New Comic Books For March 18, 2009

DC COMICS

OUTSIDERS #16
TRINITY #42

IMAGE COMICS

INVINCIBLE #60

MARVEL COMICS

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #588
DARK AVENGERS #3
ETERNALS #9
MOON KNIGHT #28
SPIDER-MAN NOIR #4
ULTIMATUM #3
UNCANNY X-MEN #507
WOLVERINE #71
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #34
X-FACTOR #41

All right, before we dive into this week’s comic books, let’s talk a bit about a few random thoughts kicking around in my head. First off, it is time for some March Madness, baby! I love this time of year. Yeah, football is king, but the NCAA tournament is probably the single greatest athletic event. While my law school, University of Miami, failed to make the tournament, at least my undergrad school, American University, managed to win the Patriot League and make the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. Yeah, I am sure that we will get killed by Villanova, but who cares? At least we made it to the tournament.

I have been busy putting together my NCAA bracket for my office pool. I still have to put the finishing touches on it this morning. I am leaning toward making my Final Four Louisville, Pitt, UNC and Memphis. I am nervous about taking University of North Carolina too far if they do not have Ty Lawson at full strength for this tournament.

I gave a try to a new television show this week: Kings. I was surprised at how good the two hour premier was. Now, I love Ian McShane so much that I would probably have continued to watch the show just because of him. But, luckily Kings provided me with a fairly well written story. The acting was solid and most of the characters were interesting.

Ian McShane was excellent. The scene between him and his son where he reveals that he knows his son is gay was pretty damn powerful. And Ian’s character is exactly the type of character that I love. He is morally ambiguous. At times he is a kind and loving man who genuinely wants to do the right thing. And then at other times he is a ruthless killer who is concerned more with his power than anything else.

This show did a wonderful job creating quite an interesting fictional world. I found the setting for this show to be absolutely fascinating. The history of this world and the political and economic structure of this world are what make this show so engrossing. Kings has plenty of potential and I am looking forward to the next episode.

All right, let’s talk comic books. I have been picking up Invincible the past couple of months, but I have not read them yet. Several followers of The Revolution strongly recommended that I give this title a try. I figured that I would add it to my pull list but avoid reading it until I got a chance to read all of the back issues. Luckily, Image has come out with some very nice hardback “Ultimate Collection” editions of Invincible. Now, these Ultimate Collection editions are not quite as large and as nice as an Absolute Edition hardback, but they are larger and nicer that a regular hardback from Marvel or DC.

I just finished reading Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1 last night. Volume 1 includes issues 1-13 as well as a ton of extras. The extras include plenty of character design sketches, panel breakdowns of the various issues, assorted bonus artwork and scripts from some of the issues in this volume. First, all I have to say to the Followers who recommended Invincible is: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I absolutely loved and adored the first thirteen issues of Invincible.

Robert Kirkman delivers a wonderful story. What I enjoyed the most about Invincible is that unlike most comic books outside of Marvel and DC there is a total lack of vitriol, sarcasm and hate for the super hero genre. This is not a deconstruction of the super hero genre. This is not a sarcastic lampooning of the super hero genre. Instead, Invincible treats the reader to everything that is wonderful about the super hero genre. And do not let all the haters out there confuse you. There is definitely plenty to like about the super hero genre.

It is obvious that Kirkman not only loves comic books, but that he also loves the super hero genre. What a breath of fresh air as it seems that many comic book writers currently employed with Marvel and DC either hate comic books in general and desire to be television or movie screenplay writers or they like comic books but hate super heroes. Not Kirkman. Kirkman understands all the great aspects of the super hero genre and what makes them so much enjoyable.

Invincible takes all of the fun that should be present in a super hero comic book and mixes it with a modern sensibility to give the stories some depth and maturity. Now, to be sure, Kirkman treats the reader to plenty of action and excitement in this title. But, the foundation for the first thirteen issues is impressive character work and top notch dialogue. All of the characters are well developed and have their own unique personalities. The interplay between Mark, his father and his mother is spot on.

What makes Invincible so special are all the little moments. Things like how Mark’s mother nonchalantly deals with having a super hero for a husband and a super hero for a son. Scenes like Mark and his dad playing catch with a baseball like all fathers and sons do. Except, these two do it in the sky and hover back to back and throw the baseball across the globe to each other. There are so many little moments that give this comic book a heart and soul that most current comic books lack. And the reader can immediately indentify and relate with these little moments and that helps pull the reader into and relate to a story that has so many fantastical characters and plotlines.

If the current issues of Invincible are of the same quality as the first thirteen issues then Invincible will officially be my new favorite comic book.

All right, let’s take a look at the new comic books for this week. We are getting a fairly average sized week with 13 comic books. This week is incredibly heavy with Marvel titles.

Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? With only two titles from DC this week, I really don’t have much of a choice. I will go ahead with Outsiders #16. I have faith that Tomasi will eventually be able to save this title.

Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? That would be Trinity #42. This title simply has not offered a story with enough interest and substance to warrant being a weekly year long title.

Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? I am looking forward to Dark Avengers #3. Bendis has managed to do on Dark Avengers what he has not been able to do on New Avengers and that is to deliver an interesting story that involves the entire roster of the team and actually moves with a point and purpose.

I am also excited to read X-Factor #41. I wish I could write a review for X-Factor or even tangentially refer to it in my comment in this article. Maybe Mr. David will realize how websites like The Revolution have actually helped X-Factor to gain new readers rather than hurting it.

However, the Marvel comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Wolverine #71. Millar’s Old Man Logan story has been an absolute blast to read and has certainly been the best thing that has happened to the Wolverine franchise is years.

Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? I am not that excited to read Uncanny X-Men #507. It has been a long time since Marvel’s flagship title was actually a quality read. I will continue to keep my expectations low so that I am not that disappointed with each new issue.

I am confident that Wolverine: Origins #34 will continue this titles main directive which is to make Wolverine just a little less cool and interesting one issue at a time.

However, the Marvel comic book that I am least looking forward to reading is Ultimatum #3. This title has been a hideous train wreck. And there is absolutely no way that Loeb can salvage this title at all. I am simply hoping that this story continues to be so dreadful that I will at least be entertained by the sheer awfulness of the writing.

3 Comments

  1. good week of comics, X-factor, Kingbreaker, Wolverine, Dark Avengers, X-Force (which I still say you should be reading.)I am fairly certain that I look forward to X-force as much as I look forward to Herc or GOTG, not too sure why, it doesnt get astounding reviews or anything, I think that it is an emotional investment with the characters above all else, and i really do like yost and kyles writing, new x-men was one of my favorite titles.

  2. Uncanny X-Men #507 = AMAZING!!!

    I just finished reading the issue and could not believe how good it was. Like many people I had found the slow meandering plot of the last few issues to be frustrating but this issue was a revelation. Fraction may not be to everyone’s taste but, every now and again, he cranks the story telling up to eleven and shows us what he is capable of. I won’t give away any details, as I don’t want to spoil the issue for anyone, but I really hope I am not the only one to see a massive improvement.

    Rokk – I hope this issue blows away your low expectations as it did mine!

    -JonHend

  3. I’ll second that emotion with Invincible. Even better is that the concept, writing, and art, is so strong and so consistent that you can be poor (like me!) and miss a ton of stuff, but then pick up any random recent issue and still be thoroughly entertained. This book is the Fantastic Four or Justice League International of today.

    …I do wish they’d return to the original costume, though…. ^_^

    If you like Star Trek at all, you might find it worth your while to take a peek at IDW’s Countdown. Writing a good Trek comic is a rough task, but they pulled it off here.

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