August 2009 solicitations
Is it solicitation time again? Prep the fog machines and cue the music:
For the first time that I can remember, I have no interest in buying anything Marvel’s putting out in a month. Marvel’s solicitations are clogged by “Dark Reign,” but two titles transform Marvel into the House of Dubious Ideas:
- Marvel Masterworks: Deathlok, v. 1 (hardcover): I can see it, we’re almost there … yes, we’ve just scraped the bottom of the barrel. Marvel should be pleased: I’m sure all twelve hardcore Deathlok fans will shell out the steep Masterworks price for this one. $64.99
- Marvel Bromance: No. Just … just … no. Has “Marvel Team-Up” become a code word for a homosexual relationship, so they had to use an incredibly stupid term to describe male friendship? I think this is a counterweight to Marvel-meets-Sex-in-the-City Marvel Divas. $24.99
- Spider-Man / Mary Jane: ...You Just Hit the Jackpot: Some good stories here (and a few not-so-good stories), but is there something I’m missing? Has Mary Jane — oh, she’s making her return to Amazing Spider-Man in August. Be nice if the TPB solicit had mentioned that. $24.99
- Our Essential for the month is Essential Marvel Team-Up, v. 3. Some good Claremont / Byrne stuff in there. I already have the issues, but if I didn’t, I would shell out $19.99 for it. Of course, it’s Marvel Team-Up, so I’m not sure it’s worth that much, but it will definitely be inoffensive and probably better than I remember.
At budget-conscious DC:
- The Flash Chronicles, v. 1: Flash joins Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern in getting his story retold from the beginning in color and relatively inexpensively. Are there enough Flash fans out there to make it work? $14.99
- Icon: A Hero’s Welcome: None of the other three companies on this list have anything like the Milestone imprint. Given that uniqueness, DC needs to do something with it. Keeping reprints of the flagship of the minority-heavy imprint available is the least of it. Also: Dwayne McDuffie and M.D. Bright working together. $19.99
- The Showcase is Showcase Presents Warlord: Ostensibly, this is to support the new Warlord series, especially since both are written by Mike Grell. But wouldn’t it have made more sense to release this Showcase in the month the new Warlord launched, instead of when #5 comes out? Still, Showcases have two things Essentials do not: a $17.99 price tag (up a dollar, but still $2 below an Essential) and page numbers.
- Peter & Max: A Fables Novel (hardcover): A Fables novel by Bill Willingham. An interesting idea, at least. Accompanying illustrations by Steve Leialoha. $22.99
Over at Dark Horse, where they’re keeping my interest by picking over the bones of Marvel when they’re not releasing Usagi Yojimbo volumes:
- Chronicles of Conan, v. 18: Isle of the Dead and Other Stories: Entering an undistinguished patch of the series, this book marks Conan the Barbarian’s halfway point. Weird. Roy Thomas is gone, but John Buscema and Ernie Chan are still there, they’ve got the original covers now, and it’s a decent value — 200 pages for $17.95.
- Groo Treasury, v. 1: This, on the other hand, is a fantastic value: 336 pages for $24.95. This has the pre-Marvel stuff mostly, with the six-issue Epic miniseries at the end. Also included are commentary and history. If you like sword-and-sorcery parody, this is for you. Get it.
- The Umbrella Academy: Dallas: Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s second Umbrella Academy miniseries, in trade paperback. I haven’t read anything by Way, but both minis were well received. $17.95
For Image, there aren’t any collections I’m interested in, but I want to mention G-Man: Cape Crisis #1, the first issue of Chris Giarrusso’s five-issue miniseries with his own creation, G-Man. If you liked Mini Marvels, you’ll likely feel similarly about G-Man; you can find sample pages at the Image solicitation page. At an affordable $2.99, I might pick up the single issues instead of waiting for the trade.