Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This week's comic expectations

It's a big week for comic books. For one, "Watchmen" is out today, and there's a copy at Wal-Mart in Fishkill just sitting on the shelf waiting for me to pick it up when I get out of the office tonight. For two, obviously, San Diego Comic Con is this week.

Unfortunately, the slate of new comics on the shelves Wednesday is slightly underwhelming. There are several exceptions though... Check out the full list at THIS LINK.

The biggest book of the week is, almost unarguably, is Geoff Johns' Green Lantern #44, the first official "Blackest Night" tie-in for the Emerald Army's flagship book. This issues mixes the old with the new, and both storylines are guaranteed gold. First, if you've read "Blackest Night #1" (and if not, why the heck not?!?), you know a certain Red-Planet Black Lantern just tracked down Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. We'll see the continuation of that skirmish in these pages. Second, if you're a regular reader of the GL books (and if not, why the heck not?!?), you know Sinestro is pretty peeved that Mongol went and took over his spot as Sinestro Corps leader. We'll see the beginning of that skirmish in these pages. Need I say more?

A second "Blackest Night" book, Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2, is less of a sure-fire hit. Last week's first issue, featuring three vignettes on different ring-slingers across the spectrum, was a mixed bag. The story on Saint Walker was great. The tale from Mongol's youth was anything but. And the Indigo Tribe's debut story was just plain intriguing. This week we'll get three more stories. While it's unknown which stories will be told this week and which in issue #3, among the remaining storylines solicited by DC are a spotlight on Carol Ferris and an origin tale for Kilowog, both of which should interest any Corps fan.

Another Johns book certain to draw interest is Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5. Yes, after a year of waiting, we finally have a full five issues of this story which was dubiously and only tacitly linked with last year's big DC event. Just to remind you all, since it's been two months since issue #4, the Three Legion of Superheroes teams, along with Superman, Superboy and Kid Flash, are still fighting Superboy Prime and Time Trapper's Evil legion ... and oh, by the way, Time Trapper was just revealed to be Superboy Prime all grown up.

Unfortunately, the impact and value of this truly well-done series will be lost forever given all the delays, but two key points will still need to be resolved here: 1) Will Superman succeed in his original plan of "redeeming" Superboy Prime in this series? 2) How will the end of this story filter into next month's "Adventure Comics #1"? Really, this second point had suddenly become just as important as anything else regarding this series, given the vague nature of the Legion of Superheroes' co-features in "Adventure Comics," and even the vague link upcoming between the Legion and Connor Kent.

Also of note from DC this week is a double dose of girl power (ugh, I cannot believe I just used that cliche), Supergirl #43 and Power Girl #3.

The biggest book of the week from Marvel is X-Force #17. Yes, that includes Amazing Spider-man #600 and Incredible Hulk #600. I've gone into great detail on how irrelevant I feel Marvel has made "ASM" ... and "Incredible Hulk" is just plain horrible. This week's "X-Force" is the first since the conclusion of "Messiah War," and if you remember back to before Cyclops sent Wolverine and company into the future, the Leper Queen was in the process of offing several of X-Force's friends. Here, we'll get to see who lives and who dies and just how pissed our merry murderous mutants are at Cyclops for sending them on their trip.

Unfortunately, there isn't too much else from Marvel to speak of. Invincible Iron Man #14 kicks off the second half of the "World's Most Wanted" storyline, but is a story centered around Tony being too sick to handle his duties as Iron Man compelling in the least after all these times it's happened? Guardians of the Galaxy #16 is another loose tie-in with "War of Kings," and Avengers: The Initiative #26 is the first featuring Camp Hammond's new role as "reforming" villains. That's about it.

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