New Comic Books For July 15, 2009

DC COMICS

ACTION COMICS #879
BATMAN WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER HC
BLACKEST NIGHT #1
BLACKEST NIGHT TALES OF THE CORPS #1
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #25
JSA VS KOBRA #2
WEDNESDAY COMICS #2

MARVEL COMICS

AGENTS OF ATLAS #8
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #599
CAPTAIN AMERICA #601
DARK AVENGERS #7
INCOGNITO #5
MIGHTY AVENGERS #27
X-FACTOR #46

It looks like we are in store for another normal week as 14 titles are headed to the bunker today. Today’s selection of comic books is nicely balanced between Marvel and DC. Even though this is not a large week, there are still plenty of gems in this batch of comic books.

 

I will be getting one hardcover today in the Deluxe Edition of Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. I loved Gaiman’s two-issue story and am looking forward to this collection. DC is also including Gaiman’s stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1 and Batman: Black and White #2.

 

Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? I am actually excited to read Action Comics #879. Now, I could absolutely care less about the dreadfully boring and unoriginal main-story on this title involving Nightwing and Flamebird. I will probably just skip over that part of this issue. No, what has gotten me so psyched to read Action Comics #879 is the debut of the co-feature story on this title starring Captain Atom.

As many longtime followers of The Revolution know, I am a huge fan of Charlton Comics. And Captain Atom is an old Charlton character. I am thrilled that DC has finally taken Captain Atom off the scrap heap and are trying and do something with him. This character has been wretchedly handled since the end of Infinite Crisis. Captain Atom’s transformation into Monarch was simply bad writing. DC never offered the reader any type of explanation or motivation for Captain Atom’s drastic heel turn into the murderous Monarch that we saw in Countdown.

Of course, my enthusiasm for this Captain Atom story is tempered because it is being co-written by Greg Rucka. Rucka killed off two excellent Charlton characters in Ted Kord and Vic Sage and did so both times in a mind numbingly un-heroic and lame fashion. So, I cannot say that Rucka would be my first choice to handle to writing duties for any Charlton character.

 

I am looking forward to reading Blackest Night: Tales of The Corps #1. This title is being co-written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi. The events of Blackest Night will be taking place in Blackest Night, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Meanwhile, Blackest Night: Tales of The Corps will be focusing on the back-stories of the various members of the different colored Lantern Corps.

I dig that DC is giving the reader a mini-series designed to flesh out the backgrounds of the various members of the different colored Lantern Corps while the big event is taking place on other titles. This allows readers who want to learn more about the origins of the various characters an opportunity to do so. By placing this back-story in a separate mini-series DC allows readers who could care less about the back-story of the various characters to simply purchase Blackest Night.

 

I have mixed feelings about Brave and the Bold #25. It does star Blue Beetle, and I have recently warmed up considerably to his character. However, Blue Beetle is teamed up with Hardware. I have absolutely no interest at all in Hardware’s character. This issue is written by Adam Beechen and I am hot and cold concerning his work. Basically, I am just waiting for JMS to hop aboard this title and show me if he can make Brave and the Bold worthy of keeping a spot on my pull list.

 

I am confident that Wednesday Comics #2 will be another entertaining read. I absolutely fell in love with Wednesday Comics #1. I adore the old school newspaper format of this title. I dig the old Sunday comics serial format of each story. But, the best aspect of this title was the gorgeous artwork that we got on this title. I enjoyed the various styles of art with each story.

 

I know this is the painfully predictable and trendy selection, but the fact is that the DC comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Blackest Night #1. DC has cranked up the hype machine for the past year for Blackest Night. In fact, the hype machine for Blackest Night even drowned out DC’s big event from last year in Final Crisis. The massive hype surrounding Blackest Night was only amplified by the fact that Johns has been giving us nothing but lead-in to Blackest Night for about a year and a half.

While this approach probably helps in building initial reader interest, the downside is that it places massive pressure on Johns. With the a build-up to this event that has lasted almost two years and the incredible hype surrounding Blackest Night, readers are going to have seriously high expectations; and rightly so. Johns is going to have to deliver one hell of a story in order for Blackest Night not to be deemed anti-climactic and overhyped.

This means Johns is going to have to avoid his tendency to blatantly write for trade format. Johns cannot give the reader a story as slow and decompressed as what he is giving us on Flash: Rebirth and what he gave us on the JSA with the Kingdom Come/Magog story. Johns has to come out of the gate like a ball of fire with Blackest Night #1. With the massive amount of build-up that we have gotten in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, there is absolutely no need for Johns to perform even more set-up with Blackest Night #1. Set-up work is all Johns has been doing for over a year now.

Blackest Night #1 has to quickly get this story rolling and give the reader plenty of plot progression. What Johns cannot afford to do is offer the reader a slow read where nothing much happens in the issue and then finally giving an interesting read in the final several pages in order to end the issue with a “shocking” and “climactic” ending.

 

Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? As always, I am looking forward to reading the latest issue of Agents of Atlas. It appears that the team is going to cross paths with the Hulk in Agents of Atlas #8. Jeff Parker has done a wonderful job handling the team chemistry on this title. Each member of the Agents of Atlas has a well established personality. The dialogue is always well crafted. There is little doubt in my mind that Agents of Atlas #8 will offer up another quality read.

 

I expect Brubaker to serve up another dependable read with Captain America #601. This issue is basically filler as Brubaker focuses his energy on the primary story over on Captain America: Rebirth. This issue is going to feature a flashback story of a “lost” tale of Captain America and Bucky during World War II. This issue is going to feature the artwork of legendary artist Gene Colan. Even if this issue is going to be nothing more than filler, it will still be cool to see Colan’s artwork.

 

Incognito #5 should be a solid read. I like the characters and the general setting for this story. Now, I will admit that Brubaker’s pacing is starting to get bogged down and that is adversely impacting my enjoyment of this title. The past couple of issues have given me the impression that Brubaker is spinning his wheels and is not sure in which direction he wants to go. Hopefully, Brubaker will kick up the pacing a few notches with this issue.

 

I expect Mighty Avengers #27 to be a fun read. Slott is doing a solid job on this title and has gotten better with each issue. It appears that this issue is kicking off a new storyline. Hopefully, Slott can continue to improve and treat us to a more classic Avengers title in order to compensate for what we are getting with New Avengers.

 

I cannot believe that I am going to say this, but the Marvel comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Amazing Spider-Man #599. I have thoroughly enjoyed the “American Son” story arc and I fully expect Amazing Spider-Man #599 to be another riveting read. Joe Kelly has done a fantastic job on this story arc and has done the impossible by actually getting me to enjoy Amazing Spider-Man once again. This issue is the climactic conclusion of “American Son” and I expect Kelly to have a few surprises up his sleeve. I am curious to see how things end up between Norman and Harry.

 

Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? That would be Dark Avengers #7. Bendis has completely lost focus over the past couple of issues as this title has descended into an incoherent waste of time. And now, Bendis’ story gets put on hold as Matt Fraction comes aboard to give us Chapter 3 of Utopia with this issue. Bendis is not going to return to this title to continue the regular storylines until Dark Avengers #9. I swear we are going to be almost a year into this title without anything of real substance having happened at all.
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Rokk

2 Comments

  1. I agree with lots of your comments there, especially amazing spider-man, 599. I had no interest in this title before this arc and kelly has written such a great story. Will you be picking up amazing 600?

  2. I know I'm in the minority here, but I gotta say that I really dug the death of Ted Kord. The only Ted Kord I was familiar with was the JLI/"I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League" version… and while I really enjoyed those stories, they were always really hard to accept "in continuity." Maybe Blue Beetle was cool before I met him, but as far as I knew he was just a paunchy walking punchline. So imagine my suprise to pick up Countdown to Infinite Crisis and watch him tell Maxwell to go to hell, despite the gun in his head. Personally, for me, that was the ONLY death I really cared about throughout the rest of IC – seriously, Superboy's death was so lacking in impact, I questioned whether or not I was going to pick up the last issue.

    Anyways, I totally agree with everything else. Joe Kelly on Spider-Man is awesome, and one day I wouldn't mind seeing him and McGuiness back on Deadpool, personally. Hell with it, I'd just like to see more Kelly stories like "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?"!

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