the superpowered girl known as Bliss "edgy" is a massive understatement. Like all the DV8 kids. she's a creature with primal powers and in her case, she's the giver of either pain or pleasure.

Now, as the "goddess" Bliss to an all-female band of warriors, she sees potential in her adopted tribe and sets out to tip the balance of power in their favor. Don't miss part 2 of this 8-issue miniseries telling the story of how eight teenagers ruled a world.

Really, folks. Give this one a shot--I think you'll dig it.

And with that, I need to get going. Lots to do today, lots to do. Before I leave, though, one question--what are you Waiting for?


Scott said...

Not a big fan of Avengers 1; the art is pretty shabby and the plot is cheap. It's certainly not what I would have used to relaunch a new flagship book. My biggest problem is that it pretty much degrades everything the Marvel Universe has been through in recent years by more or less patching up the Tony/Steve relationship in a few pages.

The book I have my eye on right now is Prince of Power, starring Amadeus Cho. It's an interesting idea and I've liked Cho since he showed up in World War Hulk. In a way, he's the Iron Man of the 21st century -- technology and intelligence. Obviously it's not a first-line book, but I'm willing to forgive its faults to see where they go with the character.

Scott said...

As a side note, one of the criticisms I've heard a lot about Heroes is one that I'd apply to any Avengers book: There are too many "star" characters. This new series suffers the same problem -- I really don't see why they had to bring in Wolverine and Spider-Man, of all people. They're both popular lone characters who I don't really associate with the Avengers at all... and on top of that, Wolverine suffers from overexposure as it is. It's always bothered me how he can seem to be in two, three, or four places at the same time in different series.

If asked, I would prefer that an Avengers book focus on a central, classic crew: Cap, Iron Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver (ha!), Giant Man, The Wasp, and Hawkeye... and heck, even take out Iron Man for the time being due to personal conflicts and the same problem as Wolverine -- he's just overexposed right now, probably due to the movie(s). We certainly don't need a sprawling 20-something band of Avengers traveling to the future to deal with five kids (that will no doubt turn out to be the basis for a future Crisis of some kind).

AJG said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like Avengers 1--from past experience, that usually means I'm not gonna love it, either.

But I have faith in Bendis and Romita to deliver, so fingers crossed as the series progresses.

I gotta be honest, I was never really a big "team book" guy. Even when JLA really clicks, I'd rather just read about Batman. Or Green Lantern.

Same goes with the Avengers--Tony Stark battling Tony Stark is just a lot more interesting to me than the whole group punching Kang, ya know?