Thursday, February 25, 2010

Super-Powered Comics: Diamond Destinations for March 2010

I have wasted not an ounce of time this month and can proudly say I have brought my monthly Previews recap to you literally a day after its release. Here are the new and continuing superhero series I find most notable, as well as some of the zanier item you might come across. As always, your comments are welcome.

p. 56: Ghost 12” Action Figure: A beautifully sculpted figure, but I can’t really say I see a lot of demand for a comic character Dark Horse hasn’t even published for the better part of ten years. Especially with a $100 price tag.

p. 73: DC Universe Legacies 1 (of 10): This is Len Wein’s new take on the History of the DCU aiding in the first issue by Andy and Joe Kubert. The art is sure to stun, but Wein’s writing left me flat recently on Human Target and Justice League of America. This could be really hit or miss.

p. 82: Mighty Crusaders Special 1: “The Red Circle” has been hit or miss so far. Sales haven’t been too good either. But DC is trying to push the line further with this special. I actually hope that we don’t get a Crusaders team out of this book. I think many of the reimaginings DC has created have been weak at best, and neither Inferno nor Hangman seem designed for super-team use. I hope this book succeeds and for $5 for 56 pages, it seems to be a pretty good deal.

p. 83: Legion of Super-Heroes 1: My only complaint with this issue as with the debut of the new Flash book is that they didn’t resume the old numbering. But Levitz made this team what they are today and if anyone can keep that spirit alive, it will be him. Yildiray Cinar is a great artist. His work on Noble Causes was nothing short of amazing. This book has the potential to launch him in to superstardom, much as the Legion did for Olivier Coipel several years ago.

p. 113: I, Zombie 1: I am still not sure what to make of this book. The story in last years House of Mystery Annual didn’t give much of a hint of the book’s direction. But with Mike Allred art for $1, no one should pass up the first issue of this!

p. 148: Shadowhawk 1: The dead have risen in the pages of Image United and it seems in the aftermath of that event, Paul Johnstone, the classic back-breaking Shadowhawk is back. The book promises to almost certainly have a dark tone as horror writer Dan Wickline and former Violent Messiahs artist Tone Rodriguez are the creative team. Steve Niles and creator Jim Valentino provide the back-up story. I would have preferred a full book from Valentino, but this book definitely has an interesting concept behind it. How it plays out will determine how long this new take on the character can survive.

p. 154: Astounding Wolf-Man 25: It is by no means the book to start reading the title with, but the adventures of Wolf-Man come to an end with this issue. Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard did some crazy things with this title, but I don’t think it ever reached the heights that most of Kirkman’s work can reach. Instead it just felt like Invincible-light. But even Invincible-light is better than many of the books on the stands. Goodbye, Wolf-Man. Let’s hope Kirkman & Howard’s next project can top you!

p. 172: Velocity 1: I am usually generous with Top Cow, but this book is a load of crap. Over two years after being selected for Pilot Season, over a year since Joe Casey and ChrisCross were unceremoniously dumped from the project while somewhere on issue two, Top Cow introduces the four issue limited series with the new creative team of Ron Marz and Kenneth Rocafort. While I like most of Marz’s Top Cow work, his previous Cyberforce work felt phoned-in. And I just cannot get behind the art style of Rocafort. He may be someone’s cup of tea, but he isn’t mine. And to make me just a little more grumpy, we included ChrisCross cover from the previous series as the variant. Classy, Top Cow. Classy. (FYI: When this comic was solicited fifteen months ago, the ChrisCross cover was the regular cover and the Rocafort was the variant. Glad to see they didn’t let them go to waste.)

p. M8: Astonishing X-Men: XenoGenesis 1 (of 5): The idea of running this book as a series of miniseries is a good one, but that isn’t the reason I posted this. I mostly wanted to show off the cover image by series artist Kaare Andrews. While the vagina-exposing costume of the White Queen seems a bit preposterous, I have much respect for the return of mohawked Storm. Bravo, Mr. Andrews. Bravo.

p. M34: Atlas 1: In case you haven’t heard (and if you are a comics fan I can’t imagine how you missed it), May begins the Heroic Age at Marvel. They have promoted a whole bunch of new titles for this month, but the one everyone really needs to buy is this one. Agents of Atlas was probably the greatest concept Marvel has released in the last five years, and the death of the last book still irks me. Now here is your chance to rectify that mistake. Go buy the new book, complete with new member 3-D Man! Finally everyone can experience the awesome.

p. 232-233: Green Hornet Strikes 1 and Kato Origins 1: Hi, Dynamite, nice to see you today. I have something to tell you for the sake of honesty. You may be producing too many Green Hornet titles. With these two books, the total comes up to five. And honestly, we all know Kato does not need two books. Now let’s get it under control, especially since you seem to think they are all worth $4. (They’re not.) Thanks for your time, see you later.

p. 242: Wild Cards: The Hard Call 6: Damn it, it may be over a year later, at a new publisher, and a $1 more expensive, but I have much respect for Dynamite when they made sure they got this book out. I dreaded the thought that I would have to get a collected edition just to read this, so despite my mockery of your Green Hornet obsession above, thank you, Dynamite Entertainment.

p. 277: Tales of the TMNT 70: This right here is it. The end of TMNT as we know it. The final issue of Mirage’s book takes us back to the time of the epic “Return to New York” storyline. The issue is totally standalone, so I highly recommend everyone go out and buy it, just to celebrate the decades of Turtle action Mirage has given us.

p. 292: WWE Heroes 3: Did WWE not learn when Benoit died that having a death storyline in a world where death comes far too often isn’t so hot an idea? Apparently not from the look of this cover.

p. 319: May looks to be a good month for super-powered fiction with two new titles, the steampunk hero of George Mann’s Ghost of Manhattan and Chelsea M. Campbell’s super-villain fueled Rise of Renegade X. So be sure to flip to the Book section and give these titles a once over.

p. 380: Tru Blood Soda: Proof that there is such a thing as too many marketing tie-ins. And it’s only $6 a bottle!

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