Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This week's comic book expectations

Well, we're in for an exceptionally slow week for both of the major publishers. HERE'S a full list. What the week lacks in top-tier titles, though, it makes up for in odds and ends... if that actually makes up for it.

Headlining the week is a DC title fans have been waiting for for a good six months -- Superman: World of New Krypton #1. After the lengthy "New Krypton" crossover wrapped up, it's been a bit of a lame-duck situation waiting for Kal-el to finally move up to the stars. But, Supes' status quo has finally changed for the next year, so we're finally going to get to see how Kal, Alura and General Zod co-exist on Krypton. Whether you're a fan of this change (publicity stunt?) or not, the curiosity surrounding the Superman titles for the next year is undeniable, and it begins this week.

Speaking of absentee heroes, Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? begins the path to "Battle for the Cowl" with a supporting character-driven story looking at the current state of Gotham without its Dark Knight. I particularly like the inclusion of Vicki Vale as the reporter looking to crack the Bruce Wayne/Batman issue, even if I know there is no way DC would allow that secret to leak.

And then come the odds and ends: Batman Cacophony #3 wraps up Kevin Smith's tale, Solomon Grundy #1 begins the seven-part mini-series that spun out of that lack-luster "Faces of Evil" title, and The Mighty #2 continues a pretty darn good realistic alternate reality superhero murder mystery story.

Marvel's offerings this week are equally undistinguished, highlighted by a laundry list of "Dark Reign" titles. Personally, I am looking forward to reading Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1, if only because I feel like the story will be much closer to an in-continuity Fan Four story than what we've been getting from Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, if only because the mini will be written by incoming-scribe Jonathan Hickman.

Continuing from "Secret Invasion," New Avengers: The Reunion #1 (of 4) will tell the story of Ronin (Hawkeye) and Mockingbird getting to know each other all over again. If you're not a fan of the couple, we can at least hope for some background information on how the Skrulls abducted Mockingbird in the first place.

Other "Dark Reign" titles include Black Panther #2 (featuring Dr. Doom!), Agents of Atlas #2, Secret Warriors #2, and Deadpool #8.

And how could I forget War of Kings #1? Even though "X-Men: Kingbreaker" is still going strong, Marvel kicks off its next intergalactic saga this week, and the battlelines are pretty easy to see: Vulcan and the Shi'ar vs. Black Bolt, the Inhumans and the Kree. Even if Blackagar was not being written as such an incredible badass of late, I would still be recommending this series, if only for the eventual throwdown between Black Bolt and Vulcan. Hopefully when it's all said and done we can get to the main event -- Vulcan vs. the X-Men.

And speaking of the merry mutants, be sure to pick up Cable #12 as well this week, the last issue leading up to the "Messiah War."

Well, when I put it like that, it doesn't seem so slow after all, eh?

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