Hi, stranger. I've been away for a bit for several reasons, not the least of which being a long vacation that was more hectic than anticipated. But, my vacation is over (sadly), and while I'll have a couple of posts weighing in on topics from the past couple of weeks in the next day or two, for now let's just get down to business with this week's comic book expectations.
CLICK THIS LINK for the list of FRIDAY'S releases. Darned federal holidays screwing up the release schedules and my Netflix rotation to boot, eh?
So, I know that you know I'm a much bigger fan of what DC's been publishing lately than Marvel. That said, believe me when I tell you DC is the All-Star of the first week of 2009, something I hope will become the trend.
Don't believe me? Here's what's on the DC slate:
Justice Society of America #22: The final issue of the epic (at least epically long) sequel to "Kingdom Come," which has heated up in the past couple of months, to say the least. Gog needs to be separated from Earth before he sucks it dry, is the JSA up to the task? Will Jay Garrick return to his non-speed-force state? Will Starman go nuts again? Will KC Superman find a way home? Is "epically" a word? We'll find it all out! Well, most of it.
Green Lantern #36: "Rage of the Red Lanterns" continues, as we learn more about the Orange Lanterns and the Blue Lanterns. As far as I'm concerned, every remotely Green Lantern related book is a must buy until the end of "Blackest Night," the early front-runner for predicted event of the year.
Superman #683: "New Krypton" part 9 of 10. When last we left our happy bunch of Kryptonians, the whole crew, misguided leaders included, was getting pretty pissed off at being treated like villains... you know, since murdering humans is apparently not a crime to them. Personally, I tend to think if I just broke free of being trapped in a bottle for decades I'd be a little more careful not to make waves. But, what do I know, I've never been trapped in a bottle. Yet.
Final Crisis: Secret Files: To be honest, this issue strikes me like filler, and an attempt by DC too milk an event which hasn't been milked too much. The story seems to center around Libra's backstory, though, and while Libra has seemingly taken a backseat in the "Final Crisis" mothership of late, I'm still awfully curious to learn his identity. I think if DC had milked "Final Crisis" more often, I'd be passing on this, but since it's a rare grab at extra money, I'll give it a go.
Batman #684: Not to be confused with last week's Gran Morrison-penned "Batman #684," which concluded the two-part Alfred-driven tale he was telling, this issue concludes the two-part Dennis O'Neil "Last Days of Gotham" story he began in "Detective #851," depicting life in Gotham post-Batman, pre-"Battle for the Cowl." Frankly, part one didn't go very far, so I don't really know what to expect from part two, but I give O'Neil the benefit of the doubt.
All that and Justice League #28 and Kevin Smith's Batman Cacophony #2 don't even rate in the top five!
In fairness to you die-hard Marvel fans, though, there is a lot to read coming out of the "House of Ideas" as well this week.
Captain America #45: Even with the whole "Death of Captain America" storyline concluded, Ed Brubaker's masterpiece of an ongoing title has remained very strong, just as Bucky has been proving himself an intriguing replacement for Steve Rogers. This issue sees the conclusion of the whole Bucky vs. Batroc thing, but it definitely seems a much bigger Winter Soldier-centric tale is just beginning.
Avengers: The Initiative #20: This should actually be an interesting read, in only that reality has to set in here... just as Marvel went and torched the whole post-"Civil War" setup, the Marvel Universe has to deal with the fact that "The Initiative" was simply a Skrull ploy. Should be interesting to see what convoluted discussion takes place in this issue with the characters trying to justify keeping "The Initiative" alive.
Fantastic Four #562: Personally, I have HATED Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's run on Marvel's First Family, as the characters have been, well, out of character, and the good ideas thrown against the wall are the ones going undeveloped while more outlandish ideas are taking center stage. Oh, not to mention the tardiness of every issue. But this issue "A Fantastic Four Wedding and a Funeral" is a pretty big one for those of you still giving Marvel money for this junk.
War Machine #1: I want to be excited about this book. I really do. But, somehow I feel like this title is just a mad grab by Marvel to cash in on the fact that the "Iron Man" movie somehow gave plenty of fans Jim Rhodes Mania. Until we learn the purpose of this book (hopefully Greg Pak tells us sooner rather than later), I'm going to be hesitant. Especially since the solicitation includes the word "ginormous." Ugh.
I liked "Elf" as much as the next guy, but "ginormous" doesn't have to be used every single time we need to describe something as "big" nowadays.
That's about it for me. I will be back with a few catching up posts tomorrow or Saturday. Please remember to tip your waitress.