Change is in the air!
Why I Love Comics rundown for books coming out January 28th, 2008
Hey there, readers! Welcome to this week's Why I Love Comics: the delayed edition. As you may have noticed during the recent podcasting updates among many other things, we were in New York. There's an audio file around Chuck's computer somewhere that has the test run of Why I Love Comics: the podcasting edition that I did at 3:00 in the morning. Hopefully, he never posts that. We're firing back up the column, but it will soon move from the world of text to an audio version. More dtails on that soon.
After a ton of catching up, we are back and we have big changes happening for Thor, a new threat emerging in Oliver Queen's life, Vril Dox teaming up with Supergirl and Jackie Estecado facing a very dark future. All in this week's edition! So let's get right into things talking about last weeks Book of the Week.
Jonathan Hickman's Secret Warriors #1 from Marvel Comics has something that comic readers have been clamoring for, Nick Fury in an ongoing title. Nick Fury's new team for those that don't know was introduced by Brian Michael Bendis during Secret Invasion where Nick recruits a bunch of kids to do what no one else in the Marvel Universe can do. He's tough with them but for their own good. The kids are all believable characters with actual ties to the over all universe; although we still have the mystery of one of the team members. It will be interesting to see when it will pay off and I'm looking forward to it.
My favorite moment out of the book was Nick Fury's sit down with the new President who seems to not understand exactly who Nick is. We never see the face of the President as he's shadowed but you know who it's supposed to be. I don't know why they suddenly decided to mask him here of all places. Nick getting into the White House in the first place was brilliant stuff as it shows just how much of a superspy the man is. The last page reveal will leave a lot of fans stunned. Whatever Nick means by what he says, this comes completely out of left field and not even all those charts of John's can keep me from saying "wtf"?
Verdict: At the end of the day, this is what Marvel has needed for a while: a super spy leading a secret group to fight the threats that the superheroes don't seem to care about. We'll see where things head next but I'm definitely in for the long haul.
Eternals #8 continues our Manifest Destiny crossover with the X-men as Scott Summers and Ikarus team up in a really fun way and the X-men show how dangerous they can be when underestimated. Though they aren't the only people packed into the book, Sersi finds out more about her new location in a fun two page spread and leaves you wanting more by the time it's finished. The Dreaming Celestial has a conversation with the Horde who are a very disturbing force in both the artwork and the story. Seriously, every month this book does something new to surprise me and that's definitely a good thing. The Knauf's are great writers filling you with hope, dread, wonder and just crazy ideas all at the same time. Ikarus is an incredibly likable character who you can't help but root for. The book's strongest points are its unpredictability, great characters and the over all story drives everything home. It will be interesting to see how the Horde is taken down...if it is.
Verdict: The cliffhanger alone leaves a very high tension that is pulled off wonderfully. I can't wait to see what's next.
New Warriors #20 ends a series that has been struggling during its entire run. Even with guest appearances by the original New Warriors and the depowered X-men characters the book has struggled to find its audience. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book but it just never found its place in the Marvel Universe. Basically, this issue wraps up everything from the series. We wrap up the future time plot, the heroes' decisions on what to do with their lives and Night Thrasher finally coming to terms with his older brother's death. It would appear that after everything, the team has disbanded again. I guess that's really what bothers me the most. Being a fan of the title and watching the
characters I really know and love go through all this to just once again throw in the towel bothers me a lot. I'm sure editorial asked for it so they could be freed up to hopefully rejoin the X-books but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It was a fun group and a fun book.
Verdict: If you ever find this series in a dollar bin, pick up all 20 issues and I hope you'll enjoy it. It has some great artwork and storytelling with some of the favorite cult characters in the Marvel Universe.
Thor #600 really can be summed up in one word; WOW! Thor is unsettling when he hears the battle cry of a god; which he knows is impossible as he's found everyone. This is as Donald Blake attempts to talk with an old friend. When Thor reaches the god; it's soon very apparent that something is wrong as we see through the eyes of the man in question who seems to be looking for Odin. He views Thor as an evil almost zombielike creature that he instantly lashes out on. The artwork here alone really has to be commended as it fills you with dread and hopelessness. The scene plays out in a
really disturbing way that doesn't have to be graphic at all which I think is a highlight to JMS's writing. Thor calling on the Avengers and who arrives is great as well as what a certain character says. It's interesting to see the fight suddenly go three ways and when Thor has to make the grimmest decision possible; it leaves the biggest ripples we've ever had in the title. It will be interesting to see just how Thor's exile will run through the title.
Verdict: Thor seriously gets stronger every issue and we all know Loki will be found out eventually. Definitely unpredictable and I'd say that's a drawing point. And I dug the Stan Lee story a lot.
Over at DC, Nightwing #153 is apparently the last issue of the series for right now and boy what an emotional rollercoaster it is! Dick narrates most of the issue internally as we see him flash back to the worst day of his life and the worst day of Bruce's. He understands exactly what his new situation is in Gotham and I got choked up a little when he revisited the place of the murder that started it all. Tomasi has Dick nailed down perfectly as a character and I hope this isn't the last we've seen on his take of Dick Grayson. Seeing Tim react the way he did to Alfred and Dick's conversation when they should have figured he was still on the staircase was a highlight of the issue as you truly feel for him. The themes of being an orphan and having this adopted family are interesting and have always been a big point of the Bat Family for me. And that Bruce would always be there for the boys, even if only in spirit. Battle for the Cowl had better be good enough to live up to stuff like this. You know what? I'm actually giving this Book of the Week; it resonated with me that much. I almost didn't do it but really...this is one of those single issues that will be a top contender for the 2009 Eisners or at least it should be.
Verdict: Seriously one of the best Batman family books that I've read in a long time that really hits home on all cylinders. For a last issue, it's packed with content and you feel the effects of Bruce no longer being with his surrogate family. Everyone from Alfred to the boys is taking it hard. It will be interesting to see exactly what Battle for the Cowl brings as only Dick should be wearing that mantle if anyone has to.
R.E.B.E.L.S. #1 by Tony Bedard pulls you right in from the start. Vril Dox is on the run; we don't know from who or why but he's very much on the run and looking for Supergirl who apparently has a very important message for our grey hero. I call him grey because he does whatever it takes to get his job done. What? You guys think I don't listen to my interviewees? The team you see on the over isn't exactly formed yet but Vril, by the end of the issue, gets his mission statement from his relative in the future and Supergirl has to wake him up before it's too late. There is some great use of the Omega Men who I'm sure are going to be playing a part in the book. The last time any of us saw Tigorr he was helping Adam Strange and crew. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what part they play in the book. Vril is a super intelligent being with his own agenda and it was great seeing him basically ignoring everything to find out exactly what the message was.
Verdict: This was one hell of a first issue, Tony has a hit on his hands and it will be great to see where he brings us on this adventure. I know I, for one, am in it for the long haul. Definitely a solid buy.
Batman #686 is the start of the Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader story which very obviously has nothing to do with current continuity. But that doesn't mean that's a bad thing. This story brings up all the craziness you'd expect from a Neil Gaiman story as he uses everyone in the Batverse in fun and creative ways as we hear different versions of the way Bruce apparently died as we get over all narration from a very confused Bruce Wayne and a mysterious other voice. Selina Kyle's story is a highlight as Andy's pencils shine as we hear how the two were in love and the tragic fate that follows it.
Alfred's story was interesting as well and leads to some great moments as everyone is
apparently actors. It's all about making Bruce happy in the story and that really shines throughout until Eddie Nigma goes a bit too far and endangers the life of a child. Another highlight of the issue was the Joker arriving at the funeral. He scares a kid senseless just by asking him to take care of his car and it was a highlight of the book.
Verdict: So far, so good. It's really interesting to see Neil's take on the death of Batman. I'm curious to see where part two will go. This was definitely a lot of fun.
Finally, we end the week on the Top Cow's Darkness #75 where we see Jackie Estecado in a post apocalyptic future where everything has truly gone to the Darkness and the only people around to oppose Jackie are the Magdalena. It's a great what if story filled with a lot of different artists who mesh well together. It's an art jam which is fun to see as it never distracts from the storytelling. Phil uses horror, tragedy and suspense all excellently in the story keeping you off guard till the very end. I really enjoyed the issue as packed as it was. Small characters like Grey who were introduced were used just so well and the little boy who kind of manages to destroy the world. Jackie being old and letting his hair grow to crazy lengths almost looks a little Spawn like as you can see he
gains full control over the Darkness. It's a disturbing warning tale for our lead character and it will be interesting to see how it affects him from this point forward.
Verdict: This is a packed issue, hitting a nice landmark with great storytellers and is a definite buy. Try out the first trade of Phil's run for only 5 dollars!
Well that's it for this week, folks. Very soon, if all goes according to plan, you will actually be listening to the column instead of reading it. Why I Love Comics is evolving into both a podcast filled with creator interviews and talk about the week' s books but also still will be a column on the site that will spotlight books that are either old or new, arcs from titles that you should read and the occasional nerdy movie or cd. Coming up very soon, we have Ron Marz's Witchblade volume 1, David Hine's Strange Embrace and quite possibly the coolest thing Mike Allred's ever done. So tune in next week as you'll see how we change things up! See you then, readers!
Eric Ratcliffe is a young writer/pop culture journalist/interviewer currently working on pitching a project named the Hunter chronicles. When not reading his weekly stack Eric can be found watching dvd's, playing on his 360 (gamertag: Zack Hunter) or just surfing online trying to find a scoop or two. Brand new to the Comic Related family, Eric is a fun new voice. Eric shops at TJ's Collectibles. Visit them on the web at www.tjcollect.com!
blog comments powered by Disqus