jeudi 27 décembre 2007

Upcoming Marvel comics

Dec 28
Tomorow gets released the Daredevil Omnibus Frank Miller Companion. This is a must-buy. Actually it's way better than the original volume. As much as I enjoyed Miller and Janson, they're no match in the art department with Mazzuchelli, Sienkeiwicz, Romita Jr and Al Williamson (possibly the best inker in comics bar none) and I hope that Marvel will make an Omnibus (or even a Marvel Visionaries) of Nocenti, Romita Jr and Williamson fantastic run.

Battling Jack Murdock is collected. An above average series worth looking.

Marvel Masterworks: Human Torch 2. I'm not a fan of the Golden Age, which I find too crude for my taste but considering this volume has Human Torch vs Sub-Mariner, guest appearances by Ka-Zar, the Patriot and the Angel and the talents of Bill Everett, Mickey Spillane and Basil Wolverton and covers by master Alex Schomburg, it must be worth it.

Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man vol 5. It's the second edition by Romita. I believe Romita was much better when he came back on the character after the Buscema and Kane runs. But still, it's a classic.

Essential Power and Iron Fist. A classic team-up book of the 70s. Only Cable and Deadpool has continued that tradition. The mix of two legacies was always interesting. With their membership in the Avengers and the success of Immortal Iron Fist by Fraction and Brubaker, this is truly an essential collection (plus early appearances by Sabretooth for his fans - Sabretooth started as an Iron Fist opponent).

Avengers West Coast: why this collection? John Byrne? It was not so good, nothing classic. Not bad either.

Essential Captain America vol 4. Most of these stories already exist in collected color volumes. This is where Steve Englehart wrote some of the most challenging stories of Captain America that have influenced the top writers of today like Alan Moore and Kurt Busiek. It's more than worthy material. And vol 1 is reprinted as well, a must-buy as well.

This is the month of the new Captain America. Everybody has been expecting the return of Steve Rogers but the brillaint part is that he will stay dead.

Nextwave: Agents of Hate vol 2. A must have. When most of today's comics are decompressed (telling in six issues what used to be told in one or two, a manga influence) this one is compressed like Dan Slott's She Hulk (and as funny). The humor makes it as great as the 60s Stan Lee Classics.

Essential Marvel Saga: it's always surprising to see Marvel reprinting all these reference books. They already publish reference books now: the Marvel Universe Handbook, the Marvel Spotlight issues, the (whatever big event) Files. But I guess that's part of their strategy to exploit every era of comics in order to interest every readership. They even made Handbooks of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, which were enjoyable (not the 90s one). The previous Essential Handbooks were handbooks of the 80s so the handbook of the 80s was unnecessary. What about a handbook of the 40s, 50s?

Thunderbolts Faith in Monsters: a must-buy.

Hulk Visionaries Peter David Vol 5: a must-buy, especially as it's by Dale Keown.

Master Masterworks: Daring Mystery. Even if it contains characters appearing in the upcoming series the Twelve (starting that same month, good thinking), it's an unlikely buy. They don't even tell us who are the writers and artists.

There's a reprint of the Silver Surfer Masterworks vol 1. The best of Buscema and Lee.

Uncanny X-Men vol 6 Classic stuff by Claremont, Byrne, Cockrum.

Thor Visionaries Walt Simonson vol 5, the last one, ending with the fatal battle vs the Earth-Serpent, an accurate end to Simonson's run. (I enjoyed the De Falco/Frenz run that followed and think it deserves reprinting)

ClanDestine returns. Alan Davis is a modern master and always worthy as an artist. I don't like the concept as much though. The collection of earlier stories comes at the same time.

Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure. A rejected story is now put together. Don't expect a masterpiece, just the last chance to see a Lee-Kirby-Sinnott FF story. Who would pass it up? We're lucky that Lee and Sinnott are still alive.

Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch start on the FF. To check.

The finale of Astonishing X-Men is here. This has been the best X-Men comic for the last years probably because it was outside the continuity of the other X-titles.

House of M Avengers ends that month. A very good series by Christos Gage which displays his knowledge and understanding of Marvel 70s characters.

By contrast, Joe Casey has failed so far in his retake of 60s Iron Man in Enter the Mandarin.

Essential Avengers vol 6. More Steve Englehart's greatness.

Marvel Fantare gets reprinted at last. Some very good stories.

Wolverine Origins vol 4 Our War; AT last a good story for this title. Granted this is more a Captain America and Bucky story with Nick Fury, Hydra and Strucker. Everybody who loves Captain America shoud own that one.

Masterworks Ant-Man/Giant-Man vol 2: considering that feature was cancelled, don't expect a masterpiece. But still better than many things published today. For Silver Age fans only.

Uncanny X-Men Masterworks vol 2: a must.

Punisher Max vol 4 collects issues #37-49. Not to be missed.

Franklin Richards: Collected Chaos. Inspired by Calvin and Hobbes and not as great but very enjoyable in itself.

Howard the Duck Omnibus. When Marvel released that Essential volume in 1997, who would believe these stories would be reprinted in color one day? That day has arrived. Incredible as that character is not the most popular. The recent miniseries was disappointing.

Atlas Heroes vol 2 is the second part of the unsuccessful revival of the three biggies of Marvel. Everett gave his definite incarnation of Sub-Mariner but John Romita looked very different on Cap than on his later Marvel work. Only for die-hard fans (I would gladly buy it for half-price)

A new Franklin Richards story: Yay! more humor in Marvel titles.

A story by Ennis and Chaykin about the Phantom Eagle. Well, it's the only chance to write a war story these days: using a Marvel or DC war character.

Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle gets reprinted, one of the few times when Iron man was great. By Michelinie, Romita Jr, Layton.

Captain America Masterworks vol 4. It has very good John Romita/Sal Buscema and Colan/Sinnott art. It's the period when the Falcon becomes a frequent guest start but the strip is mostly without direction.

Essential Marvel Handbook Master Edition. One wonders who buys all these various editions of the handbooks. At least it's an interesting view of the Marvel Universe at a given time for the historian.

Iron Man: Doomquest, more stories by Michelinie, Romita Jr, Layton.

Atlas Era Tales to Astonish vol 2: I really like these early tales by Kirby and Ditko.

Marvel Masterworks Silver Surfer vol 2 reprint: the second part of that undying classic run.

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