Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This week's comic book expectations

You want pure fanboy crack? The solicitation for Incredible Hulk #603 claims Hulk and Skaar will be fighting Wolverine and Daken. Now, I haven't been paying attention to any of these four characters lately (I have too much taste), but aren't Logan and son enemies? Does it matter? No! Because this is the sort of book that fanboys dream of! So enjoy it fanboys! In the meantime, I'm going to be buying books of higher quality...

Check out the full list at THIS LINK.

And I am hoping Justice League of America #38 is of that higher quality, with James Robinson and Mark Bagley debuting. I've made no secret of my distaste for Robinson's work since returning to comics, but that doesn't change the fact that the man helped bring the Justice Society back to prominence. And did I mention "Starman"? Yes, his work on "Superman" has been mediocre at best. And yes, "Cry for Justice" has been corny and trite left and right. But I'm hoping that he is simply in a mini-series-induced rut. And I'm hoping he just needs a good team book to write instead of only a couple of characters in "Superman." And I'm hoping that team book does prove to be JLA, as the book has been fairly-consistently horrible since Brad Meltzer's departure.

Now let's just hope Robinson didn't carry over as much of "Cry for Justice" as he initially said he would. Because that junk ain't good. That's right, it's so bad I used poor grammar. Deal with it.

I'm also hopeful for Robinson's other book on the shelves this week, Blackest Night: Superman #3. For one, we have ourselves a pretty intense battle going because Kal, Conner, Dead Kal and Psycho Pirate. But more importantly, for me at least, this issue will serve as a litmus test. All three "Blackest Night" minis began with a bang. All three took only a slight step backwards in issue #2. Well, last week's "Blackest Night: Batman #3" was questionable at best. Don't get me wrong, watching the Demon Ertigan in action is always a treat. But the idea that the zombies can conjure an entire circus or apartment building out of thin are is only slightly more believable than Dick and Tim freezing their hearts to a stop only to revive themselves moments later.

So, will "BN: Superman" end with satisfaction? Or will it end colder than Dick and Tim? If Supes' mini ends just as poorly, it will go a long way in terms of creating expectations for Blackest Night minis to come. And since solicitations have already shown BL Kal-L will face Power Girl in "Blackest Night: JSA," I'm fearful of the answer.

It's worth noting at this point that I just started eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so if you notice a happier tone to my writing, its no coincidence.

Then again, it's tough to be positive when talking about Azrael #1, out this week. The last of the post-"Battle for the Cowl" tie-ins to come out, I can only wonder which of DC's marketing wizards came up with the concept of this book. I imagine the conversation inside the DC offices went something like this:

Marketing guy 1: Wow, this "R.I.P."/"Battle for the Cowl" stuff is going to be intense! Kind of reminds me of the "Nightfall" storyline.
Marketing guy 2: Hey, remember Azrael? He was a badass.
MG1: Dude! Azrael should be in "Battle for the Cowl!"
MG2: Yeah, too bad John Paul Valley is dead.
MG1: Or is he?

And somewhere along the line, DC remembered that yes, John Paul Valley is in fact dead, but by then the wheels were in motion.

Anyway, I have no idea who this new Azrael is. I don't much care. I'd bet dollars to donuts (yes, I'm apparently a 64-year-old man now) that this new Azrael lasts even shorted than JPV.

Other DC books out this week I expect to be strong are Supergirl #46 and Power Girl #6. Love those Multiversial Twins.

Meanwhile, Marvel is hitting us with a heaping helping of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In Dark Avengers #10, our pal Norman Osborne (who is even more over-exposed than Wolverine and Tony Stark combined lately) continues his tumble back down into insanity. In Mighty Avengers #30, all five Avengers teams will be making an appearance in an enormous brawl (for once not with each other) with The Unspoken. Plus, two "Dark Reign"-specific titles come out this week, Dark Reign: The List - Avengers and Dark Reign: The List - Hulk.

But the Marvel book you most want on your radar this week is Invincible Iron Man #19, which concludes the "World's Most Wanted" storyline. If Matt Fraction's tale of Tony Stark's sacrifice for survival were not so strong it would be downright goofy. Good thing for us, he's made Tony's intellectual troubles not only believable but powerful. It all ends here. If you've been on board, it's been a nice ride, hasn't it? For those of you who haven't, that's what trade paperbacks are for!

And with that, I'm off to the World of Pandora, site of "Borderlands."

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