Sean Maher's Quality Control

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Marvel, a little more

Damn, Jason doesn't break for long. The Hive is in full swing.

What's The Hive?

"The Hive" is a collaborative brainstorming project, open to everyone, with the ultimate goal of creating a new market for comics instead of simply poaching fans from the existing one. Each column will present a specific idea, which we will then work on to make better as a group.

So, basically, FUCK YEAH, right?


So, when the internet solicitations for April went up, I did a really brief look at Marvel and DC (in the same post) and a longer look at the Image books.

But lately, I've found myself rooting through the actual Previews magazine a lot, and the experience is a lot different. I've got a bit more to say about... well, everything. The "second half" of the book alone is PACKED with pages I've folded over and marked up with my red pen.

So, today I'm gonna take a closer look at the pull-out Marvel Previews magazine, then a closer look at DC tomorrow, and I'll spend most if not all of next week looking at the individual projects that caught my eye throughout the rest of the book. After all, these books need some extra love!



Ultimate Extinction #4, Ultimate Spider-Man #93 and Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #3 look neat, but I'm waiting for the trades.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #29 is on my pull list. I'm considering dropping it here, as the price is going up to $2.99. But so far Millar and Land have been putting together a nicely entertaining run. Millar's take on Thor as a put-upon underdog liberal hero doesn't really jive with me, so I'm a bit concerned that President Thor will be more lefty sermonizing. Nonetheless, it's hard to turn down "Ben Grimm's last stand, as he tries to save mankind from an alien menace!"

Ultimates 2 #11 is another tradewait. If I was following the serials, though, I'd be pretty goddamn psyched about this awesome Bryan Hitch cover.

Ares #4 is another tradewait, but this solicit text is really strong, I have to say. I mean, the typo of "enemies'" aside, this is just really potent, jam-packed storytelling:

The God of War and The Prince of Power have clashed before, and the bitter enemie's hatred for each other knows no bounds. But now, as a perilous new foe wreaks havoc upon Mount Olympus, Ares and Hercules are forced to forgive past hatreds and fight side-by-side! But the gods' last hope may lie outside of their hands, in an enigmatic deity from the ancient Japanese Pantheon who might hold the key to victory. Will they accept this stranger's help? Or has godly arrogance already doomed the Greek Pantheon? Meanwhile, the threat of patricide, which has plagued the Greek gods for centuries, rears its ugly head again, but this time it is reflected in the face of Ares' very own son -- Alexander - who has taken steps to destroy his father and claim the mantle of the GOD OF WAR for himself!

Fury: Peacemaker #3 is a tradewait, because (A) Ennis is only writing six-issue arcs anymore, and I'm getting kinda sick of it, and (B) it costs $3.50, which isn't a price I'll pay for a Marvel book.

Daredevil #84, I'm getting really psyched about. Seems odd - almost like a bluff - that they're talking so much about Foggy being dead, but really I'm just juiced to see what Brubaker and Lark have to bring to the book. This'll be replacing Captain America on my monthly reading list (though I'm still planning on reading that book in trades).

Marvel Knights Fantastic Four #29 looks like a good time to try the book out, and as long as I'm paying the same price for this as for UFF, I'm gonna give it a shot. Really, I just need a monthly Fantastic Four fix, and I don't care what the title is as long as it's fun. What really caught my eye, though, is this drop-dead gorgeous Clayton Crain cover. I mean, wow (look at the detail on his arm!):

Squadron Supreme #2 is another tradewait, 'cause honestly, I just think the book reads better that way.

Moon Knight #1 has a nice four-page preview here, complete with a Character Defining Moment in the caption narration. I dunno, I might pick this up, but I'm just not all that interested in the character or the creative team.

Wolverine #41 looks like a fun stand-alone issue, actually, with one of those Tribal Wolverine themes I like so much, and a pretty bitchin' cover by interior artist C.P. Smith. I don't have a lotta love left for Shorty, but I may pick this one up just to check back in.

Annihilation: Nova #1
Annihilation: Ronan #1
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1

Those are some nice Gabriele Dell'otto covers, that's for sure. My interest in these is gonna rest pretty heavily on what Giffen sets up in the Prologue that comes out in March, honestly, so I'm not gonna be pre-ordering until at least then. The preview art they provide here is kinda meager, but I do like the Silver Surfer page. Anyway, the whole thing remains a crap shoot for me. I'm crossing my fingers, 'cause these are some fun characters and I'd love to see them in some great stories again. Looks like the pieces all come back together in a six-issue Annihilation mini-series that starts in August, so... hmm.

Books of Doom #6 is on my pull-list, and I'm looking forward to where Brubaker ends up taking the Greatest Comic Book Villain Ever.

Fantastic Four: First Family #2 looks promising, though I don't know about Chris Weston's take on The Thing; he seems to be going with the old school "lumpy" look, and I'm a much bigger fan of the cleaner, rockier outline he has today. That's a minor thing, though, and I'm still curious where Joe Casey's gonna go with this "early days of"-type story.

Incredible Hulk #94 continues the Planet Hulk "event", which seems to mean just that it's a big, long arc, running through issue #105. Which, honestly, is just what I wanted - I didn't want to pick up a bunch of extra titles just to follow this story. Anyway, Ladronn's covers are still gorgeous and Greg Pak's still writing, so I'm excited. Oh, plus, it looked like Giant Size Incredible Hulk #1 (in June) will be a "tie in" and reprint Peter David's awesome Hulk: The End one-shot from about four years back.

Y'know, on reflection, I see here that Kyle Baker is credited as a writer on Marvel Romance Redux: Restraining Orders Are For Other Girls, and as I said before, that's a funny goddamn Kyle Baker cover. I may well pick this up, if it looks like Baker's got a healthy chunk of the book to himself.

Still curious to see where Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips will've gone with Marvel Zombies #5, hoping the trade won't be long in coming. The zombie tribute covers have been fun work from Arthur Suydam.

I haven't been following the title, but it's worth pointing out that Invincible artist Cory Walker is teaming up with Kirkman again in Marvel Team-Up #19.

Still tradewaiting Nextwave #4 and Runaways #15, as they both strike me as better reads in that format, though I don't want either one to fall off my radar.

She-Hulk #7 and The Thing #6 are both on my pull list, as Dan Slott - I know, I've said this a hundred times - writes just the kind of monthly comics I want to read. Plus, I've got to hand it to Andrea Di Vito for this funny goddamn cover. Really inspired, I think:

Astonishing X-Men remains a tradewait for me; I just don't need an X-Men fix that badly, though the first six issues (all I've read) were pretty damn cool.

Y'know, I don't really know anything else about this series, but the cover for Sentinel Squad O*N*E #4 is pretty enticing. Giant Robot vs. Huge Dinosaur is always a good hook. I may have to flip through this if I see it at the store.

Honestly? Steve Dillon's take on Wolverine in the preview art for Wolverine: Origins #1 kinda made me chuckle. He just looks so serious waving his sword around all by himself there, in his goofy outfit... Dillon's got a very naturalistic style, and I think the artists most fit to the character have been a little more stylized and "weird," but that could just be me.

X-Factor #6 is another on my Marvel pull-list (we're up to, what, seven?), and while issue #2 had me waffling, issue #3 pulled it together and I'm actually interested in Layla Miller now, so bring it on.

X-Men Unlimited #14 will feature a story by writer Neil Kleid (Ninety Candles, the upcoming Brownsville), whose work I've been eagerly following, and it's drawn by the venerable Mike Oeming, so I'll be picking that up as well to see what they've got up their sleeve.

Punisher #32 is also going on my pull list (eight!) after the strength of the last arc. Hey, anyone notice how Barracuda's teeth on that cover have gold lettering that reads "FUCK YOU"? That's... um... kinda funny.

Still planning on taking a look at that Young Avengers trade coming, just to see what the buzz has been about.

And that's my Marvel in April. See y'all tomorrow!


  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Shadowline said…

    What? Not picking up my XMEN UNLIMITED story?


    -Kleid :)

  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger zilla said…

    Ultimates 2 is the best team book i've read (by far) since i've been back (about a year).

    Ramos might not be exactly right for Wolverine but his cartoony style tugs at me for some reason... too bad he didn't bring his pal jenkins along w/ him so they could work some of that spec spidey magic i happened to love.

    and... x-factor is very good (so far). marvel needs a lot more like this.

  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger zilla said…

    ps - i also started punisher on the last arc (as you did it seems?) and i'm w/ you - it's on my pull list now for sure. going good.

  • At 10:12 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Neil: See, this is part of why it's good to do these things. I totally spaced on your X-Men story. I'll pick it up.

    Zilla: Nice to know Ult2 is stacking up. I enjoyed "1" quite a bit, so I'll be looking forward to how the whole thing shapes up at the end. As for Punisher, yeah, I was kinda back and forth with it; the quality seemed real jumpy for a while there, but at this point I think I'm convinced it's worth the gamble.

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Neil: Post corrected. Thanks for the hmph. :)


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