Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This week's comic expectations

It's going to be a slow week. Not just slow, I mean slllllooooooooowwwwwwww. I'm talking Refrigerator Perry slow.

Still, on the link to THIS LIST of what's coming out on Wednesday, you will see there are a couple of lights in the darkness.

The brightest light is obviously Captain America #42. And while I'm sure many elements of Ed Brubaker's epic star-spangled story will still carry over into the next storyline, this is the final issue of a story that has built since the very first issue of the series, to a certain extent. Yes, it goes back even farther than historic issue #25 with Steve Rogers' death, the finale should answer some questions on the nature of the dual-personalities of Skull and Luikin, and should round out Bucky's long character arc. And with so many questions still unanswered, from the nefarious master plans to Sharon's fate and the state of the Presidential race, this is a must-read for any Captain America fan.

Black Panther #41 concludes the "Secret Invasion" tie-in arc, a surprisingly good story, which has seen T'Challa tearing loose on the green invaders. With Storm and T'Challa captured, the question of "Will Wakanda win the war" obviously comes into play — and believe it or not, I'm not so sure the Black Panther will win back his land. I only say this because it does seem Marvel is going to conclude "Secret Invasion" with the Skrulls staying (at least in part) on Earth, so is it so crazy to think they might win Wakanda? This may be an important issue in the grand scheme of the war.

Avengers: The Initiative #17 is another appealing "SI" tie-in, with the focus resting squarely on Camp Hammond and the Skrull Queen. God knows I think taking the Skrull Queen out in a tie-in issue would be the worst piece of storytelling yet, but we've all been surprised by the amount of info Bendis has omitted from the main book, so who knows how many more important plot points will be relegated to the tie-ins? I'm also a little intrigued by the solicitation's promise that a classic Avenger is joining the book's cast, as I can't really think of another inactive Avenger right now, who is alive, that would fit the bill of joining the team.

Finally from Marvel — New Avengers #45. Pieces of junk like this are evidence Marvel uses too many tie-ins. The whole issue is basically a "What if...?" story, showing what the Skrulls were up to during that Godawful "House of M" crossover. Please completists, pass on this one if you can quell the sickness we all share.

DC's offering are much more sparse, with the only title of note being Superman #680, a series that BADLY needs to go somewhere fast. For the first three issues of James Robinson's run on the title, Supes has been battling Atlas... and this fourth issue changes things up, only in that KRYPTO joins the fray to relieve Clark for a bit. Yes, we're being saved by a Dog's appearance. Ugh. And I mean Ugh. James Robinson really needs to do better than just hemming and hawing like this. Honestly, Three issues of Clark saying to himself "Something isn't right, why is he stronger than me," is ridiculous. Wrap it up in this issue, please. The good news is, we know the end HAS to be in sight, since the long-awaited Kryptonian crossover with "Action" and "Supergirl" is right on the horizon. Whew!

But apart from the big two publishers, we have possibly the second-most awaited issue of the week, Project Superpowers #6, from Dynamite. This series has been a phenomenal success so far, even if the sales numbers haven't quite show it yet, and this will be the penultimate issue of the first mini-series of this universe (Dynamite has already announced a second mini-series and a few spin-offs). The Fighting Yank was just killed... or shot at least... and the Dynamic Family is still waiting in the wings looking to overtake the Planet again. I strongly recommend those of you who haven't been reading to track down the back-issues of this story, since I'm sure Alex Ross and Jim Kruger have something special planned for the finale.

So yeah, slow week, definitely, but there is still more than enough to keep you occupied for a little while.

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