These pull lists always take more time than I expect; a week like this looks relatively light, but by the time I type up a blurb for everything and hopefully digressing within tolerable limits, it always looks like an imposing wall of text to describe what’s coming out this Wednesday. Hopefully these help at least a few people find some books that might interest them!
First, some books one or more of us endorse that are in the middle of stories. Probably not a good time to jump on, but remember to grab them if they’re your cup of tea!
- Captain America #38 by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting
- Justice Society of America #15 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross & Dale Eaglesham
- The Programme #11 by Peter Milligan & CP Smith
- Terry Moore’s Echo #3 by Terry Moore
And now, onward to the WALL OF TEXT!
Five other books have “new” creative teams coming out on Wednesday:
Avengers The Initiative #13 by Christos Gage & Steve Uy: Gage & Uy have both been working on the book already, but this time they fly solo, and apparently the missing ingredient in a book that already has an ensemble cast of over two dozen characters is to bring in a team of six new recruits!
- Annex, a character introduced in Marvel’s even-more-forgettable-version of Bloodlines from their 1993 Annuals!
- Batwing, a Man-Bat ‘homage’ from Kurt Busiek’s Untold Tales of Spider-Man series!
- Gorilla Girl, a one-off 1980s villain that Gage recently brought back in a Thunderbolts one-shot!
- Prodigy, one of the guys from the short-lived Slingers series who was last seen getting drunk and protesting the Registration Act in Civil War Frontline then getting beaten and arrested by a sober Iron Man.
- Sunstreak, apparently a villain whose only previous appearance was in the dreadful “Iron Boy” issues of Iron Man during the Crossing, and who the writers accidentally called “Sunstroke” half the time!
- And of course, Butterball! He appears to be a new character, and he’s FAT! I hope this is stealth marketing for Dark Horse’s forthcoming Herbie, the Fat Fury archive collection!
Birds Of Prey #118 by Tony Bedard & Nicola Scott: BoP is handed off from one Countdown perpetrator to another, as Tony Bedard comes on as “regular” series writer. Bedard already wrote four issues while waiting for Sean McKeever to get ready for his abortive five issue run, and in those four issues gave us a staggeringly bad “hacker battle” between Oracle and Calculator, Big Barda playing Pokemon, an accidental reveal of the New God Killer and an entire issue of Lady Blackhawk getting drunk and fighting people because she’s sad about her new friend dying. Now he’s the series writer, and he’s kicking off his run with a story that presumably ties into Final Crisis and the Dark Side Club! Maybe this time he will spoil some major aspect of FC!
Checkmate #26 by Bruce Jones & Manuel Garcia: Just don’t make eye contact with it on the shelf, and you can pretend it doesn’t exist.
Iron Man: Director Of SHIELD #29 by Stuart Moore & Roberto de la Torre: Last month wrapped up the Knaufs’ uber-story with the Mandarin, and with their Eternals series launching and apparently some television work in the hopper, the father and son team are taking a few months off. In their place, Stuart Moore is writing “With Iron Hands”, a four part story you can read all about here. Even after all these years writing comics, I still think of Moore as “the Vertigo editor!” but he’s built a solid portfolio of writing (Firestorm, for instance) so I’m hopeful this will maintain the quality that the Knaufs have been bringing.
Ultimate X-Men #94 by Aron Coleite & Mark Brooks: I haven’t read Ultimate X-Men in years, and I’ve never been into Heroes, but for those that do either of those: Coleite is a Heroes writer, and is now the regular writer on UXM. Or at least he’s writing it until Jeph Loeb makes the Ultimate Universe EXPLODE! with Ultimatum, though they’re both Heroes writers so perhaps he is along for the ride on the bafflingly titled “March on Ultimatum”. So this this issue introduces Ultimate Alpha Flight I guess, and spoilers: NO ULTIMATE PUCK. That’s so lame.
Elsewhere at the big two:
Avengers Classic #12 wraps up Marvel’s year-long attempt to amortize the cost of recoloring early issues of The Avengers. This month’s original back up is by Bob Burden and Juan Doe; the dozen back-ups have featured some really fun talent (Burden, Doe, Tom Beland, Dwayne McDuffie, Mike Oeming) and I hope they find their way into a collected edition, because as much as I love the Avengers, I am not buying my third or fourth version of these early stories just because of some short back-up stories, and given the sales on this I seem to be in the majority view on this.
Brave And The Bold #13 by Mark Waid & Jerry Ordway: “Batman and Jay Garrick stand against an android samurai with a bad attitude!” Seriously, DC? That’s the entire solicitation?
Catwoman #79: After being dragged through the muck and mire of War Games, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Amazons Attack, Countdown to Final Crisis and Salvation Run, Will Pfieffer is given four issues to wrap up his three year run on the book. I fully expect this to somehow be pulled into Tangent: Superman’s Reign by the final issue.
DC Special Cyborg #1 by Mark Sable & Ken Lashley: It seems as if DC wants to have more self-contained trades out spotlighting all their different Titans characters: there was a Wonder Girl mini that spun out of Amazons Attack, Raven is currently starring in “her own emo series!” and now Cyborg gets the nod. This one’s written by Mark Sable, who you may recognize from his brief run on Supergirl when it was going through writers like crazy, or his Image books Hazed and Grounded. Art bordering on Liefeldish is provided by Ken Lashley. I know I am not the target audience for this, but why not call it “Titans Presents: Cyborg” or something similar rather than “DC Special”? That way the target audience might actually notice it. I understand it might not be a book that focus much on the Titans (though they’re on the cover of the second issue), but DC seems to have no problem slapping “JLA Presents” on the cover of loosely affiliated collections like Aztek and Salvation Run, so why not these solo books about lifelong Titans?
Incredible Hercules #117 by Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak & Rafa Sandoval: Marvel is in Secret Invasion tie-in overdrive, with twenty (twenty!) total SI books solicited for this August. Of all of the tenuously connected arcs that will likely be irrelevant to Bendis’s Ã¼berstory, “Sacred Invasion” is an early favorite for the most fun. Pak and Van Lente have done a great job of deftly and accessibly weaving Marvel-continuity and Mythology-continuity together while not allowing either to trip them up from telling a fun buddy story between Hercules, Prince of Power and Amadeus Cho, Supergenius Sociopath. “Sacred Invasion”, which follows champions of multiple Earth pantheons duking it out with Skrull Gods, will add even more “continuity” from both sides, and hopefully will keep the delicate balancing act going. Newcomer Sandoval replaced Koi Pham last month, and his art does a good job of striking the same balance of humor, slam-bang action and character moments as the script.
Mighty Avengers #14 by Brian Michael Bendis & Koi Pham: And here is where Koi Pham went. Bendis has fully given up the two Avengers books to Secret Invasion madness, using them to fill-in the blanks on some of the broad strokes of SI proper. Not that you’d ever be able to tell from the cover, but this issue spotlights the Sentry and promises to flesh out both his history with Skrulls and the aftermath of his encounter with Skrull Vision/”The Void” in SI #2. I guess that for once, the “Classic Avengers Cover, Skrullified” concept actually ties into the story, however loosely. I know the Zombie covers were a hit, but I really kind of question the wisdom of having covers that are so generally disconnected from the story inside. Still, given the radically shifting story focus and continued high sales of New Avengers dating back to the Civil War tie-ins, it seems that the majority of the readers of both books are in it for the long haul on “Brian Bendis’s Big Avengers” story rather than having specific character/plot allegiances, so I guess it’s not too important.
Off in the land of All the Other Comic Publishers, not a huge week, but a few things look to be showing up on the shelves that could be worth your perusing.
While Nicola Scott is relatively lonely as a female creator at the Big Two, this week’s releases remind us that women are doing pretty swell outside the superdupe market:
- Lynda Barry has a new collection out from D&Q, What It Is, a collection of autobiographical-ish collages.
- Jessica Abel‘s La Perdida gets a softcover re-release courtesy of Pantheon.
- And while it seems to have been out for awhile, Diamond looks to be shipping out the republished Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. I haven’t read this (or any of their work), but it’s getting good reviews, and looks pretty neat. Maybe I’ll pick it up at MoCCA!
Two other items that I know nothing about caught my eye this week:
IRS Vol 1 Taxing Trails is a bizarre sounding import from Belgium. It’s being translated and released by Cinebook (who I think are new to the North American comics game) and is created by Bernard Vrancken and Stephen Desberg. Since it’s all new to me, I’ll let their blurb do the talking:
Larry B. Max is an unusual specialist from a little-known branch of the Internal Revenue Service, the all-powerful tax-collecting agency of the United States. Reading into tax-evasion and money-laundering rings the way a virtuoso pianist would read a sheet of Mozart, Max has every technological method at his disposal to find links between high finance and high crime.
Leave it to an outsider to lionize the IRS auditor. I guess in a different world, Denis Leary would have grown up around a bunch of Irish auditors and we’d be able to see this every week on FX, but for us this is as close as we’ll get.
I don’t think this even remotely qualifies as a comic — more like a zine companion to an independent documentary — but for some reason Diamond is shipping out Mostly True: the Story of Bozo Texino this week, out from Bill Daniel at Microcosm Publishing. It’s all about historical hobo graffiti, so fans of John Hodgman, ephemeral Americana and truly old-skool B-Boying might want to check this out.
So what’s everyone getting? Anything I missed?