ONE MILLION COPIES!
That’s how many the first issue of “Star Wars” is expected to sell when it debuts next month. I think you’d have to go back to the pre-crash days of the 90’s to find a comic that reached this level of sales. While I’m sure the A-list creative team of Jason Aaron, Marvel’s marketing muscle, and the 75 (and counting) different covers made a difference, there’s also word that the company pushed this title through additional outlets in order to reach this sales figure. With the new movie coming next year, it would appear that everyone is getting back into “Star Wars” fandom again and that opens up all kinds of doors.
Then again, I’d really like to know what Mike Richardson thinks of this number after none of the Dark Horse “Star Wars” titles even came close to reaching this level of sales. Probably something along the lines of, “Life’s just not fair.” Unfortunately, in this case would be right.
And on that note…
Princess Leia #’s 1-2 (of 5): Writer Mark Waid, and artist Terry Dodson give us the first “Star Wars” miniseries at Marvel. Leia gets the spotlight here and we get to see what life is like for the princess in the aftermath of losing her homeworld. So, like the “Star Wars” and “Darth Vader” series, we’re actually going to be re-treading some more ground from Brian Wood’s “Star Wars” series at Dark Horse. However, instead of being a background element, we’re getting five issues on the subject which could stand such examination. Waid also has a high-energy style and a willingness to tweak expectations, so this is likely going to be a solid and very good-looking read thanks to Dodson’s art as well.
Guardians Team-Up #3: In which this series is sucked into the “Black Vortex” crossover. Also worth noting for the cover which has artist Mike Mayhew displaying a more conventional pencil and ink style than his usual painted work. Maybe he was really disappointed at seeing what his painted work looked like when it was rushed to meet a deadline, and that prompted the change?
All-New Hawkeye #1: Jeff Lemire and Ramon Perez relaunch the series after Matt Fraction, David Aja, and co.’s acclaimed run. Lemire is also coming off an acclaimed run of DC’s “Green Arrow,” so that’s encouraging. However, his variant cover of Kate Bishop is hideous and that makes me glad that Perez is illustrating the title. It’s also worth noting that the final two issues from Fraction and Aja still haven’t come out yet. Should be interesting to see if this issue winds up getting pushed back if those two continue to suffer further delays.
Howard the Duck #1: Hmmm… Joe Quinones is a solid choice as an artist for this title, but they’re going to need a really quirky and/or irreverent talent as a writer onboard in order for this title to have a hope of working. What’s that? They’ve got “Sex Criminals” artist and guy who likes to argue with Applebees’ helpbot Chip Zdarsky for the job? Yeah. It sounds like this series may have a chance of being memorable after all. I doubt it’ll sell very well, but at least it’ll actually be worth reading.
New Avengers #32: I’d be willing to agree with the guy over at IGN who thought that the cover to this issue would make a great poster, save for one thing. I really don’t want to think about the kind of nightmares I’d have if I put something like this up on my wall.
Men of Wrath: In which an aging hitman tries to break the cycle of violence that has defined his and his family’s lives. From Jason Aaron and Ron Garney, who have yet to truly disappoint after their years of working together on the likes of “Wolverine,” “Ultimate Comics Captain America,” and “Thor.” It’s also well within Aaron’s favored subject matter after “Scalped” and “Southern Bastards,” so we’ll see what sets this apart from those other works when it arrives.
Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Empire vol. 1: So Marvel isn’t going to let all of the Dark Horse “Star Wars” titles go out of print and this volume gives a pretty clear indication of what kind of stuff they’ll keep around. All of the stories collected here hail from the period between the original and prequel trilogies and focus on either Darth Vader’s rise to power or the efforts of the Jedi to survive in these dark times. Speaking of which, the issues comprising the lead-in to and first volume of “Dark Times” are collected here, along with the “Star Wars: Purge” one-shot. These are easily the highlights of the volume, and feature some fantastic art from Doug Wheatley. John Ostrander also writes the first “Purge” story, which is a wicked riff on the “Anakin Skywalker learns a valuable lesson” story we saw a lot of at the publisher. The catch here is that he’s Darth Vader now. I haven’t read the rest of the Vader-centric stories in this collection, but it’s also a decent value for your money at 440 pages for $35 so there you go.
Deadpool by Posehn and Duggan vol. 2: Hrm. I didn’t find any more volumes of “Deadpool” by this creative team at Comic Con. If this is coming out in March, I guess that turned out to be kind of a good thing.
Wolverines vol. 1: Collecting the first five issues of the weekly series. For $16. I mentioned a couple days ago that the first volume of DC’s “Batman Eternal” weekly title collected the first 20 issues for a $40 cover price. This may be an apples-to-oranges comparison between companies, but I’m extremely disappointed in the cost/issue department from Marvel compared to DC. Maybe I’ll consider picking this up if they start offering more issues in a cheaper format.
Damage Control: The Complete Collection: Whenever superheroes fight, there’s always bound to be a lot of collateral damage. Who winds up fixing everything whenever that happens? Damage Control does. Created by the late Dwayne McDuffie, they’re the Marvel Univese’s #1 clean-up crew, and one of the most irresistibly meta concepts to become a part of it. I’ve heard lots of good things about these series over the years, so it’ll be nice to finally have a chance to read them at last. I mean, how does one collect on an unpaid bill to Dr. Doom after they’ve cleaned up Latveria in the wake of “World War Hulk” and walk away with their lives and sanity intact? Inquiring minds want to know!