Is there an upside to all of the creative turmoil over at DC these days? There is if you’re Brian Bendis. Not only did he snag Kevin Maguire to do the issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” shipping this month, but the man has apparently convinced J.H. Williams III to come do something for the company after his work on “The Sandman: Overture” is done. Of course, all of this creative turnover is cyclical and these creators may find more work in a few years at DC. Or they’ll just realize that they could be making more money with the right writer on a creator-owned book and take off for Image or thereabouts. I know which outcome I’d like to see.
However, even if Bendis’ work here has provided the highlight of Rob Liefeld’s year so far, I don’t think we should be holding our breath for their revamp of “Millie the Model” anytime soon.
Inhumanity #1: It’s here! ...and that’s about all the excitement I can muster for it right now. Really, with Hickman still masterminding “Infinity” at the moment that’s the Marvel event I’m most looking forward to reading in a collected edition in the future. The last time Matt Fraction took the wheel of a major Marvel event we wound up with “Fear Itself” which was decidedly “meh.” At this early stage, any talk of the Inhumans just makes me remember Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s Marvel Knights miniseries from over a decade back and how good it was. Now there’s a series that I have no trouble recommending even now.
Avengers Assemble #22: Of course if Warren Ellis thinks that there’s enough to this event to come back and co-write this monthly title with Kelly Sue DeConnick, then there may be hope for it after all. I hope someone snags an interview with the writer when this issue hits the stands so we can get an answer about that and why he he’s doing the co-writing thing now. This series hasn’t really held any interest for me beyond the first eight Bendis-written issues that I have yet to pick up because I have higher priorities. Ellis’ involvement changes things a bit here, so I’ll be keeping my eye on this title as the issues he’s involved in are serialized.
Origin II #1: Because continuing the story of Wolverine’s formative years wasn’t enough of an event, Marvel is bringing back the… (wait for it…) ACETATE COVER for this series. Overrated cover gimmick aside, I liked the original series in the way that it showed us a lot of the events that shaped the character in a fairly subtle way. Writer Paul Jenkins didn’t go for a lot of “OH! THIS IS THE WAY HE IS!” moments over the course of the title, so that when he did go for them they actually felt like they mattered. This time, Kieron Gillen is scripting the series and that makes it something I’ll want to pick up in hardcover when it comes out. Yes, the solicitation text indicates that Mr. Sinister is involved in ‘Ol Canucklehead’s origin now, but after the way the writer handled him in his “Uncanny X-Men” run, that’s actually a selling point for me. Add in the fact that Adam Kubert is handling the art and you have an even that I’m looking forward to… even if the company is about seven or eight years late to really capitalize on the hype and momentum of the first series.
Amazing Spider-Man #700.1-700.5: The hype here is that a year after his death, Peter Parker is back! So why is “Superior Spider-Man” still being solicited? And why are these issues being solicited in decimal points? That’s because Parker isn’t actually back. This is just an anthology of stories from creators like David Morrell, Joe Casey and Brian Reed telling untold stories from the Webhead’s life. Basically, Marvel is trying to milk a few more dollars out of what was an enormously successful milestone issue for them and to satisfy the ongoing demand for the character’s return at some point. You know, there is a new “Amazing Spider-Man” movie coming out in May. Given how Marvel loves to capitalize on the releases of these films, it seems to me that putting Parker’s mind back in his body would be the most obvious way to do it. That would give Dan Slott and co. around ten issues to wrap up their “Superior” saga, so it could happen.
Spider-Man by Roger Stern Omnibus, The Muppet Show by Roger Langridge Omnibus, X-Men: Battle of the Atom HC: According to these solicitations, “Spider-Man” costs $125 for 1248 pages, “Muppets” costs $50 for 1296 pages, and “X-Men” is $50 for 224 pages. Hell, I like Langridge’s “Muppets,” but is the audience for it really big enough to justify that price point? Are so few people expected to buy “X-Men” that they had to jack the price up compared to past crossovers like “Messiah Complex” and “Second Coming?” It’s frustrating and a little disgusting too. What am I going to do about it? See if I can wait it out until “X-Men” comes out in softcover.
Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender Omnibus: On the other hand, if you can’t find the individual volumes for cheaper than whatever cover price you pay for this ($99 here, but there’s bound to be lots of Amazon-like internet discounts out there when it arrives) then you need to add this edition to your library. Yes, it’s that good.
All-New X-Men vol. 1, Indestructible Hulk vol. 1, Thor: God of Thunder vol. 1: All of these are hitting paperback after some of the monthly titles have hit their third volume in hardcover. I was considering breaking down on “All-New X-Men” and getting it in hardcover as well, but I didn’t find its first volume for 50% off cover price at Comic-Con. Now my patience is rewarded and the softcover editions will start coming out at a pace similar to what their hardcover editions were produced at. The moral of the story here? Patience, without a deep discount, is a virtue.