Monday, March 31, 2008

What I’m Getting Wednesday

The first week in a five week month, which means I don’t have to devote as much time to this post as my list is reasonable (for me) this week. I used to feel like the first week of the month was always the slowest week of the month. For some reason with my list none of the absolute top books were coming out week one. That has changed recently with this first week including Action, Scalped, The Twelve, Abe Sapien, Walking Dead and Archibald Saves Easter. The market share report is DC 44% (12 books), Independents 41% (11 books) and Marvel 15% (4 books).

Action Comics #863 – This issue is the grand finale of Superman’s adventure with the original Legion of Super Heroes. The only thing that is wrong with this issue is this adventure had to end. I have loved what Waid did with the latest Legion, but this book just struck all the nostalgic chords for me. Geoff Johns really crafted an old time Legion adventure that was very modern but had a silver age flavor.

Atom #22 – Rick Remender has really kicked this book up a notch right from the jump. This issue Atom is fighting the Genesis Bug that is within his own blood. I love how Rick has taken everything that came before, embraced and made this book his own right away. Patrick Olliffe on pencils was a great touch as he has a stronger realistic edge to his work, while still conveying the fantastic.

Countdown Final Crisis #4 – The last four chapters are finally here. I assume this issue we get to see what Earth faced the “great disaster” as I’m pretty sure it wasn't the main DCU, still I enjoyed last issue and hope that the final four issues have some merit. Still can’t wait for it to be over.

Detective #843 – Zatanna is back and it is obvious that Paul Dini loves doing a retro-con (as he did in the cartoon) of giving Bruce and “Z” a history. I actually like the idea myself and think that they would make a great couple. We also are finally promised some back story on the new Ventriloquist. I enjoy it when a hero or villain is updated. A new person with the name allows for different stories with that character that are not out of character as no character has been established yet.

Infinity Inc. #8 – From the cover it appears that the group is starting to become a group, but with Peter Milligan as writer it will never be what we expect. The addition of Pete Woods as the artist is saving me from abandoning this book. One severe problem on this book was the art and with Matt Camp and now Pete Woods that has been resolved.

Jonah Hex #30 – All you have to say is Jonah Hex and Jordi Bernet as artist and I’m sold. I have become a big fan of Jordi Bernet and now have some of his classic Torpedo work courtesy of Lee (THANKS). Gray and Palmiotti are writing a great western series.

Metal Men #7 (of 8) – This series is driving me a little crazy, as I have enjoyed the artwork, had fun with a lot of the concepts it has thrown out, but hated the over written script and needlessly complex jumping around in time. As a monthly series this book has failed, but I’m very tempted to get the trade as I’m almost positive this will be a great read as a trade.

Nightwing #143 – This has become a good series again. Peter Tomasi has redeveloped Nightwing as an integral part of the DCU. He has contacts with the JLA, JSA and his network via his own extended Bat family. This issue Tim (Robin) is joining Dick in trying to solve the mystery of who is playing Dr. Frankenstein with dead metas. Don Kramer fills in as artist and he is a solid choice as Rags apparently cannot keep a monthly schedule.

Supergirl #28 – Last issue she saw the future if she decides to save this little boy from certain death. The chain reaction she creates is profound according to those future people. Apparently she is still going ahead with trying to save his life. Logically you would think that a hero would still try to save the boy’s life and the let the chips fall where they may.

Trials of Shazam #12 (of 12) – Wow did this series take a long time to actual complete. Overall I have enjoyed this recreation of Captain Marvel and hope that Freddy takes his place among the DCU pantheon of heroes. By making Freddy Captain Marvel we can move the character forward and allow him to be a more modern version of the character. There is always room for solo stories told of the first CM that can be done more in the manner that was the characters norm in the golden age.

Midnighter #18 – Well Keith Giffen has finally made this an interesting series. The official hype “Assassin8, the world's deadliest hitman and a genetic chameleon, has defeated the Midnighter and taken over his identity. Next stop: the Carrier and the rest of the Authority...and the actual target of his assignment.” Add Lee Garbett as artist and I’m back to enjoying this book.

Scalped #16 – Scalped in 15 issues has risen to be one of the “cream of the crop” of comic series. The book packs so much raw emotion and fury into each issue that it is amazing. We are in the midst of the “Dead Mothers” story line as Dash tries to help figure out how to make the murderer of a young boy’s mother pay. The problem is the murderer is also an agent of the FBI, who is undercover and Dash has been told to leave him alone. At the same time Dash is not dealing with his feelings of loss for his own mother’s death and it is eating away at him. Simply a great series.

Abe Sapien the Drowning #3 (of 5) – This issue continues the Abe’s first mission for the BPRD without Hellboy. Last issue everyone else in his team has been killed so Abe is really on his own. In addition to a great story that is building more back story for Abe, this book treats us to the fantastic art of Jason Shawn Alexander and Mike Mignola doing the covers.

Archibald Save Easter – The best dang comic there is about deranged cartoon Aardvarks. I loved Archibald Saves Christmas and can’t wait to see this issue and what type of madness and mayhem will happen to the Easter Bunny. The best one liner for this book is Roger Rabbit meet Sin City. Grant Bond is both artist and co-story teller with Dwight MacPherson as co-writer.

Brit #5 – This is a quirky little series that has yet to really totally draw me in. I know Robert Kirkman is not writing his creation, but it really reads a lot like one of his books. Since most of his books take a while to develop I’m giving this book more rope.

Cemetery Blues #3 (of 3) - The tale of this erstwhile monster hunters is a fun read and Thomas Boatwright’s art has a wonderful quality to it. His art has a cartoon like vibe to it and is also more realistic then a true animation type style. At the same time it can be almost moody, great stuff. I hope to see more of our “heroes” in future tales.

Frank Frazetta’s Dark Kingdom – One Shot – The Death Dealer mini-series based on Frank’s painting was an enjoyable series, so I thought I would try the one shot based on another Frazetta painting. This harkens back to the days when Julie Schwartz at DC would commission a cover image and then tell the writer’s to put a story to it.

New World Order #3 – I’m so lost on this book and I have no good reason as to why I have hung on for issue #3. I guess I’m hoping it will make more sense after this issue.

Walking Dead #48 – I can not wait for this issue. Last issue we saw Rick’s wife on her knees with a gun to her head and it looked like someone from the inside was betraying them. Walking Dead is busting loose and has shaken the status quo up in a big way.

Anna Mercury #1 (of 5) – This is another Warren Ellis book from Avatar. I’m surprised that Warren has time to do anything with his name attached to so many different titles. Let me see at Avatar he has Black Summer, Gravel, Freak Angels and now Anna Mercury; at DC he still has Desolation Jones (supposedly) and at Marvel he has Newuniversal, Thunderbolts and Astonishing X-Men. He is one busy guy. Part of the official hype on this series “Dancing amid the spires of a city called New Ataraxia, there is a woman who can cloud men’s minds, leap across buildings as if weightless, unerringly fire twin automatic pistols in the most insane conditions, and disappear in a crowded room. She fights against the political repression of an insane technocratic society, and she comes from a place that no-one in New Ataraxia has ever heard of. And she’s got one hour to save the city from itself.”

Jenny Finn Trade Paperback – At this point all you have to say is written by Mike Mignola and I want to check it out. This is a tale that is described as Lovecraftian in its style, which is really a lot of Mike’s work. He takes Lovecraft type horror and then plays with it and makes it his own. This story is about a little girl in Victorian England who seems to bring disaster wherever she goes.

North Wind #4 (of 5) – This is another great story from Boom studios. This is a post apocalyptic tale of a young man who has returned to try and find revenge for what happen to his town when he was a boy. Set in a future where a new Ice Age has come to our planet.

Mega City Underground Volume One – It has been awhile since I have gotten any material from the Judge Dredd side of things, but the solicitation drew me in, especially with the creators “by Andy Diggle, Jock, Simon Coleby, Henry Flint.Lenny Zero was tired of life as an undercover Judge, and wanted to flee Mega-City One with the woman he loved. But she proved to be Judge Kramer of the S.J.S., and she sentenced him to life on Titan! Lenny blew her hand off and fled - hunted and heartbroken, Lenny's in big trouble, and it's only going to get worse! These are the stories of the undercover judges”.

Logan #2 (of 3) – My biggest problem with this book is that the B&W variant edition maybe a better looking book as Risso’s art shines even better without color. The first issue was a decent little story by Brian Vaughn, but Risso stole the show.

Secret Invasion #1 (of 8) – Marvel’s mega-event for this year finally kicks off. Personally I will follow the main event, but I’m avoiding add on books like the plague. Boy does all of this really feel like the nineties with event after event after event to keep spiking sales numbers. To make it even more like that time, there are five covers.

The Twelve #4 (of 12) – This is an outstanding series by JMS and Chris Weston. Each of the first three issues have been gems and I’m really enjoying this tale of twelve heroes who lost 60 plus years and are now trying to adjust to a world that has passed them by.

Young X-Men #1 – Not going in with any good expectations. I have cancelled each new X-books that I have tried out after one issue, let’s see if this book can stop that trend.

As I said this is a relatively small week from my perspective. A small side note I have decided to try and add as many covers as possible, but switched to a smaller format to fit them all.

The Best to Worse of Last Week post has been moved to Wednesday for this week, as tomorrow’s post demanded to be done tomorrow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lunch With Mark Waid, part 2

Part 1

And now, the conclusion!

GWEN: You have the ability to take characters and reintroduce them and do it successfully *Mark thanks us* as you did with Legion. How do you pull that off in the comic book world where no one wants anything to change?

MARK: It’s hard, it’s harder and harder in the comic world because more and more fans don’t want any change whatsoever. Fans want exactly what they have been reading since they were seven years old, which is killing me.

GWEN: I would think it would kill the industry.

MARK: It’s not helping the industry. It’s especially hard right now. I think super hero comics in particular go through cycles and I think that this is not by any stretch the most productive and original time to be doing super hero comics. I think more then ever right now, for whatever reason, super hero fans want exactly what they have been reading for the last 20 years and nothing different. It was different ten years ago and it will be different 10 years from now.

I hear a lot of people talking about how if the character’s changed and grew more that that would be more attractive to them. Which is, I understand that and I’ve certainly gone through periods in my life where I felt like I wish the characters would change and grow more. But the problem is that it’s so easy to make them change and grow away from what they should be. Like marrying Spiderman off to Mary Jane was a bone headed move 22 years ago. I’m not saying they undid it with any sort of grace or wit. I’m not saying, I’m not defending the story but I will defend the idea that whoever first thought hey Spiderman and Mary Jane should be married should be hit in the head with a ball beam hammer. I was a bad idea. It’s just so wrong for Spiderman.

What we have a tendency to forget is that these characters...we’re not the audience. We’re not the audience of these characters. We’ve kinda grown into being the audience because there are no kids reading comics. But 70 years ago these characters were not created for people who are in their 20s. They’re not created for people in their 30s. They were created for kids. And I understand that we want the characters to grow up with us to some degree. And some of the things that make The Legion very cool is The Legion was in their own pocket of its own world where the characters could grow up with us. But in terms of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, those character’s longevity, to me it’s like saying I want to see Bart Simpson grow up with me. Nobody wants to see Bart Simpson grow up them. Nobody wants to see Bart Simpson in college. You want see Bart Simpson be Bart Simpson. It’s like being upset because Curious’s like no adult is going to the book store and go “Curious George is still sticking nickels in a light socket. What’s wrong with that. Why didn’t he grow up?” No, that’s what Curious George is. So what Superman is is very fundamental if you’re still reading Superman comics and you’re in you’re in your 20s and 30s, that’s okay because it should be appealing to the kid in you. It shouldn’t be deliberately designed to the adult in you at the detriment of the kid. But now the opposing statement…

GWEN: Aren’t you limiting the stories that can be told? Because if you bring in a new generation and even have them replace the older generation like what you did with Wally – well, he’s become the Flash now. For the majority of readers, as much as they still love Barry, Wally is the Flash.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: And that opened up a whole new realm of stories to be told that wouldn’t have been told with Barry.

MARK: It’s a slippery slope. I mean granted, that worked but the chances of that working are so slim. Remember they replaced Spiderman with Ben Riley a few years ago. And how well did that work? I’m not saying people shouldn’t try it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to progress the characters.

GWEN: You made it work with Wally.

MARK: I made it work with Wally. The Legion, kind of, although people didn’t respond as well as I had hoped. But Superman: Birthright? It kind of worked but nobody paid attention.

GWEN: What about Kingdom Come? There are so many fans out there who are obsessed with the Kingdom Come world over current continuity because things changed, characters changed.

MARK: I understand that but Kingdom Come was deliberately designed for people of an older generation. I’m thinking about characters that are fundamental though, you know Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, whatever. These are characters that lose something if they - Wonder Woman’s the worst example. Wonder Woman has changed completely since the 1940s and she’s not even remotely the same character.

GWEN: Yeah. Well, okay. Wonder Woman and Superman you can get away with.

MARK: Yeah.

GWEN: Superman’s an alien. You can get away with him not aging. Wonder Woman’s an immortal Amazon. Okay. But Batman’s human.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: They’re aging the rest of the universe around him...

MARK: Okay. You know these are not documentaries, right?

GWEN: I know. But I’m saying that, I mean unless you go with something like John Byrne’s Generations where Batman ends up being immortal thanks to the Lazarus Pit…

MARK: Right. The problem is selective aging. I agree. When Dick Grayson graduated high school, like that was the shot heard around the world. That was like boy you just screwed up everything in these universes at this point.

But the thing is - my contention is it shouldn’t the DC Universe. I HATE the idea of a DC Universe. Marvel Universe makes sense to me because it was created by the same 3 or 4 guys: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and couple of other guys. It was around the same time, with the same creative vision and the same basic approach. It all grew organically from several characters. The DC Universe is this weird hodge-podge of characters that were created over a 40 or 50 year span, and you can’t with a straight face tell me that Captain Marvel and Green Arrow should really be standing in the same panel with each other having an adventure. It’s the same as having Calvin and Hobbs and Mary Worth together in a comic strip. It would be interesting for a second, but nobody wants to read that.

GWEN: It’s hard with the big three and it’s hard with big characters in general. Probably one of the reasons that people could accept the Flash was because he wasn’t one of the huge, huge characters.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: And yet it didn’t work with Kyle.

MARK: I actually think it did work with Kyle.

GWEN: They brought Hal back.

MARK: Which I’m not sure I would have done. I think it would have been... and again I love Geoff and I like Hal -

GWEN: Geoff did an amazing job with it.

MARK: Yes he did.

GWEN: Considering what they had to work with.

MARK: Exactly.

GWEN: But also, I mean look at Ollie with Green Arrow. Conner was a great story.

MARK: Conner was a really good story. The difference is with Hal you didn’t lose as much by replacing him with Kyle. With Barry you really didn’t lose as much with replacing him with Wally. Replacing Ollie with anybody was a bad move because of Ollie’s functions in the big DC pantheon is that he had a voice. He had a unique voice unlike anybody else’s that of a knee jerk liberal activist. Which whether you like him or not, or you agree with him or not, makes him an interesting character. His voice stands out. And to replace him with anybody like you replaced Barry....I like Barry....

GWEN: Barry had his story, and his ending was also –

MARK: Yeah. It was very poignant. But he also had no personality. I mean I like Barry and I say this as a HUGE fan of Barry Allen. But there was nothing so interesting about Barry Allen the person that you couldn’t improve upon it by replacing him with - it’s kind of a dangerous thing. And Hal, I love Hal, but I’m not sure Hal was that intrinsically interesting. Ollie, boy Ollie added something. I don’t think Barry Allen added anything unique to the DC Universe. I don’t think Hal Jordan necessarily added anything unique to the DC Universe. The Green Lantern did. But Oliver Queen added something, in and of itself, something unique.

GWEN: Well, to wrap things up, I recently reread Kingdom Come and I was reading some of your comments. One that really interested me was the comment about having an ending to your story. I personally think that one of the things that makes a good story is whether or not there’s an ending.

MARK: Yeah.

GWEN: If you just keep going eventually you end up beating a dead horse.

MARK: Well it’s not a story at that point.

GWEN: Right. So I’d just kind of like to get your thoughts on endings. I mean you said that you had an image in your head of Clark putting his glasses on.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: Which you know I always like the Superman stories where Superman was Clark Kent because I think that his humanity defines him.

MARK: Oh you’re so wrong, but okay.

GWEN: We’ll save that....

MARK: We’ll save it for another interview.

GWEN: What is it about endings that appeals to you in the story telling process?

MARK: We keep saying that comic books are modern myths, like super hero comics, and that’s bologna. You know that, being an anthropology major, because here’s the thing, myths have an ending. Robin Hood shot the arrow up in the air. You know. King Arthur came to his doom. Every great myth has a beginning, middle and an end. And that’s what makes the myths I think.

GWEN: Yes and no. You have to also think that myths are....there’s something that resonates with a society and a culture and helps you to tell your own story.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: So with mythology you have icons like Superman was on the news when they did the Death of Superman. But it’s the idea that people knew and people cared that Superman died. And people tell stories about Superman. Children wear Superman shirts because they want to be like Superman. Superman doesn’t exist. He’s an imaginary figure. That is what a myth is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be something that can tell your story to tell you how to be a better human being, how to achieve something greater.

MARK: Okay.

GWEN: I think super heroes can work as modern mythology because they do have stories that end. But you can always tell more stories with a myth as much as you can with a super hero. Hercules, there are so many stories about him. And he’s a mythical figure.

MARK: True.

GWEN: And you actually have quite a lot of mythical figures where there’s story after story after story about them. And they always change and they always grow. But it changes and grows with the society.

MARK: I stand corrected. Yeah. Point taken. So let me ask you this. Help me define the parameters. Santa Claus, myth or not?

GWEN: It’s more like a folk type of myth. There are different types of mythology. Santa Claus is like a common household type of make believe fiction, such as the Easter Bunny and things with holidays. When you’re talking about mythology as being something that appeals to a deeper cultural level, that speaks to a culture, you’re talking about something that people identify with themselves. You’re not usually gonna find someone who’s like I want to grow up like Santa Claus.

MARK: True.

GWEN: Whereas saying that I want to be like Superman, I want to be a hero, I want to do the right thing. I’m going to be a better person because I read how Barry Allen sacrificed himself to save the world.

MARK: Right.

GWEN: Like you know, I like how Green Lantern and Green Arrow went on a trip together and tried to figure out how to be better heroes. It makes people who read these stories want to be a better person, to want to be more like those characters. That’s when you get a cultural myth.

MARK: Okay. Alright. I got nothing else. I can’t add anything to that. That’s good.

GWEN: Just a quick wrap up question. I just wanted to ask you about with Kingdom Come being taught at UCLA. Comic books as literature, how do you feel about that?

MARK: They are. They’re not always the most sophisticated literature in the world. But really as somebody who is sort of at the tail end of the generation of readers who were looked upon as complete retards because they read comics past the age of 8, it’s so cool to finally really see us being embraced as a genuine American art form and a genuine American literary form. That’s great. I can’t hold up a lot of what I - this is not just false humility - I can’t hold up a lot of what I’ve written as genuine literature, but there’s a couple of things that brush up close to it. And I enjoy that.

Again, thanks to Mark for taking time out for this interview, thanks to Chip for setting it up, and thanks to Karen for transcribing the second half :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Marvel Previews Review for June

Lee: Wow. This is a really slow month from Marvel. There’s almost nothing new to chose from. All the miniseries are in mid story and Secret Invasion has taken over the remainder. If you aren’t already involved with Marvel there’s very little in the way of jumping on point.
Jim: Marvel seems to be committed to the Secret Invasion thing way more then DC is to Final Crisis. Given Marvel’s success with Civil War I guess was inevitable. Still from a fan’s perspective I avoid many of the ancillary tie-ins unless they have a special hook to drag me in.

MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: THE THREE MUSKETEERS #1 (of 6)Written by ROY THOMAS (BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ALEXANDRE DUMAS)Penciled by HUGO PETRUSCover by GERALD PARELParis, 1625. A young man called d'Artagnan, after a series of misadventures, attempts to join the King's elite fighting force-The Musketeers! Joined by Porthos, Aramis and Athos, the four make short work of the Crown's adversaries. But little do they know, the evil Cardinal Richelieu is creating a counter force to the Musketeers, one which may soon challenge the power of the French throne itself! The latest title in the Illustrated line reunites the creative team which brought you the much-lauded adaptation of The Man in the Iron Mask. All for one and one for all!32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: I know this is one going but the Three Musketeers is such a wonderful story that I might have to get this. I finally found an art link too so it makes it even more appealing.
Jim: : I have to think these books are produced simply to fill a line up of graphic novels that can live forever on book store shelves.

SKAAR: SON OF HULK #1 Written by Greg Pak Pencils & 50/50 Cover by RON GARNEY 50/50 Variant Cover by Carlo Pagulayan Variant Cover by BORIS VALLEJO AND JULIE BELL Born in fire. Raised by monsters. Destined to destroy. On an alien planet shattered by war, no one is stronger than Skaar, the savage Son of Hulk. But as a Fillian warlord, an Imperial princess, and a mysterious Earthman spread chaos through the wastelands, will Skaar save the puny survivors -- or smash them? Another epic fever dream from Greg Pak, writer of "Planet Hulk" and World War Hulk" -- featuring the return of legendary Hulk artist Ron Garney! $2.99
Jim: Ron Garney is certainly a drawing card (no pun intended) and Greg Pak did get me to read the Hulk again, but I’m hard pressed to sign up for this book. It feels too much like all of those Son of movies from back in the day. Still I read issue #1 to check it out.
Lee: Another eh from me. I guess it’s interesting but knowing that they are flooding the market just for the movie doesn’t appeal to me.

ETERNALS #1 Written by CHARLES KNAUF & DANIEL KNAUFArt & 50/50 Cover by DANIEL ACUNA and OLIVIER COIPELThe Gods Walk the Earth! In ancient times, the Celestials, a race of cosmic giants, came to Earth and created a race of powerful immortal beings: The Eternals! For a time, primitive man worshiped them as gods, but eventually they disappeared. Now, they have returned! One of the Celestials now towers over Golden Gate Park, standing in judgment over the Earth… but does he bring the end of the world? Following up on Neil Gaiman's best-selling series (and a recent appearance in the Incredible Hercules), join writers Charles and Daniel Knauf and rising superstar artist Daniel Acuna, as Jack Kirby's Eternals return to walk among us! $2.99
Jim: Rising Superstar Daniel Acuna could not hit a deadline to save his soul. The Eternals have never struck the right cord with me. They were Kirby being derivative of Kirby and just never had that right pizzazz.
Lee: Unlike Jim, Eternals is one of my all time favorites. AND, I was really pissed the Omnibus HC was such poor quality! Anyway, this looks great to me but I am really waiting for the trade on this because as Jim correctly pointed out, Arcuna has deadline issues.

ULTIMATE ORIGINS #1 (of 5) Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPenciled by BUTCH GUICECover by SIMONE BIANCHIVariant Cover by MICHAEL TURNERThis is it! The story that finally reveals the conspiracies behind the entire Ultimate Universe! When they first met, Bruce Banner mysteriously warned Spider-Man that "Everything is connected." Now it's time to discover the jaw-dropping secrets that men have fought and died to protect. From the dark days of World War II to the frightening present, journey through history to learn what's really behind the Super Soldier and Weapon X programs-and how heroes such as Captain America, Nick Fury and Wolverine have more in common than codenames and costumes. The dream team of Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice (CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRON MAN) unite for the first time for the Ultimate series of the year that is a must-read lead-in to ULTIMATUM! 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Jim: This screams buy me as a trade. Since I do not follow much of the Ultimate Universe, I can easily pass on this series and then wait for the reviews. If I hear good things about it then I will pick it up, as a series – it is a pass.
Lee: I don’t know if I will even get the trade. The Ulitmate Secret Wars got great reviews but was terrible in hindsight. It will need some really good pub for me to buy into it.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDISPencils & Cover by STUART IMMONENVenom returns in part 1 of War of the Symbiotes! When Spidey's most fearsome foe strikes, it looks bad for the outmatched web-slinger, but Silver Sable and her Wild Pack may turn the tide! Have they come to save Spider-Man or is their motive something more sinister? Plus: this story adapts, expands and incorporates the hit Ultimate Spider-Man video game (which Brian Michael Bendis just happened to co-write) into Ultimate Spider-Man continuity! So be like Venom and return to ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to find out why folks like Wizard are saying it's Òthe best Spider-book on the stands right now.Ó32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Jim: I like this book but wow does this read like a jump the shark moment on this comic. I would hate to have to leave the only Spider-Man book that I’m reading.
Lee: What a groaner! Video games now drive the comic books. To steal another site’s grading system… Awful!

MYTHOS: CAPTAIN AMERICA Written by PAUL JENKINS Art and Cover by PAOLO RIVERAHe may be dead, but now you can find out how the man became the legend! Mythos revisits Steve Rogers'transformation from a weakling with a heart of steel to the Sentinel of Liberty! From the mind of Paul Jenkins and the stunning art of Paolo Rivera comes the origin of CAPTAIN AMERICA!32 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Rated A …$3.99
Jim: What I have come to realize is that since I have been reading comics for a long time that many projects really are not ever going to be for me. A re-telling of an origin that is set in stone and I have read 50 times before is a book I can skip, but for the newer readers a solid re-telling maybe worthwhile.
Lee: This bothered me when I read the preview until I figured out there wasn’t a trade of the material. I’m not paying $4 for a one shot no matter how good the art so I haven’t gotten any of these. BUT, surprisingly Marvel hasn’t HC or TPB’d these yet. Once they do that I might get it.










Jim: Lee, didn’t you say last month that it wasn’t too many books that were being tied into secret invasion. This month we have 9 tie-in books, 9! That seems to be a heavy investment into a series. Plus you know there has to be some spill-over into other books.
Lee: I can’t believe I have to type this… but you’re right. As per usual, it got out of control and now overwhelms every good thing that might be written. I can’t wait for these back-to-back-to-back mega-events to end.

WOLVERINE #66 Written by MARK MILLARPencils & Wraparound Cover by STEVE MCNIVENVariant Cover by MICHAEL TURNERÒOLD MAN LOGANÓ Part 1 (of 8)MARK MILLAR and STEVE MCNIVEN-who last teamed for the monumental CIVIL WAR-bring us the most important WOLVERINE story of the 21st Century. Nobody knows what happened on the night the heroes fell. All we know is that they disappeared and evil triumphed and the bad guys have been calling the shots ever since. What happened to Wolverine is the biggest mystery of all. For 50 years, no one has heard hide nor hair from him…and in his place stands an old man called Logan. A man concerned only about his family. A man pushed to the brink by the HULK GANG. A man forced to help an old friend-the blind archer, HAWKEYE-to drive three thousand miles to secure his family's safety. Get ready for the ride of your life, Logan.32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99
Jim: “The most important Wolverine story of the 21st century.” Let’s examine that bit of over hype shall we. First off we are only 8 plus years into the 21st century, so you have only insulted a mere handful of writers and artists who have worked on various Wolverine stories. Second “important Wolverine story” is an oxymoron. It is a comic book, he is one of Marvel’s biggest characters, nothing will happen to actually change him. Finally it is set in a possible future so who the heck cares about it anyway. Now having said all of that I will look into getting this as a trade down the road if it gets good reviews.
Lee: Uuummm, yeah. What Jim said.

X-FORCE: AIN'T NO DOG Written by CHARLIE HUSTON & JASON AARON Penciled by JEFTE PALO & WERTHER DELL'EDERA Cover by BRYAN HITCH “Ain't No Dog”: There will be blood. Gallons of it. Because Cyclops needs only one scalpel for a surgical strike mission and Logan's the ideal man for the job. Tonight, Wolverine flies solo-dressed in black and operating off the grid. And when the night is through, there will be mountains of corpses, and no one to answer to. What could be better? PLUS, this one-shot features a solo Warpath story, as he learns what it really means to go home again. 48 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Jim: Really, plain and simple this is way, way over the line. I know that Wolverine has killed and will kill if need be, but there used to be a standard, now he is just a man who likes to kill people in some portrayals of the character. Where is the heroic or even anti-hero hook to a character that advertises there will be “gallons of blood”. Small sidebar, why is it an X-Force book. All for $4!
Lee: Oi. Ya know buddy… you could leave a table scrap for me to bitch about every now and then. You’re killing me with all insightful commentary.

WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAME Written by SIMON SPURRIER & RICK REMENDERArt by BEN OLIVER & JEROME OPENACover by BOO COOKWith bloodsports banned in the UK, a group of overfed Brit Aristos have relocated to the Louisiana forests. Their aim? To pit themselves (aided only by a vast pack of slavering hounds and their own copious wealth) against a truly worthy foe: a single, terrified fox. Sadly for them, there's more than one furry little critter in the woods tonight…Writer Simon Spurrier (GUTSVILLE, SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME) and superstar artist Ben Oliver (ULTIMATE X-MEN, GHOST RIDER ANNUAL) present a brandy-swigging one-shot huntfest: 1-part ethical dilemma, 2-parts nationalistic clichŽ, 659 parts insane slice'n'dice-o-rama. Snikt! Also, includes a special back-up story written by Fear Agents' Rick Remender and Jerome Opena!48 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
Jim: Oh this is better… an insane slice’n’dice-o-rama. Sweet, I mean who could ask for anything more. Come on people, Wolverine was not created as a slasher character. At this point why isn’t the rest of the Marvel Universe hunting him down.
Lee: OH FER CRYIN’ OUT LOUD. Dammit, Jim!!! Yeah yeah yeah. He’s right.

YOUNG X-MEN #3 Written by MARC GUGGENHEIMPenciled by YANICK PAQUETTECover by TERRY DODSONIt’s the Young X-Men vs. the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! A traitor is revealed and the casualties mount as the team goes to battle. We hope there are Young X-Men left when the smoke clears.32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99
Lee: Keeping with the blood and guts theme of Marvel’s offerings, we have Young X-men. Which based upon hype is a team of X-Killers without Wolverine. Since when are the X-men all about killing people and everything that moves. It’s bad enough Wolverine has been written like an idiot but do we really need this?
Jim: I agree. X-Men have become hack/slash books.

HAUNT OF HORROR: LOVECRAFT #1 (of 3) Written by RICHARD CORBEN Pencils & Cover by RICHARD CORBEN Horror comics legend RICHARD CORBEN (HAUNT OF HORROR: EDGAR ALLAN POE) brings you a new 3-issue limited series that offers eerie new spins on the poems and short stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Each issue features three adaptations-beautifullyrendered in black and white with gray tones as only Corben can do it-along with a printing of the original source text by H.P.Lovecraft. In issue #1, Corben brings you ÒDagon,Ó ÒRecognition,Ó and ÒA Memory.Ó It's classic creepy Lovecraft with a new twist!32 PGS./Cardstock Cover/Explicit Content …$3.99
Jim: Wow Corben doing Lovercraft, what a great match. This should be good.
Lee: This should be great. I’m hoping for a nice big HC reprint!!

POWERS #31 Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art & Cover by MICHAEL AVON OEMING "Z"BRAND NEW STORY ARC! NEW FORMAT! HOP ON THE POWERS TRAIN! Who were the Rat Pack of the Powers universe? And was Detective Christian Walker one of them? When the controversial crime fighter only known as Z meets his maker, the investigation reveals a secret chapter of Walker's past. Will Walker's true origin reveal itself to those closest to him? And can they handle it?! Plus: Deena Pilgrim faces her future. 40 PGS./Mature…$3.95
Jim: I’m tempted to get back into Powers (I left around monkey time), but I find it very hard to go back to series once I leave them.
Lee: What’s the new format? More pages for more money? I don’t get it. Anyway, I dropped it when it went to Marvel. And, it’d be nice if they ever HC’ed the rest of the first series.

Jim: I’m such a sucker for this material and as this is Variant Edition #98, I’m onboard to #100 and then I can get more realistic about passing on a volume.
Lee: All Masterworks all the time. I am a total sucker for this material. It’s killing me.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: SGT. FURY VOL. 2 HC Written by STAN LEEPenciled by DICK AYERSCover by JACK KIRBYCollecting SGT. FURY #14-23 & ANNUAL #1240 PGS./All Ages …$54.99
Jim: This was always fun stuff. Stan did a war comic that was half war comic and half a super hero style book.
Lee: Like Jim I’m onboard until 100 but this is very iffy for me. Sgt Fury isn’t my favorite (not even close) but the completist in me demands that it be bought.

MARVELS PREMIERE HC Written by KURT BUSIEKPenciled by ALEX ROSSAll New Cover by ALEX ROSSCollecting MARVELS #0-4. 248 PGS./Rated A …$24.99
Lee: I only mention Marvels because this is what the 4th? 5th? HC of this material? There was the Graphetti Designs, there was the 10 yr anniversary, and now this one. Even Watchmen doesn’t have this many variantions in HC’s…. well maybe it does but it’s infinitely better and deserves it.
Jim: This was a good book, but I either have it in a hard cover somewhere or feel the story has not aged all that well.

And Finally…. The Embarrassed to be a Fanboy cover goes to…

Lee: Mike Golden outdoes himself with the “overflowing” metal bikini look. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll make a poster of the cover.
Jim: Yeah, that would be lucky.

Jim: Well Marvel has very little to really get me excited about this month. The Secret Invasion is dominating the line, so it that fails so goes the whole line for the month. Marvel seems to have fans that will eat whatever they want to feed them, so I’m sure they will do fine in the sales department, which is what matters to a corporation.
Lee: Sales will be fine but Marvel really is putting out a load of drivel this month. Between Wolverine slaughter fests and mega crossovers this really isn’t room for any quality material, which is really sad.

Friday, March 28, 2008

DC Preview Review for June

Jim: Damn it is still a chilly March and here we are looking at books that are coming out in June. Let’s dive right in and see what wonders this month will bring.
Lee: A new month of buildup to Crisis Rev 4. Hopefully something fun will emerge.
Gwen: Maybe it's chilly up in the frozen North, but it's beautiful down here in Florida!

TRINITY #1-4 Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian NiciezaArt by Mark Bagley & Art Thibert, Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens, Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton & Jerry OrdwayCovers by Carlos Pacheco
DC's new weekly series TRINITY explodes in an extra-sized debut issue featuring art by fan-favorite Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man) & Art Thibert with lead stories and dialogue by Kurt Busiek (SUPERMAN, ASTRO CITY)!The lead feature explores the unusual bond - and importance - of DC's top three characters, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as a mysterious dream links them together and may prophesy important changes in their trinity!Plus, a co-feature in issue #1 explores the mysterious connection between several villains who are watching the Trinity -as well as the near future for these characters and their surrounding world! Co-features in issues #2-4 fill in back-story on some of the other important players in this major storyline. These stories are written by Busiek & Fabian Nicieza with art by Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens (NIGHTWING, GREEN ARROW), Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher and Mike Norton & Jerry Ordway (ALL-NEW ATOM, INFINITE CRISIS).Issue #1 on sale June 4; issue #2 on sale June 11; issue #3 on sale June 18; issue #4 on sale June 25 o Issue #1 40 pg, issues #2-4 32 pg, FC, All $2.99 US
Jim: 52 was good, Countdown was a disaster (not like a crisis, just a disaster), yet I have high hopes for this weekly mini-series. First off it stands on its own, second Kurt Busiek as writer and third Mark Bagley drawing the lead feature.
Lee: It makes you wonder how coherent the overall theme is going to be when you need yet another weekly miniseries to tie everything together. It’s all too much for me.
Gwen: Written by Busiek, so I actually find myself intrigued.

REIGN IN HELL #1 Written by Keith GiffenArt by Matt Clark & Stephen SegoviaCovers by Clark & Kevin Nowlan
It's all-out war for control of hell! This is the major event that changes the status quo for DC"s infernal realm as Lord Satanus sets out to dethrone Neron at all costs. As the battle begins, various parties are drafted into service - but will they choose to stand with the devil they know or a new and possibly worse evil? Friendships will be ruined, lives will be lost and allegiances will be forever changed.Plus, a backup feature starring Dr. Occult, who receives a shocking visitation on the eve of the war in hell!On sale June 4 o 1 of 8 o 40 pg, FC, $3.50 US
Jim: On the flip side, I’m a little leary of this mini-series. The negatives are $3.50 per issue, a series about the demonic side of the DCU which includes a lot of characters that I don’t care that much about.
Lee: I see the price debate continues endlessly. Even though I like all the spooky, demonic characters a miniseries that is obviously setup for the summer event is an easy pass.
Gwen: This, however, does not spark my interest. Maybe if Bill Willingham was writing it, as he does such a good job with these kind of stories, but as it stands this will just be about a bunch of characters I care little about.

BATMAN #678 Written by Grant MorrisonArt by Tony Daniel & Sandu FloreaCover by Alex RossVariant cover by Daniel
Part 3 of "Batman R.I.P."! Batman's mysterious adversary has won. All is lost for the Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne is now deranged and dissociated, wandering homeless in the alleys of Gotham City. Is there a chance that Bruce can rebuild his Batman identity from scratch, or is this truly the end for one of the world's finest heroes?On sale June 25 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I bring this book up for a few reasons. First it appears the Grant Morrison is taking Batman all the way down to build him back up again, which reminds me of what Miller did with Daredevil. The second reason is that I love that DC is leaving these series alone to have their own story lines and not making Final Crisis interfere with every other book in the DCU. Finally I think that this series has the potential to be a seminal type run on this book.
Lee: It is interesting the powers that be are leaving Morrison alone. Now if they would only do it on all the other titles. BUT, I haven’t been nearly as impressed with the Morrison run as you have been. Nor do I think it will be nearly as well regarded as Miller’s Daredevil.
Gwen: Actually this reminds me of Devon Grayson's run on Nightwing - she tried to do the same thing, and I (as well as you Jim) hated it. Honestly, isn't this just a rehash of what they did with Knightfall anyway? How many times does Bruce need to rebuild himself as Batman? *rolls eyes*

ROBIN/SPOILER SPECIAL #1 Written by Chuck Dixon Art by Rafael Albuquerque and Victor IbáñezCover by Albuquerque and Cris Peter
From the rooftops in Robin to Gotham Underground, Spoiler's identity has remained a mystery - until now. All is revealed in this special when Robin and Spoiler team up to take down a kidnapping ring, hit up an illegal warehouse party and finish Tim's algebra homework; just another day in the life of a teenaged vigilante super-hero! Plus, even more Robin doesn't know: Spoiler's secret identity in another country, in another life - one she can never leave behind.On sale June 4 o 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Jim: This looks like it could be a very cool book, but I have a couple of problems with it. Why is it not part of the regular Robin book and why does is have to be a $4 book. I get the feeling DC and Marvel are getting ready to up the price on their books and are trying to break us in slowly.
Lee: It is 48 pages so that helps explain the higher price point to some extent. And, the big two have always done these one shots. Great if you’re a Robin fan. Ok if you’re not.
Gwen: As much as I enjoy the Robin books I could have done without the return to Spoiler stories. Still, Chuck Dixon is a good writer and always does well with the 'Bat' characters, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this.

MANHUNTER #31 Written by Marc Andreyko Art by Michael Gaydos Cover by Liam Sharp
The fan-favorite series returns! New series artist Michael Gaydos (New Avengers, Alias, Nightmare Factory) and cover artist Liam Sharp (COUNTDOWN PRESENTS: LORD HAVOK AND THE EXTREMISTS) deliver a stunning new look for the continuing adventures of the DCU's most human hero!Los Angeles is Manhunter's town - so when Kate Spencer learns of the disappearance of hundreds of women along the Mexican border, she's on the case both as law-breaking D.A. and costumed vigilante.Meanwhile, Kate's bloodline tie to the JSA returns to haunt her - and it looks like her sidekick's most notorious supervillain ex-boss is doing the same to him.On sale June 4 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: I’m very glad to see this series come back, but it seems inane to start it back at the old numbering. So often we see companies cancel and re-launch a series as a new number one with limited justification. This deserves a new number one after a long hiatus. Also Michael Gaydos as the artist is a great choice and I loved his work in Alias and Snakewoman, and now Manhunter.
Lee: This and Spidergirl, two series that will never die. As a fan I happy returning the old numbering. What good is a new #1, it’s just stupid, especially if storylines are continuing mid stream.
Gwen: YAY! I am so happy this book is back! *does a happy dance*

JLA VOL. 1 DELUXE EDITION HC Written by Grant Morrison and Mark MillarArt by Howard Porter, Oscar Jimenez, Don Hillsman,John Dell, Chip Wallace and othersCover by Porter & Dell
Relive the legendary 1990s JLA series, written by comics masterminds Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) and Mark Millar (Civil War) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others, in this amazing oversized hardcover collecting JLA #1-9 and SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS #1! The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of super heroes. But as their true nature comes to light, only the World's Greatest Super Heroes can stop them! Standing side by side, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter take on alien posers and come to realize that Earth needs a protectorate made up of only the mightiest icons!Advance-solicited; on sale August 20 o 7" x 10.75"256 pg, FC, $29.99 US
Jim: I’m all for reprinting this series. I just hope that the “deluxe” means I’m getting paper that is better then what is thrown at my doorstep every morning.
Lee: Ooooohhhh, this is such a tough call. I remember reading the original series and not being all that impressed. It was typical Morrison with big ideas and poor endings. I’d much rather see Waid’s run on JLA reprinted.
Gwen: I have to agree with Lee here, but then again Morrison is hit or miss with me.

DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2 TP Written by Mike Sekowsky and Robert KanigherArt by Mike Sekowsky, Irv Novick and Dick GiordanoCover by Sekowsky & Giordano
Classic, never before collected Wonder Woman tales from the 1970s comics Wonder Woman #185-189, Superman's GirlFriend, Lois Lane #93, and THE Brave and the Bold #87!Advance-solicited; on sale July 23 o 176 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Jim: I have no idea why this material is being reprinted, but the non-powered Wonder Woman material is too funky to pass up. I need to read the first collection now.
Lee: I’ve read my copy already and it was great silverage hokey fun! I can’t wait to get this one.
Gwen: This looks really entertaining :)

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: THE HOUSE OF SECRETS VOL. 1 TP Written by Mike Friedrich, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman and othersArt by Jerry Grandenetti, Bill Draut, Werner Roth,Dick Giordano and othersCover by Bernie Wrightson
More than 500 pages of mystery tales from the pages of THE HOUSE OF SECRETS #81-98 (1969-1972)!Advance-solicited; on sale July 30 o 544 pg, B&W, $16.99 US
Jim: Let me see between just Essentials and Showcase reprints I have 20,000 pages of material to re-read, but I still need this. Really I do, great stuff, I have to have it.
Lee: THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF SWAMP THING!!!! You have to buy this! I love the DC Horror books and I can’t wait to get this. Of all the Essentials/Showcases I own, the DC horror ones were the only ones read cover to cover.
Gwen: I've actually never had a chance to read this material and find myself intrigued. I'll actually have to pick this up at some point.

CHUCK #1 Written by Peter Johnson & Zev BarowArt by Jeremy Haun & Phil NotoCover by Phil NotoThe hit NBC television series comes to comics as Chuck Bartowski and his friends are about to take the world by storm-literally! From series co-executive producer Peter Johnson (Supernatural: Rising Son) and series writer Zev Borow joined with artists Jeremy Haun (The Leading Man) and Phil Noto (Jonah Hex) comes an adventure too big for television!In this globe-trotting, action-packed adventure, Chuck will see many exotic locales, dodge numerous bullets, and be tortured by the world's greatest...tickler?On sale June 11 o 1 of 6 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Jim: OMG, OMG. YES, YES, YES. The one series I have been waiting 45 years to finally come out I can’t wait ---- WTH! Who said let’s do this comic? Were they fired?
Lee: See, that’s the kind of sarcasm that gets you in trouble. While I won’t be buying this (mostly because I don’t watch the show) I think it’s great they are doing it. In a small medium such as comics, anything to get into the mainstream is a good thing. Tying a comic into a hit TV show is a great idea. Maybe we’ll even get a new reader or two along the way. Gwen: While making comics from TV shows isn't anything new, I question the choice of material. This show, from what I've heard, doesn't seem to fit in the comic genre well.

MADAME XANADU #1 Written by Matt WagnerArt and cover by Amy Reeder HadleyVariant cover by WagnerLegendary creator Matt Wagner (MAGE, GRENDEL, SUPERMAN/BATMAN/WONDER WOMAN: TRINITY) and rising star artist Amy Reeder Hadley present Vertigo's newest ongoing fantasy epic. Centuries long and around the globe her tale winds before the ageless fortuneteller arrives in modern era New York. Her powers of sight can change the course of human events, but how does the seer see herself? Wagner and Hadley answer with painstakingly elegant story and breathtakingly innovative art that is sure to make Madame Xanadu a classic!Issue #1 opens into a medieval kingdom beset by intrigue and foul sorcery. A fair sylph with magic of her own is thrown into the world of war and men - where she encounters a dark stranger who knows not only her past, but her most intimate future as well.FC / 32 pgs / Monthly / $2.99 US / On sale June 25 / MATURE READERS
Jim: Now this looks like a winning series. A seldom used, but great character Madam Xandu, with an excellent creator as the writer and some stunning artwork by someone new to me Amy Reeder Hadley. This looks to be excellent.
Lee: I trust Matt Wagner but I wonder his ability to write a fantasy epic. He’s never done one so there is some trepidation there. But, it is Matt Wagner and he rarely disappoints.
Gwen: oooo, shiny Matt Wagner stories!

JLA TROPHY ROOM: BAT-SIGNAL PROP REPLICA The JLA Trophy Room prop replica program continues for 2008 with the Bat-Signal! A must-have on any wall or ceiling for the ultimate Batman fan!
With the flick of a switch, this metal-encased device projects a light-up Bat-Signal an impressive 16 feet! Powered by a plug-in, UL adapter and two ultra-bright bulbs, the piece also includes a fan to keep it cool. With a swivel feature enabling the Bat-Signal to pan across the room, Batman is sure to come to the rescue no matter where he is when he's beckoned.
This prop replica measures approximately 12" tall x 2.25" wide x 9" deep and is packaged in a 4/C box. Also included are a 4/C Certificate of Authenticity, a "Guide to the Trophy Room" brochure written by best-selling author Brad Meltzer, and one replacement bulb.
Jim: This will sit with your Superman Cape in the spare bedroom that you have because you cannot ever have children if no woman will ever sleep with you. They were afraid to put a price on it.
Lee: I could put it in the yard and light the front of the house up. The neighbors will love me.
Gwen: I don't know what you two are talking about, this is excellent.

Standing atop battle-damaged Grecian ruins, this stunning 18" Wonder Woman mixed-media statue shows the Amazon Princess in all her fury. This 1:4 scale museum quality figure is composed of resin, metal, and an expertly crafted fabric outfit, including briefs with a star pattern, a faux-leather bodice, and a flowing cape. She is armed for battle with a shield, sword, eagle-shaped axe, and a lasso. The full piece measures approximately 16.5" high x 11" wide x 14" deep.
This exclusive, limited edition statue includes a 4/color Certificate of Authenticity and is packaged in a 4/color box.
Advance-solicited;in stores November 5, 2008 * Statue * $295.00 US
Jim: I have three statues and think this would make a great fourth, but I also like being married and do not want to have to move out of the house.
Lee: No no no. You’re looking at it all wrong. This is a true test of your marriage. If she can’t accept your love of a work of fine art such as this… does she really accept you as a person? That’s the question that needs answering.
Gwen: Actually, as a woman, I don't have a problem with this statue - I think it looks cool. Doing the cloth-like costume is odd though. Still, I think it's a good not-to-terribly-naked rendition of Wonder Woman.

Jim: A decent month of stuff and I was happy to see that DC seems to have slowed down a little on the glut of product they were pumping out last year and appear to be focusing more on the actual books themselves now. What a crazy idea. The Madam Xandu book is what I’m looking forward to the most.
Lee: I like that DC continues to expand into new things with offerings like Chuck. Superheroes are superheroes but getting new readers to comics is better.
Gwen: This looks like a decent month, and having Busiek work on the new event series rekindles my interest in the bigger DC picture.