Reviews of trade paperbacks of comic books (mostly Marvel), along with a few other semi-relevant comments / reviews.

19 April 2011

Marvel July 2011 solicitations (collected editions)

Will be picking up:

  • Avengers Academy, v. 1: Permanent Record: This is more what I had in mind when I picked up Avengers: The Initiative (sans the stupid Initiative crap): a genuine team of superpowered youngsters, mentored by real Avengers. ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785148906)
  • Excalibur Visionaries: Alan Davis, v. 3: It’s titled “Alan Davis,” but the contents contain a significant portion of Scott Lobdell. Just so you know; I don’t want you caught off guard like you were with that “Taco Bell” and “beef” shocker. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785155430)

Might buy eventually:

  • Avengers Academy, v. 2: Will We Use This in the Real World? (hardcover): Won’t know if I want this until I pick up the first volume; it would seem to me that you’d want to have the TPB out for a month or so before putting this out, since it would let readers realize they like the title and want to read the next volume when they see it on the shelves. At least this does come out one week after the TPB. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785144960)

Might buy if the price is right:

  • Spider-Man: The Complete Ben Reilly Epic, Book 1: I think this renaming of the Clone Saga is a smart idea — at some volume number, people’s innate caution was going to get in the way of their curiosity and stop people from buying more volumes. Giving it a new name separates it from the increasing stink the Clone Saga generated as it went along. ($39.99; ISBN: 9780785155454)


  • Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Strange Tales, v. 5 (hardcover) ($64.99; ISBN: 9780785150169)
  • Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk, v. 6 (hardcover) ($59.99; ISBN: 9780785150435)
  • Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men, v. 3 ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785150701)

Already have or read:

  • Essential Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, v. 5: Other than the Death of Jean DeWolff, I remember the issues in this volume (#97-114) being a bit of a downswing for the title. Does have some of Peter David’s first comic work, though. ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785118862)
  • New Mutants Classic, v. 6: Contains the shocking issue where Larry Bodine is encouraged to commit suicide by Mary Worth. (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether Mary Worth is doing the encouraging, or if “Mary Worth” is a method of committing suicide. If you decide the latter, please leave a comment telling me what that method involves.) ($29.99; ISBN: 9780785155447)
  • New X-Men by Grant Morrison, Book 3: Rolling through one of Morrison’s most impressive mainstream successes. ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785155034)
  • X-Men by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee Omnibus, v. 1: I can almost hear Marvel saying: Why can’t it the late ‘80s, when occasionally a comic book issue would sell hundreds of thousands of copies, the X-Men were on the top of the heap, and everything made sense? (Except for some of Claremont’s long-term plots, that is.) ($125; ISBN: 9780785158226)
  • X-Men: X-Cutioner’s Song (hardcover): The first comic book issue I ever bought was part of this crossover — X-Men #14 — so I have an irrational fondness for X-Cutioner’s Song. Still, you couldn’t get me to pay $50 for a hardcover edition of the story. ($49.99; ISBN: 9780785156109)

Licensed books:

  • Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Circus of the Damned, Book 2: The Ingenue (hardcover): That’s a mouthful of a title. Actually, I think there’s more action in that title than there is in the book. ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785146902)
  • Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead (hardcover): Bring out your dead! Orson Scott Card wants to speak to them! ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785135869) Oz: The Marvelous Land of Oz: I’ve been there. Not so “marvelous.” Tourist trap, really. ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785140870)
  • The Stand: No Man’s Land (hardcover): The Stand juggernaut rolls ever onward, whether or not you actually want it to. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785136248)

The Rest:

  • Art of Marvel Studios (hardcover): This four-book collection actually contains last month’s Captain America: The Art of Captain America: The First Avenger plus the “art of” titles for three other movies: Thor and Iron Man 1 and 2. Unless you are interested in production artwork or are in that profession, I can’t see why you’d want to drop this much money on a collection like this. ($150; ISBN: 9780785153320)
  • Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine (hardcover): It took almost a year to put out five issues of this miniseries, but they did manage to get the hardcover out only two months after the final issue came out. Good job! ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785148906)
  • Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis, v. 1 ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785145042)
  • Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis, v. 2 (hardcover): This actually comes out a fortnight before v. 1. Well played, Marvel. And by “well played,” I mean the opposite. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785145042)
  • Black Panther: The Man without Fear, v. 1: Urban Jungle: Will this be the relaunch of Black Panther that will finally bear fruit? (Hint: No.) ($16.99; ISBN: 9780785145233)
  • Black Widow: Kiss or Kill ($12.99; ISBN: 9780785147015)
  • Captain America: Hail Hydra: “Hail, HYDRA! Immortal HYDRA! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master — as the world shall soon serve us! Hail HYDRA!” Sorry about that. I have no idea what this series is about, but I just wanted to type that in. I love it when a terrorist organization takes its mythology so seriously. ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785151272)
  • Captain America: Red Glare (hardcover): I am a little frightened by the lack of Captain America titles this month, given that this is the month the movie actually comes out. Cap gets only three titles, and in one of those (X-Men / Steve Rogers: Escape from the Negative Zone), he doesn’t even get top billing. Oh, wait — there’s a fourth: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier, although that one doesn’t exactly sell the Captain America brand all that well. ($29.99; ISBN: 9780785158950)
  • Casanova: Gula: Reprinting the first four issues second volume of Casanova. ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785148630)
  • Daken / X-23: Collision (hardcover): Spawn of Wolverine, unite! ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785147077)
  • Deadpool Pulp ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785148715)
  • Deadpool, v. 6: I Rule, You Suck: Only two Deadpool titles as well … something’s wrong here. ($15.99; ISBN: 9780785151364)
  • Fantastic Four: 1234 (hardcover): Do you remember this one and the furor it raised? Unless you’re a diehard Grant Morrison fan, I’m betting the answer is “No.” (I bet the answer is “No” an awful lot. That’s why I’m rich enough to pay the bills with reviewing trade paperbacks.) ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785158967)
  • Hawkeye: Blindspot ($15.99; ISBN: 9780785156017)
  • Incredible Hulks: Planet Savage ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785151593)
  • Marvel Point One: This one should have “Miscellaneous: For Completists Only” stamped on the cover and the spine. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785156260)
  • Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis: Oh, look who’s Mr. High and Mighty, has to have his name before the name of the book. Has Mark Millar really gotten to be that important? (I do appreciate that he’s included Steve McNiven in the title; it’s only right.) ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785148661)
  • New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis, v. 1: More Bendis! That makes three Bendis-titled Avenger volumes this month alone! Oh, happy day! ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785148739)
  • Onslaught Unleashed (hardcover): This book stars the Young Allies and Secret Avengers. Of course it’s named “Onslaught Unleashed.” ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785157762)
  • Secret Avengers, v. 1: Mission to Mars ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785146001)
  • Spider-Man / Fantastic Four ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785144236)
  • Spider-Man: Am I an Avenger?: I think this volume will answer its own question just by the title alone. And that answer is “No.” ($29.99; ISBN: 9780785157496)
  • Spider-Man: Big Time: Is it usual to have two Amazing Spider-Man TPBs come out in a month? I’m not sure … ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785146247)
  • Spider-Man: Blue: A Loeb / Sale joint. You know if you want it or not. ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785110712)
  • Spider-Man: Origin of the Species: Big Time reprints barely a month’s worth of comics, but Origin is a couple of months worth. Why not space these books out a little more? Is there some crunch coming in the months ahead? Is Marvel trying to catch up? ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785146223)
  • Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier ($14.99; ISBN: 9780785148791)
  • Thor: Black Galaxy Saga: And there’s only two Thor volumes this month. Weird. Spooky. Where will the next movie push come from? ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785150954)
  • Thor: Spiral ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785150893)
  • Thunderbolts: Violent Rejection ($15.99; ISBN: 9780785152217)
  • Wolverine by Jason Aaron Omnibus, v. 1 (hardcover): I do love the idea of omnibuses, but is there a market for a Jesse Aaron Wolverine book? I think of omnibuses as vehicles for older material and for critically acclaimed runs, and I haven’t heard that much about Aaron’s run, really. ($99.99; ISBN: 9780785156390)
  • Wolverine: The Best There Is: Contagion (hardcover) ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785144465)
  • Wolverine: Wolverine vs. the X-Men (hardcover) ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785147862)
  • X-Factor: Scar Tissue (hardcover): I get X-Factor in TPB, not hardcovers, but I always get X-Factor, so I have nothing to say about this one. ($24.99; ISBN: 9780785152835)
  • X-Men / Steve Rogers: Escape from the Negative Zone (hardcover) ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785155607)
  • X-Men Legacy: Aftermath (hardcover) ($19.99; ISBN: 9780785156352)

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