Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This week's comic book expectations

I had a conversation today with the girlfriend about how I could actually see myself souring on comic books in the relative near future. The details are not important, I'm sure on a boring rainy day I can fully explain my position in this space. But, I'll tell you two reasons right now. For one, the numbers 3.99 are certainly involved. The name Joe Quesada is also in that mix.

I'm harsh on Joey Q sometimes, it's true. So before I say what I'm about to, I'll preface it by saying I believe Marvel's head honcho is THE SMARTEST man in comics. The man sees where to make a buck and buys a house there.

But, I'm simply not interested in anything Marvel is doing anymore. Inside the stories, it's all just become too convoluted and political with stories like "Dark Reign," and outside the stories, the refusal to actually fully develop a good storyline instead of hastily moving on to the next big event has made me realize nothing Marvel does anymore will hold any weight.

Why do I bring this up now? Because, after looking at this week's offerings, I realized that I will not be buying ANY Marvel books this week. It's a bit of a sobering thought for a man who owns a reproduction of nearly every issue of both "Uncanny X-Men" and "Fantastic Four." Check out the full list of releases at THIS LINK.

So what does Marvel have this week, anyway? Well, eight of their 19 new books are "Dark Reign"-related. You heard me, eight. Exactly zero of them seem worth reading. Among the worst of the drivel is Dark Reign: The Goblin Legacy, which is simply a modern reproduction of Norman Osborne's 1966 unmasking, and Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2, which is a collection of three back-up stories focused on individual members of the ever-so interesting Dark X-Men.

Please folks, Marvel has made it abundantly clear that sales = quality in their eyes. Start voting with your wallets and say no to this "Dark Reign" junk, not to mention other horrible material out this week like Ultimatum #5 and Marvel Zombies 4 #4.

Meanwhile, this won't be DC's strongest week either, but there are a few books out to keep fans happy. Justice Society of America #29 gets my nod as the most anticipated book out this week, marking the debut of new co-writers Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges of "Fables" and "Jack of Fables" fame. The pair have a lot to live up to as departing writer Geoff Johns' stellar work took the JSA back to the bigtime for the first time in decades, and the biggest question I have is whether or not Willingham and Sturges will be able to write each character as we've come to know and love them. Remember, Johns not only created many of these characters, but he also redefined most of the old guard for a new generation. For all intents and purposes, Johns' voice is all we've known of many of these guys. I am just hopeful this first arc will be able to adequately explain why we're getting this team split for the launch of "JSA All-Stars" (see previous post for more).

I am also looking forward to Len Wein's Justice League of America #35, which is to feature new Batman Dick Grayson's first appearance in the book. Of course, Dick has just been announced as one of the new members of the team when James Robinson takes over the franchise, so it will be interesting to see how he comes into the fold and how he interacts with the team, especially given their relative weak state at the moment.

Other DC books to keep on the radar include Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 and Superman #690.

Later folks, I'm off to Xbox land to tee off some more Tiger Woods golf on the new "Predator" course. More on that to come.

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