What to Buy: Weekly Recommendations for November 19, 2009

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The “filling in for David and/or Spiff” edition! But first, a little something for Green Lantern fans who may not visit comic stores often (I’m looking at you, Barnes & Noble people!): all this month, comic stores are giving out Lantern power rings! Not just Green Lantern ones, but Sinestro Corps (yellow), Star Sapphire (violet), Blue Lantern, Indigo Lantern, Red Lantern, Orange Lantern and even Black Lantern rings! Now, supposedly, you get these rings by purchasing certain DC Comics, e.g. you get a Sinestro Corps ring if you buy Doom Patrol #4. However, you should ask your comic store folks about it: I know some are giving out the rings alone for $4, while others (like my own) are wise enough to make the rings free with ANY purchase.

Anyway, let’s begin:

The Essentials

Adventure Comics #4

While Geoff Johns started off keeping the series relatively isolated from current big events in the DCU, Adventure Comics officially jumps into Blackest Night with the return of… Superboy-Prime! Yes, the guy who killed our protagonist, Superboy (Conner Kent) is back, with a very powerful Black Lantern in tow (I won’t say who, but it won’t be hard to guess). Seeing the Superboys have their rematch, assuming that’s what happens, is going to be pretty epic. Will it be good? Probably: even though it’s a departure from the character-driven “Americana” stories in earlier issues, I’m sure issue #4 will be just as delightful as the first three. Also, rumor has it some big Blackest Night stuff’s going down…

Powers Encyclopedia Vol. 1

I tried getting into Powers a few years ago and I just couldn’t; it was like all of Bendis’ writing tics were turned up to 11. Still, this is probably a must-have for any Powers fan. It even has characters who haven’t appeared in the series yet! Of course, you could always wait until they actually appear :b

Amazing Spider-Man #612/Dark Reign Spider-Man: The List

Buy these if “One More Day” didn’t made you swear off Spider-Man forever. They do look intriguing, though: Mark Waid sounds like he’s got an interesting take on Electro, and Spider-Man taking on “Iron Patriot” Osborn is a nice twist on the Spidey/Osborn enmity. Both comics will no doubt have major repercussions for Spider-Man; I’m sure the Dark Reign one will play into Marvel’s upcoming “Siege” crossover too.

Flash: Rebirth #5

Huraayyyyy, it’s finally out. This series hasn’t been as good as I thought it be, but it hasn’t been terrible, either. Still, I suspect there’ll be at least one event this issue that’ll play out in the upcoming Flash ongoing, so Flash fans may not want to miss this.

Should Buy

Black Lightning- Year One TPB

At last! I bought the first few issues, but then decided to trade-wait the rest. The fact that I’m willing to buy a TPB with issues I already own should tell you how good this mini is. Jen Van Meter managed to take all the retcons Black Lightning’s gone through over the years (like all those daughters who popped up out of nowhere) and incorporate them into a compelling, updated version of the character’s origin. Most importantly, though, she proved that Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce is a fascinating character in his own right, one who definitely deserves more attention than he’s getting now. I know Jeff’s not on the JLA anymore, but I’d love to see a Black Lightning ongoing by Jen.

The ‘Nam TPB

Finally, Marvel’s famous ’80s series about the Vietnam War is back in print. This critically-acclaimed series was hailed for its compelling storytelling and historical/military accuracy (at least until Frank Castle started showing up, but that was much later). Besides, ten issues for only 30 bucks is not a bad deal.

Wolverine: Weapon X #7

Apparently this series isn’t selling as well as it should, which is weird for a Wolverine comic. It’s a shame too, since Jason Aaron’s done some great work with the character in the past. Forget all the crazy, convoluted Romulus conspiracy stuff going on in Wolverine’s other comics– this is just Logan doing what he does the best. The latest storyline began in issue #6, so catching up should be easy. 

Others to consider

Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse TPB 

This lead-in story to Blackes Night doesn’t feel quite as essential as it did back when it was coming out an issue at a time. However, I remember the reviews were pretty good. Plus it’s hard to go wrong with the premise: “Mongul enslaves the planet Daxam, making it the home world of his Corps.” In other words, Mongul’s got himself an army of Supermen.

Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Vol. 3

I thought most of Geoff Johns’ relaunched JSofA run was as slow as molasses, but I also thought it’d read better in trade. Now here’s our chance to find out! Assuming Vol. 1 and 2 are good, that is…

Mighty Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest TPB

The first trade of Dan Slott’s Avengers run is here! If you want classic-style Avengers with a modern flair, written in character (sorry Bendis, your batting average is only so-so on that one), this is probably the comic for you. At least that’s what I’ve heard, anyway.

Destroyer Premiere HC

The Invincible team of Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker (see what I did there?) take a little-known character (I think) and up the violence, MAX-style. Basically, Destroyer learns he hasn’t got long to live, so he decides if he has to go, he’s going to take as many super-villains with him. Solid enough premise, and in case I didn’t make it clear at the beginning, Kirkman and Walker DID create the awesome Invincible.

War of Kings HC

So I hear Marvel’s cosmic crossovers have been consistently better than Marvel’s recent Earth crossovers (Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion). I’d buy this, but I feel almost obligated to start with Annihilation, the story where Marvel first started revitalizing its cosmic characters. Best advice I can give you? Don’t do what I do: just buy the thing and tell me how it is. Or wait for the softcover, since $39.99’s ridiculously expensive. Even Spiff doesn’t charge that much on weekends.

Superman/Batman #66

Man, even Grundy’s a Black Lantern now. Which makes sense.

Brave and the Bold #29

Brother Power the Geek returns. That’s all you really need to know. Well, that and Batman teams up with him.

Kookaburra K #1

The latest sensation from the House of Ideas! With a name like that, how can you not buy it?

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3 Responses to “What to Buy: Weekly Recommendations for November 19, 2009”

  1. davidry214 Says:

    Nice pinch-hitting, Goki! You must have been Kirk Gibson in another life.

    I got a yellow ring last week for buying more than $20 of comics. The guy told me to only use it to inspire great fear.

    I bought:
    Flash: Rebirth #5
    Dark Avengers #11
    Incredible Hulk #604
    Black Knight #1 (one-shot)

    So, only got one of your essentials. 😉 I did strongly consider Spidey, just for Waid. But I’m pretty indifferent toward Electro, and yes, I still haven’t recovered from the vomitous “One More Day.”

    Lot of TPBs in your recomemndations, which is cool. The only one I’d be interested in that I haven’t already read is War of Kings, but I can wait for a softcover, and I too would want to start with Annihilation.

    Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers just didn’t quite work for me, and I tried probably a good 7 issues or so. I appreciated that he was trying to get away from the Bendis melodrama shit and get the Avengers back to an old-fashioned superhero team, but it still had problems. For one, his dialogue was very weak. Two, the team itself doesn’t feel very Avengers-y, presumably because editorial control denied him certain characters. And three, he leaned heavily on his Young Avengers characters that he brought in, injecting teen angst into a book that needed none. But I do hope Marvel continues in his general direction (as opposed to Bendis’), just with perhaps a little better specific execution.

  2. gokitalo Says:

    So, only got one of your essentials. 😉

    Not a problem! Honestly, I sort of regretted my choices, since I went more by “essential to continuity” than essential in terms of taste. Next time WILL be different!

    I’m a very big believer in the TPB, even if I don’t always get around to buying them. I think the trades out this week may not be “must buys,” but hey, if you’ve got the dough, I say give ’em a shot.

    As for Mighty Avengers, your criticisms are pretty fair. Slott’s dialogue can be very entertaining, but it can also sound a little old-school Marvel sometimes (unnecessary exclamation marks, somewhat expository dialogue). Although I can see some Avengers-y-ness in Slott’s line-up: most of its members have either been Avengers before (Jocasta, Hank Pym, Herc, U.S. Agent, Quicksilver) or are carrying on a former Avenger’s legacy (Stature, Vision).

  3. davidry214 Says:

    “Essential” is a pretty vague and relative term, so I think yours were fine. And I like your TPB choices, even though if I do buy any, it’ll be a while. The Black Lightning and Destroyer ones are particularly intriguing.

    I think Slott’s line-up has the same problem we’ve talked about before with JLA: lack of big guns. Obviously, part of the point of his run seems to be to try to make Hank Pym a bigger gun, but I don’t know that he can carry a team (especially without Janet). Really, I’m fine with almost all the members –I guess I’m not a huge Jocasta fan, and I could do without the Young Avengers — but when it’s just them, it feels like a team of second-stringers. Did you ever see the late-90s Avengers cartoon? It was pretty good, but ultimately short-lived in part because it suffered from the same problem: when you don’t have any of the Big Three (Cap, Iron Man, Thor), it’s tough to make it work.

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