Funnybook Babylon

October 22, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 22, 2008

It’s a big week for known quantities at Marvel and DC, as their respective Summer Blockbusters stretch into sweaterweather.


After last week’s Rogues’ Revenge and Legion of Three Worlds tie-ins, the fourth issue of the core Final Crisis title by Grant Morrison and JG Jones (and Carlo Pacheco, and Doug Mahnke… what up’s, Jonesy?) drops, its “gap month” extended to ten weeks. We’re also getting Submit, a one-shot by Grant Morrison and Matthew Clark. David will be stepping up with annotations later today.

Secret Invasion‘s penultimate issue is also shipping this week, along with a number of tie-ins, most notable SI writer Brian Michael Bendis’s New Avengers #46, aka Secret Invasion Deleted Scenes #13. Bendis is a busy fellow this week, with the latest issues of his Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man shipping. Not to be outdone, Ed Brubaker has three monthly titles (Criminal, Daredevil and Captain America) all seeing release on Wednesday. Why such a concentration of books by Bendis, Brubaker and Morrison? Could it be a fiendish plot to divert attention from the blockbuster seventh issue of Hulk by Jeph Loeb, Art Adams and Frank Cho?

Hulk‘s got it all! Three covers, including a trademark Frank Cho Ass Shot! Sure, this one will be a tame disappointment for FCAS fans, whose expectations have been raised by his Hulk-on-Hulk Incest Charity Ass Cover, his similarly themed Ultimate Spider-Man Teenage Supermodel Ass Cover and his Ultimates 3 Freshly Killed Ass cover. Valkyrie’s rear end isn’t the focal point of the cover, which might turn readers off and send them into the waiting arms of a recycled Michael Turner variant! Or maybe people will just skip Hulk all together.

Speaking of unfortunate art decisions, the penultimate volume of Will Pfiefer and David Lopez’s Catwoman run is collected this week as Catwoman: Crime Pays. It encompasses issues 73-77 of the title, including perhaps the only readable Countdown tie-in in existance, a four issue companion to Salvation Run. But it also appears to recycle its cover from that of Catwoman #74. You may remember some reaction to this cover back in December, when people realized Catwoman’s cleavage was given a more prominent role post-solicitation:

Catwoman 74 Solicited CoverCatwoman 74 Published Cover

This is one of the covers that made me embarassed to read Catwoman, and while it’s not as bad as any of the Frank Cho covers above, at least the Cho covers ran on the outside of lousy comic books. The fact that Hughes obfuscated a fun crime/action book with this sort of nonsense, driving away potential readers turned off by the cheesecake, makes his covers worse in the grand scheme of things.

If you’re still jonesing for some Halloween spirit, Matt’s got a pick:

Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch #1 of 5 by Simon Spurrier and Javier Saltares (Marvel Comics): I’m calling this one out almost entirely on the strength of Ghost Rider’s current direction, and on the strength of Simon Spurrier’s recent work. His recent Ghost Rider Annual shows that he has a handle on Jason Aaron’s style on the main title, and he’s exploring a subplot of the current Ghost Rider arc that can actually support its own miniseries, so don’t dismiss this as a simple Halloween cash-in.

Matt’s also shouting out a couple other high profile reprint projects from Marvel/DC:

Frank Miller’s Elektra Omnibus by Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Various (Marvel Comics): Full of Elektra stories from the 80s and 90s, this omnibus features Frank Miller at his best, writing perhaps his most famous creation. If Miller’s name alone doesn’t sell you, buy this collection for Bill Sienkiewicz’s amazing watercolor work in Elektra: Assassin, the 1986 Epic miniseries that makes up the bulk of this collection. Assassin and Elektra Lives Again are the high points of this collection, with the other stories in the omnibus (an issue apiece of What If? and Bizarre Adventures) seemingly tacked on for completion’s sake. You can get this for less than fifty bucks on Amazon, and it’s well worth the cost, especially considering these stories are relatively difficult to find in soft cover.

Heavy Liquid by Paul Pope (DC Comics/Vertigo): I have to confess that I haven’t read Heavy Liquid yet, waiting for this collection, but the more I read about it the more I can’t wait. It’s got Paul Pope doing his normal sci-fi thing, with a cool sounding detective story at its core, but it’s mostly the art that sells me. Pope tried something a bit different with Heavy Liquid, switching from black and white to a wonderful-looking two-tone color scheme, with everything in the book either black, white, blue or red. According to Pope’s blog, he’s completely redone the coloring for this edition, toning down the colors. But from what I’ve found online the original coloring looks great, so hopefully it retains the same quality.

I haven’t read Heavy Liquid since it came out nine years ago, and I remember not liking it as much as his THB work or his later Vertigo project 100%, but this seems like an excellent time to revisit it. Vertigo’s got another tempting collection out this week, the first of six Y: the Last Man Deluxe Edition hardcovers. It’s another series I haven’t read/purchased since it came out monthly.

There’s some other neat looking books down below the Diamond Premiere Caste System barrier, but it’s already Wednesday morning and I have nothing to say besides that they “look neat”. If anyone plans on picking them up, let us know how they are!

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