10 THINGS I LIKE ABOUT OCTOBER 2012 COMICS (aka: A bunch of crazy fun stuff and a big list of cool old things)
by KC Carlson
WARNING: Snark filter is OFF.
MARVEL COMICS: SERENITY NOW!: The new Marvel Now! strategy/stunt/hype/(non-)event is confusing the heck out of me, mostly because it seems like they’re trying to do several things at once — AvX aftermath, announce new titles, relaunch declining franchises, wind down popular creative runs, refocus some titles to be more “movie-like”. A lot of it doesn’t make much sense yet, because they can’t announce it all without ruining the ending to AvX (they say) — or (more likely) they haven’t got all of it figured out yet. Want proof of that? One of their big new titles, Thanos: Son of Titan, has already been cancelled (so don’t order it).
Here’s what we do know: There’s going to be some sort of new status quo (or whatever the plural of that is) for the Marvel Universe, and we’re first going to see it in Marvel NOW! Point One, a 64-page collection of short stories by mostly superstar creators on sale in October. (So, shouldn’t it be called Marvel Later! ?) (Yes, my butt IS very intelligent, thank you!) Before that happens, this month we’ll be seeing three issues (of five) of AvX: Consequences, featuring the aftermath of that epic event. (Surprise! the story doesn’t actually end in AvX.) At least one Marvel hero is dead. (Or has been turned into a chalk outline. This is the Marvel Universe after all.) Another quasi-AvX spin-off title debuting in October is A+X , whose title looks too much like algebra to me. It’s modeled exactly like AvX: Vs, as each issue features two different stand-alone stores produced by superstar talent. One assumes that each story also features an Avenger and an X-Men, but this time not fighting. (Maybe. This is the Marvel Universe after all.)
Also, there’s going to be an “Aw-Cute…” one-shot version of AvX. A-Babies Vs. X-Babies is based on the best-selling poster by Skottie Young. (Well, I bought it… It’s SO Cuuute!) It’s written by Young and drawn by the Guruhiru art team. Who will live? Who will die? Who will get diaper rash? (Oh dear, the Hulk is lookin’ pretty green right now…)
Then, there are a couple of new regular titles. Uncanny Avengers #1 is exactly what it says: An Avengers team (Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch) with lots of X-Men members (Wolverine, Havok, Rogue). It’s written by Rick Remender and drawn by John Cassaday (for the first arc, at least). The first issue features a funeral, so get out your hankies! . . . Red She-Hulk finally gets her own book, taking over the Hulk title with #58 . . . Daredevil: End of Days (8 issues), written by Brian Bendis and David Mack and drawn by Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz, kicks off a whole bunch of new miniseries. Some of DD’s greatest creators combine to tell the tale of Ben Urich’s last Daredevil story . . . Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers (4 issues) is the latest chapter in a semi-ongoing concept . . . Punisher War Zone (5 issues) is the wrap-up to Greg Rucka’s run on The Punisher, with art by Marco Checchetto. The Punisher fights the Avengers. (Jeez, nobody gets along with those guys anymore!) . . . Plus, TV’s lovable serial killer, Dexter, comes to Marvel in a five-issue miniseries that should be bloody fun.
Then come the cancellations: Captain America #19, Invincible Iron Man #527, Mighty Thor #22, Journey Into Mystery #645 (maybe), Fantastic Four # 611, FF #23, Incredible Hulk #15, New Mutants #50, Uncanny X-Men #20, X-Men Legacy #275, and maybe Avengers Assemble #8 (at least Bendis and Bagley are leaving with this issue). Obviously, some of these will most likely return shortly (with new #1 issues and probably new creative teams), but so far Marvel’s not saying much.
Also rumored to be saying bye-bye soon, or at least changing creators, are both Avengers and New Avengers (Bye, BMB! Jonathan Hickman is said to be the new writer) and possibly other titles. The Marvel NOW! initiative is rolling out over the next several months, so we may be seeing lots more changes. One intriguing new upcoming title is a new X-Men book by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen, which should be officially scheduled shortly.
Tread lightly and caveat emptor: Many Marvel titles will be changing creative teams over the next few months. Read your catalog (and solicitation copy) carefully!
DC COMICS: Similarly, while DC is returning to its regular ongoing stories after its “Zero Month” timeout, be careful, as your favorite creators may not be writing or drawing their regular book this month. (For instance, Tony Daniel is filling in for Jim Lee on Justice League, and Cliff Chiang is taking the month off — except for covers — on Wonder Woman.)
So what’s new? Well, the new Black Lightning and Blue Devil debut in DC Universe Presents #13 . . . There’s a new Green Lantern in town, and he ain’t Hal Jordan. (See the big “Rise of the Third Army” crossover in all the GL books.). . . The origin of the all-new Tomahawk is in All-Star Western #13. . . Joe Kubert Presents is a six-issue anthology comic with stories by Kubert and colleagues. Kubert writes and draws a new Hawkman story, plus a second tale about hard times; there’s a new Angel and the Ape story by Brian Buniak; and war comic great Sam Glanzman returns to comics with a new U.S.S. Stevens story! . . . A couple of digital-first titles are making their paper debut in September: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 features non-continuity Batman stories by interesting talents including Damon Lindelof (Lost), Jeff Lemire, and J.G. Jones. Ame-Comi Girls #1 Featuring Wonder Woman is by Justin Grey and Jimmy Palmiotti with art and cover by Amanda Conner . . . National Comics: Madame X #1 has Rob Williams and Trevor Hairsline revamping Madame Xanadu . . . Another old DC horror title is being revived Vertigo-style this month. Ghosts #1 is an 80-page one-shot (on sale on Halloween!) featuring work by Geoff Johns, Joe Kubert, Gilbert Hernandez, Paul Pope, Phil Jimenez, Jeff Lemire, Amy Reeder and more! Cover by Dave Johnson . . . Green Lantern: Sector 2814 Volume 1 is a new paperback collecting GL stories from 1984 by Len Wein and Dave Gibbons. Bob Greenberger will be by to tell you all about this soon!
AMERICAN COMIC BOOK CHRONICLES: THE 1960s (1960-1964): I read a lot of comic book histories, and I’m lucky to be reading an advance copy of this one, written by “Comics’ Secret Weapon” John Wells (Back Issue) and published by TwoMorrows. My verdict: Do not miss this book! Many comic book historians tend to focus on just the Big Publishers (Marvel and DC) and ignore the little guys. Not John. He’s packed this 224-page hardcover with untold stories about Dell/Gold Key, Charlton, Archie, Harvey, ACG, Warren, and others! Plus new insights on DC’s Silver Age and the origins of Marvel Comics. This book is setting a very high bar for the entire series to come. TwoMorrows is planning volumes covering the 70s, 80s, and 1965-1969 for 2013, with more decades later. I’ll be back here with a full-length review of this amazing volume soon.
Did you know that Blue Beetle and the proto-Teen Titans debuted the same month that the New York World’s Fair opened (and the Flintstones visited it) and the Beatles took the top five slots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart?!? It all happened in April 1964. (I feel like Casey Kasem right now.)
MORE COOL STUFF I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TALK ABOUT RIGHT NOW: (Did I mention that I’m in the middle of a cross-country move?) A new Owly & Wormy book, Bright Lights & Starry Nights, by the always wonderful Andy Runton and Top Shelf . . . Maggie #1 from Bongo, by Sergio Aragones and others, features the youngest Simpson in what’s probably going to be a dialog-light book! . . . Zaucer of Zilk is new weirdness from Brendan McCarthy and IDW . . . Golden Age of DC Comics 1935-1956: Last year’s massive Taschen tome by Paul Levitz (it flattened fifteen in Fitchburg) will now be cut down into five separate volumes, adding hundreds of illustrations. Plus, it now fits on bookshelves! (The original big one comes in its own suitcase! I got a lot of interesting looks when I recently checked into a hotel with it.)
YOU STUPID EARTHLINGS WILL BUY THIS NOW!
CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS
ACG Collected Works: Adventures Into the Unknown Volume 3 HC (PS Artbooks): Reprinting issues #11-15 from 1095-51. 288 color pages.
ACG Collected Works: Forbidden Worlds Volume 2 HC (PS Artbooks): Reprinting issues #6-10 from 1952. 288 color pages.
Archie: The Best of Dan DeCarlo Volume 4 HC (IDW): Not many artists get up to Volume 4 in their “Best Of” series. The thing about DeCarlo is that IDW could produce another 100 volumes without the quality of art declining. This installment features 20 classic Archie stories (and hopefully a lot of pin-ups) drawn by Dan DeCarlo and written by classic Archie writers (probably Frank Doyle and George Gladir). 152 oversize color pages.
Classic Popeye #3 (IDW): the ongoing reprinting of Bud Sagendorf’s Popeye comics, in a monthly comic book format. 52 color pages.
The Complete Flash Gordon Library Volume 3: The Fall of Ming HC (Titan): Gorgeous Alex Raymond work, in the definitive collection. Watch out for that Ming! 200 color pages.
Eerie Presents El Cid HC (Dark Horse): Collecting every El Cid story from Eerie from the mid-70s. 96 B&W pages.
Forbidden Worlds Archives Volume 1 HC (Dark Horse): Collecting the first four issues of this bizarre classic ACG series featuring work by Al Williamson, Ogden Whitney, Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, Joe Orlando, and others. 264 color pages.
Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Chamber of Chills Volume 3 HC (PS Artbooks): Reprinting issues #14-19 from 1953-55. 256 color pages.
Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Witches Tales Volume 2 HC (PS Artbooks): Reprinting issues #8-14 from 1952. 288 color pages.
Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth Omnibus Volume 2 HC (DC): A massive 416 color pages of the final half of Jack Kirby’s classic post-apocalyptic series (#21-40). Also featuring work by Paul Levitz, Gerry Conway, and Mike Royer.
Lady Luck and Mr. Mystic TPB (Pure Imagination): Forty stories from the Eisner Shop at its prime, featuring Klaus Nordling on Lady Luck and Bob Powell on Mr. Mystic. All stories are from 1941-42 and are Theakstonized for your protection. (Does not cause dizziness.) 160 restored color pages.
Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume 2 TPB (Marvel): Collecting the Cap stories from Tales of Suspense #82-99 and Captain America #100 from 1967-68 by Stan & Jack, with assistance from Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. 240 color pages, fully restored.
Marvel Masterworks: Ka-Zar Volume 1 HC (Marvel): The Silver Age tales of Marvel’s jungle hero are finally collected! Includes Ka-Zar (and Zabu!) stories from Marvel Super-Heroes #19, Astonishing Tales #1-16, and material from Savage Tales #1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Gil Kane, Neal Adams, and more! 312 color pages, fully restored.
The Metal Men Archives Volume 2 HC (DC): A 400-page collection of classic MM stories (#6-20) by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito, who were all working in their element!
Roy Thomas Presents The Heap Volume 1 HC (PS Artbooks): In this first of a three-volume set reprinting his adventures, comics’ original muck monster returns. In addition to work by Infantino, Starr, Bolle, and more, the book features a 5,000-word introduction by Roy Thomas and a new cover by Mike Ploog! 288 color pages.
Scary #1 (IDW): An ongoing comic book series reprinting the best of the worst, brain-rotting, antisocial, 1950s contraband stories ever. This first issue features work by Bob Powell, Dick Briefer, Jack Kamen, and others. Edited by Craig Yoe. 48 color pages.
Showcase Presents: World’s Finest Volume 4 TPB (DC): Collecting great Superman & Batman team-ups from the late 1960s, including issues #174-202 (except the 80-Page Giants). 520 B&W pages for much less than the original comics.
Silver Streak Archives Volume 2 HC (Dark Horse): Collects issues 10-13 from 1941 and features work by Jack Cole and Bob Wood, among others. 280 color pages starring the original Daredevil.
Space Family Robinson Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse): Collecting #32-39 and March of Comics #328 by Gaylord DuBois and Dan Spiegle, with painted covers by George Wilson. 216 color pages.
Steve Canyon: The Complete Comic Book Series Volume 2 HC (Hermes Press): Resolicitation by publisher. Previous orders canceled. Please reorder if you want it. Many of the stories in the volume are previously unpublished.
Tarzan: The Russ Manning Years Volume 1 HC (Dark Horse): 288-page color collection of classic stories from the 1960s.
The Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume 3 TPB (DC): Collecting the Golden Age Wonder Woman adventures — in chronological order — in full color in an affordable TPB format. Reprints Wonder Woman #4 & 5, plus stories from Sensation Comics #15-18 and Comic Cavalcade #2. Most are by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. 168 pages.
CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS
King Aroo: Volume 2 HC (IDW): 360 pages featuring over 700 daily and Sunday strips from 1953-1954 of Jack Kent’s delightful (but near-forgotten) comic strip of a king (Aroo) and his wizard (Professor Yorgle). This volume also includes more of the groundbreaking biography on creator Jack Kent by historian Bruce Canwell. From the Library of American Comics. Highly recommended.
Star Trek: The Newspaper Strips Volume 1 HC (IDW): Collecting the rarely seen Star Trek newspaper strip from the late 70s/early 80s. The volume includes the first ten story arcs from December 2, 1979, through October 25, 1981, in a quality hardcover format. 264 pages.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 4: House of the Seven Haunts HC (Fantagraphics): Lovingly restored from original negatives and proofs from the legendary Disney Vault, the latest volume from Fantagraphics’ acclaimed series features the scary title story, as well as “Island in the Sky” and other stories. Plus, as always, it’s crammed with extras by Disney scholars (also from the Disney Vault). Also highly recommended. (Oh, my wallet!)
KC CARLSON’S WIFE, Mrs. Intelligent Butt, thought that I should explain that the Marvel: Serenity Now! joke is an old Seinfeld reference. I think I just did. “Hi, Honey! I’ll be in Wisconsin soon!” (waves)
Watchman Rorschach Toaster? REALLY? I hope Alan and Dave are at least getting a chuckle (if not royalties) out of that, but they’re probably just getting the crumb tray.
WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.